IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Deadly, record deluges in Texas and Oklahoma; Deadly, record heat in India; Heat-driven wildfires in Canada shut down tar sands oil production; Farmers make concession in California drought; PLUS: President Obama moves to limit pollution in the nation's drinking water, Republicans are against it ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Oil Sands Bigwig Declares “Climate Change is Real”; EPA plans temporary pesticide restrictions to protect bees; Did Texas Illegally Relax Rules on Coal Plants?; Oil co. wants to expand California drilling - critics point to new oil spill; Scientists Make Novel Attempt to Save Giant Turtle Species... PLUS: How to Green the U.S. Government... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Oil, Toil, Flooding & Trouble: 'BradCast' 5/26/2015 (Brad Blog):
Guest: Andrew Freedman of Mashable.com on deadly TX, OK storms; Plus: Our report from the Santa Barbara oil spill and MORE...
- Record Deluges, Deadly Flash Floods in Texas and Oklahoma:
- Oklahoma Hangs On As Heavy Rain Continues To Soak Region (KGOU Oklahoma City)
- Rain Spreads Destruction in Houston, Killing Four (NY Times)
- Stunning drone videos show Central Texas flood, storm destruction (San Antonio Express-News)
- Texas drought fades with heavy rains (Houston Chronicle)
- Lake Travis, Austin's main reservoir, rises astonishing 22 feet in 1 week (Mashable)
- Search, relief efforts continue in Wimberley for Central Texas flood victims (San Antonio Express-News)
- 8 Jaw-Dropping Images from the Houston Flood Nightmare (Weather Channel)
- A Scientist who Modeled Texas’s Blanco River in 2007 Probes for Lessons After the Deadly Flash Flood (Dot Earth, NY Times)
- Record, Deadly Heat Wave Hits India:
- VIDEO: India heatwave toll passes 1,000 (BBC)
- Poor bear brunt as India heatwave death toll tops 1,000 (Al Jazeera)
- India’s Deadly Heat Wave (Slate):
In the hardest-hit areas, temperatures have been up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit above normal for several days during what is usually the hottest time of the year. In New Delhi, temperatures were so hot—reaching 113 degrees Fahrenheit—they melted the roads.
- India’s killer heat waves are on the rise, with hundreds dead this month (Washington Post):
[H]eat waves are increasing as a result of global climate change, according to the India Meteorological Department [PDF]. Over the past half century, from 1961 to 2010, heat waves (when the temperature exceeds the average by 5 or 6 degrees Celsius) have increased by a third.
- Reductions in labour capacity from heat stress under climate warming (Nature Climate Change)
- Heat Wave in the Arctic Circle, Wildfires Close Tar Sands Production:
- Hundreds more oil sands staff evacuated on Alberta fire threat (Reuters)
- Record heat hits Alaska (Al Jazeera America):
Alaska, usually frozen until June, has recently been experiencing something of a heatwave. Long-held temperature records have been broken and the winter roads that are made entirely of ice, are melting earlier than usual....The immediate cause of this early year warmth is the persistent high-pressure system over northwestern Canada. This is but one consequence of a developing El Nino in the eastern Pacific.
- Why this weekend is starting off warmer in Fairbanks than in Dallas (Mashable)
- Barrow, Alaska: The Last Place You'd Expect to Find Record Warmth (Weather Channel)
- California Farmers Offer Deal To Cut Water Use:
- Farmers Agree to Water Cuts in California (NY Times):
[I]n a sign of how the record-setting drought is shaking up established ways here, state officials accepted an offer from farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to give up a quarter of their water this season, either by leaving part of their land unplanted or finding other ways to reduce their water use. In return, the state has assured them that it will not seek further reductions for the growing season.
- How climate change is making California's epic drought worse (Phys.org):
These climate model simulations show that the extreme and persistent circulation patterns that have caused droughts on the West Coast this century are due to anthropogenic external forces, not natural causes. For instance, in the case of the persistent region of high pressure – nicknamed the "ridiculously resilient ridge" – the likelihood of an event as observed in 2012-2013 is one in every 420 years!
- Polluting Industries Vow To Kill Obama's New Rules Limiting Water Pollution:
- Obama admin finalizes WOTUS as stakeholders gird for battle (E & E News)
- Obama Announces New Rule Limiting Water Pollution (NY Times):
In announcing the rule, Mr. Obama said, “One in three Americans now gets drinking water from streams lacking clear protection, and businesses and industries that depend on clean water face uncertainty and delay, which costs our economy every day. Too many of our waters have been left vulnerable to pollution.”
- Barack Obama's water war (Politico) [emphasis added]:
The Obama administration announced new protections Wednesday for thousands of waterways and wetlands, pushing ahead despite a fierce counterattack from powerhouse industries like agriculture, oil and home-building — and their supporters in Congress.
Despite the changes, McCarthy added that the new rule would expand the reach of the Clean Water Act by only about 3 percent. The measure is expected to take effect 60 days after it’s published in the Federal Register.
- Under new EPA rule, Clean Water Act protections will cover all active tributaries (LA Times):
These streams and wetlands can have a crucial effect on the health of downstream waters, agency officials say.
- Waters of the U.S. Proposed Rule: Myths and Facts (National Farmers Union) [PDF]
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- How to Green the U.S. Government (Slate):
The Defense Department and other agencies have found an easy way to cut emissions and save energy. Now they need to do it a lot more.
- As Earth Warms, Hell Freezes Over. Oil Sands Bigwig Declares “Climate Change is Real” (Climate Crocks):
If the Oil barons are worried, should you be worried, too? Suncor is a huge player in the development of the planet killing Alberta Tar Sands project. Steve Williams is the President and CEO. Williams has now joined Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden, and British Petroleum CEO Bob Dudley, in acknowledging the seriousness of the climate issue, and calling for a carbon price.
- EPA plans temporary pesticide restrictions while bees feed (AP):
If honeybees are busy pollinating large, blooming croplands, farmers wanting to spray toxic pesticides will soon have to buzz off, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing. A federal rule to be proposed Thursday would create temporary pesticide-free zones when certain plants are in bloom around bees that are trucked from farm to farm by professional beekeepers, which are the majority of honeybees in the U.S.
- Did Texas Illegally Relax Rules on Coal Plants? (InsideClimate News):
When Texas regulators bypassed the EPA to ease air pollution regulations on 19 coal plants, they violated the federal Clean Air Act, a new petition says.
- California oil spill cited by foes of new offshore drilling plan (Retuers):
Environmentalists urged California regulators on Wednesday to reject a proposed expansion of the only offshore drilling operation still permitted in state waters along the Santa Barbara coastline, seizing on public outrage over last week's nearby oil spill.
- This Aging Oil Pipeline Is In Great Lakes' 'Worst Possible Place' For A Spill (Huffington Post Green)
- Scientists Make Novel Attempt to Save Giant Turtle Species (NY Times):
Earlier this month, an international team of scientists, veterinarians and zookeepers gathered at the Suzhou Zoo near Shanghai. Their desperate mission: to attempt the first artificial insemination ever of a softshell turtle, saving the species from oblivion.
- Holy Crop: How federal dollars are financing the water crisis in the West (Pro Publica):
Getting plants to grow in the Sonoran Desert is made possible by importing billions of gallons of water each year. Cotton is one of the thirstiest crops in existence, and each acre cultivated here demands six times as much water as lettuce, 60 percent more than wheat.
- Trident nuclear submarine whistleblower: nuclear 'disaster waiting to happen' (Wikileaks):
"This is bigger than me, it’s bigger than all of us. We are so close to a nuclear disaster it is shocking, and yet everybody is accepting the risk to the public."
- Fossil fuels subsidised by $10 million a minute, says IMF (Guardian UK):
'Shocking' revelation finds $5.3 trillion subsidy estimate for 2015 is greater than the total health spending of all the world's governments....The vast sum is largely due to polluters not paying the costs imposed on governments by the burning of coal, oil and gas. These include the harm caused to local populations by air pollution as well as to people across the globe affected by the floods, droughts and storms being driven by climate change.
- Experts Blast New York Times Hit Piece On EPA (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
The New York Times put a 1,700-word piece on its front page Tuesday that accuses the EPA of violating federal laws on grassroots campaigning. The paper ran the story despite knowing the accusation is not true, a fact that is buried deep in the article. How is that journalism?
- President Obama To Coast Guard Graduates: Climate Change Is A 'Serious Threat To Global Security' (Climate Progress):
Climate change will directly impact the Coast Guard's activities. In addition to causing rising sea levels and diminishing sea ice, which will literally change the shape of the Coast Guard's purview, climate change is also behind increased extreme weather events and can contribute to political instability. In his speech, Obama referenced climate change's role in Superstorm Sandy, as well as in war and terrorism in Syria and Nigeria.
- 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).