IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: At G-20 summit, the world moves forward on climate change as Trump retreats alone; Trump Administration announces 'red team' effort to question mainstream climate science; Court rejects EPA bid to roll back methane emissions rule; Volvo to make every car model electric; PLUS: California's green governor trumps Trump with global climate summit... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): The Power and Peril of “Climate Disaster Porn”; The Uninhabitable Earth: When will climate change make earth too hot for humans?; Obama Rues Loss of ‘American Leadership’ on Climate Change; Tribal, environmental groups sue over methane rule delay; Nuns protest Atlantic Sunrise pipeline by building chapel on route; Environmental groups slam Senate energy bill; Deep industry ties in Trump's deregulation team; Coal no longer fuels America, but the myth remains; Ganges River in India "dying", succumbing to pollution; Trump analysis of WOTUS omits economic benefits of clean water... PLUS: Franken and Letterman take on climate change in hilarious web series.... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- At G-20 summit, world moves ahead as Trump retreats on climate:
- World Leaders Move Forward on Climate Change, Without U.S. (NY Times):
In a final communiqué at the conclusion of the Group of 20 summit meeting in Hamburg, Germany, the nations took “note” of Mr. Trump’s decision to abandon the pact and “immediately cease” efforts to enact former President Barack Obama’s pledge of curbing greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025....the other 19 members of the group broke explicitly with Mr. Trump in their embrace of the international deal, signing off on a detailed policy blueprint outlining how their countries could meet their goals in the pact.
- Trump leaves leaders fearing the future as G-20 summit closes (Washington Post)
- VIDEO: Theresa May: I encouraged Donald Trump to rejoin Paris agreement (Guardian UK)
- Domino effect: Turkey won’t ratify Paris climate accord, citing Trump’s exit (Climate Progress)
- EPA Pruitt launches 'red team' to 'question' climate science:
- Pruitt will launch program to 'critique' climate science (E&E News):
Executives in the coal industry interpret the move as a step toward challenging the endangerment finding, the agency's legal foundation for regulating greenhouse gases from cars, power plants and other sources. Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy Corp., said Pruitt assured him yesterday that he plans to begin reviewing the endangerment finding within months.
- Scott Pruitt wants to hijack the peer-review process to push bad climate science: The EPA wants to “critique” climate science. (Climate Progress):
But actual climate scientists argue that “back-and-forth critique” already exists in climate science: It’s called the peer-review process.
- Trump Administration officials question climate change while praising carbon cuts (E&E News):
Energy Secretary Rick Perry was emblematic yesterday of an administration that questions the science behind climate change while at the same time it praises America's ability to reduce carbon dioxide emissions..."Either they do think CO2 emissions are a problem, which is why nukes and [carbon capture and sequestration] would make sense, at least to them, or they don't," said David Bookbinder, chief counsel for the libertarian Niskanen Center.
- Coal baron Robert Murray suing HBO's Jon Oliver for defamation:
- A Coal Baron Is Suing John Oliver for “Character Assassination” Over Last Week Tonight’s Talking Squirrel Segment (Slate)
- Extreme weather impacts around the world:
- The West Is on Fire As Heat Records Fall (Climate Central):
From Phoenix to Boise, high temperature records fell like dominoes over the weekend as an impressive heat wave engulfed the western U.S., helping to fuel several wildfires.
- These NASA Images Show Siberia Burning Up (Climate Central):
Those forests are burning at a rate unheard of in at least 10,000 years due largely to rising temperatures. They contain vast reserves of carbon stored in trees and soil and when they burn, they send that carbon into the atmosphere. That creates a dangerous cycle of more severe wildfires and ever rising temperatures.
- VIDEO: California’s Whittier Fire Ravages Boy Scouts Camp, As Wildfires Rage Across 11 Western States (NBC News):
A wildfire tearing through western California on Sunday mostly destroyed a Boy Scouts camp, killing all of the animals in its nature center, authorities said.
- Parts of the Great Barrier Reef are dead
- How the Great Barrier Reef can be doomed and also 'not in danger' (ABC Australia)
- The very much threatened Great Barrier Reef is not 'in danger,' UNESCO says (Mashable):
[T]he decision has less to do with the reef's imperiled condition and more to do with avoiding political embarrassment for Australia's government and lasting damage to Australia's tourism industry.
- DC Circuit Court rejects EPA bid to delay methane emissions rules:
- Court Blocks E.P.A. Effort to Suspend Obama-Era Methane Rule (NY Times):
The 2-to-1 decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is a legal setback for Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. administrator, who is trying to roll back dozens of Obama-era environmental regulations. The ruling signals that the Trump administration’s efforts to simply delay environmental and public health actions are likely to face an uphill battle in the courts and require a more painstaking process.
- Court rejects Trump's delay of EPA drilling pollution rule (The Hill)
- Volvo to phase out pure gasoline cars, electrify every model:
- Volvo, Betting on Electric, Moves to Phase Out Conventional Engines (NY Times)
- All Volvo cars to be electric or hybrid from 2019 (Bloomberg):
Landmark move as first big manufacturer says it will stop making vehicles solely powered by internal combustion engine...“By the mid-2020s I expect there to be a tipping point where the electric car starts to outcompete the internal combustion engine. It’s the way it’s going.” The potential carbon savings of a widespread shift to electric cars are huge.
- Why Volvo going ‘all-electric’ is not as revolutionary as it seems (The Conversation):
The question we should be asking is why Toyota or any of the other mainstream manufacturers have not come out with the same proposition to end the role of solely combustion engine powered cars? The answer lies in the fact that the major part of Volvo’s sales take place in Europe, the US and China. These markets have the potential to have the basic infrastructure in place that’s needed to support the electrification of vehicles.
- CA's green governor trumps Trump with global climate summit:
- VIDEO: Jerry Brown one-ups Trump on climate change with G20 announcement (San Jose Mercury News):
Brown announced that California would host a global summit on climate change in San Francisco in September. “Yes, I know President Trump is trying to get out of the Paris Agreement, but he doesn’t speak for the rest of America,” Brown said in a video message shown to tens of thousands at the Global Citizen Festival in Hamburg. “We in California and in states all across America believe it’s time to act. It’s time to join together, and that’s why at this Climate Action Summit we’re going to get it done.”...[)]n Thursday the governor once again threw down the gauntlet. He invited “entrepreneurs, singers, musicians, mathematicians, professors” and others who represent “the whole world” to the summit.
'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
- The Power and Peril of “Climate Disaster Porn” (New Republic):
Climate scientists say New York magazine's cover story about global warming is unnecessarily apocalyptic. But can fear help the planet?...The notion that fear is a motivating force may be true in some political arenas, but research suggests that’s not quite true for climate change.
- The Uninhabitable Earth: When will climate change make earth too hot for humans? (New York Magazine):
Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak — sooner than you think.
- Obama Rues Loss of ‘American Leadership’ on Climate Change (NY Times):
Former President Barack Obama on Saturday indirectly criticized President Trump in a speech delivered in Indonesia for withdrawing “American leadership” on climate change by abandoning the Paris accord. “In Paris, we came together around the most ambitious agreement in history about climate change, an agreement that even with the temporary absence of American leadership can still give our children a fighting chance,” Mr. Obama said at the Fourth Congress of Indonesian Diaspora in Jakarta, the capital, according to The Associated Press.
- VIDEO: Funny or Die: Franken and Letterman take on climate change in hilarious web series (Climate Progress):
Did you know Dave’s beard is actually a weapon in the fight to control carbon pollution?
- Tribal, environmental groups sue over methane rule delay (climate Progress):
The Bureau of Land Management rule had already been finalized.
- Nuns Protest Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline by Building Chapel on Proposed Route (EcoWatch):
The company has since filed an emergency court order to seize the nuns' land and build the pipeline. A judge has scheduled a court hearing for July 17. The nuns noted in their statement that the federal court's order of eminent domain, once it goes into effect, can allow Transco to call for the removal of the chapel. But they believe that "having this structure on their land, for however long, gives tangible witness to the sacredness of Earth."
- 19 Aquariums Pledge to Fight Plastic Pollution, Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags and Straws (EcoWatch):
A collaboration of aquariums across the U.S. have launched a campaign Monday to reduce ocean and freshwater plastic pollution. Notably, as of today, all 19 aquariums that belong to the Aquarium Conservation Partnership (ACP) have "eliminated" plastic straws and single-use carryout plastic bags at their facilities.
- Greens Slam Senate’s Energy Policy Bill (The Hill):
Environmental and progressive organizations are uniting to oppose the Senate’s broad energy legislation as it heads for a potential vote.
- Renewables Generated More Power Than Nuclear in March and April (Green Tech Media):
Solar farms planted on an abandoned nuclear plant site or powering a coal museum or atop a strip mine offer stark images of the ascendance of renewables.
- The Deep Industry Ties of Trump’s Deregulation Team (NY Times):
President Trump entered office pledging to cut red tape, and within weeks, he ordered his administration to assemble teams to aggressively scale back government regulations. But the effort — a signature theme in Mr. Trump’s populist campaign for the White House — is being conducted in large part out of public view and often by political appointees with deep industry ties and potential conflicts.
- Coal No Longer Fuels America. But The Legacy — And The Myth — Remain. (Washington Post):
Boone County claims to be the birthplace of America’s coal industry, the rich and abundant black rock discovered in these verdant hills almost three centuries ago. Coal gives name to nearly everything in these parts — the Big and Little Coal rivers, the weekly Coal Valley News, the wondrous Bituminous Coal Heritage Foundation Museum and the West Virginia Coal Festival, celebrating, as we arrive in town, its 24th year.
- Dying 'Mother Ganga': India's Holy River Succumbs To Pollution (Reuters):
India's holy Ganges begins as a crystal clear river high in the icy Himalayas but pollution and excessive usage transforms it into toxic sludge on its journey through burgeoning cities, industrial hubs and past millions of devotees.
- Clean Water Rule: Trump Analysis Slashes WOTUS's Economic Benefits (E&E News):
U.S. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are disputing their own economic analysis of the 2015 Clean Water Rule, now saying most benefits they previously ascribed to the Obama-era regulation can no longer be quantified.
- New study confirms the oceans are warming rapidly (Guardian UK):
Although theres some uncertainty in the distribution among Earths ocean basins, theres no question that the ocean is heating rapidly.
- 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
- NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years: