This Week on Earth

Week In Review: Environmental News for Feb. 10-16

Green New Deal

“If Not the Green New Deal, Then What?” (Emily Atkin, New Republic)

As momentum for the Green New Deal grows, so do its detractors. The ambitious plan to fight climate change introduced by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey last week has been called everything from “brainless” to “delusional” by conservatives…. More…

Climate Change

“It’s official: El Niño is back. Now what?” (Eric Holthaus, Grist)

This year’s El Niño is expected to remain relatively weak, but that doesn’t mean this one won’t be felt — in fact, its cascading consequences already in motion…. More…

“My generation trashed the planet. So I salute the children striking back” (George Monbiot, Guardian)

“We tell you that if you make a mess you should clear it up. We tell you that you should take responsibility for your own lives. But we have failed to apply these principles to ourselves…”

The Border Wall

“National emergency dashes hopes for 5 ecologically sensitive sites spared by the spending bill” (E.A. Crunden, Think Progress)

Thousands of scientists and researchers have expressed concern about the wall’s likely impacts on the environment and public health, in addition to broader humanitarian worries…. More…

“By the End of the Century, San Francisco’s Climate Could Feel Like LA” (Brian, Kahn, Earther)

The results show that cities’ climates will, at the end of the century, look more like cities 528 miles south do today if emissions continue rising in line with current trends….More…

Public Lands

“The Senate just passed the decade’s biggest public lands package. Here’s what’s in it” (Juliet Eilperin and Dino Grandoni, Washington Post)

The measure protects 1.3 million acres as wilderness, the nation’s most stringent protection, which prohibits even roads and motorized vehicles. It permanently withdraws more than 370,000 acres of land from mining around two national parks, including Yellowstone, and permanently authorizes a program to spend offshore-drilling revenue on conservation efforts…. More…

Plastic Pollution

“Plastic pollution: One town smothered by 17,000 tonnes of rubbish” (Yvette Tan, BBC)

…the 17,000 tonnes of rubbish left by these factories is still there – and not insignificant for a town of 30,000. Most of this waste has been repossessed by the authorities, but a staggering 4,000 tonnes of waste plastic still sits on a single site – open to anyone who might walk by…. More…

Environmental Protections

“E.P.A. Will Study Limits on Cancer-Linked Chemicals. Critics Say the Plan Delays Action.” (Coral Davenport, New York Times”

…environmentalists and Democratic lawmakers criticized the plan, saying it in effect delayed desperately needed regulation on a clear public health threat from chemicals that are commonly used in cookware, pizza boxes, stain repellents and fire retardants…. More…