IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: President Obama makes powerful case for climate action on the edge of the melting Arctic; 2015 hurricane season enters weird, record-breaking territory; Huge news for electric cars; PLUS: Rightwingers apoplectic over renaming of nation's tallest mountain... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): VIDEO: Rick Santorum Demonstrates the Technique of Fake Science; Behind Tianjin Blasts, Flouted Regulations and Corruption; UN Climate Talks: the Sticking Points; U.N. Climate Talks Begin Divided, But With Hope for Paris Accord; Massive Cleanup Plan Emerging For U.S. Steel Site in Duluth; Japan Nuclear Power Outlook Bleak Despite First Reactor Restart... PLUS: Docs: Koch Industries Backed Effort to Undermine Renewable Energy in KS... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Obama's Powerful Speech on the Edge of the Melting Arctic:
- VIDEO: Obama on Climate Change: Act Now or Condemn World to a Nightmare (NBC News):
We are not moving fast enough. None of the nations represented here are moving fast enough...The United Statesrecognizes our role in creating this problem and embraces our role in solving it....The time to heed the critics and the cynics and the deniers is past.
- Obama Makes Urgent Appeal in Alaska for Climate Change Action (NY Times)
- Sec. of State John Kerry's Remarks at the Global Leadership in the Arctic: Cooperation, Innovation, Engagement, and Resilience (GLACIER) Conference Opening Plenary (US State Dept.)
- TRANSCRIPT: Obama Admin. Official on Obama/Kerry's Trip to Alaska (US Dept. of State) [emphasis added]:
So while not everybody's happy, I think there has been a very balanced approach and Alaskans are interested in development and in fact, for some of them, they don't think things are moving along fast enough. So as I said, it's been a balanced approach by the Administration and the fact that we probably have parties on both sides of the issue that are not completely satisfied is probably an indicator that we're on a fairly safe course here.
- Before Obama's Alaska Trip, Climate Group Charges Hypocrisy (NY Times)
- Russia Asserts Territorial Claims To Arctic:
- Russia bids for vast Arctic territories at UN (AP)
- U.S. Is Playing Catch-Up With Russia in Scramble for the Arctic (NY Times)
- Oil, Oligarchs, Climate and Obama's Arctic-Focused Alaska Trip (Dot Earth, NY Times):
Last year, 50 or so Russian paratroopers dropped to the sea ice near the polar camp. This spring, scientists conducting polar ice and ocean research told me they were unnerved to see a Russian military encampment nearby for the first time. Their observations came right around the time Dmitri O. Rogozin, a Russian deputy prime minister fond of tweaking the West, visited the North Pole camp, posting "The Arctic is Russian Mecca" on Twitter.
- TRANSCRIPT: Obama Admin. Official on Obama/Kerry's Trip to Alaska (US Dept. of State) [emphasis added]:
So for me, it comes as no surprise that the Russians' claim is so large; they have half the coastline of the Arctic Ocean and they have devoted a lot of science to documenting their claim, and they're going through the proper process within the Law of the Sea Treaty. And my only regret is that the United States is not able to have standing under that treaty because we have not acceded to it yet. And we at the State Department and the Administration remain hopeful that at some point in the future the Senate will ratify that treaty so that we can become a party in that as well.
- Obama to Call for More U.S. Coast Guard Icebreakers in Changing Arctic (NBC News)
- Russia Raises an "Ice Curtain" in the Arctic, Thanks to Climate Change (Sicnetific American)
- U.S. Assumes Leadership of Arctic Council:
- U.S. Assumes Arctic Council Leadership Amid Increasing Tension in the Far-North (Foreign Policy Magazine)
- As new leader of the Arctic Council, the US will focus on the region's Big Thaw (Public Radio International)
- Mt. Denali: Rightwing Outraged Over Restoration Of Mt. McKinley's Original Native American Name:
- Mount McKinley Will Again Be Called Denali (NY Times):
Denali's name has long been seen as one such slight, regarded as an example of cultural imperialism in which a Native American name with historical roots was replaced by an American one having little to do with the place.
- To Honor Native Americans, Obama Renamed The Nation's Highest Mountain. These People Are Upset. (Climate Progress)
- VIDEO: Mt. McKinley to Denali: How A Mountain's Renaming Got Tied Up in Politics (NBC News)
- 2015 Hurricane Season Already in Weird, Record-Breaking Territory:
- Hurricane Fred is a fountain of 'firsts' in the Atlantic Ocean (Washington Post):
Hurricane Fred, which formed over the weekend in the far eastern Atlantic, is truly one of a kind. Not only has Fred set the record for easternmost hurricane in the tropical Atlantic Ocean, it prompted the very first hurricane warning for the Cape Verde Islands and has provided the first satellite view of a hurricane in the region since weather satellites were launched into space in the early 1960s.
- Atlantic Storm Sets Records as 3 Others Span Pacific (Climate Central):
Only a small percentage of easterly waves ever develop into a tropical cyclone, let alone immediately off the coast.
- In new record, three Category 4 hurricanes spin simultaneously in northeast Pacific (Washington Post)
- Tropical Storm Fred Moving Through Cabo Verde; Tropical Storm Warning in Effect (Weather Channel)
- Huge News for Electric Cars and the Auto Industry:
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- VIDEO: Rick Santorum Demonstrates the Technique of Fake Science (Climate Crocks):
I think this is important. The other night, we had yet another demonstration of how things go wrong when one of our major political parties decides that they no longer believe in the scientific method. Rick Santorum, former Senator and current Presidential candidate in the US, appeared on the Bill Maher program.
- Behind Tianjin Blasts, Flouted Regulations and Corruption (NY Times):
One partner was the son of a local police chief, the other an executive at a state-run chemicals firm. After meeting at a dinner party, they started a company here to handle the export of the most dangerous chemicals made in China, promising 'outstanding service' and 'good results.
- UN Climate Talks: the Sticking Points (AFP):
The 195-nation UN climate talks resume Monday when rank-and-file diplomats gather in Bonn to lay the foundation for a global climate pact to be inked in December.
- Massive Cleanup Plan Emerging For U.S. Steel Site in Duluth (Duluth News Tribune):
After years of neglect, the site of the long-closed U.S. Steel Duluth Works may be be on the verge of revitalization.
- U.N. Climate Talks Begin Divided, But With Hope for Paris Accord (Reuters):
Chances that governments will work out a U.N. accord to combat climate change in December seem brighter than in the run-up to a failed attempt in 2009, experts said as delegates from almost 200 nations met on Monday, hoping to bridge deep divisions.
- Japan Nuclear Power Outlook Bleak Despite First Reactor Restart (Reuters):
The number of Japanese nuclear reactors likely to restart in the next few years has halved, hit by legal challenges and worries about meeting tougher safety standards imposed in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, a Reuters analysis shows.
- Docs: Koch Industries Backed Effort to Undermine Renewable Energy in KS (The Intercept):
Emails and financial documents released by the University of Kansas on Thursday reveal earmarked funding from Koch Industries to develop research used to lobby against the state renewable energy standard.
- Records Detail Equipment Failure on Arctic Drilling Rig (Fuel Fix):
Newly released documents reveal the extent of problems with anti-pollution equipment on a Shell-contracted Arctic drillship earlier this year.
- Rare Brain Disease Is Caused by Cousin of Mad Cow Agent, Study Finds (NBC News):
A rare, incurable brain disorder that resembles Parkinson's disease is caused by a misfolded brain protein called a prion, similar to the prions that cause mad cow disease, researchers reported on Monday.
- Latvia, Greece Win Opt-Out From Monsanto GM Crop (Reuters):
Monsanto said it would abide by Latvia's and Greece's requests under a new EU opt-out law to be excluded from its application to grow a genetically modified (GM) crop across the European Union, but accused them of ignoring science.
- Bernie Sanders: 'Environmentalists Deserve A Debate' (Climate Progress):
"I think environmentalists deserve a debate so we could talk about how we move aggressively to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel," Sanders said on CNN's State of the Union.
- Rising Sea Levels More Dangerous Than Thought (Scientific American):
Consequences of global sea level rise could be even scarier than the worst-case scenarios predicted by the dominant climate models
- Climate wonks focus on economics. They need to pay more attention to politics (Vox.com) [emphasis added]:
The headline findings are twofold. First, "Citi's 'Action' scenario implies a total spend on energy of $190.2 trillion while our 'Inaction' scenario is actually marginally larger at $192 trillion." In other words, the total energy investment necessary is slightly lower in the low-carbon scenario....The clean path requires roughly the same total spending on energy as the status quo path....After reviewing the evidence, the report says this: "Given that all things being equal cleaner air has to be preferable to pollution, a very strong 'Why would you not?' argument begins to develop."
- 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.
- 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).