Today's Top 5

Trump Moves Decisively to Wipe Out Obama's Climate Legacy

President Trump will take the most significant step yet in obliterating his predecessor’s environmental record Tuesday, instructing federal regulators to rewrite key rules curbing U.S. carbon emissions. The sweeping executive order also seeks to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing and remove the requirement that federal officials consider the impact of climate change when making decisions. The order sends an unmistakable signal that just as President Barack Obama sought to weave climate considerations into every aspect of the federal government, Trump is hoping to rip that approach out by its roots. - Washington Post

When Is It Time To Retreat From Climate Change?

While managed retreat is not always the right choice for communities threatened by climate change,  it may be the right choice more often than we’re willing to admit. Well more than a hundred million people are expected to face displacement by rising seas before the end of the century. - The New Yorker

Lamar Smith, Unbound, Lays Out Political Strategy at Climate Doubters Conference

Representative Lamar Smith (R–TX) rarely expresses his true feelings in public. But speaking yesterday to a like-minded crowd of climate change doubters and skeptics, the chairman of the science committee in the U.S. House of Representatives acknowledged that the committee is now a tool to advance his political agenda rather than a forum to examine important issues facing the U.S. research community. - Science

Villagers Vote To Ban Massive Gold Mining Project in Colombia

 Residents of a town in central Colombia sent a clear message on Sunday to the powers that be that they don’t want a large-scale mining operation in their backyard. In an almost unanimous vote of 6,165 of 6,296 voters (about 98 percent), inhabitants of the Colombian municipality of Cajamarca voted against one of the world’s largest planned gold mines. Dubbed La Colosa, the open-pit mine is a project of world’s third largest gold producer, AngloGold Ashanti. - Mongabay

Deal Ups Flow of Funding For Flint Water Fallout

Michigan will spend an additional $47 million to help ensure safe drinking water in Flint by replacing lead pipes and providing free bottled water under a proposed settlement announced Monday. The money is in addition to $40 million previously budgeted to address Flint’s widespread lead-contamination crisis. The state also will set aside $10 million to cover unexpected costs, bringing the total to $97 million. - The Detroit News

Today's Top 5

Trump to Sign Executive Order Undoing Obama's Clean Power Plan

Donald Trump will on Tuesday sign an executive order to unravel Barack Obama’s plan to curb global warming, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency said on Sunday, claiming the move would be “pro-growth and pro-environment”. - The Guardian

Trump Megadonors Also Back Group That Casts Doubt On Climate Science

The Mercers’ attendance at the two-day Heartland conference offered a telling sign of the low-profile family’s priorities: With Trump in office, the influential financiers appear intent on putting muscle behind the fight to roll back environmental regulations, a central focus of the new administration. - Washington Post

Drought and War Heighten Threat of Not Just One Famine, But Four

For the first time since anyone can remember, there is a very real possibility of four famines — in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen — breaking out at once, endangering more than 20 million lives. International aid officials say they are facing one of the biggest humanitarian disasters since World War II. And they are determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past. - The New York Times

'Human Fingerprint' Found on Global Extreme Weather

The fingerprint of human-caused climate change has been found on heatwaves, droughts and floods across the world, according to scientists. The discovery indicates that the impacts of global warming are already being felt by society and adds further urgency to the need to cut carbon emissions. A key factor is the fast-melting Arctic, which is now strongly linked to extreme weather across Europe, Asia and north America. - The Guardian

In California, Salt Taints Soil, Threatening Food Security

In much of California’s flat, sunny San Joaquin Valley, canals deliver the irrigation water that has made the state an agricultural powerhouse, supplying one-third of vegetables and two-thirds of fruit and nuts eaten in the United States. But along the west side of the valley, some fields are sprouting not crops, but solar panels. The water that made this agricultural land productive also spelled its doom. Because most water contains salt, irrigating adds salt to soil over time, especially in arid and semi-arid places with little rainfall and poor drainage. - Environmental Health News

Today's Top 5 - Spotlight On World Water Day

One In Four Children Will Live With Water Scarcity By 2050

Within two decades, 600 million children will be in regions enduring extreme water stress, with a great deal of competition for the available supply. The poorest and most disadvantaged will suffer most, according to research published by the children’s agency, Unicef, to mark World Water Day on Wednesday. - The Guardian

Five Water Warriors Defending Rights From North Dakota to Chile

Activists and environmentalists lead the struggle to protect water sources across the planet, from the top of the continents of the Americas in Alaska all the way down to Argentina. Often, their activism is dangerous work. Resistance movements against unwanted hydroelectric dam projects, in particular, have seen a violent crackdown, with more than 40 activists killed in recent years in Mexico, Central America and Colombia, according to GeoComunes. - TeleSur

The Business of Wastewater

On this year's World Water Day, the UN has called for much more wastewater to be treated and recycled. The organization also emphasized that wastewater is an "essential component of a circular economy." - Deutsche Welle

Water Wars? Experts Urge Rethink of Our Relationship With Water

The United Nations has already warned that water shortages will hit a record high in 2030, while some experts caution that water — arguably human beings' most valuable resource after air — could become the next commodity over which communities and nations will wage bitter fights, and even start wars. While climate change and global warming are some of the main causes behind deepening water problems, other less discussed factors are also playing a major part in the crisis, with the main issue being mismanagement and extraction of underground water sources. - TeleSur

Farm Policy In Age of Climate Change Creating Another Dust Bowl

Over the past decade, farmers in the Great Southern Plains have suffered the worst drought conditions since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. They've battled heat, dust storms and in recent weeks, fires that devoured more than 900,000 acres and killed thousands of cattle.These extreme conditions are being fueled by climate change. But a new report from an environmental advocacy group says they're also being driven by federal crop insurance policy that encourages farmers to continue planting crops on compromised land, year after year. - InsideClimate News

Today's Top 5

Trump Repeal of Climate Rules Means Paris Target Now Out of Reach

The U.S. would have had to ramp up its climate ambitions to help slow global warming to the 2 degrees C goal, but under Trump, it's going in the opposite direction. - InsideClimate News

Republican Green Group Attempts to Temper Trump on Climate Change

President Donald Trump's outspoken doubts about climate change and his administration's efforts to roll back regulation to combat it have stirred a sleepy faction in U.S. politics: the Republican environmental movement. The various groups represent conservatives, Catholics and the younger generation of Republicans who, unlike Trump, not only recognize the science of climate change but want to see their party wrest the initiative from Democrats and lead efforts to combat global warming. - Reuters

Union Chief Strikes Back at 'Insanity' of Trump Budget Cuts to EPA

John O’Grady, head of the employees’ union at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, rips into the Trump administration for its budget-slashing proposal that he says is aimed at destroying the agency that safeguards the nation’s air and water. - Yale Environment 360

India Gives Ganges, Yamuna Rivers Same Rights as a Human

Two of India's most iconic rivers, considered sacred by nearly a billion Hindus in the country, have been given the status of living entities to save them from further harm caused by widespread pollution. The High Court in the northern state of Uttarakhand ruled Monday that the Ganges and the Yamuna rivers be accorded the status of living human entities, meaning that if anyone harms or pollutes either river, the law would view it as no different from harming a person. - Associated Press

We Might Soon Resurrect Extinct Species. Is It Worth the Cost? 

With enough determination, money and smarts, scientists just might revive the woolly mammoth, or some version of it, by splicing genes from ancient mammoths into Asian elephant DNA. The ultimate dream is to generate a sustainable population of mammoths that can once again roam the tundra. But here’s a sad irony to ponder: What if that dream came at the expense of today’s Asian and African elephants, whose numbers are quickly dwindling because of habitat loss and poaching? - The New York Times

Today's Top 5

Bad News for the Bad-News Agency

As President Donald Trump raises the axe on U.S. medical research funding, scientists across the Atlantic are trembling, too. The World Health Organization’s cancer agency, the France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), has long been a prime purveyor of bad news. Now, with big business blasting it as fake news and Republicans in total control, U.S. funding crucial for IARC’s work is under threat. - Politico

Climate Change Financing Dropped From G20 Draft Statement

Opposition from the United States, Saudi Arabia and others has forced Germany to drop a reference to financing programs to combat climate change from the draft communique at a G20 finance and central bankers meeting. - Reuters

Green Energy In a Coal State: The Struggle to Bring Solar to West Virginia

Local entrepreneurs want to replace disappearing coal jobs with employment in solar – but that’s a tough move in a state that lacks the solar-friendly regulations of places like California. - The Guardian

As Drought Sweeps Kenya, Herders Invade Farms and Old Wounds Are Opened

Thousands of herders are fleeing their traditional grazing lands as a biting drought engulfs east Africa, and their animals have swept through farms and conservation areas. Many of the herders have committed acts of shocking violence, and dozens of families have been displaced. - The Guardian

Grassland Lab Species Loss Raises Alarm

Scientists in California who turned a patch of natural grassland into a laboratory have established a subtle link between flowering times and the mix of species in an ecosystem – indicating that global warming could change planetary biology and disrupt ecosystems in hitherto unsuspected ways. - Climate News Network


Today's Top 5

Glyphosate Faces Wave of Wave of Legal Challenges As Alleged Carcinogen

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s marquee product, Roundup, is coming under fire from hundreds of legal challenges across the U.S., with individuals alleging that the herbicide is carcinogenic and linked to cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Whether the cases pay out for plaintiffs remains to be seen. But at the very least, they represent a big opportunity for litigators, with some thinking “glyphosate” could become a legal buzzword on par with asbestos. - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Scientists Are Conspicuously Absent From Trump's Government

President Trump has moved to fill just one of 46 key science and technology positions that help the government counter risks ranging from chemical and biological attacks to rising seas, a Washington Post analysis has found. The vacancies in the 46 Senate-confirmed posts range from the president’s science adviser, to the administrators of NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to the chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. - Washington Post

Cook Inlet Gas Leak Remains Unmonitored As Danger to Marine Life Is Feared

As the underwater methane leak in Cook Inlet, Alaska continues well into its third month, even basic environmental monitoring has been impossible because of ice cover. The ice also prevents any repair to the pipeline or response to the leak. While much about the natural gas pipeline leak remains unknown, including its exact location or how the methane may be affecting the inlet's endangered beluga whales, enough is known to make some environmental scientists concerned about a potential environmental disaster in the making. - InsideClimate News

The West's Throwaway Culture Has Spread Waste Worldwide

Packaging – much of it single-use food wrapping – has created a rubbish problem that now pollutes every corner of the world. Manufacturers got us into this mess, but it’s up to us to dig ourselves out – and here’s how. - The Guardian

Arctic Sea Ice Driven By Natural Swings, Not Just Mankind

Natural swings in the Arctic climate have caused up to half the precipitous losses of sea ice around the North Pole in recent decades, with the rest driven by man-made global warming, scientists said on Monday. The study indicates that an ice-free Arctic Ocean, often feared to be just years away, in one of the starkest signs of man-made global warming, could be delayed if nature swings back to a cooler mode. - Reuters


Today's Top 5

It's the Golden Age of Climate Denial

This is a golden moment for the skeptic movement. Last week Scott Pruitt disputed the scientific consensus that human activity is the primary contributor to climate change.  As Oklahoma's attorney general, Pruitt initiated, signed onto, or filed briefs in 14 different lawsuits challenging the EPA's climate regulations. He once fielded a letter from one of Oklahoma's largest energy companies criticizing one of those regulations, which he tweaked a few words in, put his own letterhead on, and promptly sent to the EPA. Now he'll be in charge of regulating the environmental impact of the nation's energy companies. So now that the fringe theorists are in charge, who is left for them to convince? - Esquire

Pruitt's Office Deluged With Angry Calls After He Questions the Science of Climate Change

The calls to Pruitt’s main line reached such a high volume by Friday that agency officials created an impromptu call center, according to three agency employees. The officials asked for anonymity out of fear of retaliation. By Saturday morning calls went straight to voice mail, which was full and did not accept messages. At least two calls received the message that the line was disconnected, but that appeared to be in error. While constituents sometimes call lawmakers in large numbers to express outrage over contentious policy issues, it is unusual for Americans to target a Cabinet official. - Washington Post

Garbage Dump Landslide Kills at least 46 in Ethiopian Capital, Scores More Missing

At least 46 people have died and dozens more have been injured in a giant landslide at Ethiopia’s largest rubbish dump outside Addis Ababa, a tragedy squatters living there blamed on a biogas plant being built nearby. Dozens of homes of squatters who lived in the Koshe landfill site, on the outskirts of the capital, were flattened when the largest pile of rubbish collapsed on Saturday. Some blamed the collapse on a new biogas plant being constructed on top of the hill. - The Guardian

Scientists Race To Prevent Wipeout of World's Coral Reefs

The world has lost roughly half its coral reefs in the last 30 years. Scientists are now scrambling to ensure that at least a fraction of these unique ecosystems survives beyond the next three decades. The health of the planet depends on it: Coral reefs support a quarter of all marine species, as well as half a billion people around the world. Even if the world could halt global warming now, scientists still expect that more than 90 percent of corals will die by 2050. Without drastic intervention, we risk losing them all. - Associated Press

Engineers Hope 3D-Printed Reefs Can Slow Bleaching Crisis

Fake reefs may be less vulnerable to climate change and more durable in the changing ocean chemistry than natural reefs. Scientists are using 3D-printing technology that enables them to create fake reefs mimicking the texture and architectural structure of natural reefs in ways that haven’t been achieved in prior restoration efforts. Experimental installations of these 3D-printed reefs are now going on in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Persian Gulf, and Australia. - National Geographic

Today's Top 5

Dark Future Seen For Environment As Trump's EPA Begins Radical Shakeup

America’s environmental laws are undergoing the most radical shakeup since the 1970s. Rules around climate change, water pollution and vehicle fuel standards are all in the process of being redrawn. Coal, oil and gas companies are being ushered onto public land and waters. Areas of scientific research are set to be sidelined. - The Guardian

Struggling With Japan's Nuclear Waste, Six Years After Fukushima Disaster

Six years after the largest nuclear disaster in a quarter-century, Japanese officials have still not solved a basic problem: what to do with an ever-growing pile of radioactive waste. Each form of waste at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, where three reactors melted down after an earthquake and a tsunami on March 11, 2011, presents its own challenges. - The New York Times

Shell CEO Warns of Disappearing Public Patience On Carbon Emissions

Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden offered a fretful and grim assessment Thursday of a dangerous disconnect between his industry and the public. "I do think trust has been eroded to the point where it starts to become a serious issue for our long term future," he said at the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston. Van Beurden touted the company's work on low-carbon energy and push for carbon taxes, but emphasized that the transition of the global energy system that's now dominated by fossil fuels is a decades-long endeavor, while the public's in a different place. "Societal acceptance of the energy system as we have it is just disappearing,he said, adding Shell needs an "almost activist" approach itself on engaging with the public and policymakers on energy transition. - Axios

The US Has One Inspector For Each 5,000 Miles of Pipeline

There are 2.7 million miles of pipeline snaked across the US. Some of the pipes carry hazardous chemicals, others carry crude oil, and still others carry highly pressurized natural gas. And when it comes to safety, all of them are under the care of 528 government inspectors. That’s more than 5,000 miles of pipeline or more than twice the length of the United States, per inspector. - Quartz

EPA's Environmental Justice Head Resigns After 24 Years. He Wants To Explain Why.

The resignation of Mustafa Ali comes as the Trump administration considers layoffs and budget cuts at the EPA that, if enacted, would eliminate the environmental justice budget and cut funding to grants for pollution cleanup. Ali, a founder of the program in 1992 who has worked there since, told Mother Jones he resigned because he was concerned the administration's proposals to roll back its environmental justice work would disproportionately affect vulnerable communities. "That is something that I could not be a part of," Ali says. - Mother Jones

Today's Top Posts

EPA Chief Doubts Consensus View On Climate Change

Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said on Thursday that carbon dioxide was not a primary contributor to global warming, a statement at odds with the established scientific consensus on climate change. - New York Times

EPA Environmental Justice Official Resigns, Implores Pruitt To Protect Vulnerable Communities

Mustafa Ali, a senior adviser and assistant associate administrator at the agency, worked to alleviate the impact of air, water and industrial pollution on poverty-stricken towns and neighborhoods during nearly a quarter century with the EPA. He helped found the environmental justice office, then the environmental equity office, in 1992, during the presidency of President George H.W. Bush. Ali leaves the EPA as Pruitt, who took office Feb. 17, prepares to implement deep cuts in the agency's budget and staff. An internal memo obtained by multiple news outlets on March 1 called for a complete dismantling of the office of environmental justice and elimination of a number of grant programs that address low-income and minority communities. A story in the Oregonian reported that funding for the office would decrease 78 percent, from $6.7 million to $1.5 million. - InsideClimate News

Great Barrier Reef Bleached For Unprecedented Second Year Running

A repeat of mass bleaching compounds fears for the survival of already-stressed coral, whose recovery since 2016 has been challenged by stubbornly high sea surface temperatures, including through winter. - The Guardian

Six Years After Fukushima, Woman and Children Still Suffer Most

The Japanese government is trying to get back to normality after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, but the crisis is far from over for women and children, says Greenpeace. Thousands of mothers have sued the authorities. - Deutsche Welle

Thousands Forced To Move As Drought Hits Somali Pastoralists Hard

Puntland is on the edge of famine, according to aid agencies working in this semi-autonomous state in Somalia's arid north. Between 20,000 and 27,000 nomadic pastoralists have been forced to travel hundreds of miles to reach coastal regions of Puntland where there was a flash of rain in December last year. There has been no rain since. The displacement has forced families to separate, leaving women, children and the elderly to find help in makeshift displacement camps on the edges of towns where water-borne diseases are spreading and living conditions are dire. The Horn of Africa is in the midst of the harshest and most prolonged drought in decades. - Al Jazeera

Today's Top 5

Study: Climate Change May Hurt Nation's Agricultural Productivity

The agriculture sector needs to ramp up its response to climate change, especially in the Midwest, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers at the University of Maryland used climate projections and historical trends in agricultural productivity to predict how changes in temperature and rainfall will impact food production. - Iowa Public Radio

UN Experts Denounce 'Myth' That Pesticides Necessary to Feed the World

The idea that pesticides are essential to feed a fast-growing global population is a myth, according to UN food and pollution experts. A new report, being presented to the UN human rights council on Wednesday, is severely critical of the global corporations that manufacture pesticides, accusing them of the “systematic denial of harms”, “aggressive, unethical marketing tactics” and heavy lobbying of governments which has “obstructed reforms and paralyzed global pesticide restrictions." - The Guardian

The White House Was On the Same Page As Exxon Mobile on Monday. Literally.

Some might even call it a mind meld. In a news release, ExxonMobil highlighted the oil giant’s plan to spend $20 billion over 10 years, build 11 chemical and natural-gas projects and create 45,000 jobs. Within the same hour, the White House put out its own statement claiming credit for the expansion and adding, “The spirit of optimism sweeping the country is already boosting job growth, and it is only the beginning.” One full paragraph appeared nearly identically word for word in each release. Another sentence appeared almost verbatim elsewhere. - Washington Post

Grim State of Environment Report Warns Climate Impacts Could be Irreversible

To be released on Tuesday by Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg, the five-yearly dossier says Australia lacks overarching national policies that establish "a clear vision" for protecting and managing the environment, including climate change, between now and 2050. A summary provided to Fairfax Media warns of increasing pressures from coal mining, the coal-seam gas industry, habitat degradation, land-use change and invasive species. - Sydney Morning Herald

Pipeline Owner Reaches Milestone In Iowa: 28 Spills Since 2000

The company whose pipeline dumped more than 46,000 gallons of diesel on northern Iowa farmland in January has had more spills than any other pipeline operator in the state over the past 16 years, according to a Des Moines Register analysis. Magellan Midstream Partners pipelines leaked 27 times in Iowa between 2000 and 2016, spewing tens of thousands of gallons of hazardous products, according to Iowa Department of Natural Resources data. Magellan's spills are nearly double the 14 of Enterprise Products Offering, the second most frequent offender. - USA Today

Today's Top 5

Exposure to Pollution Kills Millions of Children: WHO Report

Exposure to polluted environments is associated with more than one in four deaths among children younger than 5, according to two World Health Organization reports published Monday. Worldwide, 1.7 million children's deaths are attributable to environmental hazards, such as exposure to contaminated water, indoor and outdoor pollution, and other unsanitary conditions, the reports found. - Washington Post

Confidential DAPL Memo: Standing Rock Not a Disadvantaged Community Impacted By Pipeline

The Dakota Access Pipeline builder claimed that mostly white Bismarck communities along its original route would have more minorities impacted than one near tribe's reservation. - InsideClimate News

California Won't Meet Climate Goals Without Much More Dense Housing in Cities

The state has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. To do so, Southern Californians will have to drive nearly 12% less by that date than they did five years ago, cutting their miles on the road every day from 22.8 to 20.2, according a Los Angeles Times estimate based on data from state and regional climate and planning officials. Getting people out of their cars in favor of walking, cycling or riding mass transit will require the development of new, closely packed housing near jobs and commercial centers at a rate not seen in the United States since at least before World War II, according to a recent study by permit and contractor data analysis website BuildZoom. - LA Times

Insurance Vital, But No Magic Bullet for Drought in Africa

Last year, southern African states appealed for $2.9 billion in aid when the region was hit with its worst drought in 35 years, affecting 39 million people. Now, drought in the continent's east is pushing millions into hunger. Insurance can be triggered more quickly than international aid, which can take months to fund. ARC's cover is based on a pre-agreed plan for how the government will use the payout. - Thomson Reuters

Floating Hospitals Treat Those Affected By Rising Seas

It may sound like science fiction, but for many Bangladeshis, their only hope for treatment is on a floating hospital. And by day they may send their kids to floating schools. These are just a few of the ways they are adapting to the effects of climate change. - National Geographic

Today's Top 5

Somalia says 110 Dead In Past 48 Hours Due to Drought

Some 110 people have died in southern Somalia in the last two days from famine and diarrhea resulting from a drought, the prime minister said on Saturday, as the area braces itself for widespread shortages of food. In February, United Nations children's agency UNICEF said the drought in Somalia could lead to up to 270,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition this year. - Reuters

Extreme Heat Wave Days Already Hitting Poor Countries More Than Rich

Using World Bank wealth definitions and targeting the number of days and nights that fell in the top 10 per cent of temperatures for any date, researchers found extreme heat readings have increased much faster in low-income nations than richer ones since at least the 1980s. "We expected it to be a lot worse since the [low-income] countries are near the equator but the difference of more than double is quite shocking." - Sydney Morning Herald

How Disappearing Sea Ice Has Put Arctic Ecosystems Under Threat

In a few days the Arctic’s beleaguered sea ice cover is likely to set another grim record. Its coverage is on course to be the lowest winter maximum extent ever observed since satellite records began. These show that more than 2 million square kilometres of midwinter sea ice have disappeared from the Arctic in less than 40 years. The ice’s disappearance – triggered by global warming caused by rising carbon emissions from cars and factories – is likely to have profound implications for the planet. A loss of sea ice means a loss of reflectivity of solar rays and further rises in global temperatures, warn researchers. But there are other pressing concerns, they add. - The Guardian

Food Waste: The Simplest Way to Improve The World's Food Systems Requires No New Science

It is quite depressing to learn that, currently, a third of our food goes to loss and waste, but upon closer inspection there are considerable grounds for hope. Unlike the case with raising crop yields, there is plenty of room to reduce food loss and waste through the broader dissemination and employment of existing technology. - Quartz

Honduran Environmental Activist Berta Cáceres' Suspected Killers Received U.S. Military Training

Eight men have been arrested as suspects in Cáceres’s killing one year ago — including one active army major and two retired military members. Two of these suspects reportedly received military training in the United States. - Democracy Now!

Today's Top 5

White House Proposes Steep Budget Cuts To Leading Climate Change Agency

The Trump administration is seeking to slash the budget of one of the government’s premier climate science agencies by 17 percent, delivering steep cuts to research funding and satellite programs, according to a four-page budget memo obtained by The Washington Post. The proposed cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would also eliminate funding for a variety of smaller programs, including external research, coastal management, estuary reserves and “coastal resilience,” which seeks to bolster the ability of coastal areas to withstand major storms and rising seas. - Washington Post

Just Racist: EPA Cuts Will Hit Minority Communities Hardest

Planned cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency are set to fall heaviest upon communities of color across the US that already suffer disproportionately from toxic pollution, green groups have warned. Donald Trump’s administration is proposing a 25% reduction in the EPA’s $8.1bn budget, eliminating nearly 3,000 jobs and several programs including the agency’s environmental justice office. Funding for the cleanup of lead, marine pollution, tribal lands and the Great Lakes region faces severe cuts, while climate initiatives are earmarked for a 70% budget reduction. - The Guardian

EPA To Pull Back On Fuel-Efficiency Standards For Autos In Future Years

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to announce its intent to withdraw final determination on strict fuel-efficiency standards for future cars and light trucks, the latest signal by the Trump administration that it is charting a new course on climate change. Two associations representing the world’s biggest automakers last week asked EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to reconsider the standards for model years 2022 to 2025, which would require the nation’s car and light-truck fleet to average 54.5 miles per gallon by the end of that period. - Washington Post

Appeals Court Rules for Oil Companies, Against Levee Authority, In Louisiana Wetlands Case

A federal appeals court refused Friday (March 3) to revive the east bank levee authority's controversial lawsuit charging oil and gas companies with threatening hurricane levees by digging exploration and production canals through Louisiana's coastal wetlands. It was the latest setback to the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East's four-year effort to make the companies pay for environmental damage inflicted decades ago. - New Orleans Times Picayune

Air Pollution Leads To More Drug Resistant Bacteria

Black carbon found in air pollution can increase the resistance of bacteria that cause respiratory disease, research has found. The discover could lead to a greater understanding of the effects of air pollution on human health, according to the lead scientist of the University of Leicester study. - Press Association

Today's Top 5

Top Trump Advisors Divided On Paris Climate Agreement

The White House is fiercely divided over President Trump’s campaign promise to “cancel” the Paris agreement, the 2015 accord that binds nearly every country to curb global warming, with more moderate voices maintaining that he should stick with the agreement despite his campaign pledge. Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s senior adviser, is pressing the president to officially pull the United States from the landmark accord, according to energy and government officials with knowledge of the debate. But, they say, he is clashing with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, who fear the move could have broad and damaging diplomatic ramifications. - New York Times

Trump Wants to 'Zero Out' EPA

The Trump administration wants to “zero out” many climate-related programs and grants that help state and local governments enforce environmental laws, according to a memo sent this week to state governments by the National Association of Clean Air Agencies. It’s part of a proposal to cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s $8.2 billion budget by 25 percent. The proposal recommends that the EPA cut its staff by 20 percent and slash grants to states by 30 percent. - Climate Central

Biggest US Water Users - Farmers - Learn to Use Less Of It

In the Southwest and beyond, irrigation technology and other steps such as planting 'cover crops' to enrich the soil are making a difference. - Christian Science Monitor

Early Surge In Coal In 2017 May Not Last

There are signs utilities are buying more coal this year than last thanks to a late-year surge in natural gas prices, but the black rock still isn't expected to regain its crown from gas as the leading fuel source for power generation. That's even as President Donald Trump has said repeatedly that he wants a revival of coal production, a dirtier fuel than gas that has seen its fortunes decline thanks to a shale boom that has boosted gas production. - Reuters

Siberia's Growing 'Doorway to Hell' May Offer Clues On Climate Change

Siberia's crater is caused by melting permafrost, perennially frozen soil that remains in that state for at least two consecutive years. The resulting irregular terrain of mounds and hollows is called thermokarst. A new study published in the journal Quaternary Research indicates that the crater may allow scientists to view more than 200,000 years of climate change in Siberia. Scientists plan to collect sediment to analyze how the landscape changed as climate warmed and cooled during the last Ice Age. This could provide insights for today's climate change issues. Satellite imagery indicates that the crater expands, on average, by 33 feet per year. - National Geographic

Today's Top 5

Private Investor Divests $34.8m From Firms Tied to Dakota Access Pipeline

Norway’s largest private investor is divesting from three companies tied to the Dakota Access pipeline, a small victory for the Standing Rock movement one week after the eviction of the main protest encampment. - The Guardian

Children's Climate Lawsuit Aims to Unearth Documents From Oil Group

Attorneys representing 21 children who are suing the federal government over its responsibility to slow climate change are seeking answers from the oil and gas industry. The plaintiffs want to uncover what role fossil fuel interests played in shaping government climate policies. The plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States filed a request for documents from the American Petroleum Institute (API), the largest U.S. trade group for the oil and gas industry and an intervenor on behalf of the U.S. government in the case. - InsideClimate News

Eight Up-and-Coming Black Leaders In the Climate Movement

NexusMedia highlights eight scientists, political activists and community organizers working to protect our country from carbon pollution and climate change. - NexusMedia

Burger King Animal Feed Sourced From Deforested Lands in Brazil and Bolivia

The hamburger chain Burger King has been buying animal feed produced in soy plantations carved out by the burning of tropical forests in Brazil and Bolivia, according to a new report. Jaguars, giant anteaters and sloths have all been affected by the disappearance of around 700,000 hectares (1,729,738 acres) of forest land between 2011 and 2015. - The Guardian

New Mexico Tribes Pressure Feds on Oil and Gas Drilling

The pressure comes as environmental groups look to build support for their years-long campaign aimed at fossil fuel development in the Four Corners region, from coal mines and coal-fired power plants to proposed pipelines and the recent uptick in oil and gas drilling in the San Juan Basin. - Associated Press

Today's Top 5

White House Eyes Plan to Cut EPA By a Fifth, Eliminating Key Programs

The plan to slash EPA’s staff from its current level of 15,000 to 12,000 is one of several changes for which the new administration has asked agency staff for comment by close of business Wednesday. The proposal also dictates cutting the agency’s grants to states, including its air and water programs, by 30 percent, and eliminating 38 separate programs in their entirety. Programs designated for zero funding include grants to clean up brownfields, or abandoned industrial sites; a national electronic manifest system for hazardous waste; environmental justice programs; climate-change initiatives; and funding for native Alaskan villages. - Washington Post

Senate Confirms Ryan Zinke As Interior Secretary

Democrats were wary of Zinke despite his declaration that he believes humans contribute to climate change. “Man has had an influence,” he said under questioning by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Zinke’s assertion that the level of human contribution is unknown, despite the near unanimous opinions of climate scientists who say it’s overwhelming, didn’t help. Liberals worried that Zinke would open more land to exploitation at the expense of wildlife and their declining habitat. - Washington Post

Get Ready for the Trump Pipeline Boom

The rush to build massive pipelines began before the election of President Trump, spurred in part by Congress's repeal of a 40-year-old ban on oil exports in December 2015 (backed by then-President Barack Obama). Even before that decision, the United States was already the world's largest exporter of diesel, gasoline, and aviation fuel, and a net exporter of coal. With a glut of oil and gas discoveries in the Marcellus, Barnett, and Bakken shale formations, an increase in American large-scale fossil fuel production has long been in the works and is expected to flourish in the coming years. Pipeline construction will likely expand under President Trump's new infrastructure plan; maps of pending projects for crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids show just how extensive this development will be. - Mother Jones

Inside the Quest To Monitor Countries' CO2 Emissions

Nearly 200 nations pledged to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris Agreement on climate change. But how will we know if some don’t follow through. The current inability to verify that a nation has made its promised carbon cuts remains a long-standing loophole that experts say must be closed to make the global pact effective. - Climatewire

Massive Permafrost Thaw In Canada Portends Huge Carbon Release

Huge slabs of Arctic permafrost in northwest Canada are slumping and disintegrating, sending large amounts of carbon-rich mud and silt into streams and rivers. A new study that analyzed nearly a half-million square miles in northwest Canada found that this permafrost decay is affecting 52,000 square miles of that vast stretch of earth—an expanse the size of Alabama. - InsideClimate News

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Biologists Say Half the World's Species Could Be Extinct By End of Century

One in five species on Earth now faces extinction, and that will rise to 50% by the end of the century unless urgent action is taken. That is the stark view of the world’s leading biologists, ecologists and economists who will gather on Monday to determine the social and economic changes needed to save the planet’s biosphere. “The living fabric of the world is slipping through our fingers without our showing much sign of caring,” say the organisers of the  Biological Extinction conference held at the Vatican this week. - The Guardian

Proposed Trump Budget Would Hike Defense Budget, Cut EPA

Trump is slated to sign documents as soon as Monday compelling the EPA to begin undoing recent regulations, including the Clean Power Plan that slashes greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation and the Waters of the U.S. rule that defined which waterways are subject to pollution regulation. - Bloomberg

Millions Without Water in Chile Capital After Floods

Rainstorms and landslides in Chile have contaminated a major river forcing the authorities to cut off drinking water to at least four million people in the capital, Santiago. Officials said the water supply from the Maipo river would be cut to most of the city until the water flowed clear. - BBC

New Jersey Lowers Childhood Blood Lead Level Benchmark to Increase Early Intervention

Lead screening and treatment requirements for New Jersey children are about to get tighter as the state establishes stricter guidelines to better care for those at risk. New Jersey adopted the most up-to-date benchmark from the federal Centers of Disease Control and Prevention to determine when and how a child should be treated for elevated levels of lead in their blood. Health experts said research now finds that even low levels can lead to developmental problems. - Press of Atlantic City

Coal Industry Casts Itself As Clean Energy Player

President Trump has questioned the science behind climate change as “a hoax” in positioning himself as a champion of coal. The three largest American coal producers are taking a different tack. Seeking to shore up their struggling industry, the coal producers are voicing greater concern about greenhouse gas emissions. Their goal is to frame a new image for coal as a contributor, not an obstacle, to a clean-energy future — an image intended to foster their legislative agenda. - New York Times

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Pruitt: Aggressive Cuts to Obama-Era Green Rules to Start Soon

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration will begin rolling back Obama-era environmental regulations in an "aggressive way" as soon as next week, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency said on Saturday - adding he understood why some Americans want to see his agency eliminated completely. Pruitt added the EPA's focus on combating climate change under former President Barack Obama had cost jobs and prevented economic growth, leading many Americans to want to see the EPA eliminated completely. - Reuters

Amazon Deforestation, Once Tamed, Comes Roaring Back

A decade after the “Save the Rainforest” movement forced changes that dramatically slowed deforestation across the Amazon basin, activity is roaring back in some of the biggest expanses of forests in the world. That resurgence, driven by the world’s growing appetite for soy and other agricultural crops, is raising the specter of a backward slide in efforts to preserve biodiversity and fight climate change. - New York Times

A World Turned Upside Down

Wind and solar energy are disrupting a century-old model of providing electricity. What will replace it? - The Economist

Firefighters and Cancer: Is a Risky Job Even Riskier?

In 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the final results of what is currently the largest study of cancer risk among career firefighters ever conducted in the United States. The study of about 30,000 firefighters over a 60-year span showed that compared with the general population, firefighters on average are at higher risk for certain kinds of cancer — mainly oral, digestive, respiratory, genital and urinary cancers. The CDC also found that firefighters who were exposed to more fires than their peers experienced more instances of lung cancer and leukemia, said Robert Daniels, the principal investigator of the project and a research epidemiologist at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The risks come on many fronts, research has indicated. - Washington Post

South Florida Continues Prep For Sea Level Rise

The causes of climate change and debate about how far government should go to prepare for it continue to be a political flash point nationally. But at Florida’s southern end, densely populated and with billions in real estate at stake, preparing for it has become commonplace. - Sun Sentinel

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Climate Scientists Face Harassment, Threats and Fears of 'McCarthyist' Attacks

Threats and badgering of climate scientists peaked after the theft and release of the “Climategate” emails – a 2009 scandal that was painfully thin on scandal. But the organized effort to pry open cracks in the overwhelming edifice of proof that humans are slowly baking the planet never went away. Scientists are now concerned that the election of Donald Trump has revitalized those who believe climate researchers are cosseted fraudsters. - The Guardian

Standing Rock Protesters Arrested, Camps Burn

Most of the Dakota Access pipeline opponents abandoned their protest camp Wednesday ahead of a government deadline to get off the federal land, and authorities moved to arrest some who defied the order in a final show of dissent. The camp has been home to demonstrators for nearly a year as they tried to thwart construction of the pipeline. Many of the protesters left peacefully, but police made some arrests two hours after the deadline. - CBS

Exxon Relents, Wipes Oil Sands Reserves From Its Books

ExxonMobil announced Wednesday that it had wiped off its books all 3.5 billion barrels of tar sands oil reserves at one of its projects in Canada. Because of recent low oil prices, the company said none of those reserves can be considered economical according to the accounting rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The accounting change at its Kearl project, a momentous if expected development, represented a turnaround for the company, which has long resisted calls to revise its reserves estimates. Over the past decade, Exxon had steadily increased its holdings in Canada's tar sands to become a leading producer there. - InsideClimate News

What Next For Renewables In Cities?

A complex range of factors is shaping how and why cities adopt renewable energy, from costs to the need for stable power supplies. - The Guardian

Cracking the Case of the Counterfeit Makeup

Global seizures of counterfeit perfume and cosmetics jumped 25 percent from 2011 to 2013, according to a recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, making them a growing sector of the $461 billion annual trade in pirated and counterfeit goods. In 2015 the Department of Homeland Security, whose purview includes customs and thus counterfeits, began Operation Plastic Beauty after helping to bust a scheme on Long Island, N.Y., to make ersatz Vaseline, ChapStick, and other personal-care products, then sell them in Chinese-made counterfeit packaging. - Bloomberg Businessweek

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Pruitt Treads Softly, But Signals Big Changes At EPA

New EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt offered a conciliatory greeting Tuesday to employees of the agency he frequently sued in his old job as Oklahoma's attorney general — while making it clear he plans a sharp departure from the Obama administration's strategy and will emphasize cooperation with industry. Pruitt is among the most controversial Cabinet members brought on by President Donald Trump, who promised during the campaign gut the agency and leave only "little tidbits left," but the new administrator struck a genial tone with the staff he will rely upon to carry out his changes. - Politico

Coal Plants Keep Closing On Trump's Watch

While Trump and his congressional allies pursue a rollback of Obama-era environmental regulations in Washington, coal plants continue to close at a rapid clip across the country. In the next four years, utilities have plans to close 40 coal units, federal figures show. Six closures have been announced since Trump's victory in November. The spate of closures underlines the challenges facing President Trump, who ran on a promise of revitalizing the coal industry. Utilities, beset by stagnant power demand and presented with cheaper alternatives like natural gas and wind, have shown little appetite for returning to the fuel that long powered the American economy. - E&E News

Divesting In DAPL In Favor of American Indian-Owned Banks

Tribes and individuals that want to move their money away from financial institutions that have funded the Dakota Access Pipeline might want to take a look at American Indian-owned banks as an alternative. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has designated 18 commercial banks as American Indian-owned banks. As a group they have $2.7 billion in assets and all have their deposits insured by the FDIC. The group tends to be community banks, some quite small, others with more than a quarter billion dollars of assets. A majority of them are based in Oklahoma, but there are also institutions in North Carolina, Colorado, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana and North Dakota. - Indian Country Today

South Sudan Promises Safe Access To Starving Civilians Facing Famine

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir on Tuesday promised aid agencies safe access to hunger-stricken civilians, a day after his government declared a famine in parts of the war-ravaged, drought-stricken country. South Sudan has been mired in civil war since 2013 and the United Nations said on Monday it was unable to reach some of the worst hit areas because of the insecurity. - Reuters

Trump's Potential Science Advisor Happer: Hanging Around With Conspiracy Theorists

Happer is not, by any stretch, an expert on climate change science. Happer’s record of getting scientific papers published in leading journals on climate change science is at, or very close to, zero. Simply, he knows a lot about some stuff, but he is not a climate scientist. While he has a distinguished career as an atomic physicist, previously serving the administration of George HW Bush as a science director, the 77-year-old’s views on climate science are outnumbered by all the credible evidence, all the credible science agencies and are also being laughed at by the Earth’s thermometers and its melting ice sheets and glaciers. - The Guardian