Aggregated News & Analyses
Today’s posts in bigger type.
Prior 2-3 days in smaller type.
Obama's ACA didn't fix this:
Turning your perfectly unnatural (yet impressively green!) lawn into an imperfectly wild(ish) piece of land requires a little time and energy at first. And then...a lot less mowing.
Australia Institute says claim Australia is only responsible for 1.2% of emissions hides real contribution to climate crisis
....When exports and what is burned at home are combined, Australia ranks fifth behind China, the US, Russia and Saudi Arabia in responsibility for carbon dioxide from extractive fossil industries.
“The USDA is part of a federal administration that can only be described in legal terms as ‘exhibiting depraved indifference to climate change.’”
Discovery of pollution in snowfall from the Arctic to the Alps leads to call for urgent research on potential human health impacts
While the rise of methane in the Earth's atmosphere over the past decade has been "globally significant," quick action to end fracking would have a rapid, positive impact on the environment
- Last year, 40% of US honeybee colonies died or disappeared – the most severe bee decline ever recorded during the winter season.
- Bee populations worldwide have been shrinking for years. Earth is at risk of losing all its insects in 100 years.
- Without bees, crops worldwide would suffer, making nuts, fruits, and vegetable more expensive and difficult to produce.
- Scientists still haven’t figured out exactly what’s killing the bees, but potential causes fall into four categories: pathogens, pests, stress, and pesticides.
- When the majority of a colony’s worker bees disappear and leave behind the queen, baby bees, and lots of food, that’s called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). The mysterious phenomenon has caused enormous bee losses since at least 2006.
To protect itself from destructive flooding, the city has built a park designed to store and recycle rainwater
Climate breakdown could be rapid and unpredictable. We can no longer tinker around the edges and hope minor changes will avert collapse
A new book reveals that Charles Koch, along with his brother David, played an earlier and more central role in climate-change denial than was previously understood.
‘Furthest north lightning strikes in Alaska forecaster memory’ hit as high temperatures and widespread fires plague region
The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report shows that agriculture is responsible for 37 percent of greenhouse gas emissions
"It's the Environmental Protection Agency, not the pesticide protection agency."
About 450 overseas pests have been introduced to US forests, a climate crisis resource, due to international trade and travel
Why are New York Times and Guardian downplaying resistance to Brazil’s far-right president?
The fact that cable news pundits, anchors, and reporters rushed to vehemently defend corporate media against Sanders' comments is illustrative of the dynamic. It makes you wonder where career self-interest ends and sincere delusion begins.
Guess who said it: Tucker Carlson or a far-right shooter [How have Fox News and similar excretory news sources become such profitable engines of hate? They foment fear of people different than ‘you’ as the problem, and sell evisceration of ‘them’ as the solution. It’s all neatly packaged to make ‘you’ feel safer.]
The Fox New host’s nightly diatribes are making the US an ever more terrifying place for immigrants and people of color
"Trump and the billionaires in his administration—after giving away over $1 trillion in tax cuts to mainly the rich and large corporations—are now trying to strip nutrition assistance from more than three million people."
Bad journalists are howled at
This is a fight for life!If current and prospective world leaders do not fathom the threat to continuation of all life on Earth, they must be denied authority as soon as possible.
"We need a leader who prioritizes the future of humanity over rubbing elbows with millionaires and billionaires."
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), a 2020 presidential candidate, speaks during a news conference with fellow Democrats at the U.S. Capitol October 25, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
In the space of 24 hours, Sen. Kamala Harris, a California Democrat running for the party's 2020 presidential nomination, made clear that when forced to choose between the interests of the donor class or progressives, she'd choose the former.
On Sunday night, as Bloomberg reported, Harris attended a big money fundraiser in the Hamptons, telling the superrich attendees "I believe in capitalism" and that she wasn't "comfortable" with a comprehensive Medicare for All plan.
Bloomberg's reporters set the scene:
Teslas and Maseratis lined the street as Kamala Harris greeted guests sipping drinks from plastic cups with her name on them and eating cinnamon sugar donuts from Dreesen's at a fund-raiser hosted by movie executive Jamie Patricof and his wife Kelly as the summer of Democratic fund-raisers rolled on in East Hampton.
The next day, the Harris campaign told CNN Harris would not attend the network's September 4 climate forum, citing previous commitments—big dollar California fundraisers....
America is the first country to ever elect a Mad King, and the way things are going, we may be dumb enough to do it twice
Illustration by Victor Juhasz for Rolling Stone
The court has made it harder for Americans to forge a sensible political solution to a horrific national problem
A Connecticut state police officer holds up an AR-15 rifle during a state legislative hearing on gun laws. Photograph: Jessica Hill/AP
....From 1791 until 2008, the supreme court refused to touch gun-control laws. True, the second amendment spoke of a right to bear arms, but it did so in conditional fashion: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” The roundabout formulation was striking: the constitution does not limit other rights – such as freedom of speech – to any particular purpose or function.
Attentive to this language, the supreme court long interpreted the second amendment as protecting a collective right to participate in a militia. In 1939, the court unanimously upheld a congressional ban on sawed-off shotguns, arguing such weapons lack “any reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia.”
All that changed in 2008 with the court’s 5-4 decision in District of Columbia v Heller. In striking down a Washington DC ban on handguns in the home, the court’s conservative majority held for the first time that the second amendment “protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia.”
Relying on an “originalist” reading of the constitution, Justice Scalia insisted the supreme court had essentially misread the Second Amendment for 200 years....
A lawsuit on behalf of 55,000 detainees describes ‘horrific conditions’ in US facilities
Members of criminal justice, disability rights, and immigration organizations announce a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of thousands of people in Ice detention centers, outside the Royal Federal courthouse in Los Angeles on Monday. Photograph: Damian Dovarganes/AP
Presidential hopeful Julián and Texas congressman Joaquin stand up with one voice against president’s anti-immigration policies
Joaquin, left, with his brother Julián, on the day the 113th Congress was sworn in. Photograph: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call
From power cuts to infrastructure failure, the impact of climate change on US cities will be huge – but many are already innovating to adapt
....A study by the University of Maryland published this year predicts that by 2080, Denver will be as hot and wet as Borger, Texas, about 50 miles (80km) north of Amarillo; Philadelphia will feel warmer and drier – more like Memphis, Tennessee, and New York City will be up to 9F (5C) warmer, with a climate similar to Jonesboro, Arkansas. The study, which accompanies a tool that allows US users to find what their city will be like by 2080, shows that if emissions continue at the current pace residents in cities around the nation will:
- Experience an average temperature increase of 8.2F (4.5C)
- Live in climates similar to the current climates of cities 528 miles (850kms) south of their hometowns...
The Hunstable Electric Turbine by Linear Labs can generate two to five times the torque of existing motors in the same-size package, the company says
Photo: Linear Labs
Exclusive: British high commissioner Vicki Treadell has met with Angus Taylor and Marise Payne
....A spokesman for the UK high commission in Canberra said the call for more ambitious action on the climate emergency did not just apply to Australia.
“No countries’ targets have been ambitious enough and every country needs to do more, including both the UK and Australia,” the spokesman said.
“The UK government believes we have a moral duty to leave this world in better condition than that which we inherited, which is why we have set ourselves a target of net zero emissions by 2050.”
The intervention comes as the Morrison government faces further international pressure to do more on climate, with the UN hosting a climate summit in New York next month, followed by the annual COP (Conference of the Parties) meeting for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which oversees global emissions targets.
The UN secretary general, António Guterres, has asked world leaders to demonstrate at the September summit that they have plans for achieving zero emissions by 2050....
Use of plastic envelopes branded a ‘major step backwards’ in fight against pollution
Group’s acting president and CEO says centers will remain open but predicts many women will ‘delay or go without’ care
About 4 million women are served nationwide under the Title X program, which distributes $260m in grants to clinics. Photograph: Jeff Roberson/AP
Planned Parenthood said on Monday it was withdrawing from the federal family planning program rather than abide by a new Trump administration rule prohibiting clinics from referring women for abortions.
Alexis McGill Johnson, Planned Parenthood’s acting president and CEO, said the organization’s nationwide network of health centers would remain open and strive to make up for the loss of federal money.
But she predicted that many low-income women who rely on Planned Parenthood services would “delay or go without” care.
“We will not be bullied into withholding abortion information from our patients,” said McGill Johnson. “Our patients deserve to make their own healthcare decisions, not to be forced to have Donald Trump or Mike Pence make those decisions for them.”...
Daniel Pantaleo held Garner in chokehold before his death, and his words became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement
Whether they know it or not, today’s obstructionists are using a playbook developed long ago by the plantation elite.
Our founding ideals of liberty and equality were false when they were written. For generations, black Americans have fought to make them true.
In 1619, a ship with 20 captives landed at Point Comfort in Virginia, ushering in the era of American slavery
Oregon city sees sporadic violence and a dozen arrests as Donald Trump and Proud Boys chairman denounce anti-fascists
The Republican party is very much Steve King’s party – don’t let any Republican try and pretend otherwise
The Grand Old Pervert party
Slavery helped turn America into a financial colossus. And our economy is still shaped by management practices invented by enslavers and overseers.
In 2010, as Virginia attorney general, the acting USCIS director tried to make his staff wear a symbol of secession
Huge crowds fill downtown park and surrounding streets, forcing police to block roads
Fire broke out in Dhaka’s Mirpur district on Friday, destroying almost 2,000 tin shacks, officials say
Australia’s regional and global influence will not grow unless we are fair dinkum about acting on climate change
Court decision on fate of Grace 1, which was seized by UK Royal Marines, due on Thursday
The Museum Is the Refugee’s Home [Think about it: refugees—excluding bad criminal types—are naturally the best new citizens because they'll fight like hell for a better life.]
Without exiles and émigrés there is no modern culture. A new show in Washington maps a century of art and displacement.
Hundreds of demonstrators stage new rally a day after shutdown at key transport hub
Boris Johnson’s Brexit strategy is imperilling centuries of common purpose. It can’t be allowed to succeed
Editor's note: Michael D'Antonio is the author of the book "Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success" and co-author with Peter Eisner of "The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence." The opinions expressed in this commentary are the author's. View more opinion articles on CNN.
Virtual Nations could replace nation-states, allowing everyone to be agents for a better world
There are currently 52 federal terrorism laws available to address entirely domestic acts of political violence
Without us noticing, we are entering the postcapitalist era. At the heart of further change to come is information technology, new ways of working and the sharing economy. The old ways will take a long while to disappear, but it’s time to be utopian
Congress just passed a budget that blows the doors off the deficit and Pentagon budget levels. So where are the presidential candidates?