Weekend Reader for Sunday, Dec. 31

Weekend Reader for Sunday, Dec. 31

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."

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.

EU agrees new cars must be emissions-free after 2035

After over 16 hours of negotiations, the EU's environment ministers struck a deal to on proposed laws to combat climate change. From 2035 onward, only new cars and vans with zero CO2 emissions will be permitted.
Sunrise in the woods

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Japan ends coal plant financing in Indonesia, Bangladesh
flyingfabi/Flickr

Planned coal plants fizzle as Japan ends financing in Indonesia, Bangladesh

Two planned coal-fired power plants, one in Indonesia and the other in Bangladesh, have had their funding withdrawn by the Japanese government, as part of Tokyo’s decision to no longer bankroll coal projects in either country.

Cameroon reforestation
CIFOR/Flickr

Cameroon’s Nigerian refugees who degraded their camp are now vanguards of reforestation

Nigerian refugees and Cameroonian villagers are taking part in efforts to reforest the area around the Minawao refugee camp near the border between the two countries.

In West Virginia v. EPA, the Supreme Court will decide whether we act on climate change

The federal government’s authority to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions is at risk, as right wing Supreme Court justices rewrite American laws.

China’s battery king
Alex Berger/Flickr

The rise and precarious reign of China’s battery king

Zeng Yuqun is China’s most prolific battery billionaire. His ascent has major implications for a world increasingly reliant on electric vehicles.
Southern Ontario land use

Geoff dude/Flickr

Can Southern Ontario build housing while saving farmland?

Golden Horseshoe municipalities have until July 1 to produce a growth plan that looks to 2051. Doug Ford's government prefers single-family housing, but some cities and regions are resisting urban sprawl.

The battle against B.C.'s Site C dam is over

West Moberly First Nations reluctantly signed a settlement seven years into construction on the beleaguered hydroelectric project on the Peace River in northeastern B.C.

From our Newsroom
Global Warming: Why the problem is worse – and solutions simpler – than you thought

Global Warming: Why the problem is worse – and solutions simpler – than you thought

Noted ecologist John Harte offers a fresh take on the dire topic of climate change.

Colorado fracking

Colorado is the first state to ban PFAS in oil and gas extraction

The toxic “forever chemicals” are used in fracking wells across the country.

gun control

Peter Dykstra: Gun and climate change delusions

Millions here suffer from twin hallucinations: Guns don’t cause our mass shootings, and the climate isn’t changing.

Op-ed: An engine for social justice leads the way to change

Engine for social justice leads to change

Virginia Organizing's 27-year history as a role model for The Daily Climate

Using comedy to combat climate change

Using comedy to combat climate change

The Climate Comedy Cohort aims to help comedians infuse climate activism into their creative work.

roe v. wade

Derrick Z. Jackson: Roe v. Wade draft bodes ill for air, wetlands and the EPA

Justice Alito’s longstanding consistency in wanting to restrict EPA authority makes it transparent where he wants the court to go.

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