IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: 'Green News Report' Special Coverage 2015 Year In Review: Before 2015 and its landmark events slip into the history books, a quick review of just some of the most important environment and energy stories from a watershed year for the planet... And all in just six minutes!...In today's year-ending Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Year of Clout: 10 Stories of Indigenous Environmental Influence in 2015; Greener choice, bar soap or body wash?; Storms snarl travel, threaten rare Winter tornadoes in U.S.; Nuke plant contractors faked 10 years of inspection records; Obama signs microbead pollution ban; Superbug bacteria resistant to all antibiotics found in UK... PLUS: Shale Oil running out of survival tricks as OPEC ramps up pressure ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- World's climate about to enter 'uncharted territory' as it passes 1C of warming (Guardian UK):
Global warming milestone is one of three climate records set to be broken in 2015, says UK Met Office.
- 2015 Was The Costliest Wildfire Season Ever (Climate Progress)
- California Imposes First Mandatory Water Restrictions to Deal With Drought (NY Times):
Owners of large farms, who obtain their water from sources outside the local water agencies, will not fall under the 25 percent guideline.
- Climate Change Intensified South Carolina Floods (Climate Central)
- Why ‘Once-In-A-Lifetime’ Flooding Keeps Happening (TIME):
“The convergence of these statistically more likely events with what are very clearly climate related changes in sea level is a cautionary perspective into the future,” said Dana Beach, executive director of the state’s Coastal Conservation League. “It’s one that we really have to pay a lot of attention to and not just write it off as something that isn’t going to happen again.”
- 2015 Sets a New Record for Category 4 and 5 Hurricanes and Typhoons (Weather Channel)
- Yemen Saw More Hurricane-Strength Storms Last Week Than Florida Has Seen in the Past Ten Years (The Vane)
- This is how much warmer 2015 has been than any year recorded (Mashable)
- This Christmas Shattered Heat Records (Climate Progress)
- U.S. Reeling From Violent Tornadoes, Epic Flooding, Winter Weather, and Weird Heat (Weather Underground),/li>
- Solar Power Is Booming and Its Biggest Component Is Dirt Cheap (Bloomberg)
- Oil Prices: What’s Behind the Drop? Simple Economics (NY Times)
- Coal demand stalls internationally (The Hill):
International demand for coal stalled internationally in 2014 for the first time since the 1990s, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said. The IEA blamed the stall mostly on China, where power demand grew at about half the rate of the country’s gross domestic product, despite the fact that the two are usually linked more closely. China uses about half the world’s coal. Environmental policies are the other big challenge for coal, including the new Paris climate accord.
- Arch Coal Inc And Peabody Energy Corporation Bankruptcy May Raise Industry Default Rate Over 50%: Fitch (Business Finance News)
- Going Down Noisily: The Rise and Fall of a Coal Tycoon (Bloomberg)
- BP settles final Gulf oil spill claims for $20 billion (CNN)
- The U.S. Has An Oil Train Problem (Climate Progress),/li>
- Texas Pipeline Company Admits Santa Barbara Oil Spill Was 40 Percent Larger Than Estimated (VICE News)
- Portland's bridge-hangers and 'kayaktivists' claim win in Shell protes (Guardian UK)
- Why Shell Quit Drilling in the Arctic: After spending $7 billion on a single well ... what? (Bloomberg),/li>
- Obama Administration Cancels Oil Drilling Lease Sales In Arctic Ocean (Climate Progress)
- Only One Loser In Obama's Clean Power Plan: Coal (Forbes),/li>
- UK's coal plants to be phased out within 10 years (BBC)
- New Zealand to Phase Out Coal and Commits to Renewables (Inside Climate News)
- Australia: Farewell, Tony Abbott, we will miss you shoving onions in your face (Mashable),/li>
- Canada: New Alberta climate-change plan includes carbon tax for individual Albertans, cap on oilsands emissions (Edmonton Journal)
- Canada: How Canada’s Election Could Change The Course Of The Country’s Climate Policy (Climate Progress),/li>
- Obama rejects Keystone XL project, citing U.S. climate leadership (Washington Post)
- Volkswagen emissions cheating: The scandal explained (BBC)
- Exxon's Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels' Role in Global Warming Decades Ago (InsideClimate News):
Top executives were warned of possible catastrophe from greenhouse effect, then led efforts to block solutions.
- Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Protector of the Planet? (Slate)
- The world's CO2 emissions fell in 2015. But don't celebrate just yet. (Vox)
- Citi report: slowing global warming would save tens of trillions of dollars (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
The Citi report then asks the trillion-dollar question – if tackling global warming is such an economic no-brainer, what are we waiting for?
"With a limited differential in the total bill of Action vs Inaction (in fact a saving on an undiscounted basis), potentially enormous liabilities avoided and the simple fact that cleaner air must be preferable to pollution, a very strong “Why would you not?” argument regarding action on climate change begins to form."
- Paris climate change deal - ministers adopt historic agreement to keep global warming "well below" 2C (Telegraph UK):
Standing ovation as 195 countries adopt historic deal to keep global warming "well below" 2C and "signal the end of fossil fuels"
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Michael Mann: How Close Are We to ‘Dangerous’ Planetary Warming? (EcoWatch) [emphasis added]:
How close are we to the 2C warming limit? It has been widely reported that 2015 will be the first year where temperatures climbed to 1C above the pre-industrial. That might make it seem like we’ve got quite a ways to go until we breach the 2C limit. But the claim is wrong. We exceeded 1C warming more than a decade ago.
- Storms Snarl U.S. Travel, Threaten Rare Winter Tornadoes (Reuters):
Snow, sleet and hail snarled transportation across swaths of the United States on Monday during one of the busiest travel weeks, after dozens died in U.S. storms that were part of a wild worldwide weather system seen over the Christmas holiday period.
- What’s the greener choice, bar soap or body wash? (Grist):
Luckily for us, scientists have poured some research into answering this question, and we have a clear winner: bar soap. Why? Well, for one, it requires a lot more energy to produce liquid soaps (er, detergents, technically) — about five times more.
- Year of Clout: 10 Stories of Indigenous Environmental Influence in 2015 (Indian Country Media Network)
- China Seen Laying Down $15 Billion Bet on Electric Vehicles (Bloomberg):
“China will be the epicenter for electrification of the auto industry globally,” said Bill Russo, Shanghai-based managing director at Gao Feng Advisory Co., who estimates that China would have invested 100 billion yuan ($15.5 billion) by 2020 on new-energy vehicles.
- The ABC News Moderators Didn’t Ask a Single Question About Climate Change (Slate)
- Nuclear Plant Contractors Faked 10 Months of Inspection Records (New Oleans Times-Picayune):
Contractors at Entergy's Waterford 3 nuclear power plant on the west bank of St. Charles Parish failed to conduct required hourly fire inspections and falsified records for 10 months to show the inspections occurred, according to the results of a 15-month-long investigation announced Wednesday (Dec. 23) by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
- Wildfires Rage Across Northern Spain After Unusual Dry Spell (Reuters)
- Obama Signs Ban on Microbead Pollution (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel):
Say goodbye to the beads. On Monday, Dec. 28, President Barack Obama signed into law a ban on tiny plastic particles used in personal cosmetic products that scientists say are polluting U.S. lakes, rivers and the oceans.
- Superbug Bacteria Resistant to All Antibiotics Found in the UK (EcoWatch):
Following the discovery in the UK of bacteria that resist the most common antibiotic of last resort, a leading British expert is warning it is “almost too late” to stop a global superbug crisis.
- Shale's Running Out of Survival Tricks as OPEC Ramps Up Pressure (Bloomberg):
In 2015, the fracking outfits that dot America’s oil-rich plains threw everything they had at $50-a-barrel crude. To cope with the 50 percent price plunge, they laid off thousands of roughnecks, focused their rigs on the biggest gushers only and used cutting-edge technology to squeeze all the oil they could out of every well.
- Groundwater Depletion Adding To Global Sea-Level Rise (Palm Desert Sun):
Increasing amounts of water are being depleted from the world’s aquifers, and scientists have estimated that a large portion of the water ends up flowing into the oceans. So much groundwater is being pumped from wells that researchers say it is contributing significantly to global sea-level rise.
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page
- Skeptical Science: Database with FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Myths
- 4 Scenarios Show What Climate Change Will Do To The Earth, From Pretty Bad To Disaster (Fast CoExist):
But exactly how bad is still an open question, and a lot depends not only on how we react, but how quickly. The rate at which humans cut down on greenhouse gas emissions--if we do choose to cut them--will have a large bearing on how the world turns out by 2100, the forecasts reveal.
- How to Solve Global Warming: It's the Energy Supply (Scientific American):
Restraining global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius will require changing how the world produces and uses energy to power its cities and factories, heats and cools buildings, as well as moves people and goods in airplanes, trains, cars, ships and trucks, according to the IPCC. Changes are required not just in technology, but also in people's behavior.
- Warning: Even in the best-case scenario, climate change will kick our asses (Grist)
- NASA Video: Warming over the last 130 years, and into the next 100 years:
- Video Proof That Global Warming is a 'Hoax'!: NASA Temperature Data 1888-2011 (The BRAD BLOG):
- NASA climate change video: This is the U.S. in 2100 (NASA).