IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Republicans in a bind after Pope's landmark encyclical on climate change; Massive toxic algae bloom shuts down West Coast fisheries; May 2015 the planet's hottest May on record; PLUS: The American Eastern Cougar is off the endangered species list - but there's a catch... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): EPA: Global Climate Action is a win for the U.S.; E.P.A. Warns of High Cost of Climate Change; The World Is In The Midst Of A Mass Extinction, And Humans Are To Blame; It sure looks like the Pacific trade pact sucks. Why is Obama so hot for it?; Rand Paul’s ridiculous story of an elderly man imprisoned for ‘dirt on his land’; New study links global warming to Hurricane Sandy and other extreme weather events... PLUS: Tar Balls on Los Angeles-Area Beach Linked To Santa Barbara Oil Spill... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Republicans Running for President Run Away from Pope Francis:
- VIDEO: Mike Huckabee: Climate Science 'Not Settled' (Huffington Post)
- How Pope Francis just destroyed the GOP’s religious con artists (Salon):
Republicans love to flaunt their religion, but only if it conforms to their politics. Francis just made that harder
- Republican lawmakers shrug off Pope Francis' climate message (AP)
- A test of faith: Pope Francis puts 2016 GOP hopefuls on the defensive (Washington Post)
- Pope hands GOP climate change dilemma (CNN):
Republicans eyeing the White House are caught between two political blasphemies: angering the conservative base and disagreeing with a very popular Pope.
- Jeb Bush Among Conservatives Criticizing Pope For Climate Change Encyclical (Huffington Post):
During a town hall event in New Hampshire, Bush said he thinks religion "ought to be about making us better as people and less about things that end up getting into the political realm."
- Pope’s Views on Climate Change Add Pressure to Catholic Candidates (NY Times):
“I hope I’m not going to get castigated for saying this by my priest back home, but I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or my pope,” Mr. Bush said.
- Jeb Bush Tries to Push the Pope out of Politics (The Atlantic) [emphasis added]:
Asked by Sean Hannity about Pope Francis’ forthcoming encyclical about climate change, Jeb responded that “I think religion ought to be about making us better as people, less about things [that] end up getting into the political realm.” Intellectually, morally, and politically, that’s a dumb answer.
- Marco Rubio on Pope Francis, climate change, Confederate flag, Jeb Bush (Palm Beach Post)
- VIDEO: Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal & Rick Santorum On Pope Francis Climate Change Leadership (Crooks & Liars)
- Democratic Race 2016: Gov. Martin O'Malley Pledges 100% Renewable U.S. by 2050:
- Martin O'Malley: Zero out fossil fuels by 2050 (USA Today):
I believe, within 35 years, our country can, and should, be 100% powered by clean energy, supported by millions of new jobs. To reach this goal we must accelerate that transition starting now. As president, on day one, I would use my executive power to declare the transition to a clean energy future the number one priority of our Federal Government.
- As the pope opines on climate change, O’Malley releases a clean energy agenda (Washington Post):
O’Malley argues that a full embrace of clean energy presents the biggest job creation opportunity the country as seen in a century.
- May 2015: Hottest May on Record, Hottest Spring, Etc., Etc.:
- NOAA: Hottest May, Hottest Spring, Hottest Year-To-Date On Record By Far
We now appear to be in the early stages of the long-awaited jump in global warming.
- May was hottest globally, wettest in U.S. (CBS News):
As Pope Francis issued his warning on global warming, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released figures showing that last month was the hottest May in 136 years of global records. And the first five months of 2015 were by far the hottest year so far on record, on pace to beat last year's record.
- Toxic Algae Bloom Shutters West Coast Fisheries:
- Huge Toxic Algal Bloom Shuts Down West Coast Fisheries (Climate Progress):
“We have received reports of this particular bloom causing problems as far south as Monterey Bay and we’ve heard from our colleagues in Homer, Alaska that they’re seeing these cells,” Vera Trainer, manager of the Marine Biotoxin Program at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center, told ThinkProgress. “It’s geographically very widespread, more so than we’ve seen in the past.”
- Eastern Cougar Goes Extinct:
- Federal government ready to declare eastern cougar extinct (AP):
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday proposed removing the eastern cougar from the endangered species list, declaring that the cougars have likely been extinct for at least 70 years.
- Federal government ready to declare eastern cougar extinct (AP):
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Global Climate Action: A Win for the U.S. (EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Medium) [emphasis added]:
Based on rigorously peer-reviewed scientific research, the report examines two possible futures?—?one in which we do nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and one with global action. The results are crystal clear: climate action pays.
- E.P.A. Warns of High Cost of Climate Change (NY Times):
In the absence of global action to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the United States by the end of the century may face up to $180 billion in economic losses because of drought and water shortages, according to a report released Monday by the White House and Environmental Protection Agency.
- Study: The World Is In The Midst Of A Mass Extinction, And Humans Are To Blame (Climate Progress):
In the last century, certain kinds of animals have gone extinct up to 100 times faster than usual, according to new research.
- It sure looks like the Pacific trade pact sucks. Why is Obama so hot for it? (Grist):
One: A leaked chapter suggests that the environmental section of the agreement is incredibly weak. Two: It opens the United States to arbitration hearings that would allow companies in TPP’s member countries to sue American cities and states over environmental regulations when a company thinks they’re bad for business.
- Rand Paul’s ridiculous story of an elderly man imprisoned for ‘dirt on his land’ (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
We now present to you the real story of how dirt — and much more — got Robert Lucas locked up in prison....Prosecutors said Lucas, his daughter and the engineer knowingly sold properties with illegal and malfunctioning septic systems, and built and filled federally protected wetlands despite numerous warnings.
- New study links global warming to Hurricane Sandy and other extreme weather events (Guardian UK):
New research, just published today in Nature Climate Change helps to answer that question by approaching the problem in a novel way. In short yes, human emissions of greenhouse gases have made certain particular weather events more severe.
- Firefighters battle massive blazes from Alaska to drought-hit California (Reuters):
Firefighters were working on Friday to contain several massive wildfires raging from Alaska to drought-hit California that have forced hundreds of people to evacuate from their homes and damaged dozens of structures.
- Six former railway employees charged in Lac-Mégantic disaster: (Toronto Globe & Mail):
Nearly two years after the Lac-Mégantic oil train explosion killed 47 people and levelled the small Quebec town, the federal government has laid new criminal charges. Six former employees of the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway, including the train engineer and the top executive, face charges under the Railway Safety Act and Fisheries Act for their alleged roles in the worst Canadian rail disaster in modern times. The bankrupt company itself has also been charged.
- Tar Balls on Los Angeles-Area Beach Linked To Santa Barbara Oil Spill (Reuters):
At least some of the tar balls found littering one of southern California's most popular beaches last month were matched by lab tests to crude oil that spilled from a ruptured pipeline along the Santa Barbara coast about 100 miles away, state and pipeline company officials said on Monday.
- California Assemblywoman: Drought Represents God’s Wrath Over Abortion (RH Reality Check):
“Texas was in a long period of drought until Governor Perry signed the fetal pain bill,” she told the audience, presumably referring to HB 2, the omnibus Texas abortion bill that included a 20-week ban based on junk science. “It rained that night. Now God has His hold on California.”
- World's Aquifers Being Badly Depleted, Satellite Data Show (SF Gate):
California's drought has put the great Central Valley aquifer system under critical stress, but many of the world's major groundwater basins are in far worse shape, a new satellite survey has found.
- Pope's Views on Climate Change Add Pressure to Catholic Candidates (NY Times):
As the steamy hurricane season descends on Miami, the city's Roman Catholic archbishop, Thomas G. Wenski, is planning a summer of sermons, homilies and press events designed to highlight the threat that a warming planet, rising sea levels and more extreme storms pose to his community's poorest and most vulnerable.
- Every country is now pledging to tackle CO2 emissions. It's still not enough. (Vox.com):
In other words, if the world wants to stay below 2°C of global warming - which has long been considered the danger zone for climate change - these pledges are only a first step. Countries will have to do a whole lot more than they're currently promising. And the IEA has a few ideas for what "do a whole lot more" might entail.
1. Increase energy efficiency in the industry, buildings, and transport sectors.
2. Progressively reduce the use of the least efficient coal-fired power plants and banning their construction.
3. Increase investment in renewable energy technologies in the power sector from $270 billion in 2014 to $400 billion in 2030.
4. Gradually phase out fossil fuel subsidies to end-users by 2030.
5. Reduce methane emissions in oil and gas production.
- NOAA Mobilizes To Gauge Unprecedented West Coast Toxic Algal Bloom (Phys.org):
NOAA Fisheries' Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle has mobilized extra scientists to join a fisheries survey along the West Coast to chart an extensive harmful algal bloom that spans much of the West Coast and has triggered numerous closures of important shellfish fisheries in Washington, Oregon and California.
- 8 maps that reveal Americans' incoherent opinions on climate change (Vox.com):
Here's a puzzler: more people believe climate change is happening than believe that scientists believe climate change is happening. Why, Americans? For whatever reason, it appears the long effort to push the consensus message has not been very successful. (Worth noting: the consensus message is true.)
- 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).