With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 6/23/2015, 11:31am PT  

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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!

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

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! ...


'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

  • 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:
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