IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: World's largest coal company declares bankruptcy; Utility CEO foresees an end to coal entirely; U.S. Government Accountability Office dings the EPA; Sardine fishing banned off West Coast --- again; PLUS: Pesticide company ends use of bee-killing pesticide... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): CO2's Role in Global Warming Has Been on the Oil Industry's Radar Since the 1960s; Are southern resident killer whales too screwed up to survive?; True: Barack Obama says wind power cheaper in Texas than power from 'dirty fossil fuels'; Wildfires, Once Confined to a Season, Burn Earlier and Longer; If You Eat Fast Food You’re Getting a Big Helping of Toxic Chemicals; Chicago's Upgrades To Aging Water Lines May Disturb Lead Pipes; Great Lakes Oil Pipeline in Violation of Operating Agreement... PLUS: How much do Western state budgets rely on extractive industries?... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- World's Largest Coal Company Seeks Bankruptcy Protection:
- AUDIO: On Blankenship's One-Year Sentence, Coal Country Devastation, the Mythical 'War on Coal': 'BradCast' 4/7/2016 (The BradBlog)
- The World’s Largest Private Coal Company Just Filed For Bankruptcy (Clmate Progress):
Peabody, which is headquartered in Missouri, maintained that its mines and offices would remain open, and that its Australian holdings would not be included in the Chapter 11 filing. The company attributed its financial woes to “a dramatic drop in the price of metallurgical coal, weakness in the Chinese economy, overproduction of domestic shale gas and ongoing regulatory challenges.” These market forces have made it difficult for Peabody to repay its debts after the company’s 2011 takeover of Australian rival Macarthur.
- Can coal companies afford to clean up coal country? (Washington Post)
- Peabody’s Bankruptcy: A Giant Falls, But Its Obligations Remain (EcoWatch)
- Electric Utility CEO Foresees End of Coal, Entirely:
- VIDEO: Duke’s Lynn Good Looks Into the Future of Coal (Wall St. Journal):
Q: Do you ever envision a future, whether it’s 2050 or 2100, when coal will be next to 0% electricity here in the U.S.?
Ms. Good: I certainly think we’re moving in that direction. Under the rules that exist today, you can’t build a new coal plant without capture and sequestration [of carbon], and at this point we don’t have a viable technology that is economic for that. So you’re talking about extending lives of existing plants, and those economic decisions become very challenging when gas is cheap and renewables are available.
- GAO Faults EPA for Insufficient Oversight of Oil and Gas Industry:
- Audit: EPA lax guarding drinking water from energy waste (USA Today):
A federal review has faulted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for not adequately safeguarding drinking water supplies from the increasing amount of wastewater generated by the oil and gas industries, which have boosted production during the past two decades
- Sardine Fishing Banned Off West Coast - Again:
- As Pacific sardine collapse worsens, scientists worry about ecosystem ripple (The Oregonian):
With the current sardine population hovering at 7 percent of its 2007 peak, fishermen now say they expect to wait a decade or more to revive the fishery. "I don't want to take a pessimistic view, but I would think we'll be shut down until 2030," said Ryan Kapp, a Bellingham fisherman who advises the Pacific Fishery Management Council on sardines and other fish.
- U.S. bans most Pacific sardine fishing after population crash (Reuters):
Pacific sardine populations have plunged by 90 percent since 2007, prompting the Pacific Fishery Management Council to vote Sunday to extend its prohibition on virtually all fishing of the small oily fish within 200 miles of the California, Oregon and Washington coasts.
- Toxin warning for clams remains in effect as low tides approach (Eureka Times-Standard)
- Scientists Find Answer to Why Thousands of Sea Lion Pups Are Starving (EcoWatch)
- Greenland Sets Ominous New Record (and Helps Shift Earth's Axis!):
- Greenland sees record-smashing early ice sheet melt (Climate Home):
Polar researchers thought their models were broken when they first saw the results.
- Greenland’s Melt Season Started Nearly Two Months Early (Climate Central):
It has easily set a record for earliest melt season onset, and marks the first time it’s begun in April.
- Greenland’s ice sheet just set an ominous new record (Washington Post):
Emerging from a winter that has had staggeringly warm Arctic temperatures, scientists monitoring the vast Greenland ice sheet announced Tuesday that it is experiencing a record-breaking level of melt for so early in the season.
- Greenland and Antarctic melt isn’t just raising seas — it’s changing the Earth’s rotation (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
And given that much of this is related to the loss of polar ice, a changing climate would appear to be at least partly —although perhaps not wholly — responsible..."[A]s we redistribute the mass, the spin axis tends to find a new direction. And that’s what we mean by polar motion...Ivins emphasizes that the study doesn’t explicitly attribute the motion of the pole to human-caused climate change"
- Melting ice sheets changing the way the Earth wobbles on its axis, says NASA (Guardian UK)
- Pesticide Maker To End Use of Bee-Killing Pesticide:
- Home And Garden Giant Ditches Class Of Pesticides That May Harm Bees (NPR):
Ortho, part of the Miracle-Gro family, says the decision to drop the use of the chemicals — called neonicotinoids, or neonics for short — comes after considering the range of possible threats to bees and other pollinators.
- Ortho to stop using chemicals considered to be harmful to bees (USA Today)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- CO2's Role in Global Warming Has Been on the Oil Industry's Radar Since the 1960s (InsideClimate News):
The oil industry's leading pollution-control consultants advised the American Petroleum Institute in 1968 that carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels deserved as much concern as the smog and soot that had commanded attention for decades.
- How much do Western state budgets rely on extractive industries? (High Country News):
Resource-reliant states feel pinch as fossil-fuel revenue dwindles.
- Are southern resident killer whales too screwed up to survive? (Seattle Post-Intelligencer):
Call it an evolutionary cul-de-sac ... and the mixed metaphor of nature vs. human suburban planning that creates cul-de-sacs is intentional. "These are natural things that have evolved for millions of years," Wasser said of the whale's habits. "And now we have humans screwing up the world."
- True: Barack Obama says wind power cheaper in Texas than power from 'dirty fossil fuels' (PolitiFact):
Obama, in Dallas, said: "Right now, here in Texas, wind power is already cheaper than dirty fossil fuels." We rate Obama’s claim True.
- Wildfires, Once Confined to a Season, Burn Earlier and Longer (NY Times):
The first Alaska wildfire of 2016 broke out in late February, followed by a second there just eight days later.
- If You Eat Fast Food You’re Getting a Big Helping of Toxic Chemicals (Civil Eats):
New study shows that consumption of fast food is linked to higher levels of phthalates, the chemicals used to produce many plastics.
- Chicago's Upgrades To Aging Water Lines May Disturb Lead Pipes (NPR):
Chicago's North Broadway Street is always bustling, but in the past few weeks, it has been noisier than ever. There is water flowing from an open fire hydrant, and as traffic inches by, a cement truck backs up and pours concrete down into a big hole in the street.
- Great Lakes Oil Pipeline in Violation of Operating Agreement: Groups (Circle of Blue):
Michigan urged to terminate Line 5 crossing in the Straits of Mackinac. Twin, 63-year-old oil pipelines crossing beneath the waters that connect Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are currently out of compliance with the state agreement that allows their existence, according to a letter and memorandum sent Wednesday by 22 environmental and tribal groups to Michigan’s governor and attorney general.
- European Parliament Backs Glyphosate But With Conditions (NCBC):
European politicians advised on Wednesday that the herbicide glyphosate should only be approved for another seven years, rather than the 15 proposed by the EU executive, and should not be used by the general public.
- Ocean scientists recommend plan to combat changes to seawater chemistry (Science Daily):
Global carbon dioxide emissions are triggering permanent changes to ocean chemistry along the North American West Coast that require immediate, decisive action to combat. That action includes development of a coordinated regional management strategy.
- Global leaders are very worried about water shortages (Grist):
Many of the cables read like diary entries from an apocalyptic sci-fi novel. “Water shortages have led desperate people to take desperate measures with equally desperate consequences,” according to a 2009 cable sent by U.S. Ambassador Stephen Seche in Yemen as water riots erupted across the country.
- Scientists Are Watching in Horror as Ice Collapses (National Geographic):
Everything we learn about ice shows that it is disturbingly fragile, even in Antarctica.
- Global warming may be far worse than thought, cloud analysis suggests (Guardian UK):
Researchers find clouds contain more liquid – as opposed to ice – than was previously believed, threatening greater increase in temperatures.
- 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...she was stunned by what she saw as she descended some 30 feet to the rim of a coral outcropping.
- 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).