June 4, 2022

Posted by orrinj at 11:48 AM


Inside Clean Energy: The US's New Record in Renewables, Explained in Three Charts (Dan Gearino, June 2, 2022, Inside Climate News)
To make a swift transition to a cleaner grid, the United States needs to set records for renewable electricity generation pretty much every single quarter. So far in 2022, the numbers are encouraging. 

From January to March, renewable energy power plants generated 242,956 gigawatt-hours, which was 23.5 percent of U.S. electricity generation, both records--an increase from 19.5 percent in the first quarter of 2021, and 20.8 percent in the full year. The growth was thanks in part to more than 80 new wind and solar plants that went online during the quarter. The figures are from the Energy Information Administration.

Posted by orrinj at 7:46 AM


Examiner poll finds voters will recall Chesa Boudin despite strong support for reform (Gil Duran, Jun 3, 2022, SF Examiner)

A new Examiner poll of 541 likely voters conducted by Change Research from May 26-29 shows 56% in favor of recalling the DA, who has a disapproval rate of 62%. [...]

When asked whether they supported "Expanding mental health treatment and stopping the use of jail as a mental health facility," 85% of voters expressed support.

When asked whether they support sending low-level criminals to diversion programs instead of jail, 68% expressed support.

Even the much-vilified policy of eliminating cash bail -- a signature Boudin policy -- has support from 50% of voters, with only 31% expressing opposition.

In addition, 49% of likely voters said they supported "Focusing resources on serious and violent felonies and stopping the prosecution of misdemeanors."

Posted by orrinj at 7:34 AM



A heavy machinery maker in Japan called IHI Corp has successfully tested a prototype of a massive, airplane-sized turbine that can generate electricity from powerful deep sea ocean currents, Bloomberg reports, laying the groundwork for a promising new source of renewable energy that doesn't rely on sunny days or strong winds.

The company's latest prototype is called Kairyu and weighs in at 330 tons. Two counter-rotating turbine fans are connected by a massive fuselage, which allows the entire apparatus to float while anchored anchored to the sea floor, hovering between 100 and 160 feet below the surface.

There, it pulls energy from one of the world's strongest ocean currents, off the eastern coast of Japan, using it to spin its mighty turbines.

During demonstrations earlier this year, the company was able to generate around 100 kilowatts of stable power. During future tests, IHI Corp is hoping to generate two megawatts, with the hopes of kicking off commercial operations in the 2030s, Bloomberg reports.

Posted by orrinj at 7:24 AM


He was playing a song by The Lumineers on a public piano in Boston. Then a band member walked by and joined in. (Steve Annear, June 1, 2022, Boston Globe)

Sam Spencer was sitting at a sidewalk piano near Downtown Crossing Tuesday afternoon, playing a song by one of his favorite bands, The Lumineers, when two people started listening and recording.

As the crowd watched him tap away on the keys, performing the group's popular 2016 song "Ophelia," one of them stood next to him on the bench, bent over, and started playing along.

Not only did he play a portion of the song perfectly, he looked strangely familiar.

"I looked over at him and said to myself, 'This guy kind of looks like one of the guys from The Lumineers,'" said Spencer, 27.

Posted by orrinj at 7:22 AM


What drives mass shooters? Grievance, despair, and anger are more likely triggers than mental illness, experts say. (Deanna Pan, June 3, 2022, Boston Globe)

Clearly, no one who commits mass murder is mentally well or emotionally stable. But the assumption that mental illness begets or predicts heinous acts of violence is false, according to experts on school shootings and mass violence. Mass shooters' desire for death and destruction, experts have found, stems from a variety of circumstances and is rooted in entrenched grievance, despair, and anger, regardless of whether they experience symptoms of mental illness.

"No mass shooter is a mentally healthy person, but to blame mental illness as the cause of mass shootings fundamentally just isn't supported by case evidence and by scientific study," said Mark Follman, a journalist and author of the new book "Trigger Points: Inside the Mission to Stop Mass Shootings in America."

A decade ago, Follman (along with this reporter) created the first open-source database documenting US mass shootings. Far from having delusional thoughts or hallucinations, most mass shooters believe they are making reasoned and calculated choices based on real or perceived injustices in their lives, Follman and other experts contend. Their violent thinking is often validated in the dark corners of the Internet, where they are radicalized even further. Some study other perpetrators and try to emulate them.

Posted by orrinj at 7:04 AM


Our greatest athlete is a 64-year-old moose antler hunter from Vermont: For decades, Will Staats has dominated the highly competitive, super secretive world of hunting for antlers shed by moose. (Billy Baker, June 1, 2022, Boston Globe)

UNDISCLOSED LOCATION -- Will Staats made me swear to keep the location of our moose antler hunt a secret. Then he made me swear again. By the third time, I was a tad annoyed, roughly the same tad of annoyance I had felt when the 64-year-old retiree asked me, several times over the phone from his home in northern Vermont, if I would be able to keep up with him on our hike. I am in my mid-40s, in mid-shape, and much closer to being fired than retired, thank you very much.

I was wrong. You probably saw that coming, but I assure you that you cannot believe just how very wrong I was. And that is because Will Staats is not just the premier moose shed hunter in New England; he is also the greatest athlete I have ever met.

Posted by orrinj at 7:00 AM


Israel: Doubt over bill 'constituting apartheid' in West Bank throws government off (Huthifa Fayyad,: 2 June 2022, Middle East Eye)

The absence of a clear majority in the Israeli parliament has raised fears that a critical regulation governing West Bank settlers will not be extended, potentially placing them under military rule and causing Israel a legal nightmare. 

On Monday the Israeli parliament, or Knesset, postponed a vote on the extension of the emergency law, in place since 1967, after doubts rose over it attaining enough votes to pass.

The temporary regulation is renewed every few years to ensure that civilian Israeli law is applied to settlers living in West Bank settlements, as opposed to the military law governing Palestinians living adjacent to them. [...]

The regulation allowed hundreds of thousands of Israelis to live on land outside of its boundaries while enjoying full privileges of Israeli citizenship and residency.

Under this umbrella, Israeli settlers are tried in civilian courts, allowed to receive social and health benefits and run for public office, among other rights. 

All the while, the three million Palestinian population of the West Bank are subjected to military rule under which they are tried in military courts, denied full freedom of movement and restricted from accessing land and resources.