The Science of How Wildfires Got So Hellish

A helicopter drops water on a California wildfire.David Aughenbaugh/Getty Images

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This story was originally published by WIRED and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Wildfire are normally a critical component of a healthy landscape, but these blazes are now metastasizing into monsters that obliterate ecosystems.

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The Science of How Wildfires Got So Hellish

A helicopter drops water on a California wildfire.David Aughenbaugh/Getty Images

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.
This story was originally published by WIRED and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Wildfire are normally a critical component of a healthy landscape, but these blazes are now metastasizing into monsters that obliterate ecosystems.

Read original

If Climate Models Miss the Redwoods, What Else Can’t They See?

On a slice of 1,392-year-old redwood trunk at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, generations of children traced tree rings through time. Small fingers passed markers for the Aztecs (1300s), the Magna Carta (1215), the Mayans (600s), then paused at the center: “544—Tree Sprouted, Byzantine Empire (Emperor Justinian).” After the August 2020 fires, those markers were found in a pile of ash.
The CZU Lightning Complex fires burned hot.

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Op-Ed: If the Paralympics won’t model equity and inclusion, who will?

Becca Meyers, a decorated Paralympic swimmer who is deaf and blind, suffered a huge loss this summer — more than a month before the opening ceremony even begins. When the Games start on Aug. 24 in Tokyo, after the Olympics, she will not be among the competitors.
The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee denied Meyers’s request for a personal care aide to help her travel to and navigate the setting. Without such an aide, she had to withdraw from the Games. Officials are allowing only “essential staff” to attend, to minimize COVID risk — as they should.

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Dismantle the NCAA

This week, the Supreme Court struck a blow for the unpaid professional athletes who pretend to be amateurs so they can play on college teams. In NCAA v. Alston, the high court ruled unanimously that the National Collegiate Athletic Association may not impose certain limits on what colleges, with a broad wink to their alumni, call “education-related benefits.”
The decision is a likely prelude to a Supreme Court ruling at some later date that the NCAA may no longer bar colleges from compensating athletes in a more straightforward manner.

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When the Frackers Get Too Close for Comfort

Molly Mendoza
This story was produced by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. 
When Wanda Vincent looks out the windows of her daycare center in Arlington, Texas, past the playground, she sees a row of enormous beige storage tanks. They’re connected to two wells that produce natural gas for Total, one the world’s largest fossil fuel companies. No government agency—city, state or federal—monitors the air here or inspects regularly for emissions.

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When the Frackers Get Too Close for Comfort

Molly Mendoza
This story was produced by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. 
When Wanda Vincent looks out the windows of her daycare center in Arlington, Texas, past the playground, she sees a row of enormous beige storage tanks. They’re connected to two wells that produce natural gas for Total, one the world’s largest fossil fuel companies. No government agency—city, state or federal—monitors the air here or inspects regularly for emissions.

Read original

How Bitcoin Mining Keeps Old Fossil-Fuel Plants Alive

Omar Marques/SOPA Images/ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.
This story was originally published by Grist and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
One decade and $1 trillion after the debut of Bitcoin, the environmental footprint of “mining” the cryptocurrency is still hotly contested. What’s certain, however, is that the amount of electricity the process requires is growing at a breakneck speed.

Read original

How Bitcoin Mining Keeps Old Fossil-Fuel Plants Alive

Omar Marques/SOPA Images/ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.
This story was originally published by Grist and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
One decade and $1 trillion after the debut of Bitcoin, the environmental footprint of “mining” the cryptocurrency is still hotly contested. What’s certain, however, is that the amount of electricity the process requires is growing at a breakneck speed.

Read original

How Bitcoin Mining Keeps Old Fossil-Fuel Plants Alive

Omar Marques/SOPA Images/ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.
This story was originally published by Grist and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
One decade and $1 trillion after the debut of Bitcoin, the environmental footprint of “mining” the cryptocurrency is still hotly contested. What’s certain, however, is that the amount of electricity the process requires is growing at a breakneck speed.

Read original