Weekend Reader for Sunday, Dec. 31

Weekend Reader for Sunday, Dec. 31

The most breathtaking evidence yet that the Swamp isn't being drained; Trump gets climate science wrong, again; Looking back at 2017, and looking ahead at more of the same for 2018; A perfect ending to a surreal 2017.

Top Weekend News

Optimism for 2018? If that's what you're after, for goodness sake, don't look here. The implosion of U.S. environmental politics in 2017 is likely to worsen in 2018. But there are some hopeful signs on the horizon.


Recycling turmoil: The always-volatile recycling industry is coping with its latest setback: China, a primary destination for U.S. recyclables, is banning import of "foreign waste.

Texas Tea's mood swings: Big-brain piece by Lawrence Wright in the New Yorker on whether Texas can break its boom/bust dependency on Big Oil.

Today's Climate must-read: How climate deniers game the system at Google to make science-free stories and diatribes show up at the top of your climate search results.

Opinions and Editorials

From fast-growing southwest Florida, the Naples Daily News counts up the progress and setbacks on the environment.

An energy Industry observer says 2018 is the pivotal year for solar versus coal. One one will emerge at year's end as a global leader.

Bloomberk.com weighs in on a rarely-asked, all-important question: Can the public handle the truth on the environment?

This Week in Trump

Several reasons for hope in 2018 U.S. environmental policy. But many more for despair. Many EHN and Daily Climate readers contact us, asking if we can publish more good news. Well, here it is for 2018 -- but it's still overwhelmed by the likelihood of bad news in U.S. environmental policy and politics. Just sayin'.

This, IMHO, is no way to drain a swamp. Albert Kelly is a longtime associate of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. The FDIC slapped the Oklahoma banker with a heavy fine and effectively banned him from any involvement with the banking industry again. Pruitt rewarded his old crony with the chairmanship of an EPA task force to "streamline" the perpetually controversial Superfund program. The story is brought to us by Sharon Lerner, a superb muckraker for The Intercept.

A Zinke joyride? A Newsweek investigation has raised questions about Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke using scarce wildfire funding for non-essential helicopter travel.

Perfect Ending to a Surreal Year

I'm from Jersey, and yes, I actually have a Cousin Vinny. But a more famous Vinny from Jersey schooled the President on climate science.chooled the President on climate science. Vinny Guadagnino, former cast member from MTV's "Jersey Shore," set things right when Trump Tweeted that last week's cold and snowfall in the Northeast bolstered his longstanding claim that climate change is a hoax.

Trump's fellow reality TV star responded in a Tweet that global warming "has to do with disruptions of atmospheric conditions, ocean patterns, jet streams, and shit like that."

Fossil fuel plant releasing air pollution
Photo by Ella Ivanescu on Unsplash

Climate change linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular issues, including death

Exposure to environmental stressors related to climate change - such as extreme weather and high temperatures - is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a review of 492 studies published in JAMA Cardiology.
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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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geoengineering research
Credit: VectorMine/BigStock Photo ID: 436555070

UChicago’s climate initiative explores controversial solar geoengineering

The University of Chicago has launched a Climate Systems Engineering initiative, aiming to explore solar geoengineering, despite the controversial nature and potential risks of the field.

Jessica McKenzie reports for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

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Most marine protected areas fail to offer true protection

A new study reveals that the majority of the world's largest marine protected areas (MPAs) fail to implement effective conservation measures, allowing destructive activities to persist.

Bing Lin reports for Inside Climate News.

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George Woodwell obituary
Credit: Woodwell Climate Research Center

George Woodwell, climate change pioneer and ecologist, passes away at 95

George Woodwell, founder of the Woods Hole Research Center, whose influential work shaped U.S. environmental policies, died at 95.

Keith Schneider reports for The New York Times.

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The world sets new record for fossil fuel use in 2023

Despite the rise of renewable energy, global fossil fuel consumption hit a record high last year, pushing CO2 emissions to more than 40 gigatonnes.

Jillian Ambrose reports for The Guardian.

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Pilgrims in Saudi Arabia die during Hajj amid intense heat

Hundreds of pilgrims died during this year's Hajj in Saudi Arabia due to extreme heat, with officials remaining silent on the death toll and causes.

Samy Magdy reports for Associated Press.

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The oil and gas industry’s radioactive problem: Q&A with Justin Nobel

The oil and gas industry’s radioactive problem: Q&A with Justin Nobel

“Of all the levels of radium in produced water or brine around the world that I’ve looked at, I have encountered none that are consistently as high as what comes out of the Marcellus Shale.”

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