The Gall

A species of oak gall wasp I haven’t seen in Brooklyn: Spongy Oak Apple Gall Wasp (Amphibolips confluenta). This one, along with several others, was found in Dutchess Co. recently.
Here’s another I cut in half:
This tiny wasp lays its eggs on at least eight species of oak.

The IPCC’s latest report Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, is very, very, very bad. I suppose we can chalk it up to irony that this “atlas of human suffering” comes out in the midst of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The bloody connections between autocracy and petroleum are well established: Putin’s Russia is a petrostate, like Saudi Arabia, a regime of corruption and repression led by an assassin.

Meanwhile, Charles Koch, one of the major funders of the assault on American democracy, that Republican project that has worked hand-in-glove with Putin, is also a big supporter of a case now before the Federalist Society’s SCOTUS majority challenging the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gasses. We concentrate on the hidebound social politics of the Republican-dominated Supreme Court, but it is also of course profoundly reactionary across the board.

As a reminder: Charles Koch is a scion of oil and gas money. His father Fred was also a founder of the John Birch Society. Another oil man, Lyman Stewart, is largely responsible for funding the birth of Protestant fundamentalism in the US a century ago. These are examples of what was once called the “lunatic fringe,” but they have become the foundational base of the modern Republican Party. A party that condemned two of its members for investigating the Trumputsch in Washington, but won’t sanction three of its members for supporting the Hitler-friendly America First PAC meeting this past weekend.

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