Capitol Rioters Walked Away. Climate Protesters Saw a Double Standard.
The relatively small number of arrests after a mob stormed the Capitol left many environmental activists demanding answers for what they call a double standard in how police treat protesters. In the fall of 2019 and into January 2020, more than 600 arrests occurred at climate-related protests, The New York Times reports. More than 10,000 arrests occurred last year at racial justice protests.
(The New York Times)
Trump Moves to Loosen Mining Regulations, Approve Projects as He Exits
President Trump is moving to loosen mining regulations and green light new mineral projects before leaving office this month, with successor Joe Biden unable to reverse some of the changes, Reuters reports. Administration officials said they plan to publish new rules on Jan. 15 that will expand miners’ access to federal lands, and will approve two new large mining projects.
2020 Ties 2016 as Earth’s Hottest Year on Record, Even Without El Niño to Supercharge It
European climate scientists have tallied up millions of temperature readings from last year to conclude that 2020 was tied with 2016 as the hottest year on record for the planet. It’s the first time the global temperature has peaked without El Niño, a cyclical Pacific Ocean warm phase that typically spikes the average annual global temperature to new highs, researchers said.
(Inside Climate News)
More Than 1,000 Extinction Rebellion Activists Taken to Court
In what legal experts are calling one of the biggest crackdowns on protesting in British legal history, more than 1,000 people who participated in direct actions organized by the climate activist group Extinction Rebellion are being charged for crimes, The Guardian reports. Hundreds of cases are ongoing and lawyers say that some defendants are being asked to appear in London court despite the pandemic.
Worldwide CO2 Emissions Set to See 50 Percent Increase From Pre-Industrial Times
This year human activity will push concentrations of planet-warming carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to levels 50 percent higher than before the industrial revolution, the UK’s Met Office forecast on Friday. The finding highlights a symbolic breach of the climate change threshold, with scientists reiterating the importance of 2021 being a year to more fully embrace the Paris climate accord.
Garland Would Bring Rare Environmental Chops as Attorney General
Judge Merrick Garland would bring an uncommon level of environmental law expertise to the Justice Department’s top spot if confirmed as attorney general in the incoming Biden administration. The former Supreme Court pick has helped decide the fate of dozens of federal air, water and energy policies in more than two decades as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.