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.

pipeline protest
Protesters rallying in opposition to the PennEast pipeline. (Credit: Delaware Riverkeeper Network)

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."

PITTSBURGH — Engaging in public participation during permitting for oil and gas pipelines often harms mental health and creates distrust in government, according to a new study.

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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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petrochemicals Texas
Cristina Lazo starts the daily routine of washing her daughter Alina’s hands, changing clothes and rubbing an ointment on her irritated eyes after coming home from the outside. (Credit: Danielle Villasana for The Texas Tribune)

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

This project was created through the Altavoz Lab Environmental Fellowship in partnership with Environmental Health Sciences and received additional funding from the Pulitzer Center. It was co-published by The Texas Tribune, Environmental Health News and palabra.

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Maryland hesitates on cutting subsidies for trash incineration, sparking debates

In Maryland, discussions intensify over ending subsidies for trash incineration, with advocates urging action before a legislative deadline.

Aman Azhar reports for Inside Climate News.

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GOP's climate change stance remains largely symbolic

As the climate crisis commands global attention, a narrative surfaces every so often about Republicans' purported shift toward environmental action. Yet, despite the creation of entities like the Conservative Climate Caucus, substantial action remains elusive, signaling more of a strategic rebranding than a genuine pivot.

Kate Aronoff reports for The New Republic.

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Rethinking Pennsylvania's hydrogen hub and its public backlash

In a sharp rebuke to Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro's support for a federally-funded "hydrogen hub," activists, led by Delaware Riverkeeper Maya van Rossum, demand more community engagement, raising concerns over environmental and health impacts.

Kiley Bense reports for Inside Climate News.

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A struggle for heat safety in Florida's diverse workforce

In Florida, the fight to protect everyone from the lethal consequences of extreme heat gains ground and faces setbacks.

Nate Rosenfield reports for Grist.

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From our Newsroom
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.

Global Plastic Treaty

This will be a big year in shaping the future of chemical recycling

The controversial practice looms large in state environmental laws, federal regulation and global plastic treaty negotiations.

plastic chemical recycling

What is chemical recycling?

While industry claims it could be part of a circular plastics economy, experts say that chemical recycling is extremely damaging to the environment and provides no real benefits.

algoma steel sault pollution

Cleaner steelmaking can’t come fast enough for this Northern Ontario city

Algoma Steel continues to exceed Canada’s standard air pollution limits for cancer-causing compounds and struggles with spills as it pushes toward a “green” makeover.

petrochemical shell pennsylvania plastic

Tracking petrochemical accidents across the US

A new database monitors fires, flares, spills and other accidents at petrochemical plants.

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