IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: 400 former EPA officials tell U.S. Senate to vote 'No' on Scott Pruitt's nomination to head EPA; Another heat wave in the Arctic leaves scientists in 'stunned' disbelief; Electric vehicle sales jump nearly 40 per cent in one year; China to slash coal use in Beijing again; PLUS: The March for Science is on for Earth Day 2017... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 'Whistleblower' says protocol was breached but no data fraud; Donald Trump and Steve Bannon have turned the White House against America; Reality finally sets in for the media: Trump’s presidency will be a disaster for the climate; There are now twice as many solar jobs as coal jobs in the US; No Data Was Manipulated in a Widely Cited 2015 Climate Study; Extreme Radiation Levels Detected At Fukushima Reactor; Car ban fails to curb air pollution in Mexico City; Once-cautious climate economist reverses course, issues warning against the cost of inaction... PLUS: #RIP: 3 minutes with Hans Rosling will change your mind about the world... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Superbowl ads normalizing electric cars:
- Super Bowl 2017 ads navigate fraught political landscape (LA Times):
“The country is so split politically right now,” said Russell S. Winer, a marketing professor at New York University. “Marketers are spending at least $5 million just to be in the Super Bowl — and they don’t want their messages to alienate anyone.”
- Super Bowl LI commercials were heavy on tech and politics (Engadget):
- Kia wins USA TODAY's Ad Meter behind Melissa McCarthy's 'Hero's Journey' (USA Today)
- During Breaks in Super Bowl, Advertisers Enter Political Debate (NY Times)
- Ford’s New Super Bowl Ad Focuses on Electric Cars, Bikes, and Ride-Sharing (Inverse)
- Electric Vehicle Super Bowl Commercials: 2017 Edition Light On EVs- Videos (Inside EVs)
- Electric vehicles sales rise 40% in US in 2016:
- 400 former EPA officials urge a 'No' vote on Trump's EPA nominee:
- Former EPA Staff Call for Senate to Reject Pruitt: 'We Don't Think He's Qualified' (Inside Climate News):
Nearly 450 former employees of the Environmental Protection Agency sent a letter
to the U.S. Senate on Monday denouncing President Donald Trump's pick to lead the agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt..."We don't think he's qualified," said Schaeffer, who resigned from his position in 2002 in protest against the George W. Bush administration's policies to weaken agency enforcement efforts. He is now executive director of the Environmental Integrity Project, an advocacy group.
- Scott Pruitt hasn’t even been confirmed and EPA employees are already protesting (Climate Progress):
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employees rallied Monday against the impending confirmation of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as EPA Administrator, in what appears to be the first protest by federal workers against the Trump administration.
- Dem: Trump's EPA pick Pruitt gave answers 'shockingly devoid of substance' (The Hill):
In dozens of cases in which senators asked about Pruitt's tenure as Oklahoma's attorney general, Pruitt told them to file public records requests with his office.
- March for Science set for Earth Day, April 22nd, 2017:
- The March for Science is Set to Happen on Earth Day (Climate Central):
What began as a Reddit conversation has grown into a movement of scientists and science lovers standing up for evidenced-based policy making and inclusivity in the science community. The date of the march isn’t just an average Saturday. April 22 is Earth Day, first celebrated in 1970.
- Climate Change March to Descend on Washington in April (Inside Climate News):
The next People's Climate March is being organized to protest President Trump's agenda of attacking climate action and promoting fossil fuel development.
- AUDIO: For Science Supporters, an Earth Day March on Washington (NPR Science Friday),/li>
- People's Climate March set for April 29, 2017 in Washington DC (PeoplesClimate.org)
- After the Women's March: six mass US demonstrations to join this spring (Guardian UK)
- 'Stunned disbelief': Arctic heat wave strikes again:
- ‘Beyond the extreme’: Scientists marvel at ‘increasingly non-natural’ Arctic warmth (Washington Post):
The Arctic is so warm and has been this warm for so long that scientists are struggling to explain it and are in disbelief. The climate of the Arctic is known to oscillate wildly, but scientists say this warmth is so extreme that humans surely have their hands in it and may well be changing how it operates.
- The Winter of Blazing Discontent Continues in the Arctic (Climate Central):
It’s just the latest signal that the Arctic is in the middle of a profound change. Sea ice extent has dropped precipitously as has the amount of old ice, which is less prone to breakup. Beyond sea ice, Greenland’s ice sheet is also melting away and pushing sea levels higher, large fires are much more common and intense in boreal forests and other ecosystem changes are causing the earth to hyperventilate. Together, these all indicate that the Arctic is in crisis. It’s the most dramatic example of how carbon pollution is reshaping the planet and scientists are racing to understand what comes next.
- Beijing pledges to cut coal an additional 30 per cent:
- Beijing vows 30 percent cut in coal use in 2017 to fight smog (Reuters):
Beijing has promised to implement "extraordinary" measures this year in a bid to tackle choking smog from traffic congestion and the heavy use of coal. "We will try to basically realize zero coal use in six major districts and in Beijing's southern plain areas this year," major Cai Qi was quoted as saying, adding that Beijing would also eliminate small coal-fired boilers.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Bill McKibben: Donald Trump and Steve Bannon have turned the White House against America (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
The White House in the Time of Trump has seen unprecedented attacks on pillars of society and civilization...But there are no guarantees: morality can bend pretty easily in the face of fear, and you know that Bannon and Trump are counting on a real-life Bowling Green massacre to tilt things their way. And in any event, morality is the not the only pillar they’re after. Next on the list is reason: the attack on climate science is, in fact, an attack on science itself, on the enterprise that undergirds modernity.
- Reality finally sets in for the media: Trump’s presidency will be a disaster for the climate (Climate Progress):
Memo to media: Start taking Trump seriously and literally.
If Trump and Putin work together, they have a serious shot at killing the whole deal?—?throwing the international community’s efforts into disarray. Since a livable climate was already on a knife’s edge after a quarter-century of ignoring increasingly dire warnings from scientists, another eight years’ delay would all but guarantee ruin for our children and the next 50 generations.
- There are now twice as many solar jobs as coal jobs in the US (Vox)
- 'Whistleblower' says protocol was breached but no data fraud (E&E News):
The federal climate scientist hailed by conservatives as a whistleblower for allegedly revealing manipulated global warming data said yesterday he was actually calling out a former colleague for not properly following agency standards for research.
- No Data Was Manipulated in a Widely Cited 2015 Climate Study (NY times):
In an interview on Monday with E&E News, Dr. Bates appeared to distance himself from some of what he wrote in the blog post, and from the way his criticisms were portrayed in the Mail on Sunday article. “The issue here is not an issue of tampering with data,” he said, “but rather really of timing of a release of a paper that had not properly disclosed everything it was.”
- #RIP: Three minutes with Hans Rosling will change your mind about the world (Nature):
He has influenced leaders from Melinda Gates to Fidel Castro. Now, he is on a mission to save people from their preconceived ideas.
- Extreme Radiation Levels Detected At Fukushima Reactor, Highest Since 2011 (Forbes):
According to the Japan Times, the reading was taken near the entrance to the space just below the pressure vessel, which contains the reactor core. The extremely high radiation levels suggest that some of the melted fuel that escaped the pressure vessel is nearby.
- EPA Nominee Pruitt Downplays Climate Change Threat to Oceans (Inside Climate News):
Among the questions were his views on ocean acidification—the absorption of carbon dioxide into the sea that's changing the chemical balance of oceans and putting marine ecosystems in grave danger. It has become one of the most worrisome and intensely studied effects of the climate change crisis. In his answers Pruitt positioned himself as a doubter on this issue. As EPA head, he would be responsible for regulating emissions of carbon dioxide, which is at the root of the problem.
- Car ban fails to curb air pollution in Mexico City (BBC):
Many cities in emerging economies are now putting driving restrictions similar to Mexico in place to curb the growing problem of dirty air. So are there lessons in the Mexican experience that will make the imposition of driving schemes more effective in other growing cities? "You have to go more directly after pollution," says Dr Davis.
- Strangling a Huge Climate Policy Machine Won't Be Easy for Trump (Inside Climate News):
If the Trump administration intends to strangle the flow of climate change information produced by the federal bureaucracy, it will be no small task.
- Once-cautious climate economist reverses course, issues warning against the cost of inaction (Climate Progress):
William Nordhaus says social cost of CO2 much higher than he thought, while team Trump says it is zero.
- The EPA Has Started to Remove Obama-era Information (Climate Central):
A group of researchers have found what are likely the first steps in a major overhaul of a site that’s been closely watched since President Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20. Federal climate plans created under former President Obama, tribal assistance programs, and references to international cooperation have been stricken from the site.
- Clean Water Protections Under Attack in Early Days of 115th Congress (Earth Justice)
- Climate economist sounds the alarm (Bloomberg)
- Green movement 'greatest threat to freedom', says Trump adviser (Guardian UK)
- The Surprising Link Between Air Pollution And Alzheimer’s Disease (LA Times):
With environmental regulations expected to come under heavy fire from the Trump administration, new research offers powerful evidence of a link between air pollution and dementia risk.
- Morton County Jury Finds 8 Pipeline Protesters Guilty (Bismarck Tribune)
- No country on Earth is taking the 2 degree climate target seriously (Vox):
If we mean what we say, no more new fossil fuels, anywhere.
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page