Peter Dykstra: Support your local enemies of the state

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This Tuesday, the 27th, is designated as Giving Tuesday. It's the day when we're encouraged, exhorted, and maybe a little guilt-tripped to support all manner of worthy causes.


This was a big year for journalists – the first full year of our presidential designation as Enemies of the State.

We're proud of what we do, and grateful that you read what we report and aggregate. It goes without saying that we feel our work on climate and environment is more important than ever with the Trump Administration hell-bent on dismantling environmental protection and denying basic science.

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Diluting the meaning of "toxics"

Oxford Dictionaries has named "toxic" as its official word of the year. We use it a lot in its original context – to identify a poisonous or harmful substance. But the real growth in use of the word has been as a metaphor – "toxic" relationships or "toxic" attitudes, like those that inspired the #MeToo movement.

Oxford reports a 45 percent increase in searches for the word. Environmental scientists and activists have labored for years to defeat the notion that "dilution is the solution to pollution." Now, it's the word "toxic" itself that faces dilution.

Didn't see that one coming.

Belated birthday wishes

Credit: Gage Skidmore/flickr

Last Thursday, Senator Jim Inhofe turned 84. I have a standing interview request with the Senator for Nov. 17, 2034, his hundredth birthday – he's an unusually youthful octogenarian, so he may make it.

At that time, I'm looking for a sit down to discuss how the Senator's climate "hoax" is going.

Zinke: Next to resign?

There's stiff competition on which Trump principal will go next: Chief of Staff Kelly? Homeland Secretary Nielsen? But for those who keep records on such things, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is another likely pick, with multiple ethics investigations underway.

Ronald Reagan's scandal-plagued EPA Administrator Anne Gorsuch Burford and Interior Secretary James Watt both made fairly quick exits – Gorsuch lasted two years, two months before spending more time with her family, including future Supreme Court Justice and son Neil. Watt made it two years, nine months.

Scott Pruitt bested the elder Gorsuch, exiting in a year and six months. If Zinke leaves any time before next October, Trump's environmental team will enjoy a clean sweep in the swampy Olympics.

Climate politics, Pogo edition

Will an old comic strip expression define upcoming global climate talks?

Is anyone really, truly surprised that President Biden's relatively ambitious plan to address climate change is being axed so quickly from his infrastructure package?

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