IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: It's official: July 2015 was the hottest month ever recorded on Planet Earth; Record wildfire season in the U.S. gets even worse; Scientists stumped by mysterious whale deaths in Washington State; Oil prices hit hard by China stock crash; PLUS: Obama boosts clean energy, calls out the fossil fuel industry's anti-free market ideology... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): VIDEO: Carly Fiorina did a 4-minute riff on climate change. Everything she said was wrong; CA drought made worse by global warming; Pesticides in paradise: Hawaii's spike in birth defects puts focus on GM crops; The American lawn is now the largest single ‘crop’ in the U.S.; Sen. Feinstein asks Obama to create 3 desert monuments... PLUS: Solar power crosses threshold, gets cheaper than natural gas... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- July 2015 Hottest Month Ever Recorded on the Planet:
- Report: July 2015 Hottest Month On Record (The Onion) [emphasis added]:
“And if the world works together, we can make next July even hotter.”
- Hottest Month On Record Portends Global Warming Speed Up (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
Since July is “the warmest month of the year globally,” NOAA’s latest monthly State of the Climate Report, notes that July 2015 “was also the highest among all 1627 months in the record that began in January 1880.”...It was especially hot for the 6 billion of us up here in the northern hemisphere, where the first seven months of 2015 were a remarkable 0.3°F warmer than the first seven months of any year on record — and nearly a half degree Fahrenheit warmer than any year before 2007.
- Global Analysis of Land And Sea Temperatures July, 2015: Not Just The Hottest July — The Hottest Month Ever (Decoded Science) [emphasis added]:
Using more recent starting points, we can calculate the following rates of combined land and sea temperature rise, which are more representative of the current rate.
- Global Warming Is Here and Now: July 2015 Was the Hottest Month on Record (Slate):
The trend is upward, at 0.67°C per century.
- Western Fires: US Forest Service Calls In Military, Foreign Firefighters:
- Washington wildfires now largest in state's history (USA Today)
- Australia, New Zealand firefighters arrive in Northwest (King 5 TV Seattle):
Australian Mark Williams said this is his third opportunity to help out in the U.S. “It’s always a good experience and it makes us feel good to be able to come over and assist you guy when you need a hand and hopefully you can do the same for us when we need a hand too,” he said.
- Obama declares state of emergency at site of out-of-control Washington fires (Guradian UK)
- Three Firefighters Killed Battling Washington State Wildfire (Reuters):
Three firefighters in Washington state were killed and four injured while battling a wildfire threatening the town of Twisp, officials said on Wednesday, as more than a dozen major blazes burned in parched Western U.S. states.
- 'Unusual Mortality Event': Mysterious Deaths of Whales in Pacific Northwest:
- Experts puzzled as 30 whales stranded in 'unusual mortality event' in Alaska (Guardian UK):
Scientists ‘very concerned’ and suspect toxic algae, though Noaa concedes ‘bottom line is we don’t know what’s causing deaths’
- Since May, 30 whales have died off the Alaskan coast. Scientists are racing to find out why. (Washington Post)
- Oil Prices Hit Hard By China's Stock Crash:
- Oil expert Daniel Yergin: 'hard times' ahead for producers (Fortune):
What we’re seeing now is that what China giveth, China taketh away. And in this case China really gave us the supercycle of commodities. But the relative weakness of the Chinese economy and how it affects demand for commodities is the big new factor because it’s become so much more apparent.
- Oil rallies but still near six-and-a-half-year lows (Reuters)
- From Venezuela to Iraq to Russia, Oil Price Drops Raise Fears of Unrest (NY Times)
- Oklahoma Breaks Its Own Record for Fracking-Induced Earthquakes;
- Oft-shaken Okla. tops last year's quake record (E&E News):
The 585 earthquakes that Oklahoma had in 2014 was a lot. But this year, Oklahoma has had more than that in less than eight months....Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) recently said that homeowners in the state should consider buying earthquake insurance to protect their property from the rumbling....Leaders of Oklahoma's oil and gas industry have interfered with the state's research into the shaking.
- Oklahoma rattles to new earthquake record with four-plus months left in 2015 (Tulsa World)
- What’s Behind The Spike In Earthquake Activity Oklahoma Has Seen This Year? (Climate Progress)
- Obama Skewers 'Rent-Seeking', Anti-Free Market Fossil Fuel Industry:
- Obama invokes free-market principles to promote clean-energy plan (LA Times):
In remarks to the National Clean Energy Summit, which included solar entrepreneurs, Obama mocked “fossil fuel interests” and old-guard businesses for breaking with their free-market arguments and opposing the new competition from alternative energy. “Pushing for new laws to roll back renewable energy standards … that’s a problem,” Obama said. “That’s not progress, that’s not innovation. That’s trying to protect old ways of doing business.”
- In Las Vegas speech, Obama touts continued clean energy investment (Las Vegas Sun)
- Pushing back against fossil fuel interests, Obama backs clean energy choices for consumers (US News)
- Obama Calls Out Fossil Fuel Interests for Fighting Solar (Aljazeera America)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- California Drought Is Made Worse by Global Warming, Scientists Say (NY Times):
Global warming caused by human emissions has most likely intensified the drought in California by 15 to 20 percent, scientists said on Thursday, warning that future dry spells in the state are almost certain to be worse than this one as the world continues to heat up. Even though the findings suggest that the drought is primarily a consequence of natural climate variability, the scientists added that the likelihood of any drought becoming acute is rising because of climate change.
- VIDEO: Carly Fiorina did a 4-minute riff on climate change. Everything she said was wrong. (Vox.com):
Fiorina's comments are a farrago of falsehoods and red herrings, a derp different in character from science-denial derp, but no less derpy....the trick for the aspiring Republican moderate is to acknowledge the scientific consensus on climate change while maintaining opposition to any policy that might penalize fossil fuels or advantage renewable energy.
- Pesticides in paradise: Hawaii's spike in birth defects puts focus on GM crops (Guardian UK):
Local doctors are in the eye of a storm swirling for the past three years over whether corn that’s been genetically modified to resist pesticides is a source of prosperity, as companies claim, or of birth defects and illnesses.
- The American lawn is now the largest single ‘crop’ in the U.S. (Fusion):
Americans’ lawns now cover an area three times larger than any irrigated crop in the U.S.
- Feinstein Asks Obama To Bypass Congress To Create 3 Desert Monuments (LA Times):
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said she has asked President Obama to bypass Congress and create three new national monuments in California, giving federal protection to more than 1 million acres of mountain ranges, sandy expanses and forests lying roughly between Palm Springs and the Nevada border.
- Solar power crosses threshold, gets cheaper than natural gas (E&E News):
Several large solar power plants under construction in the United States have in the past few months promised to do something that none has done before: offer prices equal to or lesser than that of a natural gas-fired power plant, even as gas is abundant and cheap.
- How California's Pesticide Regulator Spun a Concerned Community (Reveal):
California's Department of Pesticide Regulation gave Ventura County residents a misleading story about why it had allowed cancer-causing pesticide to be used by strawberry farmers near a local high school.
- Trump Says Keystone XL Pipeline Would Have 'No Impact' On Environment (Climate Progress):
No leaks, no spills, no impact on climate change. The Keystone XL pipeline would have 'no impact' on the environment if it were approved and built, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Tuesday. For that reason, the billionaire said he would approve the controversial project 'immediately' if elected president.
- 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
- 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).