Coronavirus: Forgetting Nature is Not An Option

Yesterday, House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Vice Chair Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) sent a letter to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt urging him to close Grand Canyon National Park and other national parks and public lands at risk of spreading coronavirus due to continued crowding and high visitation levels. In the midst of the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, protecting nature and natural infrastructure has largely been forgotten, though Americans are depending on it more than ever.

Why This Matters: Our leaders must understand that humans and nature are intrinsically linked, we cannot ignore nature if we hope to solve our greatest challenges. We’re seeing a migration of city dwellers into nature and more rural areas to escape urban density. As Thomas Friedman aptly wrote yesterday, “The coronavirus spread in America because Trump looked at the problem through the lens of the markets first and the science of natural systems second, if at all.

Irony Alert: If there weren’t enough reasons to protect nature, one of the key ingredients in coronavirus tests comes from Yellowstone National Park’s lakes.

Silent Earth: According to Nature, researchers who study Earth’s movement are reporting a drop in seismic noise — the hum of vibrations in the planet’s crust.

  • That could be the result of transport networks and other human activities being shut down due to coronavirus.
  • They say this could allow detectors to spot smaller earthquakes and boost efforts to monitor volcanic activity and other seismic events.

Election 2020: With coronavirus exhausting all political capital and media attention, is climate change going to matter in November’s election?

Pro Tip: How long do disinfecting products actually take to work on surfaces? The answers may surprise you!

No Truth From Trump: Generally during a national crisis, the President’s press briefings are a vital source of news updates and even reassurance for worried Americans. Think FDR’s fireside chats or even George W. Bush’s post 9/11 address and subsequent updates. But if you’ve watched President Trump’s recent addresses you may have noticed numerous empty press pool seats. The reason being? These briefings are so devoid of news that journalists aren’t willing to risk their health to attend.

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EPA Will Ramp Up Environmental Enforcement, Focus on EJ Communities

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Why This Matters: The Biden administration can immediately make progress correcting environmental injustice through fair and strong enforcement of current laws

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Court Ruling Could Result in EPA Finally Banning Chlorpyrifos

A long battle over the use of a bug-killing pesticide linked to brain damage in children may be coming to an end. In a ruling last week, a federal appeals court gave the Environmental Protection Agency 60 days to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos, commonly used on oranges, almonds, and other crops — or prove there’s a safe use of the chemical. 

Why This Matters: The pesticide industry used the same playbook as with PFAS, tobacco, and oil: raise doubt about the clear science and prevent immediate action from being taken, to the harm of everyone else.

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Researchers Find DDT Dangers Span Three Generations, Grandchildren at Risk of Disease

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by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Decades after scientists first discovered the dangerous public health risks of the pesticide DDT, researchers have confirmed that two generations later, it’s impacting the grandchildren of women exposed in the 1950s and 60s. Those exposed to DDT before it was banned first-hand saw increased rates of breast cancer; subsequently, their children experienced higher […]

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