IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Crunch time in Paris at COP21 United Nations climate talks; Sen. Bernie Sanders proposes a national carbon tax; Goldman Sachs predicts 'exponential growth' in renewable energy; PLUS: Good news (for a change!) global greenhouse gas emissions declined in 2015, and not because of global economic recession... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): ExxonMobil Warns of Catastrophic 7°F to 12°F Global Warming Without Government Action; Fox News' Glaring Hypocrisy On The UN Climate Summit's Carbon Footprint; COP21: Let's not talk about liability; The Chennai Floods Are a Devastating Preview of Unnatural Disasters to Come; It’s time to let Lake Powell go... PLUS: Bye, bye, bananas ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- COP21: Crunch Time at Historic Climate Negotiations In Paris:
- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP21 Newsroom (UNFCCC)
- VIDEO: Kerry signals U.S. support for ambitious 1.5-degree goal in climate deal (Mashable)
- Major divides remain as final week of Paris climate meeting opens (Washington Post):
[L]eaders departed and professional negotiating teams began working on a draft agreement, ultimately producing a document released Friday [PDF] that narrowed down the options but still leaves crucial matters unresolved.
- 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...
- VIDEO: "Loss and Damage": U.S. Stymies Push for Compensation for Climate Devastation at U.N. Climate Summit (Democracy Now!)
- World leaders move closer to climate deal, despite differences (CBS News)
- Matter of degree: Temperature goal in climate talks an issue (AP):
Here's a math problem that is confounding international climate negotiators: Which is better, 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius? The difference is just half a degree, but small nations say that for them it could mean the difference between life and death. For larger nations, the question is what's realistic and what's not when it comes to limiting global warming.
- VIDEO: Counting the Cost - COP21: Constructive conference or a waste of time? (Al Jazeera)
- Bernie Sanders Calls for Nationwide Carbon Tax:
- Bernie Sanders puts forward ambitious plan to combat climate change (Washington Post):
The plan, which reads like an environmentalist's wish list, seeks to reduce U.S. carbon pollution by 40 percent by 2030 and by more than 80 percent by 2050 by putting a tax on carbon, repealing fossil fuel subsidies and making what Sanders describes as "massive" investments in clean energy sources such as wind and solar power.
- VIDEO: Bernie Sanders: U.S. has a "moral obligation" to battle climate change (CBS Face the Nation):
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, says the United States should fight climate change by creating a system of sustainable energy. The Democratic presidential candidate says he is "frightened" by the planet we will leave behind to our kids if we do not act now.
- Global Emissions Declined in 2015 Without Global Recession:
- New Data Suggest Period of Soaring Global Emissions May Have Peaked (NY Times):
Past emissions declines have usually been linked to economic distress, such as the global financial panic of 2009 and the Russian economic meltdown of the late 1990s. The new figures suggest that there is a chance that global emissions have already peaked and may be starting a long-term decline, experts said Monday, which would be an important inflection point for the international effort to limit the risks of global warming.
- Surprisingly good news for the Earth's climate: Greenhouse gas pollution dropped this year (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
Emissions of man-made greenhouse gases appear to have declined slightly in 2015, scientists said Monday, reflecting what experts say is an encouraging, though likely temporary, pause in the steady rise in pollutants blamed for climate change...."We can't yet call it a long-term trend but we do see really encouraging signs over the last couple of years," said co-author Robert B. Jackson, the Douglas Provostial professor at Stanford University's School of Earth Sciences.
- Growth in fossil fuel emissions slowed in 2015, so have we finally reached the peak? (No.) (The Conversation)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- ExxonMobil Warns of Catastrophic 7°F to 12°F Global Warming Without Government Action (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
Fred Hiatt, the papers centrist editorial page editor, drops this bombshell: With no government action, Exxon experts told us during a visit to The Post last week, average temperatures are likely to rise by a catastrophic (my word, not theirs) 5 degrees Celsius, with rises of 6, 7 or even more quite possible.
- Bye, bye, bananas (Washington Post):
The world's most popular banana could soon go extinct.
- Fox News' Glaring Hypocrisy On The UN Climate Summit's Carbon Footprint (Media Matters):
France Plans To Fully Offset The Summit's Carbon Footprint. WIRED recently estimated that the Paris climate talks will result in 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. But the UN has spelled out how the French government is working to both reduce emissions from the source and "offset all emissions from travel of registered participants, as well as those from the conference facilities and local operations".
- COP21: Let's not talk about liability (Time DeChristopher):
Three words not allowed on the table when talking with US negotiators today: Liability, Compensation or Restitution. That’s what we were told before our briefing with the team working on language related to loss and damage in the document being written at COP21. If we want to use our time wisely, we won’t utter any of those words/
- The Chennai Floods Are a Devastating Preview of Unnatural Disasters to Come (Slate):
November was Chennai’s rainiest calendar month in history: An unimaginable 47 inches fell. Then, this week, things got worse. Wednesday’s rains brought an additional 11 inches—34 times the normal amount. More rain is expected in the coming days, linked to an enhanced northeast monsoon boosted by a record-strong El Niño in the Pacific Ocean and the record-warm Indian Ocean.
- It’s time to let Lake Powell go: In today’s ‘new normal,’ there is simply not enough water to maintain both Lake Powell and Lake Mead. (High Country News):
Nearly everyone agrees that conservation is needed basin-wide, but storing water in Lake Powell, the most wasteful reservoir in the system, isn't about saving water. Upper Basin officials fear that if Lake Powell shrinks too much, the reduced hydropower generation will drastically hike electric rates. They also fear that without Powell, they won't be able to deliver 7.5 million acre-feet of water per year to the Lower Basin, as required under the 1922 Colorado River Compact. But several options are available for addressing these concerns, should the reservoir drop below the generator intakes.
- 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.
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).
- Fox News' Glaring Hypocrisy On The UN Climate Summit's Carbon Footprint (Media Matters):