IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Criminal charges for officials in Flint lead poisoning crisis; Louisiana residents protest new offshore drilling leases on anniversary of BP Oil Spill; Deadly oil facility explosion kills 3 in Mexico; More than half the nation lives with dangerous air pollution; PLUS: This Earth Day, world leaders gather to sign historic Paris Agreement... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): How Earth itself has upped the stakes for the Paris climate accord; How Earth itself has upped the stakes for the Paris climate accord; 'And then we wept': Scientists say 93 percent of the Great Barrier Reef now bleached; VW, Justice Department reach diesel emissions deal; Ecuadoreans jostle for food and water in earthquake zone; San Francisco is requiring solar panels on all new buildings. But here's a much greener idea; Caution: New Sea Level Story May be a Step too Far; Study reveals greater climate impacts of 2C temperature rise... PLUS: Solar Impulse 2 sun-powered airplane takes off for the first time in 9 months... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Criminal Charges in Flint Water Crisis:
- First Criminal Charges Handed Down After Flint Water Crisis (Climate Progress):
A final report released by Schuette’s investigatory panel last month laid the blame on the state. The MDEQ bears primary responsibility, it found, for misinterpreting the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) lead and copper rule meant to keep drinking water from becoming contaminated and misapplied its requirements, which led to underreporting and exposing residents to high levels for months. It also said the agency waited too long before accepting the EPA’s intervention and failed to look into the situation on its own.
- Flint mayor says 'bigger fish to fry' in water crisis criminal probe (Flint Journal)
- Accused Flint water plant operator said he got 'marching orders' from higher-ups (Flint Journal):
"It was like a fire drill every day. If you worked a 12-hour day, it seemed like a short day," Glasgow said. When the plant actually started operation with too few employees and equipment upgrades incomplete in April 2014, he said, "I'm thinking, 'Holy sh--. We're really doing it.' "
- LA Residents Protest News Offshore Drilling On BP Oil Spill Anniversary:
- VIDEO: 5-Year Plan for US offshore drilling causing controversy in Louisiana (WDSU New Orleans):
"We're still suffering from the BP disaster. We still have oil that comes in. We lose about a football field of land an hour here in Louisiana, and a lot of that has to do with the oil industry," Cherri Foytlin, an environmental activist with Bold Louisiana said.
- 6 Years After Gulf Oil Spill, Residents Demand 'No More Drilling' (Rolling Stone) [emphasis added]:
As the legal cases against BP draw to a close, the risks of offshore oil drilling — and public opposition to it — grow....the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, or CSB, an independent federal agency that investigates industrial accidents, warned last week, "Offshore regulatory changes made thus far... do not do enough to prevent another disaster like the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and oil spill at the Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico.... [A] culture of minimal regulatory compliance continues to exist in the Gulf of Mexico and risk reduction continues to prove elusive."
- BP Oil Spill Anniversary: Obama Admin Issues New Offshore Drilling Rules:
- Obama Administration Issues New Rules For Offshore Drilling (NPR):
The Obama administration has issued new rules governing offshore drilling, six years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster killed 11 rig workers and spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The new rules from the Interior Department include requirements for design of well components as well as monitoring and inspection.
- Rancor isn't stopping progress on deepwater 'culture of safety' (E & E News)
- Wildlife Still Suffering From BP Oil Spill:
- Cetacean Unusual Mortality Event in Northern Gulf of Mexico (2010-present) (NOAA)
- Gulf stillborn, juvenile dolphin deaths linked to BP oil spill (NOLA.com) [emphasis added]:
In a final damage assessment of the spill's effects released on Feb. 19, federal officials estimated it would take 39 years for bottlenose dolphins in Barataria Bay to recover, 52 years for dolphins along the Mississippi River Delta, 46 years in Mississippi Sound and 31 years in Mobile Bay. The study released Tuesday was conducted as part of the damage assessment.
- Debates over Gulf of Mexico dolphin deaths end as federal reports single out BP as the culprit (Bellona):
The study said pregnant dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico were found to be far more susceptible to late-term pregnancy failures, in-utero infections and fetal distress, compared to control groups.
- Mexico: Deadly Explosion at PEMEX Oil Facility:
- UPDATED: Mexico's Pemex says blast death toll hits 13, blames leak Reuters):
An accidental leak caused a deadly petrochemical plant blast that has killed at least 13 people and the toll could rise, Mexican oil company Pemex said on Thursday, the latest in a series of fatal accidents to batter the company.
- Death toll from huge explosion at Mexican chemical plant rises to 13 (CNN)
- Report: The State of the Air 2016 (American Lung Association)
- More than half US population lives amid dangerous air pollution, report warns (Guradian UK):
A total of 166 million Americans live in areas that have unhealthy levels of of either ozone or particle pollution, according to the American Lung Association, raising their risk of lung cancer, asthma attacks, heart disease, reproductive problems and other ailments...[and] warned progress has been too slow and could even be reversed by efforts in Congress to water down the Clean Air Act.
- Earth Day 2016: Paris Agreement Signed at United Nations Headquarters:
- US and China lead push to bring Paris climate deal into force early (Guardian UK):
Early start date would add momentum for deeper emissions cuts and lock a future US president into the deal for four years/
- Explainer: The adoption, signing and ratification of the UN climate deal (Carbon Brief):
The Paris deal must be ratified by at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of total global emissions before it can enter into force...For example, if the US, China, India, EU, South Africa and the small island states ratify the deal, the thresholds would be reached.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- How Earth itself has upped the stakes for the Paris climate accord (Washington Post):
[I]n the four months since that historic pact was negotiated in Paris, a drumbeat of grim scientific findings has underscored that staving off the worst consequences of global warming may take far more aggressive actions.
- VIDEO: CBS Evening News Shows How A Denmark Community Defied Conservative Myths About Renewable Energy (Media Matters):
Residents explain how wind turbines are cost effective and benefit communities.
- 'And then we wept': Scientists say 93 percent of the Great Barrier Reef now bleached (Washington Post):
Hughes tweeted the map above, writing, “I showed the results of aerial surveys of bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef to my students, And then we wept.”
- VW, Justice Department reach diesel emissions deal (Reuters):
Volkswagen AG and the U.S. Justice Department have reached a deal in principle to address excess diesel emissions in nearly 600,000 polluting vehicles that will include buyback offers and a possible fix, a federal judge in San Francisco said on Thursday.
- Ecuadoreans jostle for food and water in earthquake zone (Reuters) [emphasis added]:
The government quickly moved supplies to the main towns and set up shelters for nearly 25,000 people in soccer stadiums and airports but the shattered state of the roads has impeded aid reaching remoter areas...[Presdient] Correa said the death toll would have been lower had Ecuadoreans respected construction regulations beefed up after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti that killed more than 300,000 people.
- Watch the Solar Impulse 2 sun-powered airplane take off for the first time in 9 months (Verge):
Last July, Borschberg and Piccard completed a record-breaking leg from Nagoya, Japan to Hawaii lasting 4 days, 21 hours and 51 minutes, making it the longest-duration solo flight in history. The plane was grounded in Hawaii until now due to battery damage from overheating.
- San Francisco is requiring solar panels on all new buildings. But here's a much greener idea. (Vox.com):
One of the greenest, most environmentally friendly moves that big cities like New York or San Francisco or Chicago can make is to increase housing density and allow more people to live in them. And yet, bizarrely, few people seem to think of this as an "environmental" policy.
- Caution: New Sea Level Story May be a Step too Far (Climate Crocks):
So there’s quite a bit of discussion among knowledgeable folks that this is overdoing it a bit, and the article cites no new research numbers to support the direst estimates.
- The Senate just passed — overwhelmingly — an actually bipartisan energy bill (Washington Post):
It has been widely praised by many industry groups, and received somewhat more mixed reviews from the environmental community. Energy efficiency advocates applauded its measures for buildings and weatherization programs even as some greens have expressed concerns about the legislation’s provisions that would define the burning of biomass as carbon neutral.
- Study reveals greater climate impacts of 2C temperature rise (Guardian UK):
Analysis of difference between 1.5C and 2C of warming finds extra 0.5C would mean longer heatwaves, greater droughts and threats to crops and coral reefs.
- Vietnam Investigates Mass Fish Deaths (Guardian UK):
Vietnam said on Thursday it was investigating whether pollution is to blame for a spate of mysterious mass fish deaths along the country’s central coast after huge amounts of marine life washed ashore in recent days.
- Earth's Temperature Just Shattered the Thermometer (Bloomberg):
Only three months in, and 2016 will almost certainly be the hottest year on record.
- Rooftop solar panels could provide nearly half US power (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
And that isn’t the half of it. The study only estimates the solar power potential of existing, suitable rooftops, and does not look at the immense potential of ground-mounted photovoltaics (PV), said NREL senior energy analyst Robert Margolis in a press release. “Actual generation from PV in urban areas could exceed these estimates by installing systems on less suitable roof space."...The new study doubles the estimate from a 2008 NREL study on US rooftop solar potential.
- 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
- 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).
- How Earth itself has upped the stakes for the Paris climate accord (Washington Post):