IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Massive wildfire forces evacuations in Canada's tar sands oil country; FL's coral reefs are dissolving; 'Widespread and persistent' fracking contamination in ND; CA's massive natural gas leak will cost more than half a billion dollars; PLUS: President Obama promises Flint, MI water crisis will not be forgotten... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Here's what it would take for the US to run on 100% renewable energy; Brazil Files $44 Billion Lawsuit Against Vale, BHP For Dam Spill; New Federal Rule Would Permit Thousands of Eagle Deaths; Federal Court Rejects US Plan For Restoring Embattled Northwest Salmon; Unstoppable Sudden Oak Death Kills a Million California Trees; Controlling Zika Mosquitoes May Be 'Lost Cause'; Harvard Scientist, Longtime Solar Skeptic, Now Sees the Light... PLUS: New Record Set for World's Cheapest Solar, Now Undercutting Coal... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: Scientists Aren't Just 'F*cking With You': Jimmy Kimmel Takes On Sarah Palin's Climate Denial (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
"[T]the idea that she knows more than 97 percent of scientists is offensive and dangerous," Kimmel said. "No matter what Sarah Palin and these geniuses she surrounds herself with try to tell you, climate change is not a liberal versus conservative thing, but the people who profit from ignoring it want you to believe it is."
- Massive wildfire forces evacuations in Canada's tar sands country:
- Live Blog: Breaking updates on the Fort McMurray wildfire (CBC)
- Canada wildfire: Much of Fort McMurray 'could be destroyed' (BBC):
A massive wildfire that has forced the evacuation of all 88,000 people from Fort McMurray could destroy much of the Canadian city, local officials warn.
- Here's the Climate Context For the Fort McMurray Wildfire (Climate Central) [emphasis added]:
The wildfire is the latest in a lengthening lineage of early wildfires in the northern reaches of the globe that are indicative of a changing climate. As the planet continues to warm, these types of fires will likely only become more common and intense as spring snowpack disappears and temperatures warm...Temperatures soared into the low 90s - up to 40°F (22°C) above normal for this time of year - coupled with high winds helped fan the flames late that afternoon.
- VIDEO: Fort McMurray family flees city with flames at their heels (CBC):
'We're all clinging to this hope that we have something to return to. But we just don't know'
- Middle-finger salute to Fort McMurray climate tweeters (Calgary Sun)
- Florida's coral reefs are dissolving:
- Florida Reefs Are Dissolving Much Sooner Than Expected (Climate Central) [emphasis added]:
Scientists expected that the rising tide of acidic waters would cross a tipping point and start dissolving reefs by mid-century. But some of Florida's reefs appear to be getting a head start..."We need to get serious about reducing carbon dioxide levels," he said. "That's what's making the oceans acidic and making the reefs dissolve. If the actual framework of the reef is dissolving, none of these other actions are going to be very successful in the long term."
- What Will Survive in Hot, Acidic Oceans? (Climate Central)
- Fracking wastewater spills contaminating North Dakota:
- Persistent Water and Soil Contamination Found at N.D. Wastewater Spills (InsideClimate News) [emphasis added]:
"We found even if you take away the spill water," said Avner Vengosh, the study author and professor of earth and ocean sciences at Duke, "you still left behind the legacy of radioactivity in the soils," where it could last for thousands of years.
- Scientists say oilfield wastewater spills release toxins (AP) [emphasis added]:
the study revealed "clear evidence of direct water contamination" from oil development using the method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, he said, describing the problem as "widespread and persistent."...The wastewater is often much saltier than the oceans and kills nearly all vegetation it touches.
- California's massive natural gas leak will cost more than half a billion dollars:
- Porter Ranch-Aliso Canyon Gas Leak Costs To Top $665M, Double Prior Estimates (CBS Los Angeles):
The company has said it expects insurance to cover more than $1 billion and it has accounted for $660 million in insurance receivables.
- President Obama promises Flint's water crisis will not be forgotten:
- Obama tells Flint residents, 'I've got your back' (AP)
- Obama fosters hope in Flint, but fears remain (Detroit News):
President Barack Obama's assurances Wednesday that Flint's water is safe to drink from faucet filters was met with skepticism among residents of this predominately African-American city beset by fears of lead lingering in their pipes.
- Transcript: Remarks by the President to the Flint Community --- Flint, MI (White House) [emphasis added]:
"And this kind of thinking -- this myth that government is always the enemy; that forgets that our government is us --- it's us; that it's an extension of us, ourselves --- that attitude is as corrosive to our democracy as the stuff that resulted in lead in your water. Because what happens is it leads to systematic neglect. It leads to carelessness and callousness. (Applause.) It leads to a lot of hidden disasters that you don't always read about and aren't as flashy, but that over time diminish the life of a community and make it harder for our young people to succeed."
- Michigan Senate OKs $128 million more for Flint water crisis (AP)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Here's what it would take for the US to run on 100% renewable energy (Vox):
Just requires a wholesale social and political revolution, NBD.
- Brazil Files $44 Billion Lawsuit Against Vale, BHP For Dam Spill (Reuters):
Federal prosecutors in Brazil filed a 155 billion-real ($43.5 billion) civil lawsuit on Tuesday against iron miner Samarco and its owners, Vale SA and BHP Billiton, for a collapsed tailings dam in November that killed 19 people and polluted a major river.
- New Federal Rule Would Permit Thousands of Eagle Deaths (ABC News):
The Obama administration is revising a federal rule that allows wind-energy companies to operate high-speed turbines for up to 30 years, even if means killing or injuring thousands of federally protected bald and golden eagles.
- Poll: Public Supports Clean Power Plan As Their States Fight It (Midwest Energy News):
Attorneys general in Michigan, Wisconsin and Missouri are “out of step” with the majority of voters in their state who support the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, according to polling released last week.
- Federal Court Rejects US Plan For Restoring Embattled Northwest Salmon (Retuers):
The U.S. government's latest plan for offsetting the harm to migrating salmon from a series of dams in the Columbia River watershed violates the Endangered Species Act, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday.
- Unstoppable Sudden Oak Death Kills a Million California Trees (Washington Post):
Healthy forests are especially important at a time of climate change — they’re an incredible tool to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Dead forests, on the other hand, can light the spark for wildfires, which are already showing a long-predicted uptick in activity.
- New Record Set for World's Cheapest Solar, Now Undercutting Coal (Bloomberg):
Solar power set another record-low price as renewable energy developers working in the United Arab Emirates shrugged off financial turmoil in the industry to promise projects costs that undercut even coal-fired generators.
- Controlling Zika Mosquitoes May Be 'Lost Cause' (USA Today):
Aedes aegypti, the exotically named mosquito that transmits the Zika virus, defies almost everything Americans think they know about mosquitoes, which means that even experts know very little about how to control them.
- Fracking: Environmental Groups Sue EPA, Call For Strict Rules On Waste (Guardian UK):
A coalition of environmental groups sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday to demand a strong uniform standard for the transportation, storage and disposal of frack waste.
- Harvard Scientist, Longtime Solar Skeptic, Now Sees the Light (Bloomberg):
"I was wrong," largely because the fundamentals of solar power have changed...His reversal reflects the steep declines in producing electricity from sunlight. Even without government subsidies, power from large solar farms in some regions is now significantly below $40 a megawatt-hour and is on pace to drop below $20 by 2020, Keith wrote. That would be the cheapest power on the planet.
- Human Extinction Isn't That Unlikely: You're more likely to die from climate change than in a car crash (The Atlantic):
The risk of human extinction due to climate change-or an accidental nuclear war-is much higher than that. The Stern Review, the U.K. government's premier report on the economics of climate change, estimated a 0.1 percent risk of human extinction every year. That may sound low, but it also adds up when extrapolated to century-scale. The Global Challenges Foundation estimates a 9.5 percent chance of human extinction within the next hundred years.
- Oracle buys Opower, and the role of energy data grows (E&E News):
Software giant Oracle Corp. yesterday snapped up energy data company Opower for $532 million, underscoring how important it has become for utilities to give their customers a better digital experience...Opower is famous for introducing a feature on residential power bills that compares one home's electricity usage with another --- a behavioral trigger that propels energy savings.
- Water Scarcity Could Push Conflict, Migration by 2050 (VOA News):
The World Bank outlines a dangerous cycle where "episodes of droughts and floods have generated waves of migration and statistical spikes in violence within countries. In a globalized and connected world, such problems are impossible to quarantine."
- Flooding flushes oil, fracking chemicals into Texas rivers (Austin American-Statesman):
"Cattle that drank the fracking fluid actually died an hour after drinking it. There are potential carcinogens that can lead to leukemia, brain cancer and other endocrine disruptors that can affect premature births."
- Santa Monica Approves Solar Requirement for New Construction (Renewable Energy World):
"In Santa Monica we are moving away from buildings powered by fossil fuels in favor of clean and cost-effective solar energy," Dean Kubani, Santa Monica's sustainability manager, said in an April 28 statement. "This is not only the smart thing to do, it is also imperative if we are to protect our kids and grandkids from the worst effects of climate change."
- 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.
- Warning: Even in the best-case scenario, climate change will kick our asses (Grist)
- NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years: