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Another rollback this week: A 2015 rule intended to help safeguard against oil train wrecks is rescinded by the Trump Administration.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

The next level in office amenities: wild horses

The mustangs at a Nevada office park are an example of the outrageous perks that businesses dangle to impress job candidates, but wildlife advocates are pushing back on efforts to market them.

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.

www.nytimes.com

John Kerry heads to China to talk climate

After contentious talks in Alaska, the visit by President Biden’s climate envoy could signal that the two countries are willing work together on some issues, even as they clash on others.
www.nytimes.com

This glacier in Alaska is moving 100 times faster than normal

The Muldrow Glacier, on the north side of Mount Denali, is undergoing a rare surge.
www.nytimes.com

New rule in cycling forbids the tossing of water bottles

Riders’ water bottles are treasured souvenirs among cycling fans. Cyclists are unhappy with a new rule that outlaws tossing them into the crowd.
www.nytimes.com

Biden wants world leaders to make climate commitments for Earth Day

The administration is closing in on deals with some close allies, but agreements with powers like China, Brazil and India are proving difficult.

For Mexico’s president, the future isn’t renewable energy — it’s coal

Mexico once embraced renewable energies. Now it's doubling down on dirty fossil fuels such as coal.

thewalrus.ca

The hidden cost of rechargeable batteries

A burgeoning lithium mining area in Quebec shows the complications of green tech.