With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 2/25/2016, 11:07am PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Saudi Arabia declines to help US oil producers survive oil's downturn; Big Coal's new trick to get out of paying retired miners' pensions; Sea levels rising faster than at any time in the last 3,000 years; PLUS: Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates proposes billion-dollar breakthrough energy research fund --- so why aren't renewable energy experts happy?... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Pesticide Combo Impacts Often Greater Than Sum of Parts; Longest Global Coral Bleaching On Record Isn’t Over Yet; Presumed dead, wild Atlantic salmon return to the Connecticut River; Increased flooding in US coastal cities caused by climate change, study says; Water emergency in Peruvian Amazon after 3,000-barrel oil spill contaminates 2 rivers; EPA asks Volkswagen to make electric cars in U.S; Tesla: GM wrote a bill in Indiana to stop us from selling cars in the state; ... PLUS: Kiribati looks to artificial islands to save nation from rising sea levels... and much, MUCH more! ...

STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

  • Saudi Arabia Declines to Cut Production:
    • VIDEO: Saudi oil minister Naimi: Oil production cuts won't happen (CNBC):
      The market will determine where on the cost curve the marginal oil production lies, he said. Drillers with higher costs must find ways to become more efficient, borrow cash, or liquidate, he added. "Inefficient, uneconomical producers will have to get out. This is tough to say, but that is a fact," he said.
    • Saudi Oil Minister Surprises OPEC with Tough Line on Prices (Wall St. Journal):
      “Inefficient, uneconomic producers will have to get out,” Mr. Naimi said. “This is tough to say and that’s a fact. “We can coexist with $20. We don’t want to, but if we have to, we will.” Mr. Naimi is taking aim at producers in places like U.S. shale reserves and Canada’s oil sands. U.S. shale drillers couldn’t pump at $20 oil despite reducing their break-even costs.
    • Plan to Prop Up Oil Prices Won’t Have Support From Saudis (NY Times):
      Saudi Arabia’s petroleum minister on Tuesday ruled out the possibility that a recently announced oil production freeze by several countries might lead to cuts to reverse the plunge in oil prices.

  • Big Coal Bankuptcies Unload Employee Pensions:
  • Seas Rising Faster Than At Any Time In Last 2,800 Years:
    • Seas are rising way faster than any time in past 2,800 years (AP) [emphasis added]:
      "There's no question that the 20th century is the fastest," said Rutgers earth and planetary sciences professor Bob Kopp, lead author of the study that looked back at sea levels over the past three millennia. "It's because of the temperature increase in the 20th century which has been driven by fossil fuel use."...[T]hey saw Earth's sea level was on a downward trend until the industrial age. Sea level rise in the 20th century is mostly man-made, the study authors said.
    • Seas are now rising faster than they have in 2,800 years, scientists say (Washington Post):
      “We can say with 95 percent probability that the 20th-century rise was faster than any of the previous 27 centuries,” said Bob Kopp, a climate scientist at Rutgers University who led the research with nine colleagues from several U.S. and global universities. Kopp said it’s not that seas rose faster before that – they probably didn’t – but merely that the ability to say as much with the same level of confidence declines.

  • Cutting Emissions Would Save $250 Billion A Year, And Save Lives:
    • Lower CO2 Emissions Could Save the US Billions (Wired):
      [T]hose costs are arguably at the root of climate denial—or at least provide excuse enough for many to throw their hands up at the problem....More and more economic research is suggesting that reducing emissions could actually save society money—partly in terms of public health.
    • U.S. Emissions Cutbacks Likely to Save 295,000 Lives by 2030 (Newsweek):
      Better still: The country stands to realize $250 billion worth of health benefits because of the overall improved public health of its citizens. That means the dollar benefits will likely exceed the cost of implementing clean energy and transportation programs. Factor in both the global health and climate impacts of the reduced emissions, and the value of the accrued long-term benefits equals 5 to 10 times the costs.

  • Bill Gates: "We Need Energy Miracles." Experts: "No, We Need Deployment.":
    • VIDEO: Bill Gates’s Clean-Energy Moon Shot (Andy Revkin, NY Times)
    • No Bill Gates, We Don’t Need ‘Energy Miracles’ To Solve Climate Change (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
      For six years, Bill Gates has been arguing that we need “energy miracles” to avoid catastrophic climate change. For six years, he has been wrong. In fact, Gates is more wrong now than he was in 2010. Why? Because in the last six years, we have seen that aggressive deployment of clean energy technology driven by government policies has — as was predicted — led to precisely the kind of game-changing cost-slashing innovation that Gates mistakenly thinks happens primarily from basic energy research and development (R&D)...The fact is that accelerated deployment policies around the world created economies of scale and brought technologies rapidly down the learning curve, as the DOE reported last November.
    • Bill Gates Q&A on Climate Change: ‘We Need a Miracle’ (Bloomberg News):
      Scientific problems don't generally just yield at the time someone comes up with a prize or something equivalent...In the energy space, there is no equivalent of when JFK said, "Let's go to the Moon." ...This is more like the invention of the automobile.
    • Bill Gates: 'we need an energy miracle' to tackle climate change (The Verge)
    • Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy Coalition:
      THE WORLD NEEDS WIDELY AVAILABLE ENERGY that is reliable, affordable and does not produce carbon. The only way to accomplish that goal is by developing new tools to power the world. That innovation will result from a dramatically scaled up public research pipeline linked to truly patient, flexible investments committed to developing the technologies that will create a new energy mix.

'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...


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: