IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: No more Mr. Nice Guy: Obama calls out 'shills', takes more new action on climate change; New rules for fossil fuels on public lands; It's official: Winter 2015 the warmest winter on record; PLUS: Solar-powered Germany says its ready for a major solar eclipse....All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): California: $1B drought relief package just the beginning; US has grown a pipeline network by almost a quarter; Chemical lobbyist exposed as author of new bill to regulate industry; US and Chinese companies dominate list of most-polluting coal plants; Rate of climate change to soar by 2020... PLUS: A Texas city pulls plug on fossil fuels with shift to renewables... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- It's Official: Winter 2015 Warmest on Record:
- Global Summary Information - February 2015 (NOAA):
The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for February 2015 was the second highest since record keeping began in 1880. Both the year-to-date (January–February) and seasonal (December–February) globally averaged temperatures were record high.
- The Only Place It Was Cold This Winter Was The East Coast Of The United States (Climate Progress):
If you live on the East Coast of the United States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just released some statistics that may surprise you:
+Globally, this has been the hottest winter on record, topping the previous record (2007) by 0.05°F.
+This was “the 19th warmest winter for the contiguous US.”
+ Globally it’s easily been the hottest start to any year (January-February), beating the previous records (2002, 2007) by 0.07°F.
+ This was the second warmest February globally, and “slightly below” the 20th-century average in the contiguous U.S.
...In particular, many Western states saw their hottest winter on record — which is not a surprise if you live in drought-stricken California or its neighbor.
- Earth Has Its 2nd Warmest February and Warmest Northern Hemisphere Winter (Weather Underground)
- Obama Calls Out Climate-Change-Denying Politicians:
- Obama gets real about climate deniers with Vice (Grist):
Obama said he couldn’t fault people who were concerned about gas prices and that climate change was a difficult political issue address because it had no immediate payoff. ...“In some cases, though, you have elected officials who are shills for the oil companies or the fossil fuel industry and there’s a lot of money involved,” he said.
- New Rules: Federal Government Must Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions:
- Obama will order federal agencies to cut carbon emissions 40% in 10 years (Vox.com) [emphasis added]:
[T]he real significance might be the ripple effects this move has on the broader supply chain. After all, the federal government is a huge purchaser of energy goods and services. It owns more than 360,000 buildings and 650,000 fleet vehicles, according to the Washington Post. So if federal agencies are buying up more wind or solar or hybrid vehicles, that boosts the market for these technologies.
- Obama cracks down on another emissions giant – the US government (CS Monitor):
Hamstrung by a GOP-controlled Congress, Mr. Obama’s order is the latest in a series of executive actions to address climate change. Environment and climate policy have emerged as centerpieces in Obama’s second term – from his plan to cut US power plant emissions 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, to last fall’s bilateral climate accord with China.
- Obama Signs Executive Order Cutting Federal Government Carbon Emissions (Climate Progress)
- Obama to sign order cutting U.S. government greenhouse gas emissions (Reuters)
- FACT SHEET: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Federal Government and Across the Supply Chain (White House.gov)
- New Rules for Energy Development on Public Lands:
- Obama administration wants more renewable energy, tighter pollution controls on public lands (Washington Post):
The Obama administration will seek tougher standards for companies extracting oil, gas and coal on taxpayer-owned land during its remaining months in office, even as it pushes for expanded solar and wind projects, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Tuesday.
- Secretary Jewell Offers Vision for Balanced, Prosperous Energy Future (Dept. of Interior press release)
- New Rules: FEMA Wants States to Account for Climate Impacts:
- FEMA to States: No Climate Planning, No Money (InsideClimate News) [emphasis added]:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is making it tougher for governors to deny man-made climate change. Starting next year, the agency will approve disaster preparedness funds only for states whose governors approve hazard mitigation plans that address climate change.
The policy doesn't affect federal money for relief after a hurricane, flood or other disaster. Specifically, beginning in March 2016, states seeking preparedness money will have to assess how climate change threatens their communities.
- Include Climate Change in Disaster Planning, FEMA Says (Climate Central)
- Germany: Solar Eclipse a 'Glimpse' Into Solar-Powered Future:
- The solar eclipse in Europe will be a big test for solar power (Vox.com) [emphasis added]:
That's because Germany now gets roughly 7 percent of its electricity from solar power. And, for about 75 minutes, the moon will block much of the sun, decreasing sunlight by as much as three-quarters. All those solar panels will suddenly see a sharp decline in generation. Then, just as quickly, the eclipse will end, and those panels will produce a massive surge of electricity....As it turns out, German researchers have been giving this a fair amount of thought — eclipses, after all, are very predictable.
- 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."
- Solar eclipse provides a snapshot of challenges facing the power grid of the future (Agora Energiewende):
Calculations done by the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (Fraunhofer IWES) on behalf of Agora Energiewende show that the supply of electricity from renewable energies in a 2030-power system to fluctuate in the same order of magnitude than during the solar eclipse.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Texas City Pulls Plug on Fossil Fuels With Shift to Solar (Bloomberg News):
Burlington, Vermont, made a similar move with its purchase of a hydroelectric plant last year. “This will be the first of many,” Gaynor said in a telephone interview. “The city is making a judgment that they want to enjoy a stable electricity price.”
- $1 billion in California drought relief may just be the beginning (LA Times):
Gov. Jerry Brown and top lawmakers from both parties announced Thursday a $1-billion plan to deal with California's persistent drought, describing the legislation as a mix of short-term relief and support for long-term water projects.
- While we've been debating Keystone, US has grown a pipeline network by almost a quarter: (Climate Progress):
The U.S. has added 11,600 miles of oil pipeline in the last decade, increasing its network of pipelines shipping oil through the country by almost a quarter, according to a report published Monday by the Associated Press.
- VIDEO: Chemical lobbyist exposed as author of new bill to regulate industry (MSNBC):
Rachel Maddow reports on the discovery that a draft of a new law to make much-needed updates to regulations on the chemical industry was authored by the American Chemistry Council, the leading trade organization and lobbyist for the chemical industry.
- US and Chinese companies dominate list of most-polluting coal plants (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
Chinese companies dominate the top of the ranking but US companies, including Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, occupy 10 of the top 25 places. The International Energy Agency calculates that one in four of these sub-critical plants must close within five years, if the world’s governments are to keep their pledge to limit global warming to 2C.
- Call to change recycling standards as 3-D printing expands (Science Daily):
[T]e Open Sustainability Technology group at Michigan Technological University...[has] whittled the cost of printing to ten cents per kilogram --- down from $30 per kilogram. They made this leap by recycling plastic that had already been printed, using a recyclebot and plastic resin codes developed by the team.
- Major Flaws Exposed in Senate’s Vitter-Udall Chemical Bill (EcoWatch):
Perhaps the most contentiously debated part is something called “preemption” which would slow or stop states from acting to control harmful chemicals....
- 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).
- Rate Of Climate Change To Soar By 2020s, With Arctic Warming 1°F Per Decade (Climate Progress):