Good afternoon! Here are today's top reads:
- Pot in New York: $100 ticket. No charges. No record. No nothing (Bloomberg)
- Republicans vow to fight E.P.A. and approve Keystone pipeline (NY Times)
- From rainforest to your cupboard: the real story of palm oil (Guardian)
- Robot brains catch humans in 25 years, then speed right on by (Bloomberg)
- Protected areas get short shrift (Scientific American)
- Drought is taking California back to the wild, wild West (National Journal)
- 10 ways the world will get worse in 2015 (Fast Company)
- Underwater 'storms' may hold key to melting Antarctic ice (LA Times)
- Why companies should shelter in SASB's safe harbor (GreenBiz)
- We’ve landed Arrowhead Stadium on the surface of a comet (Bloomberg)
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Humans just scored an interplanetary field goal. A really long one.
A few minutes after 10:30 a.m. New York time, a spacecraft named Philae ended a 10-year, 4-billion-mile journey to touch a comet. "We are sitting on the surface, and Philae is talking to us," Stephan Ulamec, the lander's project manager, said to cheers at the European Space Agency's operations center in Darmstadt, Germany.Read more »
Pot isn’t legal in New York. After this week, it might as well be.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton told officers to stop arresting people carrying small amounts of pot. Instead, first-time offenders will get a court summons (basically a ticket; $100 for the first, $200 for the second) and walk away.Read more »
We’ve been wrong about these robots before.
Soon after modern computers evolved in the 1940s, futurists started predicting that in just a few decades machines would be as smart as humans. Every year, the prediction seems to get pushed back another year. The consensus now is that it’s going to happen in ... you guessed it, just a few more decades.Read more »
Bloomberg BNA -- An estimated $90 trillion will be invested in infrastructure over the next 15 years: the crucial question is whether this will go into the old brown economy of the past or a new, resource-efficient, low-carbon economy of the future.
Even if climate change were a chimera, there are multiple challenges that require a sustainable development path.Read more »
The word of the week is "anomaly."
Two high-profile accidents in the aerospace industry have reminded us of something too often forgotten in this age of Internet everywhere, hundreds of high-def channels, and cars that last 200,000 miles: Technology is hard.Read more »
It’s quiz time, people. Let’s start with an easy one: What percentage of working-age Americans are unemployed and looking for work?
If you guessed about 6 percent, give yourself a pat on the back. You have a pretty good understanding of the unemployment rate, one of the basic measures of economic well-being. If, on the other hand, you guessed 32 percent -- which would rank America among the most desperate nations on Earth -- then you guessed just like the average American!Read more »
Every time fossil fuels get cheaper, people lose interest in solar deployment. That may be about to change.
After years of struggling against cheap natural gas prices and variable subsidies, solar electricity is on track to be as cheap or cheaper than average electricity-bill prices in 47 U.S. states -- in 2016, according to a Deutsche Bank report published this week. That’s assuming the U.S. maintains its 30 percent tax credit on system costs, which is set to expire that same year.Read more »