Why don’t more farmers plant cover crops? This is a question I am asked all the time when I talk about my research on the topic. Cover crops are not new—their historic use in agriculture includes many ancient civilizations and even our Founding Fathers. Cover crops simply mean growing a plant to “cover” and protect the soil when it would otherwise be bare. Live plant roots can reduce erosion and water pollution, and lead to more productive soil with time. Read more >
March 17, 2017 3:03 PM EDT
March 17, 2017 1:13 PM EDT
Since the inauguration, we have witnessed President Trump filling his Cabinet with climate deniers and billionaires. As each day passed, the reality of what we can expect from this administration has become all too clear. But, Secretary of Defense James Mattis understands the impacts of climate change on national defense. How will James Mattis navigate his way in an anti-science, climate change denying administration? Read more >
Food Production Does NOT Need to Double by 2050 (And Other Required Reading for the Next USDA Secretary)
March 16, 2017 4:36 PM EDT
Shortly after the inauguration, I wrote a post outlining a set of five questions I thought the Senate should ask President Trump’s choice for Secretary of Agriculture. Former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue had been named to the position just days prior, and though the selection is deeply flawed, I expected a Senate hearing and confirmation vote would follow promptly. Read more >
March 16, 2017 4:00 PM EDT
This morning the president released his “skinny” budget, an initial cut at the new administration’s priorities for government spending. This proposal will be nearly impossible to pass through Congress, but there are still many reasons to be alarmed about the proposed funding cuts (especially at NOAA, FEMA, and EPA).
One thing is absolutely clear from the proposals outlined in the skinny budget: despite many campaign promises to bring back coal jobs and support coal miners, the president doesn’t actually care about Coal Country. Read more >
March 16, 2017 12:00 PM EDT
Update (March 22, 6:20 p.m.): Senate votes. Workers lose. On a straight party line vote, the Senate just repealed OSHA’s rule clarifying an employer’s obligation to maintain accurate records of serious injuries. According to the Congressional Review Act, the rule is now and forever gone unless Congress tells the agency to write it again–and there is fat chance of that happening anytime soon. This is a sad day for U.S. workers; another safeguard gone.
Let’s say someone you care about—mother, father, wife, husband, partner, son, daughter, friend, and neighbor—works in a facility that’s had a history of serious injuries or illnesses. You know, like burns, amputations, and broken bones that happen at work. Or head, eye, or back injuries. Or problems that send workers to emergency rooms, clinics, or doctors with breathing difficulties, skin damage, or other health issues related to chemical exposures or other dangerous conditions at work. Read more >