Weekend Reads: Big Bird Puppet Masters, Green Jobs for Ex-Cons, Mosquitos: to Kill or Not to Kill?
Four #greenreads to peruse in the H&R Block waiting room.
 

Reared by Puppets
When the California condor population fell to just 22 birds in 1987, conservationists took drastic measures to save the species, collecting every last wild condor and bringing them to the Los Angeles and San Diego zoos for breeding. The birds got to it. Problem is when they released the next generation into the wild, these scavengers had lost their wild ways. You see, instead of their real parents teaching them proper condor conduct, puppets had raised the chicks, with human hands pulling the strings. As Lizzie Wade explains, puppets blur lines between nature and artifice, and these birds were something of both. Aeon

How Politics Makes Us Stupid
We live in the Information Age, but is all that information making us less informed—especially when our political affiliations mess with our reasoning skills? Ezra Klein applies this theory to hot-button issues like climate change. Why when presented with overwhelming, objective evidence that carbon dioxide is altering the atmosphere would an otherwise intelligent person deny it? Well, it may all come down to not wanting to betray our tribes and jeopardize our social rankings. Just imagine what would happen to Fox News pundit Sean Hannity if suddenly he saw the scientific light? Seriously, imagine it ... it's fun. Vox

The Redeemers
Electronics consumers around the world generate at least 20 million tons of “e-waste” each year. The United States contribution is more than half of that giant collective heap of wire, plastic, and precious metals. And as you might guess, just a small portion of that high-tech trash is recycled in our country. But Lynell George tells the story of one woman and her team of previously incarcerated individuals who are helping change that. Because electronics need second chances at life—and so do people. OnEarth

Blue Bloods
The earliest horseshoe crab fossils are about 485 million years old, long before the first land animals began walking the Earth. But thanks to habitat destruction and humanity's taste for horseshoe crab soup (well, some humans anyway), the species is in trouble. Every spring, what remains of these relics from the Paleozoic Era come ashore on the eastern coasts of North America and Asia to make more crabs. On a moonlit night in New York City, Ian Frazier heads to the beach with scientists and volunteers to help the arthropods find amore. The New Yorker

Tired of Reading Yet? Listen to This.

Die, mothersuckers, die...: Mosquitos have been the cause of one half of all human deaths since the Stone Age. In light of that, might us humans want to exterminate these disease-ridden bloodsuckers for good—an intentional extinction, if you will? C'mon, we know you've thought it ...
WNYC Radiolab

Tips: @OnEarthMag (tag it #greenreads)

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