Shut up about the climate if you still eat meat

A global heatwave. Flooding in Cameroon, China, Germany, India, Niger, Nigeria and Turkey. Wildfires in Algeria, Canada, Greece, Italy and the U.S. An earthquake in Haiti. Seemingly, every day brings a new natural disaster. Consequently, every social media feed brings new posts from people “heartbroken” by the devastation — followed by posts of the burgers or pork chops they had for dinner.

On the front lines, here’s what the 7 stages of severe COVID-19 look like

I’m a respiratory therapist. With the fourth wave of the pandemic in full swing, fueled by the highly contagious delta variant, the trajectory of the patients I see, from admission to critical care, is all too familiar. When they’re vaccinated, their COVID-19 infections most likely end after Stage 1. If only that were the case for everyone.

How an encounter with humpback whales keeps me inspired in the climate change fight

As our boat slowly traversed a large channel south of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in southeast Alaska in June, my friends and I estimated that we were surrounded by more than 30 humpback whales. There was no wind. No other boats. The water was flat and calm with bright skies overhead. We cut the motor, floated and listened. Sound traveled easily. I could hear multiple blows — long “pa-too-ish” whale exhales — some close, some against the shore, all seemingly orchestrated. The surround sound of forceful explosions of air made it feel as if the Earth was taking a long restorative breath.

You can take this job and shove it

The pandemic disrupted many Americans’ work lives. Some of us — generally highly educated white-collar workers with relatively well-paying jobs — were able to shift to remote work. Millions of other workers, especially many poorly paid service workers, simply saw their jobs disappear when consumers stopped eating out and traveling.

Gig drivers deserve workplace rights

Tech giants like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash may soon be knocking on people’s doors — but it won’t be to deliver a meal or a ride. Instead, they’ll be asking for help in their effort to knee-cap protections for the gig workers they employ.

Needles and noses: Vaccines and masks are a must to beating COVID

Shifting away from his Afghan debacle, President Joe Biden on Wednesday went back to that other war, COVID-19, with a two-prong attack on the enemy: vaccines and masks. This fight cannot be victorious unless all Americans join together — so we urge Donald Trump, winner of 74 million votes, to be patriotic and get his booster shot before the cameras and urge his followers to follow him. He can even get Tucker Carlson to join him and call it a party.

All Cuomo probe witnesses have a right to speak, regardless of a stupid law

The damming report from New York’s attorney general on sexual harassment charges against Gov. Andrew Cuomo refers many times to the transcripts of the 41 people questioned under oath, a subset of the 179 witnesses interviewed in the probe. However, due to a likely unconstitutional aspect of the unusual New York State statute used in the investigation, Executive Law § 63(8), all of those 179 people are barred, under criminal penalty, from disclosing their own testimony. This isn’t right and must not stand.

Stopping the next mortgage meltdown

After the 2008 subprime mortgage meltdown tanked the U.S. and global economies, Congress wrote rules to stabilize the financial industry. But the mortgage market has changed radically since then, and the regulations that govern it haven’t kept up, creating a new house of cards that could easily collapse.

We need quicker tests to contain the delta variant

With the delta variant surging throughout the U.S., Biden administration chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci has advocated for more testing — including for the vaccinated. More testing is essential, but how we test is important, too.

Attempted coup show need for federal voting protection

It has been too easy to overlook the slow drip of new information about former President Donald Trump’s attempt to remain in office after being voted out, but make no mistake: This was an attempted coup. And it was thwarted, in part, by state laws that prevented politicians from overruling the voters.

The pandemic shows why counting global deaths is essential

The past 18 months have shown that accurately counting the dead is vital for protecting the living. At the outset of the pandemic, many countries lacked adequate registration systems, and others saw their processes break down under strain. This made it harder to track the spread of COVID-19 and deal with its consequences. Even in normal times, lack of data about deaths and their causes can seriously impede efforts to protect public health. Fixing this ought to be a global priority.

Americans make use of their religious freedom

The Public Religion Research Institute has released its latest snapshot of the American religious landscape with data from 2020. It shows that America is still majority Christian, and that, despite shrill voices of the most aggrieved, Americans broadly enjoy healthy religious liberty.