IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Hundreds dead and missing as historic rains cause catastrophic flooding in Colombia; Flint, MI residents force state to begin replacing lead-tainted water lines; Blue states take on Trump over energy efficiency standards; Coal pollution linked to high risk of low birth-weight babies; PLUS: New data shows Arby's and car washes employ more people than the US coal industry... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): What happens if the EPA is stripped of its power to fight climate change?; Greenland's Coastal Ice Passed a Climate Tipping Point 20 Years Ago; Tesla races past Ford in market value, puts GM in headlights; Even Fox News slams EPA chief’s climate denial; U.S. Kids Have Higher Autism Risk Under New EPA Rule; NY Judge Tosses Exxon Challenge to Climate Change Investigations - For Now; Standing Rock's Pipeline Fight Brought Hope, Then More Misery; New EPA Documents Reveal Even Deeper Proposed Cuts To Staff, Programs... PLUS: 'Nightmare' Yurok Salmon Fishery Collapse... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Trump donates 1st quarter salary to National Park Service that he plans to cut:
- Don’t be fooled by Trump’s National Park Service photo-op (Climate Progress):
Sean Spicer made a big show of handing over the president’s salary, but his budget slashes the Department of the Interior by 12 percent.
- Trump Donates Salary To National Parks Even As He Tries To Cut Interior Department (NPR):
"If Donald Trump is actually interested in helping our parks, he should stop trying to slash their budgets to historically low levels," said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. "America's parks, and the people and economies they support, need real funding, not a giant fake check. Parks.
- Hundreds killed by catastrophic floods in Colombia, South America:
- Flood-stricken city in Colombia mourns as death toll climbs (AP)
- Deadly Colombian Landslides Blamed on Climate Change (Weather Channel)
- Mudslide in Colombia May Portend El Niño Chaos (National Geographic):
Coastal El Niño impacting Peru–and now perhaps Colombia–may predict a stronger El Niño later this year.
- Meteorology of Saturday's Colombian Flood Disaster That Killed 254 (Weather Underground):
President Juan Manuel Santos blamed climate change for triggering the flood, and he has a point—increased evaporation from warming oceans have caused a significant rise in atmospheric water vapor and very heavy rainfall events like the Mocoa event in recent decades.
- Environmental groups oppose confirmation of Judge Gorusch to Supreme Court:
- How Neil Gorsuch could rein in regulators like the EPA and the FCC (Vox)
- How Trump's Supreme Court Pick Quietly Wipes Out Environmental Cases (Mother Jones)
- Oppose Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump's Nominee for the Supreme Court (Sierra Club)
- Sierra Club buying ad to target Gorsuch vote (The Hill)
- Predicting How Neil Gorsuch Would Rule on Environmental Issues (Legal Planet)
- Supreme Court nominee Gorsuch willing to limit environmental groups in land cases (AP)
- Flint, MI: Judge approves settlement to begin replacing lead-tainted water system:
- Flint’s Lead Pipes Will Be Replaced Under Settlement in Federal Safe Drinking Water Case (NRDC):
Citizen suit brings funding and timeline for pipe replacement, more water quality testing, transparency, and other resources to help Flint...The agreement requires the State of Michigan to provide nearly $100 million to the City for replacement of Flint’s lead service lines. The agreement also requires the State to maintain a door-to-door water filter installation and education program, to extensively monitor Flint’s tap water for lead, and to continue to make bottled water available to Flint residents.
- Judge Approves $97 Million Settlement To Replace Flint's Water Lines (NPR)
- Michigan, Flint to replace 18,000 lead-tainted water lines (AP)
- Environmental law groups mobilize against Trump anti-environment agenda:
- The standoff between Trump and green groups just boiled into war (Washington Post)
- Keystone XL: Environmental and Native Groups Sue to Halt Pipeline (Inside Climate News):
Native American groups as well as environmental advocates are challenging the State Department's approval, based on its about-face on the environmental impact...The Sierra Club, Northern Plains Resource Council, Bold Alliance, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth and the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a federal lawsuit in Montana on Thursday, challenging the State Department's border-crossing permit and related environmental reviews and approvals. The suit came on the heels of a related suit against the State Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service filed by the Indigenous Environmental Network and North Coast Rivers Alliance in the same court on Monday.
- New York, other states take on Trump over energy efficiency (Reuters)
- Ceiling-fan efficiency provokes 1st lawsuit against Trump Energy Secretary (Ars Technica)
- Attorney General Schneiderman Announces Lawsuit And Other Legal Action Against Trump Administration For Illegally Blocking Cost-Saving, Pollution-Cutting Energy Efficiency Standards (Office of the NY Attorney General):
Over this same period, the Appliance Standard Awareness Project estimates that the efficiency standards would together save over 443 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity – the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of over 36 million households. The DOE itself estimates that the six standards would provide net savings to consumers and businesses of approximately $23.8 billion.
- Air pollution linked to low birth weight babies in downwind communities:
- Wealth didn’t matter. Pollution from a coal-fired plant, carried miles by wind, still hurt their babies. (Washington Post):
New research released Monday documents the impact that pollution from a coal-fired plant in Pennsylvania had on four wealthy New Jersey counties as far as 30 miles downwind. Women in those counties had a greater risk of having babies of low or very low birthweight — less than 5½ pounds — than did women in similarly affluent areas.
- Coal-fired power plants linked to low birth weights in downwind communities: If there is a war on coal, it’s a war for health. (Climate Progress):
The study’s findings are a direct rebuke to opponents of the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which was released in 2008 and upheld by the Supreme Court in 2014.
- Arby's employs more people than the entire coal industry:
- The entire coal industry employs fewer people than Arby’s (Washington Post):
Another largely overlooked point about coal jobs is that there just aren't that many of them relative to other industries...Although 76,000 might seem like a large number, consider that similar numbers of people are employed by, say, the bowling (69,088) and skiing (75,036) industries. Other dwindling industries, such as travel agencies (99,888 people), employ considerably more. Used-car dealerships provide 138,000 jobs. Theme parks provide nearly 144,000. Carwash employment tops 150,000.
'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
- What happens if the EPA is stripped of its power to fight climate change? (Climate Progress):
If Congress passes a law banning the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide, climate action will go to the courts...Every year since 2009, a member of Congress has introduced a bill aimed at revoking or delaying the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases...The landscape is different now. Republicans control both chambers of Congress and the White House.
- Greenland's Coastal Ice Passed a Climate Tipping Point 20 Years Ago, Study Says (Inside Climate News)
- Tesla races past Ford in market value, puts GM in headlights (Climate Progress):
Elon Musk makes a move into China as Trump makes a move against electric cars.
- VIDEO: Even Fox News slams EPA chief’s climate denial: ‘All kinds of studies contradict you’ (Climate Progress):
Chris Wallace utterly debunks Scott Pruitt’s lies about the central role carbon pollution plays in warming.
- These U.S. Kids Have Higher Autism Risk Under New EPA Rule (Bloomberg):
Scott Pruitt’s rejection of an organophosphates ban may endanger the children of those who harvest produce.
- Deadline Up, Families Remain in Lead-Contaminated Housing in Indiana (NY Times):
Dozens of families remained at a lead-contaminated public housing complex in northwest Indiana despite a Friday target date to move them out so the city could tear down the buildings.
- NY Judge Tosses Exxon Challenge to Climate Change Investigations For Now (Inside Climate News):
A lawsuit by ExxonMobil seeking to block climate change fraud investigations by the attorneys general of Massachusetts and New York has been dismissed—at least for now. The ruling came from the New York federal judge who took over the case last week after a judge in Texas transferred it to her jurisdiction.
- Standing Rock's Pipeline Fight Brought Hope, Then More Misery (Inside Climate News):
Every day is a test of endurance on the [Standing Rock Sioux] reservation, which encompasses 3,600 square miles of windswept prairie in North and South Dakota. Freezing in winter, baking in summer, the reservation's residents brave the elements in clusters of trailer parks and prefabricated homes. Some 40 percent of its 8,200 people live below the poverty line. Like other Native American communities, Standing Rock suffers from high rates of unemployment, alcoholism and suicide. The health care system is a shambles, and housing is so scarce that multiple families often cram into a single dwelling.
- New EPA Documents Reveal Even Deeper Proposed Cuts To Staff, Programs (Washington Post):
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a new, more detailed plan for laying off 25 percent of its employees and scrapping 56 programs including pesticide safety, water runoff control, and environmental cooperation with Mexico and Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
- 'Nightmare' Yurok Salmon Fishery Collapse (Indian Country Today):
The number of Chinook salmon predicted to return to the Klamath River on the California-Oregon border this fall fishing season is around 11,000 fish. That is the lowest number in recorded history. Coho salmon is already listed under the Endangered Species Act in California and Oregon.
- Trump’s climate rollback could cost taxpayers billions (Climate Progress):
Climate change will harm more than just the environment — it will be an economic disaster. The consequences of climate change — more intense precipitation events, longer and more destructive wildfire seasons, increased risk of drought or flooding, sea level rise — will harm plants and wildlife, but they will also damage crops, reduce availability of natural resources, and destroy infrastructure. Economic studies that seek to quantify the cost of climate change have found figures ranging from $180 billion for just the United States to $400 trillion globally by the end of the century.
- 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