ICYMI: No Scooters in Paris, No Salmon Season in California, No Protection for Coyotes & No Dubya National Park

A weekly roundup for busy people

By Paul Rauber

Illustrations by Peter Arkle

April 7, 2023

No Scooters in Paris

After nearly 90 percent of Parisians vote against trottinettes in a plebiscite, the mayor of Paris bans rental scooters.

Bicycles now outnumber motor vehicles in London’s rush-hour commute.

California shuts down the 2023 salmon fishery, both commercial and recreational.

President Joe Biden approves $450 million in incentives for solar, wind, and other clean energy projects on the sites of current or former coal mines.

The National Park Service declines to make former president George W. Bush’s childhood home in Midland, Texas, a national park.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service rejects a petition to protect coyotes under the Endangered Species Act as a means to protect the endangered Mexican gray wolf, which is often killed by people who later claim they mistook it for a coyote.

Yellowstone National Park officials oversee the killing of more than 1,500 bison out of the park’s 6,000-head herd, ostensibly to protect Montana cattle from brucellosis, even though no case in cattle has ever been traced to the Yellowstone herd.

For the first time in a decade, the EPA moves to tighten pollution rules—the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards—for coal-fired power plants. The EPA also proposes new rules to limit toxic air pollution from chemical manufacturing facilities; if finalized, the rules will protect fenceline communities such as those near the Houston Ship Channel, the Ohio River Valley, and Cancer Alley.

The Homer City Generating Station—the largest remaining coal-fired power plant in Pennsylvania—will shut down in July.

California’s April snow survey shows the state’s snowpack to be one of the largest on record, if not the largest—some sites could not be surveyed because there is too much snow. Snow depth measured at Phillips Station south of Lake Tahoe was 221 percent of normal. Some parts of the southern Sierra stand at 300 percent of average.

Snow in the Sierra is found to contain microplastics.

All banks issuing MasterCard payment cards will be required to make them out of recycled or bio-plastic rather than PVC—starting in 2028.

PFAS, the dangerous but widely used “forever chemicals,” have no practical benefit in preventing stains on furniture fabric.

Entomologists name a species of beetle rediscovered after 55 years on former California governor Jerry Brown’s Central California ranch Bembidion brownorum.

Elephants join humans and bonobos in self-domestication.

The first known case of a human contracting bird flu is in Chile.

The Vatican formally repudiates its 15th-century Doctrine of Discovery, which had been used as justification by Spanish and Portuguese colonizers for seizing land from the Indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Canada’s Simpcw First Nation unilaterally declares British Columbia’s Raush River watershed to be a protected area under Indigenous law, possibly sparing it from clearcutting.

Twenty-five cars of a freight train derail beside the Clark Fork River in Montana, spilling a load of Coors Light and Blue Moon beer.