IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Alaska and the Pacific Northwest are on fire; Warming oceans linked to more shark attacks in North Carolina; China and Brazil formally commit to cutting their greenhouse gas emissions; PLUS: Fracking companies can now be sued for causing earthquakes... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): BP Agrees To Pay ‘The Largest Environmental Settlement In History’ Over Its 2010 Oil Spill; California Oil Train Risks Worse in Minority Areas; The Heat Is On: Climate change will make deadly heat waves like Pakistan’s and Europe’s worse than ever; Calif. May Allow Expanded Production as Oil Spill Cleanup Continues; 5 Things to Know About 2,4-D, the 'Possibly' Cancer-Causing Herbicide; Midwest flood risks could be underestimated by five feet... PLUS: Judge: Maui Ban On GMO Crops Is Invalid... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Bret Baier: Fox "News" Bias in Favor of Toxic Coal Pollution:
- VIDEO: Conservatives Celebrate "Huge Victory" As SCOTUS Rules Against Life-Saving Pollution Safeguards (Media Matters)
- Supreme Court Blocks Obama’s Limits on Power Plants (NY Times):
The E.P.A. had argued that it was not required to take costs into account when it made the initial determination to regulate. But the agency added that it had done so later in setting emissions standards and that, in any event, the benefits far outweighed the costs.
- The Supreme Court Just Delivered A Victory To Coal Plants That Want To Emit Unlimited Mercury (Climate Progress):
Coal- and oil-fired power plants are the largest industrial sources of toxic air pollution in the country. Power plants are responsible for 50 percent of all U.S. emissions of mercury, a neurotoxin particularly dangerous to unborn children.
- The Best And Worst Media Interviews With Climate-Denying Presidential Candidates (Media Matters)
- Wildfires Rage Across Western North America: Alaska, Canada, Washington:
- Heat Dome Parked Over West Shatters Temperature Records, Sparks Fires (Mashable)
- Smoke From Canadian Wildfires Is Pouring Into the US Like a River (io9)
- VIDEO: Washington wildfire burns dozens of homes (CNN):
[T]he flames came faster than anyone expected, Jon Dominguez told CNN's "AC360." Black smoke billowed up as the fire devoured everything in its path. "My wife came through the house, kind of screaming at me to get out. ... By the time, I pulled the car out of our garage, there was a fireball behind my neighbor's house," he said.
- Alaska Wildfires Map Puts the 1.8 Million Acres Burned This Year in Perspective (ABC News) [emphasis added]:
Over 700 fires have burned so far this summer, the most in the state's history, and that number is only expected to get bigger as the state is experiencing higher temperatures, lower humidity and more lightning storms than usual, said Kale Casey, a public information officer for the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center
- Western wildfires: Flames plague hot, dry Washington region (Daily Astorian)
- Wildfire evacuee numbers top 4,000 on Canada Day (CKOM Saskatchewan)
- Study: Alaska Wildfire Season Is Getting Worse:
- VIDEO: Kenward Talks Alaskan Wildfires With Jim Cantore (Climate Central)
- Alaska Entering New Era for Wildfires (Climate Central):
In the past 60 years, Alaska has warmed more than twice as fast as the rest of the country, with average temperatures up by nearly 3°F. By 2050, temperatures are projected to climb an additional 2-4 degrees, with the Arctic region seeing the most dramatic increases. These rising temperatures are expected to increase wildfire risks in Alaska, just as they have in the rest of the western U.S.
- Alaska is burning as fires multiply by the hundred (Mashable)
- Warming Oceans = More Shark Attacks in North Carolina:
- VIDEO: New shark attack reported in North Carolina (CNN)
- North Carolina’s “Perfect Storm” for Shark Attacks (National Geographic):
An unusual combination of factors has led to an increase in bites....“Clearly global climate change is a reality and it has resulted in warmer temperatures in certain places at certain times,” says Burgess.
- VIDEO: Why so many NC shark attacks? Expert sees ‘perfect storm’ of factors (WGHP Winston-Salem NC)
- Court: Fracking Companies Can Be Sued For Earthquake Damage:
- Oil companies can be sued by earthquake victim, Oklahoma court rules (CBC):
An Oklahoma woman who was injured when an earthquake rocked her home in 2011 can sue oil companies for damages, the state's highest court ruled on Tuesday, opening the door to other potential lawsuits against the state's energy companies.
- In Oklahoma, Fracking Companies Can Now Be Sued Over Earthquakes (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
That’s the effect of a ruling by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, which on Tuesday rejected efforts by the oil industry to prevent earthquake injury lawsuits from being heard in court. Instead of being decided by juries and judges, the industry was arguing that cases should be resolved by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, a state regulatory agency....“The Commission, although possessing many of the powers of a court of record, is without the authority to entertain a suit for damages...”
- New York State Bans Fracking:
- New York state officially bans fracking (Syracuse Post-Standard):
The fracking ban is not permanent, and could be rescinded. Proponents and opponents of the ban both said they expect lawsuits to be filed.
- New York State Ban On Fracking Made Official (DeSmog Blog):
As explained in detail in this DeSmog piece by Sharon Kelly, if you read the EPA report and didn’t just rely on headlines in the New York Post to get your information, the report actually provides support for New York’s decision for a fracking ban.
- New York Formalizes Ban on Fracking, Ending 7-Year Review (AP):
"After years of exhaustive research and examination of the science and facts, prohibiting high-volume hydraulic fracturing is the only reasonable alternative," Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said in announcing the decision.
- United Nations Climate Treaty: China And Brazil Announce Formal Emissions Targets:
- Global Climate Pact Gains Momentum as China, US and Brazil Detail Plans (NY Times):
Five months before a United Nations summit meeting aimed at forging a historic global accord to cut climate-warming emissions, significant signs of progress toward an agreement are emerging.
- China Works for 'Win-Win' Climate Plan, Poised for U.N. Pledge (Reuters):
China seeks a fair, global system to tackle climate change and will deliver its pledge to the United Nations by the end of Tuesday on how much it will cut emissions, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said after talks with top European Union officials.
- U.S., China, and Brazil Make Climate Pledges Ahead of Paris Summit (Foreign Policy):
Major economies, rich and poor alike, are taking serious steps to curb emissions of greenhouse gases. That’s a sea change in global efforts to fight rising temperatures.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- BP Agrees To Pay ‘The Largest Environmental Settlement In History’ Over Its 2010 Oil Spill (Climate Progress):
In simultaneous press conferences in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida, the attorneys general of the states most directly impacted by the massive 2010 BP spill announced a “global deal” to settle years of litigation with the oil giant for a total of $18.7 billion.
- California Oil Train Risks Worse in Minority Areas: Report (Reuters):
Californians most exposed to the risks of oil train derailments or fires overwhelmingly live in poorer, minority neighborhoods, two environmental groups in the state said on Tuesday.
- The Heat Is On: Climate change will make deadly heat waves like Pakistan’s and Europe’s worse than ever. (Slate):
Predictably, the city’s poorest areas experienced disproportionately long power outages and diminished access to water during the heat wave. Although residents took to the streets in protest, the government was unable to respond to those most in need. They were, as usual, left to take care of themselves.
- Judge: Maui Ban On GMO Crops Is Invalid (Huffington Post Green):
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a Maui County ban on the cultivation of genetically engineered crops is pre-empted by federal and state law and invalid.
- Calif. May Allow Expanded Production as Oil Spill Cleanup Continues (Guardian UK):
Just over a month after California experienced its worst oil spill in decades, the state is considering allowing a company to triple its oil production off the coast of Santa Barbara and run the oil through the same pipeline that leaked on 19 May.
- 5 Things to Know About 2,4-D, the 'Possibly' Cancer-Causing Herbicide (Civil Eats):
Use of the third most popular pesticide in the U.S. is predicted to grow dramatically in the next few years.
- Midwest flood risks could be underestimated by five feet, study says (Washington Post):
Robert Criss, author of the study and a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, warns that measurements for flood risk are "grossly inaccurate" because they are based on decades-old data and do not account for changes to watersheds, man-made river control systems and rising rivers due to climate change.
- More evidence that global warming is intensifying extreme weather (Guardian UK):
A new study finds that global warming is causing weather whiplash.
- 5,000 Evacuated From Area Near Tennessee Train Derailment (Maryville Daily Times):
A CSX tanker car carrying acrylonitrile caught fire just after midnight Thursday morning forcing the evacuation of more than 5,000 people in an expanding evacuation zone last listed as a 2-mile radius around the site.
- Polar Bears Face Steep Declines Because of Melting Sea Ice: US Study (Reuters):
Imperiled polar bears will see a population crash in most parts of the Arctic Ocean if global greenhouse gas emissions continue at current rates, causing accelerated melting of the sea ice the bruins depend on for survival, U.S. scientists said on Wednesday.
- Feds Decline To Reclassify Gray Wolf Under Endangered Species Act (The Hill):
The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) said Tuesday that it will not reclassify the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act.
- Arizona Copper Mine Stirs Debate Pitting Profits Vs Religion (NPR):
Outside of an aging mining town in the mountains east of Phoenix, a copper company has burrowed a shaft 1.3 miles into the high desert landscape in what is believed to be the deepest such mine in the U.S.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).