IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Portland activists suspend from a bridge to stop Arctic drilling; Wildfire season explodes across West; New study finds wildfire season getting much worse around the world; PLUS: The killing of Cecil the Lion ignites a firestorm of controversy... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Climate change 'triple threat' increases severe flooding risk in biggest US cities; U.S. Private Sector Vows To Ante Up On Climate Finance; Yet another study finds that reducing carbon emissions saves Americans money; Coal not good for reducing poverty, Oxfam report says; Coal industry gears up for court fight over proposed stream protection rule... PLUS: These national parks got an 'F' for air pollution... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- The West Is On Fire:
- VIDEO: 2015 Fire Season Setting Records (Climate Crocks)
- 2015 wildfire season could be Alaska's worst ever (UPI):
Some scientists believe the carbon lost to the atmosphere as permafrost is burned will be compensated for by the ecosystem. Others disagree.
- Alaska's terrifying wildfire season and what it says about climate change (Washington Post):
The pace of the burn has moderated in the last week, but scientists say the fires are just the latest indicator of a climatic transformation that is remaking this state - its forests, its coasts, its glaciers, and perhaps most of all, the frozen ground beneath - more than any other in America.
- Crews Scramble To Contain 3,000-Acre Fire In Glacier National Park (NPR)
- The West Is Still On Fire (Climate Progress):
Alaska has undergone rapid climatic changes in the past 50 years, warming by more than 3 degrees Fahrenheit. But it has also seen a marked increase in the length and intensity of its fire season - something that climate scientists worry could hasten the melting of Alaska's permafrost, and, in turn, exacerbate climate change.
- The West is so dry even a rain forest is on fire (Washington Post)
- VIDEO: Quick-moving Glacier National Park fire grows, forces evacuations:
- Quick-moving Glacier National Park fire grows, forces evacuations (CNN)
- VIDEO: Lakota Duncan's Reynolds Creek fire video (Daily Missoulian):
- Wildfire Season Getting Worse Around the World:
- Are massive wildfires the new normal? (CBS News)
- Study finds climate change is increasing length of wildfire seasons across globe (Helena Independent Record):
The length of wildfire seasons across the globe and the burnable areas of Earth's surface have drastically increased in the past three decades due to climate change, according to a groundbreaking new study supported by years of research from the U.S. Forest Service's Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory.
- Fire weather seasons across the globe getting longer (U.S. Forest Service):
Scientists found trends in fire weather seasons across the globe have increased by nearly 20 percent and the global burnable area doubled (nearly 110 percent) over the past 35 years.
- STUDY: Climate-induced variations in global wildfire danger from 1979 to 2013 (Nature Communications)
- Missoula lab's fire science breakthrough explains wildfire spread (Helena Independent Record):
According to new research developed in part by scientists at the Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory, we've been dazzled by the flames in the treetops when we really should be concentrating on forces near the ground.
- Feedback Loop: Increasing Wildfires Reinforcing Global Warming:
- May Seriously Affect Climate Change (Clapway)
- Scientists say the planet's weather is becoming more conducive to wildfires (Washington Post):
Fires, though, combust plants and release their carbon back into the atmosphere. Thus, there's a danger that if wildfire activity increases on a global scale, the overall ability of plants to store carbon may decrease - especially if plant life does not grow back as quickly after intense fires burn through, or is replaced by different, smaller or less carbon sequestering plants.
- The Science of Wildfires: How These Destructive Forces of Nature Create Their Own Weather (Accuweather)
- Beneath Alaskan Wildfires, A Hidden Threat: Long-Frozen Carbon's Thaw (NPR):
"This is 40 centimeters of a blanket that protects [permafrost] from what's happening at the surface," she says. "But when a fire comes through it might remove 15 or 25 centimeters of this organic mat."..."That's the kind of carbon pulse to the atmosphere that actually can invoke additional climate change, above and beyond human emissions." And more climate change, she says, could mean hotter temperatures, which could mean more fires, which could mean more permafrost lost.
- Pacific Northwest: Hot Rivers Killing Salmon:
- Why Are Hundreds Of Thousands Of Salmon Dying In The Northwest? (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
But this year - with snowpack levels throughout the Pacific Northwest historically low and temperatures historically high - sockeye salmon are in trouble. Out of the more than 507,000 salmon that have passed through the Bonneville Dam, some 235,000 have died - a number that Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries manager John North told Reuters is unprecedented. "We've never had mortalities at this scale," North said.
- Thousands of salmon die in hotter-than-usual Northwest rivers (Reuters):
Unseasonably hot water has killed nearly half of the sockeye salmon migrating up the Columbia River through Oregon and Washington state, a wildlife official said on Monday.
- Portland Activists' Bridge Protest to Stop Arctic Drilling:
- Shell icebreaker retreats as protesters trying to block it dangle from Portland bridge (Seattle Times)
- Activists hang from bridge in Portland to block Shell's Arctic vessel (Guardian UK):
Greenpeace climbers plan to spend days hanging from the bridge in Portland, Oregon in an attempt to hinder Shell's Arctic oil drilling plans
- VIDEO: Shell protesters rappel off St. Johns Bridge (KOIN Seattle)
- The Killing of Cecil the Lion:
- Cecil the lion: The killing that's enraged the internet, explained (Vox.com) [emphasis added]:
Killing him feels like a violation, and robbing Zimbabweans of this beloved symbol seems particularly ugly - not to mention a disturbing echo of colonial-era practices of robbing sub-Saharan Africans of their heritage and natural resources.
- Cecil the lion's killer revealed as American dentist (Telegraph UK)
- AUDIO: The World Mourns Cecil the Lion (Background Briefing, KPFK Pacifica Radio)
- What Walter Palmer Did Wasn't Hunting (Climate Progress):
"This is much closer to assassination than hunting," Miles said, adding that a bad shot is "the most traumatic thing that can happen in a hunt."
- Killing of Cecil the Lion Sparks Debate Over Trophy Hunts (National Geographic)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Coal not good for reducing poverty, Oxfam report says (Sydney Morning Herald):
It says the cost of extending electricity grids to those rural areas offsets any economic incentive of coal power, making renewable energy a cheaper option. It's also quicker to install local solar panels than build coal plants.
- Yet another study finds that reducing carbon emissions saves Americans money (Vox.com):
Long story short: An aggressive shift to clean energy and efficiency is likely to save American consumers money.
- U.S. Private Sector Vows To Ante Up On Climate Finance (Climate Central):
Some of the biggest U.S. corporate names have offered their support - and billions of dollars in green financing pledges - to buttress the Obama administration's quest for a global agreement on combating climate change. Google, Apple, Goldman Sachs and 10 other well-known companies joined the White House on Monday in launching the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, a campaign that the White House said would inject $140 billion in low-carbon investments into the global economy.
- This Critic Of Hillary Clinton's Climate Change Plan Should Actually Read It (Media Matters):
Author and New York Sun co-founder Ira Stoll attacked Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's new climate change plan for focusing on installing solar panels instead of setting emissions limits or investing in battery storage technology. Stoll apparently didn't realize that those policies are included in Clinton's plan, too.
- Climate change 'triple threat' increases severe flooding risk in biggest US cities (Guardian UK):
Trio of sea-level rise, storm surge and heavy rainfall exposes coastal cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Boston to potentially catastrophic flooding in future
- Coal industry gears up for court fight over proposed stream protection rule (Medill News):
A new government rule that promises to do more to protect streams near coal mining operations entered a critical stage this week, with coal industry lobbyists and environmentalists already lining up for battle.
- These national parks got an 'F' for air pollution" (Mother Jones):
It's late summer, and Americans are flocking to the country's national parks for some recreation and fresh air. But a study released this week by the National Parks Conservation Association found that air in some of the country's most popular parks is not so fresh-and it's potentially hazardous.
- 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).