Peter Dykstra: Support your local enemies of the state

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

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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.

newrepublic.com

The Socialist win in Bolivia and the new era of lithium extraction

An apparent victory for Evo Morales’s Movement Toward Socialism shows that tomorrow’s green energy won’t look much like the old oil empires.

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www.newyorker.com

How should the media talk about climate change?

Genevieve Guenther, a former Renaissance scholar, studies how we discuss global warming—and how we don’t.
www.newyorker.com

The West Coast wildfires are apocalypse, again

In a year of lost normality, the fires’ outlandish size and reach signal that normal is gone for good. Yet these fires are not the end of the world.
www.dw.com

Celebrity endorsement of environmental causes: Does it work?

Famous people are often lauded for using their public image to raise awareness of environmental issues and causes. But do these campaigns make any difference?
thenarwhal.ca

B.C. election: where the NDP, Greens and Liberals stand on climate and environment issues

As Sonia Furstenau's Greens pledge to end oil and gas subsidies and Andrew Wilkinson's BC Liberals promise to expand LNG, John Horgan's NDP sticks to the middle road.

news.mongabay.com

Deforestation threatens to wipe out a primate melting pot in Indonesia

An evolutionary crucible in Indonesia that's given rise to a unique array of primate is at risk of disappearing due to rapid deforestation, a new study warns.

news.mongabay.com

Fire burns Pantanal’s upland heart and threatens nature’s fragile balance

2020’s record Brazilian fires, which devastated the Pantanal wetlands, also reached the Amolar Mountains in recent weeks, a refuge for jaguars and other wildlife, and home to traditional Indigenous villagers.