FROM Matt Kempner
Fires, Drought and Our Role in the Destruction They Cause After a year with almost no rain in Southern California, almost a million people have been forced from their homes in just four days. The National Climate Data Center has reported that 43% of the country is in condition of moderate to extreme drought. Although California's wildfires and evacuations have dominated this week's news, on the other side of the country, there's a kind of slow-motion disaster that has Georgia, Alabama and Florida competing for a dwindling supply of water. It's also hotter and drier than usual in Minnesota, the North East and the Mid-Atlantic. Is it a spell of strange weather or long-term climate change? Is it caused by global warming? Will industry, agriculture and residential development have to change to ward off future disaster?
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.