The Daily Dose: Climate Change activists get a big win against A fossil fuel behemoth.

It’s not every day climate change activists get a win but when they do, it’s a good one. Thanks to the European court system, one of the fossil fuel behemoths of the world took a body blow. Per the Associated Press, “A Dutch court on Wednesday ordered Royal Dutch Shell to cut its carbon emissions by net 45% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels in a landmark case brought by climate activism groups, which hailed the decision as a victory for the planet. The Hague District Court ruled that the Anglo-Dutch energy giant has a duty of care to reduce emissions and that its current reduction plans were not concrete enough. The decision could set a precedent for similar cases against polluting multinationals around the world. Activists gathered outside the courtroom erupted into cheers as the decision was read out loud.” Fossil fuels are part of old aging technology that will be outdated in the near future as various non-fossil fuel technologies improve. Why people cling to burning oil is beyond me.

Pollution along the world’s major waterways is a serious problem. Making things worse, it’s grown increasingly difficult to hold polluters accountable, due to the fact that ships often go out of their way to avoid detection. One way of doingo this is by flying a false flag. Per Nature, “Research now shows that the number of vessels misleadingly registered to nations other than their true country of origin — called flags of convenience — has skyrocketed since 2002. The practice allows ship owners from nations with strict environmental regulations to have their vessels dismantled cheaply — but often in a way that is very damaging to the environment.”

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The evolution of pea pods has mystified evolutionary biologists as far back as Charles Darwin. Now, thanks to fossils unearthed in Mongolia, scientists may have a better idea of how they came to be in their present form. Per Science, “The researchers sliced up the fossil-filled rock with diamond-blade saws and polished and etched the surfaces with acid to make ‘peels,’ which they could examine under a microscope. ‘When we cut it, we could see individual cells,’ Crane says. They also conducted a computerized tomography scan of the cupules to determine their 3D structure (see video, below). The team found that, as with the outer seed coat in modern angiosperm seeds, the cupule tissue curved around the developing seeds.”

The longer the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, the more stories surface about the socio-economic inequities they reveal. It doesn’t matter what country. It’s always the same. The disenfranchised suffer. A long-read out of STAT investigated the closing of hospitals in rural communities, especially African-American ones. According to the article, “The abrupt withdrawal of care that affected this rural corner of Georgia has played out across the United States. A record 19 rural hospitals closed in 2020, according to research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — more than in any other year. Communities close to these shuttered hospitals similarly experienced disproportionate fatalities, according to a STAT analysis: Covid-19 death rates in counties where hospitals closed were 37% higher than in their states overall.” We know the problem now. What is the solution?

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.

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