IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Another Category 5 storm wreaks devastation in the Pacific; Extreme weather is getting extremely expensive; Scientist warns California could soon run out of water; PLUS: Some good news: for the first time in history, the global economy grew, but carbon emissions did not....All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Now East Antarctica is rapidly melting, too; Record number of manatees counted in Florida; Wind power competitive with natural gas even without subsidies; Al Gore: climate deniers should pay a political price; Arctic melt is messing with our weather; Climate change is baking Alaska; Europe's regulation of pesticides could affect US food; Freedom Industries owners plead guilty in chemical spill; US Rail industry pushes White House to ease rules... PLUS: Experts agree: Renewable energy taking over... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Must-watch VICE report: Our Rising Oceans
- VIDEO: Watch This: Vice Media on Antarctic Melt (Climate Crocks):
Vice Media went to Antarctica with NASA scientists, including Dr. Eric Rignot, well known to readers of this blog. This is the best mass media explication of Antarctic melt I’ve ever seen. Hats off to Vice News for this. Not sure how long this will be on line, so take a look. 42 minutes long.
- Another Category 5 Storm Wreaks Havoc in the Pacific:
- Vanuatu Blames Global Warming as Cyclone Causes Nation’s Worst Climate Disaster in Recent Memory (Democracy Now!)
- Cyclone Pam: Vanuatu president says climate change contributed to death and destruction (Guardian UK)
- Did Climate Change Affect Cyclone Pam? It's Complicated: (Mashable):
"The atmosphere all around there has some 10 to 20% more moisture in it than a comparable storm in the 1970s would have had. The high sea surface temperatures and the water vapor fueled the storm and undoubtedly increased its intensity and size," Trenberth said in an email conversation. "The winds are stronger, the storm surge is greater on higher sea levels."
- Climate-Related Disasters Now 80% of All Disasters Worldwide:
- UN head urges better help, safeguards for climate-related disasters as cyclone slams Vanuatu (AP):
"Disaster risk reduction is a front-line defense against the impacts of climate change. It is a smart investment for business and a wise investment in saving lives," he said.
- While Vanuatu’s President Was At A Disaster Risk Conference, A Cyclone Devastated His Island Nation (Climate Progress)
- Climate change discussions shifts from mitigation to adaptation (Univ. of CA Santa Cruz):
"Adaptation is now upon us, and it will involve tradeoffs," said moderator Daniel Press, the Griswold Professor of Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz. For example, panelists discussed the growing competition for reduced water supplies, pitting cities against agricultural and environmental needs.
- Steady Increase in Climate Related Natural Disasters (Accuweather)
- Majority of natural disasters climate related – Plans for disaster risk treaty should contribute to UN climate change talks later this year, says French foreign minister (RTCC)
- Extreme Weather: Snowy Boston, Bone Dry California:
- Boston breaks record for snowiest winter (BBC)
- Sierra at Tahoe ski resort closes due to lack of snow (Sacramento Bee)
- Lake Tahoe: Drought, climate change threatening winter, way of life at iconic landmark (San Jose Mercury News)
- Warmer weather in Alberta and B.C.’s mountains creating shorter ski season (Toronto Globe & Mail)
- NASA Scientist Says CA Has One Year of Reservoir Storage Left:
- VIDEO: California drought reaches critical point (The Ed Show, MSNBC):
Top NASA scientist expressed extreme concern about the multi-year drought plaguing California, depleting resources and causing wildfires. Ed Schultz and Prof. Jay Famiglietti discuss his findings.
- Op-ed: California has about one year of water left. Will you ration now? (Los Angeles Times) [emphasis added]:
Groundwater and snowpack levels are at all-time lows. We're not just up a creek without a paddle in California, we're losing the creek too....Right now the state has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing. California has no contingency plan for a persistent drought like this one (let alone a 20-plus-year mega-drought), except, apparently, staying in emergency mode and praying for rain.
- California considers sweeping water restrictions, rations (Desert Sun):
The State Water Resources Control Board in Sacramento will consider sweeping mandates on landscape irrigation Tuesday that could limit water usage for most California homes and businesses to only a few days of the week.
- VIDEO: Depleting the water: disturbing new evidence that our planet's groundwater is being pumped out much faster than it can be replenished (CBS 60 Minutes, 11/16/2014)
- Good News: Global Carbon Emissions Decoupling From Economic Growth:
- Record First: Global CO2 Emissions Went Flat In 2014 While The Economy Grew (Climate Progress):
The International Energy Agency reports that this marks “the first time in 40 years in which there was a halt or reduction in emissions of the greenhouse gas that was not tied to an economic downturn.”...The IEA attributes this remarkable occurrence to “changing patterns of energy consumption in China and OECD countries.”
- The big climate question: Can we sever the link between CO2 and economic growth? (Vox.com):
For this to be significant, we'd want to see a prolonged trend. (Many analysts still expect China's CO2 emissions to grow through 2030.) What's more, it's not enough for annual global emissions to stay flat each year. To avoid drastic climate change, emissions need to start falling, and fast.
- Why the global economy is growing, but CO2 emissions aren’t
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- VIDEO:“Renewable Energy is Taking Over”. Two Men. Two Positive Views. (Climate Crocks) [emphasis added]:
[O]ne of Norway’s most successful and reclusive business leaders, Fred Olsen – who has built a fortune in shipping, as well as Oil – but, having awakened to the threat of climate change, is now one of the world’s leaders in Wind and renewable energy...he was kind enough to grant an interview, with his thoughts on the stunning emergence of renewable energy as a major competitor to fossil fuels.
- The melting of Antarctica was already really bad. It just got worse. (Washington Post):
That’s alarming, because the glacier holds back a much more vast catchment of ice that, were its vulnerable parts to flow into the ocean, could produce a sea level rise of more than 11 feet — which is comparable to the impact from a loss of the West Antarctica ice sheet.
- Wind Power Without U.S. Subsidy to Become Cheaper Than Gas (Bloomberg):
Wind power will be cheaper than electricity produced from natural gas within a decade, even without a federal tax incentive, according to a U.S. Energy Department analysis.
- SXSW: Al Gore Says Climate Change Deniers Should Pay Political Price: (Chicago Tribune):
"We need to put a price on carbon to accelerate these market trends,” Gore said, referring to a proposed federal cap-and-trade system that would penalize companies that exceeded their carbon-emission limits. “And in order to do that, we need to put a price on denial in politics."
- Climate Change Is Baking Alaska: The Last Frontier's weather is broken. (Mother Jones):
Alaska's Kenai Peninsula, which Zappa calls home, has been practically tropical this winter. Rick Thoman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Alaska, has been dumbfounded. "Homer, Alaska, keeps setting record after record, and I keep looking at the data like, Has the temperature sensor gone out or something?"
- The Arctic's climate change is messing with our weather (Guardian UK):
Rapid Arctic warming is changing the jet stream and our weather along with it.
- Former Freedom Industries Owner Pleads Guilty In Chemical Spill Trial (Huffington Post Green):
Two former owners of Freedom Industries pleaded guilty on Monday to environmental violations stemming from last year's Charleston chemical spill that prompted a temporary tap water ban for 300,000 residents.
- How Europe’s Regulation of Pesticides Could Impact Your Food (Civil Eats):
As the E.U. moves to restrict hormone-disrupting chemicals, the U.S. government objects.
- Rail industry pushes White House to ease oil train safety rules (Reuters):
The U.S. rail industry is pushing the White House to drop a requirement that oil trains adopt an advanced braking system, a cornerstone of a national safety plan that will soon govern shipments of crude across the country.
- What Happens When an Eclipse Hits the World's Most Solar-Powered Country? (Mother Jones):
Germany is gearing up for an unusual challenge to its clean-energy revolution...."Some of the hype ahead of the eclipse served to focus minds," said R. Andreas Kraemer, a senior fellow at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam. Power companies "relish the upcoming opportunity to show how they can handle that challenge professionally."
- Florida counts record number of manatees (Daytona Beach News-Journal):
A record number of manatees — 6,063 — were counted during a statewide survey in February, state officials announced Monday, exceeding the previous high number by nearly 1,000.
- The Hydraulic Hypothesis and the End of Civilization (Greg Laden, Science Blogs):
The so called “Hydraulic Hypothesis” is an idea first fully characterized by the historian Karl Wittfogel....If agriculture is the basis for a society, and it is carried out in a semi-arid region, then the management of water through various forms of irrigation and the centralized control of the agricultural cycle lends itself to centralized despotic leadership. or at least, some kid of cultural and social change allowing for organized effort to predominate over individual self interest.
- Rate Of Climate Change To Soar By 2020s, With Arctic Warming 1°F Per Decade (Climate Progress):
New research from a major national lab projects that the rate of climate change, which has risen sharply in recent decades, will soar by the 2020s. This worrisome projection - which has implications for extreme weather, sea level rise, and permafrost melt - is consistent with several recent studies.
- 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.
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).
- California considers sweeping water restrictions, rations (Desert Sun):