Today’s quick hits, January 16, 2020

Turning up the heat (New York Times): Researchers at NASA and NOAA confirmed Wednesday that 2019 was the second-hottest year on record, just slightly cooler than 2016 and the capstone of the warmest decade in history.

Sustainable skyscrapers? (Vox): A trendy new building material is becoming popular for sustainable construction in the United States: wood. Cross-laminated timber is said to equal or exceed the performance of concrete and steel, and could reduce construction’s carbon footprint.

Judge upholds foie gras ban (HSUS): A U.S. district court judge ruled against the latest challenge to California’s ban on the sale of foie gras, saying a lawsuit by producers failed to bring new arguments to the issue.

Tough times for desert tortoises (KUNC): As the climate turns hotter and drier, desert tortoises in the U.S. Southwest are running out of water, while development, including solar farms, is reducing their habitat.