climate change, extinct species, federal register, Lord God bird
Photo credit: LOC PDF

PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to

US to Declare Ivory-Billed Woodpecker and 22 Other Species Extinct (Maria)

The author writes: “The US Fish and Wildlife Service officially proposed taking 23 plants and animals off the endangered species list Wednesday, because they have not been spotted in the wild and are believed to be completely gone from an earth experiencing human population growth and a climate crisis. Only 11 species previously have been removed due to extinction in the almost half-century since the Endangered Species Act was signed into law.”

Why Haitians Are Fleeing Chile for the US Border (Dan)

The author writes, “[In Santiago, Chile], along empty streets lined with shuttered businesses, there’s little sign of the bustle that just a few a years ago earned the neighborhood of Quilicura the nickname ‘Little Haiti.’ Increasingly restrictive migration policies here, and a belief that the United States has grown more welcoming to immigrants under President Biden, have led a wave of Haitians to abandon the country they once saw as a land of opportunity. ‘There’s hardly anyone left here now,’ said 24-year-old Wilbert Pierre, pointing across the dusty road into the Tawtaw barbershop, where he is training to be a hairdresser. ‘Of all the people I’ve known in my four years in Chile, more than 100 have gone to the U.S. since March alone.’”

The Civil War–Era Roots of the Debt Ceiling Crisis (Reader Steve)

From Washington Monthly: “The present-day Republican Party is like a big rowdy family who live next door and come out into the yard occasionally to point guns at your house. Usually, they don’t kill you. There may be an exception coming up, though: the ongoing battle over the federal debt ceiling, a statute that sets an upper limit on how much money the federal government can borrow to, among other things, repay the interest on the federal bonds that constitute most of the national debt. For the third time in the past decade, the Republican Party is suggesting that it might not feel like going along with a debt ceiling increase. This is not the same as threatening a government shutdown unless Congress passes a budget resolution. Government shutdowns are very, very bad for the economy and the world reputation of the United States.”

Former Nazi Death Camp Secretary, 96, Found After Going ‘On the Run’ on Day of Trial (Russ)

The author writes, “A former Nazi concentration camp secretary, 96, has been found after going ‘on the run’ on the day her trial was due to start, a court said on Thursday. Irmgard Furchner, who was between 18 and 19 years old at the time of the events and lives in a home for the elderly near Hamburg, was to be tried by a special youth court for ‘complicity in murder in more than 10,000 cases,’ according to the prosecution. She is accused of participating in the murder of inmates in the Stutthof concentration camp in present-day Poland, where she worked as a typist and secretary to the camp commander, Paul Werner Hoppe, between June 1943 and April 1945.”

Let Water Go Where It Wants to Go (Gerry)

The author writes, “For more than 20 years, I have been studying the historical ecology of New York City and thinking about what it means for the city’s future, and I can tell you one thing: Water will go where water has always gone. When Hurricane Sandy roared into New York in 2012, where did the sea surge? Into the salt marshes. They may not have looked like salt marshes at the time. They may have looked like Edgemere and Oakwood Beach and Red Hook, but these neighborhoods are marshes first, disguised with landfill, and topped with buildings. And so it was recently with the remnants of Hurricane Ida. It is heartbreaking and tragic that people died in flooded basements, and that so many lost so much property. Where were these flooded basements? Judging by the news reports, mainly dug into the old stream courses and freshwater wetlands of the city.”

Want to Save the Earth? Then Don’t Buy That Shiny New iPhone (Laura)

The author writes, “[This month], Apple released its latest phone — the iPhone 13. Naturally, it was presented with the customary breathless excitement. It has a smaller notch (eh?), a redesigned camera, Apple’s latest A15 ‘bionic’ chipset and a brighter, sharper screen. And, since we’re surfing the superlative wave, the A15 has nearly 15bn transistors and a ‘six-core CPU design with two high-performance and four high-efficiency cores.’ Wow! But just one question: why would I buy this Wundermaschine? After all, two years ago I got an iPhone 11, which has been more than adequate for my purposes. That replaced the iPhone 6 I bought in 2014 and that replaced the iPhone 4 I got in 2010. And all of those phones are still working fine.”

Clown Shortage: Appeal for New Recruits in Northern Ireland (Dana)

From the BBC: “‘There’s a lot more to being a clown than just putting on a big red nose and a big baggy pair of pants.’ That’s according to David Duffy, co-owner of Duffy’s Circus, who is appealing for people from Northern Ireland to become clowns. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a shortage of the performers, as many returned to their home countries when the first lockdown came into force in early 2020, according to Mr Duffy.”


Comments are closed.