October 12th, 2018
Hi. Hello -- friends. Earthlings. Not-robots. I'm sure everybody enjoyed the climate news this week. But it wasn't news to you, because you've been tracking this shit all along.
But all your pals are woke as shit now, aren't they? All the sudden it's super cool to talk about carbon taxes and timelines and what half a degree of warming really looks like. MUST BE NICE.
To be clear: this is happening. But we're relatively optimistic.
If...we get enough people on board.
So here's the deal. Stupid Phil in accounting gets it. Finally. So let's get him up to speed on everything else, huh?
Two options, both super easy:
1. Drop this signup link into Slack, Messages, WhatsApp, whatever: Your Share URL. Copy, paste, repeat. Boom. Done.
2. Click this Your Thank You URL and use our sharing tools to blast it FB, Twitter, whatevs.
Now's the moment. They're ready. Get enough of them on board and you can earn some cool free shit.
This week's question was What’s harder: Building Clean Power Plants, or Playing in a Reputable Cover Band?
Our guest: Sean Casten, Congressional candidate for Illinois district 6. He’s obsessed with climate change, got like 40 science degrees, and built profitable clean energy.
Another one with 314 Action, as we BUST OUR ASSES to put STEM candidates in office on November 6th.
Subscribe now to get next Tuesday's episode: Is the Ocean Running Out of Oxygen? Is That Bad?
Our guest: Dawn Wright. She's the chief scientist at the Environmental Systems Research Institute (aka “ESRI”), a professor, and also the first African-American female to dive to the ocean floor in the deep submersible ALVIN. She's a baller. Let's get it.
On to the news!
Clean Energy 💨☀️⚡️
One of the country's oldest coal plants is closing -- and it's not alone, and it's not enough
"Englewood, Colorado-based Westmoreland Coal Co. filed for voluntary Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston as part of a restructuring agreement with an unnamed group of lenders.
Westmoreland, which operates mines across the U.S. and Canada, is the fourth major coal company to file for bankruptcy in the past three years, joining Peabody Energy Corp., Arch Coal and Alpha Natural Resources."
+ More Clean Energy:
- Exxon Mobil is giving $1m to a conservative push for a carbon tax. That's great! Except they've given $16m to efforts to defeat the same shit in Washington state. Fuckers.
- Who's winning the de-carbonizing race? Nobody! Yay!
- Denmark helping New York build offshore wind
Food & Water 🍌🥑🥕🔬💊👩🌾🚰
Viruses Spread by Insects to Crops Sound Scary. The Military Calls It Food Security.
"Within the Defense Department, one agency’s recent project sounds futuristic: millions of insects carrying viruses descend upon crops and then genetically modify them to withstand droughts, floods and foreign attacks, ensuring a permanently secure food supply.
But in a warning published Thursday in the journal Science, a group of independent scientists and lawyers objected to the research, which has not yet moved out of the lab. They argue that the endeavor is not so different from designing biological weapons — banned under international law since 1975 — that could swarm and destroy acres of crops."
+ More Food & Water:
- US states agree on plan to manage overtaxed Colorado River
+ A quick Happy Birthday to my little bro Casey, who's taught me so much about perseverance and food and also hangovers
Climate Change 🔥🌊💨
How a Fortnite Squad (of Scientists) Wants to Defeat Climate Change
"Fortnite is the world’s most popular video game, with hundreds of millions of players worldwide.
Every Sunday for two hours, Henri Drake jumps into Fortnite, bringing climate-themed guests — such as Dessler and Peter Griffith, the founding director of NASA’s Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems Office — with him. While they play (and stream to Twitch), they chat about climate change. The three-month-old squad has set out to make climate change information accessible to Fortnite fans."
+ KATHARINE HAYHOE IN THE HOUSE
Biology 401 💉👾💊
U.S. deploys disaster response team to help fight Ebola in the Congo
"The U.S. Agency for International Development announced Monday that it has sent a disaster assistance response team (DART) to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to help contain the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus.
The World Health Organization recently warned that renewed violence in eastern DRC has halted progressthere and has increased the national and regional risk level to "very high" while the global risk remained "low." "
+ Global risk is, again, low. But life comes at you fast -- and the next pandemic could be here in a minute.
+ More Bio 401:
- How bacteria fights off antibiotics, part 349340
- Here's the Plan to End Malaria With Crispr-Edited Mosquitoes, oh, but -- uhh -- Nobody Knows What Will Happen if Mosquitos Disappear
Fuck Cancer, Volume CXII 🖕
Australia set to 'eliminate' cervical cancer by 2028
"The cancer could be classified as "rare" as early as 2022, meeting a threshold of six new cases per 100,000 and deaths due to the diseases are expected to decline to one new case per 100,000 women by 2034.
But this is all contingent on Australia's high vaccination coverage and screening being maintained, write the study authors."
The Final Frontier/Escape Hatch 🚀
Animal study suggests deep space travel may significantly damage GI function in astronauts
"The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), suggests that deep space bombardment by galactic cosmic radiation (GCR) could significantly damage gastrointestinal (GI) tissue leading to long-term functional alterations. The study also raises concern about high risk of tumor development in the stomach and colon."
+ More Space:
- Fifty-foot-tall ice spikes might make it hard to land on Europa
Robots & AI 🤖🚘🧠⚡️
Cyber Tests Showed 'Nearly All' New Pentagon Weapons Vulnerable To Attack
"Passwords that took seconds to guess, or were never changed from their factory settings. Cyber vulnerabilities that were known, but never fixed. Those are two common problems plaguing some of the Department of Defense's newest weapons systems, according to the Government Accountability Office."
- More Robots & AI:
- Waymo clocks 10 million self-driven miles on public roads
- How the Enlightenment Ends
- The race to build a quantum economy
- Artificial intelligence is about to revolutionise warfare
The Highlight Reel
Mass solar's getting real in Cali
Tesla Model 3 is 5th best selling sedan in US, and maybe the safest car (ever) - nuts
Taming the Groundcherry: With Crispr, a Fussy Fruit Inches Toward the Supermarket
The Pentagon’s Push to Program Soldiers’ Brains
This is why the flu affects big cities and small towns differently
Why You’re Probably Getting a Microchip Implant Someday
Why haven’t we heard from aliens? Because we’ve barely started looking
Thanks for reading, thanks for acting, and thanks for giving a shit.
Have a great weekend, everyone!