Credit: The White House

Peter Dykstra: The Trump & Boris Show

Some new, lowbrow basic-cable comedy? Don't you wish.

There are President Trump's children: Eric, Junior, Ivanka, and the rest. Then there are his symbolic spawn, taking root in governments around the globe like a rejected sci-fi movie pitch.


When Queen Elizabeth II formally made Boris Johnson the newest British Prime Minister on Wednesday, he joined a growing list of "populist" new leaders whose collective rise bodes ill for a healthy planet.

Scott Morrison in Australia may not play the tyrant card, but he represents a turn toward coal-burning, climate change denial. Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines loom as a return to cold-blooded tyranny; Duterte is halfway into his six-year term in the Philippines, and has earned comparisons as "the Filipino Trump."

He's less of a full-throated eco-disaster than his Brazilian counterpart, but let's turn back the clock a bit. In 2013, Yeb Saño turned that year's U.N. climate conference on its emotional ear.

The youthful Saño was the chief Filipino climate delegate under President Benigno Aquino III, and he turned a normally tedious conference into a genuine crying jag with a speech about his nation's agony at the mercy of Typhoon Haiyan. The unprecedentedly strong storm killed at least 6,000 and displaced four million.

Saño left government for NGO work on climate. While Duterte hasn't leapt headlong into climate denial, he's resisted calls to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and even chided diplomats for "accomplishing nothing."

Bolsonaro has similarly earned "Brazilian Trump" comparisons, but the environment is taking the main hit. Illegal Amazon deforestation – already a crisis – is accelerating, while the Bolsonaro government is moving apace to legalize even more destruction.

In May, Australia's Scott Morrison rose to Prime Minister in what was dubbed "the climate election." The climate lost, and Morrison is pumping more Aussie coal into Asian exports to growing economies like China and India.

Boris Johnson's new cabinet reflects their boss: They're all over the map, from Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers ("action on climate change is vital") to Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg, who deploys denialist language like "climate alarmism." (Thanks to the sleuths Mat Hope and Richard Collett-White at DeSmogBlog UK for these.)

At a time when the world is in desperation for climate leadership, we're getting climate despots instead.

insideclimatenews.org

Nature is critical to slowing climate change, but it can only do so if we help it first

Biden's climate summit highlighted "nature-based solutions," but political and indigenous leaders agree native peoples should lead the way and researchers warn of pitfalls.

Get our Good News newsletter

Get the best positive, solutions-oriented stories we've seen on the intersection of our health and environment, FREE every Tuesday in your inbox. Subscribe here today. Keep the change tomorrow.

theconversation.com

Gabriel Filippelli: Biden's infrastructure plan targets lead pipes that threaten public health across the US

President Biden has proposed spending $45 billion to replace every lead water pipe and service line in the nation. A public health expert explains why he sees this as a worthwhile investment.
www.kbia.org

St. Louis And EPA leaders push for federal funding to update city's water system

St. Louis and Environmental Protection Agency officials are calling for the passage of President Joe Biden's jobs plan to help update the city's water treatment system to continue to provide safe drinking water.

www.sandiegouniontribune.com

San Diego County moves to organic waste recycling, adds other environmental measures

A plan to recycle yard and food waste was among several climate measures passed Tuesday, including sustainability planning and a native landscaping policy.

stateimpact.npr.org

Pennsylvania: Legislature revives effort to create special standards for conventional drillers

House Bill 1144 allows companies to spill up to five barrels of oil spills and up to 15 barrels of wastewater without reporting them to the state.
www.post-gazette.com

Allegheny County proposal would require polluters to reduce pollution during unfavorable weather

Allegheny County proposes new rules to limit industrial and residential air emissions during temperature inversions.

www.post-gazette.com

Former Hazelwood coke works being considered for green manufacturing plant

The former LTV Coke Works in Hazelwood is one of the sites under consideration for a manufacturing plant being proposed by Nexii Building Solutions, a Canada-based green technology company.