IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: ABC News hosts a presidential debate, but climate change and energy aren't invited; President Obama warns Republicans the world is moving forward on climate; Officials knew Flint, MI's water contaminated with lead; Massive natural gas leak continues in Southern CA; PLUS: British court rejects Donald Trump's wind farm objection... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Internet has revelation that climate change action won't kill the economy after all; Obama says climate deal with outlast GOP denial; U.S. power grid hacked multiple times; Oil industry lobbyists succeed in opening Alaskan refuge to drilling; U.S. issues biggest energy efficiency rules ever; Oil prices slump to 11-year lows; Opposition builds to offshore drilling...PLUS: 'Intersex' male bass fish found throughout protected U.S. waters... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- 3rd Democratic Presidential Debate in Las Vegas Bypasses Climate Change:
- VIDEO: Watch the Full ABC News Democratic Debate (2016 Election Central)
- 3rd Democratic debate transcript, annotated: Who said what and what it meant (Washington Post)
- The ABC News Moderators Didn’t Ask a Single Question About Climate Change (Slate)
- Two Straight Debates On National Security, And No Questions About The Real Threat To The Globe (Huffington Post),/li>
- Twitter rips ABC debate hosts for ignoring climate change and asking inane question about spouses (Raw Story)
- Deniers All: Sen. Lindsey Graham Drops Out of Republican Presidential Race:
- It’s Official: None Of The Remaining Major GOP Candidates Accept Climate Science (Climate Progress):
The rest of the candidates tread carefully around the issue, appearing moderate but failing to say if they actually accept the scientific consensus.
- Obama Warns Republicans World Is Moving on to Clean Energy:
- Transcript: Press Conference by the President, 12/18/15 (White House):
[T]hat combination of market signals means that the private sector is going to start investing much more heavily. They know this is coming. And it’s not just coming here --- it’s coming around the world. So you now have a global marketplace for clean energy that is stable and accelerating over the course of the next decade.
- AUDIO: 'End of the Age of Fossil Fuels': Dr. Michael E. Mann on Historic U.N. Paris Climate Agreement: 'BradCast' 12/14/2015 (The BRAD BLOG):
"It's difficult to understate the significance of this agreement. I think we are witnessing the end of the age of fossil fuels and the beginning of a new age of a clean global energy economy."
- Funds for Obama climate deal survive in spending bill (The Hill):
The bill, greens and Democrats say, doesn’t explicitly appropriate funding for President Obama’s pledged contribution to the Green Climate Fund (GCF). But since the legislation doesn’t formally block money for the GCF either, Obama is expected to be able to use current discretionary funding streams to send American money to it.
- Flint, MI Water Crisis: Officials Knew City Water Contaminated with Lead:
- VIDEO: Flint toxic water tragedy points directly to Michigan Gov. Snyder (The Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC):
Rachel Maddow reports on the poisoning of Flint, Michigan residents when their water supply was switched, and shows explicitly how responsibility for the tragedy falls to Governor Rick Snyder and his radical, anti-democratic policies.
- AUDIO: Team testing Flint water for lead sample by sample (Michigan Radio)
- Rachel Maddow shames Gov. Rick Snyder: Michigan kids were poisoned under your watch (Raw Story)
- Michigan Ignored 'Conclusive Evidence' Of Flint Lead Poisoning, Researcher Says (Huffington Post) [emphasis added]:
Through a public records request, Marc Edwards, a civil engineering professor at Virginia Tech, uncovered a July 2015 memo warning of elevated lead levels in Flint kids' blood.
- Michigan Health Department Hid Evidence of Health Harm Due to Lead Contaminated Water: Allowed False Public Assurances by MDEQ and Stonewalled Outside Researchers (Flint Water Study) [emphasis added]:
After missing warning signs of spiking childhood lead poisoning that occurred few months after switching to a corrosive river water source in 2014...They discovered scientifically conclusive evidence of an anomalous increase in childhood lead poisoning in summer 2014 immediately after the switch in water sources, but stood by silently as Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) officials repeatedly and falsely stated that no spike in blood lead levels (BLL) of children had occurred.
- City of Los Angeles Sues Over Massive Gas Leak:
- Natural Gas Leak in California Raises Health, Environmental Concerns (NPR):
The company said in a statement on its website that they are drilling a relief well to plug the flow of gas — which they expect will take three to four months to complete.
- Workers Wary of Igniting Natural Gas as They Try To Stop Leak Near Porter Ranch (Los Angeles Times)
- The Hidden Climate Threat That Gas Companies Noticed, But Rarely Fixed (KQED)
- SoCal Gas took days to inform residents, local agencies of methane leak (Souther California Public Radio)
- Donald Trump's Wind Objection, Rejected by UK's Top Court:
- British Court Rejects Donald Trump’s Attempt to Block Wind Farm (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
Britain’s highest court unanimously rejected on Wednesday an attempt by Donald J. Trump, the real estate developer and Republican presidential candidate, to block the construction of a wind farm near his luxury golf resort in northeast Scotland....Mr. Sorial said the wind farm, known as the European Offshore Wind Deployment Center, would “completely destroy the bucolic Aberdeen Bay and cast a terrible shadow upon the future of tourism for the area...History will judge those involved unfavorably, and the outcome demonstrates the foolish, small-minded and parochial mentality which dominates the current Scottish government’s dangerous experiment with wind energy.”
- Alex Salmond brands Trump 'loser' after judges reject windfarm appeal (Guardian UK):
Five justices at Britain’s highest court have rejected the property mogul’s attempt to prevent an offshore windfarm being built within sight of his golf course in Scotland, dismissing his appeal against planning permission for the turbines that was granted by Scottish ministers.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Internet has revelation that climate change action won't kill the economy after all (Mashable):
Researchers have found that the global warming economics conversation has flipped, with the issue now being seen as beneficial for the economy if it is addressed.
- Obama Insists Climate Deal Will Outlast GOP 'Climate Denial' (NPR):
With a Paris climate agreement just over a week old, President Obama is singling out the GOP on climate change. In an interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep, the president lambasted Republicans, whom he views as excessively contrarian on the issue.
- AP Investigation: US Power Grid Vulnerable To Foreign Hacks (AP):
Security researcher Brian Wallace was on the trail of hackers who had snatched a California university's housing files when he stumbled into a larger nightmare: Cyberattackers had opened a pathway into the networks running the United States' power grid.
- ‘Somebody Intervened in Washington’ (Pro Publica):
How oil industry lobbyists played the long game — wearing down an overmatched federal bureaucracy to gain access to a fuel-rich corner of the Alaskan wilderness.
- Obama Just Released the Biggest Energy Efficiency Rule in US History (Washington Post):
They dribble out regularly — Energy Department rules or 'standards' that require ever improving levels of energy efficiency for dishwashers, refrigerators, and much more. On Thursday, though, the Department dumped what it is describing as the 'largest energy-saving standard in history' and one that 'will save more energy than any other standard issued by the Department to date' — a standard governing commercial air conditioners and furnaces.
- Oil Prices Slump to 11-Year Lows in Asia and Europe (NY Times):
Oil prices hit 11-year lows in Asia and Europe on Monday, as a glut of crude on world markets and the recent global climate accord continue to depress fossil-fuel prices.
- SandRidge Defies Okla. Directive To Close 6 Wells (E&E News):
SandRidge Energy Inc., the financially troubled oil producer focused on earthquake-prone northern Oklahoma, is defying a state directive to shut down six disposal wells linked to quakes.
- Concerned on Safety, Feds Put Los Alamos Nuke Lab Contract Out for Bid (Winnipeg Free Press):
The $2 billion contract to manage one of the federal government's premier nuclear weapons laboratories will be up for grabs after 2017.
- Opposition Builds To Atlantic Offshore Drilling (Washington Post):
When then-Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) first pushed the idea in 2010, it was easy to find Virginians who favored oil and gas drilling along the Virginia coast, even in this tourism-dependent city of 450,000. The Virginia Beach City Council voted 8 to 3 that year in support of the giant offshore rigs, betting, along with the mayor, that 'there’s going to be money made.'
- 'Intersex' Male Bass Found Throughout Protected Northeast US Waters (Environmental Health News):
Eighty-five percent of male smallmouth bass tested in or nearby 19 National Wildlife Refuges in the U.S. Northeast had signs of female reproductive parts, according to a new federal study.
- Iranian Hackers Infiltrated New York Dam in 2013 (CNN):
Iranian hackers infiltrated the control system of a small dam less than 20 miles from New York City two years ago, sparking concerns that reached to the White House, according to former and current U.S. officials and experts familiar with the previously undisclosed incident.
- Tentative Agreement Reached in Dispute Over Endangered Fish (AP):
Wildlife advocates reached a tentative agreement with the U.S. government in a legal dispute over an endangered fish in the Yellowstone River along the Montana-North Dakota border.
- Using Pocket Vetoes, Obama Rebuffs GOP Attempt To Kill Clean Power Plan (USA Today):
President Obama has vetoed attempts by the Republican-controlled Congress to kill the Clean Power Plan that's a cornerstone of his climate change initiatives, the White House announced Saturday.
- Congress OKs Bill Banning Plastic Microbeads in Skin Care Products (CBS News):
Plastic microbeads used in soaps, body washes and other personal-care products will be phased out starting in 2017 under legislation approved by Congress and sent to the president.
- Fighting Wildfires Is Expensive, But Congress Refuses To Pay the Bill (Washington Post):
As Congress headed home for the Christmas break after passing a budget deal, Agriculture Department Secretary Tom Vilsack presented lawmakers with an angry ultimatum: Put up more cash if you want the U.S. Forest Service to keep putting out huge wildfires.
- Coal demand stalls internationally (The Hill):
International demand for coal stalled internationally in 2014 for the first time since the 1990s, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said. The IEA blamed the stall mostly on China, where power demand grew at about half the rate of the country’s gross domestic product, despite the fact that the two are usually linked more closely. China uses about half the world’s coal. Environmental policies are the other big challenge for coal, including the new Paris climate accord.
- China Seen Laying Down $15 Billion Bet on Electric Vehicles (Bloomberg):
“China will be the epicenter for electrification of the auto industry globally,” said Bill Russo, Shanghai-based managing director at Gao Feng Advisory Co., who estimates that China would have invested 100 billion yuan ($15.5 billion) by 2020 on new-energy vehicles.
- How US Negotiators Ensured Paris Climate Deal Was Republican-Proof (Guardian UK):
U.S. diplomats spent much effort, time, and political capital engineering a Paris climate agreement that could not be derailed by Congressional Republicans.
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).