Archive for the 'Environment' Category

Ecological Armageddon

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

The Guardian: Warning of ‘ecological Armageddon’ after dramatic plunge in insect numbers. “Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say.”

Link via MetaFilter.

“This callous proposal will needlessly punish local, predominantly rural communities that depend on parks and public lands for outdoor recreation, sustainable jobs and economic growth”

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

The Washington Post: Interior chief urges shrinking 4 national monuments in West.

“Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending that four large national monuments in the West be reduced in size, potentially opening up hundreds of thousands of acres of land revered for natural beauty and historical significance to mining, logging and other development.

Zinke’s recommendation, revealed in a leaked memo submitted to the White House, prompted an outcry from environmental groups who promised to take the Trump administration to court to block the moves.

The Interior secretary’s plan would scale back two huge Utah monuments — Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante — along with Nevada’s Gold Butte and Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou.”

We’ve been to Grand Staircase Escalante and are/were planning on visiting Bear’s Ears in the future. There is so much natural beauty and pristine wilderness in Utah. Don’t throw it away please!

“The Double C-Word”

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

The New York Times: President Trump’s War on Science.

“The news was hard to digest until one realized it was part of a much larger and increasingly disturbing pattern in the Trump administration. On Aug. 18, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine received an order from the Interior Department that it stop work on what seemed a useful and overdue study of the health risks of mountaintop-removal coal mining.

The $1 million study had been requested by two West Virginia health agencies following multiple studies suggesting increased rates of birth defects, cancer and other health problems among people living near big surface coal-mining operations in Appalachia. The order to shut it down came just hours before the scientists were scheduled to meet with affected residents of Kentucky.

The Interior Department said the project was put on hold as a result of an agencywide budgetary review of grants and projects costing more than $100,000.”

But there’s more:

“Last week, Mr. Trump nominated David Zatezalo, a former coal company chief executive who has repeatedly clashed with federal mine safety regulators, as assistant secretary of labor for the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. He nominated Jim Bridenstine, a Republican congressman from Oklahoma with no science or space background, as NASA administrator. Sam Clovis, Mr. Trump’s nomination to be the Agriculture Department’s chief scientist, is not a scientist: He’s a former talk-radio host and incendiary blogger who has labeled climate research “junk science.””

Who said Donald Trump doesn’t get anything done? <\Sarcasm>

Friday, August 25th, 2017

The Washington Post: What Trump has undone.

“President Trump has repeatedly argued that he’s done more than any other recent president. That’s not true, as measured by the amount of legislation he’s been able to sign. It is true, though, that Trump has undone a lot of things that were put into place by his predecessors, including President Barack Obama.

Since Jan. 20, Trump’s administration has enthusiastically and systematically undone or uprooted rules, policies and tools that predated his time in office. Below, a list of those changes, roughly organized by subject area.”

Trump: “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris”

Monday, June 5th, 2017

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): . (YouTube, 20:57min) “Donald Trump plans to withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement on climate change. That’s bad news for anyone who happens to live on this planet.”

President Trump: “The Green Fund would likely obligate the United States to commit potentially tens of billions of dollars, of which the United States have already handed over $1 billion. Nobody else is even close.”

John Oliver: “It would have been equally as accurate for him to say “Compliance with the Paris agreement would likely require all ducks to wear jean shorts and that it would potentially cost each and every American citizen five fish and a dump truck full of hamsters.”