IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: State of emergency declared for early season wildfires across four states; Trump Administration plans cuts to Coast Guard, FEMA, and Energy Star program; Gulf of Mexico dolphins still suffering effects of 2010 BP oil disaster; PLUS: Pollution is responsible for the deaths of 1.7 million children each year... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): February’s Warmth, Brought to You by Climate Change; Warming may disrupt four-fifths of world's oceans by 2050; White House Pushes for Deep Cuts to Clean Energy Office; Top Environmental Justice Official at EPA Resigns, Pens Plea to Pruitt; Water Rights: Landmark Ruling Lets Tribe Tap Calif. Aquifer; Top Environmental Justice Official at EPA Resigns, Pens Plea to Pruitt; Dying robots, failing hope at Fukushima as clean-up falters; PLUS: Reassessment of Calif. Faults Hints At Possibility Of Major Quake... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- State of emergency declared for early season wildfires across four states:
- VIDEO: Wildfires Kill at Least Six Across Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas (NBC News):
At least six people have been killed and thousands of others have been forced from their homes as wildfires continued raging Tuesday across hundreds of thousands of acres in Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma, authorities confirmed.
- The Latest: Wildfires Prompt Oklahoma Emergency Declaration (US News and World Report):
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency in 22 counties due to wildfires
- VIDEO: Northwestern Oklahoma wildfires continue to wreak havoc (KFOR Oklahoma)
- Trump Administration plans massive cuts to US Coast Guard, FEMA:
- Trump Weighs Cuts to Coast Guard, T.S.A. and FEMA to Bolster Border Plan (NY Times):
The Trump administration is considering deep cuts in the budgets of the Coast Guard, the Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency as it looks for money to ratchet up security along the southern border, according to a person familiar with the administration’s draft budget request.
- Russia to send largest military force to the Arctic since the Cold War amid fears Putin is plotting to seize the entire region and claim its oil and gas reserves (The Sun UK)
- To fund border wall, Trump administration weighs cuts to Coast Guard, airport security (Washington Post)
- Alaska senators say no to Coast Guard cuts proposed by White House (Alaska Dispatch News)
- Bipartisan bloc blasts White House on Coast Guard cuts (Politico)
- Trump Administration proposes massive cuts to FEMA:
- FEMA Disaster Programs at Risk of Major Cuts by Trump (NRDC):
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is facing reductions in funding for its most critical programs. These include reductions of several disaster response and preparedness programs and a complete elimination of funding for floodplain mapping. Taken together, the cuts would severely undermine FEMA’s effectiveness—at a time we need it to be strengthened not weakened...From a climate preparedness and disaster-response perspective, the Trump administration's potential cuts are nothing short of...well, a disaster.
- Imagine How Bad the Republican Budget Could Be. It's Worse. And it's only going to get worse. (Esquire):
This would be madness even under a government that wasn't so full of people invested in denying what's going on with the planet. The climate crisis is going to bring us more bad storms, so let's gut FEMA and the Coast Guard.
- FEMA: More Budget Cuts Could Be Its Own Disaster (Mic)
- Trump Administration budget eliminates Energy Star program that saves consumers billions:
- The Energy Star program is good for the climate and the economy. Trump wants to kill it anyway. (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
The program, which was created in 1992, sets an international standard for energy-efficient products, including heating and cooling systems, appliances, and electronics. Homes and other buildings may also receive Energy Star certification by meeting certain standards for energy efficiency. Since its inception, the Energy Star program says, it has saved consumers an estimated $430 billion on utility bills and avoided 2.7 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. EPA spokeswoman Julia Valentine declined to provide Energy Star’s current budget, noting that the agency is “not commenting” at the moment, but in previous years it’s reportedly hovered around $50 million...Because the program is voluntary, it’s not forcing anyone to participate — and those who do join in see demonstrable financial benefits.
- White House plans to 'close out' Energy Star, other programs (E&E News)
- Trump wants to cut the Energy Star program – and, with it, billions in consumer savings (Environmental Defense Fund)
- -energy-program/business-case">The business case for energy efficiency (EnergyStar.gov)
- Business Will Feel the Pain if Energy Star Is On Trump’s Chopping Block (Environmental Leader)
- The Heritage Foundation has a plan for gutting EPA and the Energy Department. It’s eerily plausible. (Vox)
- Gulf of Mexico dolphins still suffering effects of 2010 BP oil disaster:
- Dolphin Populations Hit by BP Oil Spill Will Take 40 Years to Recover, Report Finds (Oceana):
“The point of the paper is that you’ve got to do more than just count dead bodies after the spill, because the losses of reproductive adults from those populations is basically going to affect the population over decades,” Schwacke said. “That’s why it takes them so long to recover.”
- What the BP spill did, and how scientists figured it out (NOLA):
During the Feb. 6-9 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference in New Orleans, researchers who participated in the Natural Resource Damage Assessment after the 2010 BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico explained how they assessed damage to wildlife and land onshore, in nearshore waters, on the sea floor, in the air and in the water column...Live dolphins within oil spill footprint 5 times more likely to have severe lung disease as compared to reference site.
- Trump’s new Gulf of Mexico oil and gas drilling proposal looks a lot like Obama’s (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
The ecosystem is still feeling the effects, as scientist found hydrocarbons in 90 percent of pelican eggs tested a thousand miles away in Minnesota, a 75 percent mortality rate of the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, a major drop in bottlenose dolphin reproduction and an untold number of fish kills. British Petroleum’s penalty for causing the explosion reached $61.6 billion in July.
- EPA science office removes 'science' from mission statement:
- The Environmental Data and Governance Initiative (EDGI)
- The EPA’s Science Office Removed “Science” From Its Mission Statement (The New Republic):
Before January 30 of this year, the website said those standards were “science-based,” meaning they were based on what peer-reviewed science recommended as safe levels of pollutants for drinking, swimming, or fishing. Since January 30, though, the reference to “science-based” standards has disappeared. Now, the office, instead, says it develops “economically and technologically achievable standards” to address water pollution....Gehrke said she thinks these changes speak to a long-running debate over how polluters should be regulated.
- Pollution is responsible for the deaths of 1.7 million children each year:
- The cost of a polluted environment: 1.7 million child deaths a year, says WHO (World Health Organization):
"A polluted environment is a deadly one -– particularly for young children," WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said in a statement. "Their developing organs and immune systems, and smaller bodies and airways, make them especially vulnerable to dirty air and water."
- Pollution responsible for quarter of deaths of young children, says WHO (Guardian UK):
Toxic air, unsafe water and and lack of sanitation cause the deaths of 1.7 million under-fives every year
- VIDEO: Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO chief: Air pollution link to 600,000 deaths in children (BBC)
- Report: Environmental Hazards Kill 1.7 Million Kids Under 5 Each Year (NPR)
- UK's carbon emissions fall to 20th century levels:
- UK Carbon Emissions Fall to 19th Century Levels as Government Phases Out Coal (Inside Climate News):
The switch to natural gas and a stiff tax on CO2 have helped drop emissions 36% below those in 1990. Will Brexit retard future progress?
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
For a daily round-up of the latest environment and energy news that you can trust, visit the Society of Environmental Journalists headlines page...
- February’s Warmth, Brought to You by Climate Change (Climate Central):
A bonanza of heat records fell throughout February in almost all quarters of the U.S. and research released on Wednesday shows that this pervasive spring-like warmth was made possible by climate change.
- White House Pushes for Deep Cuts to Clean Energy Office (Bloomberg):
The White House is seeking to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the budget of an Energy Department division that has funded technological research in projects ranging from the LED light bulb to plug-in electric trucks, according to people familiar with the plans.
- Reassessment of Calif. Faults Hints At Possibility Of Major Quake (CS Monitor):
Two fault lines previously thought to be separate systems are actually connected, say scientists. Together, they could bring intense shaking to some of Southern California's most populous areas.
- Warming May Disrupt Four-Fifths Of World's Oceans By 2050: Study (Reuters):
Global warming will disrupt four-fifths of the world's oceans by 2050 if greenhouse gas emissions keep rising, threatening fish that are the main source of food for a billion people, scientists said on Tuesday.
- Top Environmental Justice Official at EPA Resigns, Pens Plea to Pruitt (Inside Climate News):
The head of the environmental justice program at the Environmental Protection Agency has stepped down, departing the government with a lengthy letter to Scott Pruitt, the EPA's new administrator, urging him not to kill the agency's programs.
- Water Rights: Landmark Ruling Lets Tribe Tap Calif. Aquifer (E&E News):
A Native American tribe has a legal right to groundwater in Southern California's arid Coachella Valley, a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled yesterday.
- Dying Robots And Failing Hope: Fukushima Clean-Up Falters 6 Years Later (Guardian UK):
Exploration work inside the nuclear plant’s failed reactors has barely begun, with the scale of the task described as ‘almost beyond comprehension’.
- White House proposes steep budget cut to leading climate science agency (Washington Post):
Many scientists warned that the deep cuts at NOAA could hurt safety as well as academic programs. Conrad Lautenbacher, a retired vice admiral who was the NOAA administrator under President George W. Bush, said, "I think the cuts are ill timed given the needs of society, economy and the military." He added, "It will be very hard for NOAA to manage and maintain the kind of services the country requires" with the proposed cuts.
- Climate Deniers, You're Climate Deniers--Deal with It (Scientific American):
The Freuds wrote the playbook, and you're following it to the letter.
- VIDEO: Shell's 1991 warning: climate changing 'at faster rate than at any time since end of ice age' (Guardian UK):
The company's farsighted 1991 film, titled Climate of Concern, set out with crystal clarity how the world was warming and that serious consequences could well result.
- 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