IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Two-thirds of Great Barrier Reef now fighting for its life; Trump EPA plans to dismantle programs that protect kids from lead paint; EPA also plans to eliminate its vehicle testing program and climate adaptation division; PLUS: California's historic drought is officially over, but conservation measures remain in place... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): What’s at Stake in Trump’s Proposed E.P.A. Cuts; VIDEO: No More Ducking the Duck: Negative Electricity Pricing Comes to America; A black community in Oakland says pollution is violating its civil rights; Neil Gorsuch will be bad news for the environment; An Armada of Icebergs Has Just Invaded The North Atlantic; Native American entrepreneurs building a better fishery in PacNW; More Than 100 Florida Wildfires Scorch State; Gag Order Keeps Oregon From Telling Public About Cancer-Causing Pollutant... PLUS: U.S. Scuppers G7 Bid To Find Joint Stance On Energy And Climate.... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Two-thirds of Great Barrier Reef severely bleached, fighting for its life:
- VIDEO: Great Barrier Reef at 'terminal stage': scientists despair at latest coral bleaching data (Guardian UK):
'Last year was bad enough, this is a disaster,' says one expert as Australia Research Council finds fresh damage across 8,000km....Back-to-back severe bleaching events have affected two-thirds of Australia's Great Barrier Reef, new aerial surveys have found. The findings have caused alarm among scientists, who say the proximity of the 2016 and 2017 bleaching events is unprecedented for the reef, and will give damaged coral little chance to recover.
- The Great Barrier Reef's safety net is becoming more complex but less effective (The Conversation, Australia)
- Scientists despair as more bleaching kills huge tracts of the Great Barrier Reef (UK Courier-Mail):
Marine biologist James Kerry said bleached corals were not necessarily dead..."It takes at least a decade for a full recovery of even the fastest growing corals, so mass bleaching events 12 months apart offers zero prospect of recovery for reefs that were damaged in 2016," Dr Kelly said.
- Only an End to Global Warming Can Save the Great Barrier Reef (Wired):
The research, authored by 46 scientists and published in Nature, raises serious questions about Australia's long-term conservation plan for its famous reef, which invests heavily in lifting water quality but is silent on climate-change action.
- What is coral bleaching? (NOAA)
- How global warming is driving mass coral bleaching (Skeptical Science)
- California's historic drought officially over (mostly), but conservation remains in place:
- California's drought is officially over, Gov. Jerry Brown says (Sacramento Bee)
- California's Drought May Be Over, But Its Water Troubles Aren't (The New Yorker)
- California governor: Drought over, conservation must go on (AP)
- California's drought ends (at least for now) in a blaze of wildflower glory so intense it's visible from space (Discover Magazine)
- EPA plans to cut programs that protect kids from lead paint:
- Trump EPA Moves To Dismantle Programs That Protect Kids From Lead Paint (Washington Post):
The proposed cuts, outlined in a 64-page budget memo revealed by The Washington Post on Friday, would roll back programs aimed at reducing lead risks by $16.61 million and more than 70 employees, in line with a broader project by the Trump administration to devolve responsibility for environmental and health protection to state and local governments.
- Rollback of EPA's lead-paint efforts chills state officials (Portland Press-Herald):
"It's very shortsighted and would be tragic, and we will pay the price for it eventually," said Dr. Dora Anne Mills, vice president for clinical affairs at the University of New England and a former director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. "Any cost savings now will be paid for manyfold later when we're taking care of more children and adults who are lead poisoned, because it can cause lifelong disabilities."
- Lead Exposure Alters Course Of Children's Lives Decades Later: Study (Washington Post):
Children with elevated blood-lead levels at age 11 ended up as adults with lower cognitive function and lower-status occupations than their parents, according to new research that offers one of the clearest looks yet at the potential long-term health impact of the potent neurotoxin.
- EPA plans to eliminate vehicle testing program and climate adaptation program:
- U.S. Would Slash EPA Vehicle Testing Budget Under Trump Plan (Reuters):
The Trump administration would virtually eliminate federal funding for the Environmental Protection Agency's budget for vehicle emissions and fuel economy testing but will seek to raise fees on industry to pay for some testing, a government document shows.
- Report: The EPA just shut down its most significant climate safety programs (Business Insider)
- EPA shutting down climate adaptation program (The Hill)
- Majority of Americans disapprove of Trump's environmental policies:
- Most Americans Oppose Climate Science Cuts: 59 percent of voters want the U.S. to do more to address global warming (Scientific American)
- Quinnipiac Poll: 61 per cent of Americans disapprove of Trump's handling of the environment (Quinnipiac University)"
Disapprove 61 - 29 percent of the way he is handling the environment;
Disapprove 48 - 41 percent of the way he is handling the economy;
Disapprove 58 - 33 percent of the way he is handling foreign policy;
Disapprove 49 - 42 percent of the way he is handling terrorism
- Science teachers reject Heartland Institute's climate-denial teaching materials:
- Climate Change Skeptic Group Seeks to Influence 200,000 Teachers (Frontline PBS):
"It's not science, but it's dressed up to look like science," said NCSE executive director Ann Reid. "It's clearly intended to confuse teachers."
- Educators Decry Conservative Group's Climate 'Propaganda' Sent to Schoolteachers (Inside Climate News):
The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), a professional organization representing 55,000 teachers nationwide, sent a letter to its members [PDF] calling on them to resist what they characterized as an "unprecedented attack."
- A political organization that doubts climate science is sending this book to 200,000 teachers (Washington Post)
- Climate Change-Deniers 'Spam' Thousands Of Teachers With Anti-Global Warming Packages (Huffington Post):
"After teaching about climate change all day, it was kind that the Heartland Institute, an organization funded by petroleum, sent me this."
'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
- U.S. Scuppers G7 Bid To Find Joint Stance On Energy And Climate (Reuters):
The U.S. administration of Donald Trump on Monday scuppered efforts by the Group of Seven industrialized countries to reach a common stance on energy when it asked for more time to work out its policies on climate change.
- What’s at Stake in Trump’s Proposed E.P.A. Cuts (NY Times):
What is at stake as Congress considers the E.P.A. budget? Far more than climate change.
- VIDEO: No More Ducking the Duck: Negative Electricity Pricing Comes to America (Climate Crocks):
Note: not just California. Deep Red Texas is rapidly sliding into the Renewable age.
- A black community in Oakland says pollution is violating its civil rights. (Grist):
Residents of West Oakland charge in a federal civil rights complaint filed last week that diesel emissions around the Port of Oakland are compromising their health. They experience higher incidence of asthma (particularly in young children), increased risk of heart disease and cancer, and a life expectancy that’s nine years shorter than in more affluent pockets of the city.
- You can expect Neil Gorsuch to be bad news for the environment. (Grist):
He has argued that courts should not necessarily defer to federal agencies’ interpretations of ambiguous laws, Vermont Law School Professor Patrick Parenteau recently wrote in Grist.
- An Armada of Icebergs Has Just Invaded The North Atlantic (Robert Scribbler):
"I have about a decade of experience with the Ice Patrol, and in my time here, and talking with people who have been here longer, I've never seen anything like this or heard of anything like this before," - Gabrielle McGrath Coast Guard Commander of the US Ice Patrol.
- Judge halts timber sale near Crater Lake for second time (OR Stateman Journal):
A lawsuit brought by two environmental groups successfully halted a logging project in Southern Oregon for a second time.
- Native Americans caught salmon here for millennia. Now the world is hooked. (Grist):
Native American entrepreneurs are building a better fishery for four tribes in the Pacific Northwest.
- Peabody Energy's Bankruptcy Shows the Limits of "Clean Coal" (MIT Technology Review):
Peabody Energy, the world's largest private-sector coal producer, filed for bankruptcy Wednesday after a long decline in prices and demand for coal in the U.S. When I spoke to Peabody CEO (now executive chairman) Greg Boyce in his St. Louis office two years ago, he enthusiastically detailed the two strategies that would send Peabody to greater heights: sending coal to China and building so-called "clean coal" plants.
- More Than 100 Florida Wildfires Scorch State, A Sign Of How Dry We Are (Tampa Bay Times):
Last year Florida was waterlogged. This year Florida is on fire. More than 100 active wildfires are burning across the state right now, according to the Florida Forest Service. Twenty-seven of them are scorching more than 100 acres each.
- Global Warming Could Thaw Far More Permafrost Than Expected, Study Says (Inside Climate News):
More than 40 percent of the world's permafrost—landscape covered in frozen soil—is at risk of thawing even if the world succeeds in limiting global warming to the international goal of 2 degrees Celsius, according to a new study.
- Gag Order Keeps Oregon From Telling Public About Cancer-Causing Pollutant (Oregon Live):
Oregon officials think they've found high levels of a cancer-causing chemical in the air near a Lebanon battery parts maker, but a judge won't let them say a word about it. Linn County Circuit Court Judge Thomas A. McHill on Friday agreed to Entek International's request for what appears to be an unprecedented gag order against state environmental and health regulators. Entek would be "irreparably harmed" if the regulators told the public about the preliminary finding, McHill wrote.
- Coal Ash Pollution Threatens Groundwater At Western Kentucky Power Plant (WFPL):
The black water — which state regulators described as having a “very pronounced unpleasant odor” — had arsenic levels that exceed the federal standard by nearly a thousand times. Regulators say it’s possible the pollution has been seeping from the landfill for more than a decade, eventually making its way into the Green River and potentially contaminating the groundwater.
- Analysis: Just four years left of the 1.5C carbon budget (Carbon Brief):
Four years of current emissions would be enough to blow what's left of the carbon budget for a good chance of keeping global temperature rise to 1.5C.
- 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