Weekend Environment Reader

What Changed the World This Week

Climate deniers' eclipse viewing guide.


Science, schmience. Now the elitists want us to buy glasses. more…

VIDEO: New South Pacific garbage patch could be bigger than Mexico.

A research team has discovered a garbage patch in the South Pacific Ocean estimated to be bigger than Mexico. CNN's Lynda Kinkade reports on the efforts to stop ocean pollution. more…

PHOTOESSAY: Humanity's hand in shaping the Everglades.

Adam Nadel sought to photograph the reality of a region that has been shaped for generations by the lives and actions of humans. more…

The perils of pesticide drift.

Chemical spraying misses its mark with alarming frequency, and neighboring farms—especially organic ones—often pay the price. Luckily, hope is in the air. more…

'Superbugs' surging in Brazilian lakes, rivers, seas.

A new study, to be published in November in the journal Science of the Total Environment, found that the waterways in Brazil’s two biggest cities have become “major sources of multidrug-resistant bacteria,” reports SciDev.Net. more…

Invasive lionfish may be superfish hybrids.

It’s been more than 20 years since one of the most destructive invasive species in history was released off the coast of Florida. Originally from the Indian and Pacific Oceans, predatory lionfish have invaded the western Atlantic Ocean, spreading from the American east coast through the Caribbean to southern Brazil, devastating coastal ecosystems with their voracious appetites. Now, new research has revealed that invasive lionfish are not quite what they seem. more…

Editor comments: Lionfish make their bid to be the baddest invasive species, but my favorite is still the brown tree snake of Guam -PD

EXCLUSIVE: India threatens Philip Morris with 'punitive action' over alleged violations.

The Indian government has threatened Philip Morris International Inc (PM.N) with "punitive action" over the tobacco giant's alleged violation of the country's anti-smoking laws according to a letter sent to the company by the health ministry. more…

How the U.S. Navy is responding to climate change.

Forest Reinhardt and Michael Toffel, Harvard Business School professors, talk about how a giant, global enterprise that operates and owns assets at sea level is fighting climate change—and adapting to it. more…

What we still don't know about the Sun.

When the Moon dims the Sun for a few minutes next week, scientists will get a rare view of our star. Studying an eclipse seems almost quaint — we have telescopes that continuously observe the Sun and NASA is sending a probe to it next year. What further knowledge can we gain? more…

Dick Gregory, 84, dies; found humor in the civil rights struggle.

Dick Gregory, the pioneering black satirist who transformed cool humor into a barbed force for civil rights in the 1960s, then veered from his craft for a life devoted to protest and fasting in the name of assorted social causes, health regimens and conspiracy theories, died Saturday in Washington. He was 84. more…

Editor comments: Dick Gregory was a consummate satirist who became prominent with the 1960's civil rights struggle, but he spent decades in support of environmental justice, environmental health, and climate change causes. pPD

Al Gore agrees: Climate change is like 'Game of Thrones.'

On Game of Thrones, King of the North and expert brooder Jon Snow has been spending his time trying to convince everyone that an army of frozen dead people are making their way downtown, walking fast, faces past, South-bound. more…

Trump to tap House Republican as NASA chief: report.

President Trump is close to tapping Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) to be NASA’s next administrator, the Houston Chronicle reported Thursday. more…

How deeply will rising temperatures cut into crop yields?

Corn and wheat are both at risk, according to a new study that calculates the impact on agriculture for each degree Celsius that global temperatures rise. more…

Trump says sun equally to blame for blocking moon.

Attacking the media for its “very unfair” coverage of Monday’s solar eclipse, Donald J. Trump said on Saturday that the sun was equally to blame for blocking the moon. more…

Editor comments: Now I just KNOW that EHN and Daily Climate readers are waaaayyy too smart to need this disclaimer, but here goes anyway:  Andy Borowitz is the house satirist for the New Yorker.-PD

What should you say to a climate change skeptic?

We asked climate scientists and communicators how to have constructive discussions about climate change. more…

Lawsuit claims Poland Spring water isn't from a spring.

Is your bottle of Poland Spring water really from a spring? A lawsuit filed in federal court in Connecticut earlier this week alleges it isn't, calling the Nestle-owned brand label that reads "100% Natural Spring Water" a "colossal fraud." more…

American infrastructure at its worst.

Lewis Black takes a closer look at how Americans are dealing with an increase in roadways that need repair, broken-down public transportation systems and sinkholes. more…

In their own words: Oral histories of California farmworkers.

Journalist Gabriel Thompson collected the stories of 17 farmworkers who share the day-to-day struggles of life in the fields. more…

Trump's National Park Service ends ban on disposable water bottles.

The federal government announced Wednesday it will eliminate a policy that allowed national parks like the Grand Canyon to ban the sale of bottled water in an effort to curb litter. more…

At Bundy Ranch trial, questions on guns and violence.

The trial over a 2014 showdown raises issues about the right to bear arms and assemble. more…

Editor comments: At a time when it's easier than ever to lose focus, hats off to HCN for maintaining focus on this past and future flashpoint for western lands issues.-PD

Top Weekend News

17 million in US live near active oil or gas wells.

More than 17 million people in the United States live within a mile of an active oil or natural gas well, according to a new study. Daily Climate

These infections are likely to get worse as the climate changes.

A European study recently took a broad look at what kind of microorganisms are most likely to be affected as climate change heats, cools, dries, and wets the world around us. Invisiverse

‘Not one drop’ of Poland Spring bottled water is from a spring, lawsuit claims.

A class-action suit filed against Nestle also says 'the famous Poland Spring in Poland Spring, Maine, which defendant’s labels claim is a source of Poland Spring Water, ran dry nearly 50 years ago.' Washington Post

Did McClellan Air Force Base poison their water? Lawsuits revive neighborhood fears.

The Air Force has consistently denied that toxins have escaped the base boundaries and contaminated drinking water supplies. Sacramento Bee, California

Brown's tunnels could start in 2018, and delta farmers say they'll be devastated.

The governor's $17 billion project recently got a big boost from the feds and two state approvals. But it also threatens a 150-year-old farming region. East Bay Express, California

Does 'sustainability' help the environment or just agriculture's public image?

Big food companies like Walmart want farmers to reduce greenhouse emissions from nitrogen fertilizer. But the best-known program to accomplish this may not be having much effect. All Things Considered, NPR

East Bay oil terminal expansion stokes fears of air and water pollution .

Environmentalists say the Phillips 66 marine terminal plan also could lead to the refining of dirty tar sands oil in the region. East Bay Express, California

Scotchgard chemical ails fish where tannery scraps litter river.

Industrial chemicals once used to manufacture the iconic Hush Puppies shoe brand may be contaminating the Rogue River in an area where leftover leather from a demolished tannery litters the riverbank above the Rockford dam. MLive Detroit, Michigan

This Week in Trump

EPA welcomed industry feedback before reversing pesticide ban, ignoring health concerns.

Before the Environmental Protection Agency issued its March 29 decision to reverse a proposed ban on the pesticide chlorpyrifos, the agency considered information from industry groups that wanted to keep it on the market, according to internal agency documents. The Intercept

Shrink this national monument in the Mojave Desert? Conservationists are appalled.

When the sun goes down over the Cadiz Dunes, the fading light turns the rippled sand a brilliant orange that glows against a backdrop of jagged mountains and purple sky. These majestic dunes are a central piece of Mojave Trails National Monument, which President Barack Obama established 18 months ago in the heart of the Mojave Desert. Palm Springs Desert Sun, California

Editor comments: It seems the only way to get the President interested in protecting a monument is to put it on the back of a Confederate Army horse.  -PD

E.P.A. promised ‘a New Day’ for the agriculture Industry, documents eeveal .

E.P.A. Promised "a New Day" for the agriculture industry, documents reveal. New York Times

Trump Interior moves to stop mountaintop removal study.

Trump administration officials have told the National Academy of Sciences to cease all work on a study of the public health risks for people living near mountaintop removal coal-mining sites in Appalachian. Charleston Gazette-Mail, West Virginia

Trump's day of doom for national monuments approaches.

Created by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the Cascade-Siskiyou monument protects Oregon’s extraordinary biodiversity, from butterflies to trout. But a Trump review threatens to open the landscape to the timber industry. The Guardian

Trump’s first list of science priorities ignores climate—and departs from his own budget request.

The memo lists five priority areas (in this order): military superiority, security, prosperity, energy dominance, and health. Each is prefaced by the word “American” in keeping with the administration’s approach to branding issues. Science

Undermanned EPA delays action on lead in drinking water.

Even after the Flint scandal reawakened the nation to the dangers posed by lead drinking water pipes, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency appears to be in no rush to strengthen federal health standards. Circle of Blue

National parks put a ban on bottled water to ease pollution. Trump just sided with the lobby that fought it.

The Trump administration has ended a six-year-old ban on selling bottled water at some national parks that was aimed at easing plastic pollution and the huge amount of waste being recycled. Washington Post

Under Trump budget, Florida water could get a lot dirtier.

Florida stands to lose up to $600 million that over the last five years has helped keep beaches poop-free, cleaned up pollution from old chemical spills and tracked leaks in thousands of underground storage tanks. Miami Herald, Florida

Pruitt stars in industry video promoting WOTUS repeal.

U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt appears in an agribusiness video urging farmers and ranchers to comment on the proposed repeal of the Obama-era Clean Water Rule, promoting the rollback of a regulation that he sued to stop as Oklahoma attorney general. Greenwire


Can low doses of chemicals affect your health? A new report weighs the evidence.

Increasing evidence suggests that even low levels of “endocrine disrupting chemicals” can interfere with hormonal signals in the body in potentially harmful ways. more…

How Trump is enabling famine.

The president’s love for the despotic regimes of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates is perpetuating the crisis. more…

Is your sunscreen poisoning the ocean?

Even in minute doses, a common sunscreen ingredient rapidly bleaches coral and slows new growth: A single drop in 4.3 million gallons of water — about six and a half Olympic-size swimming pools — is enough to be deadly. more…

Editor comments: More on this here. -JPM

Trump’s attack on science isn’t going very well.

The first 200 days of the Trump administration have been marked by direct and consistent confrontations with the scientific community, and no area of science has been targeted more explicitly than climate science. more…

Label salon products to disclose risks.

Imagine that your favorite hair product’s label read, “Warning: may cause infertility,” or listed “formaldehyde,” a cancer-causing embalming fluid, as an ingredient. more…

What happens to creativity as we age?

Young children's creativity seems to outstrip that of even the most imaginative adults. more…

Should you trust climate science? Maybe the eclipse Is a clue.

Eclipse mania will peak on Monday, when millions of Americans will upend their lives in response to a scientific prediction. more…

What Exxon Mobil Didn’t say about climate change.

Company scientists raised concerns about greenhouse gases and the climate, but executives told the public a very different tale. more…


Army should pay its share for Superfund site cleanup.

It is clear that the National Guard was a primary contributor to the problem, and should also contribute to the cleanup. more…

Tainted eggs.

The egg contamination crisis exposes a problem caused by a combination of government laxity and the lack of professional ethics on the part of farmers. A bigger cause for concern is that the egg industry might not be the only one with such a problem. more…

Clean energy scores a small victory.

Government scientists worried that their long-in-the-works assessment of climate change would be suppressed. The concern hardly rates as overwrought. more…

New climate change report likely to be ignored to death.

The scientific argument about climate change is over. It’s silly to deny it. It’s shameful to know it and ignore it. more…