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.

environmental justice

LISTEN: Ana Baptista on supporting environmental justice movement building in academia

“Some of the best relationships have been built over that time where you’re just getting to know each other, showing up, being present.”

Dr. Ana Baptista joins the Agents of Change in Environmental Justice podcast to discuss supporting environmental justice movements from within academia.

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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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Op-ed: “Plastic People” — A documentary that changed my view on plastics

Op-ed: “Plastic People” — A documentary that changed my view on plastics

AUSTIN, TX — At SXSW, a new documentary highlighted the harmful effects of plastics on human health and opened my eyes to this widespread crisis.

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Texas explores mini nuclear reactors as a power solution

In an ambitious pivot from traditional energy sources, Texas, led by Gov. Greg Abbott, is investigating the potential of small nuclear reactors to provide reliable, pollution-free power.

Emily Foxhall reports for The Texas Tribune.

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DOE sets course for offshore wind's integration with national grid

In a move to fortify the U.S. power supply, the Department of Energy outlines a strategy for connecting offshore wind farms to the country's electric grid.

Heather Richards reports for E&E News.

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Rising sea levels and sinking lands: a looming challenge for US coastal cities

In a recent study, Virginia Tech researchers uncover that sinking land, coupled with rising sea levels, threatens to flood 24 U.S. coastal cities by 2050, impacting half a million residents.

Moriah McDonald reports for Inside Climate News.

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Berkeley reverses its ban on natural gas in new homes after a legal setback

Berkeley, California, has agreed to repeal its pioneering ban on natural gas hookups in new homes, a move that casts doubt on similar bans across the country.

Brad Plumer reports for The New York Times.

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From our Newsroom
petrochemical shell pennsylvania plastic

Shell must seek a new air pollution permit for its Pennsylvania plastics plant

For nearly a year and a half the company has been operating under a construction permit. Now, the plant will be subjected to federal Clean Air Act laws.

LNG Gulf Coast pollution climate

Op-ed: For environmental groups, Biden’s LNG decision cause for celebration – and caution

“It's a fight for our health and the health of our environment.”

petrochemicals Texas

Toxic air lingers in Texas Latino community, revealing failures in state’s air monitoring system

Public data from a network of state air monitors around the Houston Ship Channel is hard to interpret and is often inadequate, leaving Latino-majority neighborhoods like Cloverleaf unaware of whether the air they breathe is safe.

petrochemicals Texas

El aire tóxico en una comunidad latina de Texas revela los fallos del sistema estatal de control de calidad del aire

Los datos públicos de una red de monitores estatales del aire alrededor del Canal de Navegación de Houston son difíciles de interpretar y a menudo son insuficientes, dejando a vecindarios de mayoría latina, como Cloverleaf, sin saber si el aire que respiran es seguro.

pipeline protest

Protesting oil and gas line development harms mental health and creates distrust in government: Study

“The number of stress-activated health conditions people reported was quite staggering."

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