IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Historic, first-ever mandatory water restrictions for drought-stricken California...but no cuts for the state's agriculture industry; Another offshore oil drilling tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico; PLUS: 35 years ago this week, even Walter Cronkite warned us about global warming....All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): The most common mistake that news stories make about energy; Kansas links earthquakes to oil and gas; Direct evidence global warming causes more global warming; Judge: Feds illegally allowed Navy activities harming marine mammals; Portland bans insecticide to protect declining honey bees; McConnell warns countries against Obama's UN climate plan... PLUS: The Arctic climate threat that nobody’s even talking about yet... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Another Offshore Drilling Tragedy: 4 Dead in Mexico Oil Platform Fire:
- Mexico says oil spill avoided after deadly offshore blaze (Fuel Fix) [emphasis added]:
At least four workers died and two suffered life-threatening injuries in an explosion that engulfed the platform in flames Wednesday, forcing 300 people to abandon the facility. Officials said environmental damage was avoided because the fire happened on a processing platform where the feeder lines could be turned off, rather than at an active oil well with a virtually unlimited amount of fuel flowing up from the seabed.
- California Drought: Brown Announces Mandatory Water Cuts:
- VIDEO: Historic Drought Forces Water Restrictions (The Rachel Maddow Show)
- VIDEO: PBS: Governor Jerry Brown on California Water Shortage (Climate Crocks)
- Brown orders California's first mandatory water restrictions: 'It's a different world' (LA Times) [emphasis added]:
Lester Snow, executive director of the California Water Foundation and former state secretary of natural resources, said even more restrictions may be necessary in the future, such as banning all outdoor water use. “We're probably going to need more action before we're through the summer,” he said.
- California Snowpack Hits All-Time Low, 8 Percent Of Average (Climate Progress)
- California Imposes First-Ever Mandatory Water Restrictions. They’re Not Nearly Enough. (Slate)
- Governor Brown Directs First Ever Statewide Mandatory Water Reductions (Office of Governor Jerry Brown)
- Executive Order B-29-15: Mandatory Water Restrictions Announcement ]PDF] (Office of Governor Jerry Brown)
- California Drought: No Restrictions for Powerful Agriculture Industry:
- After Warmest Winter, Drought-Stricken California Limits Water But Exempts Thirstiest Big Growers (Democracy Now!)
- How Growers Gamed California’s Drought (The Daily Beast) [emphasis added]:
Consuming 80 percent of California’s developed water but accounting for only 2 percent of the state’s GDP, agriculture thrives while everyone else is parched.
“I’ve been smiling all the way to the bank,” said pistachio farmer John Dean at a conference hosted this month.
- California just imposed mandatory water restrictions for the first time in history (Vox.com) [emphasis added]:
This new round of rationing will not apply to California's agricultural users, who are responsible for roughly 80 percent of the state's water use.
- California: Legal options for water agencies in times of drought (Mavens Notebook):
“The preeminent law that governs us all when it comes to water use is Article 10, Section 2, simply stated, says that the constitution requires that the water resources of the state shall be protected, and unreasonable water use prevented...”
- Global Warming Intensifying California Drought:
- VIDEO: California Drought Is Worsened by Global Warming, Scientists Say (NY Times):
“The drought is made of two components: not enough rain and too much heat,” said Michael Oppenheimer, a climate scientist at Princeton. “The rain deficit isn’t clearly connected to climate change, but the planetary warming has made it more likely that the weather would be hotter in California.”
- California Is Rationing Water Use For First Time Thanks To Climate Change (Climate Progress):
When people ask why this drought has been so bad, and how much worse it could get, scientists point to two main factors: lack of rain, and extreme heat. Droughts happen when it does not rain, and they get worse with extreme heat....[W]ith climate change pushing global temperatures higher and higher, it’s very likely that California has not seen the worst of it.
- 35 Years Ago, Walter Cronkite Warned About Global Warming:
- VIDEO: The 35-year anniversary of a climate change preview from Walter Cronkite and CBS News. (The Daily Climate):
Thirty-five years ago, for two and half minutes – an eternity even then by TV news standards and a near-impossibility today – a broadcast anchored by The Most Trusted Man in America tried to warn us about climate change.
Despite thirty-five years of accumulating evidence, national TV news can't much be bothered with covering it. CNN boss Jeff Zucker candidly said last year that climate change "deserves more attention," but there's "a tremendous lack of interest on the audience's part."
- VIDEO: 1980 -Cronkite on Climate (Climate Crocks):
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- The most common mistake that news stories make about energy (Vox.com) [emphasis added]:
Repeat it over and over: "electricity" is not the exact same thing as "energy."...This sounds super nitpicky, but when we're thinking about how to address climate change, it's worth being clear about these concepts. Electricity is a very important part of the world's energy system, but it's far from the only part. Shifting away from fossil fuels requires a lot more than replacing coal plants with wind and solar farms.
- Kansas links quakes to oil and gas, sharply limits waste disposal (E&E News):
Regulators in Kansas...cited an "immediate danger" to public safety as the reason for limiting the pressure that can be used to inject wastewater into disposal wells and the volumes that can be injected....Kansas' move is a contrast with neighboring Oklahoma...The Oklahoma commission has also avoided explicitly linking earthquakes to disposal wells, saying getting embroiled in such a debate could bog down its response. But Kansas officials made a direct correlation..
- Study: Direct Evidence That Global Warming Causes More Global Warming (Climate Progress):
“We discovered that not only does thickening the blanket of heat-trapping gases around our planet cause it to get warmer, but also, crucially, when it gets warmer this increases thickens the blanket of heat-trapping gases,” Tim Lenton, the paper’s author, told ThinkProgress, “so we have a process called a ‘positive feedback’ that amplifies changes in the Earth’s temperature.”
- The Arctic climate threat that nobody’s even talking about yet (Washington Post):
Rapid Arctic warming is expected to lead to the thawing of a great deal of frozen soil or permafrost, which, as it thaws, will begin to emit carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere. And if this occurs in the amounts that some scientists are predicting, it could significantly undermine efforts to reduce the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
- Feds Illegally Allowed Navy Activities Harming Marine Mammals: Judge (E&E News):
The National Marine Fisheries Service violated multiple environmental laws when it authorized the Navy to conduct training activities off Hawaii and Southern California, a federal judge ruled yesterday.
- Portland Bans Insecticide To Protect Declining Honey Bees (Reuters):
Oregon's biggest city on Wednesday banned the use of an insecticide on city lands blamed by conservationists as a factor in the decline of honey bees in recent years.
- McConnell Warns Countries Against Obama's UN Climate Plan (Talking Points Memo):
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday warned foreign countries against President Obama's proposal to the United Nations for cut carbon emissions in the United States.
- Stop Playing 'Whack-A-Mole' With Toxic Flame Retardants, Enviros Urge (Huffington Post):
A new report from the environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council has analyzed the data on spills and other violations at oil and gas wells across the country. But perhaps the most interesting aspect of the report is how little data the group was able to turn up.
- With Russia's commitment, UN climate treaty covers nearly 80% of global emissions (UNFCCC press release) [emphasis added]:
With the Russian Federation's submission to the UN of its climate action plan, 32 developed countries covering nearly 80 per cent of the total emissions from industrialized nations have delivered their contributions to the Paris Agreement.
- India to Rich World: Give us Cash and We’ll Cut Emissions Faster (Bloomberg):
“The world has to decide what they want,” Javadekar said in an interview at his office in New Delhi. “Every climate action has a cost. I can’t make my poor pay for somebody who has polluted the world.”
- Texas Legislation Would Curtail Citizens’ Ability to Challenge Pollution Permits (Texas Observer) [emphasis added]:
“Throughout this entire case they went overboard in protecting the developer,” Graham said. “Had we just been fighting with the developer, this would have ended by now.”...The “proposed legislation will limit rights of citizens to participate,” said Carol Birch, a former administrative law judge. It “fundamentally alters the nature of the process and greatly increases the burden on protestants.”
- Shell’s Arctic drilling plans on track as Obama administration OKs lease sale (Fuel Fix) [emphasis added]:
The move illustrated anew the balancing act the Obama administration has taken toward oil and gas development amid steep environmental opposition, coming the same day the White House formally pledged greenhouse gas emission cuts ahead of international climate talks. It also marked the second time the Obama administration has affirmed the Chukchi Sea lease sale in response to a court order and a long-running legal challenge that began even before the auction took place in February 2008.
- Russia Lost Forest The Size Of Switzerland Three Years In A Row (Climate Progress)
- Typhoons Are Starting Early This Season, And A Big One Is Headed Toward The Philippines (Climate Progress):
[T]he typhoon made history during its time as a Category 5 equivalent storm. Meteorologist and Weather Underground founder Jeff Masters said that Maysak is the third super typhoon on record with such high wind strengths before April 1. Masters wrote on March 30 that Maysak was part of a “record early start to typhoon season in the Western Pacific.”
- 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 Is Rationing Water Use For First Time Thanks To Climate Change (Climate Progress):