IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: While we were out: Record settlement in BP's oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico; Former Senator Jim Webb (D?!) enters the 2016 race --- we'll tell you his (terrible!) position on climate change; Extreme heat waves shatter temperature records on four continents; PLUS: Solar-powered plane flies into aviation history... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Exxon knew of climate change in 1981, funded deniers for 27 years; Episcopal church votes to divest from fossil fuels; Bernie Sanders’ Plan To Make Solar Power More Accessible; Farmers vs. Fish: Water War Heats Up With Probe Into Who Got Millions; 'Sustainable' Fishery Is Harming Native Alaskans; Mining Heads Into The Deep Sea; Methane Emissions in Texas Fracking Region 50% Above EPA Estimates... PLUS: The Global Coal Renaissance Is the Most Important Climate Story Today... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Former Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) Enters 2016 Race:
- Jim Webb sucks on climate change (Grist) [emphasis added]:
So it’s a problem that Webb sucks on climate change. The next president has to be a climate hawk. We’re rapidly running out of time to stave off the worst effects of warming. And, with Republicans in control of the House of Representatives until at least 2022 thanks to gerrymandering, federal progress on emissions reductions will only happen through executive action.
- VIDEO: Webb Turns Back on Appalachia, Cozies Up to Big Coal (Blue Virginia):
This video from a recent Virginia Chamber of Commerce event shows Webb promising to fight any effort to rein in coal's destructive, polluting, poverty-sustaining excesses.
- VIDEO: During his Senate term, Webb spouted language that could have come from denialist propaganda (Get Energy Smart NOW)
- Jim Webb Wants to Be President. Too Bad He's Awful on Climate Change. (Mother Jones):
The former Virginia senator has a record of standing up for dirty energy.
- Jim Webb dead wrong on global warming pollution (Climate Porgress)
- What does Jim Webb believe? Where the candidate stands on 10 issues (PBS NewsHour)
- BP Oil Spill: Largest Environmental Damages Settlement in U.S. History:
- AUDIO: BradCast 7/6/15: Antonia Juhasz on BP Gulf Spill settlement (The BradBlog)
- BP 'Got Off Cheaply' With $18.7 Billion Settlement (Rolling Stone):
"The judge had already found gross negligence, and based on the Clean Water Act formulas, BP should have been looking at $13 to $18 billion for the oil spill alone. Add to that the natural resource damages and the fact that there is enough research on oil spills in general and the shock to Gulf in particular to say that a settlement at this level is both premature and cheap. It's a bargain for BP."
- 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.
- Is BP's $18.7 billion oil spill settlement tax deductible? Deal could save BP billions, group says (AL.com)
- BP to pay $18.7 billion to federal government, 5 states to settle oil spill claims (NOLA.com)
- Record Exteme Heat Waves Shatter Records on Four Continents:
- Unprecedented June Heat on Four Continents; Wimbledon Roasts in Record Heat (Dr. Jeff Masters, Weather Underground):
Unprecedented June heat scorched portions of four continents during the past week, and many all-time heat records are likely to fall across multiple continents this July as the peak heat of summer arrives for what has been the hottest year in recorded human history.
- Germany Breaks its All-Time Heat Record (Dr. Jeff Masters, Weather Underground)
- Summer 2015: WTFUWT (Open Mind):
What’s puzzling is Watts’s reaction: he reports recent record-tying and record-breaking temperatures from Washington state. What’s surprising is not that the recent heat wave tied or broke record highs for so many locations, but by how much.
- 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.
- Solar Impulse Flies Into Aviation, Clean Energy History:
- Solar Impulse 2 Official Website: The Future Is Clean.org (Solar Impulse)
- VIDEO: Solar plane lands in Hawaii, next stop Phoenix (KHON Honolulu)
- The Surprising Zen of a 5-Day Flight Over the Pacific (Wired) [emphasis added]:
His five-day flight from Japan to Hawaii was a crucial leg in the round-the-world journey of Solar Impulse 2, a solar-powered single-seater that may make people rethink the idea of sustainable aviation. If nothing else, Borschberg has proven the innovative aircraft can generate sufficient power while in the air to stay aloft for days on end.
- VIDEO: Solar Impulse completes epic flight to Hawaii (BBC):
Solar Impulse, the aeroplane that is powered only by the sun, has landed in Hawaii after making a historic 7,200km flight across the Pacific from Japan.
- Solar Impulse Sets World Record: 117 Hours & 52 Minutes — Longest Solo Flight Ever (Video) (Clean Technica)
- VIDEO: Solar Impulse lands in Hawaii after longest non-stop solo flight in history (Guardian UK):
Veteran pilot tested to the limit of endurance on record-breaking solar-powered flight across the Pacific, on the eighth leg of round-the-world journey
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Exxon knew of climate change in 1981, email says – but it funded deniers for 27 more years (Guardian UK):
A newly unearthed missive from Lenny Bernstein, a climate expert with the oil firm for 30 years, shows concerns over high presence of carbon dioxide in enormous gas field in south-east Asia factored into decision not to tap it.
- Episcopal church votes to divest from fossil fuels: 'This is a moral issue' (Guardian UK):
Warning of threat to ‘human life itself’, Christian denomination commits to re-investing in clean energy following pope’s pastoral letter on the environment
- Bernie Sanders’ Plan To Make Solar Power More Accessible (Climate Progress):
On Tuesday, Vermont Senator and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders introduced legislation aimed at making it easier for low-income families to take advantage of solar power. The bill, called the “Low Income Solar Act,” came the same day that the Obama Administration announced a similar program aimed at installing 300 megawatts of renewable energy in federally subsidized housing by 2020.
- Farmers vs. Fish: Water War Heats Up With Probe Into Who Got Millions (Washington Post):
The site of some of the fiercest environmental wars over water in recent years is now the subject of a federal investigation into millions of dollars that whistleblowers say were intended to secure water for drought-stricken fish but flowed instead to farmers and ranchers.
- A Supposedly Sustainable Fishery Is Harming Native Alaskans (InvestigateWest):
When you buy a McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich, you might notice the little blue label that tells you the fish you’re about to eat is certified as environmentally sustainable. That sounds like good news for the environment, for fish, and for customers. But what the label doesn’t tell you is that Native American communities in Western Alaska are endangered, in part because of the Seattle-based trawl boats that bring you products like McDonald’s famous fish sandwich.
- Mining Heads Into The Deep Sea, Raising Environmental Concerns (Huffington Post):
Mining in the deep sea for minerals is uncharted territory, but one company is well on its way to making it a reality. Now, the company is trying to convince skeptical audiences it's a good idea.
- Methane Emissions in Texas Fracking Region 50% Above EPA Estimates (InsideClimate News):
Environmental Defense Fund-backed studies of 30,000 Barnett Shale wells shows the EPA has vastly underestimated emissions.
- The Global Coal Renaissance Is the Most Important Climate Story Today (Vox.com):
If you only focused on the United States, you might think coal's days were numbered.
- One of Shell’s Arctic Drilling Ships Hits a Snag (ENS):
In another setback for Shell Oil’s summer Arctic drilling plans, a ship headed for the Shell prospect in the Chukchi Sea off northwest Alaska was forced to return to Dutch Harbor Friday after a hole was discovered in its hull.
- VIDEO: Bill Maher interviews Prof. Jay Famiglietti – California’s unseen Water Crisis (Climate Crocks)
- The Best And Worst Media Interviews With Climate-Denying Presidential Candidates (Media Matters)
- 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.
- 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).