Weekend Reader for Sunday, Dec. 10

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Another rollback this week: A 2015 rule intended to help safeguard against oil train wrecks is rescinded by the Trump Administration.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

Climate change affects nutrient cycles in Alpine ecosystems

A recent study reveals that climate change is severely disrupting nutrient retention in alpine ecosystems, particularly impacting the nitrogen cycle vital for plant and soil health.

Moriah McDonald reports for Inside Climate News.

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Senator Whitehouse & climate change

Senator Whitehouse puts climate change on budget committee’s agenda

For more than a decade, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse gave daily warnings about the mounting threat of climate change. Now he has a powerful new perch.
Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way
Coast Guard inspects Cameron LNG Facility in preparation for first LNG export in 2019. (Credit: Coast Guard News)

Amid LNG’s Gulf Coast expansion, community hopes to stand in its way

This 2-part series was co-produced by Environmental Health News and the journalism non-profit Economic Hardship Reporting Project. See part 1 here.Este ensayo también está disponible en español
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Biden announces $7 billion for solar energy in low-income communities

President Biden's new initiative allocates $7 billion to support solar energy in underprivileged areas, aiming to reduce energy costs and emissions.

Syris Valentine reports for Grist.

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Legal complaints against university fossil fuel investments filed in the US

Students at Columbia, Tulane and the University of Virginia have legally challenged their universities' investments in fossil fuels, claiming these are illegal and breach institutional obligations.

Dharna Noor reports for The Guardian.

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Navajo nation takes on energy disparity with solar initiatives

In an effort to combat long-standing energy inequities, Navajo Nation organizations are employing solar energy to bring power to off-grid homes for the first time.

Ginger Zee, Daniel Manzo, Kelly Livingston and Kelly Landrigan report for ABC News.

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New methods aim to enhance the ocean's ability to capture carbon dioxide

Researchers and startups are developing innovative marine carbon dioxide removal techniques to increase the ocean's carbon absorption capabilities. However, doubts about its potential impacts remain.

Andrew S. Lewis reports for Yale Environment 360.

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California close to wrapping investigation on Exxon's role in plastic pollution

California's Attorney General announced an impending decision on potential legal actions against Exxon Mobil Corp over its role in global plastic pollution.

Valerie Volcovici reports for Reuters.

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