Neonics v. birds; Elections have consequences; UN climate talks

Quite a week. The election gave hope for climate action, but science again showed we're playing a dangerous game with our environment. Here's what you need to know.



Pesticides are putting migratory birds 'on life support.'

EHN founder & chief scientist Pete Myers (and several readers, thank you!) underscore the importance of a study showing that neonicotinoid pesticides and chlorpyrifos, both widely used, interfere with bird orientation and feeding.

A key finding from the study, published online this week in the journal Nature:

These results suggest that wild songbirds consuming the equivalent of just four imidacloprid-treated canola seeds or eight chlorpyrifos granules per day over 3 days could suffer impaired condition, migration delays and improper migratory direction, which could lead to increased risk of mortality or lost breeding opportunity.

Canada's National Post has strong coverage: "Research shows common pesticides starve, disorient birds"

Saturday climate watch: COP23 in Bonn

The annual United Nations climate talks opened this week in Bonn, and for the first time in the quarter-century history of the proceedings, the United States did not set up a pavilion at the summit – the only developed country not to do so.

The talks aim to hammer out the "rule book" for the 2015 Paris Agreement, an accord signed by 195 countries including the United States that President Trump has vowed to abandon.

U.S. absence has left a vacuum at the talks, and plenty are speculating who will fill it.

A group of U.S. governors, mayors, university and business leaders – the We are Still In coalition – has stepped forward to show how Americans are still taking climate action, even if Uncle Sam isn't.

Led by California Gov. Jerry Brown and former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the group on Saturday released a report showing the breathe and influence of U.S. non-federal action on climate change.

You can catch the livestream here starting at 4p CEST/10a EST featuring authors who will describe the report's findings.

Other coverage:

Our sister site, The Daily Climate, has more stories.

Four good reads

Grab a coffee. Or bookmark these for later if Saturday's chores await:

1. When did lunch become so complicated? Hakai Magazine on seafood labeling: The ecolabel fable: Sustainable seafood programs can't guarantee ocean-friendly choices.

"The server at the sushi restaurant hands me the menu, and I'm hit with a wave of anxiety as I count four pages, printed front and back. I was hoping the menu would be as minimalist as the modern decor. I have only 45 minutes, and I'd like to enjoy a conversation with my husband..." (read more)

2. Good news on environmental and social justice. Next City: Transforming a Bay Area brownfield into a green jewel.

"The city of Richmond is emerging as a leader in sustainable redevelopment and in the process, preserving its past..." (read more)

3. The Atlantic on Flint, children's health and the lead crisis: The 'horrifying consequence' of lead poisoning.

"The devastating health consequences of this lapse are now becoming clear. A recent paper finds that the city's lead crisis may have sparked a drop in birth rates and a precipitous rise in miscarriages..." (read more)

4. Seven trends that could beat global warming. The Guardian: There is reason for hope.

"It does not need to be all bad news: A series of fast-moving global megatrends, spurred by trillion-dollar investments, indicates that humanity might be able to avert the worst impacts of global warming..." (read more)

Election aftermath

"A good night for climate action at the ballot box," report ClimateWire's Josh Kurtz and Benjamin Storrow. (Blue wave seen as a rebuke to Trump's climate views.)

Seattle P-I's Josh Connelly weighs in on the suddenly sour prospects for North America's largest oil-by-rail terminal. (A big defeat for Big Oil on proposed Columbia River terminal)

Lest we forget, NBC offers this retrospective on how much the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has changed in one year since Trump's election.

Saturday's headlines

Peak Pig: The fight for the soul of rural America. ​

Head's up: Join us Monday as we launch our month's long investigation, in partnership with North Carolina Policy Watch, into the rapid rise of industrial agriculture and its environmental and social justice impacts in rural America, particularly North Carolina's hog country.

We'll take you to the frontline in the countryside as we uncover what it means to be rural in an age of mega-farms.

EHN.org: Journalism that drives the discussion.

LNG gulf coast
Leo Dyson, a retired commercial fisherman. (Credit: Courtney O'Banion for the Louisiana Bucket Brigade)

LNG production comes with a price, Gulf Coast communities warn

US takes the global lead on liquid natural gas production and export, as economic promises and environmental worries collide.

This 2-part series was co-produced by Environmental Health News and the journalism non-profit Economic Hardship Reporting Project. See part 2 here.Este ensayo también está disponible en español
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
Plastics industry's recycling deception
Credit: MPCA Photos/Flickr

Plastics industry's recycling deception exposed

A new report uncovers decades of misleading claims by plastic producers about the viability of recycling, revealing it as a flawed solution for waste management.

Dharna Noor reports for The Guardian.

Keep reading...Show less
highway expansion climate concerns
Credit: Storm Crypt/Flickr

Rethinking highway expansion in the face of climate concerns

As the U.S. grapples with climate change, activists are challenging the traditional expansion of highways, highlighting the environmental and community impacts.

Shannon Osaka reports for The Washington Post.

Keep reading...Show less

Youth activists demand climate action at Biden's campaign headquarters

Young climate activists from the Sunrise Movement confront Biden's campaign team, demanding decisive climate action and a ceasefire in Gaza.

Keerti Gopal for Inside Climate News.

Keep reading...Show less
Plastics industry misinformation campaign
Credit: Louis Vest/Flickr

Plastics and education: a critical conversation unfolds in schools

Petrochemical conglomerates take to the classroom in a concerted effort to focus responsibility for plastic waste on the consumer while absolving industry.

Evan Halper reports for The Washington Post.

Keep reading...Show less

Rally for safer work conditions in Queensland

In Brisbane, thousands of construction workers demand improved safety measures following a colleague's tragic death.

Michael Rennie and Antonia O'Flaherty report for ABC News.

Keep reading...Show less
From our Newsroom
petrochemical shell pennsylvania plastic

Tracking petrochemical accidents across the US

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

petrochemical houston gulf coast

Lives “devastated’ by petrochemical industry pollution in Texas: Report

New analysis illustrates the climate, environmental, and human rights tolls linked to petrochemical production surrounding the Houston Ship Channel region.

LNG gulf coast

La producción de gas natural licuado tiene un precio, advierten las comunidades la Costa del Golfo

Entre promesas económicas y preocupaciones ambientales, Estados Unidos lidera la producción y exportación de gas natural licuado.

Ante la expansión del GNL en la costa del Golfo, la comunidad espera erigirse como un muro de contención

Ante la expansión del GNL en la costa del Golfo, la comunidad espera erigirse como un muro de contención

“La gente no sabe qué haríamos sin el petróleo y el gas. Esto nos sale muy caro”.

extreme heat

Op-ed: We are undercounting heat-related deaths in the US

Knowing how many people die or get sick from heat-related causes is essential for the policy arguments to equitably adapt to and mitigate climate change.

environmental justice

LISTEN: Idalmis Vaquero on turning community priorities into policies

“I wanted to find a way to connect the things I was learning in my classroom with the things I was seeing in my community.”

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