IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Biblical rain and record flooding in South Carolina --- is this the new normal?; India announces it will cut its carbon emissions; PLUS: EPA announces new ozone rules to cut dangerous air pollution... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Warming temperatures to in the West; Q&A: Former Exxon scientist on oil giant’s 1970s climate change research; Environmentalists: TPP a disaster for the environment; California leads a quiet renewable energy revolution; New York's revolutionary plan to remake its power utilities... PLUS: Solar City claims new solar panel efficiency breakthrough... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- 'Biblical' flooding, record rainfall in South Carolina:
- South Carolina flooding: dams breached, more trouble ahead (CNN)
- Hurricane Joaquin Helps Fuel Record Rains, Damaging Floods (Scientific American)
- South Carolina in flooding disaster amid record-breaking rainfall and dam breaches (Washington Post)
- Climate change influence on Hurricane Joaquin:
- AUDIO: 'New Normal': Climate Change and South Carolina's '1000-Year Flood' ('BradCast', The BRAD BLOG):
"There's no question --- what we're seeing play out is precisely what we warned would play out decades ago," he tells me, before discussing what we may be able to expect from this year's record El Nino out West, where the ocean is also at record temperatures amidst a "1000-year drought" here in California.
- South Carolina floods: climate change intensified conditions, scientists say (Guardian UK):
‘Once-in-a-thousand year’ storm along coastline a consequence of the extreme supply of moisture streaming in from hurricane Joaquin
- EPA announces new ozone rules to curb dangerous ozone pollution:
- Obama Administration Releases Final Ozone Rule, Pleasing No One (Huffington Post):
Environmental and public health groups say the new standard is a "betrayal" of clean air protections.
- Obama administration sets new national ozone standard (AP)
- EPA moves to restrict ozone emissions (USA Today):
Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, called the rule "overly burdensome, costly and misguided," and said it will "inflict pain on companies that build things in America — and destroy job opportunities for American workers."
- India announces international climate treaty commitment:
- India vows to cut carbon intensity in Paris pledge (AP) [emphasis added]:
India vowed to reduce its emissions intensity by 33-35 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels, primarily by boosting the share of electricity generated by sources other than fossil fuels such as coal and gas to 40 percent. That means India's emissions will continue to grow as its economy expands, but the increase relative to economic output will be lower than it is now.
- India Announces Climate Commitments - Putting India's INDC in Perspective (NRDC Switchboard):
It is important to contextualize the enormity of India's task given that about 350 million people in India do not have access to electricity and about an equal number subsist on less than $40 per month. Clearly, India's priority is to significantly reduce financial and energy poverty, while causing the least possible harm to the environment. Here's a closer look at two of India's key INDC targets that aim to walk the tightrope between development and sustainability.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- VIDEO: Will VW Now turn to EVs? (Climate Crocks):
However, before we all shout "Let's do it!" and march out of the VW boardroom into the brave green future, to the strains of inspiring music, let's read the rest of what Lux has to say: "VW probably lacks the vision, leadership, and ambition to do it, so they will most likely carry on as usual after some apologies."
- New York's revolutionary plan to remake its power utilities (David Roberts):
Utilities aren't evil. They are doing exactly what they are designed to do. The problem is the design.
- Records broken as temperatures soar up to 38 degrees across Australia (Guardian UK):
Victoria and South Australia both set records for the hottest ever starts to October while in Sydney the temperature reached 37 degrees
- California Leads a Quiet Revolution (NY Times):
Fifteen years after an energy crisis, caused partly by deregulation and market manipulation, brought blackouts and price spikes, the shift has been remarkably smooth, many analysts say. Even without counting the big contribution from home solar generation, 26 percent of the state’s power this year will come from clean sources like the sun and wind, Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates. The national average is about 10 percent.
- Environmentalists: The Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement Is A Disaster For Climate Change (Climate Progress):
[T]he White House has touted the deal’s potential for environmental conservation, calling it a “once-in-a-generation chance to protect our oceans, wildlife, and the environment." Environmentalists aren’t buying it.
- Q&A: Former Exxon scientist on oil giant’s 1970s climate change research (Dallas Morning News):
I was disappointed. As a scientist, I’m uncomfortable in the limelight. I can’t honestly say I gave it a lot of thought to how much much the company changed. I wish there had been more opportunity to continue that work. If nothing else, find a way to engineer the problem. Instead of thinking about the problem, we stuck our head in the sand.
- Study Ties Warming Temps to Uptick in Huge Wildfires (Climate Central):
[A] new University of Wyoming study shows that even the smallest increase in average temperature — 0.5°C (0.9°F) — could bring a dramatic increase in wildfire activity at higher elevations. The study also suggests that global warming may be ushering in an era of high-elevation wildfires unlike any seen in more than 1,000 years.
- Is SolarCity’s New PV Module the ‘World’s Most Efficient Rooftop Solar Panel’? (GreenTech Media):
Here's the distinction between SolarCity and SunPower: although the SolarCity cell goes through another step to deposit an amorphous silicon layer, Rive expects his module to have a cost of "mid-50 cents per watt," adding, "to me, that is super compelling." Rive went on to say, "We've managed to reach SunPower efficiency at a much better cost." He notes that the SunPower process requires masking, patterning and etching versus SolarCity's deposition process.
- Energy Revolution 2015 (Greenpeace) [emphasis added]:
While our predictions on the potential and market growth of renewable energy may once have seemed fanciful or unrealistic, they have proved to be accurate. the US-based Meister Consultants Group concluded earlier this year that "the world's biggest energy agencies, financial institutions and fossil fuel companies for the most part seriously under-estimated just how fast the clean power sector could and would grow". It wasn't the IEA, Goldman Sachs or the US Department of Energy who got it right. It was Greenpeace's market scenario which was the most accurate.
- AUDIO: What Exxon Knew and When They Knew It (The Brad Blog) [emphasis added]:
Guest: Neela Banerjee, co-author of an explosive report on Exxon's long knowlege of man-made global warming and their efforts to obscure it
But then, with a drop in oil prices, things changed, including leadership at the company. Exxon began discussing "uncertainty and kept cherry-picking quotes from scientists to say that there was too much that was unclear to warrant enormous action on cutting back fossil fuels and changing our economy." In other words, they knew, they denied, and they didn't seem to care.
- 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).