Nov. 19 Weekend Reader: Bonn, Fukushima, Trump and more Trump

Today: Interior Secretary under scrutiny; New Zealand's brilliant idea-- or not; a dissenting view on Thanksgiving.

EHN's "Peak Pig" series explores hog factory farms' pollution, politics, and even a few solutions.


Hog farms, hog politics, and the hogs themselves are bigger than ever. We explore the pollution nightmares and political pull built into our ham, sausage and bacon.

The difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius could mean life or death for the low-lying Marshall Islands. (PBS Frontline)

In the seminal 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate, the world committed to holding global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius by 2100--but also "pursuing efforts to limit" warming to 1.5 degrees.

Reuters investigation finds nearly 4,000 sites with lead levels double those of Flint

This data allows the public its first hyper-local look at communities where children tested positive for lead exposure in recent years.

Top weekend news

New Zealand's war on rats could change the world

The nation wants to eradicate all invasive mammal predators by 2050. Gene-editing technology could help—or it could trigger an ecological disaster of global proportions.

Interior Dept. Inspector General: Zinke failed to provide papers in travel probe

"Our investigation has been delayed by absent, or incomplete documentation for several pertinent trips," Mary Kendall, the department's deputy inspector general, said in a letter sent this week to David Bernhardt, the department's deputy secretary.

Can carbon dioxide removal save the world? (New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert)

CO2 could soon reach levels that, it's widely agreed, will lead to catastrophe.

Head of Puerto Rico's power authority resigns after Whitefish debacle (Vox)

Ricardo Ramos, who had been the executive director of PREPA since March, became a "distraction" from the island's efforts to rebuild after the Hurricane Maria disaster, Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said a press conference on Friday.

Top opinions and perspective

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Trevor Huxham/Flicker

Stop the assault on U.S. national monuments (Baltimore Sun editorial)

There is no broad public mandate for reducing the size and scope of U.S. national monuments or opening them up to commercial activity. There simply isn't.

The Trump climate agenda relies on manufactured reality (Think Progress commentary)

What happens when Trump Administration's America First agenda spills over into the environment?

Living on Earth: Beyond the Headlines

Peter Dykstra returns to discuss with host Steve Curwood news of the severe air pollution that blankets India's capital Delhi, and the exit of a major coal mining company from the coal business.

Nuclear war doesn't seem so funny after all (NY Times op-ed from Britt Peterson)

In January, I started writing a novel in which a 10-kiloton nuclear bomb was detonated in the center of Washington, where I live. It was meant to be funny.

News that changed the world

North Carolina's two GOP Senators announce opposition to EPA chem safety nominee. (Associated Press)

If these two conservatives oppose Michael Dourson for his chemical industry ties, his nomination is in serious trouble. Dourson's research clients included Dow Chemical, Koch Industries, and Chevron Corp.


What's behind monarch's late 2017 migration? (Yale Climate Connections)

Summer chills and winter warmth are seen leading to monarch butterflies' latest mass southbound migration since early 1990's.

Two 'rays of light' as the Bonn climate talks closed. (EHN.org)

We published a quick read on the wrap-up of the UN climate talks in Bonn.

This week in Trump

Trump reverses ban on importing elephants killed as trophies. (Associated Press)

Threatened species implications aside, there's something bizarrely symbolic about Trump advocating the killing of his party's own mascot.

Trump's shark fin soup dinner leaves conservationists jawing.

President Trump was served and ate shark fin soup, considered a major cause of endangerment of several shark species.

A look ahead at next week...

With Congress on vacation and a short week for most US government agencies,it should be a slow week for rollbacks of environmental laws and policies; Nations leave the Bonn climate talks with some optimism, despite the status of the US as the world's only climate holdout.

Tweet of the week

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