IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: WHILE WE WERE OUT: The planet had its hottest year in recorded history; EPA issued new coal rules; Vermont shut down a nuclear plant; Germany broke more renewable energy records; China announced the closure of 2000 coal mines; Republicans take over; PLUS: The planet loses another champion... All that and MUCH more in today's Green News Report!
Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): CA breaks ground on nation's first high-speed rail line; National Hockey League goes carbon neutral; Safeway fined $10m for illegal dumping; US takes over Arctic Council leadership; Supertrawlers banned in Australia's waters; TX leads in wind energy; Fuel rods removed from damaged Fukushima reactor; Solar overwhelmingly popular in US; Toyota opens hydrogen car patents... PLUS: The Economist finds climate action much cheaper than they thought... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- What’s happening to oil prices? (Boston Globe):
Cheap oil has its dark side as well. It reduces people’s incentive to go green, and may slow the transition to renewable energy. What is more, it poses a big challenge for oil-rich countries all over the world, including the world’s largest oil producer — the United States — where the oil industry can’t function without high prices.
- Republican Assault on Obama Climate Agenda Begins With Keystone XL:
- Senate Republicans to try to force construction of Keystone pipeline (Guardian UK)
- White House Says Definitively That Obama Will Veto Keystone XL Legislation (Climate Progress):
“If this bill passes this Congress the president won’t sign it,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said....Earnest said there is a “well-established” State Department review underway and that legislation would undermine that process. Earnest cited the ongoing litigation in Nebraska as the primary reason that Obama would not sign Keystone legislation.
- It's Official: 2014 the Hottest Year on Record:
- 2014 Was The Hottest Year On Record Globally By Far (Climate Progress):
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has announced that 2014 was the hottest year in more than 120 years of record-keeping — by far. NOAA is expected to make a similar call in a couple of weeks and so is NASA.
- VIDEO: 2014 Officially the Warmest Year on Record (NBC News)
- Japan confirms 2014 was Earth's warmest year (Mashable)
- Anchorage, Alaska never saw a day below zero in 2014 (Washington Post)
- New Year’s Eve Snowstorm Set to Paralyze…Las Vegas? (Slate)
- Chinese government plans more closures of coal mines through 2016 (China Daily)
- E.P.A. Issues Rules on Disposal of Coal Ash to Protect Water Supply (NY Times):
The E.P.A. declined to designate coal ash a hazardous material, but said power plants would have to meet certain minimum structural standards for landfills and disposal ponds, and monitor them for leaks. If a breach is discovered, it will be the utility company’s responsibility to reinforce or close the pond. New ponds and landfills will have to be lined to provide a barrier against leaks. Controls must be used to prevent people from breathing in coal ash dust.
- Vermont Closes Sole Nuclear Plant:
- Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant Begins Slow Process of Closing (NY Times)
- Nuclear: Carbon Free, but Not Free of Unease (NY Times)
- New York Reactor’s Survival Tests Pricey Nuclear (Bloomberg):
Exelon Corp. (EXC), the biggest U.S. owner of nuclear reactors, needs to almost double power prices to keep a New York plant running in a move that promises to show just how far regulators will go to keep uneconomic plants operating.
- U.K. And Germany Smash Wind Power Records (Climate Progress)
- ‘Scandalous’ Solyndra Program Actually Earned Taxpayers A $5 Billion Profit (BusinessWeek)
- Pope Francis Supports Climate Action, Fox News Freaks Out:
- Pope Francis plants a flag in the ground on climate change (Guardian UK)
- VIDEO: How Fox News Covered Pope Francis' Action On Climate Change (Media Matters): Skepticism, Fearmongering, And Comparison To "Widespread Population Control"
- Legacy: Former NY Gov. Mario Cuomo's Urged Climate Action in 1992:
- VIDEO: Cuomo Nominates Clinton 1992, Warns About Climate Change [@ 2:30] (YouTube)
- Cuomo's environmental legacy: Greener, cleaner (Poughkeepsie Journal)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Surprise! Environmental regulations may not cost as much as governments and businesses fear (The Economist) [emphasis added]:
Now, they finally have some hard figures....More importantly, the new study confirms earlier findings about the impact of individual measures: “an increase in stringency of environmental policies does not harm productivity growth.” This contradicts what most governments and companies seem to believe: that green rules may be justified by the need to save the planet but impose immediate economic costs.
- Is America falling in love with trains again? (Telegraph UK):
As ground is broken on Tuesday on America's first true high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, a new age of the train may be dawning in the US.
- Faced With Melting Ice, The NHL Is Going Carbon Neutral (Climate Progress):
“Our sport was born on frozen ponds and relies on winter weather,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “Everyone who loves our game will benefit by taking an active role in preserving the environment and the roots of the game.”
- Safeway fined nearly $10M for illegal disposal of waste (Washington Post)
- Looking Ahead in the Arctic, With the United States on Point (InsideClimate News):
An American admiral is in line to lead the eight-nation Arctic Council as a climate steward and a caretaker of the ocean.
- Texas now hands-down leader in wind power (Midland Recorder-Telegraph):
None were there when the governor took his first oath of office, and Texas’ wind energy sector hardly existed. But the state has since become the nation’s hands-down leader in wind energy generation, and Perry — more commonly associated with oil and gas — helped steer that boom.
- Supertrawlers to be banned permanently from Australian waters (Guardian UK):
Move follows temporary bans on large freezer-factory vessels imposed by Labor and endorsed by Prime Minsiter Tony Abbott in March
- Australian firefighters battle worst bushfire in decades (Al Jazeera America)
- Fuel Rods Are Removed From Damaged Fukushima Reactor Building (NY Times):
The cleanup of Japan’s devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant crossed an important milestone on Saturday when the plant’s operator announced it had safely removed the radioactive fuel from the most vulnerable of the four heavily damaged reactor buildings.
- Solar overwhelmingly popular in US, says Harvard scientist (PV Magazine):
Professor's 12-year study finds attitudes towards solar and wind energy among Americans largely positive, with natural gas viewed as a 'make-do' fuel until renewables more mainstream.
- Other Car Companies Will Be Able To Use Toyota’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell Patents, Royalty-Free (Climate Progress)
- The insane impacts of factory farming: (George Monbiot) [emphasis added]:
Animals selected for obesity cause obesity....Meat production? No, this is fat production....Meat is bad news, in almost all circumstances.
- The People Have Spoken: This Is The Most Brazen Lie Of 2014 (Climate Progress):
Earlier this year, readers of the Tampa Bay Times’ fact-checking project PolitiFact were asked to vote on what they believe was the year’s biggest lie. And as of Wednesday, the results are in: “Climate change is a hoax” was the overwhelming choice.
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).
READER COMMENTS ON
"'Green News Report' - January 6, 2015"
(6 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
... Dredd said on 1/7/2015 @ 4:29 am PT...
Great coverage Des. Thanks to Brad too.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
... Desi Doyen said on 1/7/2015 @ 11:02 am PT...
Thanks, Dredd! Happy New Year!
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
... Dredd said on 1/7/2015 @ 3:19 pm PT...
There is some serious news concerning arctic methane.
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
... Brad Friedman said on 1/7/2015 @ 8:30 pm PT...
Dredd - Not to suggest Guy McPherson is wrong in his predictions of doom, but just to suggest there are some reasonable critiques of his analysis worth at least being aware of.
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
... Dredd said on 1/8/2015 @ 2:32 am PT...
He does no personal research in the lab anymore.
He resorts to quoting scientific papers filed in peer reviewed journals and admits to "cherry picking" at times:
I’m often accused of cherry picking the information in this ever-growing essay. I plead guilty, and explain myself in this essay posted 30 January 2014.
(Climate-Change Summary and Update). Those opposing his "abrupt climate change" & NTHE positions do not deny climate change, they just disagree on the WHEN ... the dates ...
Even Dr. McPherson hopes the early dates are wrong, nevertheless he reports those scary things some scientists say. And he gives talks at events where he interacts with his critics in a friendly way. He does not dislike his critics who he appears with.
Noam Chomsky and Chris Hedges have an interesting discussion on urgency in this video: https://www.youtube.com/...bedded&v=-9sxGj45eDA
Personally, I have noticed that predictions of dates of future events very rarely are highly precise.
But, trends and eventualities can be forseen, and we call those who forsee them "prescient."
For example, those (e.g. Tyndall, Arrhenius) who in the mid 1800's told us that excessive C02 emissions could warm up the average global temperatures.
Callendar, Plass, & Hulburt wrote of it about 100 years ago,
Suess & Revelle did a paper in 1957 warning of GW dangers (Dr. Revelle warned of polar ice cap melt in a TIME mag interview ~60 yrs. ago).
As you say, there is much disagreement on dates, but not very much at all on the direction we are headed.
This includes the mainstream scientific community, who have been off on their dates too (e.g. many things have happened sooner than they expected or predicted).
So the risk of prediction is that the events predicted can happen earlier or later than expected.
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
... Dredd said on 1/15/2015 @ 12:14 pm PT...
Dahr Jamail wites:
"It is my view that our climate system is in early stages of abrupt climate change that, unchecked, will lead to a temperature rise of 5 to 6 degrees Celsius within a decade or two," Beckwith told me. "Obviously, such a large change in the climate system will have unprecedented effects on the health and well-being of every plant and animal on our planet."
Dr. McPherson focuses on 2030 as a catastrophe date, so 2015 + a decade or two = 2025-2035.