The Atlantic Daily: Enough to Fill 16 Trillion Bathtubs

Greenland’s ice is melting alarmingly fast. Plus: A Trump transition staffer argues for impeachment, a year in prison for the death of an endangered fish, and more

Redacted pages of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report (Reuters)

What We’re Following

Greenland Is Falling Apart

(Lucas Jackson / Reuters)

The Greenland Ice Sheet is falling apart. The mass of ice covering most of the surface of the world’s largest island is mind-bogglingly large, containing enough water to fill the Great Lakes 115 times over. But it’s melting—and quicker than scientists once thought. Since 1972, the ice sheet has lost enough water to fill up 16 trillion bathtubs, and about half that ice melted in the past eight years. That melting constitutes one of the most profound—and alarming—geological shifts of our time, since the wholesale collapse of the ice sheet would eventually raise global sea levels by as much as 25 feet.

Now that the Mueller report is out, what happens next? Some Democrats are making full-throated calls for immediate impeachment hearings, while others are shrinking away from the idea. But for the most part, House Democrats are calling for three things: the full, unredacted report, congressional testimonies by Attorney General William Barr and Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and more investigations in the House. President Donald Trump’s defenders are also calling for an investigation … into the origins of the Mueller probe, thinking it could perk up the president’s base heading into 2020. But J. W. Verret, a former Trump transition staffer, argues that the Mueller report is the tipping point that makes impeachment necessary.

Where are the complex portrayals of Muslim women in contemporary shows? While the new Hulu series Ramy, a broadly fictionalized version of the life of its star and co-creator Ramy Youssef, treats the men on the show—such as Ramy’s male cousin—as complex and fully fleshed-out characters, the women are more stunted and one-dimensional, argues Shamira Ibrahim. “Muslim women are indeed varied and complicated, but portraying them as largely absent of agency, or somehow wholly separate from the temptations or crises that Ramy himself navigates, excludes them from the modern Millennial existence in a way that rings false.” Read more about the show here.

Evening Reads

A Year in Jail for the Death of a Fish

(Luna Anna Archey / High Country News)

Nevada’s Devils Hole is the only breeding area in the world for the rare Devils Hole pupfish, and has seen dozens of trespassers through the decades, though such crimes have been difficult to properly investigate.

Then in 2016, one endangered pupfish was found dead in the pool, and a drunken skinny-dipper was caught on video.

On the afternoon of October 25, 2018, [Trent] Sargent stood quietly beside his lawyer in a Las Vegas courtroom as Judge Gordon handed down his sentence: a total of 12 months and one day—nine months specifically for his violation of the Endangered Species Act—in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Once he is released from the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center, Sargent must pay nearly $14,000 in restitution to the National Park Service, along with a $1,000 fine. He’s also forbidden to enter federal public lands for the rest of his life.

→ Read the rest

Parenting Like an Economist Is a Lot Less Stressful

(Mike Blake / Reuters)

The economist Emily Oster, the author of a new parenting book that tries to diverge from the usual “how to’s” of advice books in its genre, talks with Joe Pinsker about her approach:

Pinsker: I wonder whether the underlying problem is that there’s a disconnect between what parents’ end goals are and what research measures. Parents’ goals tend to be qualitative—they generally want to raise resourceful, well-adapted kids—and those are things that researchers would have a hard time quantifying.

Oster: Yes, it’s interesting, and I would take the problem even one step further. Even if your only goal is to optimize your kid on some measurable dimension and get them the highest score on whatever test researchers are using, the data isn’t really that good at helping you figure out which choices would do that, but you can take a further step back and say, Actually, my goal isn’t to have the kid with the highest IQ necessarily, but to have a kid who’s a happy, well-adjusted, productive person. So not only do we not know what does it—we don’t really know how to measure it.

→ Read the rest

Urban Developments

Photographing the Trumpian Urbanism of Atlantic City

(Brian Rose)

Our partner site CityLab explores the cities of the future and investigates the biggest ideas and issues facing urban dwellers around the world. Claire Tran shares today’s top stories:

President Trump’s Atlantic City properties employed more than 8,000 people at their peak in the 1990s, only to collapse by the 2000s. The photographer Brian Rose sees Trump’s trail of architectural and financial ruin there as a warning for the rest of the U.S.

Many cities have a huge, untapped source of new affordable housing: garages. This “almost invisible” solution could make a big difference, three urban-planning professors explain.

The first humans landed on the moon in 1969. Fifty years later, an architecture firm has released plans to build the first full-time human village there to “serve as a stepping stone to … Mars and beyond.”

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