Weekend Environment Reader

Closing the climate talks, 'rays of light.'

The 23rd annual "Conference of Parties" (or COP23, in UN-speak) closed Friday with two key messages. more…

What Changed the World This Week

COP23: Is Germany losing its role model status on climate?

It looks like the country will miss the goals it pledged in Paris. Could a Jamaica coalition change that? more…

COP23: Should climate summits always happen in Bonn?

We ask delegates whether this year's co-hosting between Germany and Fiji has worked, or if it has amounted to mere tokenization. Could this set-up be replicated in the future? more…

‘Planet at a crossroads’: climate summit makes progress but leaves much to do.

The UN negotiations in Bonn lay the groundwork for implementing the landmark Paris deal, but tough decisions lay ahead. more…

Weathering the heat.

In the decades ahead, as temperatures rise and droughts intensify, Northern California's climate, vegetation, and wildlife may look more like Southern California does today. more…

In drive to cut emissions, Germany confronts its car culture.

Despite its green image, Germany is being held back by its national love of the gasoline-powered car. To truly transition to renewable energy, experts say, Germans must start moving beyond private autos and embrace new digitally-run systems of shared mobility. more…

Carbon emissions had leveled off. Now they're rising again.

There are many reasons, but the biggest is that China is burning more coal again. more…

Crews cleaning up Keystone Pipeline leak in Marshall County.

Crews are working to clean up a pipeline leak that has spilled at least 210,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota. more…

Climate civil war brewing at ALEC.

Members of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a heavyweight conservative policy organization, are feuding about their approach to climate change. more…

Climate change and water woes drove ISIS recruiting in Iraq.

Battered by shifting resources, desperate farmers were driven into terror recruiters’ clutches. Can it happen again? more…

Canada, U.K. team up in push to end coal-power use.

The two countries will launch an international alliance to phase out coal-fired electricity, signaling a sharp contrast to Donald Trump’s promotion of coal as an important global energy source. more…

Better soil could trap as much planet-warming carbon as transport produces.

Improving soil health in farmlands could capture extra carbon equivalent to the planet-warming emissions generated by the transport sector, one of the world's most polluting industries, experts said Tuesday. more…

'Political watershed' as 19 countries pledge to phase out coal.

A new alliance of 19 nations committed to quickly phasing out coal has been launched at the UN climate summit in Bonn, Germany. It was greeted as a “political watershed”, signalling the end of the dirtiest fossil fuel that currently provides 40% of global electricity. more…

UN Climate Fund promised billions to poor nations. For some, the wait is long.

The Green Climate Fund was meant to help developing countries tackle climate change, but many of the most vulnerable nations have not seen any grants. more…

Top Weekend News

Climate talks close with Trump administration on one track, world on another.

The world climate conference ended Friday much the way it began two weeks ago — with the Trump administration bolstering legacy fuels like coal and gas, separating itself from much of the world. NBC News

Highs and lows of the Bonn climate talks – in pictures.

The successes and disappointments this week in Germany, where the world’s nations gathered for the 23rd annual conference of the parties to prevent dangerous global warming. The Guardian

UN climate talks draw to a close as US holds firm on fossil fuels.

Delegates reported mixed progress in Germany, with the reemergence of divisions between rich and developing countries. France 24, France

This Week in Trump

Song, dance and protest at US energy talk at COP23.

The audience was standing-room-only because protestors wanted a full chorus in the room. Daily Climate

Trump's conflicting climate agenda.

Trump's team in Bonn has a point: Most studies show that without nuclear power and technology making fossil fuels much cleaner, it's nearly impossible to cut greenhouse gas emissions to levels scientists say we must at reasonable costs. Axios

Appeals court takes up youth climate change lawsuit against Trump.

A federal court will hear arguments on whether a novel global warming lawsuit that would pit the U.S. government against children can move to trial. InsideClimate News

Thousands of scientists issue bleak ‘second notice’ to humanity.

In a communique published Monday in the journal BioScience, more than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries assess the world's latest responses to various environmental threats. Once again, they find us sorely wanting. Washington Post

At UN Climate Conference, treading lightly around the Americans.

Delegates at climate talks in Bonn are keeping their opinions to themselves about President Trump’s vow to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. New York Times

Climate change denial or indifference are 'perverse attitudes': Pope.

Denying climate change or being indifferent to its effects are “perverse attitudes” that block research and dialogue aimed at protecting the future of the planet, Pope Francis said on Thursday. Reuters

4 big climate rules still alive under Trump.

President Trump has proudly declared the death of the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, but that and other climate rules are still lingering. ClimateWire

Trump adviser says past U.S. emissions a 'distraction' in fixing climate.

Many nations’ view that the United States should do more to fight climate change because it is the biggest historical emitter is a “distraction” from technological innovation, an adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday. Reuters

'Tobacco at a cancer summit': Trump coal push savaged at climate conference.

The US administration’s attempt to portray fossil fuels as vital to reducing poverty and saving US jobs is ridiculed in Bonn. The Guardian

Why I disrupted Trump's fossil fuel agenda at COP23: A young person's first-hand account.

I felt a personal responsibility to hold the United States government accountable for continuing to block progress on the Paris agreement via their ties to a small handful of fossil fuel billionaires. EcoWatch

Trump's 'energy dominance' transforms Alaska's future.

Senator Lisa Murkowski's committee is due to mark up her bill allowing exploration in the Arctic refuge's coastal plain. If the measure is approved by Congress, it would almost certainly be signed into law by the president. EnergyWire

These people think Trump is too liberal on climate.

Climate change skeptics are pushing the administration to reopen a major scientific finding. Washington Post

Why hasn't France succumbed to fake news? This guy.

In an era when facts and opinion have become jumbled, when “fake news” can mean a vicious hoax or simply a politician displeased by a particular story, it’s hard to cut through the static. OZY

Editor comments: This story has little to do with climate. And it's from July. But too much legit climate science is being labeled fake news. Fact-checkers are the heros we need right now. -DF

Opinions

We’re not even close to being prepared for the rising waters.

For the 10,000 years of human civilization, we’ve been blessed with a relatively stable climate, and hence flooding has been an exceptional terror. That blessing is coming to an end. Washington Post

3 things we learned at this week’s U.N. climate change meeting.

It's not clear who can fill the gap created by Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement. Washington Post

European banks are financing monuments to a bygone fossil fuel era.

A pipeline built this late in the climate game is not just a waste of money: it’s a horizontal monument to human folly, an ugly and ongoing danger. HuffPost

Let's stop debating climate change and start combating it.

With the news Tuesday that Syria has officially joined the Paris climate agreement, the United States, under President Trump, will stand as the lone dissenting country when diplomats gather in Germany this week to hammer out the details for implementing the accord. CNN

How a North Carolina meteorologist abandoned his climate change skepticism.

Tribal loyalty has no place in science, but reporters will inevitably confront such loyalties in their audiences. Columbia Journalism Review

"Keep it in the ground!" Red carpet is rolled-out for German Chancellor Angela Merkel at COP23 in Bonn.

This red carpet is less plush than ones typically rolled-out for dignitaries and celebrities. But, its texture is rich in the diverse colors of multihued cultures while issues of social, economic, and environmental justice are deeply woven into its moral fabric. HuffPost

Bigotry against indigenous people means we're missing a trick on climate change.

Traditional farming strategies could protect humanity against global warming and prevent deadly wildfires. Yet scientists seem determined to ignore them. The Guardian

Global climate action must be gender equal.

Women bear the heaviest brunt of global warming, and are less empowered to contribute to solutions. A new action plan agreed at the Bonn climate talks aims to reverse this inequality. The Guardian

Canada's most shameful environmental secret must not remain hidden.

Tar sands have been dubbed the largest - and most destructive - industrial project in human history. And Canada is on the forefront of their exploitation. The Guardian