IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Another day, another oil train explosion - make that two; Schizophrenic extreme weather pounds the U.S.; U.S. Southwest about to get a lot drier; PLUS: Ohio bans local fracking bans.... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Shell CEO calls for 'balanced' discussion on climate change; Proliferation of chemicals linked to rise in neurological disorders; Water taps start to run dry in Brazil's largest city; BC First Nations reject another pipeline across their lands; How the White House walked away from 'clean coal'; EPA targeted after preliminary 'veto' of Pebble Mine; Uncertain future for damaged nuclear waste repository; Judge dismisses levee lawsuit against oil and gas industry... PLUS: "More research" into geo-engineering is not such a hot idea... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Ohio Bans Local Fracking Bans:
- Ohio Supreme Court strikes down local fracking bans (Salon) [emphasis added]:
The dissenting justices in Ohio's Supreme Court spoke out forcibly against the ruling. "Let's be clear here," Justice William O'Neill wrote in his opinion. "The Ohio General Assembly has created a zookeeper to feed the elephant in the living room. What the drilling industry has bought and paid for in campaign contributions they shall receive. The oil and gas industry has gotten its way, and local control of drilling-location decisions has been unceremoniously taken away from the citizens of Ohio."
- Ohio court strikes down local fracking bans (The Hill)
- Local governments cannot regulate fracking, Ohio Supreme Court rules (Columbus Dispatch)
- Heavyweight Response to Local Fracking Bans (NY Times)
- West Virginia: Another Day, Another Oil Train Explosion:
- West Virginia Train Derailment Sends Oil Tanker Into River (AP):
Emergency crews and environmental officials are responding to a train derailment in West Virginia that sent at least one tanker containing crude oil into a river and also caused a nearby house to catch fire.
- Governor Declares State of Emergency After Oil Train Derails, Sets House Ablaze (Charleston Gazette)
- A Pair of 'Bomb Train' Derailments Highlight Continued Risk of Shipping Oil by Rail (Vice News)
- Statehouse Beat: Refusal To Release Train Info Absurd (Charleston Gazette)
- Another Oil Train Explodes in Ontario, Canada:
- Another Oil Train Derails, Ignites Fire in Canada (McClatchyDC):
Another train carrying crude oil derailed and caught fire in Canada early Sunday, potentially putting pressure on the White House to accelerate its review of new regulations intended to improve the safety of hazardous rail shipments throughout North America.
- Fire Still Burning, But Cleanup Under Way After Ontario Derailment (Toronto Globe and Mail)
- Gogama train derailment: safety of shipping oil by rail questioned (CBC):
Reducing our dependence on oil means we won't have to ship as much, university professor says.
- Schizophrenic Extreme Weather Events Across the U.S.:
- Icy storm pummels eastern United States, more cold to come (Reuters)
- Dozens of Record Lows Possible As Arctic Blast Grips Midwest, Northeast, South (Weather Channel)
- Boston has its snowiest month on record">Boston has its snowiest month on record (CNN)
- California Scorches in Winter Heat Wave (NBC News)
- Extreme weather exposes the vulnerability of our cities to climate change (The Conversation US)
- Extreme weather in U.S. comes with a high price tag (CBS News):
Extreme weather that has hit the United States comes with a hefty price tag: $1.15 trillion in the last 30 years, a trend that is likely to continue without better preparation at the state and local level, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official said Wednesday.
- Failure to prepare for extreme weather costs billions (USA Today)
- U.S. Southwest, Midwest to Face 'Mega Drought':
- VIDEO: A ‘megadrought’ will grip U.S. in the coming decades, NASA researchers say (Washington Post)
- The United States of Megadrought: If you think that California is dry now, wait till the 2050s. (Slate) [emphasis added]:
[R]sing temperatures connected to climate change—not necessarily a decrease in precipitation—will boost the risks of drought far beyond that caused by historic natural variability. In the last half of the 21st century, Smerdon says to expect a surge of dryness he and his co-authors call “unprecedented.”
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- "More research" into geoengineering is not such a hot idea (Grist):
Regarding albedo modification, I cannot improve on the piquant words of environmental scientist Raymond T. Pierrehumbert: "the idea of 'fixing' the climate by hacking the Earth's reflection of sunlight is wildly, utterly, howlingly barking mad."
If it's crazy today, it would be crazy tomorrow, so why not just abandon it?
- Shell Shocked: Now That Shell's Losing, Big Oil Boss Calls for 'Balanced' Discussion on Climate (The BRAD BLOG):
Ben van Beurden, the head of Royal Dutch Shell, is apparently a little perturbed by those of us who have marched, called, written and worked for strong action to reduce the carbon pollution that is cooking our planet. Now he's asking for a time-out in the discussion over human-caused climate change, and wants (his version of) sane and reasoned voices --- i.e., the voices of his Big Oil brethren --- to weigh in.
- What Are We Doing To Our Children’s Brains? (Ensia):
[S]cientists are also now discovering that chemical compounds common in outdoor air — including components of vehicle exhaust and fine particulate matter — as well as in indoor air and consumer products can also adversely affect brain development, including prenatally.
- Taps Start to Run Dry in Brazil’s Largest City (NY Times):
Endowed with the Amazon and other mighty rivers, an array of huge dams and one-eighth of the world’s fresh water, Brazil is sometimes called the “Saudi Arabia of water,” so rich in the coveted resource that some liken it to living above a sea of oil. But in Brazil’s largest and wealthiest city, a more dystopian situation is unfolding: The taps are starting to run dry.
- Coastal First Nations Call Out 'Eagle Spirit' Pipeline (The Tyee):
Energy project seen as Northern Gateway alternative rejected by two vital aboriginal alliances.
- As N.J. Pipeline Network Grows, Safety Is Concern (Bergen Co. Record):
With more than 1,500 miles of aging natural gas pipelines already crisscrossing New Jersey, and five new projects to expand the network’s capacity being proposed or recently completed, federal authorities are raising concerns about the safety of such pipelines nationwide, especially in densely populated areas.
- How the White House Walked Away From 'Clean Coal' (Bloomberb):
A $1 billion Illinois project, meant to be the poster child for coal’s climate-friendly future, gets scuttled.
- Pebble Mine in Alaska: EPA Becomes Target By Planning for Rare ‘Veto’ (Washington Post):
Just north of Iliamna Lake in southwestern Alaska is an empty expanse of marsh and shrub that conceals one of the world’s great buried fortunes: A mile-thick layer of virgin ore said to contain at least 6.7 million pounds — or $120 billion worth — of gold.
- Nuclear Waste Repository’s Future Uncertain, But New Mexico Town Still Believes (Santa Fe New Mexican):
On Feb. 5, 2014, a truck hauling salt caught fire deep in the maze of tunnels of the federal government’s only underground nuclear waste dump. Thick, black smoke forced an evacuation of workers as it billowed to the surface through exit shafts.
- Draft Treaty Aims for Fossil-Free Future With Many Pages, Few Answers (InsideClimate News):
During a week of United Nations climate negotiations in Geneva, the draft of a new treaty got longer and more complex, rather than shorter and simpler as leaders had planned. That may nonetheless represent progress, according to participants and environmentalists.
- Judge Dismissses Wetlands Damage Suit Against Oil, Gas Companies (New Orleans Times-Picayune):
"A federal judge dismissed a controversial wetlands damage lawsuit filed by the east bank levee authority against more than 80 oil, gas and pipeline companies, ruling that the authority failed to make a valid claim against the energy firms.
- State Department Hunkers in Secrecy Bunker over Keystone XL (Society of Environmental Journalists):
Is the State Department review of whether to permit the Keystone XL pipeline transparent? Not at all. State spokesperson Jen Psaki stiff-armed the Associated Press' Matt Lee February 3, 2015, when he asked whether all eight agencies invited to comment had done so. This from the administration President Obama had pledged on his first day in office would be "the most open and transparent in history."
- Now's Your Chance to Help Save the Imperiled Monarch Butterfly-and Get Paid to Do So (Take Part) [emphasis added]:
Another threat, according to Grant, has been well-intentioned individuals who have planted a tropical form of milkweed, which competes with native varieties and is not beneficial to monarchs or other pollinators.
- Anti-'Geoengineering' National Academy Report Opposes 'Climate-Altering Deployment' (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has released two very pessimistic reports on geoengineering. Well, actually the reports are on "climate intervention," because the Academy panel rejects the widely used term "geoengineering." Why? Because "we felt 'engineering' implied a level of control that is illusory," explained Dr. Marcia McNutt who led the report committee. The word "intervention" makes it clearer that the "precise outcome" could not be known in advance.
- It's Not Too Late To Stop Climate Change, And It'll Be Super-Cheap (Climate Progress):
I rarely disagree with Dave Roberts. But he has a column on Grist, "We can solve climate change, but it won't be cheap or easy," that is wrong, pure and simple....The most important climate issue is the cost and consequences of inaction.
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).