What I'm Reading (Oct. 12)

Did they die from an asteroid or climate?
Fill it up or charge it, please
The untimely and unwarranted death of bees
Woke science




What killed the dinosaurs, an asteroid, or volcanoes? Take your pick; the once certain belief that T. Rex and friends were done in by an asteroid is getting challenged by the climate changes induced by volcanoes.

“A 6-mile-wide asteroid, which hit the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula 66 million years ago, obliterated any nearby dinos and filled the sky with material that plunged the planet into a species-dooming winter. But don’t sell those volcanoes short. A growing body of geological evidence is suggesting that the dinosaurs were already enduring climatic chaos before the asteroid, thanks to huge, relentless volcanism in India’s Deccan Traps.”


From Wired, An Epic Fight Over What Really Killed the Dinosaurs


“The EV in my garage is contributing to the death of our local gasoline station. Meanwhile, our second car is keeping it on life support.”

How will gas stations morph? Their low margins have led to the rise of almost all having an attached convenience store, but EVs are the next big problem. From EconLife, The Demise of the Gas Station


Anyone reading or listening in the media will tell you that bees, critical to our food chain, are dying and that the cause is pesticides or, if they are more well-read, parasites. Of course, that is a downstream effect of a more significant predator, us.

“The downward spiral in America began at the beginning of the 20th century, when agriculture started to consolidate and commercialize around the country. Growers increasingly scoured the landscape for potential boosts in efficiency. They noticed that where the honeybee went, higher yields always seemed to follow. “An insufficient supply of bees will hinder the setting of fruit,” read one Kansas farming bulletin in 1899. Spurred by advancements in interstate travel, pollination services soon went mobile. As cultivation continued to bend toward monocrop harvests, the honeybee’s position in the American farming structure was solidified.

That’s when the dying started.”

A different lens on why bees may be dying from The Ringer, America’s Bee Problem Is an Us Problem


The culture wars around the “science” of COVID argue that science should be apolitical, but that is difficult, if not impossible, in any human endeavor.

“woke” science is bad science because it’s influenced by a political or moral ideology, and science should be free of all of that, an unadulterated, unbiased pursuit of the truth. But a different way of understanding her eagle-eyed focus on one set of issues is that “woke” science is bad science because it’s influenced by bad values. On the first view, we should kick all values out of science; on the latter, we should kick out the wrong values. The first proposal is impossible, the second undesirable.

The idea that science isn’t or shouldn’t be influenced by social or political values at all is non-sensical.”

With a nod to our President, Thom Golab, From the Institute of Arts and Idea, Science isn't woke, but it is political