IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Obama Administration gives final approval for Shell's Arctic drilling adventure...And announces the first Presidential visit to the Arctic; July 2015 the hottest July on record; 'Monster' El Nino brewing in the Pacific; PLUS: Oregon children sue to force federal government to act on global warming... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Obama Admin proposes to cut methane emissions; Judge rules Maryland must release oil train shipment info; EPA Inspector General begins mine spill investigation; Can an Islamic climate change declaration inspire 1.8 billion Muslims?; Toxic algae bloom killing sea lions; Firms to pay $14m to clean up toxic chemical site; Frackers feel the pain as oil prices keep tumbling... PLUS: The Teflon Toxin: The Case Against DuPont, Part 2... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: Bill Maher Monologue on Climate and Wild Fire (Climate Crocks):
- Shell Begins Drilling in the Arctic:
- US gives Shell the final approval it needs to drill for oil in the Arctic (The Verge):
The US Arctic waters contain about 26 billion barrels of recoverable oil
- VIDEO: Federal agency gives oil giant go-ahead to operate two Arctic rigs (KTUU Anchorage):
Six wells are expected in the Burger Prospect - located in approximately 140 feet of water about 70 miles northwest of Wainwright - representing a rare point of increased investment amid $15 billion in expected reductions by Shell over the next three years. Oil prices have plummeted, with Alaska North Slope crude selling for about $65 per barrel on Friday, down from a high of more than $116 in early 2013.
- Obama Explains Why He Approved Arctic Drilling In The Face Of Climate Concerns (Climate Progress, May 2015):
[A]ccording to the president, it's impossible to stop oil exploration in the Arctic completely.
- VIDEO: Arctic drilling a long-term game: Shell Oil president (CNBC, 5/14/2015)
- Environmental Groups Vow to Fight Arctic Drilling:
- Untouchable: The Climate Case Against Arctic Drilling (Oil Change International) [emphasis added]:
While the Obama Administration has been clear on its commitment to climate action, they continue to allow companies like Royal Dutch Shell to sink billions of dollars in the hunt for unburnable carbon in the U.S. Arctic Ocean off the coast of Alaska. This report lays bare the case that Arctic oil is wholly irreconcilable with stated national and international objectives to address climate change. Put very simply: Arctic oil fails the climate test.
- Feds allow Shell to drill for oil in Arctic Ocean off Alaska (Alaska Dispatch News):
"Some ideas are just non-starters, like drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean," David Yarnold, president of Audubon, said in a statement. "Spills under ice sheets can't be controlled, and America doesn't need the oil in order to maintain its energy independence. This is just cynical partisan politics, a public relations bone that the Obama administration is throwing to Shell.
- Greens decry Obama's Shell game (Politico):
"The president cannot have it both ways," Greenpeace says after the company wins an Arctic drilling permit.
- Obama Announces 1st Presidential Visit to the Arctic:
- Obama To Visit Alaska, But Enviros Cry Foul Over Arctic Drilling (Huffiington Post Green):
Environmentalists say drilling for oil in the Arctic while pledging to save it is "deeply hypocritical."
- VIDEO: President Obama Is Going to Alaska. Here's Why (White House)
- Oregon Children Sue to Force U.S. Government to Act on Climate Change:
- 8-year-old takes US government to court over climate change (RTCC):
The 21 young plaintiffs sought an order from the District Court of Oregon, requiring Obama to implement a national plan for the reduction of atmospheric concentrations of CO2 to 350 ppm by the year 2100....The Complaint [PDF], submitted on Wednesday to to coincide with International Youth Day, further accuses Obama and the Federal Government of knowingly risking "harm to human life, liberty and property" through intensive fossil fuel use.
- July 2015: Hottest July On Record Globally:
- If global warming really did pause, the planet just pressed ‘play’ again (Washington Post):
- VIDEO: Are Global Temperatures Ramping up Again? (Climate Crocks)
- 'Godzilla' El Nino Brewing in the Pacific Ocean:
- Latest forecast suggests 'Godzilla El Niño' may be coming to California (LA Times):
The strengthening El Niño in the Pacific Ocean has the potential to become one of the most powerful on record, as warming ocean waters surge toward the Americas, setting up a pattern that could bring once-in-a-generation storms this winter to drought-parched California....“This definitely has the potential of being the Godzilla El Niño,” said Bill Patzert, a climatologist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge.
- VIDEO: Jeff Masters and Kevin Trenberth on Warming and 'Reluctant' El Nino (Climate Crocks)
- El Niño vs. the Blob: which will win out this winter? (So. California Public Radio):
You may have heard a strong El Niño could bring lots of rain this winter, but there's another weather pattern in the region that might keep things dry. It's a ridge of high-pressure air that's created a huge patch of warm water off the coast, nicknamed "the Blob." This ridge and blob tag-team is believed to be deflecting storms and keeping California locked in drought.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- U.S. Is Set to Propose Regulation to Cut Methane Emissions (NY Times):
The Obama administration is expected to propose as soon as Tuesday the first-ever federal regulation to cut emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, by the nation’s oil and natural-gas industry, officials familiar with the plan said on Monday.
- Judge Rules Md. Must Release Crude Oil Shipment Information (Baltimore Sun):
A Baltimore City Circuit Court judge has ruled that the information railroads submit to the state about the volume and frequency of their crude oil shipments is public.
- EPA Inspector General Begins Investigation Into Mine Spill (The Hill):
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) said Monday it will begin investigation the Aug. 5 incident that sent 3 million gallons of toxic sludge into Colorado’s Animas River.
- Can An Islamic Climate Change Declaration Inspire 1.6B Muslims? (E&E News):
Islamic leaders from around the globe [Tuesday] will unveil a declaration calling on the world's 1.6 billion Muslims to embrace climate change action as part of their religious duty.
- Toxic Algae Is Killing Sea Lions, Shows No Sign of Diminishing (KQUED):
A toxic algae bloom that began off the West Coast this spring now stretches from California to Alaska. It’s poisoning marine life from shellfish to sardines to sea lions, and scientists say it’s one of the worst they’ve seen.
- Firms To Pay $14.3M To Clean Up Central Chemical Site in Hagerstown (Hagerstown Herald-Mail):
Sixteen companies have reached a $14.3 million settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Maryland to stabilize and cap waste and contaminated soil at the Central Chemical Superfund site in Hagerstown, the agency announced Monday.
- The Teflon Toxin: The Case Against DuPont (The Intercept):
DuPont, a major U.S. chemical company, for years hid what it knew about the threats to employees and neighbors from a chemical --- perfluorooctanoic acid, also known as PFOA or C8 --- that can cause cancer and other health damage. The PFOA was used in operations of DuPont's Washington Works plant in Parkersburg, WV. Its health damage was the focus of a major class-action lawsuit.
- As Oil Prices Keep Tumbling, Frackers Feel the Pain (CS Monitor):
The impact of low oil prices could have long-term consequences for drilling companies. But hydraulic fracturing technology could allow the industry bounce back more quickly, experts say.
- Rescuers Work To Clear China Blast Site of Chemicals Before Rain Falls (Reuters):
Chinese soldiers and rescue workers in gas masks and hazard suits searched for toxic materials in China's port of Tianjin on Sunday as Premier Li Keqiang arrived to offer condolences, days after explosions flattened part of a national development zone.
- 15 States Request Stay of Obama Clean Power Plan (E&E News):
Foes of the Obama administration's plan for cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector have lodged their first formal challenge to the newly finalized Clean Power Plan, asking federal judges to postpone the rule's deadlines.
- Ex Machina: No Techno-Fix For Irreversible Ocean Collapse From Carbon Pollution (Climate Progress):
The Nature Climate Change study examined what would happen if we continue current CO2 emissions trends through 2050 and then try to remove huge volumes of CO2 from the air after the fact with some techno-fix. The result, as co-author John Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, put it, is "we will not be able to preserve ocean life as we know it."
- 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).