IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: President Obama announces historic climate action to slash carbon emissions; Clean energy is booming around the world --- especially in China; PLUS: Bad day for Big Coal as the nation's largest coal company files for bankruptcy... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Memo to media: Clean Power Plan is not about Obama's "legacy"; Media Disclosure Guide: naming the industry groups attacking EPA's Clean Power Plan; Ted Cruz says scientists 'falsified' global warming data; Raging CA wildfires force evacuation of 13k; Glaciers have shrunk to lowest level on record; Coffee: the bitter end of our favorite drink?... PLUS: Methane in atmosphere may greatly exceed estimates... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: Aussie pol Ron Boswell criticises pope on climate but admits he hasn't read encyclical - video (Guardian UK):
Former Queensland National party senator Ron Boswell made a gaffe-riddled appearance on the ABC TV's flagship show on Monday night, criticising the pope's encyclical on the environment while admitting that he hadn't read it.
- Clean Power Plan: Obama's Historic New Standards for Carbon Emissions:
- Obama releases his most ambitious climate policy yet - the Clean Power Plan (Vox.com):
For the first time ever, the EPA will require power plants to cut their carbon emissions. Here's why that's a big deal.
- How The U.S. Can Go Beyond The Clean Power Plan In Carbon Reduction (Climate Progress)
- Clean Power Plan Has A Message For Natural Gas, And It's Not Good (Clean Technica) [emphasis added]:
In recent months the Obama Administration has taken steps to address the "fugitive methane" issue, and that could have serious cost issues for the natural gas industry. That in turn will undercut any remaining price advantage natural gas has over wind and solar, further accelerating renewable energy investment.
- Final Clean Power Plan Drops Support for Existing Nuclear Plants (Forbes)
- Clean-Energy Debate Pitted Ambition Against Legal Worries (Washington Post)
- VIDEO: President Obama on Power Plant Emissions (C-SPAN)
- Coal Industry Vows to Fight New Standards for Carbon Emissions:
- Move to Fight Obama's Climate Plan Started Early (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
In the early months of 2014, a group of about 30 corporate lawyers, coal lobbyists and Republican political strategists began meeting regularly in the headquarters of the United States Chamber of Commerce, often, according to some of the participants, in a conference room overlooking the White House. Their task was to start devising a legal strategy for dismantling the climate change regulations they feared were coming from President Obama....And their plan is to challenge Mr. Obama at every opportunity and take the fight against what, if enacted, would be one of his signature accomplishments to the Supreme Court.
- Republican Governors Signal Their Intent to Thwart Obama's Climate Rules (NY Times)
- Study: Clean Power Plan Will Save Americans Money:
- Consumers Across the Country Will Save on Electricity Bills Under Clean Power Plan Compliance Pathway
- Yet another study finds that reducing carbon emissions saves Americans money (Vox.com) [emphasis added]:
In fact, many studies show that an aggressive shift to clean energy and efficiency would save consumers money. For a general account of why that's true, see this new report from NextGen Climate [PDF]. For a more focused bit of number crunching, however, we turn to this new brief from Synapse Energy Economics. It models a clean-energy pathway for the US and produces specific numbers showing both the carbon and financial savings....Long story short: An aggressive shift to clean energy and efficiency is likely to save American consumers money.
- Obama's Clean Power Plan Will Actually Lower Your Energy Bill, According To New Study (Climate Progress)
- Bad Day for Big Coal:
- Alpha Natural Resources, a Onetime Coal Giant, Files for Bankruptcy Protecton (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
Alpha Natural Resources borrowed heavily in 2011 to buy Massey Energy for $7.1 billion, seeking, like many coal companies at the time, to acquire an empire of Appalachian coal mines in the hope that China would be a growth market for exports....To make matters worse, Wyoming regulators recently told the company it no longer qualified for a program that allowed the company not to buy insurance to cover future mine cleanup costs.
- 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.
- China Deploying More Renewable Energy Than Any Other Country on the Planet:
- Need a weatherman: Though wind generation is growing fast, much remains wrong with the industry (The Economist) [emphasis added]:
China is better known as a land of coal and smog, but it is now increasing the generation of electricity from renewable sources faster than any other country, with more than 100 gigawatts a year of installed generating capacity from wind, a third of the world's total (see chart). In future, wind power will be a vital source of renewable energy. If it can integrate large-scale wind generation into its electricity network, China will be an example for other countries.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Memo To Media: Obama's Clean Power Plan Is Not Primarily About Politics (Climate Progress):
The "winners" are not environmentalists. The most important benefits do not involve either President Obama or his "legacy" - seriously, New York Times?
- Media Disclosure Guide: Here Are The Industry-Funded Groups Attacking The EPA's Climate Plan (Media Matters) [emphasis added]:
Here's a comprehensive guide that reporters can use to properly disclose these organizations' industry ties, many of which were recently documented in an Energy & Policy Institute report detailing the fossil fuel industry's "artificial chorus of voices" against clean energy.
- Ted Cruz Says Climate-Change Fears Falsified by Scientists and Politicians (TIME):
Cruz said scientists four decades ago were studying "global cooling, a global ice age was coming," and they were as wrong as those who now say the earth is warming. "Senator, you're not saying global warming isn't real?" interrupted his interviewer, Politico's Mike Allen.
- Raging California Wildfires Drive 13,000 From Their Homes (AP):
Firefighters were working aggressively to regain control after a raging Northern California fire jumped a highway that had served as a containment line for the massive blaze one of 20 wildfires burning in California.
- Methane in Atmosphere May Greatly Exceed Estimates, Report Says (NY Times):
A device commonly used to measure the methane that leaks from industrial sources may greatly underestimate those emissions, said an inventor of the technology that the device relies on.
- Glaciers 'Have Shrunk To Lowest Levels in 120 Years (AFP):
Glaciers worldwide have shrunk to levels not seen in 120 years of record-keeping, with melting accelerating in the first decade of the 21st century, according to a study released yesterday.
- California Water Officials Seek Penalties in Santa Barbara Oil Spill (Reuters):
California water quality regulators have asked state Attorney General Kamala Harris to consider enforcement action against the owner of an oil pipeline that ruptured near Santa Barbara in May, spilling petroleum onto beaches and the Pacific Ocean.
- Spokane Sues Monsanto For PCB Contamination (Spokane Spokesman-Review):
The city of Spokane has filed a lawsuit against the international agrochemical giant Monsanto, alleging that the company sold chemicals for decades that it knew were a danger to human and environmental health.
- Coffee in Crisis: The Bitter End of Our Favourite Drink? (BBC):
As we sip our lattes and espressos and read the daily headlines, climate change can seem like a distant threat. But travel a few thousand miles to the source of your caffeine fix, and the turbulence is all too real.
- 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
- 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:
- 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).