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Spotlight on green news & views: Dixie Chicks scorch gaslighters; deniers twist scientific views

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This is the 637th edition of the Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue). Here is the March 21 edition. Inclusion of a story in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.

OUTSTANDING GREEN STORIES

ClimateDenierRoundup writes—To Appease Oil Industry, Trump To Sacrifice Hundreds of Lives, Thousands of Jobs and Billions of $: “Back on Valentine’s day, we pointed you to stories from The Atlantic and the New York Times detailing the ‘turducken of falsehoods’ required to justify the Trump administration’s proposal to roll back Obama-era standards for automotive fuel efficiency. All those errors, like reversing how supply and demand work, came after plenty of reporting showed that even with the faulty math,  the rule would cost American livesjobs, and money, which is why only the oil industry pushed for it and was grateful to get it. The final rule materials say the change will result in Americans buying an additional 2 billion barrels of oil through 2029, adding around 900 million metric tons of greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere. And that’s just the start. InsideEPA dove into the finalized environmental impact statement for the ‘Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE)’ rule, and found that it is neither safer, nor more affordable, and obviously, much less fuel-efficient than what it’s overturning.”

CRITTERS AND THE GREAT OUTDOOR

Desert Scientist writes—Birding in a Second Growth Forest: “One of my favorite places a relatively short distance away is Pine Ridge Park, a stand of second growth forest in Edmonds, Washington. As it is primarily a location for hiking, jogging, dog walking, and birding, it has remained open as long as we keep our distance. […] One of my favorite birds in the area is the Barred Owl. Recently I have been hearing their “Who Cooks for You?  Who Cooks for You All? ringing through the Douglas fir and to hear the occasional discovery of their location by the local American Crows, which soon brings at least ten more to harass them. Once I discovered a birder pointing his camera at a spot in the forest that turned out to have a Barred Owl perched on a low stump while it was being mobbed by Black-capped Chickadees and Pine Siskins. It flew up onto a branch briefly before flying off into the woods. I got a lot of good photos then before the owl flew off into the tall trees.”

OceanDiver writes—Dawn Chorus: Birding in a Time of Plague: “We all know why we go birding, and frankly when times are hugely stressful and scary like this, there’s all the more reason to seek that beauty and peace, and leave the troubles of humans behind for a bit. In this time of plague, our scope for birding is curtailed —  a critical necessity to try to ‘flatten the curve’ and save lives. For me personally, I had to cancel my annual April trip to the Caribbean, which is primarily for diving but is also my only opportunity to see birds of a warm climate, like Black-necked Stilts, Tricolored Herons, Bananaquits and Magnificent Frigatebirds. Possibly you’ve had to cancel long-distance trips too. But as disappointing as this is, I’d be far more devastated to lose a loved one to pneumonia, and crushed if my actions did anything to exacerbate this unprecedented epidemic. Even short-distance trips aren’t necessarily safe, and in states like mine — Washington —  we have a shelter-in-place directive and closures of recreational destinations like State Parks, WDNR and WDFW recreational areas and water access sites. That includes the DFW Wildlife Reserves on the Skagit River Delta where I go to watch snow geese, swans, dunlin, ducks, raptors etc —  although no way am I going off island for the foreseeable future anyway, risking infection exposure.” 


Pintails

OceanDiver writes—The Daily Bucket – ducks leaving for the season: “last week of March 2020. Salish Sea, PacificNorthwest. Spring migration season is upon us and in the PNW a big part of that is the departure of the ducks. They’ve been concentrating on grooming and packing on calories lately, a lot less posturing and scuffling.” 

OceanDiver writes—The Daily Bucket – first of April on the bluff: “April 1, 2020. Pacific Northwest. We’re stay-at-home these days, since Governor Inslee set that policy in place on March 23 (now extended to May 4). It’s a smart and effective way to slow the Covid-19 epidemic, which has reached my county as it has everywhere. Essential activities are permitted however, and that includes taking walks outdoors, keeping a 6’ distance from other people. I go out for walkies every day, and yes being out in nature is essential for seeing what’s happening in the natural world, as well as basic physical and mental health. On April 1 we took a walk out at Iceberg Point, a nearby open meadow on a south-facing bluff accessed through woods. A few plants were blooming, more were just emerging as foliage.” 

skralyx writes—Extinct in the wild for decades, once down to 21 living individuals, the ko’ko’ returns home: “I needed a story like this about now.The beloved ko’ko’, a flightless bird found only on Guam, once literally days away from total extinction, is back — and it’s looking more and more like it’s here to stay. The National Aviary, along with help from the Philadelphia Zoo, the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and the Guam Department of Agriculture (GDA), has been carefully breeding pairs of ko’ko’ for decades. Here’s one wandering around in the lush environs of the Aviary. It might seem strange to celebrate a species being “NOW Critically Endangered!”, but in the late 1980s, the ko’ko’ was down to just 21 living individuals, in captivity only, and was declared ‘extinct in the wild.’ These institutions took in the last few birds from Guam and improvised on how to breed them and care for them. The nosedive toward extinction of the ko’ko’ was so rapid that there had been no time to study their biology or behavior before they had to be rounded up. The wild population was being eaten by an invasive non-native snake, and it might not have lasted more than a few days if it hadn’t been collected.  So the biologists had to learn as they went.” 

Lenny Flank writes—Wild Florida: The Atala Butterfly: “The Coontie, found from Georgia down through Florida and on to the Caribbean, is the only member of the cycad family native to North America. (The cycads are an ancient tropical group, somewhat similar to palms, that dates all the way back to the time of the dinosaurs.) It is a low-growing plant with a short stem that produces a wide rosette of stiff feathery fern-shaped leaves. Individual plants are either male or female: the males produce narrow cones which generate pollen, and this is carried by a few species of insect to the female cones, which are larger and look like a hand grenade. The seeds are large and bright red. […] The name ‘Coontie’ comes from the Seminole Native Americans, who used the plant as an important food source. Although all parts of the leaves, seeds and roots are laced with a glycoside chemical known as cycasin, which is toxic to humans, the Seminole learned how to make the starchy roots edible by boiling and soaking them in a long complicated process.” 

BrownsBay writes—The Daily Bucket: The Brant: “I live close to the Puget Sound shore, a 5-minute walk. After almost 30 years, I’ve come to know the seasonal comings and goings of tides, flora, fauna, and flotsam. A favorite is when the brant come through on their way north. Sure, some also winter here.  But the population noticeably upticks in spring as the northbound flocks come up from their wintering estuaries in Baja California. They check in here, to feast on the eelgrass and sea lettuce.[…] On this day, the wind was blowing just enough to chop the Sound surface and roll wind waves up the sand flats or dash against the rocks. The brant looked to enjoy bobbing in this mild turmoil, ducking their heads down into an approaching wave to emerge past it, as would a surfer making their way out beyond the break. They looked happy, with beaks full of sea lettuce to fuel their journey north.” 

Dan Bacher writes—As Delta smelt nears extinction, CDFW issues take permit to Department of Water Resources: “During the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic today, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) issued a controversial Incidental Take Permit (ITP) to the Department of Water Resources (DWR) for long-term operations of the State Water Project (SWP). Ironically, the permit was issued the same day that the Department of Fish and Wildlife, NOAA Fisheries and the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC) decided in a conference call to close the ocean salmon season in California during the month of April, due to concerns over the corona virus epidemic. The permit covers four species protected under the California Endangered Species Act: Delta smelt, longfin smelt, winter-run Chinook salmon and spring-run Chinook salmon, according to a press release from DWR. The take permit was issued as the Delta smelt, once the most abundant species on the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, continues its steep slide towards extinction. For the second year in a row, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in its annual fall midwater trawl survey in 2019 found zero Delta smelt during the months of September, October, November and December.” 

Ojibwa writes—Oregon Coast Aquarium: The Nature Trail (photo diary): “The Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, Oregon, is dedicated to creating an experience that connects visitors to the Oregon coast and inspires ocean conservation. The Aquarium includes a short nature trail.” 

giddy thing writes—Californians! Help Solve the Western Monarch Butterfly “Mystery Challenge”: “Western monarch butterflies are on the move. After spending November through February concentrated at overwintering sites on the California Coast, adults are now dispersing eastward to California’s Coast Range, Central Valley, and Sierra Nevada foothills to produce 2020’s first generation of monarchs. This early spring period is considered one of the most vulnerable stages of the western monarch’s annual life cycle. The population is at its smallest, individuals are at their weakest right after their long overwintering diapause, and butterflies are more exposed to the elements than they were at protected overwintering sites.[…] Early spring is also the period researchers know the least about western monarch whereabouts and behavior, or the availability of early-emerging milkweeds critical for the first generation of spring monarchs.”


Grapevine Epimenis Moth 

lostintheozarks writes—The Daily Bucket: Puddle Parties and the Wild Rush of Butterfly Wings: “I have never actually posted anything here before, but I am having an acute case of Spring Fever right now and I can’t help myself! So, please forgive me if I don’t do this right. Spring is in full swing here in the Missouri Ozarks, and when I go on my daily walks I usually end up disturbing several different groups of butterflies. It has been raining almost every other day, and our dirt road has been retaining a lot of water. They love it! Besides the Zebra Swallowtails and the Tiger Swallowtails there were also Pipevine or Spicebush Swallowtails, but they wouldn’t sit still long enough for a proper id and a photo. So here is a photo of one of the Tiger Swallowtails I was able to get close to.”

CLIMATE CHAOS

ClimateDenierRoundup writes—Federalist Society Host State AGs For World’s Weakest Arguments Against Climate Litigation: “Earlier this month, the Federalist Society (the conservative, Koch and industry-funded legal group that’s using Trump to reshape the judiciary) held a virtual event on the ‘consequences of municipal litigation.’ While the event apparently covered lawsuits like those concerning the opioid epidemic or data privacy breaches, the climate lawsuits are what the fossil fuel industry PR group Energy in Depth’s Spencer Walrath cared about enough to write a blog post about. Maybe Walrath should’ve skipped it. The event’s main take-aways from comments made by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Tennessee Deputy Attorney General Thomas Skrmetti are laughably weak arguments. Yost and Skrmetti start out normal enough, claiming that these lawsuits aren’t fit for local courts because they involve such a big issue (despite the fact that many of these suits aren’t arguing for climate policy at all, but instead merely compensation for damages). But their arguments quickly devolve.” 

ClimateDenierRoundup writes—Misrepresentations Of Climate Scientists’ Views On Models Shows Depth of Denial’s Bad Faith: “Yesterday Twitter user @DawnTJ90 shared quote cards with various climate scientists pictured and their affiliations listed, seemingly expressing doubt and derision for climate models. One takes a quote from Katharine Hayhoe, ‘we have to understand natural variability better than we do today,’ and puts it under the heading ‘Climate Prediction Fails,’ with the tweet claiming she ‘admits climate models are inept.’ Another portrays Dr. Kevin Trenberth as giving a list of ‘Climate model failures,’ like precipitation, aerosols and clouds. A third uses a quote from Dr. Kate Marvel supposedly saying ‘Clouds are a hot mess.’ What’s the deal? To their credit, Dawn includes ‘Carbon Brief Jan 2018’ as a citation. While vague, it was enough to lead us to the source, an in-depth look at how scientists think climate models need to be improved. It reveals that while the direct quotes Dawn posted are accurate, the hyperbolic paraphrasing surrounding and describing the quotes are not. Since quote-mining and misrepresentation is a cornerstone of denial, that shouldn’t come as a surprise.” 

Pakalolo writes—The Gulf of Mexico is on fire and that may spark climate disasters to overlap with the pandemic: “I understand we have our hands full at the moment with this lethal pandemic, but let us remember that brutal spring, summer and fall weather is coming at us fast and furious as the climate system breaks down. Spring floods, intense heatwaves, wildfires, heavy rain and hurricanes are all expected to be above average this time of year. We don’t have much time to react. A rapidly warming world will expose our vulnerability to simultaneous calamities most of which are of our own making. Making matters worse is we have a simpleton in charge of protecting us from such disasters. God help us. May I rant for a moment? Thank you. This American Carnage needs to stop now, Mr. President. Your inaction and inability to remotely understand what your own ineptitude and incompetence have done to this country, you have led us into a dystopian world mothereffer. It is your fault that Coronavirus is sweeping the nation. It is your fault that the fight against climate change has taken such a massive hit by countries following your example that the Paris accords appear to now be unraveling.” 

ECO-ACTION & ECO JUSTICE

ClimateDenierRoundup writes—It Should Not Be Hard To Tell White Supremacy And Environmentalism Apart: “Last week, a now-suspended Twitter account claiming to represent a local Extinction Rebellion chapter in the UK posted pictures of a sticker with the words ‘Corona is the cure’, ‘Humans are the disease” above the Extinction Rebellion logo and name. Despite a larger arm of XR UK disavowing it, tweeting that ‘far right groups have put out stickers with messaging that is not in line with what XR believes or stands for’ and linking to their AloneTogether response to coronavirus, James Delingpole wrote it up for Breitbart, which got picked up by WUWT and shared around from there. But when a real reporter, Ben Makuch at VICE, looked into it, he found that the white supremacist group Hundred-Handers have been impersonating XR. One of the requirements of membership, Makuch writes, is ‘to download racist sticker templates promoting white supremacism and nativist ideologies,’ and spread them on places like school grounds.” 

CANDIDATES, STATE AND DC ECO-RELATED POLITICS

poopdogcomedy writes—Joe Biden Builds Momentum For His Clean Energy Revolution & Environmental Justice Plan: “Received this e-mail today from former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign: The Biden Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice. 1. Ensure the U.S. achieves a 100% clean energy economy and reaches net-zero emissions no later than 2050. 2. Make investments to ensure that our buildings, water, transportation, and energy infrastructure can withstand the impacts of climate change. 3. Rally the rest of the world to meet the threat of climate change. 4. Stand up to the abuse of power by polluters who disproportionately harm communities of color and low-income communities. 5. Fulfill our obligation to workers and communities who powered our industrial revolution and subsequent decades of economic growth.” 

ENERGY

Fossil Fuels & Emissions Controls

ClimateDenierRoundup writes—Big Oil Lobby API Shuts Down 12 State Offices and Sheds 25 Staff: “Yesterday, the Washington Examiner’s Josh Siegel broke the news that the American Petroleum Institute is closing 15 of its state lobbying offices and firing 25 employees, according to an email to staff from the group’s CEO Mike Sommers. Given the financial condition the industry is in, and the pressure activists have put on companies to leave groups like API, it’s not surprising to see API making cuts. But leadership is portraying it as a reorganization, a shift from state offices to regional ones, which they’re hoping to get operational by June 30th. In the email to staff, Sommers wrote that ‘The regional approach will extend API’s advocacy capabilities in a changing landscape using data targeting, campaign communications, and coalition building, and build on our partnerships with state oil and natural gas associations in key production states.’ To us, that sounds like more ads – particularly digital ones that can be precisely targeted – and more front groups under the guise of coalition and partnership work. Looking at where the new offices will be can perhaps offer a hint of where API is headed, because it’s not just ‘key production states’.” 

Walter Einenkel writes—Whiting Petroleum hands out $14.6 million cash to top executives days before filing for bankruptcy: “Whiting Petroleum knows exactly how to handle this economic downturn due to the outbreak of COVID-19: file for bankruptcy. More importantly, Whiting’s board made sure that they approved $14.6 million in cash bonuses for the top executives a few days before filing for bankruptcy. According to Bloomberg, the shale oil producer handed out $6.4 million in cash to be ‘paid immediately’ to Chief Executive Officer Brad Holly on March 26. On April 1, Whiting filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections. These moves to compensate the top executives at the company are pretty standard moves by big business to make sure everyone involved at the top receives the most money available before the bankruptcy judges and workers’ claims begin to eat away at what is left of their business. Whiting’s bankruptcy filing comes as oil and shale has taken a hit over the past few weeks, in part due to a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. The other part is the fact that Whiting spent about $6 billion purchasing Kodiak Oil & Gas in 2014, which included $2 billion of Kodiak’s debt, and then watched shale crash the following year.” 

Renewables, Efficiency, Energy Storage & Conservation

Mokurai writes—Renewable Monday: Gaslighters Gaslight Themselves Again: “[Sigh] When Gaslighters Discover Gaslighting, They Don’t Recognize Themselves, poor fellows. Climate Denialist Anthony Watts of the Denialist website Watts Up With That? has been observed trying to turn gaslighting on its head against the rest of us. The idea that the fossil fuel industry and its denial-defenders in politics and media are gaslighting America is hardly new. The term for how someone in an abusive relationship will use lies and deception to make their victim think they’re crazy (based on a 1938 movie where a man makes his wife question her sanity by dimming the gaslights every night, among other things) was injected into the political discourse in 2016 by a viral TeenVogue essay explaining how Trump gaslights Americans. […] The Dixie Chicks just made their return with a new song called ‘Gaslighter’.”

YouTube Video

Mokurai writes—Renewable Tuesday: US Wind Surpasses Hydro: “A lot of people think only of solar when discussing renewables, but wind power has long been ahead of solar. Now wind has surpassed hydro, the original renewable electricity source, in the US. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s newly-released Electric Power Monthly, the exciting milestone means that wind is now the top renewable source of electricity generation in the country—a position previously held by hydroelectricity for several decades. Annual wind generation totaled 300 million megawatthours (MWh) in 2019, exceeding hydroelectric generation by 26 million MWh. Wind generation has increased steadily during the past decade, in part, because the Production Tax Credit (PTC)—which drove wind capacity additions—was extended. Annual hydroelectric generation has fluctuated between 250 million MWh and 320 million MWh in the past decade, reflecting a stable capacity base and variable annual precipitation.” 

Mokurai writes—Renewable Wednesday: Heartland Grifters Grifted from Within: “From ClimateDenierRoundup—As we’ve noted before, Heartland doesn’t seem bothered by their Anti-Greta’s anti-Semitism, so it will probably keep promoting her despite photos showing her marching alongside Neo-Nazis at an anti-abortion rally in 2018. And judging by the replies to her recent tweets, it certainly looks like someone’s paying for bots to elevate her. If Seibt giving a fresh face to old myths is one of Heartland’s new projects, what’s the other? Judging by a Heartland press release posted on WUWT (complete with tracking links so Heartland can see how many clicks its employee Anthony Watts drives), and a much more reliable story from InsideClimate News, its new initiative looks to be a new website: ClimateAtAGlance. The site offers short summaries of denier positions – just another convenient repackaging of basic and well-worn myths.” 

Mokurai writes—Renewable Thursday: The Media Narrative on Global Warming and Renewables: “The Solutions Project offers solutions to Global Warming. Their partner Conspire for Good is a strategy and PR company. I have been asked about real conspiracies on Quora, and replied about my part in the global Conspiracy for Good, as you can see me doing here and elsewhere on the Web. So these are my kind of people. Now, what about that partnership? The point is to analyze how the MSM have been doing on Global Warming reporting. There is a lot of good happening, with vast gaps in coverage and attitude.”

Mokurai writes—Renewable Friday: Building the Renewable Grid Out to the Villages in Rwanda: “Paul Kigali, President of Rwanda, has ambitious plans to make Rwanda the IT hub of Africa. This requires getting electricity to every school in every village, and getting every schoolchild a computer. They are making great progress, but have a long way to go. Electricity access in Rwanda quadrupled in the last 7 years as more households get connected. According to statistic from Rwanda Energy Group (REG), the number of households accessing electricity has increased from 10% in 2010 to 41% in October 2017. Among the 41% accessing to electricity, 30% of the households are connected to the national grid while 11% are accessing through off-grid solution, mainly solar energy. As the Government of Rwanda targets a 100% access to electricity in only 7 years, 82% of households in the City of Kigali (CoK) are currently accessing at a rate , followed by Eastern province with 39% access, the Western Province with 38%, Northern province 34% and  the Southern province that has the lowest access of 30%.” 

REGULATIONS & PROTECTION

Qasim Rashid writes—COVID-19: An Excuse to Pollute in the Eyes of Trump’s EPA: “Alexanna Hengy is a staffer with the Rashid for Congress campaign, an environmental activist and co-founder of the Rappahannock Climate Mobilization, and suicide prevention activist. You can find out more about Qasim’s campaign at www.rashidforva.com and contribute at secure.actblue.com/… While COVID-19 is disproportionately threatening those with respiratory illnesses, the Trump administration waives restrictions on air pollution. The EPA, led by the Trump appointed former coal Lobbyist, Andrew Wheeler, released a memo on Thursday, March 26 2020 excusing significant threats to our air, water, and the climate. This came at the bequest of big oil and coal lobbyists and major corporations, such as the American Petroleum Institute (API), who cite COVID-19 as an excuse, asking be let off the hook from monitoring pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, repairing leaky equipment, and ensuring nearby water is not polluted. Eric Shaeffer, former Director of civil enforcement at the EPA, released a letter which many environmental groups signed condemning API’s request as dangerous to communities.” 

TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE

toxicmess writes—THE SHITSHOW CONTINUES: “Trump Admn/Biggest Envirn Rollback/Auto Pollution Rules”: “The Trump administration is expected on Tuesday to announce its final rule to roll back Obama-era automobile fuel efficiency standards, relaxing efforts to limit climate-warming tailpipe pollution and virtually undoing the government’s biggest effort to combat climate change. The new rule, written by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation, would allow vehicles on American roads to emit nearly a billion tons more carbon dioxide over the lifetime of the cars than they would have under the Obama standards and hundreds of millions of tons more than will be emitted under standards being implemented in Europe and Asia. Trump administration officials have raced to complete the auto rule by this spring, even as the White House is consumed with responding to the coronavirus crisis. President Trump is expected to extol the rule, which will stand as one of the most consequential regulatory rollbacks of his administration, as a needed salve for an economy crippled by the pandemic. […] The new rule, which is expected to be implemented by late spring, will roll back a 2012 rule that required automakers’ fleets to average about 54 miles per gallon by 2025. Instead, the fleets would have to average about 40 miles per gallon.”

Mokurai writes—EV Tuesday: Renting Electric Cars: “Renting electric cars started out with low-range Leafs and such, which many users didn’t like because of range anxiety. Now you can rent excellent EVs privately and from the majors in cities all over the US, and in various other countries. It’s much better than a short test drive at a dealership for deciding whether to make the switch, and which EV to lease or buy. This is how it was in 2013. […] Here’s how to rent a Tesla on your next vacation. There are some other great options, including: “Car rental service Turo [who] specializes in luxury vehicles (although it offers a range). Vehicles listed on the site are typically owned by individuals who use the service to make extra money off their car when they’re not driving it. Teslas on the site range from older Model S vehicles to brand new Model Xs. Since the inventory is owned by individuals, you can find the vehicles all over the United States and Canada. GetAround has a similar business model, and offers a wide range of Teslas for rent as well.” There’s even one Tesla owner who rents his Model S to drive during the day and sleep in at night.”

MISCELLANY

cocob writes—Lt. Gen. Russel Honore’: The focus needs to be on saving lives: “While  COVID-19 is taking up all the airtime and headlines Lt Gen. Russel Honore’ reminds us to pay attention to what will save lives. He points out we need to pay attention to what this administration is doing to the environment. The EPA rollbacks  of environmental protections are impacting all of us but people of color and the poor are hit the hardest. Toxic waste dumps and chemical companies are usually located on or near Reservations and in low income neighborhoods. Oil, gas and Petrochemical companies can now let more pollution into the air and water because of the EPA rollbacks. He warns that we can’t allow that to happen. These stories are  the stories that are not being told that will impact lives. The impact of pollution is weakened immune systems less able to fight COVID-19 and other diseases. He challenges the media to focus on what the Governors are saying, focus on the real stories. We’re being distracted by stories on what the death rate is going to be, if  we should quarantine instead of chasing logistics.”

Mark Sumner writes—Under the cover of the coronavirus, billionaire looters are stealing America’s air, water, and soil: “Since taking office, Trump has made destroying environmental rules set in place by President Barack Obama both one of his goals and bragging points. But the rule over limiting emissions from vehicles and requiring higher mileage from vehicles has been something of a sticking point, partly because there is the complication that California and other states have the authority to set their own limits, and partly because not even the automakers want Trump’s sky-blackening proposal. But, with all eyes turned to the immediate threat of the virus, Trump’s team has been rushing to complete this smash-and-grab that will, as The New York Times reports, throw a billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere. Not only will it generate a cost to the environment, it also represents a threat to public health. And automakers don’t like it, because it places the United States far outside the rules being set for other nations, setting the stage for automakers to have to create U.S.-only models in a race to the bottom for the least efficient, highest polluting vehicles.”    

Angmar writes—Regenerative Culture open thread: Nature books for the isolated (Plus any books you wish to share):Tales of Two Planets: Stories of climate change and inequality in a divided world. Building from his acclaimed anthology Tales of Two Americas, beloved writer and editor John Freeman draws together a group of our greatest writers from around the world to help us see how the environmental crisis is hitting some of the most vulnerable communities where they live. […]  In the course of this work, one major theme came up repeatedly: Climate change is making already dire inequalities much worse, devastating further the already devastated. This is a literary all-points bulletin of fiction, essays, poems, and reportage about the most important crisis of our times.” 

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