With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/22/2015, 11:05am PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Volkswagen caught red-handed cheating on pollution standards; Exxon once thought about saving mankind, but funded climate change denial instead; Climate-denying Koch Brothers' favorite presidential candidate drops out; PLUS: Pope Francis is in the U.S. to talk morality and climate, and Republicans are freaking out... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): The night wind energy drove the price of electricity down to zero in TX; The message behind the green ribbons at the Emmys; How the media makes people climate change cynics; House Republicans into climate change resolution; California's oil industry lost the SB350 war to utilities; OECD: $200B a year tin fossil fuel subsidies in developed world; Pilgrim nuclear plant may shut down; NY coal ash dump contaminating groundwater... PLUS: Syrian war prompts first withdrawal from Doomsday Seed Vault... 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)...

  • The Night They Drove the Price of Electricity Down (Slate):
    Wind power was so plentiful in Texas that producers sold it at a negative price. What?
  • The Important Message Behind All The Green Ribbons At The Emmys (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
    As temperatures reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit Sunday at red carpet of the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles — making it the hottest Emmys ever — countless attendees were seen wearing a small green ribbon pinned over their award-show finery.....[W]hile Tambor’s speech honored the transgender community — and highlighted the civil rights abuses they often face — the green ribbons sought to draw attention to another cause: climate change.
  • This New Study Shows How The Media Makes People Climate Change Cynics --- And What They Can Do Differently (Media Matters):
    Author Explains How Stories Emphasizing Action, Agency Can Inspire Political Engagement....The Canadian study also found that consuming stories about political activism and individual actions --- "especially news that featured a local focus, a compelling narrative and an accessible 'everyday hero'" --- can have the opposite effect on readers. Study participants who read and discussed such stories reported "much greater enthusiasm and optimism for political engagement."
  • House Republicans Plan to Call for Action on Climate Change (National Journal):
    Rep. Chris Gibson of New York is leading the charge, and nine other Republicans are on board.
  • California: Imagine electric utilities as disrupters (Op-ed, Sacramento Bee):
    “What’s very powerful is that there is a role for the utilities to play in transportation electrification,” said Aaron Johnson, a PG&E vice president. “It is a growth opportunity.”
  • OECD: Leading Countries Spend $200Bn a Year Subsidising Fossil Fuels (Guardian UK):
    Rich western countries and the world’s leading developing nations are spending up to $200bn (£130bn) a year subsidising fossil fuels, according to a report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
  • Pilgrim Nuclear Plant Says It May Shut Down (Boston Globe):
    Officials at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station are considering whether they can afford the multimillion-dollar safety improvements and other reforms required by federal officials. If not, they say, they might close the plant.
  • Report: NY Landfill's Coal Ash Is Contaminating Groundwater (Ithaca Journal):
    Coal ash sitting dormant in an unlined portion of the landfill near the Cayuga Power Plant has been seeping into groundwater for nearly 30 years and has flowed into nearby Milliken Creek, potentially contaminating drinking water, a geologist said in a meeting with Tompkins County officials Wednesday afternoon.
  • The US Egg Industry Is Losing Its Fight To Keep Chickens in Cages (Quartz):
    Things are starting to look up for the US’s flock of nearly 300 million egg-laying hens. Right now, approximately 96% of those chickens live in cages, with only about 67 to 86 square inches (170 to 220 cm) of usable space per bird. But that may soon change.
  • California Drought And Impending El Niño Raise Fears of Levee Breaks (Al Jazeera America):
    California’s historic drought is in its fourth year and gloom-and-doom scenarios of its impact on everything from killing the state’s vegetation and triggering bug infestation to destroying farming jobs have been trickling in daily.
  • Syrian War Spurs First Withdrawal From Doomsday Arctic Seed Vault (Reuters):
    Syria's civil war has prompted the first withdrawal of seeds from a 'doomsday' vault built in an Arctic mountainside to safeguard global food supplies, officials said on Monday.
  • How a Rich Water District Beat the Federal Government in a Secret Deal (LA Times):
    Clout can be defined in many ways. In California's parched Central Valley farmlands, it's the ability to secure water.
  • VIDEO: If We Burn it all, We Melt it All (Climate Crocks):
    In a major surprise to the scientists, they found that half the melting could occur in as little as a thousand years, causing the ocean to rise by something on the order of a foot per decade, roughly 10 times the rate at which it is rising now.
  • 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: