Last week I was in New Orleans, a city I love, running around, inhaling everything edible in sight, delighting in the Gulf Coast, and generally basking in the South. Now I’m back in D.C. with a deep chest cough and raging cold, scrambling to wrap up the year. Chanukah is coming this weekend (the best known and arguably least important of Jewish holidays) and then a week and then I’m in the Southwest and then back to D.C. and then The End! Which is how I think about the December 31 to January 1 leap, a social construct that still marks a deadline. I haven’t done half (almost literally half) of the things I planned to do in 2018, which is standard, but still tiring. I’m not rushing to finish the list, though. Instead I’ve been listening to alt rock songs I haven’t heard in 10 years, which is another byproduct of going back to the South — everything sounds like home, which is hard to explain to anyone who didn’t grow up in the region, but we just…listen to the same music, and don’t stop, even a decade later? Anyways I’m coughing and just heard a Switchfoot song for the first time since high school (and I bought tickets to see….Snow Patrol….in April?) and I hope your weekends are all going very, very well.
The Frog Prince. The Blackalachian. The Haitian immigrants powering America’s turkey town may be forced to leave thanks to the Trump administration. Journalists inside the coasts (i.e. not us DC/NYC/LA/SF types) — get your names on here! A new vagina won’t make you happy and it shouldn’t have to. (And while I’m out here with controversial Andrea Long Chu links, here’s another!) I will be thinking about this Lena Dunham profile for years to come. No matter how much you see NYC/DC media pushing for Beto 2020, please know that progressive Texans are largely pushing for him to run for Senate instead. A library on the U.S.-Canada border reunites separated Iranian families. Mississippi almost made history.
Me: Offshore drilling: never dead for Big Oil in Florida, apparently. Ryan Zinke would like you to know that “radical environmentalists” are to blame for California’s wildfires. And despite being cleared of wrongdoing in one probe, Democrats are still coming for Zinke. The company behind a Gulf of Mexico oil spill that has been leaking for 14 years have been ordered by the government to clean it up, ASAP. California’s nightmare: rains after wildfires.
The National Climate Assessment finds that climate change will hurt the most vulnerable Americans first and worst. D.C.’s historic climate bill is one step closer to reality. The Green New Deal had 15 Democrats onboard when I wrote that piece, 18 as of Friday afternoon. Rampant coal ash pollution litters nearby groundwater in Illinois. Brazil is already backtracking on climate leadership under Bolsonaro.
Elsewhere: Small farmers are keeping genetic food diversity alive in Mexico. France protests rising fuel prices. Finland has no idea what Trump meant about raking forest floors. Bernie’s got a climate town hall coming, apparently. Newfoundland, Canada’s worst oil spill ever. Venezuela’s last glacier. The Farm Bill stalled over food stamps. The war over Line 5 in Michigan continues — same for Line 3. Fuel to the fire. Louisville weighs a renewable path. D.C.’s horrifying weather future. More terrible Paris Agreement news, just in time for COP24! And Brazil has backed out of hosting COP25. Amid historic flooding, Austin’s water systems sank. In Indianapolis, an emphasis on equity alongside carbon neutrality. Some justice for Berta Caceres.
Around the Globe
Africa. Libyan refugees refused to leave a rescue cargo ship earlier this week for fear of captivity. Kenya may designate a third of its parliamentary seats to women. The latest Ebola outbreak is shattering records with its devastation. Namibia’s fight against HIV.
Americas. NAFTA 2.0 a go, at least until Congress weighs in. The shooting of an indigenous man has sparked mass unrest in Chile’s Araucania region. Trump’s efforts to bar asylum seekers from passing over the U.S.-Mexico border has hit a wall. (But in Mexico, a poor welcome for Central Americans fleeing horrors.) Chaos on the border ensued anyways. The U.S. prepares to designate Venezuela as a state sponsor of terror. Four people were killed in a shooting at Mercy Hospital in Chicago. Paul Manafort: STILL DOING CRIMES.
Asia. Japan is in the midst of a rubella outbreak. Israel’s ruling party lives to fight another day. Taiwan votes against marriage equality. Chinese gene-editing controversy! The U.S. gets closer to finally, maybe acting on Yemen. Farmers from 24 Indian states marched to Delhi to protest prices and to demand debt relief.
Europe. Germany has banned 18 Saudis connected to the murder of journalist Jamal Khasogghi. Theresa May seems to have fended off a brief insurgency from hardline Brexiters but you will be shocked to learn drama continues regardless. Tensions between Russia and Ukraine are boiling over after an incident at sea between naval ships, with Ukraine declaring martial law in 10 regions. E.U. discipline heading Italy’s way.
Spoken & Written
“But in my experience, at least: Dysphoria feels like being unable to get warm, no matter how many layers you put on. It feels like hunger without appetite. It feels like getting on an airplane to fly home, only to realize mid-flight that this is it: You’re going to spend the rest of your life on an airplane. It feels like grieving. It feels like having nothing to grieve.” — Andrea Long Chu