IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: A very bad week for fossil fuels: Obama rejects Keystone XL pipeline; Peabody Coal caught lying to the public about climate change; Exxon Mobil facing investigation for what it knew and when it knew it; PLUS: Second hurricane hits Yemen in one week and Sea World finally responds to critics... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): What critics of the Keystone campaign misunderstand about climate activism; Exxon, Keystone, and the Turn Against Fossil Fuels; More Oil Companies Could Join Exxon Mobil as Focus of Climate Investigations; A Texas Utility Offers a Nighttime Special: Free Electricity; Poll Finds Global Consensus on a Need to Tackle Climate Change ... PLUS: Commercial Dungeness Crab Season Delayed After Tests Find High Levels of Toxins... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Obama Rejects Keystone XL Once and For All:
- Keystone XL Pipeline Permit Determination (Sec. of State John Kerry, US Dept. of State):
The critical factor in my determination was this: moving forward with this project would significantly undermine our ability to continue leading the world in combatting climate change.
- Obama rejects Keystone XL project, citing climate concerns (Washington Post)
- How Obama’s Keystone XL rejection adds momentum to the Paris climate talks (Washington Post):
In fact, say environmentalists and those closely watching the runup to the meeting, it’s likely to give those talks major momentum — at least at their opening. What happens near the end of the two-week negotiations — when tough and technical issues like climate financing and redress for the most vulnerable countries get dealt with — is another matter.
- Investigation Finds Peabody Coal Lied to Investors:
- A.G. Schneiderman Secures Unprecedented Agreement with Peabody Energy to End Misleading Statements and Disclose Risks Arising From Climate Change (Press release, Office of NY Attorney General):
“As a publicly traded company whose core business generates massive amounts of carbon emissions, Peabody Energy has a responsibility to be honest with its investors and the public about the risks posed by climate change, now and in the future."
- Investigation Finds World’s Largest Coal Company Misled Public On Climate Change (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
Peabody did not admit or deny those findings, but signed a document on Sunday agreeing to revise its shareholder disclosures with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Per that document, Peabody will have to correct its financial statements to be honest about how a global climate deal or other carbon regulation could hurt its business....Peabody’s violations will not result in financial punishment, as both laws only allow monetary penalties if shareholders need to be reimbursed for financial losses.
- Peabody Energy, the world’s largest coal company, to disclose more climate risks to investors (Washington Post)
- NY Attorney General Investigating ExxonMobil For Misleading On Climate Science:
- Exxon Mobil Investigated for Possible Climate Change Lies by New York Attorney General (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
The investigation focuses on whether statements the company made to investors about climate risks as recently as this year were consistent with the company’s own long-running scientific research....The people said the inquiry would include a period of at least a decade during which Exxon Mobil funded outside groups that sought to undermine climate science, even as its in-house scientists were outlining the potential consequences — and uncertainties — to company executives.
- New York’s Attorney General Is Investigating Exxon (Climate Progress):
“New York’s attorney general has shown great courage in holding to account arguably the richest and most powerful company on Earth,” 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben said in a statement. “We hope that other state attorney generals and the federal Department of Justice, and the Securities Exchange Commission will show similar fortitude.”
- The harm Exxon Mobil has done (Op-ed, The Hill):
It may be hard to accept, but a single company may have set back all of humanity.
- Global Warming: Is There Still Room For Doubt? (Bloomberg, 11/2/1997):
On Oct. 13, the CEO of Exxon Corp., Lee R. Raymond, told the 15th World Petroleum Congress in Beijing three things: First, the world isn't warming. Second, even if it were, oil and gas wouldn't be the cause. Third, no one can predict the likely future temperature rise....The costs of dealing with global warming are uncertain, but in the past decade global warming itself has become one of the most exhaustively debated subjects in science. The result is a solid consensus on the scientific facts. According to the consensus, Raymond's three assertions are wrong.
- Sea World to Phase Out Killer Whale Shows (at One Location):
- SeaWorld to end theatrical killer whale show (San Diego Union-Tribune):
SeaWorld, in a move to rebuild its brand and combat declining attendance, will phase out its traditional Shamu show in San Diego and replace it with one that is less about tricks and more about orcas' natural behaviors in the wild....CEO Joel Manby, who joined the company in March, was short on specifics as to what the new orca shows will entail. He did stress, however, that the planned overhaul was not conceived as a way to appease its critics.
- VIDEO: SeaWorld San Diego to Phase Out Killer Whale Show (NBC San Diego):
SeaWorld Entertainment CEO Joel Manby said at Monday's meeting the show will be phased out as part of a shift in focus to promote conservation as part of the company's brand.
- 'Blackfish' director wary of SeaWorld plan (San Diego Union-Tribune):
“My understanding is that SeaWorld may not be stopping the orca show at all. They may simply be repackaging it so that orcas will perform more natural-looking tricks in new choreographed acts,” [director Gabriela Cowperthwaite] added. “I hope I’m wrong and that this is not simply a slick rebranding.”
- Coastal Commission bans captive orca breeding at SeaWorld San Diego (LA Times)
- Extreme Weather: Yemen Hit with 2nd Record-Hurricane in One Week:
- The World is Halfway to 2C (Climate Central) [emphasis added]:
[T]he world is on track to finish the year 1C above pre-industrial levels, a dubious milestone. That would make 2015 the first year to crack the halfway mark of 2C warming, the benchmark that’s been targeted as “safe” climate change and what nations are working toward meeting ahead of climate talks in Paris in December. But Monday’s announcement by the U.K. Met Office hints at how difficult achieving that target will be...But the 1C of warming shows how humans are reshaping the climate in the here and now and not some distant future.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- What critics of the Keystone campaign misunderstand about climate activism (David Roberts, Vox.com) [emphasis added]:
Getting there means removing that presumptive social warrant, the default yes. It means creating a new heuristic: Fossil fuels must be reduced as fast as practically possible. It means creating a new default answer to fossil fuel infrastructure: no, unless a case can be made that the climate damage is worth it.
- Exxon, Keystone, and the Turn Against Fossil Fuels (Bill McKibben, The New Yorker] [emphasis added]:
T]he fossil-fuel industry—which, for two centuries, underwrote our civilization and then became its greatest threat—has started to take serious hits.... There is, now, an elsewhere to head.... Inevitability was their shield, but no longer. If we wanted to transform our energy supply, we clearly could, though it would require an enormous global effort.The fossil-fuel industry will, of course, do everything it can to slow that effort down; even if the tide has begun to turn, that industry remains an enormously powerful force, armed with the almost infinite cash that has accumulated in its centuries of growth.
- More Oil Companies Could Join Exxon Mobil as Focus of Climate Investigations (NY Times):
Energy experts said prosecutors may decide to investigate companies that chose to fund or join organizations that questioned climate science or policies designed to address the problem, such as the Global Climate Coalition and the American Legislative Exchange Council, to see if discrepancies exist between the companies’ public and private statements.
- A Texas Utility Offers a Nighttime Special: Free Electricity (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
[A] bold attempt by the utility to change how people consume energy. TXU’s free overnight plan, which is coupled with slightly higher daytime rates, is one of dozens that have been offered by more than 50 retail electricity companies in Texas over the last three years with a simple goal: for customers to turn down the dials when wholesale prices are highest and turn them back up when prices are lowest.
- Poll Finds Global Consensus on a Need to Tackle Climate Change (NY Times):
[The Pew Research Center] survey, which sampled people in 40 countries, found that in every nation surveyed, except Pakistan, a majority of respondents supported placing limits on the emissions of gases that are warming the planet. In the United States, 69 percent did; in China, 71 percent; in Nigeria, 77 percent; in Brazil, 88 percent....The poll also found general agreement that rich countries should do more than poor countries to shoulder the burden of dealing with the problem, because the former have produced most of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions so far, even though the latter will produce more planet-warming emissions in the years to come.
- Commercial Dungeness Crab Season Delayed After Tests Find High Levels of Toxins (NBC San Francisco):
The commercial Dungeness crab season, which was scheduled to start later this month, has been delayed due to concerns about high levels of toxins caused by algae, state fish and wildlife officials announced Friday. The commercial rock crab fishery, which is open year round, is also closed, California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials said.
- New U.N. report underscores the grim math behind the global carbon budget (Washington Post):
A key problem identified in the UNEP report is that the Paris agreement is not expected to take effect until 2020 — and by then, significant time will have been lost. And the inexorable math of the carbon budget does not forgive delays. Rather, the more you emit, the less you have remaining to emit at any (reasonable) time in the future, due to the long residence time of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
- As scientists warn of ‘chilling effect’ on research, congressman doubles down on NOAA to release deliberations on climate study (Washington Post):
Smith, chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, stepped up his pressure on agency Administrator Kathryn Sullivan to divulge its scientists’ internal deliberations, demanding in a letter that she turn over the documents requested in a House subpoena by Friday. “Your failure to comply with a duly issued subpoena may expose you to civil and/or criminal enforcement mechanisms,” the congressman wrote.
- Bankrupt coal company Alpha seeks to drop miner benefits (Reuters):
Alpha Natural Resources, one of the largest U.S. coal companies, wants to drop benefits for more than 4,500 miners, spouses and their dependants, according to bankruptcy court paperwork filed this week.
- New Bill Would Keep Fossil Fuel Reserves On Public Lands In The Ground (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
"This bill is about recognizing that the fossil fuel reserves that are on our public lands should be managed in the public interest, and the public interest is for us to help drive a transition from fossil fuels to a clean energy future," Merkley said on a press call Tuesday. "We don't have a lot of time to do this, so there's an urgency to it, and a place that's readily available for us to act is on the fossil fuels that are on our public lands."
- The hole in Obama's pipeline safety plan (Politico):
After 5 years of work, the administration has proposed a limited regulatory overhaul.
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).