Where’s Airborne Plastic? Everywhere, Scientists Find. – By  John Schwartz – The New York Times

“Plastic pollution isn’t just fouling the world’s oceans. It is also in the air we breathe, traveling on the wind and drifting down from the skies, according to a new study. More than 1,000 tons of tiny fragments rain down each year on national parks and wilderness areas in the American West alone, equivalent to between 123 million and 300 million plastic bottles worth.

“There’s no nook or cranny on the surface of the earth that won’t have microplastics,” said Janice Brahney, a Utah State University scientist who is lead author on the new study. “It’s really unnerving to think about it.”

While the troublesome presence of plastics in landfillsin the oceans and in freshwater environments like the Great Lakes is well known, research into airborne particles is more recent. Previous papers have described finding airborne microplastics in, among other places, EuropeChina and in the Arctic.

The new paper, published Thursday in the journal Science, reports finding plastic in remote parts of the United States; the researchers collected samples from 11 national parks and wilderness areas.

They found tiny bits of plastic in 98 percent of the 339 samples they collected; plastics accounted for 4 percent of the dust particles that were tested.”

Why a Border Wall Could Mean Trouble for Wildlife – By John Schwartz – The New York Times

John Schwartz
By John Schwartz
Jan. 24, 2019

“As the fight continues over President Trump’s demand to extend the border wall between the United States and Mexico, one thing is clear: Whatever the wall’s effect on immigration might be, it would have an impact on the environment of the borderlands.

About 650 miles of border wall already exist along the 2,000-mile boundary between the two countries. Most of it has been built on federal land where the terrain provides no natural barrier. Mr. Trump has called for a 1,000-mile wall, which would extend farther across land that includes important habitats for wildlife.

A Customs and Border Protection policy says the agency “will integrate environmental stewardship and sustainability practices into operations and activities.” But Congress has given the agency the power to waive environmental protections like the Endangered Species Act. Such laws could require the government to produce an in-depth environmental impact analysis of a new project, develop less-damaging alternatives and perform environmental monitoring after construction.

A spokesman for Customs and Border Protection was unavailable because of the partial government shutdown, a result of the political standoff over funding for the wall.

An article published last year in the journal Bioscience, which has been signed by more than 2,900 scientists, said the administration’s plan would “threaten some of the continent’s most biologically diverse regions” by blocking free movement of many species and contributing to flooding. More than 1,500 native animal and plant species would be affected by the wall, the paper said, including 62 listed as endangered or vulnerable.

Here are some of the possible effects that an extended border wall could have on wildlife.

Animals would be cut off
An extended border wall would impede the movement of many species and would put creatures already under pressure in peril.”

Young People Are Suing the Trump Administration Over Climate Change. She’s Their Lawyer. – By John Schwartz – NYT

By John Schwartz
Oct. 23, 2018 29 comments

“EUGENE, Ore. — Julia Olson climbed the slope of Spencer Butte, taking the steeper of the two paths. Near the summit, shrouding pines suddenly gave way to a vista of the Cascades. On this day, summer wildfires, their season lengthened by climate change, put a haze in the sky.

The climb and return, which she can power through in an hour, is a head-clearing ritual for Ms. Olson, an environmental attorney. It is also a place to compose the soaring language of opening and closing arguments. “I do my legal thinking here,” she said.

If all goes as planned, Ms. Olson will deliver her opening argument on Monday in a landmark federal lawsuit against the Trump administration on behalf of 21 plaintiffs, ages 11 to 22, who are demanding that the government fight climate change. It is a case that could test whether the judicial branch has major role to play in dealing with global warming, and whether there is a constitutional right to a stable and safe climate.

The young plaintiffs claim that the government’s actions, and inaction, in the face of global warming violate their “fundamental constitutional rights to freedom from deprivation of life, liberty, and property.” Their age is central to their argument: For older Americans, the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change are somebody else’s problem. But today’s children will be dealing with disaster within their lifetimes; the youngest of the plaintiffs, Levi Draheim, will be just 33 in 2040, the year by which a United Nations scientific panel now expects some of the biggest crises to begin.”

He Sues to Discredit Climate Scientists. Now He’s Being Sued by His Allies. – By John Schwartz – NYT

David Schnare’s conservative legal group seeks to expose science fraud. But it appears to be imploding amid allegations of financial mismanagement, attempted extortion and faked documents.By John Schwartz

“FAIRFAX, Va. — The Free Market Environmental Law Clinic has long sought to inject doubt into the public conversation about global warming. Now, the future of the group itself is in doubt.

Its founders are battling in court over control of the group, as well as some $900,000 in its bank account. One of them, David Schnare, has been accused by his former allies of botching the group’s tax-exempt status and of attempting to extort a quarter-million dollars from its coffers.

It all comes at a time when Free Market — which made a name for itself using the legal system to obtain climate scientists’ emails — should be ascendant. The Trump administration shares its views on environmental regulation and its dismissal of climate science. And Mr. Schnare, 70, was part of the Trump “beachhead team” at the Environmental Protection Agency during the transition between presidential administrations, though he did not last long there.”

David Lindsay:  Excellent piece and good comments, including:

Socrates
Downtown Verona. NJJuly 12
“Free Market Environmental Law Clinic” is a front for coal industry billionaires hellbent on raping the environment and vigorously opposed to green energy.

It repeatedly changes its organization name after its name gets publicized for the evil it commits against society.

Its organization has advertised its mission in the past as “part of a broader network of groups with close ties to energy interests that have long fought greenhouse gas regulation.”

One of its predecessor organizations, the American Tradition Institute issued a memo by one of its fellows that advises how to build a national movement of wind farm protesters. Among its main recommendations, the proposal calls for a national PR campaign aimed at causing “subversion in message of [wind] industry so that it effectively becomes so bad that no one wants to admit in public they are for it.” It suggests setting up “dummy businesses” to buy anti-wind billboards, and creating a “counter-intelligence branch” to track the wind energy industry. It also calls for spending $750,000 to create an organization with paid staff and tax-exempt status dedicated to building public opposition to state and federal government policies encouraging the wind energy industry.

https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Energy_%26_Environment_Legal_Insti…

The organization represents Grand Old Pollution, Grand Old Profits and Gas Oil Petroleum.

They happily do the devil’s work for cash.

47 Recommended

DL:   Check out the hyperlink sourcwatch, at the CMD the center for media and democray.