ICYMI: Monkeys Enter Stone Age, Swifties Take on the NFL & You Don’t Need ESA Protection if You’re Extinct

A weekly roundup for busy people

By Paul Rauber

Illustrations by Peter Arkle

October 20, 2023

illustration of monkeys using tools

Capuchin monkeys in Panama have entered the Stone Age, using stone tools to break up nuts and shellfish.

Peeps says that it will no longer use Red Dye #3 after California bans it and other toxic food additives.

Eighty-four percent of ships and boats ignore the mandatory slow zones established by NOAA to protect North Atlantic right whales. NOAA claims there is “high compliance” in these zones. 

The EPA says that leaded aviation fuel, used in small planes, is a danger to public health.

The first of an eventual 62 enormous wind turbines of the Vineyard Wind 1 project is installed in the waters off Martha's Vineyard. It could start producing power by the end of the year. 

The Biden administration chooses seven regional “hydrogen hubs” to receive $7 billion in federal funding. The Sierra Club insists that the money should only fund “green hydrogen,” i.e. hydrogen made from new sources of renewable energy, and only for users that could not otherwise be easily electrified. 

The US Fish and Wildlife Service removes 21 species of plants and animals from the list of threatened and endangered species because they’re extinct. The list of acknowledged extinctions notably does not include the ivory-billed woodpecker, whose improbable existence is still being debated.

In 2022, 14.4 million Americans hunted, 40 million went fishing, and 148 million watched wildlife, predominantly birds

The Bureau of Land Management finds significant environmental downsides to the proposed Ambler Road, the lynchpin to an enormous copper and zinc mine 50 miles north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska.

Two years after its greatest recorded flooding, the Amazon rainforest experiences its greatest recorded drought.

Worsening relations between the United States and China may soon leave US zoos without any pandas

Since 1997, Antarctica has lost 7.5 trillion metric tons of ice.

California cities can now deploy speed-enforcement cameras

The Supreme Court declines to hear a challenge brought by a number of Republican-dominated states contesting the Biden administration’s metric for calculating the harm done by emissions of carbon dioxide, the “social cost of carbon.

Travis Kelce, tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs and rumored boyfriend of pop superstar Taylor Swift, injures his ankle in a game against the Minnesota Vikings, possibly because of the stadium’s artificial turf. The outrage of Swift’s legions of fans may lead to a shift back toward natural grass for NFL games.