Stupid groundhog predicts six more weeks of winter

Punxsutawney Phil has had his say before the thousands gathered at Gobblers Knob: "Hear ye, hear ye... six more weeks of winter to go." Read the rest

$300,000,000,000+: 2017's American "natural disaster" bill was by far the highest in history

Until 2017, the biggest bill Americans ever paid for a year's worth of "natural disasters" was $214.8B, back in 2005: in 2017, it was at least $300B, not counting much of the damage to Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria. Read the rest

Superb science fiction story in the form of a list of failed attempts to stave off climate extinction

Debbie Urbanski's story "An Incomplete Timeline of What We Tried" for Motherboard takes the improbable form of a list of failed strategies for coping with the incipient, climate-driven uninhabitability of the Earth, and it works beautifully. Read the rest

As climate deniers claim credit for killing Net Neutrality, the FCC's internal auditor reveals that Neutracide was based on a lie

The Competitive Enterprise Institute is part of the dark-money funded network of think thanks that lead the charge to deny the scientific consensus on climate change; funded by a mix of money from the tobacco industry, the hydrocarbon lobby, booze companies, and similar interests. Read the rest

Climate change has created massive blooms of ecologically disruptive jellyfish, but luckily they're delicious

I fondly remember the unalloyed joy of eating lionfish tacos in the Caribbean, consuming an invasive species that was wrecking a reef preserve; if you've never experienced a similar pleasure, be on the lookout for "jellyfish crisps" made from the huge blooms of jellyfish that are the result of climate change, whose presence is a nuisance and worse. Read the rest

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren introduce a bill to provide $146B in aid to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

As vulture capitalists and profiteers circle the devastation in America's hurricane-struck island colonies, the Trump administration has nothing for them but more loans to pile onto their existing, crippling debt (even as affected mainland cities where more white people live get direct government aid). Read the rest

How do you train for the most polluted race in the world?

Emily James (previously) writes, "The air in Delhi is so polluted the government’s instruments can't measure it but they are still going to run a half marathon on Sunday!" Read the rest

Theorizing a post-capitalist future with Kim Stanley Robinson

In a wide-ranging interview with CCCB Lab, Kim Stanley Robinson (previously) discusses the origin of his climate-inspired, critical science fiction, which envisions futures in which the climate catastrophe arrives and precipitates the long-overdue crisis of capitalism. Read the rest

Trump told coal miners he'd bring back coal, so they're refusing retraining

The programs Obama established to retrain coal miners are going begging in Pennsylvania, undersubscribed because the out-of-work miners they were established to help are convinced that Donald Trump wasn't bullshitting when he promised to bring back coal. Read the rest

The 2-person Montana company Whitefish Energy just lost its $300M contract to fix Puerto Rico's grid

Whitefish Energy is the 2-person Montana company from Trump Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's hometown of Whitefish, Montana that was awarded a $300M contract to help remediate Puerto Rico's shattered electrical grid, billing its subcontractors at $462/hour for supervisors and $319.04/hour for linesmen in a sweetheart deal that banned Puerto Rico from auditing the company's expense reports, or penalizing it for nonperformance. Read the rest

Promising energy storage technologies for our renewable future

When the wind is blowing, the great plains could generate enough power to supply all of America, but storing and moving energy to supply those places where the wind isn't blowing, the sun isn't shining and the tide isn't coming in is a significant technological challenge that we're still figuring out. Read the rest

Trump Cabinet Secretary's hometown, 2-person company wins $300m power-rebuilding contract in Puerto Rico

When mainland US cities like Houston and Miami get hit by hurricanes, they rely on mutual aid deals with out-of-state and Canadian power authorities to rebuild, as hundreds of skilled maintenance workers flood in and work for free to get their grid up and running; but debt-crushed Puerto Rico is paying $300 million to Whitefish Energy, a two-person company from Trump Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's hometown of Whitefish, Montana. Read the rest

Pluto's equator is covered in skyscraper-sized methane ice blades

As NASA continues to examine the treasure trove of data from the New Horizons project, one interesting phenomenon at Pluto's equator has been identified as massive ice blades made of methane. Read the rest

The US has quit UNESCO, the UN agency that protects world heritage sites and teaches poor children to read

UNESCO is about as good as it gets in the world of UN Specialized Agencies, responsible for designating and protecting world heritage sites, running literacy for the poorest people on Earth, supporting potable water programs, protecting fragile and endangered ecosystems, running disaster preparedness plans for all to use, protecting indigenous knowledge, protecting the free press, and digitizing the world's libraries. Read the rest

Canadian pipeline project dies, leaving Canada's filthy tar sands with nowhere to go

Canada's filthy tar sands are the world's most carbon-intensive petroleum source, and in the boom years, they flooded the country with so much filthy money that the country spent a decade making war on science and trashing democratic fundamentals in a bid to sustain the tar-sands bubble. Read the rest

San Juan mayor barred from speaking on Trump's Puerto Rico relief conference call

Carmen Yulin Cruz is the outspoken mayor of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, who was publicly denounced by Donald Trump for pointing out the federal government's inaction during the worst humanitarian disaster in modern US history. Trump went on to characterize Puerto Ricans -- chest deep in sewage raw sewage with no fresh water, no homes, no power and no gasoline -- as "wanting everything done for them." Read the rest

Hurricane Relief Bookstore: DRM-free science fiction ebooks to benefit Houston, the Caribbean, and Florida

Pablo Defendini writes, "Fireside Fiction Company has set up the Hurricane Relief Bookstore as a mechanism for all of us to funnel money over to people who need it. 100% of the profits from sales of ebooks on the store will go to three organizations: one for the Caribbean, one for Houston, and one for Florida. The store features DRM-free ebooks from Fireside Magazine, as well as Uncanny Magazine, Lightspeed Magazine, Mothership Zeta, Angry Robot Books, Apex Books, and many more individual authors who have contributed independently. Read the rest

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