A Band Of Rogue Politicians And Citizens Are Teaming Up To Defeat Climate Change Without Trump

The U.S. delegation was a “sideshow” at last week’s climate talks. Meet the shadow delegation getting things done.

Last week, nations gathered for the latest round of the United Nations’ annual climate talks in Bonn, Germany, and the U.S. delegation — once feared, once revered — became a “sideshow.” The State Department’s team was small and faces from the executive branch are mostly staying out of sight. (By contrast, when he was Secretary of State, John Kerry would routinely walk the corridors and stop and chat with activists and campaigners.) Two years after the Paris Agreement was adopted, and one year after Donald “global warming was created by and for the Chinese” Trump’s surprising electoral victory, the U.S. held just one event — a panel that awkwardly promoted fossil fuels as America’s plan to address climate change, a problem that the administration won’t admit is real.

The event — received with equal parts mockery, outrage, and a protest — became something of a symbol for America’s two-faced position on climate change. On one hand, here was a panel discussion (called, no joke, “The Role of Cleaner and More Efficient Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power in Climate Mitigation”) that featured reps from Peabody Coal, the world’s largest privately owned coal company (which happened to go bankrupt last year), and Tellurian, a natural gas company currently investing heavily in export infrastructure. Yet, on the other hand, before the event, two sitting governors from the West Coast, Kate Brown of Oregon and Jay Inslee of Washington, entered the room, turned to the press, and gave a statement denouncing the official U.S. position. “This is a sideshow, a blip,” said Inslee.

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Man-Made Earthquakes Aren’t Just Real—They’re Officially An Insurance Risk

Thanks to fracking, Scott Pruitt’s home state of Oklahoma endures about two quakes a day. Insurance companies want customers to pony up

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt by Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons (cc)

Before Trump picked him to oversee the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt served as Oklahoma’s attorney general from 2011 until 2017. Over the course of his controversial tenure, an epidemic of earthquakes emerged. Though the Sooner state is “lousy with fault lines,” these quakes weren’t exactly the natural ground-rumblers my colleagues might experience in GOOD’s Los Angeles offices. Instead, nearly all of this seismic activity has been caused by the deep underground injection of salty wastewater, a troublesome byproduct of hydraulic fracturing—otherwise known as fracking for oil and natural gas.

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Don’t Let Trump Fool You—The Paris Agreement Endures

Thursday’s announcement was nothing more than political melodrama

Today, the United States is still a party to the Paris Agreement. Tomorrow, the United States will still be a party to the Paris Agreement. Next week, next month, next year, the United States will still be a party to the Paris Agreement, regardless of President Trump’s announcement at the White House on Thursday.

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A Former Olympic Athlete On Competing Against Steroids

Swimming Silver-Medalist Allison Wagner Talks Doping And What Can Be Done

Credit: Stephen McCarthy / Collision / Sportsfile

In the locker rooms at the 1996 Olympic Summer Games in Atlanta, competitors whispered about the cheaters in their midst. One swimmer in particular, Michelle Smith of Ireland, came out of nowhere to win three gold medals, one of which was in the 400 individual medley, a race that tests swimmers on all four main strokes. Smith had never medaled in an international competition and her 400 IM time was a whopping 20 seconds faster than she’d logged in the 1992 games in Barcelona. Years later, she was found guilty of doping and banned from the sport.

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