IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Democratic senators grill Trump's EPA pick, while his Interior Department nominee denies scientific consensus on climate change; Obama slips in one more parting gift for the planet; PLUS: It's official - 2016 was the hottest year on record, for the 3rd straight year in a row... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Hottest year ever and Arctic meltdown put the world on the brink of catastrophe; EPA cranks out toxics rules during Obama’s last days in office; Court blocks Dakota Access Pipeline company's attempt to halt further environmental review; Biologists Investigate Deaths Of 82 Stranded Dolphins In Florida; Ice Crack To Put UK Antarctic Base In Shut-Down; Hawaiian Electric's new, new plan to get to 100% renewables; Twilight of Tokyo's legendary fish market... PLUS: Asian electronic waste generation up 63% in 5 years... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Trump DOE nominee Rick Perry literally unclear on the concept:
- 'Learning Curve' as Rick Perry Pursues a Job He Initially Misunderstood (NY times):
When President-elect Donald J. Trump offered Rick Perry the job of energy secretary five weeks ago, Mr. Perry gladly accepted, believing he was taking on a role as a global ambassador for the American oil and gas industry...in fact, if confirmed by the Senate, he would become the steward of a vast national security complex he knew almost nothing about, caring for the most fearsome weapons on the planet, the United States' nuclear arsenal.
- OK Attorney General Scott Pruitt gets grilled by Democratic Senators:
- VIDEO: EPA Administrator Confirmation Hearing (C-SPAN)
- VIDEO: Gillibrand to Pruitt: 'I need you to care about human health' (Washington Post)
- Scott Pruitt, Testifying to Lead E.P.A., Criticizes Environmental Rules (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
Mr. Pruitt addressed climate change directly..."The human ability to measure with precision the extent of that impact is subject to continuing debate and dialogue, as well they should be.” That statement is not consistent with the scientific consensus on climate change.
- Five takeaways from Pruitt's EPA hearing (The Hill)
- Scott Pruitt, Trump's EPA Pick, Backed Industry Donors Over Regulators (NY Times):
A legal fight to clean up tons of chicken manure fouling the waters of Oklahoma's bucolic northeastern corner - much of it from neighboring Arkansas - was in full swing six years ago when the conservative lawyer Scott Pruitt took office as Oklahoma's attorney general. His response: Put on the brakes.
- Trump’s EPA nominee took credit for a case that started years before he took office (Climate Progress)
- Ryan Zinke supports public lands, but questions 'man-made' climate change:
- VIDEO: Interior Secretary Confirmation Hearing, Part 1 (C-SPAN)
- VIDEO: Interior Secretary Confirmation Hearing, Part 2 (C-SPAN)
- Can Ryan Zinke balance conservation and development as interior secretary? (The Conversation):
While some conservation groups are cautiously optimistic that they can work with Zinke, others are worried about his support for fossil fuel production on public lands and his position on other key environmental issues. From our experience analyzing past controversies over public land use in the West under Republican administrations, these worries are justified.
- The GOP's Favorite Climate Excuse Makes a Comeback in the Trump Administration: Ryan Zinke is not a scientist. (Mother Jones
- Will the real Ryan Zinke please stand up? (Denver Post):
When Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to run the Department of the Interior, gets his confirmation hearing Tuesday, Westerners will find out which Ryan Zinke plans to show up for the job: Will it be the Ryan Zinke who says he will defend our public lands, or the Ryan Zinke who votes to undermine them?
- Poll: Majority of Americans support EPA, public lands:
- Unlike Trump, Americans want strong environmental regulator (Reuters):
More than 60 percent of Americans would like to see the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's powers preserved or strengthened under incoming President Donald Trump, and the drilling of oil on public lands to hold steady or drop, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday.
- It's official: 2016 hottest year on record, for 3rd year in a row:
- Earth Sets a Temperature Record for the Third Straight Year (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
In reality, the Earth is heating up, a point long beyond serious scientific dispute, but one becoming more evident as the records keep falling. Temperatures are heading toward levels that many experts believe will pose a profound threat to both the natural world and to human civilization.
- 2016 hottest year ever recorded and scientists say human activity to blame; Final data confirms record-breaking temperatures for third year in a row. Earth has not been this warm for 115,000 years (Guardian UK)
- U.S. scientists officially declare 2016 the hottest year on record. That makes three in a row. (Washington Post)
- How 2016 Became EarthsHottest Year on Record (NY Times)
- Climate Disasters Cost U.S. $46 Billion as Flooding Leads List (Bloomberg)
- Obama slips in another parting gift to the world:
- Barack Obama transfers $500m to Green Climate Fund in attempt to protect Paris deal (Guardian UK):
New instalment leaves $2bn owing, with Donald Trump expected to cease any further payments...The money is being drawn from the state department, the same way that the first transfer was, allowing it to be done using executive powers without congressional support.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Hottest year ever and Arctic meltdown put the world on the brink of catastrophe (Climate Progress):
The Trump presidency may kill our last chance to avoid the worst...“The fact that we’re punching at the ceiling every year now, that is the real indicator that we’re undergoing big changes,” said Deke Arndt, NOAA’s chief of global climate monitoring.
- EPA cranks out toxics rules during Obama’s last days in office (C&EN):
Chemical regulation: EPA cranks out toxics rules during Obama’s last days in office
- The twilight of Tokyo's legendary fish market (bbc):
As tuna stocks continue to decline, a key Japanese fish market works to stay current.
- Tribe applauds further review of Dakota Access (Bismarck Tribune)
- Biologists Investigate Deaths Of 82 Stranded Dolphins In Florida (Reuters):
Biologists were on Monday investigating the death of dozens of false killer whales that became stranded in Florida's Everglades National Park over the weekend, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said.
- Ice Crack To Put UK Antarctic Base In Shut-Down (BBC):
The British Antarctic Survey is to pull all staff out of its space-age Halley base in March for safety reasons.
- Republican Who Led EPA Urges Confronting Trump on Climate (Yale e360):
William K. Reilly, who was head of the Environmental Protection Agency under President George H.W. Bush, is blunt in his assessment of the climate change deniers and anti-regulatory hawks who have been nominated to fill many of President-elect Donald J. Trump’s top environmental posts. Reilly, a Republican, looks with special alarm upon Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, nominated to run the EPA.
- Canada vows action on mercury contamination in Grassy Narrows (Toronto Star):
The Chief of Grassy Narrows First Nation is asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to commit in writing to cleaning up the mercury that has contaminated the river near his community. Late Monday, a spokesperson for Trudeau said the federal government will take action to deal with the Grassy Narrows mercury contamination 'once and for all.'
- Third time's the charm? Inside Hawaiian Electric's new, new plan to get to 100% renewables (Utility Dive):
Stakeholders applaud the move away from LNG but question the costs and HECO’s vision
- UN report: Asian e-waste generation up 63% in 5 years (Waste Dive):
The new in-depth report studied waste generated across 12 countries in the East and Southeast.
- Wisconsin Tribe Votes to Evict Oil Pipeline From Its Reservation (InsideClimate News):
Bad River Band of Chippewa Indians cites successful Dakota Access opposition for decision to end right-of-way lease for Enbridge Line 5 pipeline.
- No country on Earth is taking the 2 degree climate target seriously (Vox):
If we mean what we say, no more new fossil fuels, anywhere.
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page