IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Obama's big move to cut methane emissions - but there's a catch; West Virginia and the fight for science in science textbooks; Good news and bad news on sea level rise; PLUS: Car Wars - it's Tesla vs. Chevy in the race for electric cars... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): WA Gov. Jay Inslee's big green plans for his state; Booming solar jobs aiding economic recovery; Sen. Sanders forcing Republicans to go on record on climate change; Not all Republicans think alike about global warming; Fracking pollutants found in PA rivers; CA limits pesticide use on strawberries; Rooftop solar already cheaper than utility rates in some cities; Pope Francis steps up rhetoric on human-caused climate change... PLUS: The Logic of Divestment: Why We Have to Kiss Off Big Carbon Now... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Obama's Big Crackdown On Methane Emissions:
- VIDEO: Obama administration announces goal to rein in methane leaks (PBS Newshour):
- Obama Administration Reveals Plan To Slash Methane Emissions In Oil And Gas Sector (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
"[O]il and gas companies are losing enough natural gas each year to heat around six million homes and that "low-cost technology to fix the problem is readily available." [Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund] said that "curbing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector is one of the fastest and most-effective steps we can take to slow the damage of climate change in the near term."
- Obama's Crackdown on Methane Emissions Is a Really Big Deal (Mother Jones)
- Activists say Obama action on methane emissions 'misses 90% of pollution' (Guardian UK)
- Fact Sheet: Overview of Greenhouse Gases - Methane (EPA.gov)
- Good News & Bad News On Sea Level Rise:
- Study Reveals Scary New Facts About Sea Level Rise (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
[H]ere's the thing. If the sea wasn't rising as steadily as we believed from 1900 to 1990, that means that it has been rising much more quickly than we thought from 1990 to the present day. In other words, we used to think the rate of acceleration of sea level rise in the last 25 years was only a little worse compared to the past - now that we know the rate used to be much slower, we know that it's much worse.
- Sea levels are suddenly rising way faster than we realized (Quartz) [emphasis added]:
The catch, though, is this: If the seas weren't rising as fast as we thought between 1900 and 1990, then they must have been rising even faster than we thought since then to land us where we are now.
- Sea levels rising faster than previously thought says new study (Guardian UK):
Assessment of 600 tidal gauges across the globe suggests a 25% greater acceleration in the rise over the past 20 years
- West Virginia School Board Withdraws Climate-Change-Denying Science Text:
- W.V. Board Removes Climate Change Skepticism From New School Standards (Talking Points Memo):
"Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century."
And the school board edited the passage to read:
"Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise and fall in global temperatures over the past century."
- W.Va. Science Teachers Association criticizes global warming education changes (Charleston Gazette)
- VIDEO: WV Board of Education removes controversial climate standards (WOKW-TV Charleston)
- Facing Backlash, West Virginia Board Of Education Votes To Make Climate Change Curriculum Scientifically Accurate (Climate Progress)
- Car Wars: Tesla vs. Chevy:
- Chevy Bolt electric car could be 'the first mass-market EV success' (LA Times):
General Motors, in a dramatic model debut in Detroit, says it has unlocked the magic formula. Its Chevrolet Bolt concept car will travel 200 miles between charges and sell in the low $30,000 range, after government incentives, GM executives said. The spacious four-door hatchback will go on sale in 2017.
- Elon Musk: Tesla will make millions of electric cars (Detroit Free Press)
- VIDEO: Elon Musk in Detroit, the lions den (2015): Elon Musk speaks at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit about prospects for electric vehicles and transportation, the timing of the release of Tesla's Model X and the slow sales in China. (Youtube)
- Tesla Model 3 Will Be A Bargain At $35,000 Before Incentives (Car Throttle):
GM is marketing the Bolt as retailing at $30,000, but it comes with a caveat - that's a post-incentive price. In the US you can currently claim a $7500 discount for going electric, so the Bolt's true price would be $37,500 - after incentives the 3 would come up at a mighty appealing $27,500.
- First Shift: Why Musk welcomes Chevy Bolt (Automotive News)
- Elon Musk Lands In Detroit To Dump On Everyone Else (Jalopnik)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- The Logic of Divestment: Why We Have to Kiss Off Big Carbon Now (Rolling Stone):
As climate-change activists pressure public institutions to dump their fossil-fuel investments, it's becoming increasingly clear that the right thing to do is also the smart thing to do
- The greenest governor in the country tells Grist about his big climate plan (Grist) [emphasis added]:
Q: There's a pretty vocal constituency in Washington for the carbon tax. Why go with cap-and-trade? Jay Inslee: Because it works....A [carbon] tax has a benefit of being simple to understand and easier to implement, but it has a huge detriment: It doesn’t give you the most important tool to limit carbon pollution, which is a limit on carbon pollution.
- U.S. Solar Jobs Climb 22% as Clean Power Aids Economic Recovery (Bloomberg):
The growth indicates that solar energy is one of the industries helping drive an economic recovery in the U.S., while slumping oil prices are prompting oil companies to reduce capital spending and cut employment.
- Bernie Sanders Forces Republicans to State Their Views on Climate Change (NY Times):
If nothing else, the proposal should attract extra attention to the pipeline debate and Republican members' discomfort in staking an un-hedged position on the global warming issue.
- The Solar Industry Created More Jobs In 2014 Than Oil And Gas Extraction (Climate Progress):
According to the report, the solar installation sector beat out the oil and gas pipeline construction industry and the crude oil and natural gas extraction industry in 2014, creating almost 50 percent more jobs than those industries did. The report also expects solar jobs to continue to grow in 2015, predicting that more than 36,000 jobs will be added over the next 12 months.
- Not All Republicans Think Alike About Global Warming (Yale Project on Climate Communication) [emphasis added]:
We find that solid majorities of self-identified moderate and liberal Republicans - who comprise 30% of the party - think global warming is happening (62% and 68% respectively). By contrast, 38% of conservative Republicans think global warming is happening. At the extreme, Tea Party Republicans (17% of the party) are the most dismissive - only 29% think global warming is happening.
- High levels of pollutants from drilling waste found in Pa. rivers (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette):
New scientific sampling and analysis has found high concentrations of ammonium and iodide, two potentially hazardous pollutants, in oil and gas well drilling wastewater discharged into streams and rivers in Pennsylvania and other states.
- State puts limits on a pesticide used for strawberries, other crops (LA Times):
California farmers must restrict their use of a tear gas-like pesticide applied to strawberries and other crops under new rules designed to protect farmworkers and people who live, work and go to school near agricultural fields.
- Report: Rooftop solar already cheaper than utility rates in most major cities (Charlotte Business Journal):
New York City and Boston unsurprisingly rank as the cities with the largest savings from a solar investment.
- Global Warming Linked To More Extreme Weather And Weaker Jet Stream (Climate Progress):
A growing body of research ties that unexpected jump to a weakening of the jet stream - in particular to "more frequent high-amplitude (wavy) jet-stream configurations that favor persistent weather patterns," as a new study puts it.
- Tar Sands Trouble: Suncor cuts 1,000 jobs, takes $1-billion out of 2015 budget (Toronto Globe & Mail)
- Pope Francis says climate change is mostly man's fault (Guardian UK):
"I don't know if it is all (man's fault) but the majority is, for the most part, it is man who continuously slaps down nature," he said...."I think man has gone too far," he said. "Thank God that today there are voices that are speaking out about this."
- The Saudis, Stones, and the End of the Age of Oil (Climate Crocks) [emphasis added]:
In 2000, Sheikh Yamani, former oil minister of Saudi Arabia, gave an interview in which he said: "Thirty years from now there will be a huge amount of oil - and no buyers. Oil will be left in the ground. ... [T]o Saudi Arabia, that end is clearly not so far away that the owner of the largest, most accessible crude resource is willing to continue to subsidize higher prices for other producers at the risk of leaving its own oil untapped one day in the future.
- The Serengeti strategy: How special interests try to intimidate scientists, and how best to fight back (Michael Mann, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists):
Much as lions on the Serengeti seek out vulnerable zebras at the edge of a herd, special interests faced with adverse scientific evidence often target individual scientists rather than take on an entire scientific field at once.
- 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.
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).