IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: GOP anti-environment wish list makes it into "Cromnibus" bill; Crunch time at UN climate treaty talks in Peru; Worldwide calls for an end to fossil fuels; Australia goaded into joining UN Green Climate Fund; PLUS: 'Freedom Industries' boss facing accountability for West Virginia chemical spill... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Russia’s militarization of the Arctic; 7 psychological reasons stopping action on climate change; Study gauges total plastic pollution in ocean; The big hidden energy story unfolding - and it's not oil; Unraveling the El Nino mystery; Should solar homeowners pay for grid maintenance? ... PLUS: How Solar Power Could Slay the Fossil Fuel Empire by 2030... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- 'Cromnibus' Bill Is A GOP Wish List:
- 7 things environmentalists hate about the new spending bill (Vox.com)
- 6 Of The Worst Environmental Provisions In The ‘Cromnibus’ Spending Bill (Climate Progress)
- Defense bill hits snag over land swaps, wilderness (AP)
- UN COP20: Climate Summit UPDATE:
- VIDEO: Secretary of State John F. Kerry – Climate Change: A Test of Global Leadership (UN FCCC)
- Transcript: Sec. Kerry's Remarks on Climate Change at COP-20 (US State Dept.)
- UN COP20 Lima - Main Coverage Page (United Nations Climate Change Conference 2014)
- LIVE IN LIMA: UN COP20 climate change summit (RTCC)
- John Kerry Slams Climate Deniers at COP 20, Emphasizes 97% Consensus, Mum on KXL (DeSmog Blog)
- Led by U.S. and China, world diplomats teeter on the edge of a new climate regime (E & E News):
A funny thing happened on the way to a 2015 climate deal: The wall dividing developed and developing countries crumbled.
- Thousands of marchers demand just solution at UN climate talks in Lima (Guardian UK):
Indigenous peoples from the Andes to the Amazon joined trade unionists, students and women’s groups in demonstration in the Peruvian capital
- Lima climate talks agree on just one paragraph of deal with 24 hours left (Guardian UK):
As crucial UN climate summit in Peru enters final hours, negotiators have made little progress on draft text
- Greenpeace apologises to people of Peru over Nazca lines stunt (Guardian UK)
- Lima Climate Talks Split on Role of Adaptation, Finance in New Deal (Reuters):
Negotiators at U.N. climate talks in Lima are divided over whether governments should include finance and adaptation commitments in the national offers of action they are due to put forward early next year as the building blocks of a new global climate change deal.
- Stern warning: Legally-binding climate deal 'not necessary' (BBC)
- Australia named worst-performing industrial country on climate change (Guardian UK)
- Calls Grow For Global Price On Carbon:
- Goal to end fossil fuels by 2050 surfaces in Lima UN climate documents (Guardian UK):
Campaigners in Lima are eyeing an ‘inevitable’ end to the fossil fuel industry by mid-century
- A climate idea comes of age: Zero emissions (AP):
In Lima, Norway is now pushing for a "net zero emissions" goal by 2050, meaning no more carbon emissions than the world's forests can absorb. Other options being discussed at the slow-going talks use different timelines and words like "carbon neutrality."... Oil companies aren't thrilled about the zero emissions idea, though, because it could encourage thinking that investments in fossil fuels are a bad idea.
- VIDEO: World Bank chief calls for "zero net emissions" climate goal (World Bank)
- Speech by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim: "Sending a Signal from Paris: Transforming the Economy to Achieve Zero Net Emissions (World Bank) [emphasis addeed]:
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim: “All countries should commit to put a price on carbon.”
- World Bank chief calls for "zero net emissions" climate goal (RTCC):
Jim Kim joins growing momentum behind drive to ensure 2015 climate deal will wipe out fossil fuel use...
- The Climate Talks Find an Enemy at COP20: The Fossil Fuel Industry (Huffington Post Green)
- B.C. carbon tax an effective model for national climate change approach: report (Toronto Globe & Mail)
- UN COP20: Australia Goaded Into Green Climate Fund::
- VIDEO: Green Climate Fund will get $200m from Australia after Tony Abbott's about-turn (Guardian UK)
- With Surprise Australian Pledge, Green Climate Fund Hits Milestone (Climate Progress)
- The World's Biggest Climate Villain Just Agreed to Help Fight Global Warming (Mother Jones):
Australia's insane climate politics just produced something good for a change.
- Green Climate Fund: Fossil Fuels Will Be Completely 'Excluded,' Renewables Prioritized (Reuters):
The Green Climate Fund will invest in energy projects that shift away from "business as usual" and have a significant impact on curbing climate change, its executive director has said...[O]nce project proposals begin to come in next year, the fund will compare them "and see which ones are really moving us away from the unsustainable path we are on," she said.
- Green Climate Fund - who's pledged and how much (AP)
- Poorest countries 'left behind': climate finance report (Daily Mail)
- Abbott's attempt to buy relevance at climate change talks in Lima (ABC Australia)
- Accountability in West Virginia Chemical Spill:
- FBI Files Charges Against President Of Company Behind West Virginia Chemical Spill (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
FBI Special Agent James F. Lafferty said in a sworn affidavit that Southern, in an attempt to protect his personal fortune of nearly $8 million and shield himself from lawsuits, developed a scheme to distance himself from the company and “deflect blame” to other parties.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Russia’s Militarization of the Arctic (Climate Crocks) [emphasis added]:
But like here in the US, while wealthy interests fund science denial to keep their populations ignorant of the threat from climate change, they quietly prepare for a climate altered future in which the arctic ocean opens for trade and exploitation.
- How Solar Power Could Slay the Fossil Fuel Empire by 2030 (Motherboard):
In just 15 years, the world as we know it will have transformed forever. The age of oil, gas, coal and nuclear will be over. A new age of clean power and smarter cars will fundamentally, totally, and permanently disrupt the existing fossil fuel-dependent industrial infrastructure in a way that even the most starry-eyed proponents of ‘green energy’ could never have imagined.
- Study Gauges Plastic Levels in Oceans (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
“Plastics are like a cocktail of contaminants floating around in the aquatic habitat,” said Chelsea M. Rochman, a marine ecologist at the University of California, Davis. “These contaminants may be magnifying up the food chain.”... “We’ve got to put some onus on producers,” he said. “If you make it, take it back, or make sure the ocean can deal with it in an environmentally harmless way.”
- The 7 psychological reasons that are stopping us from acting on climate change (Washington Post):
When a gigantic threat is staring you in the face, and you can't act upon it, it's safe to assume there's some sort of mental blockage happening. So what's the hangup?
- There's a Big Energy Story Unfolding and It's Not About Cheap Oil (Vice.com):
While most consumers have been eagerly watching oil prices plummet in the last several months, little attention has been given to the potentially even more significant developments in the solar sector.
- How Scientists Unraveled the El Nino Mystery (Climate Central):
Climate scientists had even found that through long chains of cause and effect, warm Pacific temperatures were linked to warm air over the Arctic and cold air over Russia — regions that were literally half a world away.
- A Provocateur Sees Profits in Coal’s Long, Slow Death (BusinessWeek):
His warnings are all the more interesting when framed against what Murray, chief executive officer and owner of Murray Energy Corp., is actually doing. For all the doom and gloom, he is gorging on coal mines --- Murray Energy last fall spent $3.5 billion to acquire five of Consol Energy Inc.’s West Virginia operations.
- Dr. Michael Mann: Global warming’s dangers stare us in face (Op-ed, Providence Journal):
Dennis Slonka's Dec. 8 Commentary piece (“Climate science will never be ‘settled’ ”) on climate change is wrong and stoops to personal accusations directed at my work and character. Let me set the record straight.
- Should Homeowners With Solar Panels Pay To Maintain Electrical Grid? (NPR):
"Solar is here to stay," said economist Judy Chang of the Brattle Group, a consulting firm that advises both the utilities and solar industries. "Utilities have to cope with that. Personally, I think they should cope with it by embracing it, because you can only fight it so far."
- DOE Announces $12.5B in Loans for Advanced Nuclear (Green Tech Media)
- Optimism Faces Grave Realities at Climate Talks (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
While a breach of the 3.6 degree threshold appears inevitable, scientists say that United Nations negotiators should not give up on their efforts to cut emissions. At stake now, they say, is the difference between a newly unpleasant world and an uninhabitable one.
- Stanford geophysicist maps saltwater threat to California aquifers (Stanford Univ)
- Energy Firms in Secretive Alliance With Attorneys General (NY Times):
The letter to the Environmental Protection Agency from Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma carried a blunt accusation: Federal regulators were grossly overestimating the amount of air pollution caused by energy companies drilling new natural gas wells in his state. But Mr. Pruitt left out one critical point. The three-page letter was written by lawyers for Devon Energy, one of Oklahoma's biggest oil and gas companies, and was delivered to him by Devon's chief of lobbying.
- Researchers convert sunlight to electricity with over 40 percent efficiency (Phys.org):
UNSW Australia's solar researchers have converted over 40% of the sunlight hitting a solar system into electricity, the highest efficiency ever reported...."We used commercial solar cells, but in a new way, so these efficiency improvements are readily accessible to the solar industry," added Dr Mark Keevers, the UNSW solar scientist who managed the project.
- 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
- 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).