Saturday, December 22, 2018

Top 5 Environmental New Stories of 2018

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The year 2018 was full of disappointing environmental news stories. It seemed as if a week didn't go by without some bad policy decision or news of a challenging pollution problem. Here, sadly, are the top environmental news stories of 2018.

1. Corruption in Washington. Whether it was the corruption in the Department of Interior or the nominations of unqualified people to high level positions, the news out of Washington was bad. I made a couple of trips to the capital and found the mood sombre. We will see if things improve as investigations ramp up this winter. However, given that industry insiders are in charge of protecting our environment, things are not looking good for the environmental health of the U.S.

2. Limited international action on global climate change. World leaders met in Poland to try to hash out some actionable plan on how to deal with global climate change. Alas, the meeting was marginally successful as the world continues to see greater evidence of climate change.

3. Peak plastic pollution. There was a tremendous amount of information in the press this year on the impact and distribution of plastic pollution. As a result of this, communities both large and small have worked hard to ban the use of a variety of plastics such as plastic bags and straws.

4. Trophy hunters became poster men and women for extinction. The last year saw several trophy hunters exposed publicly for killing large trophy animals that are nearing extinction. The blog has been always been in support of managed hunting and fishing for food. However, the hunting of creatures for trophies has become a taboo in society.

5. Algae in coastal waters. Many who live near the coastline have noted that algal blooms have increased in recent years. However, there are growing problems associated with algae around the world. The algae growth is enhanced by nutrient-rich releases of water from farmland and sewage. It causes reductions in dissolved oxygen which leads to widespread fish kills.

Hopefully, 2019 will bring us better environmental news. What are your top environmental news stories of 2018? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

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