Weekend Environment Reader

What Changed the World This Week

Climate deniers' eclipse viewing guide.


Science, schmience. Now the elitists want us to buy glasses. more…

PHOTOESSAY: Humanity's hand in shaping the Everglades.

Adam Nadel sought to photograph the reality of a region that has been shaped for generations by the lives and actions of humans. more…

Invasive lionfish may be superfish hybrids.

It’s been more than 20 years since one of the most destructive invasive species in history was released off the coast of Florida. Originally from the Indian and Pacific Oceans, predatory lionfish have invaded the western Atlantic Ocean, spreading from the American east coast through the Caribbean to southern Brazil, devastating coastal ecosystems with their voracious appetites. Now, new research has revealed that invasive lionfish are not quite what they seem. more…

Editor comments: Lionfish make their bid to be the baddest invasive species, but my favorite is still the brown tree snake of Guam -PD

How the U.S. Navy is responding to climate change.

Forest Reinhardt and Michael Toffel, Harvard Business School professors, talk about how a giant, global enterprise that operates and owns assets at sea level is fighting climate change—and adapting to it. more…

What we still don't know about the Sun.

When the Moon dims the Sun for a few minutes next week, scientists will get a rare view of our star. Studying an eclipse seems almost quaint — we have telescopes that continuously observe the Sun and NASA is sending a probe to it next year. What further knowledge can we gain? more…

Dick Gregory, 84, dies; found humor in the civil rights struggle.

Dick Gregory, the pioneering black satirist who transformed cool humor into a barbed force for civil rights in the 1960s, then veered from his craft for a life devoted to protest and fasting in the name of assorted social causes, health regimens and conspiracy theories, died Saturday in Washington. He was 84. more…

Editor comments: Dick Gregory was a consummate satirist who became prominent with the 1960's civil rights struggle, but he spent decades in support of environmental justice, environmental health, and climate change causes. pPD

Al Gore agrees: Climate change is like 'Game of Thrones.'

On Game of Thrones, King of the North and expert brooder Jon Snow has been spending his time trying to convince everyone that an army of frozen dead people are making their way downtown, walking fast, faces past, South-bound. more…

Trump to tap House Republican as NASA chief: report.

President Trump is close to tapping Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) to be NASA’s next administrator, the Houston Chronicle reported Thursday. more…

Trump says sun equally to blame for blocking moon.

Attacking the media for its “very unfair” coverage of Monday’s solar eclipse, Donald J. Trump said on Saturday that the sun was equally to blame for blocking the moon. more…

Editor comments: Now I just KNOW that EHN and Daily Climate readers are waaaayyy too smart to need this disclaimer, but here goes anyway:  Andy Borowitz is the house satirist for the New Yorker.-PD

What should you say to a climate change skeptic?

We asked climate scientists and communicators how to have constructive discussions about climate change. more…

In their own words: Oral histories of California farmworkers.

Journalist Gabriel Thompson collected the stories of 17 farmworkers who share the day-to-day struggles of life in the fields. more…

Bigger, hotter, faster.

The wildfires of tomorrow will be like nothing we’ve ever seen. But the debates they’ll spark have already been raging for more than a century. more…

Trump’s first list of science priorities ignores climate—and departs from his own budget request.

President Donald Trump has translated his campaign promise to “make America great again” into his administration’s first blueprint for federal investment in science and technology. more…

Canada's forests are burning, and the smoke is drifting into the Arctic.

Forests in Canada are ablaze, with 2.2 million acres going up in flames so far this year in British Columbia alone. These fires, and others in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, have been belching smoke into the air, in some cases up to 8 miles high. more…

Manchin rules out becoming Trump's Energy secretary.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is quashing speculation that he'll leave the Senate to become President Trump's Energy secretary. The Democratic senator, who is facing a tough 2018 reelection bid, said at a town hall that he would not be jumping to the Trump administration. more…

Editor comments: As we pointed out last weekend, this might have had huge repercussions -- Trump would get a pro-coal Democrat at DOE, and West Virginia would appoint a Republican to replace Manchin in the Senate-PD

How much should major polluters pay? A case against DuPont provides a model.

A biologist traced mercury from a company spill to contamination in songbirds, and devised a new way to hold polluters financially accountable. more…

Top Weekend News

Trump Interior moves to stop mountaintop removal study.

Trump administration officials have told the National Academy of Sciences to cease all work on a study of the public health risks for people living near mountaintop removal coal-mining sites in Appalachian. Charleston Gazette-Mail, West Virginia

Warming rivers threaten iconic Michigan fish.


A beloved, cold-loving state fish is in danger of overheating. Daily Climate

Federal fish policy a flop, study finds.

Canada has one of the world’s most robust wild-salmon conservation policies, but has largely failed to execute its plan even as many B.C. salmon populations have fallen into crisis, according to a new study. Vancouver Sun, British Columbia

What’s the buzz? Research could help bumblebees as well as California farms.

Researchers from the University of California, Riverside, are collecting bees to figure out what role climate change, poor nutrition and vulnerability to pesticides and parasites play in bee declines. Sacramento Bee, California

Researchers look to nanomaterials to clean air, water and land.

First explored for applications in microscopy and computing, nanomaterials — materials made up of units that are each thousands of times smaller than the thickness of a human hair — are emerging as useful for tackling threats to our planet’s well-being. Ensia

The world eyes yet another unconventional source of fossil fuels.

Vast quantities of methane hydrates — frozen deposits of natural gas on the sea floor — exist worldwide. But as experimental drilling moves forward, many experts question the wisdom of exploiting a costly, environmentally risky trove of fossil fuels that will accelerate global warming. Yale Environment 360

The fundamentalists holding us back from a climate change solution.

The evangelical Christian movement has been at war with environmentalism for decades—but the stakes have never been higher. Vice

This Week in Trump

Trump’s first list of science priorities ignores climate—and departs from his own budget request.

The memo lists five priority areas (in this order): military superiority, security, prosperity, energy dominance, and health. Each is prefaced by the word “American” in keeping with the administration’s approach to branding issues. Science

Undermanned EPA delays action on lead in drinking water.

Even after the Flint scandal reawakened the nation to the dangers posed by lead drinking water pipes, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency appears to be in no rush to strengthen federal health standards. Circle of Blue

Greens sue EPA over toxic chemical rules.

Several environmental groups sued the EPA on Monday over rules, published in July, that determine which uses of chemicals the agency will assess before allowing the chemicals to be sold on the open market. The Hill, District of Columbia

Trump to roll back Obama's flood standards for infrastructure.

President Trump will sign an executive order to roll back standards that demanded the federal government account for climate change and sea-level rise when building new infrastructure, the White House confirmed. New York Times

Climate advisory group died quietly.

A climate change science advisory group assembled by the Obama-era Interior Department is dead for now. If it's revived by the Trump administration, it will likely have a new mission. ClimateWire

Governor urges Trump to drop Virginia from offshore drilling plan.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe urged the Trump administration to exclude his state from a federal offshore oil and gas drilling plan, citing concerns about revenue sharing and environmental issues, in a letter that his office revealed on Thursday. Reuters

Trump has broad power to block climate change report.

The report poses a challenge to a White House that has been moving aggressively to reverse the Obama administration’s policies and rules on climate change. ProPublica

EPA plans to rewrite Obama-era limits for coal power plant wastewater.

The Environmental Protection Agency says it plans to scrap an Obama-era measure limiting water pollution from coal-fired power plants. Associated Press

The other terrible thing Donald Trump did yesterday, you know, besides the neo-Nazi stuff.

The ultimate head in the sand executive order. Mashable

Trump promised beautiful bridges and roads. Now he’s putting them in harm’s way.

He’s “throwing out any guarantee that our infrastructure will be safe.” Mother Jones

National parks put a ban on bottled water to ease pollution. Trump just sided with the lobby that fought it.

The Trump administration has ended a six-year-old ban on selling bottled water at some national parks that was aimed at easing plastic pollution and the huge amount of waste being recycled. Washington Post

Trump to reverse Obama-era order aimed at planning for climate change.

The White House says the new order will accelerate development, but environmentalists say it leaves the country more vulnerable to damage from rising seas and oceans. Washington Post

Trump orders faster permitting on infrastructure projects.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order to speed approvals of permits for highways, bridges and other major building efforts as part of his proposal to spend $1 trillion to fix aging U.S. infrastructure. Reuters

Trump signs order rolling back environmental rules on infrastructure.

In an explosive news conference overshadowed by questions about his response to a white nationalist rally over the weekend, the president said he was streamlining regulations in order to speed construction of infrastructure projects like roads and bridges. New York Times

Mom blames Anaconda soil for daughter's exposure to lead.

Montana Clean Air Coalition, held a press conference at a Berkeley Pit overlook to draw attention to what Trump’s proposed budget cuts – 31 percent from EPA and 30 percent from Superfund – could mean to the average Butte and Anaconda citizen. Butte Montana Standard, Montana


Trump’s attack on science isn’t going very well.

The first 200 days of the Trump administration have been marked by direct and consistent confrontations with the scientific community, and no area of science has been targeted more explicitly than climate science. Washington Post

Label salon products to disclose risks.

Imagine that your favorite hair product’s label read, “Warning: may cause infertility,” or listed “formaldehyde,” a cancer-causing embalming fluid, as an ingredient. San Francisco Chronicle, California

Should you trust climate science? Maybe the eclipse Is a clue.

Eclipse mania will peak on Monday, when millions of Americans will upend their lives in response to a scientific prediction. New York Times

Unleashing the transformative potential of an equitable economy.

While there is now widespread understanding that extreme income and wealth inequality is growing and has negative impacts on society, most proposed solutions fail to address deeper systemic drivers. Post Carbon Institute

Cheese powder and other hobgoblins: A double standard in risk reporting.

When a company claims its products are safe, journalists are rightly skeptical. Why do alarmist claims from environmental groups get a free pass? Undark

When and how will growth cease?

Since Earth and the resources it can provide humanity are finite, both population and economic growth must cease sometime in the future. MAHB

Why flooding in Nigeria is an increasingly serious problem.

Rainstorms are getting more intense, sea levels are rising and infrastructure can't cope. The Conversation

The Rising Storm: New book details connection between climate disasters, migration.

A new book on climate and migration predicts a future of "guards, guns and gates" unless we act soon. Texas Observer, Texas

Climate lessons from California.

The state faces big challenges but has also been particularly ambitious in its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. New York Times


Case for climate change grows ever stronger.

Scientists studying Earth's atmosphere and oceans are finding ever more troubling evidence. USA Today

New climate change report likely to be ignored to death.

The scientific argument about climate change is over. It’s silly to deny it. It’s shameful to know it and ignore it. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri

Help protect reefs by reporting coral bleaching.

Guam’s coral reefs are integral to our island’s marine ecology as well as to our tourism industry, and it’s vital that we all take steps to protect and preserve them. Agana Pacific Daily News, Guam