Most Americans are aware that with housing costs on the rise, more and more of us are experiencing periods of homelessness. Based on the relative dearth of national coverage, I presume far fewer of us are aware that major insurance companies have begun pulling out of areas identified as being at heightened risk due to climate change, leaving homeowners in the lurch. I wrote about the impact on Florida in July, but it turns out the problem is much larger than a single state, with California also heavily affected.
Over the next few years, it seems likely these two problems – unaffordable housing and unaffordable insurance in at-risk areas – will spiral into a potentially catastrophic cycle. Not only will some Americans be forced to abandon their homes, but the housing in these areas at high risk of damage from storms or wildfires will likely stand empty (as long as homes continue to stand at all), all of which will further drive demand up in a housing market that already prices out far too many people.
Anti-fossil fuel campaigners on Friday urged employees of oil and gas giant Shell to speak out as loudly as possible about their objections to the company’s pivot away from renewable energy, after thousands of workers expressed support for an angry open letter penned by two of their colleagues.
On the company’s private platform, a letter published by Lisette de Heiden and Wouter Drinkwaard of Shell’s low-carbon division garnered 1,000 “likes” and 80,000 views earlier this month and was reported on by Reuters Wednesday.
A report published Thursday by United Nations human rights experts condemns systemic racism in the U.S. criminal justice system and policing, while describing “appalling” prison conditions and decrying forced unpaid convict labor as a “contemporary form of slavery.”
The U.N. International Independent Expert Mechanism to Advance Racial Justice and Equality in the Context of Law Enforcement report follows a visit to the U.S. earlier this year by a team of human rights experts. The U.N. officials collected testimonies from 133 affected people, visited five prisons and jails, and held meetings with advocacy groups and numerous government and police officials in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, and Washington, D.C.
“To allow a handful of monopoly-aspiring gatekeepers to control access to the internet is a direct threat to our democracy,” said Michael Copps, a Common Cause special adviser and former FCC commissioner.
Open internet advocates across the United States celebrated on Tuesday as Federal Communications Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworcel announced her highly anticipated proposal to reestablish FCC oversight of broadband and restore net neutrality rules.
“We thank the FCC for moving swiftly to begin the process of reinstating net neutrality regulations,” said ACLU senior policy counsel Jenna Leventoff. “The internet is our nation’s primary marketplace of ideas—and it’s critical that access to that marketplace is not controlled by the profit-seeking whims of powerful telecommunications giants.”
In the face of right-wing attacks on public schools—including climate education—more than 50 high schools nationwide launched the Green New Deals for Schools campaign Monday.
The campaign, organized by the youth-led Sunrise Movement, is demanding that school boards and districts act to provide buildings powered with renewable energy; free, healthy, local, and sustainable meals; support for finding well-paying, unionized green careers; plans for extreme weather events; and instruction about the climate crisis.
Amid a wave of right-wing efforts to quash abortion rights across the United States, a Nebraska judge on Friday sentenced Jessica Burgess to two years in prison after helping her teenage daughter end her pregnancy and bury the remains in early 2022.
Police have said that over two years ago, then-17-year-old Celeste Burgess took abortion pills—provided by her mother—at approximately 29 weeks pregnant and gave birth to a stillborn fetus, which the pair burned and buried in Norfolk, Nebraska.
“It seems obvious to everyone but Elon Musk that Neuralink’s device is unsafe,” said one critic. “Now he is deliberately misleading investors and the public by outright lying about the company’s monkey experiments.”
After obtaining records showing a dozen monkeys were euthanized in “gruesome” trials, a national physicians group on Wednesday asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate claims made by Elon Musk, owner of the biotech firm Neuralink, about the company’s experimental brain implants.
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) requested an SEC probe into possible securities fraud committed by Musk when he claimed that “no monkey has died as a result of a Neuralink implant” during testing of the company’s implantable brain-computer interfaces (BCI), and that the animals who died were all already terminally ill when chosen for experiments.
A record number of library books were challenged during the first eight months of 2023, the American Library Association revealed Tuesday.
The ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) documented 695 attempts to remove a total of 1,915 library titles as of August 31. That’s up from the 681 challenges to 1,651 distinct titles for the same period in 2022, and last year as a whole broke the overall record for book challenges since data collecting began more than two decades ago.
“Should Justice Alito preside over this case despite his clear conflicts of interest, it would add to the worsening Supreme Court corruption crisis and underscore the urgent need for ethics reform,” said one critic.
Anti-corruption watchdog Accountable.US on Monday said there is a clear need for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito to recuse himself from an upcoming court case regarding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as a new analysis revealed the extent of one of his key associate’s financial interests in the case.
The group released new data showing that hedge fund manager Paul Singer holds at least $90 million in financial firms overseen by the CFPB, which was established in 2011 through the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and has since provided $16 billion in financial relief to defrauded consumers and ordered companies to pay $3.7 billion in penalties.
Tens of thousands poured into the streets of New York City on Sunday for the largest climate mobilization in the U.S. in years, with organizers and marchers telling President Joe Biden to stop approving planet-wrecking fossil fuel projects and start doing everything in his power to accelerate the nation’s renewable energy transition.
Campaigners expressed outrage that Biden has refused to declare a national climate emergency and is planning to skip United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ Climate Ambition Summit on Wednesday.