IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Oil train protesters use 'necessity defense' in oil train blockade trial; Huge setback for solar in Nevada; Extreme weather is extremely expensive; 2015 broke the record for most expensive wildfires; PLUS: Another Big Coal company files for bankruptcy... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Black Times for Big Coal; FEMA Sends Officials to Help With Flint Drinking Water Crisis; Study links fracking to even more health problems; B.C. Formally Opposes Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion; Oil Prices Slide Again, and the Bottom Is Not Yet in Sight; Poll Shows Western Voters Don’t Want To Hand Back Federal Land; Antarctic Icebergs Have Surprise Role In Slowing Warming... PLUS: SOTU 2016: Obama looks to the future on climate... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Solar Companies Leave Nevada After Utility Commission Ruling:
- Nevada Solar-Law Author Concerned as Solar Companies Flee (Bloomberg):
Patricia Farley, lead author of a bill authorizing Nevada regulators to revise state solar policies, didn’t expect the new rules to prompt two major solar companies to cut jobs and leave the state.
- Sunrun exits Nevada after net metering decision (Utility Dive)
- SolarCity lays off more than 550 workers in Nevada (Las Vegas Sun),/li>
- VIDEO: Leader in solar energy stops sales in Nevada (KTNV Las Vegas)
- NV lawmaker wants PUC, not legislature, to have net metering reform authority (Utility Dive, 5/13/15)
- Are Solar-Powered Homes Jacking Up Everyone Else's Electric Bills? (Mother Jones):
Solar power is cheaper than ever—but utilities are trying to discourage people from using it.
- Myths And Facts About Net Metering For Solar Energy (Media Matters)
- Nevada’s big utility is about to strangle the state’s rooftop solar program (Vox.com, May 2015)
- Washington State: Judge Allows Delta 5 to Use 'Necessity Defense':
- Delta 5 Trial Site (Delta 5 Trial)
- Historic Climate Trial Starts Monday In Lynnwood, WA (press release, Climate Disobedience Center)
- VIDEO: Historic Trial Lets Activists Who Blocked Oil Train Cite Climate Change Threat in Their Defense (Democracy Now!)
- Delta 5 Trial Set To Make History With “Necessity Defense” for Climate Action (DeSmogBlog):
The necessity defense essentially argues that violation of the law by stopping the train is justified because it was done to “avoid a harm which social policy deems greater than the harm resulting from violation of law.” In this case the harms avoided are the risks of climate change and exploding trains of Bakken oil. The necessity defense has never been used in a jury trial relating to actions taken to stop climate change.
- History Will Be Made Today as the Delta 5 Head to Court (EcoWatch)
- Extreme Weather Is Extremely Expensive:
- Record December boosted 2015 to 2nd warmest year for Contiguous US (NOAA.gov):
In 2015, there were 10 weather and climate disaster events, each with losses exceeding $1 billion.
- Wild December pushes US weather in 2015 to near records (AP):
“We live in a warming world and a warming world is bringing more big heat and more big rain events to the United States,” Arndt said during a NOAA press conference.
- 2015 Broke Records for Biggest, Costliest Wildfire Season:
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Announces 2015 Wildfires Burned Record Acres, Urges Congress to Pass Wildfire Funding Fix (USDA.gov)
- 2015 wildfires burned a record-breaking 10.1 million acres (High Country News):
The summer of 2015 was unlike anything most career firefighters had ever seen. Across the United States, fires erupted not only in dry woodlands, but also in grasslands, rainforests, and tundra, ignited by lightning strikes and careless campers. Flames dripped from lichen-covered trees in the Pacific Northwest, and in Alaska, ate into permafrost ...taking the lives of 13 wildland firefighters.
- U.S. Wildfires Burned Record Area In 2015: Agriculture Department (Reuters):
U.S. wildfires burned a record 10.1 million acres (4.09 million hectares) in 2015 and the Forest Service spent 52 percent of its budget fighting fires, the Agriculture Department said on Wednesday.
- Another Major Coal Company Files for Bankruptcy:
- One Of The Largest Coal Companies In The United States Just Filed For Bankruptcy (Climate Progress):
The news comes as several of Arch’s competitors — Patriot Coal, Walter Energy, and Alpha Natural Resources — have also filed for bankruptcy. Arch Coal is the second largest supplier of coal in the United States behind Peabody Energy, and its mines represent 13 percent of America’s coal supply.
- America’s Coal Production Falls to Its Lowest Level Since 1986 (GreenTech Media)
- British Coal, the End of a Mining Industry (Al Jazeera):
Yorkshire, United Kingdom - Coal miners at Yorkshire's Kellingley Colliery, the only remaining deep-pit coal mine in Britain, worked their last shift on Friday December 18, bringing to an end hundreds of years of underground coal mining in the UK.
- China to suspend new coal mine approvals amid pollution fight (Bloomberg)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- SOTU 2016: Obama looks to the future on climate (ClimateWire):
Don't expect big proposals tonight. In past State of the Union addresses, President Obama floated a clean energy standard, pushed Congress unsuccessfully to act on climate change and signaled to the nation the start of an executive agenda to reduce carbon emissions.
- Black Times for Big Coal: (Climate Crocks):
The Coal industry doesn’t just have a black heart, it has a fatal case of black lung as well.
- FEMA Sends Officials to Help With Flint Drinking Water Crisis (Emergency Management Magazine):
FEMA has deployed two liaison officers to the Michigan Emergency Operations Center to provide technical assistance.
- Another reason fracking sucks: Study links fracking to even more health problems (Grist)
- B.C. Formally Opposes Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Due to Marine and Land-based Oil Spill Risks (DeSmogBlog):
Kinder Morgan’s proposal to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline has failed to meet British Columbia’s standards when it comes to marine and land spill response.
- Oil Prices Slide Again, and the Bottom Is Not Yet in Sight (NY Times):
The continuing collapse in commodity prices pushed oil futures still lower Monday, and analysts predicted that the slide was far from over.
- Poll Shows Western Voters Don’t Want To Hand Back Federal Land (Durango Herald):
A group of armed protestors have taken control of a wildlife refuge in Oregon demanding public lands be privatized. A Colorado College poll released Monday says most voters in seven Western states don’t support their mission.
- Antarctic Icebergs Have Surprise Role In Slowing Warming: Study (Reuters):
The biggest icebergs breaking off Antarctica unexpectedly help to slow global warming as they melt away into the chill Southern Ocean, scientists said on Monday.
- First-Ever Federal Rules For Offshore Fish Farming Issued (AP):
The first-ever federal regulations for large-scale fish farming in the ocean were issued Monday, opening a new frontier in the harvesting of popular seafood species such as red drum, tuna and red snapper.
- Our Favorite Banana May Be Doomed; Can New Varieties Replace It? (NPR):
The staple banana variety available in U.S. supermarkets --- often the ONLY variety --- is threatened by a tropical fungus that is slowly killing it off as it spreads across the globe. The question is whether new, resistant varieties can be found and developed.
- Big Oil Braced for Global Warming While It Fought Regulations (LA Times):
A few weeks before seminal climate change talks in Kyoto back in 1997, Mobil Oil took out a bluntly worded advertisement in the New York Times and Washington Post.
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).
- Wild December pushes US weather in 2015 to near records (AP):