A comedian and the former president of Ireland have a new podcast about women and climate justice

Comedian Maeve Higgins is the host of the amazing Maeve In America podcast in which Higgins, an Irish immigrant to Brooklyn, discusses the immigrant experience in America with other immigrants (as an immigrant to the USA myself, I find this a consistently fascinating and uplifting listen); Mary Robinson was the first woman elected President of Ireland (1990-1997), and after a tenure marked by much-needed, groundbreaking liberalization and secularization, she served as the UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002 -- she was forced out by opposition from George W Bush's UN delegation!). Read the rest

Extreme poverty is on the decline, extreme inequality is on the rise

The rich world has never been more unequal, and the poor world has never richer: in 2018, we're seeing record low levels of global "extreme poverty" (a measure that's admittedly a bit fuzzy) and record levels of inequality, which wealth concentrated into a declining number of hands. Read the rest

We're going to be eating bugs really soon now, again

Whether or not you've ever chosen to eat insects, you've eaten insects, or parts of them, in the grains, legumes, fruits and nuts you've consumed (not to mention the occasional inhaled kamikaze mosquito). Read the rest

Record numbers of Americans believe climate change is real, and a majority understand that humans are to blame

Amidst a global heatwave, some good news from the National Surveys on Energy and the Environment: a record-setting 73% of Americans believe that climate change is real and 60% believe humans are "at least partially responsible" for this fact. It's the peak indifference moment, when the fight shifts from convincing people that there is a problem to convincing them that it's not too late to do something about it. Read the rest

Avowed "utopian anarchist" Elon Musk is also one of the top donors to the GOP "Protect the House" PAC

Elon Musk, an avowed utopian anarchist, is one of the top fifty donors to the Republican Protect the House PAC, having funneled $38,900 to support the group's mission of protecting Republican Congressional seats. Read the rest

Homebiogas: easy, clean, climate-friendly way to heat and power your home with garbage

Yesterday, I saw a demo of the Homebiogas bioreactor: it's essentially an artificial stomach that uses colonies of microbes to digest your home food waste (it can do poop, too, but people tend to be squeamish about this), providing enough clean-burning biogas to cook your next meal, heat your house, or run a generator -- what's left behind is excellent fertilizer. Read the rest

Leaked document shows Trump officials planning to force Americans to spend $311m-$11.8b/year to keep unprofitable coal and nuclear energy plants from shutting

Officials in Trump's Department of Energy prepared a plan to use unprecedented "emergency powers" to force the US grid to rely on expensive, unprofitable coal and nuclear power, rather than paying market rates for cheaper sources of energy: renewables and natural gas. Read the rest

Puerto Rico's Hurricane Maria death toll is 70 times higher than the official count

According to the Trump administration, Hurricane Maria killed 64 people; according to a careful, peer-reviewed study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the death toll was 4645. Read the rest

A hard look at the wastefulness of "proof of work," the idea at the core of the blockchain

David Gerard is a technically minded, sharp-witted, scathing critic of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies; his criticism is long, comprehensive and multipartite, but of particular interest is is critique of "proof of work" (an idea that is central to the blockchain, but which many cryptographers are skeptical of). Read the rest

Charlie Stross on the "soft genocide" of eugenics-tainted, alt-right climate dystopia

Right now, the eugenics-happy alt-right are also climate deniers; but climate denial has a short half-life -- its undeniability will only grow, as the world gets hotter, more dangerous, drier, wetter, colder, stormier, more becalmed -- more uninhabitable. Read the rest

Koch-backed climate deniers are exploiting the reproducibility crisis to discredit climate science

The National Association of Scholars is a tiny, hydrocarbon-industry backed organization that is not to be confused with the National Academy of Sciences. Read the rest

New Florida law lets beachfront property owners kick people off of public coasts

A new Florida law redefines the reach of beachfront property owners' claims to "the land above the mean high-tide level." This seemingly innocuous change means that private property owners -- and their patrolling rent-a-cops -- will have vastly expanded powers to kick members of the public off of public beaches. Read the rest

The oil industry just told a judge that climate change is undeniably real, but they still found a way to weasel

Judge William Alsup in San Francisco is presiding over a case in which California cities are suing the big oil companies over the climate-related disasters they're experiencing; Judge Alsup asked for a "tutorial" session in which experts for both sides would be asked to explain the underlying science, something he's done in earlier cases that turned on technical questions, including a DACA case and a case on lidar and self-driving cars. Read the rest

Seasteading meets the shock doctrine in Puerto Rico, where ethnic cleansing precedes Going Galt

Naomi Klein's l(ooooo)ongread in The Intercept about the state of play in Puerto Rico is the comprehensive summary of the post-Maria fuckery and hope that has gripped America's colonial laboratory, the place where taxation without representation, austerity, chemical weapons, new drugs, and new agribusiness techniques get trialed before the rest of America are subjected to them. Read the rest

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

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