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THE BIG NEWS
Greenhouse Gas Levels Hit Record Ahead of Climate Summit
Carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide -- the three greenhouse gases driving climate change -- have reached record levels in the earth's atmosphere, the World Meteorological Organization warns in a new report. The year-on-year jump measured between 2020 and 2021 was larger than in many previous years combined. WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas said that the "continuing rise in concentrations of the main heat-trapping gases, including the record acceleration in methane levels, shows we are heading in the wrong direction.
"We need to transform our industrial, energy and transport systems and whole way of life. The needed changes are economically affordable and technically possible. Time is running out."
Separately, a new United Nations report says progress made by countries in cutting back on greenhouse gas pollution is "nowhere near" what's needed to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels. Instead, UN scientists reckon we are on target for up to 2.9°C of warming, and that entails widespread catastrophe -- summarized by the New York Times as "more intense flooding, wildfires, drought, heat waves and species extinction."
And if that's all too sunny for you, the latest annual Lancet Countdown study, released Tuesday, examined the consequences to human health of the climate change that's already happening. Researchers found that 98 million more people went hungry due to extreme weather events in 2020 as compared to the period from 1981-2010. Heat-related deaths are also rising dramatically, as are cases of childhood asthma and heart problems due to air pollution. "The climate crisis is killing us," UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres said in response to the Lancet report.
The COP27 UN climate talks are set to begin in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, in less than two weeks' time. Some of these reports were timed to light a fire under the delegates to those talks and inspire -- or frighten -- them into making substantive commitments to reverse these trends. You'd think all the killer super-storms and wildfires would do the trick, or it could be that humanity will go down in planetary history as the species clever enough to invent the automobile, but too stupid to stop using it.
MORE STORIES TO WATCH
More Midterms Madness
- Second Woman Says Herschel Walker Pressured Her Into Abortion The woman claimed at a press conference yesterday that she was motivated by the Georgia GOP Senate candidate's "hypocrisy on the issue, not politics." via the Daily Beast.
- Cardboard Box Dynasty Emerges as Biggest GOP Donors The billionaire Uihlein family, who backed Charles Lindbergh's antisemitic "America First" presidential campaign prior to World War II, made a mint during the pandemic -- and they're pouring it into election denier campaigns. via ProPublica.
- Democrats Rush to Fund Slipping Senate Candidate in Solid Blue State A new poll showed Washington State Sen. Patty Murray falling slightly below 50 percent as her Republican challenger, Tiffany Smiley, made big gains. via Politico.
- More Violent Threats Against Arizona Elections Officials Early voters are also reporting intimidation by "election security" conspiracy theorists at ballot drop boxes. via Vice News.
Georgia DA Subpoenas Top Trump Aide in Conspiracy Probe
The last White House chief of staff to serve Donald Trump, coup plotter Mark Meadows, must testify to a grand jury in Georgia about "the multistate, coordinated efforts" to overturn the 2020 election, a judge ruled yesterday. This is the same investigation led by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis which sought tetsimony from GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, only to have Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (the husband of coup plotter Ginni Thomas) swoop in and put a hold on Graham's order to appear. Meadows is unlikely to enjoy the same special treatment as Graham, but reports indicate that his lawyers may seek to get him out of the subpoena by challenging the legitimacy of Georgia's grand jury in another state and, under instructions from Trump himself, by asserting executive privilege.
- Michigan "Boogaloo" Boys Convicted in Plot to Kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer A jury found "Wolverine Watchmen" Joe Morrison, Pete Musico, and Paul Bellar guilty of providing material support for a terrorist act, namely the 2020 plot against the Democratic leader. via the Associated Press.
- Germany Set to Legalize Recreational Marijuana The plan still needs a sign-off from the European Commission, and implementation could take another year. via Deutsche Welle.
- State's Case Falls Apart in Mystery of 43 Missing Mexican Students In an interview, "the head of the truth commission said that much of what it presented as crucial new evidence could not be verified as real." via the New York Times.
- Britney Griner Bound for Russian Penal Colony A Russian court this week denied her appeal of a nine-year sentence on drummed-up possession charges. via NBC News.
- Mumia Abu-Jamal Seeks New Trial The former Black Panther's lawyers say newly discovered evidence undermines the only prosecution witness who connected him to the killing of a police officer. via the Guardian.
1 in 10
That's the share of New York City public school students who "lived in shelters, doubled up with other families, or in cars, abandoned buildings or outside" last year, the New York Times reports.
ON THE SHOW TODAY
10/27: Emma hosts Dan Bouk, associate professor of history at Colgate University, to discuss his recent book Democracy's Data: The Hidden Stories in the U.S. Census and How to Read Them. Then, Emma's joined by Akela Lacy, politics reporter for The Intercept, to discuss her recent reporting on the Pennsylvania legislature's attempts to impeach Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner.
DON'T MISS MR CLIPS
Caucus leader Rep. Pramila Jayapal blamed the letter on her staff.
This clip includes helpful images of embryos to counter common misinformation.
"I believe that with the continuation of the special military operation, it becomes more and more urgent to carry out the de-satanization of Ukraine."
-- Security Council of Russia functionary Aleksei Pavlov, speaking to a state-run news outlet about the hundreds of satanic covens he claims operate in the country, per Vice News. Hmmm, is that some kind of code for "curbing NATO expansion"?
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