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Elon Musk gets "verbal approval" for east coast underground Hyperloop

But as Mal said to Shepherd Bush in Serenity, “That’s a long wait for a train don’t come.” […]

The Hobbies of Capitol Hill: Beekeeper, Baker, Photographer … Senator?

AdvertisementPoliticsPatrick J. Toomey, Republican of PennsylvaniaBeekeeperImageCreditMark Makela for The New York TimesWhat got him startedHow it relates to his job on Capitol HillImageCreditMark Makela for The New York TimesRandom fact about beesScary moment in beekeepingAdvertisementJoni Ernst, Republican of IowaRuck MarchingImageCreditDoug Mills/The New York TimesWhat got her startedHow is ruck marching like lawmaking? Random fact about ruck marchingSusan Collins, Republican of MainePerfecting the Blueberry MuffinImageCreditYoon Byun for The New York TimesWhat got her startedMuffins in the life of a lawmaker?ImageCreditYoon Byun for The New York TimesRules and reconciliation of muffin makingAngus King, Independent of MaineAmateur PhotographerImageCreditDoug Mills/The New York TimesWhat got him startedHow it relates to his job on Capitol HillAdvertisementRandom fact about his photographyWhat he loves to shoot bestHeidi Heitkamp, Democrat of North DakotaCertified Pilates InstructorImageCreditGabriella Demczuk for The New York TimesWhat got her on the matHow it relates to her job on Capitol HillRandom fact about PilatesWhat do people think of Pilates pedagogy from a pol? Chris Coons, Democrat of DelawarePerforming Wedding CeremoniesImageCreditLove Life ImagesWhat got him startedMarriage, the ultimate scheduling conflictRites come before the presidentDebbie Stabenow, Democrat of MichiganPianistImageCreditBrittany Greeson for The New York TimesWhat got her startedPianos have precedence over partisanshipAdvertisementThe piano is also a legislative icebreaker […]

Congress says the EPA will get more money than Trump wants.

This week, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office announced a new initiative to combat climate change–augmented extreme heat in the city. It comes down to: Plant a tree! Make a pal! Those are actually not bad ideas.

The $106 million package — dubbed Cool Neighborhoods NYC, which, yikes — will largely go to tree-planting across more heatwave-endangered communities in the South Bronx, Northern Manhattan, and Central Brooklyn. Funding will also further develop the unpronounceable NYC °CoolRoofs program, which aims to cover 2.7 million square feet of city roofs with foliage.

But, to me, the more noteworthy component of the plan is Be A Buddy NYC — again, yikes — which “promotes community cohesion” as a means of climate resilience.

“A heat emergency is not the time to identify vulnerable residents,” explains the Mayor’s Office’s report. “Rather, it is important to build social networks that can help share life-saving information prior to such an emergency, and can reach out to at-risk neighbors during an extreme heat event.”

The new policy supports the argument that this whole community engagement thing is a crucial tactic in the fight against climate change.

[…]

A judge rules that rushing approval for the Dakota Access Pipeline violated the law.

This week, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office announced a new initiative to combat climate change–augmented extreme heat in the city. It comes down to: Plant a tree! Make a pal! Those are actually not bad ideas.

The $106 million package — dubbed Cool Neighborhoods NYC, which, yikes — will largely go to tree-planting across more heatwave-endangered communities in the South Bronx, Northern Manhattan, and Central Brooklyn. Funding will also further develop the unpronounceable NYC °CoolRoofs program, which aims to cover 2.7 million square feet of city roofs with foliage.

But, to me, the more noteworthy component of the plan is Be A Buddy NYC — again, yikes — which “promotes community cohesion” as a means of climate resilience.

“A heat emergency is not the time to identify vulnerable residents,” explains the Mayor’s Office’s report. “Rather, it is important to build social networks that can help share life-saving information prior to such an emergency, and can reach out to at-risk neighbors during an extreme heat event.”

The new policy supports the argument that this whole community engagement thing is a crucial tactic in the fight against climate change.

[…]

Yes, you too can be a Grist fellow. Apply today!

Are you an early-career journalist, storyteller, or multimedia wizard who digs what we do? Then Grist wants you!

We are now accepting applications for the fall 2017 class of the Grist Fellowship Program.

This time around we’re looking for all-stars in two primary areas: environmental justice and video. You’ll find deets on the two fellowship opportunities here.

The Grist Fellowship Program is a paid opportunity to hone your journalistic chops at a national news outlet, deepen your knowledge of environmental issues, and experiment with storytelling. We get to teach you and learn from you and bring your work to our audience. The fellowship lasts six months.

For fellowships that begin in October 2017, please submit applications by July 31, 2017. Full application instructions here.

Good luck!

[…]

Dear climate visionaries: Resist France’s allure

Back in February, when France’s then-presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron thumbed his nose at President Donald Trump and invited jaded U.S. scientists and inventors to come build a sustainable future in France, I applauded and played along.

“[L]et’s face it,” I wrote. “France is a tough sell. The food is irritatingly fresh, the architecture tends to distract people from their cellphones, and the high-speed rail lines get in the way of SUVs.”

But now that Macron is president and has backed up his words with substance, setting up a program to bring American climate visionaries to France, it’s no longer funny. If you’re an entrepreneur, scientist, or engineer disillusioned with Trump’s America and tempted by this offer, please don’t go. It’s a terrible idea. Do you hear me, Katharine Hayhoe?

Mais porquoi? you say, after thumbing through your French phrasebook. Because the United States, the world’s second-biggest polluter, is a much more pernicious driver of climate change than France, the 18th. We need you here. The world needs you here. The future needs you here.

OK, I’ll cop to getting a little carried away. We should give Macron his due. He’s offering a four-year grant to people from anywhere in the world, so they can come work on climate change projects in France. That’s great! Science, technologies, and companies created in France won’t be constrained by French borders. We’ll all benefit. And it’s just for four years, the nominal length of Trump’s (first) term. But c’mon, be real: Nobody goes to France to live for just four years.

This screenshot from Macron’s new website, titled “Make Our Planet Great Again” seems to confirm my concerns that France wants to keep our smarties forever.

I’m worried about a brain drain. We can’t afford to lose the political heft of scientists as communicators and U.S. citizens. The United States needs people who weigh evidence and allow that evidence to change their minds. We need men and women like this of all political stripes living in American towns, talking to their American friends, going to American churches, and helping to make this country sane again. If we all sort ourselves into like-minded factions, and a chunk of the rational faction moves to France, we’re screwed. We really can’t afford to lose Neil DeGrasse Tyson to the Riviera. James Hansen, Pam Ronald … stay!

[…]

Need a break from political news? Hey, look, the ocean!

In an April 26 directive, President Trump called for a review of 27 national monuments created after 1996, claiming there should be more public input on monument designations.

Public lands experts suggested the order was a ploy to open new turf for energy exploration. They said monuments receive plenty of public comment, both from specialists and average Joes.

The experts appear to be right.

Ahead of a June 10 deadline for the Interior Department’s review of Utah’s Bears Ears — among the newest national monuments, and a particularly contentious one — the department received a flood of nearly 150,000 opinions. The great majority implore the administration to leave Bears Ears and the other monuments be.

Poring over 150,000 missives is a definite tl;dr situation — so we pulled some highlights.

“This monument holds immense meaning for the indigenous peoples in the area and to destroy it would continue the erasure of indigenous beliefs and further the genocide of indigenous cultures,” wrote one commenter.

“The air that I breathed in was so much different from the air that I breathed in when I used to live in Korea,” wrote one respondent reminiscing about a trip to Bears Ears. “The visit reminded why our family had immigrated from Korea in first place [sic].”

But it wasn’t all adulations for our “national treasures.”

One comment labeled the designation of Bears Ears an “unjust and unfair federal land grab” — a sentiment echoed by the oil and gas industry. “Undo everything Obama did !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” read another.

The following commenter’s use of caps lock was not at all unique among the responses: “THESE LANDS ARE REAL AND PROVIDE AN REAL CHANCE TO EXPERIENCE SPIRITUAL CONNECTION AND PHYSICAL WONDER. WITHOUT THESE PLACES WE’LL ALL TRAPPED IN OUR IDEOLOGIES AND LIFE BECOMES HELL.”

“Must we destroy everything?” asked one person, while another chided Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to “show some respect for your goddamn country you monkeys.”

And one sly commenter sought to end the discussion on monuments before it began, appealing to Zinke’s unwavering adulation for a former president: “Teddy Roosevelt had the right idea!”

[…]