Environmental writer Allison Cobb, in “Plastic: An Autobiography,” tells the story of the ubiquitous material through a series of interwoven narratives that range from her own experiences with it (including a discarded plastic car bumper), to the corporate origins of its spread and the way it’s now dangerously carpeting nature and damaging human communities. Contributor Nano Riley has a review in our new BookShelf.
Alaska and Hawaii
"A federal appeals court today [Wednesday] upheld the Trump-era approval of a land exchange agreement that could lead to the construction of a hotly contested road through congressionally designated wilderness within Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge."
"Authorities are investigating a natural gas leak detected last week at a ConocoPhillips Alaska oil drill site on Alaska’s North Slope, officials said."
"The Defense Department will permanently shut down the Navy’s massive fuel tank facility in Hawaii that leaked petroleum into Pearl Harbor’s tap water, and will remove all the fuel, the Pentagon said Monday."
"Forty-nine mushers and their teams of huskies trotted through Alaska's largest city on Saturday to start the 50th annual running of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, an event transformed by climate change and commercialism since its humble beginnings."
"With marine heat waves helping to wipe out some of Alaska’s storied salmon runs in recent years, officials have resorted to sending emergency food shipments to affected communities while scientists warn that the industry’s days of traditional harvests may be numbered."
"Once nonexistent in northwest Alaska, beavers are both benefiting from and changing a warming tundra."
"The Biden administration on Tuesday said it found “significant deficiencies” in a Trump-era environmental analysis of a mining road that would cut through wilderness and Indigenous territory in northwest Alaska."
"A thawing of permafrost in beaver-built wetlands can release vast stores of greenhouse gases to warm the climate, but Native peoples are already feeling the rodent’s impacts." "When the beavers came to streams near the Alaskan village of Venetie, the fish disappeared."
"The Alaska Supreme Court on Friday upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by 16 young Alaskans who claimed long-term effects of climate change will devastate Alaska and interfere with their individual constitutional rights."