IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Devastation and rescue in Nepal after massive earthquake; March 2015 the hottest March on record; Sardines crash in the Pacific; PLUS: Fighting climate change with the power of poo... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): VIDEO: Obama Finally Gets Angry At Climate Science Deniers And It’s Hilarious; California goes nuts: the hedge-fund-fueled race to plant thirsty trees in a catastrophic drought; 7.4 Million Acres of Ecosystem Lost to Oil and Gas Boom; Will The Chilean Volcano Be Big Enough to Cool 2015?; FL legislature diverts funds from voter-approved conservation fund; NV's Lake Mead headed to new historic low... PLUS: A solar future isn't just likely — it's inevitable... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Earthquake Causes Devastation in Nepal - One Week After Earthquake Resilience Conference:
- Experts gathered in Nepal a week before quake to prepare for 'nightmare waiting to happen' (AP) [emphasis added]:
Just a week ago, about 50 earthquake and social scientists from around the world came to Kathmandu, Nepal, to figure out how to get this poor, congested, overdeveloped, shoddily built area to prepare better for the big one, a repeat of the 1934 temblor that leveled this city. They knew they were racing the clock, but they didn't know when what they feared would strike.
"They knew they had a problem but it was so large they didn't where to start, how to start," said Hari Kumar, southeast Asia regional coordinator for GeoHazards International.
- Long-Predicted Death Toll in Nepal Earthquake Reflects Wider Himalayan Seismic Risk (Dot Earth, NYT):
The Himalayas are one of the world’s most worrisome hot zones for earthquake risk, which is a function of tectonic activity, human population size and the quality (or lack thereof) of construction.
- Kathmandu Valley Earthquake Risk Management (GeoHazards International, April 12, 2015)
- Economic Impact Of Nepal Quake Likely To Be Massive (NPR):
"A coordinated international disaster relief and long-term reconstruction program will need to be funded by bilateral assistance from donor nations and development financing agencies under the coordinated management of multilateral institutions such as the United Nations," Rajiv Biswas, chief economist, Asia-Pacific at IHS wrote in the research note.
- March 2015: Hottest March on Record:
- New Report: March 2015 Easily Set The Record For Hottest March Ever Recorded (Climate Progress):
March 2015 was not only the hottest March in their 135-year of keeping records, it beat “the previous record of 2010 by 0.09°F (0.05°C)."
- Earth Hits New Milestone: 2015 Marks Warmest January to March On Record (Weather Channel)
- California Hotter Than U.S. Average, Drought Expands to Washington State:
- Washington State Is So Screwed (Mother Jones):
California's been getting all the attention, but it isn't the only agriculture-centric western state dealing with brutal drought. Washington, a major producer of wheat and wine grapes and the source of nearly 70 percent of US apples grown for fresh consumption, also endured an usually warm and snow-bereft winter.
- Once Again, A Record-Hot Winter for California (Climate Central)
- Record March Heat; West Sees First 100-Degree Temperature of 2015 (Weather Channel)
- Washington state governor declares drought emergency (Reuters)
- Sardine Population Crashes Off the West Coast:
- Feds Cancel Commercial Sardine Fishing After Stocks Crash (NPR):
Life has suddenly gotten easier for the sardine. Federal regulators are not only closing the commercial sardine fishing season early in Oregon, Washington and California, but it will stay closed for more than a year.
- Pacific sardines are crashing — bad news for whales and my salad (Grist)
- Fighting Climate Change With the Power of Poo:
- US Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture & Forestry - Fact Sheet [PDF] (USDA)
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Senior White House Advisor Brian Deese Announce Partnerships with Farmers and Ranchers to Address Climate Change (USDA)
- The USDA Is Taking On Agriculture’s Huge Contribution To Climate Change (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
To achieve these reductions, the USDA plans to encourage farmers, ranchers, and foresters to adopt a slew of sustainable practices, from improved nutrient management to enhanced forest conservation. To reduce fertilizer pollution, the USDA hopes to increase the U.S.’s amount of no-till cropland from the current 67 million acres to over 100 million acres by 2025. To tackle methane from livestock production, the USDA intends to support the installation of 500 new digester plants — meant to turn animal waste into renewable energy — over the next 10 years. The department will also maximize efforts to improve energy efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy, especially the use of biomass as a fuel source.
- US to Announce Plans to Reduce Agricultural Carbon Emissions (ABC News) [emphasis added]:
Specific actions to be announced Thursday include reducing the unnecessary use of fertilizer and methane emissions from cattle and swine, reforesting areas damaged by wildfire and disease and encouraging tree planting in urban areas.
- Biodigester turns campus waste into campus energy (UC Davis)
- Anaerobic digestion (Wikipedia)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- VIDEO: Obama Finally Gets Angry At Climate Science Deniers And It’s Hilarious (Climate Progress):
In a hilarious admission that he has been too low key to convey the moral outrage justified by humanity’s myopic march toward self-destruction — and by the brazen denial of climate science by many conservatives — Obama brought out “Luther” to express that outrage. And then, in an ingenious twist, Obama became so outraged that he didn’t need Luther and in fact Luther himself couldn’t take the genuinely angry Obama, who says of denial, “What kind of stupid, shortsighted, irresponsible, bull–”
- California goes nuts: The most insane fact about the hedge-fund-fueled race to plant thirsty trees in the middle of a catastrophic drought (Mother Jones)
- 7.4 Million Acres of Ecosystem Lost to Oil and Gas Boom (US News):
Fracking and horizontal drilling have resulted in the equivalent loss of three Yellowstones, a study says.
- A solar future isn't just likely — it's inevitable (Vox):
Here it is: solar photovoltaic (PV) power is eventually going to dominate global energy. The question is not if, but when. Maybe it will happen radically faster than anyone expects — say, by 2050. Or maybe it won't be until the year 3000, or later. But it'll happen.
The main reason is pretty simple: solar PV is different from every other source of electricity, in ways that make it uniquely well-suited to 21st-century needs.
- Vatican official calls for moral awakening on global warming (Guardian UK):
At climate change summit Cardinal Peter Turkson warns on burning of fossil fuels, in a likely precursor to highly anticipated encyclical on the environment.
- Shell lobbied to undermine EU renewables targets, documents reveal (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
Weak renewable energy goals for 2030 originated with Shell pitch for gas as a key technology for Europe to cut its carbon emissions in an "affordable" way.
- Will The Chilean Volcano Be Big Enough to Cool 2015? (Climate Crocks):
One of the early tests of climate modeling that really caught my attention in the early 90s, was when Jim Hansen built a simulated volcanic eruption into one of the curves he presented to Congress in 1988. When Mt Pinatubo obliged and exploded in 1991, the resulting perturbation in global temps closely resembled Hansen’s graph – showing his modeling had great skill in simulating temp behavior in the actual globe.
- FL Legislature Has Its Own Ideas for Voter-Approved Conservation Fund (NYTimes):
Facing a thicket of candidates and ballot measures in the November election, Florida voters sent one resounding message to elected officials: More must be done to protect the state’s natural habitats — including the long-suffering Everglades.
- Nevada's Lake Mead Headed for Record Low Water Level Amid Drought (Reuters):
Nevada's Lake Mead, the largest capacity reservoir in the United States, is on track to drop to its lowest water level in recorded history on Sunday as its source, the Colorado River, suffers from 14 years of severe drought, experts said on Friday.
- Bee studies stir up pesticide debate (Nature):
The case for restricting a controversial family of insecticides is growing. Two studies published on 22 April in Nature1, 2 address outstanding questions about the threat that the chemicals pose to bees, and come as regulators around the world gear up for a fresh debate on pesticide restrictions.
- Study: Pesticide Hurting Health of Wild Bees - Not Honeybees - in Field (US News):
A common type of pesticide is dramatically harming wild bees, according to a new in-the-field study that outside experts say may help shift the way the U.S. government looks at a controversial class of chemicals.
- 10 tips to make every day Earth Day (Treehugger):
Reuse instead of buying new every time.
Repurpose The more creative cousin of reuse, repurposing turns old junk into new, functional objects.
Rot compost everything organic.
Repair instead of replacing.
Return Only buy from companies with take-back programs.
Refill instead of buying disposable bottles and paper cups.
Refuse to buy overpackaged, disposable, single-use junk.
- 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
- 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).