As a congressman from Montana, Ryan Zinke was considered a moderate—he resisted radical suggestions, for example, to turn over federal land to the states. But, as Secretary of the Interior, he is at the forefront of the Trump Administration’s push to rapidly roll back environmental regulations and expand mining, drilling, and commercial exploitation of all kinds. Zinke was instrumental in the recent decision to shrink Bears Ears National Monument, opening up enormous tracts of land to uranium mining. He has acted in seemingly petty ways, as well, including increasing litter by reintroducing the sale of plastic water bottles in national parks. Elizabeth Kolbert recently wrote about Zinke’s tenure at the Interior Department. In assessing Zinke’s and Trump’s motives, she tells David Remnick, the most cynical interpretation is likely the right one.
Plus, a short primer that will finally explain bitcoin (not); and a food editor investigates a new veggie burger that supposedly looks, feels, and tastes like beef.