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Another rollback this week: A 2015 rule intended to help safeguard against oil train wrecks is rescinded by the Trump Administration.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

Bill McKibben: Back to church, but not, let’s hope, back to normal

One way to think about this pause in our lives is as a rare—likely a once-in-a-lifetime—opportunity for a reset.

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.

Climate woes growing for women, hit by displacement and migration

Extreme weather and rising seas are increasing the burden of work, ill-health and violence faced by women who are forced to leave home or left behind as menfolk seek jobs elsewhere.

www.bbc.com

The law that could make climate change illegal

One of the most robust laws on climate change yet has been created in Denmark. Can legislation really make failing to act on climate change illegal?

Will climate change upend projections of future forest growth?

New research indicates that elevated CO2 concentrations do not necessarily boost forests and that higher temperatures could reduce tree growth.

www.nytimes.com

Trump administration signals formal withdrawal from W.H.O.

The Trump administration has formally notified the United Nations that the United States will withdraw from the World Health Organization. Health experts widely condemned the departure, which brings an end to threats President Trump had been making for months.

www.eenews.net

How Trump's 'energy dominance' backfired on an $8B pipeline

The legal and environmental troubles that helped doom the Atlantic Coast pipeline project have roots in the Trump administration's attempts to speed it up.

www.mic.com

60 percent of the fish we eat could face extinction thanks to climate change

Climate change is already leading to devastating floods, droughts, and the displacement of millions of people. And as the planet continues to warm, fish populations are poised to take a significant hit.

From our Newsroom

A fracking giant's fall

Chesapeake Energy was a fracking pioneer on a meteoric rise. Last week, it fell to Earth.

Our annual summer reading list, 2020 edition

EHN staff shares their top book recommendations for the summer.

Coronavirus is creating a crisis of energy insecurity

Fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has led to unpaid bills and energy shutoffs in many vulnerable US households. Indiana University researchers warn we need to act now to avoid yet another health emergency.

Ode to Jersey

From shark attacks to the "syringe tide"—a brief look at the highs and lows of New Jersey's environmental past.

The fallacy of “back to normal” thinking: Anne and Paul Ehrlich

The unscientific re-opening of the US is a blatant attempt to bolster the stock market in the short run rather than protect the long-term health of both our citizenry and economy.

Remembering Kirk Smith

Looking back at the life and achievements of the pioneering air pollution scientist.

The Daily Climate

Top news on climate impacts, solutions, politics, drivers.

Don't get left in the rain! Join our Daily Climate newsletter!