With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 8/27/2015, 12:38pm PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: The 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina; NASA warns at least 3 ft. of sea level rise now locked in; Obama heads to the Arctic to highlight global warming impacts; PLUS: Switching to clean energy will cost less than fossil fuels in the long run, say the tree huggers at Citigroup... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): New Orleans' greatest threat may be Gulf 'Loop Current'; From Venezuela to Russia, oil price drop brings fears of unrest; West Africa’s air pollution is reaching dangerously high levels; N.J. judge approves controversial Christie, Exxon settlement; Attorney hounding climate scientists secretly funded by coal industry; Big Food is spending millions to block transparency; U.S. regulator sued for withholding public info on GMO crops; Groups push for new federal mining rules; Illegal logging destroys large area of Monarch butterfly's Mexico habitat... PLUS: EU watchdog says pesticides harmful to bees. Industry disagrees... and much, MUCH more! ...

STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

  • New Orleans’ Greatest Threat Is Climate Change Plus The ‘Loop Current’ Plus A Future Katrina (Climate Progress):
    The key point: All things being equal, if a storm taking the same track of Katrina (or Gustav) occurred in 2050, then, rather than weakening before making landfall, it will probably strengthen considerably, creating far more havoc. To understand why, let’s first answer the question — How did Katrina turn into a powerful Category Five hurricane so rapidly?
  • From Venezuela to Iraq to Russia, Oil Price Drops Raise Fears of Unrest (NY Times):
    “The hemorrhaging of government budgets reliant on oil will force dramatic cuts in spending or dangerous increases in borrowing, if not both,” Mr. Goldwyn said. “The countries without significant foreign exchange reserves are most at risk, and they include Nigeria, Angola, Algeria, Venezuela and Iraq. The countries which need to sustain investment to maintain political legitimacy need to be worried, and that’s Brazil, Russia and even Iran.”
  • West Africa’s air pollution is reaching dangerously high levels—and we don’t know the worst of it (Quartz):
    Air pollution in fast-growing West African cities is reaching dangerous levels. But the worst part, according to a new study published by Nature magazine this week, is that we know almost nothing about the pollutants emerging from these new urban centers and their impact on weather systems, crops, and public health at large.
  • N.J. judge approves controversial Christie, Exxon settlement (Newark Star-Ledger):
    The Texas oil giant agreed to pay $225 million to settle the decade-old suit, in which the state alleged damage to wetlands, marshes and waterways surrounding two refineries, known as Bayway and Bayonne....The state was initially seeking $8.9 billion — $2.5 billion to clean up the sites and $6.4 billion to restore wetlands and forestlands. The footprint of the contamination spanned more than 1,800 acres at the two sites.
  • Tutu, Klein and Chomsky call for mass climate action ahead of Paris conference (Guradian UK):
    Artists, journalists, scientists and academics among 100 signatories calling for mobilisation on scale of slavery abolition and anti-apartheid movements
  • Attorney Hounding Climate Scientists Covertly Funded By Coal Industry (The Intercept):
    Christopher Horner, an attorney who claims that the earth is cooling, is known within the scientific community for hounding climate change researchers with relentless investigations and public ridicule, often deriding scientists as 'communists' and frauds. ... New court documents reveal one source of Horner's funding: big coal.
  • Big Food is Spending Millions to Lobby for Less Transparency (Civil Eats):
    From GMO labeling to pesticides to the source of the meat you buy, a handful of companies are spending heavily to keep information off your food labels/
  • U.S., China Reach 'Clean Coal' Agreement (AP):
    U.S. and China officials took a major step Tuesday toward an agreement to advance "clean coal" technologies that purport to reduce the fuel's contribution to climate change-and could offer a potential lifeline for an industry that has seen its fortunes fade.
  • Power Plants on Indian Reservations Get No Break on Emissions Rules (InsideClimate News):
    Four of the dirtiest plants, which sit on Native American soil, were expecting more lenient goals under the Clean Power Plan, but the EPA shifted gears.
  • U.S. Regulator Sued for Withholding Information on GMO Crops (Reuters):
    A food safety advocacy group sued an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday, saying it illegally withheld public information on genetically engineered crops.
  • Groups Push for New Federal Mining Rules (The Hill):
    A coalition of environmental groups and Native American tribes is asking officials to overhaul federal mining standards ahead of new uranium mining near the Grand Canyon....“The Animas River disaster must mark the end of the days where irresponsible mining threatens our region’s livable future,” Anne Mariah Tapp, the energy program director for the Grand Canyon Trust, said in a statement.
  • EU Watchdog Says Pesticides Harmful To Bees, Industry Disagrees (Reuters):
    Widely-used pesticides made by Bayer CropScience and Syngenta pose a risk to bees, the European Union's food safety watchdog said on Wednesday, reinforcing previous research that led to EU restrictions.
  • Monarch Butterflies Face Pesticides in U.S., Illegal Logging in Mexico (Washington Post):
    Illegal logging on a key sanctuary in Mexico threatens monarch butterflies already decimated by herbicides sprayed on milkweed in the U.S.
  • 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.
  • 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: