IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: North Carolina's request for disaster relief denied; April 2017 the second hottest April on record for the planet; US Secretary of State Tillerson signs climate change declaration; PLUS: US military warns of national security impacts of climate change --- again... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Trump is America's experiment in having no government; DAPL pipeline has no spill response plan for Standing Rock; Regulatory Accountability Act is bad for science; Obama's Clean Power Plan face news battle in court; EPA unfazed by strong case against pesticide; Trump Country is flooding, and climate ideas are shifting; Mexico enlists dolphins to help save endangered tiny porpoise... PLUS: China and India set to reach climate goals early... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- North Carolina request for disaster funding denied:
- VIDEO: 99 percent of Hurricane Matthew aid requested by NC denied by Trump administration (WNCN):
North Carolina will receive only $6.1 million from the Trump administration. That's 99 percent less than the requested amount.
- April 2017 the 2nd hottest April on record:
- Warm Arctic Fuels Second-Warmest April on Record (Climate Central):
An unusually warm Arctic spring fueled the second-hottest April on record globally, with global warming and unusual weather conspiring to shrink sea ice and push up polar temperatures.
- Arctic Council: U.S. Sec. State Tillerson signs climate change declaration:
- Tillerson, at Arctic meeting, signs document affirming need for action on climate change (LA Times):
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed his name Thursday to a document that affirms the need for international action against climate change, adding further uncertainty to the direction of climate policy under the Trump administration.
- U.S. intelligence community warns of climate change national security impacts --- again:
- Intelligence community to Trump: When it comes to global warming, you're wrong (Climate Central):
"This warming is projected to fuel more intense and frequent extreme weather events that will be distributed unequally in time and geography. Countries with large populations in coastal areas are particularly vulnerable to tropical weather events and storm surges, especially in Asia and Africa," the report states.
- Ohio: DAPL company fined for 18 pollution violations in 7 weeks:
- Dakota Pipeline Builder Under Fire for Ohio Spill: 8 Violations in 7 Weeks (Inside Climate News):
U.S. regulators halted construction at new sites on an Ohio pipeline after several million gallons of drilling mud coated important state wetlands.
- Energy Transfer Partners Fined $431,000 for Rover Pipeline Spills (EcoWatch):
Construction of Energy Transfer Partners' new Rover Pipeline only began mid-February but the project has already resulted in 18 incidents involving mud spills from drilling, stormwater pollution and open burning that violated the Clean Air Act.
- U.S. blocks major pipeline after 18 leaks and a 2 million gallon spill of drilling mud (Washington Post):
The pipeline regulator blocked Energy Transfer Partners, which also built the controversial Dakota Access pipeline, from starting horizontal drilling in eight areas where drilling has not yet begun. In other areas, where the company has already begun horizontal drilling, the FERC said drilling could continue.
- Wind energy booming around the world:
- Full tilt: giant offshore wind farm opens in North Sea (Guardian UK):
Gemini windpark off the coast of the Netherlands will eventually meet the energy needs of about 1.5 million people, according to its owners.
- Maryland regulators OK nation's largest offshore wind plan (AP):
Those projects significantly outrank by size the nation's sole offshore wind farm known as Block Island off Rhode Island. That farm, which is owned by Deepwater Wind, has only five turbines and a 30-megawatt capacity. US Wind's proposal is to build 62 turbines between 12 and 15 nautical miles offshore to generate 248 megawatts. It will cost an estimated $1.4 billion to build. Skipjack's plan is for 15 turbines between 17 and 21 miles offshore to produce 120 megawatts. It will cost about $720 million to build.
- U.S. Wind Energy Installations Surge: A New Turbine Rises Every 2.4 Hours (Inside Climate News):
The wind power industry just chalked up its strongest first quarter in eight years. Tax credits play an important role.
'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
- Dakota Pipeline Is Ready for Oil, Without Spill Response Plan for Standing Rock (Inside Climate News):
Without a complete emergency plan or equipment, a spill at the Missouri River crossing could cause tremendous damage to the environment and the tribe's water.
- Donald Trump Is America's Experiment in Having No Government (Foreign Policy Magazine) [emphasis added]:
Yes, it seems scary. But it's all in the name of science...[I]f you think like a scientist, you will see things differently. You'll see that the United States of America has developed an excellent fourth grade science fair project. This project is called "A Four-Year Experiment in Not Having a Government."
- 5 Reasons Why the Regulatory Accountability Act is Bad for Science (Union of Concerned Scientists):
It imposes significant (and new) burdensome requirements on every single federal agency...requires agencies to finalize the most “cost effective” rule...a backdoor attempt to put the interests of regulated industries ahead of the public interest...the Portman RAA weakens the ability of agencies to implement these laws by rewriting the entire process by which safeguards for Americans are enacted.
- >Obama’s Clean Power Plan Faces Newest Legal Showdown (Inside Climate News):
The litigious factions wrangling over the Clean Power Plan jockeyed for position in legal briefs filed at a federal appeals court on Monday, trying to gain tactical advantage as the Trump administration seeks to undo the Obama-era rule on climate change pollution from electric utilities.
- How Big Money in Politics Blocked U.S. Action on Climate Change (Yale e360):
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse believes the 2010 Supreme Court decision unleashing corporate money into politics derailed any chance of U.S. climate legislation. In a Yale Environment 360 interview, he talks about how fossil-fuel interests have intimidated Republicans from tackling the issue.
- A Strong Case Against a Pesticide Does Not Faze E.P.A. Under Trump (NY Times):
Some of the most compelling evidence linking a widely used pesticide to developmental problems in children stems from what scientists call a 'natural' experiment.
- Mississippi: Trump Country Is Flooding, And Climate Ideas Are Shifting (E&E News):
The first priority was, of course, keeping everyone safe, as floodwaters got so high that city crews stationed a canoe to navigate one of the lower downtown streets earlier in May.
- China, India to Reach Climate Goals Early, as U.S. Falls Far Short (Inside Climate News):
While Trump administration rolls back emission controls, the other top emitters are moving quickly to fight climate change by cutting coal and boosting renewables.
- Scientists Find 38 Million Pieces Of Trash On Pacific Island (AP):
When researchers traveled to a tiny, uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, they were astonished to find an estimated 38 million pieces of trash washed up on the beaches.
- Mexico Enlists Dolphins To Help Endangered Tiny Porpoise (Reuters):
Mexico's government has enlisted the help of three trained dolphins to locate in the wild their less fortunate cousin, the rare vaquita porpoise, in an effort to bring back from the brink of extinction a species with fewer than 40 specimens left.
- Trump’s Expected Pick for Top USDA Scientist Is Not a Scientist (Pro Publica):
The USDA’s research section studies everything from climate change to nutrition. Under the 2008 Farm Bill, its leader is supposed to serve as the agency’s 'chief scientist' and be chosen 'from among distinguished scientists with specialized or significant experience in agricultural research, education, and economics.' But Sam Clovis — who, according to sources with knowledge of the appointment and members of the agriculture trade press, is President Trump’s pick to oversee the section — appears to have no such credentials.
- Interior: Energy companies paid nominee Bernhardt more than $80K last year (E&E News):
Interior deputy secretary nominee David Bernhardt earned at least $80,000 last year working for a host of energy and environmental interests, disclosure forms show. He agreed to recuse himself for one year from matters involving any of the companies as well as other former clients of his or his law firm, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.
- Glacier National Park's Glaciers Will Be Gone In Our Lifetime (USA Today):
Montana's Glacier National Park is quickly losing an important part of its natural beauty: Its glaciers. U.S. Geological Survey data released Wednesday shows the park's 37 glaciers, along with two others on federal Forest Service land, have shrunk an average of about 40% since 1966.
- Decades of data on world's oceans reveal a troubling oxygen decline (National Center for Atmospheric Research):
"The oxygen in oceans has dynamic properties, and its concentration can change with natural climate variability," said Taka Ito, an associate professor in Georgia Tech's School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences who led the research. "The important aspect of our result is that the rate of global oxygen loss appears to be exceeding the level of nature's random variability."
- Bannon is pulling one over on Trump. There is zero reason to exit the Paris climate accord. (Vox):
Even if, like Trump, you think climate change is a hoax; even if, like Trump, you think pollution regulations kill jobs; even if, like Trump, you want to Make America Great Again - there's just no reason to do it. It will cause serious damage in exchange for absolutely no practical advantage. The only person who stands to gain from it is Bannon. If the US leaves Paris, it will be because he played Trump for a fool.
- Obama Sees New Front in Climate Change Battle: Agriculture (NY Times):
His brief speech was devoted to agriculture's role in climate change, noting that after energy, agriculture is the second-largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Now, he said, those emissions are starting to take their toll on food production itself. "Our changing climate is already making it more difficult to produce food," he said. "We've already seen shrinking yields and rising food prices."
- A beginner's guide to the debate over 100% renewable energy (Vox):
Clean-energy enthusiasts frequently claim that we can go bigger, that it's possible for the whole world to run on renewables - we merely lack the "political will." So, is it true? Do we know how get to an all-renewables system? Not yet. Not really.
- 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