IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Desperate conditions in the Caribbean and US Virgin Islands in the wake of Hurricane Irma; Eight dead in sweltering Florida nursing home as power remains out for millions; New major gasoline spill and new lawsuits in the wake of Hurricane Harvey; PLUS: Understanding the impact of a warming world on extreme weather events... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Damage from hurricanes adds to growing cost of climate change; Economist's view: Learning from Harvey; Harvey wrecks up to a million cars; The looming Superfund nightmare; Too much CO2 behind nutrient collapse in most plants; Why getting the power back on in Florida could take weeks; US House votes to block climate rules; CA sues Trump Administration over fuel economy standards; Trump Administration delays limits on toxic metal releases from coal plants... PLUS: Irma Won’t “Wake Up” Climate Change-Denying Republicans. Their Whole Ideology Is on the Line... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Desperate conditions in the US Virgin Islands in the wake of Hurricane Irma:
- VIDEO: US Virgin Islands facing dire circumstances after Hurricane Irma (The Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC):
Suzanne Carlson, staff writer for the Virgin Islands Daily News, talks with Rachel Maddow about the struggle in the U.S. Virgin Islands to first survive and then begin to recover from the havoc of Hurricane Irma.
- Photos show Hurricane Irma's aftermath in the Caribbean, where some islands were more than 90% destroyed (Business Insider)
- Op-ed: The ‘second disaster’ facing the victims of Harvey and Irma (Climate Progress):
To avoid repeating mistakes made after Hurricane Katrina, equity needs to guide post-hurricane rebuilding.
- Battered Florida Keys digging out of Hurricane Irma's aftermath:
- Florida Keys live updates: Gov. Scott opens interest-free Irma business loans, Publix opens in Key West (Miami Herald)
- Florida Keys: An evacuation that worked and saved lives. Here's why. (USA Today)
- FEMA: 25% of Florida Keys Homes Destroyed by Irma (Insurance Journal)
- Order is returning to the Florida Keys, but services remain scarce (CNN)
- 8 elderly residents dead in Florida nursing home after losing power:
- Eight dead after South Florida nursing home's air conditioning fails following Hurricane Irma (Washington Post):"
The deaths, which prompted a criminal investigation Wednesday, were what many feared might happen after Irma knocked out power for millions of people in Florida, a state known for its omnipresent heat.
- No power, no place to go for thousands of South Florida elderly after Irma (Miami Herald)
- Florida nursing home deaths spur efforts to protect elderly (AP)
- Major fuel spill and other polluting toxins confirmed in Houston after Hurricane Harvey
- Harvey's flooding blamed in major gasoline spill in Texas (AP):
Hurricane Harvey's floodwaters triggered a spill of almost a half-million gallons of gasoline from two storage tanks along the Houston Ship Channel, marking the largest spill reported to date from a storm that slammed into the heart of Texas' huge petrochemical industry...The Associated Press has identified more than two dozen spills from fuel and chemical tanks that failed during Harvey.
- 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.
- From Texas to Florida, toxic sites risk flooding (PBS NewsHour)
- Mitigate Mold Immediately, Can Begin To Develop Within 24 To 48 Hours of Intrusion (Space Coast Daily)
- Lawsuits begin to mount after Hurricane Harvey:
- In scathing lawsuit, first responders describe vomiting, gasping at Texas chemical plant fire (Washington Post):
The responders allege that the plant owner, Arkema, minimized the dangers of exposure to the fire and failed to warn the responders manning the perimeter of the mandatory 1.5 mile evacuation area to move farther away from the fumes after the first of nine trailers full of volatile organic peroxide burst into flames in the early nighttime hours of Aug. 29.
- The Exploding Chemical Plant Outside Houston Faces Its First Lawsuit (The Atlantic):
[T]he suit claims that those responders had been put in the position to fall ill—and suffer potential unknown future health issues—because of the misrepresentations of Arkema executives, who have maintained that the substances leaking into the air and exploding were not toxic.
- Harvey storm-water releases were unlawful government takings: lawsuits (Reuters):
Owners of homes flooded during Hurricane Harvey are claiming billions of dollars in damages by federal and state water releases from storm-swollen reservoirs, using a legal tack pursued without success in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina.
- Houston Residents Blame City for Dam-Related Flooding (Courthouse News):
A week after Hurricane Harvey saturated Houston with historic rainfall and as neighborhoods in the western part of the city are still underwater, residents claim in a class action that governmental mismanagement of two dams is to blame for the flooding that’s forced them to evacuate their homes.
- Government faces suit over Addicks and Barker dam releases (Houston Chronicle):
Class action lawsuit in Washington, D.C. says Army Corps of Engineers flooded after Harvey passed
- Major media networks fail to report hurricanes' climate connection:
- #ClimateSilence: Corporate Media Called Out for Whiffing on 'Most Important Story in the World' (Common Dreams)
- Major news networks are failing to explain that Hurricane Harvey was fueled by climate change (Quartz)
- Western wildfire season shaping up to be worst on record:
- 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.
- Wildfires continue to wreak havoc across the West (LA Times)
- Mann: Understanding climate change influence on extreme weather is crucial:
- AUDIO: 'A Threat to the Forces of Denial and Delay': Dr. Michael Mann on Science Facts After Irma, 'BradCast' 9/13/2017 (The BRAD BLOG)
- Assessing climate change impacts on extreme weather events; the case for an alternative (Baesian) approach. Climate Change (2017) (Mann, Michael, ElisabethLloyd, Naomi Oreskes, Penn State Univ)
- New Research on Assessing Climate Change Impact on Extreme Weather (Science Blogs)
- 6 Questions About Hurricane Irma, Climate Change and Harvey (Inside Climate News)
- The devastating stats behind record-breaking Hurricane Irma (Wired)
- Temperature anomalies are driving force behind storms Like Harvey, Irma (PME)
'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
- Irma Won’t “Wake Up” Climate Change-Denying Republicans. Their Whole Ideology Is on the Line. (Naomi Klein, The Intercept):
Some have speculated that seeing the reality of climate change hit so close to home this summer — Houston underwater, Los Angeles licked by flames, and now southern states getting battered by Irma — might be some kind of wake-up call for climate change-denying Republicans. As Trump’s address to his cabinet makes clear, however, Irma only makes him want to double down on his reckless economic agenda.
- Damage from Hurricane Irma, Harvey 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.
- Learning from Harvey: After the Hurricanes (Joe Stiglitz, Post/Syndicate):
Hurricane Harvey, followed quickly by Irma, left in its wake upended lives and enormous property damage, estimated by some at $150-180 billion. But the pummeling that America received also raise deep questions about its economic system and politics...There is an obvious lesson to be learned from such episodes: markets on their own are incapable of providing the protection that societies need. When markets fail, as they often do, collective action becomes imperative.
- Harvey Wrecks Up to a Million Cars in Car-Dependent Houston (Wired):
[S]ome ruined cars won’t be replaced at all—and that’s where Harvey’s impact may prove most devastating. Roughly 15 percent of Texas vehicle owners don’t have any kind of car insurance.
- The Looming Superfund Nightmare (The Atlantic):
As unprecedented hurricanes assault coastal U.S. communities, residents and experts fear the storms could unleash contamination the EPA has tried to keep at bay.
- Too much CO2: The great nutrient collapse (Politico):
The atmosphere is literally changing the food we eat, for the worse. And almost nobody is paying attention...To say that it’s little known that key crops are getting less nutritious due to rising CO2 is an understatement. It is simply not discussed in the agriculture, public health or nutrition communities. At all.
- Why Getting the Power Back On in Florida Could Take Weeks (NY Times):
Why does it take so long? Repairing the grid after a major hurricane is a complex task, experts said. Utilities first have to send crews out to inspect the damage before they can figure out how best to restore service. That assessment can take days, and heavy flooding and debris from the storm can delay workers trying to reach key areas.
- Emails Show How the Food Industry Uses ‘Science’ to Push Soda" (Bloomberg):
A conversation between two former Coke executives reveals some of the tricks of the trade.
- U.S. House Votes to Block Climate Rules, Using Critical Budget Bill (Inside Climate News):
The House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to cut funding from key climate protection rules and rejected an attempt to save regional offices of the Environmental Protection Agency from being closed. But lawmakers voted against an amendment to cut $1.9 billion from the EPA's budget, which would have dealt a devastating blow to the beleaguered agency.
- California Sues The Trump Administration Over Fuel Ecomony Standards (Sacramento Bee):
California sued the federal government Monday over the Trump administration’s decision to postpone indefinitely a decision by former President Barack Obama to dramatically increase the penalties for violating federal fuel economy standards.
- U.S. Delays Limits On Toxic Metals From Coal-Fired Power Plants (Reuters):
U.S. regulators on Wednesday postponed until 2020 new limits on toxic metals and other pollutants in the wastewater of coal-fired power plants, a delay welcomed by industry groups that had sought it but decried by environmental groups.
- 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