ICYMI: Tea for Life, Chocolate Milk Activism, Cleaning Up the Ganges & Wisdom Returns

A weekly roundup for busy people

illustration of two people pumping water for tea

By Paul Rauber

Illustrations by Peter Arkle

December 8, 2023

Mortality in 18th-century England decreased because more people were boiling water to make tea.

More than 100 countries at COP28 call for a phase-out of fossil fuels. COP28 president Sultan al Jaber (also the CEO of the United Arab Emirates state oil company) says “there is no science” that doing so will achieve climate goals.  

Eighty-eight percent of the 90,000 public comments to the Bureau of Land Management support limiting oil and gas drilling in the Western Arctic.

Eighty percent of the advocacy for “carbon capture and storage,” which comes mostly from the fossil fuel industry, is not in accordance with IPCC climate goals and instead suggests it as an excuse for the continued burning of oil and gas. 

The current level of carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere is more than a million times smaller than current carbon dioxide emissions.

Climate activists pour mud and Nesquik on the façade of St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. 

Indiana’s aging Merom Generating Station, a coal-fired power plant, will not close this year as planned because its power is being purchased by AboutBit, a Kentucky-based crypto-miner.

The bipartisan infrastructure bill signed by President Joe Biden in 2021 included $7.5 billion for a nationwide network of electric-vehicle chargers. None have been built.

Despite international calls for a moratorium on deep-sea mining, Norway’s parliament okays initial seabed exploration in its Arctic region.

A23a, Antarctica’s biggest iceberg at 40 by 32 nautical miles, has broken free and is drifting off into the open ocean.

India is undertaking cleaning up the Ganges.

Cook pine trees always lean toward the equator, and the farther they are from the equator the more they lean

The US Fish and Wildlife Service proposes a recovery plan for the Canada lynx, including a possible reintroduction to the Yellowstone region. 

Wyoming backs away from selling 640 acres within the boundaries of Grand Teton National Park. 

Phoenix declines to prosecute the driver of a pickup truck who crashed into a group of 20 cyclists, killing two and injuring most of the others. 

Wisdom, a Laysan albatross in her seventies and the world’s oldest known wild bird, returns once again to her nesting site at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.