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Another rollback this week: A 2015 rule intended to help safeguard against oil train wrecks is rescinded by the Trump Administration.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

solar power schools

Solar power at Pennsylvania schools doubled during the pandemic

“If this growth continues, schools could set Pennsylvania up as a clean energy leader and not just the fossil fuels we’re known for.”

NORTH BRADDOCK, Penn.—On Wednesday evening, 10th grader Abby Wypych stood in front of Woodland Hills School District’s board and urged them to approve a feasibility study on installing solar panels.

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Pennsylvania’s top environmental regulator to step down

Pennsylvania’s top environmental regulator is stepping down. Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Patrick McDonnell oversaw the state’s effort to join a climate program targeting power plant emissions.

New Coalition MP was founding member of club promoting climate science denial

The new federal MP for the Queensland seat of Flynn was a founding member of a club formed to promote climate science denial, and was a signatory to an international statement claiming “there is no climate emergency”.

‘It seems this heat will take our lives’: Pakistan city fearful after hitting 51C

Muhammad Akbar, 40, sells dried chickpeas on a wheelbarrow in Jacobabad, and has suffered heatstroke three times in his life. But now, he says, the heat is getting worse.

Clean energy faces its latest test: Rising interest rates

Clean energy has managed to grow during a global pandemic, a hostile presidential administration and fierce competition from fossil fuels. Now, it faces the prospect of battling rising interest rates and a potential recession.

Texas could have foreseen 2021 cold-wave disaster, new study concludes

A warming climate hasn’t erased the risk of cold extremes, and the Texas power grid wasn’t prepared for the frigid blast that blanketed the state in February 2021. Will it be ready for the next one?

Aclima study shows Bay Area minorities breathe dirtier air

Finding the most polluted places in the San Francisco Bay area is simple, a new air quality analysis shows: Locate places where mostly Black, Latino, Asian and low-income residents live, and pay them a visit.

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