IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: CO wildfire now most destructive in state history; Another chemical plant explodes, this time in LA; Supreme Court rules on TX v. OK water war; New oil spills in Brazil and Canada; PLUS: Mayor Bloomberg's $20B Sandy recovery and climate change plan for NYC ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Methane leaks could negate climate benefits of nat gas boom; Too hot to live: grim long-term prediction; Will coastal cities follow NYC's climate lead?; 1970s pollution led to African drought; Tea Party takes on utility over lack of solar energy; 'Understory' fires burning in drier Amazon rainforest; White House delays environmental, energy rules... PLUS: NASA Finds ‘Amazing’ Levels Of Arctic Methane And CO2, Asks ‘Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic?’ ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Black Forest Fire: Most Destructive In CO History:
- AGU VIDEO: Big Meadows Fire: Connecting the dots between warming winters and wildfires while at AGU Chapman Conference in Colorado (American Geophysical Union)
- Climate Change To Spawn More Wildfires (Discovery.com):
Severe wildfires are becoming common in the northern Rockies, as a result of climate change. By the end of the century, large fires are likely to strike 10 times more often.
- 360-plus homes destroyed in Colo. Springs wildfire (AP)
- LIVE UPDATES: Parts of Colorado Springs now under mandatory evac. for Black Forest Fire (KDVR-TV Denver)
- Black Forest Fire Now Most Destructive in Colorado History, 360 Homes Lost And No Containment (Climate Progress):
As Mother Jones explains, climate change is intensifying the extreme heat, drought, and other conditions that fuel devastating wildfires. As forests become hotter and drier, and milder winters lead to an increase in infestations such as the pine bark beetle, a recent report authored by U.S. Forest Service scientists predicts that the acreage burned by wildfires will double by 2050 to about 20 million acres annually.
- How Climate Change Makes Wildfires Worse: In Colorado, extreme weather is fueling fierce fires. Again. (Mother Jones)
- Louisiana: Another Chemical Plant Explosion:
- UPDATE: 1 Dead, 73 Injured in Louisiana Chemical Plant Explosion (Huffington Post Green)
- Dozens hurt in explosion, fire at Louisiana chemical plant (CBS News)
- LIVE Coverage: 33 injured in plant explosion (WAFB-TV Baton Rouge)
- Supreme Court Rules in TX v. OK Water War:
- Supreme Court Backs Oklahoma Over Texas Water District (Texas Tribune)
- Details: Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann (SCOTUSBlog) [emphasis added]:
The Court held that the Red River Compact, which allocates water rights within the Red River basin among the states of Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana, does not pre-empt the Oklahoma water statutes. The case is significant for the pace of economic development in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, and for the right of Oklahoma to control the use of water in rivers that traverse the state.
- Texas Allocates $5 Million for New Mexico Water Lawsuit (Texas Tribune)
- New Spills, Now in Brazil and Canada:
- Toxic Waste Spill in Alberta Biggest of Recent Disasters in North America (Toronto Globe & Mail):
The substance is the inky black colour of oil, and the treetops are brown. Across a broad expanse of northern Alberta muskeg, the landscape is dead. It has been poisoned by a huge spill of 9.5 million litres of toxic waste from an oil and gas operation in northern Alberta, the third major leak in a region whose residents are now questioning whether enough is being done to maintain aging energy infrastructure.
- National Energy Board Responds to Crude Oil Release west of Merritt, BC (Nat'l Energy Board, Canada)
- Brazil 'on alert' over an oil spill from Ecuador (BBC):
Brazil is "on alert" over an oil spill that originated in Ecuador and is travelling downstream towards the Brazilian Amazon.
- TransCanada prepped local police for prosecuting pipeline foes (E & E News)
- How Can We Cope with the Dirty Water from Fracking? (Scientific American): Advanced membranes, unusual solvents and new drilling processes could clean and recycle a growing flood of contaminated water
- Pipeline Whistleblower Reveals Dangerous "Culture of Noncompliance": Former TransCanada employee testifies on pervasive "coercion" with grave risks for public safety (Common Dreams)
- NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's $20B Post-Sandy Recovery Plan:
- New York lays out $20 billion plan to adapt to climate change (Reuters):
Sandy killed more than 100 people in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, knocked out power to millions and cost New York City an estimated $19 billion in damages and lost economic activity. Bloomberg said a storm of Sandy's strength would cost nearly five times that amount if it hit the city in the middle of this century because of rising sea levels.
In addition to new walls, dune systems and tidal barriers, the plan envisaged $1.2 billion in loans and grants to help owners make buildings more resilient to floods and proposed changes to the building code.
- Bloomberg Outlines $20 Billion Storm Protection Plan (NY Times)
- Bloomberg unveils ambitious plan to protect NYC from climate change (Grist)
- Bloomberg Braces Big Apple for Mounting Costs of Climate Change (NRDC)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- NASA Finds ‘Amazing’ Levels Of Arctic Methane And CO2, Asks ‘Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic?’ (Climate Progress):
A NASA science team has observed “amazing and potentially troubling” levels of methane and CO2 from the rapidly warming Arctic. Given the staggering amount of carbon trapped in the permafrost — and the fact that methane is a very potent heat-trapping gas — the space agency is now asking: “Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic?”
- Methane leaks could negate climate benefits of US natural gas boom: report: Reduction in carbon emissions triggered by America's shift from coal to gas is being offset by a sharp rise in methane (Guardian UK)
- Too hot to live: grim long-term prediction (Sydney Morning Herald) [emphasis added]:
HALF the Earth could become too hot for human habitation in less than 300 years, Australian scientists warn.
New research by the University of NSW has forecast the effect of climate change over the next three centuries, a longer time scale than that considered in many similar studies. The research suggests that without action to cut greenhouse gas emissions, average temperatures could rise as much as 10 to 12 per cent by 2300.
- Environmental Rules Delayed As White House Slows Reviews (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
The White House has blocked several Department of Energy regulations that would require appliances, lighting and buildings to use less energy and create less global-warming pollution, as part of a broader slowdown of new antipollution rules issued by the Obama administration.
- New York's Sea-Level Plan: Will It Play in Miami? (National Geographic) [emphasis added]:
Rising seas threaten other cities more than New York.
First, as the time when we could prevent dangerous climate change slips away, the time for costly investments to protect ourselves has arrived. Second, for some cities, less well situated or less wealthy than New York, protection is going to be extremely challenging—and in some cases perhaps impossible.
- Study: Pollution Led to African Drought (Voice of America)
- Fires have burned 3 percent of Amazon rainforest in 12 years, NASA says (CS Monitor):
Scientists find that hard-to-track fires in forest ‘understory’ have done even greater damage to rainforest than traditional deforestation
- Tea Party Takes on Utility Over Lack of Solar Energy (The Energy Collective):
The fight to bring cheaper, clean energy to Georgia is uniting some unlikely allies. Renewable energy advocates and leaders of the Atlanta Tea Party are taking on utility giant Southern Co., and its subsidiary Georgia Power, over resisting the call to expand its development of solar energy.
- Republican Congressman Demands Obama Apologize To Oklahoma For Investing In Climate Change Research (Climate Progress)
- Fish Nets Found to Kill Large Numbers of Birds (NY Times):
Fishing vessels that deploy gill nets snare and drown at least 400,000 seabirds every year, and the actual figure could be considerably higher, according to research published in the June edition of an academic journal devoted to conservation.
- Sunrun CEO: Why Utilities Are Attacking Net Metering (GreenTech Media):
“They have a profit opportunity when they own solar, but not with net-metered solar.”
- US coal sold too low, taxpayers lose millions -government watchdog (Reuters) [emphasis added]:
U.S. officials who administer a federal coal program have undervalued the fuel, costing taxpayers $62 million in some recent mining leases alone, said a government report released on Tuesday. About 40 percent of the coal sold in the United States is drawn from federal land and the program is administered by the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management, which is required to seek a fair price on behalf of taxpayers.
- Carbon dioxide emissions rose 1.4 percent in 2012, IEA report says (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
The agency said continuing that pace could mean a temperature increase over pre-industrial times of as much as 5.3 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit), which IEA chief economist Fatih Birol warned "would be a disaster for all countries."
- VIDEO: Water in the Anthropocene (CSIRO): Water in the Anthropocene is a 3-minute film charting the global impact of humans on the water cycle. Evidence is growing that our global footprint is now so significant we have driven Earth into a new geological epoch - the Anthropocene. Human activities such as damming and agriculture are changing the global water cycle in significant ways.
- We Have Met the Unknown Unknowns and They are Us (Legal Planet):
There are uncertainties about climate science such as tipping points and feedback effects. But these pale in comparison to the biggest source of uncertainties: people. Here are some of the major things we don't know and really can't know about future society.
- Warning: Even in the best-case scenario, climate change will kick our asses (Grist)
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page