Weekend Reader for Sunday, Dec. 10

A busy week for Trump rollbacks, wildfires, and more. Get your essential news here.


Top Weekend News

As the Trump Administration continues to roil in its own self-made conflicts and the #metoo movement turns over new victims and perps every day, even other vital stories fall somewhat silent. North Korea? Far more lost in the turmoil are the never-ending environmental rollbacks and setbacks, and the growing impacts of climate change on "natural" disasters.

China, U.S. headed in opposite directions on environment: China may have a long, long way to go on environmental enforcement, but they're cracking down on additional dangerous pesticides, just as the U.S. heads in the other direction. (Bloomberg BNA)

California continues to burn: Climate Central's John Upton looks at how wildfire-related health risks last far beyond the last ember. This piece ran earlier in the year, but the most recent California fires are a good reason to revisit.

Ms. Smith goes to Washington? All volcanologists have to go uphill. But can this one bring science and logic to Congress? (Fast Company)

This Week in Trump

While many key appointments to federal agencies and departments go unfilled, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is at full strength -- all the better to approve multiple pipeline and energy grid proposals.

The Washington Post reports that a uranium mining firm may have influenced the Trump Administration's effort to greatly reduce the size of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.

Another rollback this week: A 2015 rule intended to help safeguard against oil train wrecks is rescinded by the Trump Administration.

Opinions and Editorials

A strong New York Times editorial editorial condemns not only the Trump Administration, but congressional and corporate players in Utah for an assault on public lands.

US Senate candidate Roy Moore will find out on Tuesday whether multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and child molestation will ruin his campaign. But back in 2009, he pulled out all the standard climate-denial myths in an op-ed piece.

The world watches in nervous horror as Kim Jung Un and Donald Trump trash-talk their way closer to nuclear war. Ira Helfand a leader of two different peace groups that have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, has some suggestions for avoiding nuclear destruction.

Musical Interlude

Hard to believe this song is twenty-one years old, but it's tragically appropriate this week: The Hills of Los Angeles are Burning, by the band Bad Religion.

This Week in Denial

Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe get the nod for the Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard In My Life Of The Week®: Amid all the signs of climate peril in the high Arctic, he found one sign of climate benefit. So everything's going to be just fine.

www.freep.com

Report: Climate change 'threat multiplier' on Detroit River, Lake Erie

Climate change "amplifies the threat of other threats" along the vital water corridor, said John Hartig, a visiting University of Windsor scholar.

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e360.yale.edu

As Miami keeps building, rising seas deepen its social divide

Ignoring sea level rise and intensifying flooding, Miami has continued to build luxury real estate near the water at a rapid pace. But as developers eye higher ground, communities of color will likely bear the heaviest burden from the changes wrought by climate change.
www.nytimes.com

Denver wants to fix a legacy of environmental racism

Historically, trees and city parks in America go to wealthy, white neighborhoods. Now, a program in Colorado’s capital is trying to correct that injustice.
www.nature.com

Arctic science cannot afford a new cold war

As Russia prepares to take the helm of the Arctic Council, polar communities need regional powers to forge warmer ties.
www.nytimes.com

A surprise in the presidential debate

The questions Mr. Wallace asked about climate change were pointed and specific, though the answers were less so.

www.pittsburghcurrent.com

Larry J. Schweiger: Controlling climate pollution in Pennsylvania

Anyone witnessing record-breaking fires, unprecedented floods, and droughts can see we are facing a climate crisis.

Zimbabwe: Rural women adopt small grains to mitigate climate change effects

Grappling with hunger and food insecurity is one of the major challenges that global communities, and Zimbabwe in particular, have been experiencing since the 1990s.