environment, biodiversity, man, nature, meddling, consequences
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What Happens When Humans Meddle With Nature? (Maria)

The author writes, “In Sichuan province, southwest China, the widespread use of pesticides alongside habitat destruction means that farmers have to carry pots of pollen to pollinate pear and apple trees themselves, according to Dave Goulson, professor of biology at the University of Sussex. … About 30% of China’s pear trees are artificially pollinated, according to one study. Pollinating insects are vital to human food security — three-quarters of crops depend on them. They are also crucial to other wildlife, as a source of food and as pollinators of wild plants.”

Ohio GOP Moves Forward Bill to Strip Powers From Board of Ed. After Losing Control to Democrats (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “Democratic-affiliated candidates won control over the State Board of Education in Ohio, and one week later, Republican lawmakers moved a bill forward to strip their powers. For the first time in years, progressive candidates will control the elected seats on the executive agency, regulating if a resolution is able to pass or not. Candidates are voted on as nonpartisan candidates, however, each leans conservative or progressive and will be endorsed by a party. School board candidates tend to share their beliefs publicly.”

Russian Oligarchs Keep Dying in Suspicious Ways. Wikipedia Is Keeping a List. (Sean)

The author writes, “Russian oligarchs linked to large energy companies keep dying in weird ways: dubious defenestrations, questionable suicides, and even more outlandish ways, like in May, when Russian state-owned media outlet TASS reported that 43-year-old oil executive Alexander Subbotin died from a drug-induced heart attack at the Moscow home of a Jamaican shaman. Why’d the oligarch visit the shaman? To get toad venom as a hangover cure, allegedly. On July 9, an anonymous Wikipedia editor with the username ‘cgbuff’ started Wikipedia’s 2022 Russian mystery deaths article, which chronicles ‘unusual deaths of Russian-connected businessmen [that] occurred under what some sources suggest were suspicious circumstances.’ When the article was first published, it listed just nine Russian oligarchs.Today, it chronicles 17 deaths, and it’s been viewed more than 400,000 times.”

A Dangerous Game Over Taiwan (Sean)

From The New Yorker: “This past summer, the fight for Taiwan flared again. On June 13th, Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, declared that the People’s Republic had ‘sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction’ over the Taiwan Strait. Under international law, the strait has long been considered an open waterway; Wang was sweeping that away. ‘Taiwan is an inalienable part of China,’ he said. Two weeks later, the People’s Liberation Army announced that it would hold a live-fire exercise seventy miles off the island’s coast.”

Air Pollution: Uncovering the Dirty Secret Behind BP’s Bumper Profits (Mili)

From the BBC: “Far removed from the world leaders making climate pledges at COP, are people like Ali Hussein Julood, a young leukemia survivor living on an Iraqi oil field co-managed by BP. When the BBC discovered BP was not declaring the field’s gas flaring, Ali helped us to reveal the truth about the poisonous air the local community has to breathe.”

Angry Birds (Reader Steve)

From the The Sacramento Bee: “When the tom turned up dead, there was some public hand-wringing about animal cruelty and possible criminal charges against the mail carrier who killed him. Behind closed doors, wildlife officials had already given the turkey a death sentence. A monthslong conflict between several aggressive male turkeys and local mail carriers had ended in death Feb. 28 for one enormous bird after a postal worker beat him. Documents recently released by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife after a Public Records Act request reveal that officials spent months trying — and failing — to thwart this bloodbath.”

Hemp-Fed Cows Get Buzzed, Study Finds, but Will Humans Who Drink Their Milk? (Mili)

The author writes, “Do cows that consume cannabis act goofy, get the munchies and spend more time lolling about with their stoned buddies? It may sound like the beginning of a bad joke, but German researchers seeking to understand the effects of feeding dairy cows THC, the psychoactive compound found in industrial hemp, made a few intriguing discoveries, according to a study.”


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