IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Recovery efforts continue after Irma grinds a trail of destruction across Florida and into Georgia; Adding pollution to misery, FL sewage systems overflow and EPA waives pollution rules; Hurricanes Irma and Harvey may open a rift in the Republican Party's denial of climate change; PLUS: Miss North Dakota slams Trump's withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement, wins Miss America pageant... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Damage from Irma, Harvey add to growing costs of climate change; VW to build all models all-electric by 2030; Trump Admin halts pollution controls at FL power plants; Houston's floodwaters tainted with toxins; FL representative aims to let companies hide climate risk; State says new Enbridge pipeline not needed; EPA Toxics nominee helped Koch Brothers in Chicago pet-coke battle; Record wildfire season causing significant air pollution in Pacific Northwest; Senate panel votes to fund UN climate agency... PLUS: Electric cars are about to get their biggest boost ever.... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Irma leaves behind devastation from the Caribbean to Florida, and into Georgia:
- 6 Questions About Hurricane Irma, Climate Change and Harvey (Inside Climate News)
- Flash Flood Emergency Declared in Charleston: Irma Prompts Water Rescues, Massive Power Outages (Weather Channel)
- Hurricane Jose Path Could Bring Storm To East Coast (International Business Times)
- The devastating stats behind record-breaking Hurricane Irma (Wired)
- Photos show Hurricane Irma's aftermath in the Caribbean, where some islands were more than 90% destroyed (Business Insider)
- Irma knocks out electricity to more than 12 million people:
- 16 million people without power and 142-mph winds: Hurricane Irma, by the numbers (Washington Post):
One-time monster Hurricane Irma has weakened to just a remnant circulation over Alabama but has left behind a plethora of astonishing weather records and statistics.
- More than 12 million without power in Florida as Hurricane Irma’s effects linger (Washington Post)
- Post-Irma, Utilities Face ‘One of the Largest Industry Restoration Efforts in US History’ (GreenTech Media)
- Southwest Florida's electrical grid will need a “wholesale rebuild" (The Atlantic)
- More air and water pollution for Florida residents after Irma:
- EPA grants pollution waiver to Florida utilities after Irma (AP)
- Florida’s sewage infrastructure woes come gushing to the surface with Irma (Climate Progress):
Population growth and rising sea levels create unpleasant mix.
- Hurricane Irma will likely cover South Florida with a film of poop (Quartz):
South Florida's sewer infrastructure is particularly vulnerable. Like many urban areas across the US, its wastewater lines are rickety. On top of that, many locals store their sewage in underground septic tanks, whose contents are prone to escape during storms.
- Economic losses from Harvey, Irma could reach $290 billion:
- Forecast Predicts Heavy Economic Damage From Harvey, Irma (US News):
AccuWeather expects the back-to-back hurricanes will run up a nearly $300 billion bill.
- Experts warn of the potential increase in flood-damaged cars hitting the market after Irma, Harvey (ABC News)
- Hurricane disasters may open rift in GOP climate denial:
- Pruitt slams scientists for talking about ‘cause and effect’ of Harvey, Irma (Climate Progerss):
If not now, when?
- EPA chief Pruitt on Irma: The time to talk climate change isn't now (CNN)
- VIDEO: Trump official struggles to explain his climate denial in the wake of Harvey and Irma (Climate Progress)
- Rick Perry
- Miami’s Republican mayor on Hurricane Irma: ‘If this isn’t climate change, I don’t know what is’ (Miami Herald)
- McCain baffled about GOP climate denial: I cant divine their motives
Asked about Irma, he tells CNN that "unprecedented" things are happening with the world's climate
- "History will judge": Pope Francis calls out climate change deniers:
- Pope Francis slams 'stupid' climate change deniers (Al Jazeera):
Pontiff calls on politicians to take scientists' advice as he raises alarm over global warming after major storms.
- Pope Calls Out Climate Deniers in Wake of Hurricane Irma, Harvey (Inside Climate News):
The toll of back-to-back hurricanes in Texas and Florida has done little to sway public officials who deny the role of climate change.
- Miss North Dakota criticizes Trump's withdrawal from Paris Agreement, wins Miss America pageant:
- Newest Miss America Unafraid Of Trump Pushback After Crossing Him On Climate (Talking Points Memo):
"It's a bad decision," she said. "There is evidence that climate change is existing and we need to be at that table." Meeting with reporters after winning the crown, Mund stood her ground, saying she wanted first and foremost to give a real answer to the question. "I wasn't really afraid if my opinion wasn't the opinion of my judges," she said. "Miss America needs to have an opinion and she needs to know what's happening in the current climate."
'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
- Damage from Hurricane Irma, H arvey Add to Growing U.S. Costs of Climate Change (Inside Climate News):
Government watchdogs have been warning about the financial risks of climate change, from extreme storms to wildfires, and their impact on the U.S. budget.
- Electric cars are about to get their biggest boost ever (Climate Progress):
China plans to ban new fossil-fuel powered cars.
- VW to Build Electric Versions of All 300 Models by 2030 (Bloomberg):
Speaking on the eve of the Frankfurt auto show, Chief Executive Officer Matthias Mueller announced sweeping plans to build electric versions of all 300 models in the 12-brand group’s lineup. The German auto giant laid out the enormity of the task ahead, vowing to spend 20 billion euros ($24 billion) by 2030 to roll out the cars and earmarked another 50 billion euros to buy the batteries needed to power the vehicles.
- Trump administration halts pollution controls at Utah coal plants (AP):
An appeals court granted a request Monday from President Donald Trump's administration to halt a plan for new pollution controls at Utah's oldest coal-fired power plants aimed at reducing haze near national parks. The development marks a reversal for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which last year under Barack Obama unveiled the rules and defended itself in a lawsuit brought by Utah and Rocky Mountain Power.
- Houston’s Floodwaters Are Tainted With Toxins, Testing Shows (NY Times):
Floodwaters in two Houston neighborhoods have been contaminated with bacteria and toxins that can make people sick, testing organized by The New York Times has found. Residents will need to take precautions to return safely to their homes, public health experts said.
- Despite Irma, Florida Rep. Aims To Let Companies Hide Climate Risks (International Business Times):
The Republican congressman from one of Hurricane Irma’s hardest hit counties is leading a legislative effort to let companies conceal how climate change affects their businesses. Only weeks before the storm came ashore, Florida U.S. Rep. Bill Posey reintroduced legislation designed to bar federal regulators from forcing companies to better disclose their climate-related risks to their shareholders.
- New Enbridge Pipeline Across Northern Minnesota Not Needed, State Says (Minneapolis Star-Tribune):
Enbridge's proposed new crude oil pipeline across northern Minnesota isn't needed, and moreover the aging line it's supposed to replace should be shut down, the Minnesota Department of Commerce said in an analysis released Monday.
- EPA Toxics Nominee Provided Koch-Funded Study In Chicago Petcoke Battle (Midwest Energy News):
Advocates concerned about pollution from petroleum coke are worried an Ohio professor’s study downplaying the risks will gain new prominence now that he has been named to a key EPA post.
- It Is a Time to Talk About Climate Change (The Atlantic):
In an interview with CNN on Thursday, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said that now is not the time to talk about climate change. ... In the interest of minimizing harm to people, it’s always an important time to talk about climate change. We don’t have to choose between helping current victims and working to prevent the next tragedy.
- ‘The Lungs of Our Region Are on Fire:’ Wildfires Exact a Punishing Toll (NY Times):
For much of this week and last, devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey in Houston and Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean has grabbed front-page headlines. But wildfires in the West have been wreaking destruction of their own, though it has attracted less attention. Vast swaths of land have burned, choking the air with ash and smoke.
- Senate Panel Votes To Fund UN Climate Agency (The Hill):
A Senate committee voted Thursday to contribute $10 million to the United Nations’ climate change agency.
- 2017 Wildfire Season In Us West Far Worse Than Expected (AP):
A wet winter and spring in the Western U.S. brought predictions that the 2017 wildfire season would be mild. It was anything but. It ended up one of the worst in U.S. history in land burned.
- 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