The Rundown

Meat Factory Dead Zones Are Wiping out Sea Life in the Gulf of Mexico

Your daily guide to what’s working, what’s not and what you can do about it.
August 2, 2017, 3:15pm

Meat Consumption's Larger Death Toll: The global meat industry has had a crippling effect on the environment due to greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation. A new report from Mighty, a global environmental group, shows that toxins from manure and fertilizer are polluting waterways in the Gulf of Mexico creating "dead zones." The pollutants cause slimy green algal blooms that suck up the oxygen in the water and make it impossible for underwater life to survive.

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The size of the dead zone spans 8,200 square miles, which is about the size of New Jersey. This dead zone may be the largest ever recorded, pending an analysis from the National Ocean Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). According to the report, the main culprits are the giants of factory farming such as Tyson Foods. Many believe the only way to curb the problem is to limit meat consumption, but given America's zombie-like hunger for flesh, who knows when that will happen. Power to the people: Organizer and educator DeRay McKesson -- known for his contributions to the Black Lives Matter movement -- stopped by the set of VICELAND's Desus & Mero to talk about his podcast, Pod Save the People, and his experiences in political activism. During his chat with the hosts, McKesson touched on racial injustices that fly under the radar of the mainstream media and some run-ins with former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Watch the full show and keep up with other Desus & Mero guests.

Stars and barred: The creators of HBO's Game of Thrones have drawn the ire of the internet after announcing their latest project Confederate, which is set in a dystopian future where the South won the Civil War. Critics have called the concept offensive for fetishizing the portrayal of slavery, especially in a current political climate where overt racism has become more common. In response, during the latest episode of Game of Thrones, Twitter users posted protests with the hashtag #NoConfederate. The outcry prompted the network to issue a defensive response. Whether or not HBO will yield to the public's demands remains to be seen, but audiences have had the power to influence media representation to more culturally sensitive in the past.

Reductive Action: The Trump administration, through Jeff Sessions' Justice Department, is exploring the possibility of taking affirmative action admission policies that supposedly discriminate against white applicants. Affirmative action is a federal policy that levels the playing field for underrepresented communities in college admission processes. In 2016, the Supreme Court upheld affirmative action as necessary and without prejudice, but, the atmosphere surrounding the decision and the continued existence of the program might drastically change under Trump.

Clean energy shift: The Navajo Nation is moving from fossil fuels to solar power with the closure of a coal plant in 2019. Leaders of the Navajo Nation have invested in the Kayenta Solar Project, located in northeastern Arizona.

The new clean energy initiative will provide more than 7,000 homes and a population of 200,000 people. Former employees of the coal powered Navajo Generating station could find future jobs in the solar project and other clean energy developments on the reservation.