Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Short Takes

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Short Takes

Article excerpt

To infinity and beyond (thumbs up)

This week's "Quote of the Week" is a tough call. Does it go to Dale Boggs, the Maryland Heights driving range owner who supports Alan Bornstein and Stan Kroenke's 1,800-acre mixed-use development in the Missouri River floodplain? "How many open spaces do people need?" Boggs asked the Post-Dispatch's Steve Giegerich.

That was good. So was the summary by Boggs' wife, Carol Boggs, of the opposition to the development: "If it wasn't (Kroenke), there wouldn't be any trouble at all."

But the nod goes to Shawn Baker, an assistant dean at Harris- Stowe State University, one of three men named in a lawsuit by former Hornets basketball player Brittany Jackson. She filed suit in St. Louis Circuit Court saying that she was unjustly kicked out of school after complaining that she'd been groped by Emmanuel Lalande, who holds the job of "dean of student success," in a meeting March 28. She said she was accused of having marijuana in her gym bag and was escorted off the campus by Baker and campus Police Lt. Ricky Perry.

Baker then sent her a notice with the key quote, saying that she was "administrative dismissed effective immediately from the university infinitely."

Infinitely is a pretty broad dismissal. Perhaps he meant "indefinitely"?

Rodent R.I.P. (thumbs down)

The Bramble Cay melomys, a tiny rodent (formerly) found only on a tiny coral island between northern Australia and Papua New Guinea, last week was declared to be the first mammal to have gone extinct because of man-made climate change.

Rising sea levels caused by global warming have repeatedly inundated Bramble Cay in recent years, Australian researchers said. They've been trying to trap a melomys since 2014 without success. Last week they reported giving up.

Scientists believe the "sixth extinction" period in the planet's history is now underway, the first one caused by human activities. By century's end, predictions are that one-sixth of the world's species will be gone. This is one of those "ask not for whom the bell tolls" moments.

Peabody's priorities (thumbs down)

And speaking of victims of climate change, filings in Peabody Energy's bankruptcy case have revealed the St. Louis-based coal company counts among its creditors a long list of climate change- deniers and organizations. The precise amount that Peabody spent funding opposition to climate science was not revealed, but the creditors' list is a who's who of denialists.

There's Willie Soon, an astrophysicist who says climate change is caused by sunspots, not atmospheric carbon dioxide. There's the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, which produced a film claiming that increased carbon dioxide is good for plant life and thus good for the planet. There's Craig Idso, who claimed that carbon dioxide is the "very elixir of life. …

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