News and views noted along the way.
- Germany seeks admission to spooks’ club — “Despite all the public outrage over the surveillance of Angela Merkel, Berlin actually might be less interested in curbing US intelligence activities than eventually joining the elite Anglo-American spy club.”
- Why even California can’t stop catastrophic climate change — “For climate change optimists, California is indeed the golden state when it comes to aggressive policies designed to avoid catastrophic climate change. But as a new report makes depressingly clear, even Ecotopia will fall far short of hitting a target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050 without the invention of new technologies and imposition of more draconian green mandates. That’s the number scientists believe must be met to keep climate change in check. And if California can’t meet such a mandate, what nation can, given the inability of governments to even to agree to take the most tentative steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?”
- Snacks and sweets face price sting from humble bee — “The demise of the humble honey bee has long been bemoaned by naturalists. Now it is alarming traders as it threatens to send prices of nutty snacks and sweets sharply higher, as California’s almond orchards are hit by a decline in bee colonies.”
- Can dirtbags, pretty ladies, and Twitter save horse racing? — “In a sport tied up with fashion, alcohol, tobacco, and gambling — pursuits that scream out for youth — the young are hard to come by, and the die-hard fans are, literally, dying. Racing people are pondering this problem and contriving various proposed solutions, and this is how I found myself in Miami behind a tiny formica dining table, hemmed in by an infectiously positive blonde and a fashion model in a horse mask, on thoroughbred racing’s version of the Madden Cruiser.”
- Your guide to the latest efforts to hold big banks accountable — “If you’re having a hard time keeping track, here’s a rundown on the latest lawsuits, settlements and ongoing investigations involving big banks.”