Earth’s ‘Apocalypse Phase’ / School board shuffle / ‘A waterboarding of disinformation’

Earth’s ‘Apocalypse Phase.’ Economist Umair Haque is more troubled than ever by the climate crisis: “We live in the age of mega-scale impacts of climate change merging … like unbreathable air, smoke plumes stretching from Quebec to Italy, the poles a bright red as ice melt accelerates, models and modelers desperately racing to keep up with the dramatically accelerating rate of change.”
 Block Club Chicago: Chicago’s air pollution is the worst it’s been in a decade—with 13 air pollution advisories this year, the most since at least 2012.
 Popular Information: 1,500 environmental lobbyists are double-dealing with the fossil fuel industry.
 The U.S. Geological Survey: Drinking water dispensed by nearly half the faucets in the United States probably bears “forever chemicals” linked to cancer and other health threats.

‘There is no system able to handle that much water in just a few hours.’ The Chicago region’s antipollution Metropolitan Water Reclamation District says Sunday’s downpour was off the charts.
 The district has its first openly transgender Black woman member: Precious Brady-Davis.
 Last night brought fresh damage to the area …
 Chicago’s interim top cop gives the department high marks for managing a long weekend that included a presidential visit, NASCAR’s street races, those historic storms and hundreds of mostly illegal fireworks outbreaks.

School board shuffle. Mayor Johnson’s dumping all but one member of the Chicago Board of Education.
 In a big change, the newbies include just one lawyer.
 The new board president is an ex-Chicago high school teacher and a self-described formerly undocumented immigrant.
 Here’s the mayor’s official rundown of the roster.

Rockford or bust. Gov. Pritzker was set today to announce a deal to restore Metra passenger rail service between Chicago and Rockford for the first time since 1981.
 Block Club surveys initiatives to improve bicycle infrastructure across Chicago’s South Side.

‘A waterboarding of disinformation.’ That’s what Chicago and network TV news alumnus Jim Avila sees spewing from Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy.
 Donald Trump posted what he said was Barack Obama’s address—and then a Jan. 6, 2021, rioter with guns in his van was arrested near that property.
 A Harvard professor perceives “The Big Sort” across the U.S.: The increased clustering of Americans into like-minded enclaves—conservatives to red states, liberals to blue.

So shall ye sew. With Twitter in tatters, Facebook’s Instagram brand has launched its rival app, Threads …
 … which you can join, free, here—but, for now, only on a smartphone.
 CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed 10 million signups in the first seven hours.
 Bloomberg: “This time, Meta made a product people were actually asking for.”
 Platformer’s Casey Newton: “It’s basically Twitter in 2010. … By the standards of Twitter 2.0, though, it can feel like a miracle. Reading unlimited posts for free? On a robust network that basically never goes down … monitored by a robust team of content moderators, following a stable set of community guidelines?”

‘Apple has declared war on email newsletters.’ Digital media critic Simon Owens says the next version of the company’s iPhone software stands to make it “as difficult as possible for publishers … to measure the effectiveness of their newsletter strategies.”
 Joshua Benton at Harvard’s Nieman Lab says the changes threaten the ability of publications that, like Square, are distributed by services like Mailchimp to gauge which hyperlinks are most appealing to readers …
 … like this one and this one, yesterday.

Missing link found. Yesterday’s emailed edition lacked a link to Popular Information’s dig into the curriculum recommendations given a Pennsylvania school district by a guy who “does not have any experience developing curricula for public schools,” but who does have a degree in political science from the reactionary institution presided over by departing Wheel of Fortune host and Chicago native Pat Sajak.
 Thanks to Ed Nickow, first reader to report the problem.

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