#109: There can be only one!

September 21st, 2018

46 days to go

Register to Vote -- Take Action -- Burn It Down

Hi. Hello, there, friend. I know you get sad when the climate change news is all bad. Tough nuts: it's all bad. But the clean energy news isn't (there's a difference), nor the cancer news. You know the ice is melting, the seas are rising, and coasts are sinking. You want clean energy. We got it. We love you.

So let's focus on action, like the ladies out there kicking ass for a sustainable future (and not the crazy fucks manipulating the news and our trajectory as a species).


This week's question was Can These Scientists Really Save Congress?

Our guest was Shaughnessy Naughton, founder of 314 Action, the advocacy group committed to electing more STEM candidates to office, advocating for evidence-based policy solutions to issues like climate change, and fighting the Trump administration's attacks on science. FUCK YEAH.

Subscribe now to get next Tuesday's episode: How Will Latinos Save the Planet?

Our guest: Mark Magana, founding president and CEO of GreenLatinos, a national coalition of Latino environmental, natural resources, and conservation leaders. He was the first Latino to serve as senior staff at both the White House and in Congressional leadership, and he's leading us to the promised land. Dig in.


On to the news!

Food & Water 🍌🥑🥕🔬💊👩‍🌾🚰

How global warming is driving the decline of the Colorado River (aka your drinking water, west coast)

"Udall, together with UCLA researchers Mu Xiao and Dennis Lettenmaier, used a hydrologic model to examine the streamflow in the Upper Colorado River Basin from 1916 through 2014. They found the flow declined by 16.5 percent over the past century. 

They calculated that 53 percent of the trend was linked to warming, which has shrunk the average snowpack in the mountains, boosted the uptake of water by plants and increased the amount of water that evaporates off the landscape."

+ More Food & Water:

      - This is The Hidden Link Between Farm Antibiotics and Human Illness

Clean Energy 💨☀️⚡️

This is how your life will (hopefully) change as California goes carbon-neutral

"Carbon neutrality will require Californians to drive less overall and use cars that aren't powered by oil, a fundamental lifestyle shift in a state known for its freeways, gas stations and suburban sprawl. The push for carbon neutrality might also force local officials to focus on getting more housing built in existing neighborhoods, creating denser communities that encourage walking, biking and public transit.

The biggest source of climate pollution, by far, is transportation, which is responsible for 41 percent of the state's carbon emissions."

+ More Clean Energy:

      - The Divestment Movement to Combat Climate Change is All Grown Up

Climate Change 🔥🌊💨

At this rate, Earth risks 20-30 feet of sea level rise

"Temperatures not much warmer than the planet is experiencing now were sufficient to melt a major part of the East Antarctic ice sheet in Earth’s past, scientists reported Wednesday, including during one era about 125,000 years ago when sea levels were as much as 20 to 30 feet higher than they are now.
“It doesn’t need to be a very big warming, as long as it stays 2 degrees warmer for a sufficient time."

+ More Climate:

      - Here's how air pollution hurts your brain-dome

      - Heat kills record number in Arizona, which is saying something

      - An Equator Full of Hurricanes Shows a Preview of End Times

In Flood-Hit Public Housing, a Reminder That the Poor Bear Brunt of Storms’ Fury

"But in a complex that is more than 90 percent black, there is significant suspicion that the plan is just a scheme to move the poor out to make room for a richer, whiter population.

“They want all that waterfront,” said Charles Holloway, 47, a furniture mover, gesturing toward the broad river. “They want to extend it so they can walk their dogs all the way down.”

As she sat on a staircase overlooking her wrecked living room, Ms. Monk, 23, said none of this mattered to her. She simply wanted out.

“I don’t want to live nowhere near water, because I’m scared,” she said. “I’m just lost, and hoping my kids don’t get sick. Can you smell it?"

Biology 401 💉👾💊 

A three-front war on a potential flu pandemic, all in one tiny needle that comes in your mail

"Researchers created an H5N1 vaccine, boosted by a special ingredient that primes the body's immune system to respond. Then they administered it through a microneedle that penetrates only the skin's upper layer. They see this prototype technology as a platform that could lead to novel vaccine patches that can be distributed rapidly and administered without a nurse. People would simply stick a bandage-like strip, lined with microscopic needles, onto their skin."

Fuck Cancer, Volume CIX 🖕

Did CRISPR crack cancer's immortality switch? Is that a Highlander reference? Maybe.

"More than 50 types of cancers possess an “immortality switch” that essentially lets them divide indefinitely. But a research team studied glioblastoma brain cancer cells and was able to isolate the GABP protein, which is responsible for enabling cancer cells to activate the endless multiplying. They removed the protein, and the cancer cells “behaved like mere-mortal cells.”"

+ Related: May I introduce you to CAR Natural Killer cells? (I did not make up this name)

The Final Frontier/Escape Hatch 🚀

Mars trips may involve less radiation exposure than previously thought

"Newly presented ESA ExoMars orbiter data indicates that astronauts would receive "at least" 60 percent of their maximum recommended career radiation exposure on a round trip to Mars that takes six months both ways. That's still several times what ISS crew members receive, but it's relatively gentle compared to what some had feared."

+ More Final Frontier/Escape Hatch:

      - Proxima B might (might) be habitable. San Francisco, not so much.

The Highlight Reel