Trump's Asylum Ban Could Apply Retroactively ; The Return of Nativist Environmentalism ; and More Picks 10/24

USDA Inspector General Launches Climate Change Investigation (Mili)

The author writes, “An internal government watchdog is starting an investigation into the USDA’s handling of climate science and communication after a series of POLITICO reports found that the department has been routinely burying its work on climate change, even as farmers and ranchers are increasingly dealing with its harmful effects.”

How the Fossil Fuel Industry Deliberately Misled Americans About Climate Change (Judy)

From the Center for Climate Change Communication: “The purpose of [the fossile fuel industry’s] web of denial has been to confuse the public and decision-makers in order to delay climate action and thereby protect fossil fuel business interests and defend libertarian, free-market conservative ideologies. … While fossil fuel companies attacked the science and called on politicians to ‘reset the alarm,’ climate-catalyzed damages worsened, including increased storm intensities, droughts, forest damage and wildfires, all at substantial loss of life and cost to the American people. This report explores the techniques used to mislead the American public about climate change, and outlines ways of inoculating against disinformation.”

Trump’s Asylum Ban Could Apply Retroactively to Thousands of Migrants (Reader Steve)

The author writes,The Trump administration promised that asylum-seekers who already had U.S. cases, but had been forced to return to Mexico to await court dates, could still get asylum. That might not be the case.”

First as Tragedy, Then as Fascism (Chris)

From the Baffler: “Fifty years after it was written, [Garrett] Hardin’s ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ — the parable of a shared pasture inexorably overrun by individual herders’ self-interest — remains extensively anthologized, cited, and taught. … Certainly, the study of the human population’s impact on the environment is not inherently racist. But the question remains why one of the most widely disseminated articles on the topic comes from a thinker so compromised by racism. And the essay’s status as conventional wisdom suggests that the environmental logic that marked Hardin’s work could easily find its way into mainstream politics again.”

Huge Solar Storms 2,700 Years Ago Documented in Ancient Assyrian Cuneiform Tablets (Mili)

The author writes, “Evidence of unusual solar activity that potentially represents three huge solar storms has been discovered in ancient Assyrian cuneiform tablets. The magnetic storms documented in astrological reports correspond to tree ring data indicating events took place around 660 BC. This potentially helps scientists to predict future magnetic storms from our sun — events that have the potential to cause major disruption to the technology systems on Earth we currently rely on.”