San Bernardino Votes to Move Past Bankruptcy, Plus Pandas and the Finale to the Boiled Frog Saga

News from every corner of the world

Pandas at the former Wolong Panda Reserve in Sichuan Province, later destroyed in an earthquake. Were these pandas eating what they really liked? Read on to find out. (Reuters)

A harvest of updates:

- On Monday I described the choice that the city council of San Bernardino, California, faced in considering a plan to move out of its current bankrupt status. That evening, the council voted 6-1 to approve the plan. More coming up, on Friday, about people trying to improve prospects in the town. Congrats on this step!

- In our chronicles of Fresno, California, we’ve mentioned the role that Craig Scharton, publican of Peeve’s Pub, has played in trying to engineer Fresno’s downtown recovery. This week he spoke with the Downtown Fresno Blog about his experience in this past year of startup business in a challenging environment.

- Yesterday I made my case against Iraq war questions that begin, “Knowing what we know now …” Worthwhile extensions of this theme by Scott Lemieux and David Corn.

- In “Among the Pandas,” based on a trip to the Wulong Panda Reserve in China (since destroyed in an earthquake), I mentioned that pandas were famous for eating bamboo — but they didn’t really like it. Given their choice, they’d eat meat, or cake. Now a report from the world of science backs me up.

- In China Airborne and other writings, I mentioned that part of the marvel of today’s China is that its counterparts to the Wright Brothers, Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Chuck Yeager, Curtis LeMay, Neil Armstrong, and Jeff Smisek are all operating there at once. Here’s a story whose counterpart I see almost every week: another Chinese guy who dreamed of flying and built his own plane in his back yard.

- A different kind of marvel of today’s China is the existential-stake race between how dire its environmental situation is, and how hard various government agencies and private interests in China are scrambling to do something about it. An update, on whether China is at an environmental tipping point, from Ma Jun, roughly the Chinese counterpart to Rachel Carson.

- On environmental issues and the usefulness of the “boiled frog” metaphor, Joe Romm of Climate Progress has what even I consider the very last word. Congrats, and thanks.