Incoming: Hot World Summer
Seriously, it's a climate emergency; Germany warns Britain about no-deal Brexit; your weekend longreads. All in your BuzzFeed News newsletter, Aug. 23.
We’re living through a climate emergency right now — we just aren’t paying attention
Let’s put a few stories you’ve been hearing recently together: Greenland’s ice sheets are melting, record-setting fires are blazing from the Arctic to the Amazon, and this past July was the world’s hottest month...ever.
In short, we are, right now, in the midst of long-predicted catastrophes. From July 30 to Aug. 3, about 55 billion tons of ice melted and ran off from Greenland, and 90% of its surface felt temperatures above freezing. NASA called it a “major melting event.”
The Arctic sea ice covering the ocean in July was the lowest ever seen in 29 years of satellite measurement. That’s to say nothing of the record number of wildfires in the Arctic this year — more than 100 long-lived ones this summer.
At the same time, the Amazon is burning and Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research is reporting a record of nearly 73,000 fires this year, up 80% from last year. Deforestation for cattle ranches appears to be a major factor.
If these numbers seem overwhelming, that’s part of the point: It’s starting to become a form of journalistic malpractice not to communicate the stakes of the catastrophes the planet is experiencing. Read about our current climate emergency.
Related: Bernie Sanders’ sweeping plan to address climate change will cost $16 trillion. Sanders calls for a ban on fracking, mountaintop removal coal mining, and imports and exports of coal, oil, and natural gas. Here’s what you need to know.
Trump has returned 35,000 asylum-seekers to Mexico. Now the country is pushing back.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration introduced the Migration Protection Protocols policy, which forces asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico as their cases are processed in the US — a system that can take months or years to complete.
It appears in recent weeks, however, Mexican immigration officials have scuttled some of those plans by implementing caps on the number of people that can be returned to the country.
The move comes after more than 35,000 people were returned under the program since its inception.
The US Justice Department sent immigration judges a white nationalist blog with anti-Semitic attacks. Earlier this week, the Justice Department’s morning briefing to all immigration court employees included a link to an article posted on a white nationalist website that “directly attacks sitting immigration judges with racial and ethnically tinged slurs.”
Facebook said it would give detailed data to academics. They’re still waiting. In 2018, Facebook announced that it would share crucial data that would help academics “better understand the broader impact of social media on democracy.” Academics are still on hold, waiting for the data.
Karamo Brown from Queer Eye is being dragged for defending Sean Spicer, his Dancing With the Stars castmate. Brown, the culture guru on Netflix's Queer Eye, is being criticized for defending the former White House press secretary who repeatedly lied to the public on behalf of President Donald Trump.
Germany has told Britain its food producers might not bother exporting to it after a no-deal Brexit
First, you need to know that Britain crashing out of the European Union without a deal is an increasingly likely scenario. So likely, in fact, that British diplomats are preparing for a no-deal dress rehearsal.
With that context in mind, Britain has been warned by the German government that its food producers might stop delivering to the UK rather than risk their goods getting caught up in bottlenecks at ports, according to a diplomatic source.
German officials expressed their frustration at how the Brexit negotiations had gone and said that food businesses in Germany “expected” huge delays at the borders.
The warning will add to fears of food shortages in the UK in a disruptive no-deal scenario. Trade experts say there’s a serious risk that food supplies will be disrupted. Right now, around 30% of British food comes from the EU, including nearly 40% of fruit and vegetables.
Sit and chill with these weekend longreads
When Will Kirsten Dunst Get Her Due? Kirsten Dunst has been underrated her entire career. Now, with the release of her new show, On Becoming a God in Central Florida, Elisabeth Donnelly reflects on the ways she’s always been underestimated: “Dunst is now an actor at an interesting stage: a young mom, on the ‘wrong side’ of 30, too old to play the ingenue but still too young to get the big, meaty, Frances McDormand roles.”
Do Women’s Clothes Seem Weird Lately? Because I’m Into It. There’s widespread agreement that fashion is in a weird moment right now. Shannon Keating is absolutely into the “strange mix of styles: ’90s-era crop tops and babydoll dresses, wacky prints, poofy sleeves, ruching and draping.” From the piece: “One could sum up fashion right now as ‘sexy baby’ or ‘cursed prairie’ or, as my friend and editor Rachel put it, a bizarre blend of both ‘modest and horny.’”
Having A Baby Meant Making Friends With Straight People. Becoming a new parent can often alter your immediate community. In Michelle Tea’s case, she wrote about how becoming a parent changed her queer relationships and led her to a new community she never expected: “Here is something I hadn’t known when I was writing off kids as boring, needy time thieves: Children are naturally queer.”