10 in 2 - Week of June 19th - campaign finance, fake news, coal and executive egos

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of June 19th

  • 10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or crazy, provided in about 2 minutes with links to the full stories found on our website.

 

...so here we go:

  1. Reboot. On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported on a 6.8 earthquake that struck Santa Barbara at 4:51pm. The only problem was, the Journalist who did the reporting was an algorithm called Quakebot, and the earthquake happened in 1925. (Gizmodo)

  2. If one were keeping score… According to Rainforest Action Network’s 8th annual fossil fuel finance report card. Big banks’ investments aren’t aligned with their climate change rhetoric. Led by Asian banks, the amount of D-’s and F’s are shocking. Especially, when the report’s release corresponds with a record setting week of heat throughout the northern hemisphere. (The Guardian) (Weather Underground)

  3. Proof our legal system is working. John Oliver did a hit piece on Robert Murray, CEO of Coal company Murray Energy Corporation. A few days later, Murray sued Oliver and Time Warner for defamation. The complaint notes that Time Warner “is widely reported as a top ten donor of Hillary Clinton.” thus implying the obvious link between campaign finance, fake news, coal and executive egos.. (Law Newz)

  4. Can we blame China? The state of California has again been named by the American Lung Association as the US state with the worst air quality — mostly as a result of having the highest ozone/smog levels out of any state in the country, but also high particle pollution levels. (Clean Technica)

  5. Invasion of the pyrosomes. A rare, tiny marine creature known as the “unicorn of the sea” has swarmed in its millions on the west coast of America, ruining fishermen’s nets and baffling scientists. Seriously, Google “large pyrosome” these things are otherworldly. (Business Insider)

  6. Future of Work. McDonald's shares hit an all-time high on Tuesday as Wall Street expects sales to increase from new digital ordering kiosks that will replace cashiers in 2,500 restaurants. I guess the market likes the where the future of work is headed. The administration has not yet claimed credit for the creation of these new robot jobs.  (CNBC)

  7. More on the future. Microsoft has joined the fray in partnership with Gimlet Creative on a new podcast called .future (dot-future), that aims to tell stories about growing technologies that touch our everyday lives–from the cloud, to gaming, to health–and how the decisions being made today will affect our lives in the future. (Fast Company)

  8. Pulling out the suspenders. The 2017 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy Recipients have been announced in recognition of outstanding and innovative leadership in philanthropy. Honorees include Kris Tompkins for her and her husband, Doug’s, historic hardscrabble work creating parklands in Chile and Argentina. (Carnegie)

  9. Speaking of awards, this week the Corporate Eco Forum honored the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance with its CK Prahalad award. REBA as its known is a grand and successful NGO/private sector collaboration focused on accelerating widespread adoption of renewable energy in the USA. An example of how collaborations are essential to solving wicked problems. (Corporate Eco Forum)

  10. The continued rise of the middle kingdom. The Washington Post argues that China has suddenly become a leader in the climate change movement, not because of a moral duty or to support global collective goals, rather for reasons of national economic development, control of energy infrastructure and global economic competitiveness of Chinese industry (Washington Post)



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10 in 2 - Week of June 12th - An Amputated Flatworm Fragment

10 news stories from the week that think are important, interesting, or crazy, provided in about 2 minutes with links to the full stories found on our website.

 

...so here we go:

 

  1. This week a judge ruled that the environmental survey approving the Dakota Access Pipeline was inadequate: In what’s being hailed a ‘significant victory’ for the pipeline’s opponents, a judge said he would consider whether operations must halt until assessment is redone. (Earth Justice)

  2. New York City will spend over $100 million on green rooftops and tree planting in an attempt to combat extreme heat in the city. Mayor de Blasio said “This is a question of equity; hotter summers, exacerbated by climate change, are a threat that falls disproportionately on communities of color and the elderly." (Gothamist)

  3. The ongoing water crisis in Flint has led to some manslaughter charges for a few of those involved. This has enormous implications for how environmental justice is served. Let’s all hope that this starts a trend towards holding those in power accountable for negligence in other underserved communities. (Vice)

  4. Brooklyn’s latest craze: making your own electric grid. Using blockchain, the same technology that makes Bitcoin possible, neighbors are buying and selling renewable energy to each other. It’s a very significant step up from cronuts. (Politico)

  5. An Artificial Intelligence developed its own non-human language. When Facebook designed chatbots to negotiate with one another, the bots made up their own way of communicating. (The Atlantic)

  6. A.I. will create more jobs that can’t be filled, not mass unemployment, says Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt. Clearly one of the new jobs it will create will be translating all the non-human communications. (CNBC)

  7. With the news that eCommerce giant Amazon has bought brick and mortar Whole Foods, and that brick and mortar Walmart has bought eCommerce retailer Bonobos, there are some interesting moves happening. The retail giants both want to sell us everything from tater tots to tailored shirts. Whether this is good or bad for the global economy is sure to be an ongoing debate. What is not up for debate, is that kombucha delivered by drone will be delicious. (NYT)

  8. More on the OHMnichannel. Turns out that Yoga and meditation are not just woo woo practice for aging hippies and tech CEO’s. A new study suggests that mindfulness practice can change our DNA in ways that ultimately lowers the risk of inflammation-related diseases and conditions. (NBC News)

  9. The Swedish parliament voted 254 to 41 to adopt the Climate Act, which commits the government to becoming a net-zero carbon emitter by 2045. It was supported by all parties except the far-right Sweden Democrats - the only Swedish party that does not believe in man-made climate change. (DW)

  10. An amputated flatworm fragment sent to space regenerated into a double-headed worm, a rare spontaneous occurrence of double-headedness. The study is considering how living in space could affect the human body at a level we can’t yet see, likely the result of leaving Earth’s electromagnetic field. (Science Friday)



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10 in 2 - Week of June 5th

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of June 5th. Listen to the audio version on our podcast feed. It has far more jokes.

...so here we go:

  1. Moving Markets. The number of electric cars on the road globally hit 2m in 2016. The number of battery-powered vehicles numbered just hundreds globally in 2005 and passed the 1m milestone in 2015, but sales jumped 60% in 2016. (The Guardian)

  2. Moving Monsters. For the first time in 100 years, sizable numbers of humpback whales are being spotted in the waters off NYC, and it's thanks to years of environmental clean-up efforts.  It's shocking to longtime New Yorkers, who remember when the city's rivers and beaches were an ecological punchline. (Popular Science)

  3. Where is the puck moving? While coal still produces much more energy in the US than solar, solar jobs now outnumber those in coal by more than 2-to-1, according to the Department of Energy. (PRI)

  4. High courtroom drama. A Federal judge denied a Trump administration appeal in youth climate lawsuit . Juliana v. United States — pits a group of youth climate plaintiffs against the federal government and the fossil fuel industry. The plaintiffs allege that the federal government, through its actions and coordination with the fossil fuel industry, have violated their constitutional right to a livable climate. (Think Progress)

  5. Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot, a book from the NGO Population Media Center contains powerful and evocative images showing the ecological and social tragedies of humanity’s ballooning numbers and consumption. The book is out now, and can be viewed in its entirety online at populationspeakout.org.

  6. Behavioral economics 101. A new study provides some clues as to why the political climate in the United States appears to be increasingly polarized. It suggests this polarization could be related to a desirability bias rather than a confirmation bias. People are less likely to accept new information when it conflicts with the political outcomes they want, according to research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

  7. If you come to a cliff, turn around and walk away are going backwards? In her first ever online class, Dr. Jane Goodall teaches how you can conserve the environment. She also shares her research on the behavioral patterns of chimpanzees and what they taught her about conservation. You’ll learn how to “act locally” and protect the planet. The class begins in fall 2017 via Masterclass.com

  8. It’s not quite divestment but... Investors claimed a historic win last week at ExxonMobil’s annual meeting when 62 percent votes in favor of a shareholder proposal calling on the oil and gas giant to assess and disclose how it is preparing its business for the transition to a low-carbon future. The proposal was hotly contested as Exxon’s management fought to sway investors right up to the last moment. Institutional investors with more than $5 trillion of combined assets under management co-filed the proposal.

  9. Watch it. National Geographic has re-released Leonardo DiCaprio’s climate change documentary, titled “Before The Flood,” online commercial-free until June 9. The documentary — which premiered in October 2016 — has reached over 60 million people worldwide and has surpassed a record-setting 1 billion minutes viewed.

  10. And finally… Intelligence without wisdom makes one a smart fool. Arguing a Scientific American interview that standardized tests and IQ scores are creating individuals who possess a certain kind of intelligence, but not the kind that helps society to progress in meaningful ways, Cornell professor Robert Sternberg, says, “[our testing system] leads to people who are very good at advancing themselves, often at other people’s expense. We may not just be selecting the wrong people, we may be developing an incomplete set of skills.” Chew on that over the weekend...



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22nd Century Leadership - A conversation between Jib Ellison and Paul Dolan

This week’s pod is the first in a new conversation series between Jib Ellison, CEO and Founder of Blu Skye and other sustainability leaders discussing life, liberty and the pursuit of a beautiful future. We’re not sure what we are calling the series yet, but for now, let’s call it “22nd Century Leadership”.

This week Jib interviews Paul Dolan.

 

Paul is a neighbor of ours here in northern California, and he’s been called the grandfather of biodynamics and a pioneer of organic agricultural. 

Along with his 2 sons, Paul runs and manages their family farming operations and wineries in Sonoma and Mendocino counties in Northern California.

He is chairman of the board for Demeter USA, an biodynamic certification organization committed to aligning leading biodynamic farmers with progressive retailers in order to develop consumer driven brands and products.

As a 4th generation winemaker (and, later, president) at Fetzer Vineyards, Paul helped oversee its transition from a small family-owned winery to realizing his vision for Fetzer"...to be recognized as the environmentally, and socially conscious winery, committed to making the highest quality, best valued wines in the world."

He served on the boards of the Wine Institute and Business for Social Responsibility. He participated on President Clinton's Council on Sustainable Business, The Climate Group and he chaired the California Sustainable Alliance Board and the California Wine Institute.

He is a founder of Wine Vision which resulted in the world's first self-assessment guide to sustainable business practices.

 Paul co- authored the book " True to Our Roots- Fermenting a Business Revolution.”

Paul currently advocates for the creation of a new contextual framework for farming- a shift from the current industrial model to a regenerative system designed to build resilience and vitality into the farm.

So, enjoy this conversation between Paul and Jib here at our office in Healdsburg, California.



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[Trump/Paris Edition] 10 in 2 - Week of May 29th

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of May 22nd aka the week the climate deniers won

  • This week, we’re doing something different. For the last 24 hours, sustainability has been top of mind for us and for concerned citizens across the globe. To help make sense of it, we decided to compile 10 of the most interesting responses and stories related to Trump’s decision to exit the Paris Agreement. On past episodes we have done our best to not focus on Trump’s constant distractions, but this week we are going all in.

 

...so here we go:

 

  1. Newly elected french president Emmanuel Macron, offered refuge in France to American climate scientists and said “We will succeed, because we are fully committed, because wherever we live, whoever we are, we all share the same responsibility: Make Our Planet Great Again.” (The Intercept)

  2. The Republicans who urged Trump to pull out of Paris deal are big oil darlings: Twenty-two senators wrote a letter to the president when he was said to be on the fence about backing out. They received more than $10m from oil, gas and coal companies the past three election cycles (The Guardian)

  3. With all eyes (including ours) on Trump’s announcement to withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has signed an order to “jump-start Alaskan energy”—meaning, drill for more oil. (Newsweek)

  4. Vatican Compares Trump to Flat Earthers Over Climate Change. Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences said it “would not only be a disaster but completely unscientific,” he said. “Saying that we need to rely on coal and oil is like saying that the earth is not round. It is an absurdity dictated by the need to make money.” (Gizmodo)

  5. A Pro-Paris agreement protest planned outside the White House Thursday, organized by 350 DC. If you aren't inside the beltway, head to https://resistancenearme.org/ to find out what is going on in your zip code.

  6. China tells Trump there is a “international responsibility” to act over climate change “Fighting climate change is a global consensus, it's not invented by China” (Independant)

  7. National Geographic outlines 6 Reasons Why U.S. Paris Reversal Won't Derail Climate Progress:

    1. SOLAR AND WIND ARE CHEAPER THAN COAL

    2. CORPORATE AMERICA IS ON BOARD

    3. STATES AND CITIES ARE STEPPING UP

    4. IT’S NOT JUST BLUE STATES AND TREE-HUGGERS

    5. THE INFLUENCE CENTER SHIFTS FROM WASHINGTON TO SACRAMENTO

    6. A BRIGHTER GLOBAL PICTURE

  8. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto Hits Back at President Trump and his reference to pittsburg in the Paris accord announcement.  “As the Mayor of Pittsburgh, I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future.” (Twitter)

  9. Elon Musk is also done. He tweeted: “Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.” Shortly after that, Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, also quit with a tweet: “As a matter of principle, I've resigned from the President's Council over the #ParisAgreement withdrawal.”

  10. Massachusetts Institute of Technology officials said Trump badly misunderstood their research when he cited it on Thursday to justify withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. (Reuters)

 

 



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10 in 2 - Week of May 22nd

10 news stories that piqued our interest us this week provided in about 2 minutes (on the podcast) with links to the full stories found on our website.

 

...so here we go:

 

1. Proof that computers will never replace people. According to the podcast 99% Invisible, research scientist and neural network enthusiast Janelle Shane recently tasked an AI super computer to develop attractive names for 7,700 different paint colors. In the end, Shane came to the following conclusions: “(1) The neural network really likes brown, beige, and grey; (2) The neural network has really, really bad ideas for paint names.”(99 Percent Invisible)

2. More reasons why people don’t trust big companies. According to Autoweek, it’s General Motors’ turn in the barrel: The automaker has been accused of installing defeat devices in over 700,000 trucks’ diesel engines in an attempt to beat emissions tests. This comes on the heels of their industry-first commitment to source all rubber for their tires sustainably. What do you think will get more press? (Autoweek) (General Motors)

3. Ever wonder why blue whales got so big? The biggest animals ever may have evolved as a direct result of climate change. According to a new study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, called “Independent evolution of baleen whale gigantism linked to Plio-Pleistocene ocean dynamics” when temperatures dropped, their food sources clustered together, and today’s giant whales grew larger so they could take in more food. (The Washington Post)

4. Tell me what you really think. A scientific experiment shows that the election of Donald Trump liberated people to express feelings and taboo thoughts they'd otherwise keep to themselves. (Bloomberg)

5. Peer Pressure. A new study from University of Washington researchers describes how some people also turn to posting photos on Instagram to track food intake or to be held accountable by followers in meeting healthy eating or weight loss goals. (Washington.edu)

6. How many of those little disposable coffee pods - called K-cups - were sold last year? Come on. Guess. If you said 9 billion, you’d be right. Today they are totally non-recyclable, but Singapore based designer Eason Chow has designed an edible coffee capsule that fully dissolves into a cup of coffee. More proof that we don’t have a sustainability problem, we have a design problem. (Fast Company)

7. Bankers to the planetary rescue. According to JP Morgan Chase’s “2016 Environmental, Social and Governance Report” they underwrote more than $5 billion of green, social and sustainability bonds in 2016.

8. Where you put your money matters. According to Unilever’s 2016  “Sustainable Living Plan Report” where they update stakeholders on their sustainability journey, the company’s 18 ‘sustainable living’ brands - the brands where sustainability metrics are embedded into the brand promise, delivered 60% of its growth in 2016 and are growing over 50% faster than the rest of the business.

9. Awash in a sea of plastic. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation announced the New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize, a $2 million competition to identify and accelerate packaging innovations that reduce the amount of plastic in our oceans, in partnership with The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit. If we’re going to make plastic, let’s keep and use it.

10. Who knew? On Friday Blu Skye’s website and all email accounts went blank. Nada. Nothing. nichivo’. This seeming existential crisis was caused by a weird little known rule called the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement that requires domain name hosts to verify the contact details of registrants. When they couldn’t reach a long-gone Blu Skye administrator, they turned it off. It took 4 days to turn back on thanks to Zach Winter’s Memorial Day weekend covfefe. So small businesses beware!



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10 in 2 - Week of May 15th

1. What do the big dogs know that politicians don’t? According to NPR, energy companies including Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and BP have pledged their public support for the Paris climate pact and are urging Trump to keep the USA on the path. (NPR)

2. What’s more... 24 big corporations signed a statement urging the president to ‘Keep the US in the Paris Agreement for the good of the US economy’ and then 30 CEO’s from other big companies sent a letter to President Trump highlighting the business case.

3. Well, there are some politicians listening and leading. According to Bloomberg, Canada’s president Trudeau is going to force a carbon tax and cap on holdout provinces not yet already involved. ‘Polluters should pay,’ he says. (Bloomberg)

4. And, in the end, it may not be so easy. A new study says inspiring action on climate change is more complex than you might think - People have to grasp how climate change impacts them personally, and we need to financially value environmentally sound behavior. (The Guardian)

5. A good trend. Apparently the California grid set a new record, with 67% of power coming from renewables. Better yet, the numbers do not yet account for electricity from rooftop solar arrays. Maybe we can stop the fracking? (SF Gate)

6. Nature is indeed resilient. Researchers are reporting that a coral from the Red Sea thrives under global warming simulations, giving them hope reefs will survive climate change. (The Scientist)

7. But nature can only take so much. Republican president Richard Nixon signed the U.S. Endangered Species Act into law in 1973. Since then it has contributed to saving more than 200 species from extinction—but with the current republican administration the act may itself be endangered.  Luckily for all of us and all those critters, the chairman of the Crow Nation, a leader with the perfect name, A. J. Not Afraid, is standing valiantly in their way. (National Geographic)

A. J. Not Afraid, chairman of the Crow Nation in Montana, is fighting to keep grizzlies—which are sacred to Native Americans—protected under the Endangered Species Act.  PHOTOGRAPH BY KATIE ORLINSKY, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

A. J. Not Afraid, chairman of the Crow Nation in Montana, is fighting to keep grizzlies—which are sacred to Native Americans—protected under the Endangered Species Act. 


PHOTOGRAPH BY KATIE ORLINSKY, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

 

8. If it weren’t true, it would be a good hollywood story. The Svalbard ‘doomsday’ seed vault was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever. But the Global Seed Vault, buried in a mountain deep inside the Arctic circle, has been breached after global warming produced extraordinary temperatures over the winter, sending meltwater gushing into the entrance tunnel. (The Guardian)

9. Beachfront property in Ohio. The New York Times is doing a 3 part interactive story that details how the threat of major flooding to the world’s great coastal cities — Miami, New York, Shanghai and many more — is tied to Antarctica’s fate. Telling you about it won’t be enough. Go have a look, global catastrophes have never been so pretty. (NYT)

10. Everyone benefits. Research by professors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett shows how societies that are more unequal actually do much worse within a whole range of indicators of societal progress. And it's not just the poor — all members of unequal societies do worse than their counterparts in less unequal societies. (Shareable)



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10 in 2 - Week of May 8th

1. A leaked document shows the Labour Party’s 2017 priorities. The leak contains nefarious goals such as:  putting the UK back on track to meet its Paris Agreement climate targets, Ban fracking, introduce a new Clean Air Act, nationalize key parts of the energy sector, and prioritize access to the internal energy market and the European Atomic Energy Community in Brexit negotiations. (DESMOG UK

2. Tesla is now accepting deposits for its new solar roof system, offering an "infinity" warranty for tiles that integrate solar power into roof coverings and are cheaper than a traditional roof. (NPR)

 

3. On a previous '10 in 2' we shared our excitement for the impending release of the Netflix original show “Bill Nye Saves the World”. I watched part of one episode and had to turn it off. It means well, but the show is just not good. I revoke my previous recommendation. (Fatherly

4. There is a notable new sustainability podcast on the block. “Terrestrial” is hosted by Ashley Ahearn, who travels the country to bring listeners stories about people making personal choices in the face of environmental change. (KUOW)

5. Popular Mechanics did a profile of a guy hired by the state of Florida to hunt pythons in the everglades. It’s a good read, and includes quotes like "I feel like I won the lottery, and I make minimum wage," Florida man never disappoints. (PM

6. This weeks installment of fossil fuel company schadenfreude is the announcement that solar power is becoming even cheaper in India much faster than predicted. The price of solar in India dropped 12 percent over the past 12 months. (RenewEconomy)

7. One giant leap for narwhal science. Not only is the "unicorn of the sea" real, new footage reveals it uses its horn to club fish before eating them. (Canada.ca

8. In a shock to no one, the Dakota Access pipeline is already leaking. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe is not pleased about having to say “I told you so”, but here we are. (Vice)

9. A team of Australian scientists is building miniature ecosystems designed to simulate the impact of climate change. By playing with the chemistry of water tanks containing biological diversity, the experiments are already revealing dangers that would have been missed had researchers tried to study individual species in isolation. (NYT

10. Polar bears are ditching seafood in favour of scrambled eggs, as the heat rises in the Arctic melting the sea ice. A changing coastline has made it harder for the predators to catch the seals they favour and is pushing them towards poaching goose eggs. (New Scientist

 



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10 in 2 - Week of April 24th

  • This is our 10 in 2 report for the week of April 24th

  • 10 news stories that piqued our interest us this week

 

...so here we go:

 

  1. A plastic-eating caterpillar can help us get rid of our trash. Don’t worry. They won’t be dumping millions of worms in landfills to eat our garbage, but they will be studying them to find out how. (Research Gate)

  2. Patagonia threatens to sue Trump over national monuments order. CEO Rose Marcario said in a statement. “We’re watching the Trump administration’s actions very closely and preparing to take every step necessary, including legal action, to defend our most treasured public landscapes from coast to coast.” (The Hill)

  3. Senators and movement leaders have introduced a 100 percent clean energy bill. The legislation comes ahead of the People's Climate March on April 29th, and aims to completely phase out fossil fuel use by 2050. The odds that it passes, however, are a bit less than 100. (Alternet)

  4. Artificial intelligence will replace half of all jobs in the next decade, says widely followed technologist. But never fear he says, it won’t just take our jobs, it will also wipe out poverty. (CNBC

  5. How long could humans live if all diseases were cured?  "According to a calculation by statistics website Polstats.com the answer is a respectable 8,938 years on average" (Motherboard)

  6. In case you ever find yourself in the company of Donald Trump: new research has found that female dragonflies fake sudden death to avoid male advances.(New Scientist

  7. A U.K. startup uses recycled plastic to build roads that are 60 percent stronger than traditional roadways, and 10 times longer-lasting (Curbed)

  8. Canada is now the world's leading 'deforestation nation'. A new satellite study reveals that since 2000 more than 104 million hectares of forests -- an area three times the size of Germany -- have been destroyed or degraded. (rabble.ca)

  9. The Alabama environmental agency's budget is less than $11 per person, the smallest per capita budget of all state environmental agencies, according to a new survey. (AL.com)

  10. The Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank known for attacking climate science, has been mailing a book to public school teachers. They plan send out 200,000 copies, until virtually every science educator in America has one. The book is called “Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming.” (NYT)



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