IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Historic United Nations climate talks (COP21) now underway in Paris; Governments and billionaires launch huge new investments in clean energy research and development; PLUS: Republicans working hard to undermine progress in any way they can... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Earth Has Lost a Third of Arable Land in Past 40 Years, Scientists Say; EPA Tosses Safety Data, Says Dow Pesticide for GMOs Won't Harm People; Manslaughter Charges Dropped for BP Supervisors in Oil Spill; With Klamath Bill Uncertain, Dam Relicensing Moves Forward; Grand Canyon: Park's Crumbling Water System Tests Cash-Strapped NPS...PLUS: Columbia University Disputes Exxon Mobil on Climate Risk Articles ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- COP21: Historic Climate Meeting In Paris Now Underway:
- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP21 Newsroom (UNFCCC)
- VIDEO: Obama calls the climate fight an “act of defiance” against terrorism
- Remarks by President Obama at the First Session of COP21 (White House.gov)
- Obama On Climate Change: ‘I Actually Think We’re Gonna Solve This Thing’ (Climate Progress)
- Paris Climate Talks Aim for a New Starting Line to a Low-Carbon Future (InsideClimate News):
The success of a global treaty being negotiated by world leaders over the next few weeks won’t be determined instantly, will take years to change course.
- Seven key issues to be addressed at the Paris climate summit (Simon Donner, Univ. of British Columbia):
The good news is that the negotiators are not starting from scratch. In meetings over the past year, the parties to the UNFCCC have already worked out a 54-page official draft of the Paris deal....Based on the draft text, and my work on these issues, here are seven of the most contentious issues that need to be resolved in Paris...
- Remarks by President Obama at ASEAN Summit Press Conference, Ritz Carlton
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (WhiteHouse.gov):[On climate finance: [T]he answer to that we've all agreed is a finance mechanism to help these countries adapt --- in some cases, leapfrog old technologies so that instead of building old, dirty power plants, here are some smart, clean-energy plants. And we'll help you through technology transfer and financing so that you can achieve your development goals, but not add to the carbon problem.
- COP21: India signals willingness to cut coal for climate cash (BBC)
- Yeb Saño and the Fast for the Climate Movement at COP21 (EcoWatch)
- Climate change artist-activists sidestep protest ban during COP21 summit (AP)
- First Small Sign of Climate Accord on Five-Year Review of Carbon Cuts (Reuters):
- Substantive Negotiations Begin At COP21 + New US Poll (Clean Technica)
- Chasing a Climate Deal in Paris: World leaders have 12 days to agree on plans to slow global warming. We’re weighing in with insights and analysis. (NY Times)
- LIVE BLOG: Global climate talks (Guardian UK)
- Huge New Cleantech Research And Development Funds Announced at COP21:
- Obama, Bill Gates to lead major effort to spur spending on climate research (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
Nineteen governments, including the United States, China and India, will join in a “Mission Innovation” initiative that commits governments to a doubling of public investments in basic energy research over the next five years, Obama administration officials said. In a separate program heavily backed by Gates, 28 of the world’s wealthiest investors will pool their money to provide early-stage capital for technologies that offer promise in bringing affordable clean energy to billions of people, especially in the developing world.
- Can Bill Gates’ ‘Breakthrough Energy Coalition’ Become Truly Useful? (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
So while a boost in cleantech R&D funding is always welcome, what is most needed now is money for accelerated deployment and project financing of technologies that are now market-ready....“In terms of dollars, the real cost is deployment. Globally, deployment costs will be in the trillions of dollars, while R&D costs might be in the tens of billions,” climate expert Ken Caldeira told me back in 2011. “We are talking about the elephant and the mouse.”
- 139 Countries Could Get All of their Power from Renewable Sources
(Scientific American):Energy from wind, water and sun would eliminate nuclear and fossil fuels.
- VIDEO: Elon Musk Speaks In France During COP21 Talks (Clean Technica)
- Congressional Republicans Work to Undermine U.S. Abroad:
- Congress rebukes climate rules as Obama returns from Paris (Politico)
- The House Just Voted To Kill A Plan That Most Americans Support (Climate Progress)
- GOP Senators Vow To Block Climate Aid, Scrutinize Paris Deal (Reuters)
- The GOP’s Plan to Thwart the Paris Climate Conference (New Republic):
The only remaining global outlier—the only major political party that denies climate science and opposes even the effort to reach a climate deal—is here in the U.S.: the Republican Party. And they’re doing everything they can to interfere with and undermine Obama’s efforts.
- Advice and Resent: President Obama has cut the Senate out of the Paris climate change agreement. Cue the tantrums. (On Earth)
- Two-Thirds of Americans Support U.S. Signing On to U.N. Climate Deal:
- Two-Thirds of Americans Want U.S. to Join Climate Change Pact (NY Times):
- Full Results of New York Times/CBS News Poll on the Environment (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
Two-thirds of Americans think the United States should join a binding international agreement to curb growth of greenhouse gas emissions, but a slim majority of Republicans remains opposed, the poll found.
- Most Americans Want A Global Agreement On Climate (Climate Progress)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Earth Has Lost a Third of Arable Land in Past 40 Years, Scientists Say (Guardian UK):
"The world has lost a third of its arable land due to erosion or pollution in the past 40 years, with potentially disastrous consequences as global demand for food soars, scientists have warned.
- EPA Tosses Safety Data, Says Dow Pesticide for GMOs Won't Harm People (Chicago Tribune):
When Monsanto genetically engineered corn and soybeans to make them immune to its best-selling weedkiller, the company pitched the technology as a way to reduce overall use of herbicides and usher in an environmentally friendly era of farming.
- Manslaughter Charges Dropped for BP Supervisors in Oil Spill (AP):
The Gulf of Mexico rig explosion that killed 11 workers and unleashed the nation's worst offshore oil spill also led to criminal charges against four BP employees, who faced prison time if convicted. But the Justice Department's decision to drop manslaughter charges against two BP rig supervisors makes it increasingly likely that nobody will spend a day behind bars for crimes associated with the deadly disaster.
- With Klamath Bill Uncertain, Dam Relicensing Moves Forward (AP):
The process to relicense the hydroelectric dam system on the Klamath River will likely move forward if Congress fails to act by the end of the year on historic settlement agreements to remove four of the dams.
- Grand Canyon: Park's Crumbling Water System Tests Cash-Strapped NPS (Greenwire):
Grand Canyon National Park's water pipeline was among the Interior Department's most ambitious projects in the 1960s.
- Columbia University Disputes Exxon Mobil on Climate Risk Articles (NY Times):
The dean of Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism published a letter on Tuesday strongly disputing accusations by Exxon Mobil that journalists from the school had produced inaccurate and misleading articles about the company’s knowledge of the risks of climate change.
- Lakes Great Again, But New Threats Loom (Toronto Globe & Mail):
A concerted 30-year effort has seen substantial improvement in the health of the largest freshwater habitat on Earth, but persistent and emerging problems exist prompting calls for further investment, legislation and long-term planning.
- Energy Bill: Crude Export Ban, KXL Amendments Head To House Floor (E&E News):
A sweeping package from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, likely to clear the chamber this week, has become the latest vehicle for repeal of the crude export ban and speeding the permitting process for projects like Keystone XL.
- Former Massey Energy C.E.O. Guilty in Deadly Coal Mine Blast (NY Times):
Donald L. Blankenship, a titan of the nation’s coal industry whose approach to business was scrutinized and scorned after 29 workers were killed at the Upper Big Branch mine in 2010, was convicted Thursday of a federal charge of conspiring to violate mine safety that stemmed from the accident, the deadliest in mining in the United States in decades.
- Top Republican Lawmaker Rebutted on Climate Study Accusation (Washington Post):
The escalating struggle between an influential House Republican and government scientists over their pivotal study of global warming now turns on accusations that they rushed to publish their findings to advance President Obama’s agenda on climate change. But a spokeswoman for Science, the prestigious peer-reviewed journal that in June published the paper by climate scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said in an interview that their research was subject to a longer, more intensive review than is customary.
- 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.
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:
- 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).
- Full Results of New York Times/CBS News Poll on the Environment (NY Times) [emphasis added]: