IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Federal scientists leak National Climate Assessment report; Trump Administration officially files to withdraw from Paris Climate Agreement, but may want to stay in; EPA report proves environmental regulations don't hurt the economy; PLUS: Good news! Keeping Obama's climate policies would save Americans $300 billion a year by 2030... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Coal plants might be even more toxic than we thought; How climate change became a question of faith; Hilcorp's environmental violations come to light as it prepares to drill in fragile Arctic; 10 states back water agencies against tribes in CA water lawsuit; Monsanto weedkiller blamed for crop losses; Tesla developing self-driving electric semi-truck; EPA cracks down on polluter after finding high levels of brain-damaging manganese in a low-income neighborhood... PLUS: Sea level did, in fact, rise faster in Southeastern U.S. than elsewhere... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Federal scientists release blockbuster climate assessment report:
- This is what America will look like if we follow Trump’s climate policies (Climate Progress):
Leaked draft reveals a devastated America, up to 8 feet of sea level rise, 18°F Arctic warming--unless we embrace Paris climate deal
- Scientists Fear Trump Will Dismiss Blunt Climate Report (NY Times):
The draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies, which has not yet been made public, concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now. It directly contradicts claims by President Trump and members of his cabinet who say that the human contribution to climate change is uncertain, and that the ability to predict the effects is limited...Another scientist involved in the process, who spoke to The New York Times on the condition of anonymity, said he and others were concerned that it would be suppressed.
- U.S. scientists contradict Trump's climate claims (AP) [emphasis added]:
"There are no alternative explanations, and no natural cycles are found in the observational record that can explain the observed changes in climate," says the report, citing thousands of peer-reviewed studies. "Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans"...[T]he draft federal report sends the overriding message that failing to curb carbon pollution now will exacerbate negative consequences in the future. That assessment calls into question the wisdom of Trump's environmental and energy policies..."
- Read the Draft of the Climate Change Report [PDF] (New York times)
- Climate Report Could Force Trump to Choose Between Science and His Base (NY Times):
"We'll be watching the administration very carefully on this," said Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity, which sued President George W. Bush after his administration repeatedly stalled the release of a previous climate change assessment.
- Trump Administration officially files withdrawal from Paris Agreement:
- Trump files notice to withdraw from Paris agreement, planning instead to promote fossil fuels (Climate Progress):
The notice has no legal weight and does not begin the process of departure from the landmark climate agreement.
- VIDEO: UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on withdrawal from Paris Agreement (NBC Today Show)
- Ambassador Nikki Haley says climate change 'is real', leaving Paris accord doesn't mean leaving climate protection behind (Charleston Post-Courier)
- Trump admin leaves room to stay in Paris Climate Agreement (E&E News)
- New EPA report proves environmental regulations don't hurt the economy:
- EPA report shows economic growth, environmental rules can co-exist (USA Today):
The Trump administration's argument that "job-killing" environmental regulations are stifling U.S. economic growth is being undercut by … the Trump administration. A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency found that since Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1970, the economy has more than tripled...At the same time, the levels of six key air pollutants - carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter and sulfur dioxide - have declined dramatically.
- Our Nation's Air 2017 (EPA.gov):
This annual report presents the trends in the nation's air quality, and summarizes the detailed information found at EPA's AirTrends website.
- Keeping Obama' climate policies would save Americans $300 billion+ in net benefits:
- Scrapping Climate Protections Would Erase $300 Billion in Benefits, Study Finds (Inside Climate News):
A new analysis of key Obama-era climate rules targeted by the Trump administration finds the benefits of those protections are 4x greater than the costs.
- Obama Emissions Rules Could Yield $300 Billion Annually by 2030 (Scientific American):
Benefits come from less environmental damage and fewer health issues...The benefits of Obama-era rules to curb greenhouse gas emissions would greatly exceed the costs in the coming years, according to a new analysis. Regulations designed to control emissions from power plants, oil production and motor vehicles could together lead to close to $300 billion in net benefits per year by 2030, according to the report by Columbia University's Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.
'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
- Coal Plants Might Be Even More Toxic Than We Thought (Bloomberg):
An environmental disaster in North Carolina reveals that a rare, potentially dangerous compound is abundant in burned coal.
- How Climate Change Became A Question Of Faith (CS Monitor):
Every four years, the nation’s scientists from myriad federal agencies come together to release a comprehensive report synthesizing the current state of climate science. It’s become a routine affair, with a predictable process involving extensive analysis of studies, numerous drafts, and eventual approval from the White House before the public release of the latest National Climate Assessment. But this year was different.
- As Hilcorp Plans to Drill in Arctic Waters, Violations Surface (Inside Climate News):
In the energy industry, Hilcorp has built a reputation for fast growth, big profits and making people rich. ... In regulatory circles, however, and among environmentalists, Hilcorp has become known for different reasons.
- 10 States Back California Agencies In Fight With Tribe Over Groundwater (Desert Sun):
Ten states from Nevada to Texas have weighed in to support two water agencies in their fight with an Indian tribe over control of groundwater in the California desert.
- Scant Oversight, Corporate Secrecy Preceded U.S. Weed Killer Crisis (Reuters):
As the U.S. growing season entered its peak this summer, farmers began posting startling pictures on social media: fields of beans, peach orchards and vegetable gardens withering away.
- Tesla developing self-driving tech for semi-truck, wants to test in Nevada (Reuters):
Tesla Inc is developing a long-haul, electric semi-truck that can drive itself and move in "platoons" that automatically follow a lead vehicle, and is getting closer to testing a prototype.
- The Sea Level Did, in Fact, Rise Faster in the Southeast U.S. (NY Times):
For people in the southeastern United States, and especially in Florida, who feel that annoying tidal flooding has sneaked up on them in recent years, it turns out to be true. And scientists have a new explanation. In a paper published online Wednesday, University of Florida researchers calculated that from 2011 to 2015, the sea level along the American coastline south of Cape Hatteras rose six times faster than the long-term rate of global increase.
- Infiltrators with ties to James O’Keefe and Steve Bannon allegedly go after environmental group (Climate Progress):
The League of Conservation Voters filed a complaint with the California attorney general's office.
- Scott Pruitt embraces industry-backed chemical approval process under the guise of public safety (Climate Progress):
Environmental experts worry the new process will favor industry preference over public health...While the Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act requires that the EPA also look at “reasonably foreseen uses” — the idea that a common industrial chemical could reasonably be used in domestic situations, for instance — Pruitt announced that the EPA would address foreseeable uses through a separate rule-making process, meaning a chemical could go to market even if the agency had concerns about uses other than the one initially highlighted by manufacturers.
- Groups To Sue DuPont and Chemours for Contaminating NC Drinking Water (The Intercept):
In the past two weeks, two citizens groups in North Carolina announced plans to sue Chemours, the DuPont spin-off company that now makes GenX, over its release of the chemical from its plant in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority issued a letter of intent to sue both Chemours and DuPont last week over violations of the Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act by releasing GenX into the Cape Fear River, which is a source of drinking water for more than 250,000 people in the Wilmington area.
- Enviros Urge USDA To Reject Genetically Engineered Eucalyptus Tree (Washington Post):
A genetically engineered, freeze-tolerant eucalyptus tree is moving closer to receiving approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, amid concerns about the tree’s possible negative effects on the environment.
- CA Water Districts Sue Feds for $1.4 Billion To Clean Drinking Supply (Sacramento Bee):
In a sweeping legal fight that could affect drinking water supplies for thousands of Sacramento-area residents, two water districts near the old McClellan Air Force Base are suing the federal government for $1.4 billion to clean up the cancer-causing chemical hexavalent chromium from the area’s groundwater supplies.
- High Manganese Levels Lead EPA To Crack Down On Southeast Side Polluter (Chicago Tribune):
Federal environmental regulators are cracking down on a Southeast Side company after finding high levels of brain-damaging manganese in a low-income, predominantly Latino neighborhood.
- Scott Pruitt's Crimes Against Nature (Rolling Stone):
Trump's EPA chief is gutting the agency, defunding science and serving the fossil-fuel industry.
- 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.
- 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