IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: One year since the deadly West, TX fertilizer explosion: has anything changed?; New 'habitable' planet discovered!; Environmental justice: air pollution highest in minority neighborhoods; March 2014 was 4th warmest ever recorded; PLUS: 'Bombshell' study ties record CA drought, cool weather in East directly to human-caused global warming... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): UN climate report summary censored by governments around the world; Monsanto herbicide found in human breast milk; VT poised to label GMO foods; Methane leaks from natural gas wells up to 1000% higher than estimates; Transmission for renewable energy is cheaper than natural gas pipelines; Spread of slavery linked to climate change; Is Gulf cleaned up or not? BP says yes, Coast Guard says no ... PLUS: Power plants lose legal bid to douse you with mercury ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Meet Kepler-186f, the most 'Earth-like' planet ever found (LA Times):
Sifting through observations from tens of thousands of distant stars, astronomers say they have discovered the first definitive Earth-sized planet that orbits in a habitable zone where water could exist in liquid form — a necessary condition for life as we know it...Experts don’t know if the planet, described in Friday’s edition of the journal Science, actually has water or a protective atmosphere.
- AUDIO: Congressman Denies Manmade Climate Change, Calls It ‘An Agenda-Driven Science’ (Climate Progress)
- West, TX Fertilizer Explosion: One Year Later, Nothing Has Changed:
- Texas still pondering regulation, a year after West explosion (E & E News):
"You've got a problem not only in Texas but all over the country. The same kind of plants are all over Nebraska and all over the Midwest," he said. "I just don't want this to happen to someone else."
- West, Texas Special Coverage Page: Dallas Morning News (Dallas Morning News)
- Industry opposes adding chemical safety rules in wake of West blast (Dallas Morning News)
- 10,000 Schools Near Hazardous Chemical Facilities:
- One Year After Texas Disaster, Report Looks At Schools Located Near Chemical Facilities (Kate Sheppard, Huffington Post Green)
- Not A Good Neighbor: Toxic Chemical Facility in Los Angeles Poisoning Neighborhood:
- VIDEO: Homes, Schools Near SoCal Battery Plant Exposed to Elevated Lead Levels (KNBC Los Angeles)
- Vernon battery recycler denied permission to resume lead smelting (LA Times)
- High lead levels in soil near battery plant prompt health warnings (LA Times) [emphasis added]:
The plant, opened in the 1920s, recycles as many as 25,000 batteries a day...[T]he South Coast Air Quality Management District found last year that arsenic emissions from the plant posed an elevated cancer risk to 110,000 people living nearby.
- Vernon's Exide battery plant: An environmental wake-up call (LA Times Editorial Board): High levels of lead found in the soil near the battery recycling facility show that state regulators have failed to protect public health.
- Environmental Justice: Air Pollution Highest In Minority Neighborhoods:
- Huge gap in pollution exposure by race surprises U of M researchers (Minnesota Post):
People of color are also exposed to nearly 40 percent more polluted air than whites, according to a University of Minnesota study released Tuesday.... “The main ones are race and income, and they both matter,” Marshall said in an interview. “In our findings, however, race matters more than income.”
- Why Air Pollution Is A Racial Issue (Climate Progress):
A study produced by the University of Minnesota concluded that race is a determining factor in who is most affected by air pollution. Specifically, non-white people breathe air that is substantially more polluted than the air that white people breathe.
- Study: People of color breathe air that is 38 percent more polluted than white people’s
- People in Poor Neighborhoods Breathe More Hazardous Particles (Scientific American Nov. 2012): Tiny particles of air pollution contain more hazardous ingredients in nonwhite and low-income communities than in affluent white ones, a new study shows.
- March 2014 is 4th Warmest March On Record Globally:
- March Was 4th Warmest on Record Globally (Climate Central)
- The 3 Most Sobering Graphics From The U.N.’s New Climate Report (Climate Progress):
The overall message of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s newest report is simple: a rapid shift to renewable energy is needed to avert catastrophic global warming. The science behind that message, however, is less simple.
- Extreme US Winter Weather Tied to Global Warming:
- Bombshell: Study Ties Epic California Drought, ‘Frigid East’ To Manmade Climate Change (Climate Progress):
We’ve reported before that climate scientists had predicted a decade ago that warming-driven Arctic ice loss would lead to worsening drought in California.... The research provides “evidence connecting the amplified wind patterns, consisting of a strong high pressure in the West and a deep low pressure in the East [labeled a 'dipole'], to global warming.” Researchers have “uncovered evidence that can trace the amplification of the dipole to human influences.”
- VIDEO: The Ridiculously Resilient Ridge – a Product of Climate Change? (Climate Crocks)
- After Dry Winter In California, Preparations Begin For Harsh Wildfire Season (Climate Progress)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- UN's IPCC report summary censored by governments around the world (Sydney Morning Herald):
A major climate report presented to the world was censored by the very governments who requested it, frustrating and angering some of its lead authors ...[E]ntire paragraphs, plus graphs showing where carbon emissions have been increasing the fastest, were deleted from the summary during a week’s debate prior to its release. Other sections had their meaning and purpose significantly diluted. They were victims of a bruising skirmish between governments in the developed and developing world over who should shoulder the blame for, and the responsibility for fixing, climate change.
- Power plants lose legal bid to douse you with mercury (Grist):
The power plant owners felt it was unfair that the government cared about public health but didn’t care about their bottom lines. More mercury in your air means more money in their pockets. So they sued.
- Victory For Academic Freedom: Va. Supreme Court rules for U-Va. in global warming FOIA case (Washington Post):
the Virginia Supreme Court ... reject[ed] an attempt by skeptics of global warming to view the work of a prominent climate researcher during his years at the University of Virginia.
- World's Number One Herbicide Found in Mother's Breast Milk (Organic Consumers Association):
Pilot study shows build-up of Glyphosate herbicide in Mothers' bodies. Initial testing shows Monsanto and Global regulatory bodies are wrong regarding bio-accumulation of Glyphosate, leading to serious public health concerns.
- Are Natural Gas Wells Huge Methane Sources? (Climate Crocks) [emphasis added]:
Drilling operations at several natural gas wells in southwestern Pennsylvania released methane into the atmosphere at rates that were 100 to 1,000 times greater than federal regulators had estimated, new research shows.
- Transmission for Renewables: Cheaper and Greener Than Natural Gas Pipelines (Triple Pundit):
[I]nvesting in renewable energy transmission infrastructure would not only be better from environmental and social perspectives, but it would also be a lot cheaper and give the U.S. a much bigger bang for its energy buck.
- Communities Find That Oil Trains Are A Disaster Waiting To Happen (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
Trains carrying crude travel through an unknown number of American cities on a daily basis, endangering countless residents, and safety efforts move slowly and with industry opposition. And Wednesday, the freight rail industry revealed that mandatory safety technology to prevent derailments and collisions will only be installed on 20 percent of tracks on deadline at the end of 2015.
- California Regulators Decide Utilities Can’t Charge Solar-Killing Fees (Climate Progress)
- Is climate change the new slavery? (Grist) [emphasis added]:
[I]n April 1815, when the eruption of Mt. Tambora in Indonesia cooled the Earth and triggered drastic disruptions of major weather systems worldwide...when relentless bad weather ruined harvests for two and then three years running, extraordinary, world-changing things started to happen. The magnitude and variety of human suffering in the years 1815 to 1818 are in one sense incalculable, but three continental-scale consequences stand out amid the misery: slavery, refugeeism, and the failure of states.
- Is Gulf cleanup over or not? BP and Coast Guard differ: (Washington Post):
On Tuesday night, BP said that the 'active cleanup' of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill had been brought 'to a close.' Later Tuesday night, the Coast Guard said the response to the spill isn't over yet, 'not by a long shot.'
- Sriracha plant's possible move out of Irwindale called 'very extreme' (LA Times):
Irwindale's public nuisance designation gives city officials the authority to enter the factory and install smell-mitigation technology if the company does not make the appropriate changes within approximately 90 days.
- Vermont poised to mandate GMO labels on food (Grist):
Vermont is on the verge of becoming the third American state to require the labeling of foods that contain genetically modified ingredients.
- Scientists Discover How to Generate Solar Power in the Dark (The Atlantic):
Meet 'photoswitches,' a breakthrough set of materials that act as their own batteries, absorbing energy and releasing it on demand.
- How to Solve Global Warming: It's the Energy Supply (Scientific American):
Carbon storage has to expand rapidly, or coal burning has to cease, if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change.
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.
- Climate Panel Stunner: Avoiding Climate Catastrophe Is Super Cheap — But Only If We Act Now (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
Now you might think it would be a no-brainer that humanity would be willing to pay a very high cost to avoid such catastrophes and achieve the low emission “2°C” (3.6°F) pathway in the left figure above (RCP2.6 — which is a total greenhouse gas level in 2100 equivalent to roughly 450 parts per million of CO2). But the third report finds that the “cost” of doing so is to reduce the median annual growth of consumption over this century by a mere 0.06%.
You read that right, the annual growth loss to preserve a livable climate is 0.06% — and that’s “relative to annualized consumption growth in the baseline that is between 1.6% and 3% per year.” So we’re talking annual growth of, say 2.24% rather than 2.30% to save billions and billions of people from needless suffering for decades if not centuries.
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page
- 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).