Weekend Reader for Sunday, Jan. 14

Weekend Reader for Sunday, Jan. 14

Salmon stress on two fronts; more rollbacks from a Very Stable Genius; Nuclear for climate? Research from 56,000 dog years ago.

Even though President Trump enjoyed his brisk schedule of watching Fox & Friends and tweeting their news coverage, deriding other news outlets and investigations as part of a massive hoax, insulting large groups of people and sovereign nations and playing an absurd amount of golf for a guy with a big job, his team has plenty of time to stage the purge of environmental law and regulation. (Plenty more on that below.)


Rains came to California, and the hills of Los Angeles stopped burning. In Santa Barbara, the rains soaked fire-stripped hillsides, and the hills went to town. Mudslides brought death and destruction, as Nature fulfilled the fire->rain->mudslide cycle.



Top Weekend News

The Food and Environment Reporting Network (FERN) has a strong piece from an unexpected place. Smithfield Foods, long an environmental black-hat for its factory hog farms, is working on some solutions. And check out EHN's recent series, Peak Pig.

This week, two pieces of news mark the plight of salmon in the Pacific Northwest: Science Magazine covered a study on the narrowing genetic diversity of chinook salmon. And NPR reports that a pesticide that Obama's EPA tried to rein in is doing damage to salmon in Northwest waterways.

Bears Ears get lopped, Navajos cringe, uranium miners cash in: The Trump Administration's drastic shrinkage of the new Bears Ears National Monument angered environmentalists and Navajo neighbors, but could be a windfall for uranium miners who have had their eyes on the land for a long time.

And on MLK Day, Rep. John Lewis, an enduring link to the peak days of the Civil Rights Movement, will join the NAACP in launching a wind and solar campaign. They see clean energy as a human right.

And just what did Trump do this week?

The EPA is considering reversing a 2015 rule that set an age limit on farmworkers' use of pesticides. The current age limit is 18, but younger teenagers could be exposed to farm chemicals should this happen.

Tell me something I didn't know: The Washington Post's Chris Mooney on how, under Trump, coal is losing out to natural gas. Just like under Obama. Thanks, Obama!

Search for the least appropriate environment officials continues: Kathleen Hartnett White, who built a reputation as a foe of environmental regulation and science, scores a key nomination as Trump's environmental advisor.

Opinions and Editorials

Bloomberg has an anti-coal, pro-nuke editorial on battling climate change.

Has there been a greening of Christianity? With the exception of the current Pope, few signs point to yes.

Meteorologist Eric Holthaus sees a need for environmentalists to embrace nuclear power as a climate solution.

Klein opines: New York City may be on the verge of fossil fuel divestment. Naomi Klein says that would have been unheard of five years ago.

Care for a little good news?

An obsolete coal plant along the Delaware River was converted to natural gas. A study says that pregnant Moms downwind in New Jersey showed health benefits. So did their kids.

And finally, News for Dogs

Archaeologists have discovered what are believed to be the oldest images of dogs from a site in Saudi Arabia. The rock wall etchings are estimated to be 8,000 years old. Or, if you're a dog, 56,000 years old.

climate change plastic
Credit: UNEP

Op-ed: Ending toxic threats to Alaska from plastics and petrochemicals

An ambitious Plastics Treaty that controls plastic production and eliminates the use of toxic chemicals would begin to rectify the environmental injustices experienced by Indigenous Peoples.

Flames, belching smoke, and black carbon in the sky—on nights when I (Rosemary) saw 20 or more flares, I knew sick people would be coming.
Keep reading...Show less
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
Keep reading...Show less

Global climate impacts are set to drastically reduce average income levels by 2050

A new study reveals that by 2050, global incomes will decrease by almost 20% on average due to severe climate impacts, which will cost significantly more than proactive measures to limit temperature rises.

Jonathan Watts reports for The Guardian.

Keep reading...Show less
Biden's Arctic policy curbs drilling
Credit: JLS Photography - Alaska/Flickr

Biden's Arctic policy curbs drilling and blocks road construction

President Biden curtails fossil fuel extraction in Alaska, aiming to preserve the region's pristine habitats.

Maxine Joselow reports for The Washington Post.

Keep reading...Show less

New rule prioritizes conservation on US public lands

A new rule introduced by the Biden administration aims to balance conservation with economic activities on America's public lands, enhancing protections and sustainable use.

Catrin Einhorn reports for The New York Times.

Keep reading...Show less
Deepwater Horizon oil spill
Credit: Florida Sea Grant/Flickr

The lasting impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill on marine life

A recent expedition to the Gulf of Mexico has revealed ongoing environmental damage from the Deepwater Horizon disaster, showing little signs of recovery for the marine ecosystem.

Xander Peters reports for Hakai Magazine.

Keep reading...Show less

Impact of climate change on Indigenous communities documented in global study

Indigenous and local communities' firsthand experiences with climate change are vividly detailed in a new extensive study.

Sonam Lama Hyolmo reports for Mongabay.

Keep reading...Show less
From our Newsroom
New EPA regulations mean a closer eye on the nation’s petrochemical hub

New EPA regulations mean a closer eye on the nation’s petrochemical hub

Houston’s fenceline communities welcome stricter federal rules on chemical plant emissions but worry about state compliance.

plastic composting

Bioplastics create a composting conundrum

Biodegradable food packaging is a step in the right direction, experts say, but when composted carries risks of microplastic and chemical contamination.

plastic treaty

Groups push Biden administration to take leadership role at upcoming plastic treaty talks

The US has taken a “middle of the road position” so far, environmental groups say.

chemical recycling Youngstown

Listen: Why communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia are fighting chemical recycling plants

EHN reporter Kristina Marusic discusses her new three-part series on the controversies surrounding chemical recycling.

chemical recycling

Latest chemical recycling plant closing spurs concern over the industry’s viability

Oregon’s Regenyx plant announced its closing in late February, with those involved calling it a success, despite never reaching planned capacity and millions of dollars lost.

plastic treaty

Everything you need to know for the fourth round of global plastic pollution treaty talks

Countries will meet this month in Ottawa to move forward on the historic treaty — but obstacles remain.

Stay informed: sign up for The Daily Climate newsletter
Top news on climate impacts, solutions, politics, drivers. Delivered to your inbox week days.