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Jerri-Lynn Scofield



Articles by Jerri-Lynn Scofield

Waste Watch: Ocean Cleanup Yields Meager Results

16 hours ago

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
Ocean Cleanup. the much-hyped project to collect plastic waste from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, limped back into port recently. yielding merger results,
Now, I’m loath to criticize this endeavor, as we must certainty clean up our environmental  messes. Yet what worries me about this project is that some might think that this technofix can substitute for what we urgently must do: Stop using so much plastic. Now. Not only to reduce  waste, but also so as not to generate the extra carbon that goes into making plastics in the first instance.
Cleaning up rubbish was necessary well before plastics became the scourge they are today.  Back in the

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Links 9/20/2021

4 days ago

Dickens’s Multitudes New York Review of Books
Taking a chance in Afghanistan: A Bengali traveller goes to Kabul in the 1920s Scroll
Robert Darnton and Zhang Chi: a conversation Voltaire Foundation
‘The Truffle Hunters’ review: A rich and poignant portrait of the quest for culinary gold Scroll
Big cats likely sick with COVID-19 at National Zoo in Washington NY Post
Facebook has known for a year and a half that Instagram is bad for teens despite claiming otherwise – here are the harms researchers have been documenting for year The Conversation
HELP! I COULDN’T STOP WRITING FAKE DEAR PRUDENCE LETTERS THAT GOT PUBLISHED gawker
OK, Seriously Columbia Journalism Review
Instagram is bad for teenagers – and its owner Facebook has known this for more than a year The Conversation
Koalas are going

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Wolf Richter: What a Collapse of China’s Evergrande Would Mean

4 days ago

By Wolf Richter, editor of Wolf Street. Originally published at Wolf Street.
Foreign investors piled into the property sector over the years, buying hundreds of billions of dollars in bonds, including dollar bonds issued by China’s property developers. They bought those bonds because they liked those yields, in some cases over 10%, thinking that the Chinese government wouldn’t let those companies default, that it would bail out the bondholders as it bailed out so many bondholders before, and surely it would do it again, given how crucial the funding of the property sector is to the Chinese economy.
And now just about everything has gone wrong for these foreign investors. For months, there has been a massive crackdown by Chinese authorities on liquidity-driven inflows into the housing

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Global Coral Coverage Down by Half Since the 1950s

5 days ago

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
A study published in the journal OneEarth on Friday describes the drastic decline in the health of the world’s coral reefs since the 1950s, Global decline in capacity of coral reefs to provide ecosystem services.
From the summary:
Coral reefs worldwide are facing impacts from climate change, overfishing, habitat destruction, and pollution. The cumulative effect of these impacts on global capacity of coral reefs to provide ecosystem services is unknown. Here, we evaluate global changes in extent of coral reef habitat, coral reef fishery catches and effort, Indigenous consumption of coral reef fishes, and coral-reef-associated biodiversity. Global

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Links 9/19/2021

5 days ago

Bruce Is a Parrot With a Broken Beak. So He Invented a Tool. NYT
From Reviled to Adored bioGraphic. From February, still germane.
ROCK OF AGES: WHAT GRAHAM GREENE CAN TEACH THE MODERN NOVELIST Crime Reads
Signs Point to Sears Closing Brooklyn Store, Its Last Outpost in New York City The City
Flocculent and Feculent London Review of Books
Body composting a ‘green’ alternative to burial, cremation AP
What does the writing of Constitutions have to do with wars? Plenty, as this book proves Scroll
Iceland’s volcanic eruption the longest in half a century France 24
“I’M TRYING TO DO MORE LISTENING THAN TALKING”: TIMES COLUMNIST NICHOLAS KRISTOF IS LOOKING MORE AND MORE LIKE HE’S RUNNING FOR OREGON GOVERNOR Vanity Fair
#COVID-19
An International Agreement on Pandemic Prevention and Preparedness

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A Football World Cup Every Two Years? An Expert Runs the Numbers

5 days ago

By Christina Philippou, Principal Lecturer, Accounting and Financial Management, University of Portsmouth. Originally published at The Conversation.
In May 2021, Fifa began exploring the idea of holding a men’s football World Cup every two years instead of four. Further plans have since been unveiled, and the proposal, which originally came from Saudi Arabia, has received support from some international organisations.
Fifa’s chief of global football development and former Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger says he is “100% convinced” it is the right way forward for the sport.
Others, including fan groups, have quickly called foul on the proposal. Uefa, responsible for governing football in Europe, has threatened a boycott, with its president Aleksander Ceferin commenting: “We can decide not to

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Links 9/18/2021

6 days ago

Scientists find evidence of humans making clothes 120,000 years ago Guardian (The Rev Kev)
Can Flight Attendants Tell If You Don’t Put Your Phone Into Airplane Mode? Conde Nast Traveler
Italy’s Book Doctor Craftsmanship Quarterly
New York Times essay complains it’s ‘sexist’ for Elizabeth Holmes to be held accountable for Theranos disaster Fox (The Rev Kev)
Why Facebook is using Ray-Ban to stake a claim on our faces MIT Technology Review
36,000 gigatons of carbon heralded history’s biggest mass extinction Ars Technica
It was complete pandemonium’: the towns grappling with bear attacks bear attacks Guardian
#COVID-19
Droplets with coronaviruses last longer than previously thought Medical Express (RM)
Coronaviruses with a SARS-CoV-2-like receptor-binding domain allowing ACE2-mediated entry

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Covax Misses its 2021 Delivery Target – What’s Gone Wrong in the Fight Against Vaccine Nationalism?

6 days ago

By Rory Horner, Senior Lecturer, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester. Originally published at The Conversation.
The latest supply forecast for Covax – the programme for sharing COVID-19 vaccines around the world – suggests that accelerating vaccination in low-income countries looks unlikely. Covax estimates it will have distributed 1.425 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021, significantly less than the 2 billion doses it was aiming for earlier this year.
Only 280.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been given out through Covax as of September 15 2021. With some high-income countries rolling out boosters and vaccinating children before many low-income countries have even given their adults a first dose, vaccine inequality is showing no sign of disappearing.
That

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US Urged to End Drone Strikes After Pentagon Says Killing 10 Afghan Civilians Was ‘Horrible Mistake’

6 days ago

By Brett Wilkins. Originally published at Common Dreams
Following a rare Pentagon admission Friday that a remote-controlled airstrike which killed 10 Afghan civilians in the closing days of the war in Afghanistan was a “horrible mistake,” anti-war and human rights advocates asserted that “war crimes are not oopsies,” while calling on the U.S. to end drone strikes in the so-called War on Terror.
On Friday, Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), told reporters at a Pentagon press conference that the August 29 drone strike that killed 43-year-old Afghan aid worker Zamarai Ahmadi and nine of his relatives—including seven children—in the capital Kabul was carried out “in the profound belief” that an attack by militants of the so-called Islamic State

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Sports Desk: Top College Athletes Strike Endorsement Deals; Meanwhile, the NCAA Seeks to Influence Pending Federal Legislation

7 days ago

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
The 2021-2022 ushers in a new era for college athletes: they may now strike commercial endorsement deals and benefit from the use or their names, images, and likenesses (NIL).
Before this season, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) – the member-led organization that sets the rules for college sports programs – prohibited athletes from entering into NIL deals and tried instead to maintain the quaint fiction that big time college athletes  are mere amateurs. Profit opportunities – television deals, licensing arrangements –  were reserved for the colleges and universities that fielded the teams for which athletes play.
All that changed

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Links 9/16/2021

8 days ago

Saudi Arabia camel carvings dated to prehistoric era BBC
Animal House: Ferrets, Guinea Pigs, Lizards Accompany Students to Campus WSJ
The world’s most expensive animals BBC
Outcry over killing of almost 1,500 dolphins on Faroe Islands The Guardian (David L)
No escape: Prince Andrew is seen with Fergie at Balmoral hideout after High Court agreed that he WILL be served court papers in Virginia Roberts rape case – meaning royal could face having to give evidence in US court Daily Mail
Prince Andrew: Settlement agreement protects me from Jeffrey Epstein victim’s lawsuit McClatchy
Psychologists Are Learning What Religion Has Known for Years Wired (David L)
The Best Photos Taken Through Microscopes Will Blow You Away Buzzfeed News (David L)
The Godmother of the Digital Image NYT (David L)
More

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New York Bans Sale of Fossil Fuel Vehicles From 2034 Onward

8 days ago

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
The state of New York this week passed a law that bans the sale of fossil fuel powered vehicles after 2034. This deadline applies to all new passenger vehicles, making New York the second state to move forward with such a plan, following California’s lead.
Last September, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order directing the California Air Resources Board to develop regulations to mandate zero emissions for all new passenger cars and trucks by 2035.
My first impression is that the time frame for implementing New York’s legislation looks lax – especially given the gravity of the climate change crisis – although I appreciate that

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Wolf Richter: Business Travel, Conventions, Office Occupancy Stuck in Collapse: Been so Long, People Forgot What Old Normal Was

8 days ago

By Wolf Richter, editor of Wolf Street. Originally published at Wolf Street.
Even as American leisure travelers have been out in force, for US hotels, the all-important and lucrative business travel revenues – corporate, group, government, and other commercial travel – are expected to be down by $59 billion in 2021 from 2019, according to the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) and Kalibri Labs today.
For the 20 largest destinations in the US, hotel business travel revenues are expected to collapse by 80% from $38 billion in 2019 to $7.6 billion in 2021, according to AHLA data.
The largest destination, the New York City metro, is expected to see an 88% collapse in annual hotel business travel revenues, from $4.6 billion in 2019 to a projected $531 million in 2021.
In Orlando, the

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Over Half of States Have Rolled Back Public Health Powers in Pandemic

8 days ago

By Lauren Weber, Midwest correspondent, Kaiser Health News, and Anna Maria Barry-Jester. Originally published at Kaiser Health News.
Republican legislators in more than half of U.S. states, spurred on by voters angry about lockdowns and mask mandates, are taking away the powers state and local officials use to protect the public against infectious diseases.
A KHN review of hundreds of pieces of legislation found that, in all 50 states, legislators have proposed bills to curb such public health powers since the covid-19 pandemic began. While some governors vetoed bills that passed, at least 26 states pushed through laws that permanently weaken government authority to protect public health. In three additional states, an executive order, ballot initiative or state Supreme Court ruling

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18 Vaccine Experts, Including Top FDA Scientists, Publish Review in The Lancet Saying Current Evidence Doesn’t Support Need for COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters for the Fully Vaccinated

9 days ago

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
Eighteen international vaccine experts published a review in The Lancet yesterday, Considerations in boosting COVID-19 vaccine immune responses, saying current evidence does not support a need for boosters for the fully vaccinated general population at this time.  The authors include Philip Krause and Marion Gruber, two top Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientists who two weeks ago  announced their sudden and imminent departures from the agency, reportedly over frustration with how the FDA had been undermined on Biden booster policy and other issues.
In this post, I’ll quote at length directly from The Lancet. Yet I should mention that

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Links 9/14/2021

10 days ago

Michelangelo’s Hidden Drawings Atlas Obscura (chuck l)
Barack Obama, the Hollow Icon Jacobin
Photographs from the edge The Architects Newspaper
The young Vietnamese helping tackle the illegal wildlife trade Al Jazeera
A horrifying new AI app swaps women into porn videos with a click MIT Technology Review
Salvador Allende Was Overthrown Because His Government Showed Chile Could Be Transformed Jacobin
Supernova Requiem: Rerun of Massive Blast From Exploding Star Expected To Appear in 2037 Sci Tech Daily (chuck l)
Solar ‘Superflares’ Rocked Earth Less Than 10,000 Years Ago—and Could Strike Again Scientific American (RM)
Apple Patches Zero-Click iMessage Hack Used by NSO (David L)
Hurricane Nicholas makes landfall on the Texas coast AP
#COVID-19
WTO Set to Meet as Rich Nations Continue to

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EPA Takes Steps to Block Pebble Mine on Alaska’s Bristol Bay, Thus Protecting World’s Largest Sockeye Salmon Run

13 days ago

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
Biden’s’s  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  yesterday took steps to block the proposed open-pit Pebble Mine, an on-again, off-again project, on Alaska’s Bristol Bay, southwest of Anchorage and close to the world’s largest sockeye salmon run. The proposed mine would extract gold, copper, and molybdenum.
The fight to preserve Bristol Bay isn’t a simple one pitting business interests on one side against environmentalists on the other.  According to Stop Pebble Mine, an initiative sponsored by the Bristol Bay Defense Fund — a coalition of business, tribal, nonprofit, and community organizations dedicated to protecting Bristol Bay from the Pebble

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Links 9/10/2021

14 days ago

Why the world still loves 1970s detective show Columbo BBC
Art, terror and erections show VR potential at Venice France 24
‘A Loveable Anarchist’: The Oral History of Mr Blobby Vice
Wingwalker to the Rescue Air & Space
NO LAUGHING MATTER? WHAT THE ROMANS FOUND FUNNY Antigone
The unlikely protector against Bangladesh’s rising seas BBC
World’s First ‘Climate Change Famine’ Devastates Madagascar TreeHugger
‘The climate crisis is a reality for all of us’: Africa’s unreported summer of extremes Independent
Life in the heart of B.C.’s brutal summer drought The Narwhal
After Ida, small businesses face uncertainty on many fronts Independent
NASA is going to slam a spacecraft into an asteroid. Things might get chaotic. MIT Technology Review
Smart Glasses by Facebook and Ray-Ban Mix Cool With Creepy

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Big Oil Deploys Social Media To Shape Agenda on Climate Change and Environmentalists Have Failed to Respond Effectively

14 days ago

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
I’ve long taken a jaundiced view of the influence business has on politics and public policy – a perspective I first developed by studies with Tom Ferguson at MIT in the early ‘80s.
The most obvious way business shapes our politics directly is via campaign contributions (or even more directly, outright bribes).
Business also wields various carrots and sticks,  proffering – or withholding,  promises to site a particular plant or facility somewhere. Politicians engage in unseemly beauty contests to win: Pick me! No,me! These contests purport to bring jobs and other benefits, but often extract tax and other concessions that leave the ‘winning’ bid

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New York Times Exalts Vegan Frankenfoods

14 days ago

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
One silver lining to being more or less voluntarily confined to home during the latest phase of the pandemic is the chance it’s provided for reacquainting myself with Brooklyn’s outdoor greenmarkets (double-masked.) Since I’m avoiding public transit, I’ve confined myself to the nearest ones, located at in opposite corners of Prospect Park. The Grand Army Plaza market, the second largest of New York City’s  greenmarkets, behind the Union Square flagship, is held each Saturday; and the smaller Prospect Park West market, is open on Wednesdays and Sundays. If I’m not planning on buying much, I walk; for a bigger shop, my husband gives me a lift (as I

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Links 9/9/2021

15 days ago

Space station astronaut captures breathtaking view of the edge of the Earth CNET
Prince Andrew has avoided NY sex accuser’s attempts to serve him legal papers NY Post
Research on gecko tails presents unique movement applicable to robotics The Daily Californian
Gecko stowaway travels 2,500 miles in Altrincham family’s suitcase BBC
Jean-Paul Belmondo: the beaten-up icon who made crime sexy Guardian
With No Tourists to Bully, Bali’s Hungry Monkeys Are Raiding Villages Afar
Rescued bear cubs receiving care at Ramona Wildlife Center Ramona Sentinel (Wukchumni)
“Failure is not a crime,” Theranos founder’s lawyers tell jury Ars Technica
#COVID-19
UK start-up uses AI to design antiviral pills to prevent pandemics FT
Pfizer’s chief scientist defends vaccine booster push and jab potency FT
Florida

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Removing Urban Highways Can Improve Neighborhoods Blighted by Decades of Racist Policies

15 days ago

By Joan Fitzgerald, Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University and Julian Agyeman, Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, Tufts University. Originally published at The Conversation.
The US$1.2 trillion infrastructure bill now moving through Congress will bring money to cities for much-needed investments in roads, bridges, public transit networks, water infrastructure, electric power grids, broadband networks and traffic safety.
We believe that more of this money should also fund the dismantling of racist infrastructure.
Many urban highways built in the 1950s and 1960s were deliberately run through neighborhoods occupied by Black families and other people of color, walling these communities off from jobs and opportunity. Although President Joe

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With 38 Million Facing Food Insecurity, Hunger in US Soared by Nearly 9% in 2020

15 days ago

By Kenny Stancil, staff writer at Common Dreams. Originally published at Common Dreams
More than 38.2 million Americans struggled with food insecurity at some point last year, a roughly 9% surge in hunger compared with the 2019 level of 35.2 million, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The USDA’s new report (pdf)—the federal government’s first comprehensive attempt to document how the Covid-19 pandemic and corresponding spike in unemployment exacerbated food insecurity—found that the number of children in the U.S. suffering from hunger increased from 10.7 million in 2019 to 11.7 million last year, also an uptick of approximately 9%.
Another USDA report (pdf) released last month showed that federal spending on domestic food and nutrition assistance

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Waste Watch: New EPA Reports Document Chemical and Plastics Contamination in Compost

15 days ago

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released two reports last month, Persistent Chemical Contaminants and Plastic Contamination, documenting the presence of PFAS and plastics contamination in compost.
According to the EPA’s website:
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals. PFAS have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the globe, including in the United States since the 1940s. PFOA and PFOS have been the most extensively produced and studied of these chemicals. Both chemicals are very persistent in the environment and in the

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Links 9/8/2021

16 days ago

You bloody fool’: Australian talking duck proves birds can imitate speech Guardian
MCILVANNEY AND ME: IAN RANKIN REMEMBERS THE MAN WHO CREATED TARTAN NOIR Crime Reads
Turbulent Music, Turbulent Life New York Review of Books
Ida-Deluged NYC Drainage System All But Forgotten in Climate Battle The City
Bengal: 24 Tea Garden Workers Critically Injured in Lightning Strikes The Wire
Giant Anteaters Travel Farther to Find Cooling Forests Treehugger
Reuniting an Orphan Elephant and Her Mom, Perhaps, With DNA and Luck NYT
Train Travel in the U.S. Is Getting More Luxurious Conde Nast Traveler
What Bond villains tell us about the world we live in BBC
Strong quake rocks Mexico’s Acapulco, damaging airport and killing one Reuters
In the hunt for novel antibiotics, will new technology overtake

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A Climate Disaster Is Unfolding Before Our Eyes—And Politicians Still Refuse to Take Action

16 days ago

By Sonali Kolhatkar, the founder, host and executive producer of “Rising Up With Sonali,” a television and radio show that airs on Free Speech TV and Pacifica stations. Produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute.
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall off the coast of Louisiana, triggering a slow-moving disaster as floodwaters breached the levees around New Orleans. Nearly 2,000 people were killed over several weeks, hundreds of thousands of homes were destroyed, and the city was left in ruins. Environmental scientists warned that Katrina was a taste of what was in store for the Gulf Coast region if climate change continued unchecked.
But greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise, and exactly 16 years after Katrina, Hurricane Ida hit

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Waste Watch: UK Enacts Right to Repair Rules

August 23, 2021

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
With all that’s been happening in the world, I missed that the UK enacted new right to repair rules, effective for products purchased from 1 July onwards.
This is part of a broader trend. In March, the European Union implemented similar rules (see Waste Watch: Europeans Get Right to Repair for Some Consumer Electrical Goods, While John Deere Reneges on Promise to U.S. Farmers to Make Diagnostic Software Freely Available). In July,  the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, under the leadership of new chair Lina Khan, voted 5-0 to adopt a new enforcement policy regarding right to repair restrictions (see, FTC Votes 5-0 to Crack Down on Companies For

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Links 8/23/2021

August 23, 2021

Ratty comes home: water voles thrive again on Hertfordshire riverbank Guardian
How the Cuttlefish’s Robust Memory System Defies Old Age Wired
Ten Observations on Lullabies The Honest Broker
5 Commonly Used Idioms in the Tech Industry gitconnected
Back from the wilderness Times Literary Supplement.
The Turning Point review – how Charles Dickens built Bleak House Guardian
Has an Old Soviet Mystery at Last Been Solved? New Yorker
Toddler girl, 1, survives three nights in thick forest with bears and wolves Daily Mirror
Intrepid brewer risks scalding to recreate recipe for long-lost medieval mead Ars Technica
A Famous Honesty Researcher Is Retracting A Study Over Fake Data Buzzfeed News
#COVID-19
In Los Angeles, This Covid-19 Surge Is Different From Earlier Outbreaks WSJ
‘I believe in your

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Amazon: Regrowing Forests Have Offset Less Than 10% of Carbon Emissions from Deforestation

August 23, 2021

By Charlotte Smith, PhD Candidate in Environmental Science, Lancaster University, Erika Berenguer, Senior Research Associate in Tropical Forest Ecology, University of Oxford, and Jos Barlow, Professor of Conservation Science, Lancaster University. Originally published at The Conversation.
Driven largely by the expansion of farm land to meet increasing global demand for products such as soya bean, over 810,000 km²of forest in the Amazon has been cleared – an area nearly as big as Norway and Sweden combined.
Deforestation is not only a tragedy for biodiversity, it also releases huge quantities of carbon dioxide (CO₂) into the atmosphere. Despite a glimmer of hope in the early 2010s, when deforestation rates plummeted to an all-time low, forest loss is once again on the rise.
The bulldozers

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Report: Fashion Kills Africa’s Rivers

August 22, 2021

By Jerri-Lynn Scofield, who has worked as a securities lawyer and a derivatives trader. She is currently writing a book about textile artisans.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted about fashion – an industry that creates excess waste, thereby contributing to global warming and which is also notorious for exploiting its workforce, especially so for the fast fashion side.
One immediate consequence of the pandemic has been a drop in consumer spending on fashion, which caused production and profits to plummet throughout the textile and apparel industry. With many people working from home, discretionary purchases of clothing to wear to the office was not a priority, especially in the face of such an uncertain future. At this point, no one can say whether this short-term trend is temporary or

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