IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Trump revokes Obama's executive order protecting the nation's infrastructure from floods; July 2017 was the hottest July on record, and the hottest month ever; Monday's total solar eclipse to have big impact on solar energy generation; PLUS: National monuments on the chopping block in unprecedented monument review... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Court lets Exxon off the hook for Mayflower, AR pipeline damages; Trump EPA to rewrite coal plant wastewater rules; National Park Service ends ban on plastic water bottles; Thousands of dead sharks found on trawler illegally fishing in Galapagos marine sanctuary; Miami taxpayers foot the bill to protect city from climate change; Tough questions at solar panel trade dispute hearing; PA's shad return for first time in hundreds of years after dam removal; Environmental groups lose court challenge to stop LNG export terminal... PLUS: Yemen record 500,000 Cholera Cases, nearly 2,000 Deaths... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Trump Administration removes White House bike share station:
- Obama’s administration requested a Bikeshare station at the White House. Trump’s team just had it removed. (Washington Post):
The Trump administration has dismantled aspects of Obama’s legacy, big and small — including the Capital Bikeshare station that was installed on the White House grounds at the request of the Obama administration. Unlike every other Bikeshare station in the region, this one was not accessible to the public and could only be used by commuters who had access to White House grounds. The Obama administration requested the station in 2010.
- Trump Removed the White House’s Capital Bikeshare Station (The Washingtonian):
The Obama administration got the "secret" dock installed in 2010 for people who worked inside...Before former President Barack Obama left office in January, his Transportation Department signed off on new regulations redefining traffic as people who move on roads, rather than strictly vehicles—a change considered a coup for cyclists and pedestrians. President Trump’s relationship with the two-wheeled set is not so rosy.
- Trump revokes Obama's executive order protecting the nation's infrastructure from floods:
- Trump kills plan to protect projects from rising seas; FEMA officials "aghast" at Trump decision to nix flood prep standard (E&E News):
The revoked standard required public infrastructure such as subsidized housing to be built 2 feet above the 100-year flood standard, while critical infrastructure like hospitals and fire departments would need to rise by 3 feet. Many in the environmental community already considered the standard too weak, as it's based on floodplain maps that they say do not accurately account for future climate change. Industry groups like the National Association of Home Builders opposed the Obama standard, arguing that it would impose construction costs and deter development.
- Trump: Flood Protection for Me, None for Thee (The New Republic):
Trump sought to protect his golf course from rising seas, but is undoing protections for vulnerable Americans and taxpayer-funded projects...As the Washington Post noted in 2015, Obama’s order was the first time the federal government took sea level rise projections into account, instead of relying only on historical data. It was also the rare climate change.
- Trump Promised Beautiful Bridges and Roads. Now Hes Putting Them in Harm's Way. (Mother Jones):
He's throwing out any guarantee that our infrastructure will be safe.
- Trump to revoke Obama-era flood risk building standards (Reuters)
- Aug. 24: National monuments on the chopping block in unprecedented monument 'review'
- Deadline looms on Zinke’s National Monument recommendations (New Mexico Political Report)
- 350 outdoor business leaders urge Zinke to keep national monuments intact (Denver Post):
The fight to protect public lands has galvanized the outdoor industry, which employs 7.6 million Americans and stirs $887 billion in annual spending, generating $125 billion in local, state and federal taxes.
- Carrizo Plain remains on Zinke's monument review list (San Luis Obispo New Times)
- Zinke pardons Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument from Trump’s Ax (NRDC)
- Public Lands Group Launches Ad Campaign Targeting Zinke (Flathead Beacon):
New poll claims voter support slipping as Zinke reviews national monuments, considers privatized campgrounds
- Zinke meets with sportsmen as some ask 'what happened' to him (E&E News)
- July 2017 the hottest July --- and the hottest month --- ever recorded globally:
- Meet July, The Hottest Month Yet (Grist):
Our planet has never been warmer than it was last month, according to data released by NASA on Tuesday.
- NASA shocker: Last month was hottest July, and hottest month, on record (Climate Porgress):
It's the first time we've seen such a record month in the absence of an El Niño boost.
- NASA: July 2017 Didn't Even Need an El Niño to Tie For Hottest July in Recorded History (Gizmodo)
- Montana federal judge blocks coal mine over climate and environmental impacts:
- Judge blocks coal mine expansion, citing lack of adequate climate analysis (Climate Progress):
Expansion would make Bull Mountain the nation's largest underground coal mine.
- MT Judge blocks coal mine expansion, criticized officials for downplaying climate change impacts of the project (AP):
A judge has blocked a proposed 176 million-ton expansion of an underground coal mine in central Montana because federal officials did not consider its climate change impacts. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy said that officials inflated the economic benefits of the 11-square mile expansion of Signal Peak Energy's Bull Mountain coal mine while ignoring its environmental impacts.
- Total Eclipse: Potential "carmaggedon" and a big hit on solar energy supplies:
- Solar eclipse 2017: how the solar power industry is prepping for a huge sunlight blip (Vox):
The solar eclipse will significantly diminish that capacity for a couple of hours on August 21, especially in California and North Carolina. “Our solar plants are going to lose over half of their ability to generate electricity during the two to two and a half hours that the eclipse will be impacting our area,” says Steven Greenlee, spokesperson for the California Independent System Operator, or CAISO, one of the largest independent grid operators in the world.
- Sun’s eclipse a celestial marvel, but a downer for solar power plants (Press-Democrat)
- Total Eclipse Kit (NASA.gov):
Get ready for the Eclipse Across America that occurs on August 21, 2017. All across the USA, everyone can observe a partial to total eclipse of the sun. To prepare for this rare sight, an Eclipse Kit has been developed with activities suitable for families, community outreach and summer camp programs.
- 'Biggest Driver Distraction of the Century.' Officials Brace for a Solar Eclipse Traffic Nightmare (TIME Magazine):
The visually arresting sight will last up to a couple of minutes depending on the location. But that's still enough time to throw off unsuspecting drivers, as well as to prompt major traffic congestion in states with prime viewing spots. This will be the first time in 99 years that the path of a total solar eclipse moves across the entire U.S. from coast to coast... [T]ransportation as we know it was completely different the last time a solar eclipse spanned the U.S. in 1918. ."For example, back then, there were only 6.16 million cars on the road," Hecox said. "Today, there are over 263 million. The risk of distraction is ever present on modern roads, and the eclipse could be the biggest driver distraction of the last century."
'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
- Court Lets Exxon Off Hook for Pipeline Spill in Arkansas Neighborhood (Inside Climate News):
A federal appeals court has let ExxonMobil largely off the hook for a 2013 pipeline spill that deluged a neighborhood in Mayflower, Arkansas, with more than 200,000 gallons of heavy tar sands crude oil, sickening residents and forcing them from their homes.
- Trump EPA Plans To Rewrite Obama-Era Limits For Coal Power Plant Wastewater (AP):
The Environmental Protection Agency says it plans to scrap an Obama-era measure limiting water pollution from coal-fired power plants.
- National Park Service Ends Ban On Disposable Water Bottles (Washington Post):
The federal government announced Wednesday it will eliminate a policy that allowed national parks like the Grand Canyon to ban the sale of bottled water in an effort to curb litter.
- Thousands of Dead Sharks Found on Boat in Huge Illegal Haul (National Geographic):
The confiscation of the Chinese ship and arrest of its 20 crew in the Galápagos show just how hard it is to protect marine sanctuaries.
- Miami Taxpayers Asked to Foot Bill to Protect City from Climate Change (Climate Liability News):
Miami is among the U.S. cities most vulnerable to rising seas due to climate change, and city officials estimate that they may have to spend at least $900 million in the coming decades to upgrade the city’s flood prevention and drainage systems to keep the Atlantic Ocean at bay.
- Suniva, Seeking Tariffs on Foreign Solar Panels, Faces Tough Questions (Inside Climate News):
At a federal hearing Tuesday to decide whether domestic makers of solar panels need tariff protection from imports, members of the U.S. International Trade Commission focused much of their questioning on why these companies had failed as the overall solar market was booming."
- Dam Removal Helps American Shad Return After Disappearing For Centuries (State Impact Pennsylvania):
For the first time in centuries, the American shad entered the Musconetcong River during its spring spawning migration upriver this year. The Musky, as it’s known to locals, is a tributary of the Delaware in Northwestern New Jersey. The Hughesville Dam, standing 18 feet tall and 150 feet wide, had blocked its way.
- Yemen Records 500,000 Cholera Cases, Nearly 2,000 Deaths: WHO (Reuters):
More than half a million people in Yemen have been infected with cholera since the epidemic began four months ago and 1,975 people have died, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.
- Court Rejects Greens’ Challenge To Texas Natural Gas Export Project (The Hill):
A federal court has rejected a challenge to a major liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Texas.
- Washington State Officials Troubled By Oilpatch Secrets (National Observer):
Washington State officials have privately complained about a lack of information — vital for an oil spill response — on the ingredients of the diluent used to help Alberta bitumen flow through Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain oil pipeline.
- China Is Preparing to Launch the World’s Biggest Carbon Market (E&E BNews):
As the United States reverses its climate policies, the world's top greenhouse gas emitter is in the midst of setting up a national carbon-trading system...The emissions market will cover roughly a quarter of the country's industrial CO2.
- Science Says: Fast-Melting Arctic Sign Of Bad Global Warming (AP):
One of the coldest places on Earth is so hot it's melting. Glaciers, sea ice and a massive ice sheet in the Arctic are thawing from toasty air above and warm water below. The northern polar region is heating up twice as fast as the rest of the planet and that's setting off alarm bells..."The melting of the Arctic will come to haunt us all," said German climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf.
- 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
- NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years:
- Science Says: Fast-Melting Arctic Sign Of Bad Global Warming (AP):
READER COMMENTS ON
"'Green News Report' - August 17, 2017"
(4 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
... Dredd said on 8/17/2017 @ 1:53 pm PT...
Hottest July in Alaskan places (July Was Record Hot for Parts of Alaska and the West).
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
... Alex said on 8/20/2017 @ 8:25 am PT...
There will be a total eclipse in 7 years not 99. On April 8, 2024 some parts of the US will get a total eclipse. Carbondale, IL will be the only part of US to have total eclipse during both events.
Alex --- yes, thanks! I had not yet looked up the date of the next one to cross the U.S.... plenty of lead time for everyone to stock up on eclipse viewing glasses. And for Carbondale, IL to recover and prepare for the next one...
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
... Larry Taylor said on 8/22/2017 @ 12:11 am PT...
We are burning up and nobody is doing anything about it. But don't be dubious of the electrical grid juggling to find power during the eclipse. They have to have electricity at the exact moment to keep the grid running. Which would be a good time to mention that we need to build battery factories so we can start storage. We have enough industry level batteries, we start shutting down coal plants.
There is the added benefit that we can build more electric vehicles. Oh, you don't mention enough about EV. I thought you were serious about the climate. We are letting the transportation sector make a mockery of the Paris "Accords" which have become a joke. The petroleum lobby has been fighting against EV since 2011, and they are winning public opinion. I can't believe the arguments people give me when I make comments about our deplorable charging infrastructure in Switzerland, Germany and france. Europe is not leading the way, except for Norway and the Netherlands.
We need to acknowledge that putting in solar panels is just part of the solution, we also have to modify the grid, and that is going to cost money. Oh, by the way, where are the solar panel factories? Only Tesla is building the factories in local areas. Where is the competition?