IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: UN climate summit underway to map the future of global warming; California hit by record rain, amid record drought; Global implications of falling oil prices; PLUS: The toxic legacy of the world's worst industrial disaster thirty years later... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Solar and Wind Energy Start to Win on Price vs. Conventional Fuels; Florida regulators approve plan to gut energy efficiency goals, end solar power rebates; Takeout coffee cups messing with your hormones; Missing the Big Picture on Climate Change; Germany utility to quit gas and coal and focus on renewable energy; Politico’s normal, awful story on EPA’s new air rule; Hillary Clinton says fracking carries risks; Indiana backs coal producers over residents... PLUS: America could power itself 100 times over with solar energy... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- California Hit With Record Rain Amid Record Drought:
- Huge California rainstorm begins; rainfall records set to fall (LA Times)
- Big Welcome Storm Headed California's Way (Climate Central)
- Climate change fuels both California's record drought and "polar vortex" storms (Vancouver Observer)
- Global Warming Elevates Odds of Extreme Weather, From Australia to California (Mashable)
- National Science Foundation: Record California Drought Directly Linked To Climate Change (Climate Progress)
- COP20: UN Climate Summit Underway in Lima, Peru:
- UN COP20 Lima - Main Coverage Page (United Nations Climate Change Conference 2014)
- The Biggest Hurdles Plaguing a Global Climate Accord, Explained (InsideClimate News)
- Lima Climate Talks Best Chance for a Generation, Say Upbeat Diplomats (Guardian UK)
- The world’s most important Mad Lib will be filled by ________ (Grist) [emphasis added]:
The goal of the Lima talks is to set a standard for how countries will formally submit their proposed emissions pledges in preparation for next year’s big summit....One of the big debates prior to Paris will be whether developed and developing countries will be required to meet the same criteria for setting those goals, and whether the goals will be legally binding.
- Optimism Faces Grave Realities at Climate Talks (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
At stake now, they say, is the difference between a newly unpleasant world and an uninhabitable one.
- How the World Can Fight Global Warming No Matter What Happens in Lima (Scientific American)
- Global Climate Talks Open with Push for Human Rights (Scientific American):
One mark of that shift is the $9.6 billion committed so far by rich nations to the U.N.'s Green Climate Fund to help poor countries. But it's not just about money.
- Global Implications Of Falling Oil Prices:
- VIDEO: How will plunging oil prices affect the economy? (PBS Newshour):
A lot of our new oil, the shale oil and the oil from other type of formations that you hear so much about, actually is a little bit expensive relative to the world market. So if you look at where prices have gone, at least some of it is likely to stop....And because these wells decline so fast, it means that there is some possibility you will start to see a response...where supply will just start to taper off.
- As oil prices plunge, wide-ranging effects for consumers and the global economy (Washington Post)
- The Weekend Wonk: With Coal on the Ropes, is This the Beginning of the End of Oil? (Climate Crocks):
This is a sampler of the increasingly confused and borderline panicky reactions around the world to the plunging price of oil. Intensely interesting puzzle emerging, as temporary price drops tease consumers, but more thoughtful observers see grave danger for producers, and the economies that are too reliant on them.
- The American Oil Boom Won't Last Long at $65 Per Barrel (BusinessWeek)
- Russia to fall into recession amid sanctions and plunging oil price (Guardian UK)
- Another reason Iran doesn't need low oil prices (CNBC):
The Iranian government developed a budget based on oil at $100 barrel. Petroleum accounts for 80 percent of Iran's exports, according to the CIA World Factbook.
- Bhopal Disaster's Toxic Legacy, Thirty Years Later:
- Bhopal: Tragedy Lives On (Al Jazeera America)
- VIDEO: Poison gas leak kills thousands in Bhopal, India (NBC News):
Dec. 3, 1984: NBC's Tom Brokaw reports on the aftermath of a deadly gas leak in Bhopal, India.
- VIDEO: Bhopal, India - 25 years after Union Carbide gas leak (BBC)
- India: After 30 Years, Bhopal is Still Simmering (Newsweek):
India’s central government and the state government of Madhya Pradesh are in denial over the scale of the tragedy that occurred 30 years ago when at least 5,000 people died Bhopal, in a devastating Union Carbide gas leak that has caused continuing ill health for some 500,000. Neither government has even begun to deal adequately with what needs to be done in terms of compensation, health care and cleaning up the factory’s contaminated 70-acre site.
- 13 Moving Images Showing The Impact Of The 1984 Bhopal Disaster (Buzzfeed)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Report: America could power itself 100 times over with solar energy (Washington Post):
Here's a visualization, showing states that can get 1 to 5 times their current energy needs from solar, states that can get 5 to 25 times their energy, states that can get 25 to 100 times what they're using, and states that can get over 100 times their current needs.
- Solar and Wind Energy Start to Win on Price vs. Conventional Fuels (NY Times):
For the solar and wind industries in the United States, it has been a long-held dream: to produce energy at a cost equal to conventional sources like coal and natural gas. That day appears to be dawning.
- That takeout coffee cup may be messing with your hormones: (Mother Jones):
A new study suggests that whole classes of BPA-free plastics --- including the kind in styrofoam --- release estrogenic chemicals.
- Are We Missing the Big Picture on Climate Change? (NY Times):
If you didn’t pay attention to a species beforehand, you won’t have noticed its decline. There’s no direct, tangible way for you to know the ocean is 30 percent more acidic than it used to be, or that it is expected to rise several feet in this century and then keep rising.
- Rooftop Solar Cost Competitive with the Grid in Much of the U.S. (Scientific American)
- Florida regulators approve plan to gut energy efficiency goals, end solar power rebates (Tampa Bay Times):
State regulators on Tuesday approved proposals to gut Florida's energy-efficiency goals by more than 90 percent and to terminate solar rebate programs by the end of 2015, giving the investor-owned utilities virtually everything they wanted.
- Germany's E.ON to quit gas and coal and focus on renewable energy (The Guardian UK):
Germany utility firm to sell off most power generating units amid ‘dramatically altered global energy markets’
- Politico’s normal, awful story on EPA’s new air rule (Grist) [emphasis added]:
Hack studies from NAM and other “business groups” are treated as credible. Well-documented facts are put in enviros’ mouths — “greens say” — to shield reporters from inevitable conservative pushback. The focus is always on costs, not benefits. Politically, the fight is always Dems and EPA on the defense, Republicans on the attack. It’s one special interest (“environmentalists”) vs. another (“business”), not the public interest vs. private interests, or externalized vs. internalized costs.
- Hillary Clinton says fracking carries risks in conservation speech (Guardian UK):
Possible presidential candidate draws distinction with Barack Obama, who has trumpeted boom in gas and oil exploration
- State To Coal Mine's Neighbors: Dust? We Didn't See It (Indianapolis Star):
In 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency took enforcement action based on the dust complaints and numerous poor air-quality readings, but there is no resolution in sight...Peabody officials insist the mine is safe, and state regulators say they've not documented any violations during their inspections.
- World Is Locked into ~1.5°C Warming & Risks Are Rising, New Climate Report Finds (World Bank)
- Neither rain nor snow nor heat sways views on climate science (LA Times) [emphasis added]:
Freaky seasons and drastic weather anomalies do little to convince most people that climate change is real - political ideology does much more, according to a study published online Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.
- How to stop global warming, in 7 steps (Vox.com) [emphasis added]:
5) Cutting emissions will cost us - but so will global warming... Economic modeling suggests that this would shave 0.06 percentage points off global economic growth each year....The world would still get richer over time, but at a somewhat slower rate.
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).