The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the hands of its symbolic Doomsday Clock closer to midnight, indicating that the likeliness of a human-caused apocalypse has increased since last year.
The Bulletin adjusted the clock to reflect looming threats from nuclear weapons and accelerated global warming.
The clock is now set at 100 seconds to midnight, the closest it has ever been to symbolic doom and the first time the hands have been within the two-minute mark.
Thunberg, who’s taking a gap year from school to campaign for action on climate change, called him out on Twitter, saying it “doesn’t take a college degree in economics” to see that “ongoing fossil fuel subsides and investments don’t add up.” She paired her tweet with an interactive graph showing the correlation between greenhouse gas emissions and the “carbon budget” — how much room is left before average temperatures rise to a perilous level, another 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The Trump administration on Thursday will finalize a rule to strip away environmental protections for streams, wetlands and other water bodies.
…The Obama rule protected about 60 percent of the nation’s waterways, including large bodies of water such as the Chesapeake Bay, Mississippi River and Puget Sound, and smaller headwaters, wetlands, seasonal streams and streams that run temporarily underground. It limited the discharge of pollutants such as fertilizers, pesticides and industrial chemicals into those waters.
…This is not just undoing the Obama rule. This is stripping away protections that were put in place in the ’70s and ’80s that Americans have relied on for their health.”
…The new water rule will remove federal protections from more than half the nation’s wetlands, and hundreds of thousands of small waterways. That would for the first time in decades allow landowners and property developers to dump pollutants such as pesticides and fertilizers directly into many of those waterways, and to destroy or fill in wetlands for construction projects.
…[The changes] on Thursday will complete the process, not only rolling back 2015 rules that guaranteed protections under the 1972 Clean Water Act to certain wetlands and streams that run intermittently or run temporarily underground, but also relieves landowners of the need to seek permits that the Environmental Protection Agency had considered on a case-by-case basis before the Obama rule.
…That could open millions of acres of pristine wetlands to pollution or destruction, and allow chemicals and other pollutants to be discharged into smaller headland waters that eventually drain into larger water bodies, experts in water management said. Wetlands play key roles in filtering surface water and protecting against floods, while also providing wildlife habitat.
… The E.P.A.’s Scientific Advisory Board, a panel of 41 scientists responsible for evaluating the scientific integrity of the agency’s regulations, concluded that the new Trump water rule ignores science by “failing to acknowledge watershed systems.” They found “no scientific justification” for excluding certain bodies of water from protection under the new regulations, concluding that pollutants from those smaller and seasonal bodies of water can still have a significant impact on the health of larger water systems.
The contamination of US drinking water with manmade “forever chemicals” is far worse than previously estimated with some of the highest levels found in Miami, Philadelphia, and New Orleans.
…The chemicals were used in products like Teflon and Scotchguard and in firefighting foam. Some are used in a variety of other products and industrial processes, and their replacements also pose risks.
…The chemicals, resistant to breaking down in the environment, are known as perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. Some have been linked to cancers, liver damage, low birth weight and other health problems.
…Of tap water samples taken by EWG from 44 sites in 31 states and Washington DC, only one location, Meridian, Mississippi, which relies on 700ft (215m) deep wells, had no detectable PFAS. Only Seattle and Tuscaloosa, Alabama had levels below 1 part per trillion (PPT), the limit EWG recommends.
In addition, EWG found that on average six to seven PFAS compounds were found at the tested sites.