Weekend Reader for Sunday, Dec. 10

Weekend Reader for Sunday, Dec. 10

Assault on public lands; One more thing Roy Moore denies: climate change; California continues to burn.

A busy week for Trump rollbacks, wildfires, and more. Get your essential news here.



Top Weekend News

As the Trump Administration continues to roil in its own self-made conflicts and the #metoo movement turns over new victims and perps every day, even other vital stories fall somewhat silent. North Korea? Far more lost in the turmoil are the never-ending environmental rollbacks and setbacks, and the growing impacts of climate change on "natural" disasters.

China, U.S. headed in opposite directions on environment: China may have a long, long way to go on environmental enforcement, but they're cracking down on additional dangerous pesticides, just as the U.S. heads in the other direction. (Bloomberg BNA)

California continues to burn: Climate Central's John Upton looks at how wildfire-related health risks last far beyond the last ember. This piece ran earlier in the year, but the most recent California fires are a good reason to revisit.

A must-read with a long list of must-reads: From Science Friday, authors Deborah Blum and Maria Popova offer their list of best science books of 2017. (NPR, Science Friday)

This Week in Trump

While many key appointments to federal agencies and departments go unfilled, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is at full strength -- all the better to approve multiple pipeline and energy grid proposals. (Associated Press)

The Washington Post reports that a uranium mining firm may have influenced the Trump Administration's effort to greatly reduce the size of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.

Another rollback this week: A 2015 rule intended to help safeguard against oil train wrecks is rescinded by the Trump Administration. (Oregonian)

Opinions and Editorials

A strong New York Times editorial condemns not only the Trump Administration, but congressional and corporate players in Utah for an assault on public lands.

US Senate candidate Roy Moore will find out on Tuesday whether multiple allegations of sexual misconduct and child molestation will ruin his campaign. But back in 2009, he pulled out all the standard climate-denial myths in an op-ed piece. (WorldNet Daily)

The world watches in nervous horror as Kim Jung Un and Donald Trump trash-talk their way closer to nuclear war. Ira Helfand a leader of two different peace groups that have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, has some suggestions for avoiding nuclear destruction. (cnn.com)

On this week's Living On Earth, Peter Dykstra and host Steve Curwood discuss Don Blankenship, the ex-coal-baron and felon who wants to put the "con" back in "Congress." (PRI's Living On Earth)

Musical Interlude

Hard to believe this song is twenty-one years old, but it's tragically appropriate this week: The Hills of Los Angeles are Burning, by the band Bad Religion.

This Week in Denial

Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe get the nod for the Stupidest Thing I've Ever Heard In My Life Of The Week®: Amid all the signs of climate peril in the high Arctic, he found one sign of climate benefit. So everything's going to be just fine.

All the news isn't bad

Ms. Smith goes to Washington? A scientist prepares to dive into electoral politics. Not a candidate endorsement, but acknowledging science values in politics is surely a change. (Fast Company)

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From our Newsroom

Californians living within miles of oil and gas wells have toxic air

"For many years, communities have been complaining about how oil drilling in their neighborhoods is harmful. Now we have numbers to back that up."

LISTEN: Carlos Gould on global energy poverty and indoor air pollution

"Air pollution affects a number of health outcomes, but for children in particular those impacts are so severe."

Diesel trucks are causing environmental injustice across US cities

Using satellite data, researchers found that poor communities of color are highly exposed to toxic nitrogen dioxide pollution, largely due to diesel truck traffic.

LISTEN: Alaskan quietude

"Both people who are new here or people who have been here for many, many years ... have an appreciation for the quietude."

Ocean plastic pollution

Too much plastic is ending up in the ocean — and making its way back onto our dinner plates.

Peter Dykstra: The other destructive Columbus

The role of past Secretaries of the Interior in ravaging the West.

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