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Warming Is Getting Worse. So They Just Tested a Way To Deflect the Sun. (Maria)

The author writes, “A little before 9 a.m. on Tuesday, an engineer named Matthew Gallelli crouched on the deck of a decommissioned aircraft carrier in San Francisco Bay, pulled on a pair of ear protectors, and flipped a switch. A few seconds later, a device resembling a snowmaker began to rumble, then produced a great and deafening hiss. A fine mist of tiny aerosol particles shot from its mouth, traveling hundreds of feet through the air. It was the first outdoor test in the United States of technology designed to brighten clouds and bounce some of the sun’s rays back into space, a way of temporarily cooling a planet that is now dangerously overheating. … If it works, the next stage would be to aim at the heavens and try to change the composition of clouds above the Earth’s oceans.”

The Impact of Vaccines and Behavior on US Cumulative Deaths From COVID-19 (Gerry)

The authors write, “The federal government should develop a new infrastructure for rapidly gathering public health data, suggests a paper on the lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. … The improvised strategy to fight COVID-19 — public and private behavioral changes to slow transmission until vaccines could be deployed — prevented close to 800,000 deaths in the United States, write the authors.”

Suicide Mission (Dana)

From The American Prospect: “Like most neoliberal institutions, Boeing [came] under the spell of a seductive new theory of ‘knowledge’ that essentially reduced the whole concept to a combination of intellectual property, trade secrets, and data, discarding ‘thought’ and ‘understanding’ and ‘complex reasoning’ possessed by a skilled and experienced workforce as essentially not worth the increased health care costs. CEO Jim McNerney, who joined Boeing in 2005, had last helmed 3M, where management as he saw it had ‘overvalued experience and undervalued leadership’ before he purged the veterans into early retirement. ‘Prince Jim’ — as some long-timers used to call him — repeatedly invoked a slur for longtime engineers and skilled machinists in the obligatory vanity ‘leadership’ book he co-wrote. Those who cared too much about the integrity of the planes and not enough about the stock price were ‘phenomenally talented assholes.’”

House Republicans Want to Ban Universal Free School Lunches (Laura)

From The Intercept: “[In March], the Republican Study Committee, of which some three-quarters of House Republicans are members, released its 2025 budget entitled ‘Fiscal Sanity to Save America.’ Tucked away in the 180-page austerity manifesto is a block of text concerned with a crucial priority for the party: ensuring children aren’t being fed at school. Eight states offer all students, regardless of household income, free school meals — and more states are trending in that direction. But while people across the country move to feed school children, congressional Republicans are looking to stop the cause.”

Vegetables Are Losing Their Nutrients. Can the Decline Be Reversed? (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “In 2004, Donald Davis and fellow scientists at the University of Texas made an alarming discovery: 43 foods, mostly vegetables, showed a marked decrease in nutrients between the mid and late 20th century. According to that research, the calcium in green beans dropped from 65 to 37mg. Vitamin A levels plummeted by almost half in asparagus. Broccoli stalks had less iron. Nutrient loss has continued since that study. More recent research has documented the declining nutrient value in some staple crops due to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels; a 2018 study that tested rice found that higher CO2 levels reduced its protein, iron, and zinc content. The climate crisis has only accelerated concerns about crops’ nutritional value.”

Is This New 50-Year Battery for Real? (Sean)

From Wired: “Wouldn’t it be cool if you never had to charge your cell phone? I’m sure that’s what a lot of people were thinking recently, when a company called BetaVolt said it had developed a coin-sized ‘nuclear battery’ that would last for 50 years. Is it for real? Yes it is. Will you be able to buy one of these forever phones anytime soon? Probably not, unfortunately, because — well, physics.”

From Our Archives

Is the Separation Between Church and State About to Crumble?

July 2, 2017: “When people complain that President Donald Trump and his administration are threatening the First Amendment, they usually think about assaults on the freedom of the press. Just as troubling, however, is that conservatives on the highest levels of all branches of government are blurring the lines between the state and religion.”

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