9 Things the Biden Administration Could Do Quickly on the Environment – By Lisa Friedman – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. campaigned on the most ambitious climate platform of any presidential candidate in history, promising to spend $2 trillion over four years to draw down planet-warming fossil fuel emissions and convert much of the nation to clean energy.

The possibility that the Senate could remain under the control of Republicans, who have generally opposed climate legislation, puts a damper on some of his biggest-ticket plans. But with or without Democratic control of the Senate, the first 100 days of the Biden administration are likely to see a flurry of executive actions addressing climate change, as well as a major push to insert clean energy provisions into legislation that could pass with a bipartisan coalition.

Here are nine things Mr. Biden may do early on to put the United States back on a path to addressing climate change.

A Trump Policy ‘Clarification’ All but Ends Punishment for Bird Deaths – By Lisa Friedman – The New York Times

“WASHINGTON — As the state of Virginia prepared for a major bridge and tunnel expansion in the tidewaters of the Chesapeake Bay last year, engineers understood that the nesting grounds of 25,000 gulls, black skimmers, royal terns and other seabirds were about to be plowed under.

To compensate, they considered developing an artificial island as a haven. Then in June 2018, the Trump administration stepped in. While the federal government “appreciates” the state’s efforts, new rules in Washington had eliminated criminal penalties for “incidental” migratory bird deaths that came in the course of normal business, administration officials advised. Such conservation measures were now “purely voluntary.

The state ended its island planning.

The island is one of dozens of bird-preservation efforts that have fallen away in the wake of the policy change in 2017 that was billed merely as a technical clarification to a century-old law protecting migratory birds. Across the country birds have been killed and nests destroyed by oil spills, construction crews and chemical contamination, all with no response from the federal government, according to emails, memos and other documents viewed by The New York Times.

Not only has the administration stopped investigating most bird deaths, the documents show, it has discouraged local governments and businesses from taking precautionary measures to protect birds.”

David Lindsay:  Thank you Lisa Friedman. The comments are also excellent, though deeply disturging. Here is perhaps my favorite:

froze
Indiana

What this sort of thing concerning bird population drop off is not addressing is that birds are starving for natural food which are insects. The insect population is dramatically down due to insect resistant modified plants and insecticide used on crops. I remember as a kid in the 60’s and 70’s bugs would smear the windshield like crazy while driving through the country, now bugs rarely hit the windshield! This massive decline in bugs is a HUGE reasons the bird population is way down, if the birds don’t have their natural food sources then they won’t survive and won’t have as many fledglings. But no one wants to address this reduction in insects due to insect resistant plants and insecticides because that’s what’s making money for the farmers. And as a side issue, how good is this genetically altered insect resistant crops for humans to eat over the long haul? I have a feeling we’re in for a very bad surprise.

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Three Campaign Ads That Are Putting Climate Change on the Agenda – By Lisa Friedman – NYT

Lisa Friedman
By Lisa Friedman, Oct. 25, 2018

“Conventional political wisdom says you don’t talk about climate change on the campaign trail.

That’s mostly because it’s a deeply polarizing issue. In a recent Pew Research Center survey, 72 percent of registered voters supporting Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections said climate change was a “very big” problem, compared with 11 percent of Republican voters.

That divide has led many candidates and the groups that support them, even those who favor addressing planet-warming emissions, to struggle with discussing the issue during election campaigns.

But that’s starting to change. Across the country, there’s been a small explosion of political ads about global warming.

In Nevada, the Democratic candidate for governor, Steve Sisolak, pledged in an ad to uphold the Paris Agreement. In Illinois, a Democratic candidate for the House, Sean Casten, assailed President Trump for calling climate change a “hoax.” And more than two dozen other candidates in tight races have released ads highlighting their views on climate change.”