IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: 30 years after the world's worst nuclear accident, new efforts to contain it; Record number of nations sign Paris Climate Agreement on Earth Day; World Bank and IMF launch push for global price on carbon; PLUS: Solar-powered plane goes halfway around the world... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): China is world’s largest investor in renewable energy; China Curbs Plans for More Coal-Fired Power Plants; Wall Street places its energy bets; CNN Viewers See Far More Fossil Fuel Advertising Than Climate Change Reporting; Is Washington Ready For The Next Big Oil Spill?; Feds Deciding If Coal-Export Project Violates Tribal Rights; Central bankers may succeed where activists failed to kill nuclear energy... PLUS: U.S. Habitat Protections Denied For Endangered Bat Species... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Chernobyl: 30 Years Later, Urgent New Efforts to Contain Nuclear Disaster:
- 30 Years After Chernobyl Disaster, an Arch Rises to Seal Melted Reactor (Wall Street Journal):
If all goes to plan, the new structure—an arch more than 350 feet high and 500 feet long—will be slid into place late next year over the damaged reactor and its nuclear fuel, creating a leak-tight barrier designed to contain radioactive substances for at least the next 100 years.
- In-depth: Ruined Chernobyl nuclear plant will remain a threat for 3,000 years (McClatchy DC):
Even 30 years later – 25 years after the country that built it ceased to exist – the full damage of that day is still argued. Death toll estimates run from hundreds to millions. The area near the reactor is both a teeming wildlife refuge and an irradiated ghost-scape. Much of eastern and central Europe continues to deal with fallout aftermath. The infamous Reactor Number 4 remains a problem that is neither solved nor solvable.
- VIDEO: ABC's Peter Jennings on Chernobyl Nuclear Accident, April 28, 1986 (ABC News)
- Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster: Gorbachev Speaks, May 14, 1986 (ABC News)
- VIDEO: CIA video briefing for Reagan: Chernobyl Disaster (YouTube)
- Forests Around Chernobyl Aren’t Decaying Properly (Smithsonian Magazine)
- Chernobyl Wildlife Flourishing In Absence of Humans:
- 30 years after Chernobyl, UGA camera study reveals wildlife abundance in CEZ (Univ. of Georgia):
While humans are now scarce in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, continued studies—including a just-published camera study conducted by researchers from the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Laboratory—validate findings that wildlife populations are abundant at the site.
- Animals Rule Chernobyl 30 Years After Nuclear Disaster (National Geographic):
In the zone, “humans have been removed from the system and this greatly overshadows any of those potential radiation effects.” Essentially, this means that human populations have a bigger negative impact than radiation.
- 30 Years After Chernobyl, Here’s What Radioactivity Is Doing To Wildlife (Motherboard):
- Historic Paris Agreement Signed at United Nations Headquarters on Earth Day:
- Governments Vow To End Fossil Fuel Era At UN Climate Signing Ceremony (Guardian UK):
"More than 170 governments declared an end to the fossil fuel era on Friday, using the signing ceremony for the landmark Paris agreement as an occasion to renew their vows to fight climate change.
- 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.
- How Earth itself has upped the stakes for the Paris climate accord (Washington Post)
- So We Signed the Paris Agreement. Now What? (Motherboard) [emphasis added]:
World leaders have finally signed a historic climate agreement. Now all we have to do is fundamentally reshape the global economy.
- World Bank and IMF Launch Global Price On Carbon Initiative:
- Carbon Pricing Becomes a Cause for the World Bank and I.M.F. (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
"[T]o our economists, who have been studying this for quite some time, there is an equally obvious consensus that putting a price on carbon pollution is by far the most powerful and efficient way to reduce emissions.” [World Bank President Jim Yong Kim] added, “We strongly urge people to prepare for the carbon pricing that is to come.”
- Leaders Aim to Put a Price on Half of All Global Carbon Emissions (World Bank)
- UK envoy: carbon pricing ‘too sluggish’ to meet climate goals (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
“I don’t think it [carbon pricing] is a fast enough driver for change,” he told Climate Home on the sidelines. “It needs to go hand in hand with other regulatory systems...Once you get to the point where the prices are competitive, you no longer really need a carbon price.
- Solar Impulse 2: Solar-Power Plane Crosses Pacific on Historic World Voyage:
- Solar Impulse: Around the World to promote Clean Technologies (SolarImpulse.com)
- VIDEO: Solar-powered plane pilots talk about historic flight (ABC San Francisco)
- The solar-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 just made a historic trip across the Pacific (Vox)
- 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.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Prince Secretly Funded Solar Tech In Oakland (Forbes) [emphasis added]:
According to Prince’s friend and longtime green advocate Van Jones, Prince was a major backer of Jones’s group Green For All, which has worked on installing solar panels on the roofs of buildings in Oakland. Jones tells SFGate that “there are people who have solar panels right now on their houses in Oakland, California that don’t know Prince paid for them.”
- VIDEO: Bill Maher: To Solve Climate, First You have to Admit There’s a Problem (Climate Crocks):
How can you have a conversation on the solution to climate change if one side does not even believe it’s a problem?
- China is world’s largest investor in renewable energy (Public Finance International):
The country, notorious for its dangerous levels of pollution, invested more than the US ($44.1bn), the UK ($22.2bn) and Japan ($36.2bn), put together, the United Nations Environment Programme’s annual report on global trends [PDF] in renewable energy found.
- Wall Street places its energy bets (The Hill):
Earlier this month, the Energy Information Administration predicted that the United States would rely more on natural gas than coal for power production in 2016, the first time in history that has happened. The lower cost of natural gas is the main factor driving the trend, though new environmental regulations are also discouraging the use of coal, the agency said.
- STUDY: CNN Viewers See Far More Fossil Fuel Advertising Than Climate Change Reporting (Media Matters):
Following temperature record announcements, oil industry ads outpaced climate-related coverage by almost 5-to-1.
- Is Washington Ready For The Next Big Oil Spill? (Oregon Public Broadcasting):
More than 5 billion gallons of oil are transported by boat and barge to the five refineries located in Puget Sound each year. With so much petroleum moving along our coastlines, accidents are, sadly, almost bound to happen. Is Washington ready for the next big one? That’s the question the state Department of Ecology had in mind at the first-of-its-kind “worst-case” oil spill drill off the coast of Anacortes earlier this month.
- China Curbs Plans for More Coal-Fired Power Plants (NY Times):
Coal-fired power plants have propelled much of China’s economic rise for decades, helping make the nation the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. Even with economic growth slackening, and other energy sources taking hold, new coal plants have been added. Now Beijing is trying to slow things down.
- Feds Deciding If Coal-Export Project Violates Tribal Rights (Herald):
For centuries, Lummi tribal fishermen have harvested, dug up clams and fished for salmon in the tidelands and waters of northwest Washington state. Now, the tribe says a proposed $700 million project to build the nation’s largest coal-export terminal threatens that way of life. The tribe last year asked federal regulators to deny permits for project, saying it would interfere with the tribe’s treaty-reserved fishing rights.
- U.S. Habitat Protections Denied For Endangered Bat Species (Reuters):
U.S. wildlife officials have decided against setting aside protected habitat for the cave dwellings of an imperiled species of bats, saying that doing so might draw the attention of vandals who would do harm to the lairs of the winged mammals.
- SunEdison Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection (NY Times):
SunEdison, which started out making chemicals and components for solar modules but grew into a giant of renewable energy, has filed for bankruptcy protection, the company said on Thursday.
- Texas Oil Rig Count Keeps Falling (FuelFix):
Texas lost another seven rigs actively drilling for oil in the past week, leaving just 351 oil rigs left nationwide as the energy sector continues to shed jobs by the thousands.
- Road Runner: Wildlife take a liking to bridge over Oracle Road (AZ Daily Star):
Rather than startle drivers on the roadway, the deer ambled peacefully across a wildlife bridge that spanned the road near Catalina. Video footage and photos from Arizona Game and Fish showed the deer using the new bridge along with coyote and javelina.
- Central bankers may succeed where activists failed to kill nuclear energy (Bloomberg):
The plants have been shut down, either because they’re too expensive to run or because of concerns about their safety or age. They can’t send electricity to the grid, and they’ll need the special funds saved over decades for formal decommissioning and clean-up of radioactive waste.
- 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.
- 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).