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Gutted

In the 1960s, pollution was a visible, visceral problem, and public pressure led a Republican president to create the Environmental Protection Agency. Now, the GOP wants to slash the agency's budget and roll back "burdensome" environmental regulations. The story of how the environment went from bipartisan issue to political battleground.

Also, journalists and politicians have long avoided drawing a straight line between natural disasters and climate change. How that's changing, thanks to new "extreme weather attribution" science. And, the myth of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a useful — yet misleading — container for our collective anxieties about the planet. 

1. Sinclair Broadcasting is poised to expand to more households. Felix Gillette of Bloomberg discusses the company's frugal — and right-wing — approach to local news.

2. Richard Andrews, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Policy at UNC Chapel Hill, and William Ruckelshaus, former EPA administrator, help us understand the history of the EPA and how the environment became a political battleground.

3. Heidi Cullen, chief scientist at Climate Central, explains how climate attribution science can help us better describe global warming’s role in extreme weather events.

4. Slate columnist Dan Engber explores how the idea of a great garbage patch in the Pacific has helped us make sense of a changing climate that can be hard to visualize.

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