IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Pope Francis delivers morality and climate change message at the White House and in historic address to U.S. Congress; Eleven House Republicans call for climate action; Fortune 500 companies pledge to go 100% renewable; PLUS: Better late than never: Hillary Clinton finally announces her position on the Keystone XL pipeline... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): The case for climate change optimism; Hundreds To Rally For Climate Justice; What Germany learned from its war on coal; Fossil Fuel Divestment Has Grown to $2.6 Trillion in Assets; U.S. climate finance in limbo, risking 'trust gap' before Paris... PLUS: EPA Says It Will Build Temporary Treatment Plant for Mine... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Volkswagen caught red-handed cheating on pollution standards:
- VW manipulated diesel emissions tests in Europe, says German minister (BBC)
- After Volkswagen Revelation, Auto Emissions Tests Come Under Global Scrutiny (NY Times)
- Volkswagen Says 11 Million Cars Worldwide Are Affected in Diesel Deception (NY Times)
- VW Owners Aren't Going to Like the Fixes for Their Diesels (Wired):
Once the sting of the lie fades, the US customers who bought 482,000 of those cars will feel the real pain. Because Volkswagen will be forced to recall those vehicles and somehow make them to meet federal standards. There are two apparent ways to do that, and owners who value performance, fuel economy, and trunk space won't like either.
- VW Diesel Emissions Recall: What You Need To Know In 10 Questions (Green Car Reports) [emphasis added]:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency doesn't test every new car for emissions compliance every year. .... Instead, manufacturers "self-certify" and submit their data to the EPA.
- Pope Francis delivers message on morality and climate change:
- Transcript: Pope Francis’s speech to Congress (Washington Post)
- Pope urges US Congress to action on refugees, climate (AFP)
- Did Pope Francis Soften His Climate Message for Congress? (Mother Jones)
- Pope Francis Skirts Environmental Tussles in Address to Congress (NYT Dot Earth) [empahsis added]:
In his address to a joint session of Congress, Pope Francis, speaking quietly and carefully, proved that one need not be stentorian or shrill to be memorable. He also proved that he is as adept at navigating political environments as he was impassioned about defending the global environment in his encyclical. Words like carbon, climate and ecology were absent from his speech (read it in full here). He's wisely saving that message for the United Nations on Friday.
- Pope Francis Calls On Congress To Take 'Courageous Actions' On Climate Change (Huffington Post):
"The United States --- and this Congress --- have an important role to play."
- House Republicans introduce climate change resolution:
- Gibson introduces climate change resolution (Politico):
Rep. Chris Gibson has introduced a climate resolution that acknowledges humans have had a role in climate change and says Congress should work to mitigate its effects.
- Bipartisan Bill Seeks To Reduce Greenhouse Gases That Make Up 40 Percent Of Global Warming (Climate Progress)
- 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.
- Why I Am Boycotting Pope Francis's Address to Congress (Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), TIME)
- A "Marxist" Who Should "Stay Home": The Worst Of Conservative Media's War On Pope Francis (Media Matters)
- Huge Fortune 500 companies pledge to go 100 per cent renewable:
- 9 Massive US Companies Pledge To Go 100% Renewable (Climate Progress):
Nine more giant corporations, including Nike and Walmart, pledged to transition to 100 percent renewable energy Wednesday. The announcement, made during Climate Week, is intended to show international governments that there is broad-based business support for going off fossil fuels in advance of the United Nations climate talks in December.
- Hillary Clinton announces her position on Keystone XL pipeline:
- Why I oppose Keystone XL (Hillary Clinton, Medium.com):
I have come to feel I can’t stay silent on an issue that matters so much to so many. Though I wanted to give the president space to make a decision, the process has taken far longer than I expected. I want the American people to know where I stand. That’s why I am making it clear: I am opposed to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
We shouldn’t be building a pipeline dedicated to moving North America’s dirtiest fuel through our communities — we should be focused on what it will take to make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.
- Hillary Clinton Releases A Plan To Modernize America’s Energy Infrastructure (Climate Progress)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Pope Francis and the case for climate change optimism (Washington Post):
And most of all it’s in hearts and minds, as Pope Francis, arriving in the U.S. as a climate rockstar the likes of which we’ve really never seen before, tells a billion Catholics and then some that climate change is a moral issue — and gives the Paris talks even more momentum.
- Climate Week 2015: The Main Events (InsideClimate News):
Pope Francis’ first visit to the U.S. coincides with a week of festivities in New York dedicated to saving the planet.
- Pope’s Visit To D.C. Inspires Hundreds To Rally For Climate Justice (Climate Progress):
In conjunction with Pope Francis' address to Congress, hundreds of activists representing an array of causes joined to demand action on climate.
- What Germany learned from its war on coal (Vox.com):
Since the 1990s, successive German governments have set ambitious goals to go fossil fuel free. The country currently gets more than 26 percent of its electricity from renewable sources like wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower. By 2050, it aims to bump that ratio up to 80 percent. Making this task even more challenging, Germany wants to get there without relying on nuclear power.
- Fossil Fuel Divestment Has Grown to $2.6 Trillion in Assets (InsideClimate News):
The fossil fuel divestment movement skyrocketed in the past year as hundreds of institutions and thousands of individuals committed to selling their oil, natural gas and coal holdings, according to a new report.
- EPA Says It Will Build Temporary Treatment Plant for Mine (AP):
The Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday it will set up a temporary treatment plant for wastewater flowing from the Gold King Mine in southwestern Colorado after 3 million gallons surged out of the mine in August, tainting rivers in three states.
- U.S. climate finance in limbo, risking 'trust gap' before Paris (Retuers):
A looming federal budget confrontation and Republican hostility to UN global-warming talks threaten a U.S. down payment into a key climate-aid fund, money considered vital to a climate deal in Paris this December.
- Exxon: The Road Not Taken: Exxon's Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels' Role in Global Warming Decades Ago (InsideClimate News):
Top executives were warned of possible catastrophe from greenhouse effect, then led efforts to block solutions.
- 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.
- 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
- 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).