IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Trump promises to bring back coal jobs by dismantling Obama's climate policies; The world is moving swiftly away from coal, report finds; Flame retardant chemicals found in the Great Lakes; Wind energy blows past another milestone in Europe; PLUS: Across the entire country, wildfire season off to a ferocious early start... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Farm Policy in Age of Climate Change Creating Another Dust Bowl, Critics Say; The Arctic Just Set Another Grim Record For Low Levels Of Sea Ice; California May Face 'Significant Risk' From Dam; Trump's Environmental Spending Cuts Could Cost Republican Districts Billions; Judge Orders Exxon to Turn Over Tillerson's 'Wayne Tracker' Climate Emails; Senate Votes To Lift Limits On Hunting Alaska Grizzlies, Wolves On Fed Land; Brazil Activist Shot Dead By Gunmen While Recovering In Hospital... PLUS: Driverless Future?: If they ever get the bugs out, autonomous cars will put a lot of human drivers out of work... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Trump promises to bring back coal jobs by dismantling Obama's climate policies:
- Trump Lays Plans to Reverse Obama's Climate Change Legacy (NY Times):
While the White House is not expected to explicitly say the United States is withdrawing from the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, and people familiar with the White House deliberations say Mr. Trump has not decided whether to do so, the policy reversals would make it virtually impossible to meet the emissions reduction goals set by the Obama administration under the international agreement...Mr. Trump will order Mr. Pruitt to withdraw and rewrite a set of Obama-era regulations known as the Clean Power Plan, according to a draft document obtained by The New York Times.
- Trump touts new executive action to 'save coal jobs' (Reuters):
"As we speak we are preparing new executive actions to save our coal industry and to save our wonderful coal miners from continuing to be put out of work. The miners are coming back," Trump told a rally in Louisville, Kentucky, without providing any details.
- Trump Repeal of Climate Rules Means US Paris Target Now Out of Reach (Inside Climate News):
The U.S. would have had to ramp up its climate ambitions to help slow global warming to the 2 degrees C goal, but under Trump, it's going in the opposite direction.
- To Protect Climate Money, Obama Stashed It Where It's Hard to Find (Bloomberg)
- Two Ohio coal plants slated to shut down:
- Two Ohio coal-fired plants to close, deepening industry decline (Reuters):
Dayton Power & Light, a subsidiary of The AES Corporation, said in an emailed statement that it planned to close the J.M. Stuart and Killen plants by June 2018 because they would not be "economically viable beyond mid-2018." Coal demand has flagged in recent years due to competition from cheap and plentiful natural gas.
- It's official: Two Ohio DP&L coal plants to close (Dayton Business Journal):
"Along with our co-owners of the plants, we have completed a thorough review of our options and it has become clear that, without significant changes in market conditions, the plants will not be economically viable beyond mid-2018..."
- Milestone 250th and 251st American Coal Plants Announce Retirement (Sierra Club)
- The world is moving swiftly away from coal:
- Coal In 'Freefall' As New Power Plants Dive By Two-Thirds (Guardian):
The amount of new coal power being built around the world fell by nearly two-thirds last year, prompting campaigners to claim the polluting fossil fuel was in freefall.
- REPORT: Boom and Bust 2017: Tracking the Global Coal Plant Pipeline (EndCoal.org)
- Report: Climate Outlook Improves As Fewer Coal Plants Built Worldwide (AP)
- The global coal boom finally seems to be winding down (David Roberts, Vox):
[A] great deal changed in 2016. Though the big picture remains daunting, the shift from last year to this year is fairly astonishing. It offers a ray of hope.
- China, India Led Slowdown in Coal Power Development, Study Says (Bloomberg)
- Wildfire season off to an early and ferocious start in US:
- U.S. sees furious start to the wildfire season (USA Today):
Wildfires have charred a whopping 2 million acres across the U.S. so far this year, an area larger than the state of Delaware. It's a gigantic number for so early in the season, roughly 10 times the average and also the most acres burned as of mid-March since 2006.
- National Interagency Fire Center Year-to-date statistics (NIFC.gov)
- Did You Even Hear About These Crazy Wildfires in the Midwest? (Mother Jones):
Science says a warming climate means more wildfires in southern plain states-which are all governed by deniers.
- Flame retardant chemicals found in the Great Lakes:
- New Flame Retardant Threat Documented In Great Lakes (Great Lakes Echo):
A flame retardant has been discovered in sediment of the Great Lakes for the first time, and researchers say it may be here to stay.
- Toxic flame retardants still plaguing the Great Lakes, says international body (MLive)
- Flame Retardants: How chemical companies and Big Tobacco waged deceptive campaigns that put toxic chemicals into your home (Chicago Tribune)
- Study: Flame retardants found in moms, kids (Chicago Tribune, 8/4/2014)
- Toxic Chemicals: Why Cancer Is Killing Boston’s Firefighters (Boston Magazine):
Turns out the deadliest part about being one of our city’s rescuers isn’t running into a burning building.
- Wind energy provides 1/5th of Europe's electricity last weekend:
- Super Saturday: Wind provided 1/5 of Europe's electricity yesterday! (Sustainable 2050)
- Europe Wind Energy Statistics (WindEurope.org)
- U.S. emissions drop to lowest level since 1992:
- CO2 emissions stay same for third year in row – despite global economy growing (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
International Energy Agency report puts halt in emissions from energy down to growth in renewable power...US emissions are at their lowest level since 1992, while the economy has grown 80% since that time...Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s executive director, said: “These three years of flat emissions in a growing global economy signal an emerging trend and that is certainly a cause for optimism, even if it is too soon to say that global emissions have definitely peaked."
- Economy grows as CO2 emissions drop, making mockery of Trump climate policy (Climate Progress):
GDP growth decouples from carbon pollution, thanks to efficiency, natural gas, and renewables.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
For a comprehensive roundup of daily environmental news you can trust, see the Society of Environmental Journalists' Daily Headlines page
- Farm Policy in Age of Climate Change Creating Another Dust Bowl, Critics Say (Inside Climate News):
The last Farm Bill contained incentives for farmers to keep planting on degraded land, setting up potential environmental catastrophe.
- Brazil Activist Shot Dead By Gunmen While Recovering In Hospital (BBC):
A prominent land rights activist has been shot dead by five gunmen at a hospital in Brazil where he was recovering from a previous assassination attempt.
- Driverless Future?: If they ever get the bugs out, autonomous cars will put a lot of human drivers out of work. (American Prospect):
Also, what role should government take to help the millions of truck drivers, taxi drivers, and others who might lose their jobs, or should these displaced workers be left to fend for themselves? Should society require the winners from this new technology—most likely some giant corporations and the consuming public—to somehow share their gains with the losers, perhaps through some special levy on these new vehicles to finance programs to help the losers?
- California May Face 'Significant Risk' From Dam (AP):
California is courting a 'very significant risk' if a damaged spillway on the nation's tallest dam is not operational by the next rainy season, and the state's plan for the work leaves no time for any delays, a team of safety experts has warned in a report obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.
- Warnings over children's health as recycled e-waste comes back as plastic toys (Guardian UK):
A trend towards using plastic parts in electrical and electronic goods is causing a headache for the recycling industry
- The Arctic Just Set Another Grim Record For Low Levels Of Sea Ice (Washington Post):
Floating sea ice at the top of the world has set another troubling record for its low spatial extent, shattering a prior record set just two years ago for this key component of the planet’s climate system.
- Senate Votes To Lift Limits On Hunting Alaska Grizzlies, Wolves On Fed Land (Washington Post):
The Senate voted Tuesday to abolish a rule restricting specific hunting practices on national wildlife refuges in Alaska — including trapping, baiting and aerial shooting — on the grounds that state officials should be able to set the terms for wildlife conservation on public land within their own borders.
- Judge Orders Exxon to Turn Over Tillerson's 'Wayne Tracker' Climate Emails (Inside Cliamte News):
A deadline of March 31 is set for Tillerson's alias emails to be given to New York's attorney general, along with an explanation why they were withheld.
- Trump's Words Could Jeopardize His Environmental Rollbacks, Too (Bloomberg):
President Donald Trump’s words may come back to haunt him in court as he moves to roll back regulations that fight climate change, just as they did when he tried to ban travel from six predominantly Muslim countries.
- Trump's Environmental Spending Cuts Could Cost Republican Districts Billions (Bloomberg):
President Donald Trump's cuts to environmental programs may face resistance from members of his own party due to an Obama administration practice that spread billions of dollars in contracts to Republican as well as Democratic congressional districts.
- The Wonder Material That May Make Spray-On Solar PV Reality (Bloomberg):
Imagine a future when solar cells can be sprayed or printed onto the windows of skyscrapers or atop sports utility vehicles --- and at prices potentially far cheaper than today's silicon-based panels.
- Climate Deniers, You're Climate Deniers--Deal with It (Scientific American):
The Freuds wrote the playbook, and you're following it to the letter.
- 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