Weekend Reader for Sunday, Dec. 24
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Weekend Reader for Sunday, Dec. 24

With political media focused on the Trump tax bill, rollbacks of US environmental law continue. And Canada does a very, very Trump-like thing.

We've got a joyous holiday mix of food, health, climate and toxics stories for you.


Must-read investigation: The Louisville Courier-Journal continues its dogged reporting on the state's beleaguered coal industry: A melting Arctic and delinquent children figure into a shadowy figure's global scheme to distribute coal.

Nothing to see here: Unhealthy food giants fund healthy food researchers. Malaysia boasts Asia's worst obesity problems. You'll never guess who holds many of the purse strings for its nutritionists. (NY Times)

Science, Schmience: The Interior Department slapped a harsh cap on the number of scientists attending the American Geophysical Union's annual meeting -- one of the top science gatherings each year. (Washington Post)

EPA's press office becomes a story in itself. Buzzfeed reports on how EPA's Press Office is a bit more like a political opposition research operation these days.

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, or none of the above, enjoy the weekend.

Top Weekend News

Big Oil's decades of denial: More first-rate reporting from Inside Climate News on the long, long history of science and politics abuse on climate issues from Big Oil and its affiliates.

Superfund sites swamped? The Associated Press reports that 300+ toxic Superfund sites could be underwater due to sea level rise and anticipated increases in severe storms.Home-grown wisdom:

EHN/Daily Climate founder Pete Myers on the history of endocrine disruption science -- discovery, harassment, vindication and more. The premiere Science History Podcast.

Atomic piling on? The Nuclear Regulatory Commission launched its own Clinton investigation this week. But not so fast.... this one's not about Hillary, but the Clinton Nuclear Plant, near Clinton, Illinois. (Daily Energy Insider)

Smoke sidelines seniors: A Harvard study links small amounts of air pollution to health problems in senior citizens. (EHN.org)

Running dry: The Palm Springs Desert Sun continues its first-rate reporting on western water issues with a look at the very dry future of the Colorado River.

Opinions and Editorials

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank, a harsh critic of the Trump Administration, writes that Puerto Rico has been victimized twice, first by Hurricane Maria, then by politics.

Ed Perlmutter on the newly passed and signed "tax reform" legislation could cripple government science.

An op-ed in the Ventura (Calif.) News-Star dares to state the obvious: Its fire-weary readership has an impact of climate change literally in the backyard.

This Week in Trump

EPA is suffering a brain drain, as scientists and technical experts depart the agency in droves.

The Interior Department has ordered a halt to a study of its agency covering offshore oil safety.

MSNBC's Chris Hayes comments on the paranoia of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Government agencies drastically reduced the number of personnel authorized to attend last week's American Geophysical Union annual meeting -- one of the most important earth science gatherings every year. America First? There are stories on both the Interior Department and the USGS slashing their numbers of attendees.

And Barry Myers, CEO of AccuWeather, is Trump's pick to head NOAA. Can he truly separate himself from a family business that at times has featured climate denial?

Ready for a little good news?

Science Daily reports on a study on improving fetal health among neighbors of closed coal power plants.

‘We’ve lost a year’: Political turmoil delays UK-Sahara energy link

An £18bn project to connect Britain with a huge wind and solar farm in the Sahara through an undersea cable has been delayed by at least a year because of political ructions in Westminster.

Sunrise in the woods

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Carbon removal is coming to fossil fuel country. Can it bring jobs and climate action?

Scientists have debated whether a new technology is a critical climate solution or would carry unacceptable risks. A project in Wyoming’s coal region could begin to provide answers.

'Agrovoltacis' in Israel's desert used to fight hunger

A unique project on a small piece of land in the desert of Israel could be a game-changer in the fight against world hunger and the consequences of climate change.

The COP15 UN conference in Montreal will be a massive moment for nature

One of the most important events for life on Earth, ever, is about to begin. This week and next, delegates from more than 190 countries will come together in Montreal, Canada, for a conference known as COP15, or the UN Biodiversity Conference, to hash out a plan to halt the decline of ecosystems, wildlife, and the life-supporting services they provide.

I lived through a year of 'weather whiplash' in our weird, warming world

After praying for rain for weeks, the US state that saw some of the year's biggest wildfires in 2022 found itself soon suffering a deadly deluge. Scientists say it could be part of a disturbing new normal.

Seaside homeowners may struggle to get insured due to climate change

Homeowners in Dublin's seaside towns have been warned that they will struggle to secure property insurance due to the impact of climate change.

America’s staggering food waste problem

We often toss food without thinking, but the waste has stakes for the environment, global food insecurity and for our wallets.

From our Newsroom
Europe forest

EU’s new climate change plan will cause biodiversity loss and deforestation: Analysis

In a plan full of sustainable efforts, the incentivizing of biomass burning has climate experts concerned.

United Nations climate change

Op-ed: It’s time to re-think the United Nations’ COP climate negotiations

Instead of focusing on negotiations, let the main event be information sharing, financing and partnerships that produce faster technological change.

population environmental

Op-ed: What the media gets wrong about the new world population numbers

The last time that we lived within the productivity limits of our planet was about 50 years ago — that is a problem.

katharine hayhoe

Peter Dykstra: Journalists I’m thankful for

My third annual list of the over-achieving and under-thanked.

sperm count decline shanna swan

A new analysis shows a “crisis” of male reproductive health

Global average sperm count is declining at a quicker pace than previously known, chemical exposure is a suspected culprit.

WATCH: The latest evidence of widespread sperm count decline

WATCH: The latest evidence of widespread sperm count decline

"Pregnant women, and men planning to conceive a pregnancy, have a responsibility to protect the reproductive health of the offspring they are creating."

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