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Weekend Reader: #GreenToo
Saturday May 12th 2018, 11:11 PM

As close ties between fossil fuel billionaires Charles and David Koch and the Trump Administration come more to light, a group of Democratic Senators led by

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

is demanding answers about how much influence the Koch brothers have had in shaping key federal policies. (

PRI’s Living On Earth.)

Carlos Alvarado, newly-inaugurated President of Costa Rica, announces his country will be the

first to ban fossil fuels

. (

The Independent).

The wind isn’t what it used to be. Scientists say

surface wind speeds across the planet have fallen by as much as 25%

since the 1970s. The eerie phenomenon – dubbed ‘stilling’ – is believed to be a consequence of global warming, and may impact everything from agriculture to the liveability of our cities. (

Cosmos).

From the

New Orleans Advocate:

Utility giant Entergy tries to deflect blame for

hiring actors to pose as supporters

at a key public meeting.

Veteran science reporter Miles O’Brien that

U.S. audiences are starved for information on climate change.

(

The National, UAE)


It’s only one plastic bag, but…..


It was found at the bottom of the Mariana Trench

, the deepest spot in the world’s oceans (

National Geographic).

PRI’s

Living On Earth:

EHN’s Peter Dykstra and Steve Curwood on a report that shows the

US is now the globe’s biggest oil producer,

and US transportation emits more greenhouse gases than electricity generation. The pair also discuss how mercury from coal-fired power plants is polluting rice in China, and take a trip back to 1872 and a landmark mining law that has had a profound and lasting impact on the American West.

Former Clinton Interior Dept. official Paul Bledsoe in the NYT: Trump’s

fuel efficiency rollback

will hurt drivers.

An op-ed in the

Wilmington (N.C.) News-Star

calls out the

state legislature’s obeisance to Big Pork

.

A brief dissertation by Kevin Drum of

Mother Jones

on

why EPA’s Scott Pruitt still has a job

.

From

Science Magazine:

Trump Admin.

quietly cancels a NASA climate science program.

In a move that seems out of character for the anti-regulatory Pruitt EPA, the agency said

it’s moving to regulate a paint stripping product

linked to consumer deaths.

Oops. Scott Pruitt dined with a Catholic Cardinal accused of sexual abuse, and it was

omitted from his published schedule

.

The #metoo movement has taken down Hollywood icons and power players; news media superstars; standup comics; politicians.

Here we cover science and environmental news. Don’t think for a minute that this realm is walled off from reprehensible behavior.


New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, felled by

four accusers

who told their stories to the

New Yorker

, was arguably the nation’s leading environmental law enforcer in the Age of Trump.

Schneiderman, along with Massachusetts A.G. Maura Healey,

sued Exxon

to determine the depths of its private knowledge of climate change while it publicly supported climate denial. He was one of multiple state A.G.’s who battled Trump Administration rollbacks.

He made no delay in resigning, announcing his departure three hours after the

New Yorker

piece was released, saying he “strongly” contest(ed) the allegations against him. Conservatives made no delay in pouncing on Schneiderman’s apparent hypocrisy. Just days before his resignation, he praised the #metoo movement as

“extraordinary”

in an interview. And his interim successor as New York A.G., vowed that Schneiderman’s work would continue without him.

Then there’s Rachendra Pachauri, the charismatic head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He

resigned in 2015

after allegations, and police charges, that he harassed, stalked, and intimidated a female employee at his Indian nonprofit. The case is still unresolved.

Trevor Fitzgibbon, a high-powered PR consultant for progressive groups like NARAL and Move-On and environmental NGO’s including the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, shuttered his PR firm in late 2015 after

allegations that he propositioned and groped

female employees and job candidates. Fitzgibbon denied the most serious charges, and prosecutors dropped an investigation into them.

University of Illinois anthropologist Kathryn Clancy has made a detailed study of what she sees as sexual harassment in

space-related sciences.

Investigative work by

High Country News

revealed widespread harassment in the National Park Service last year. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has promised

action to address the problems.

We sometimes think of scientists, environmental communicators, and others as being above the human failings shown by others. They’re not.

We’re

not. It’s Us Too.

[News Source]

Plastic bag found at the bottom of the Mariana Trench
Saturday May 12th 2018, 11:07 PM

Even one of the most remote places on Earth couldn’t hide from the scourge of plastic trash.

[News Source]

The wind is slowing down
Saturday May 12th 2018, 10:51 PM

The wind isn’t what it used to be. Scientists say surface wind speeds have dropped by as much as 20% since the 1970s. The eerie phenomenon – dubbed ‘stilling’ – is believed to be a consequence of global warming, and may impact everything from agriculture to the liveability of our cities.

[News Source]

Pruitt’s dinner with Cardinal accused of abuse was kept off public schedule
Saturday May 12th 2018, 10:42 PM

The E.P.A. chief dined with Cardinal George Pell, who was later charged with assault. But the agency is said to have omitted the cardinal from official schedules.

[News Source]

Costa Rica to ban fossil fuels and become world’s first decarbonised society
Saturday May 12th 2018, 10:35 PM

Costa Rica’s new president has announced a plan to ban fossil fuels and become the first fully decarbonised country in the world.

[News Source]

Ask a Pundit: Why Does Scott Pruitt still have a job?
Saturday May 12th 2018, 5:54 PM

[News Source]

‘Clearly … a misunderstanding:’ Entergy contractor denies knowing of actors hired to support plant
Saturday May 12th 2018, 5:33 PM

The head of a public relations firm that Entergy New Orleans hired to lobby the New Orleans City Council tried to deflect blame Friday for a scheme in which actors

[News Source]

Living on Earth: The Koch Brothers & Trump
Saturday May 12th 2018, 5:13 PM

[News Source]