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Another rollback this week: A 2015 rule intended to help safeguard against oil train wrecks is rescinded by the Trump Administration.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 protesters in Australia face harsh new penalties
www.nytimes.com

Climate protesters in Australia face harsh new penalties

As of April, people in New South Wales who disrupt business activities can face up to two years in prison. Some climate activists say this law is aimed at them.
Sunrise in the woods

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EPA retains tools to cut power sector GHG emissions despite Supreme Court curbing its authority: attorneys
www.utilitydive.com

EPA retains tools to cut power sector GHG emissions despite Supreme Court curbing its authority: attorneys

However, the court’s use of the “major questions doctrine” indicates challenges to future regulations are likely, according to lawyers.

Peter Dykstra: American Invasive Species Hall of Fame, part 2

Sequels are rarely as good as the original. But here are five more invasive species for the American Invasive Species Hall of Fame.

You can see last week’s first five here.
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Biden releases five-year offshore leasing plan Friday

Biden releases five-year offshore leasing plan Friday

President Biden’s administration opened the door Friday to offshore oil and gas drilling in federal waters over the next five years.
Meat, monopolies, mega farms: how the US food system fuels climate crisis
www.theguardian.com

Meat, monopolies, mega farms: how the US food system fuels climate crisis

From a beef-heavy diet to growing crops that don’t feed people – the biggest challenges facing the agriculture industry
Mustafa Santiago Ali:  Supreme Court's Clean Air Act decision weakens EPA, worsens injustice
www.usatoday.com

Mustafa Santiago Ali:  Supreme Court's Clean Air Act decision weakens EPA, worsens injustice

This grievously wrong decision should be understood first and foremost as a clarion call and invitation for action.
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