IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Judge rules children's federal climate change lawsuit may go forward; Big Oil spends $100 million a year on climate denial propaganda and obstruction; Some good news for wolverines, tigers and bees; PLUS: Probe into what Exxon knew about climate change science expands beyond Exxon... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Unable To Compete On Price, Nuclear Power On The Decline In The U.S.; Lawsuits Charge that 3M Knew About the Dangers of Its Chemicals; Climate-Related Death of Coral Around World Alarms Scientists; Climate-Related Death of Coral Around World Alarms Scientists; For The Navajo Nation, Uranium Mining's Deadly Legacy Lingers; Drowning History: Sea Level Rise Threatens US Historic Sites; Water With Unsafe Lead Amounts Found In Hundreds Of Schools; In Iowa Corn Fields, Chinese National's Seed Theft Shows Vulnerability... PLUS: Lousiana Tribe May Move Entire Community North In First-Of-Its-Kind Test Case... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- TransCanada Leak Much Larger Than Previously Thought:
- Keystone pipeline leak estimate grows to 16,800 gallons of oil (CNN Money):
TransCanada (TRP) initially told regulators the spill totaled about 187 gallons of oil, but later raised that estimate to 16,800 gallons. After days of searching for the source of the spill, TransCanada on Friday said it had identified the "small leak" on the pipeline near the Freeman pump station in Hutchinson County....One of the biggest concerns in an oil leak is that it could contaminate not just land but local ground water. That is an elevated concern for pipelines that run underground as Keystone does in South Dakota.
- TransCanada Resumes Shipments Through Keystone Pipeline After Leak (AP)
- Probe Into What Exxon Knew About Climate Science Expands Beyond Exxon:
- CEI Subpoena from US Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker [PDF] (US Virgin Islands Office of the Attorney General)
- Think Tank With Fossil-Fuel Ties Subpoenaed in AG's Climate Inquiry (InsideClimate News):
By subpoenaing CEI, Walker is broadening "a multifaceted legal inquiry into whether fossil fuel companies broke any laws as they sought for decades to undermine the scientific consensus and head off forceful action to address the climate crisis...
- Conservatives love subpoenas about climate change - until they get hit with one themselves (Grist):
It's become a go-to strategy for climate change deniers to demand subpoenas and documents from scientists whenever they get a whiff of a potential controversy. But they like it less when the same tactic is used on them.
- Climate Fraud Investigation of Exxon Draws Attention of 17 Attorneys General (InsideClimate News)
- Exxon Confirmed Global Warming Consensus in 1982 with In-House Climate Models (InsideClimate News)
- Big Oil Spends $115 Million a Year On Obstructing Climate Policy:
- Report: How Much Big Oil Spends on Obstructive Climate Lobbying (Influence Map)
- Trying to Put a Price on Big Oil's 'Climate Obstruction' Efforts (Bloomberg):
ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch/Shell, and three oil-industry groups together spend $115 million a year on advocacy designed to “obstruct” climate change policy...The sheer fuzziness of corporate influence prompted the project. Nations hold companies to different standards—or none at all—for disclosures of how they are trying to influence public policy and what it costs.
- Oil Giants Spend $115 Million A Year To Oppose Climate Policy (Huffington Post):
The largest share of the money comes from the American Petroleum Institute, the country’s largest trade organization for oil and gas producers. It reportedly spends $65 million annually in efforts to block climate policy. API is followed by Exxon Mobil, which spends $27 million, and Shell, which spends $22 million a year on anti-climate advocacy.
- This is how much the fossil fuel industry spends to avoid climate regs (Grist):
But the $27 million Exxon spent, for example, was just a drop in the bucket compared to the company’s annual earnings of $16 billion last year (which technically was a bad year; Exxon earned double that in 2014).
- Judge Rules Children's Federal Climate Change Lawsuit May Go Forward:
- Federal Climate Change Lawsuit (Our Children's Trust):
The Complaint asserts that, in causing climate change, the federal government has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources.
- Sorry, Feds: Kids Can Sue Over Climate Negligence, Judge Says (Climate Progress):
A group of youngsters just won a major decision in their efforts to sue the federal government over climate change. An Oregon judge ruled Friday that their lawsuit, which alleges the government violated the constitutional rights of the next generation by allowing the pollution that has caused climate change, can go forward. Federal District Court Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin ruled against the federal government and fossil fuel companies’ motions to dismiss the case, deciding in favor of 21 young plaintiffs and Dr. James Hansen.
- Big oil lines up to battle kids in climate court case (Climate Home, 01/15/16)
- VIDEO: These teens are suing Oregon to force action on climate change (PBS NewsHour, 4/15/15)
- Good News for Wolverines, Tigers and Bees:
- Judge: Climate Change Imperils Wolverines And Feds Must Act (AP):
The Obama administration brushed over the threat that climate change poses to the snow-loving wolverine when it denied protections for the elusive predator also known as the "mountain devil," a federal judge ruled Monday.
- Judge Prods Wildlife Service on Protection for Wolverines (NY Times):
Because it depends on heavy spring snowpack to excavate dens and safely raise its young near the top of mountain peaks high in the northern Rockies, the wolverine is on the front lines of battles over the effects of climate change.
- The broad implications of Judge Christensen’s wolverine ruling (Op-ed, The Missioulian) [emphasis added]:
Montana’s Gov. Steve Bullock, as well as his Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, did all they could to prevent the listing and then hailed it as a great achievement. This unfortunate turn of events followed closely on the heels of another lawsuit attempting to halt trapping of wolverines in Montana, which Bullock and his wildlife agency tried to continue, unbelievably saying killing wolverines was critical to preserving Montana’s “trapping heritage.”
- For The First Time, A State Just Banned Neonicotinoids, A Pesticide Threatening Pollinators (Climate Progress)
- On the Bay: Lawmakers vote to protect pollinators (Capital Gazette)
- World tiger population increases for first time in 100 years, conservation data shows (ABC Australia)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Unable To Compete On Price, Nuclear Power On The Decline In The U.S. (NPR):
Renewable energy and new technologies that are making low-carbon power more reliable are growing rapidly in the U.S. Renewables are so cheap in some parts of the country that they're undercutting the price of older sources of electricity such as nuclear power.
- Lousiana Tribe May Move Entire Community North In First-Of-Its-Kind Test Case (New Orleans Advocate):
Looking out from the house he built in 1959 with lumber brought by boat to this island at the south end of Terrebonne Parish, Wenceslaus Billiot remembers when the view from his back porch was thick forest and solid marsh. Now there is just open water.
- Lawsuits Charge that 3M Knew About the Dangers of Its Chemicals (The Intercept):
As legal actions against the chemical company 3M go forward, lawyers are charging that 3M "knew about the health hazards posed by the perfluorinated chemicals it was manufacturing and using to make carpet coating, Scotchgard, firefighting foam, and other products — and that the company knew the chemicals were spreading beyond its sites.
- Climate-Related Death of Coral Around World Alarms Scientists (NY Times):
Kim Cobb, a marine scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, expected the coral to be damaged when she plunged into the deep blue waters off Kiritimati Island, a remote atoll near the center of the Pacific Ocean. Still, she was stunned by what she saw as she descended some 30 feet to the rim of a coral outcropping.
- For The Navajo Nation, Uranium Mining's Deadly Legacy Lingers (NPR):
The federal government is cleaning up a long legacy of uranium mining within the Navajo Nation — some 27,000 square miles spread across Utah, New Mexico and Arizona that is home to more than 250,000 people.
- Drowning History: Sea Level Rise Threatens US Historic Sites (AP):
With scientists forecasting sea levels to rise by anywhere from several inches to several feet by 2100, historic structures and coastal heritage sites around the world are under threat. Some sites and artifacts could become submerged.
- Water With Unsafe Lead Amounts Found In Hundreds Of Schools (AP):
Responding to the crisis in Flint, Michigan, school officials across the country are testing classroom sinks and cafeteria faucets for lead, trying to uncover any concealed problems and to reassure anxious parents.
- In Iowa Corn Fields, Chinese National's Seed Theft Shows Vulnerability (Reuters):
Tim Burrack, a northern Iowa farmer in his 44th growing season, has taken to keeping a wary eye out for unfamiliar vehicles around his 300 acres of genetically modified corn seeds.
- EPA Can't Tell Public Which Chem Plants Violate Safety Rules (E&E News):
U.S. EPA knows which chemical facilities aren't following federal safety protocols, but it can't tell the public where they are...But their identities remain a secret thanks to post-Sept. 11 regulations administered by a different agency, the Department of Homeland Security.
- Wind and Solar Are Crushing Fossil Fuels (Bloomberg) [emphasis added]:
The reason solar-power generation will increasingly dominate: It's a technology, not a fuel. As such, efficiency increases and prices fall as time goes on. What's more, the price of batteries to store solar power when the sun isn't shining is falling in a similarly stunning arc.
- Scientists nearly double sea level rise projections for 2100, because of Antarctica (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
Scientists behind a new study published in the journal Nature used sophisticated computer models to decipher a longstanding riddle about how the massive, mostly uninhabited continent surrendered so much ice during previous warm periods on Earth. They found that similar conditions in the future could lead to monumental and irreversible increases in sea levels.
- Want to fight climate change? Here are the 7 critical life changes you should make (Grist) [emphasis added]:
So, given the imperfections of this world, what is a lone wolf such as yourself to do? Here are some conclusions gleaned from this study: 1. Buy the most fuel-efficient car you can afford, then drive it as little as possible....
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).