A Mammoth Undertaking: During a TV appearance today, Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, rejected the scientific consensus that human-generated carbon dioxide causes global warming. His statements were incorrect, but they’ll nevertheless spur political debate over climate change that could slow the campaign to stop it. But over in Siberia, two scientists are making a radical new effort in that arena: To slow the thawing of Arctic permafrost, they’re resurrecting an Ice Age ecosystem—complete with lab-grown woolly mammoths. Watch a video about Pleistocene Park here.
The political drama hit French screens in late February, just two months before the country chooses a new president. The debate stems from a supporting character named Agnes Dorgelle (Catherine Jacob), a blonde leader of a far-right party associated with nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment, much like the real-life politician and presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen.
Members of Le Pen’s party, the National Front, were quick to denounce the film sight unseen. … The reviews in the French critical community were … solid but not stellar, much like the first international reactions. … Many of these reviews, however, haven’t really tackled some of the most pressing questions the film has raised. Is This Is Our Land actually anti-National Front? Could it potentially influence the elections? And how does it fare as a snapshot of where French politics are today?
Our partner site CityLab explores the cities of the future and investigates the biggest ideas and issues facing city dwellers around the world. Adam Sneed shares three of today’s top stories:
It’s a tough time for Uber: PR crises, shaky financials, and activist campaigns to get users to delete the app. Still, the company isn’t doomed—but cities can expect to benefit from its empowered competitors.
With the Rust Belt’s decades-long slump, some urban policy professionals are focusing on helping cities manage the ways they’re dying off. But there’s one big problem: If you plan for decline, that’s exactly what you’ll get.
Next time you hear a politician say they want to drain the swamp, set the record straight: Washington, D.C., quite simply was not built on a swamp.
Spencer Clements captured this view over Magdalena, New Mexico, while “my wife Bonnie and I were flying from Winnipeg to Puerto Vallarta for a five-week stay in Bucerías”:
I never get tired of peering out the window to look at the fascinating topology of the surface of our planet. (And, after all, how many humans in the history of our species have had the opportunity to enjoy the unique perspective of gazing down from miles above?) We passed over ND, SD, CO, and NM on our way, watching the snowy plains transition to mountains and then desert on our trip over the USA.
See many more photos across the country here, and send us your own via email@example.com (guidelines here). Following this one from New Mexico, only four states remain of the 50: Connecticut, Georgia, Mississippi, and North Dakota.
Over in the TAD group today, Sophie Gilbert—our former Culture editor and now full-time writer—had a robust discussion with readers about pop culture. Sophie asked, “What kind of stories are you most interested in? Which ones recently have had the most impact on you?” A reader replied:
I’m most interested in the rise of the Golden Age of television and how it corresponds as a forum that is telling richer, character-driven stories that aren’t simple coming-of-age dude stories. I’m also super interested in the way wardrobe and makeup is used to add to narrative these days, particularly after Mad Men (e.g. Tom and Lorenzo’s epic Mad Style blogging). Also, the staying power of crime procedurals and how they have or haven’t changed with the changing reality of the world—and with that, I think of Law and Order SVU’s essential documentation of how we talk about sexual assault and how it’s changed (also the only time they portray fat women or men is if they are villains, not as victims). Finally, why don’t we have a 24 or other terrorism-driven show about white nationalist or homegrown terrorists?
Sophie responded in part:
Totally agree. Did you see the study I wrote up a while back showing that watching SVU makes people better educated about sexual assault? (Watching CSI does the opposite.) TV matters. It shapes how people think about the world. That’s why representation is so important.
As many of you helpfully pointed out via email, the newsletter dated March 8, 2017, contained a typo of historic proportions: It was the Romanovs, not the Romans, whose empire fell 100 years ago. Our apologies for the error.