IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Trump suggests solar panels on his border wall with Mexico; Energy Secretary Rick Perry goes full science denial; Trump Administration seeks to reactivate Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository; Plastic pollution has reached Antarctica; Renewable energy actually helps electric grid stability; PLUS: British government to invest a billion dollars in shift to electric cars... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Tropical Storm Cindy drenches Gulf Coast; Worldwide coal bleaching event may finally be ending; Methane leaks spike in natural gas production in NM; Publishers defend Greenpeace in dispute with logging company; Zinke screws up 3 denier talking points in Senate hearing; Volcanoes 'triggered dawn of dinosaurs'; Miami-Dade signs on to Paris Agreement... PLUS: Solar paint makes hydrogen fuel from solar energy and water vapor... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- SPEAK UP for your national monuments through July 10, 2017: Review of Certain National Monuments Established Since 1996; Notice of Opportunity for Public Comment (U.S. Government)
- VIDEO: Stephen Colbert on the U.S. West Heat Wave, 6/20/17 (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert)
- Trump tells supporters he's considering solar panels for his border wall:
- Trump talks up solar panel plan for Mexico wall (BBC):
"Solar wall, panels, beautiful. I mean actually think of it, the higher it goes the more valuable it is. Pretty good imagination right? Good? My idea."...More than 200 companies have reportedly responded to an invitation from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to submit designs for the wall. Among them was one from Gleason Partners in Las Vegas that proposed a wall of steel, cement and solar panels.
- Turning Trump's Border Wall Into a Solar Plant Is Probably a Bad Idea (Bloomberg):
An analyst takes the president at his word and estimates whether the wall could pay for itself...Factoring in equipment and development costs, the solar project would add an additional $7.6 billion to Trump's $20 billion border wall.
- Solar Companies Surge After Trump Proposes Panels on Border Wall (Bloomberg)
- CNBC a 'safe space' for Energy Sec. Rick Perry to deny climate science:
- VIDEO: US Energy Secretary Rick Perry denies CO2 is primary control for atmospheric temperature (CNBC)
- Cable TV's Safest Space for Trump's Climate Deniers (New Republic)
- CNBC allows Rick Perry to spout nonsense on live TV without any fact checking
Even Fox News has debunked this. (Climate Progress):Ironically, when EPA chief Scott Pruitt defended his absurd claim that CO2 is not "a primary contributor to the global warming that we see" on Fox News Sunday in early April, anchor Chris Wallace rebuked him: "Mr. Pruitt, there are all kinds of studies that contradict you."..The media should remember that the next time someone on team Trump tries to blow smoke in their face.
- Rick Perry Denies Climate Change Role of CO2 (Inside Climate News):
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that the global scientific consensus is that it is "extremely likely" that most of the observed increase in global average surface temperature since 1951 was caused by the concentrations of greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. The science shows that the oceans are warming-as they absorb carbon dioxide and heat trapped by increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
- Perry indicates Administration seeks to re-open Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository:
- Perry cites 'moral obligation' to build Yucca nuclear waste site (The Hill):
Nevada has repeatedly resisted the designation. The Obama administration cut off the licensing process in 2010 due to opposition from Nevada, but Republicans and the nuclear industry have been pushing since then to get it back on track.
- Gov. Sandoval blindsided by Rick Perry's remarks on Yucca Mountain (Las Vegas Sun)
- Senator Heller issues warning to Trump administration over Yucca Mountain (Las Vegas Review-Journal),/li>
- DOE scraps 'consent-based' wording from site in nod to Yucca (E&E News)
- Renewable energy helps electric grid reliability:
- Report: Renewable energy is no threat to power reliability (Utility Dive)
- Wind, solar energy have not harmed U.S. power grid: industry study (Reuters)
- Countries With the Most Wind and Solar Have 10 Times Fewer Outages Than America (GreenTech Media)
- Utility CEOs to DOE: Hands off state energy policies, grid planning (Utility Dive)
- Electric Grid Study Ordered by U.S. Energy Chief to Boost Coal (Bloomberg):
President Donald Trump has already moved to dismantle Obama-era policies that discouraged coal-fired power plants --- regulations Perry said destroyed jobs and "threaten to undercut the performance of the grid well into the future." Perry's effort suggests that the administration may be looking for other ways to keep coal plants online.
- Rick Perry called out for 'thinly disguised' attempt to undermine renewable energy (Climate Progress)
- Rick Perry asked for a boring, wonky study of the grid. Even that was controversial. (Washington Post):
The causes of these changes are complex, but the Perry memo seems to imply that clean energy "subsidies" own part of the blame.
- Plastic pollution has reached Antarctica:
- Plastic pollution in the ocean is officially everywhere, even Antarctica (Mashable):
Plastic debris was far worse in the Antarctic than expected, researchers from University of Hull in England and British Antarctic Survey said this week. Levels of microplastics in the region were five times higher than what you'd normally expect to find from local sources, such as research stations and ships.
- Plastic pollution in the Antarctic 5x worse than expected (Phys.org)
- UK completes Antarctic Halley base relocation (BBC)
- Scientists stunned by Antarctic rainfall and a melt area bigger than Texas (Washington Post)
- World coal production fell by record amount last year:
- Global renewables rise from the ashes of coal's collapse (Climate Progress):
China surpassed the U.S. to become world's largest renewable power producer last year, BP reports.
- Britain announces big investment to shift to electric cars:
- The U.K. Wants to Lead World in Driverless and Electric Vehicles (Bloomberg):
Investment in research and new recharging infrastructure is intended to make Britain a "leader" in electric and autonomous vehicles, Queen Elizabeth II said in a speech marking the state opening of Parliament in London on Wednesday. The technology may be worth 28 billion pounds to the economy by 2035, the government estimates.
- Queen's Speech: motorway service stations and major garages forced to install electric car chargers (Sunday Times Driving)
- Full text of Queen Elizabeth's II's speech in UK Parliament outlining government's agenda (FirstPost UK)
'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
- Tropical Storm Cindy Comes Ashore In Southwest Louisiana (AP):
Gulf Coast states were in for a third day of rough weather as Tropical Storm Cindy sloshed ashore early Thursday in southwestern Louisiana.
- Worldwide Coral Bleaching Event May Finally Be Coming To An End (Washington Post):
An ongoing global coral bleaching event, one that’s affected more than 70 percent of tropical reefs worldwide, may finally be coming to a close.
- In Heart Of Southwest, Natural Gas Leaks Fuel A Methane Menace (Reveal Magazine):
The whoosh of the wind through the junipers, the whinny of horses in their stalls, the raspy squawking of ravens – those are the sounds Don and Jane Schreiber have grown to love on their remote Devil’s Spring Ranch.
- Top Publishers Move To Defend Greenpeace In Dispute With Logging Firm (Guardian UK):
The world’s biggest book publishers have been dragged into a bitter dispute between a US logging company and environmental campaigners Greenpeace. It follows legal action taken by the logging company, Resolute Forest Products, which campaigners and publishers fear has implications for freedom of speech.
- Researchers see stronger electric grid in regions with large amounts of renewables (Climate Progress):
Consultants released the findings on the eve of a new Energy Department grid study.
- Zinke screws up 3 denier talking points while dodging Franken’s climate question (Climate Progress):
Sen. Franken just wanted the interior secretary to answer a simple question. He got “stupid and ignorant” nonsense instead.
- Miami-Dade Backs Paris Climate Agreement That President Trump Rejected (McClatchy DC):
Miami-Dade commissioners on Tuesday endorsed the Paris climate accord, giving the symbolic and explicit backing that the county’s mayor declined to provide after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the agreement three weeks ago.
- Volcanoes 'triggered dawn of dinosaurs' (BBC):
Scientists have analysed ancient rocks and have found traces of emissions from huge volcanic eruptions that happened about 200 million years ago. This would have led to one of the largest mass extinctions on record, enabling dinosaurs to become dominant.
- Solar paint makes hydrogen fuel from solar energy and water vapor (ZME Science):
Researchers from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) have developed a "solar paint" which absorbs ambient water vapors and then draws on the Sun's energy to split it and generate hydrogen - which can be used to create clean power cells.
- A bitter scientific debate just erupted over the future of America's power grid (Washington Post):
Scientists are engaged in an increasingly bitter and personal feud over how much power the United States can get from renewable sources, with a large group of researchers taking aim at a popular recent paper that claimed the country could move beyond fossil fuels entirely by 2055.
- 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