IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Caribbean islands brace for impact --- again --- this time from Hurricane Maria, with more storms in the wings; Trump still in denial about the climate link to extreme weather; Interior Secretary Zinke recommends ten national monuments for modification; PLUS: As the United Nations gathers in New York City, it's the 30th anniversary of the first global climate treaty... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): The great nutrient collapse: The atmosphere is literally changing the food we eat; Study: ‘Unprecedented’ rain, warmth for Alaska by end of century; Florida's poop nightmare comes true; America is on the verge of a 'ratpocalypse'; 3rd hottest August on record; Trump administration working toward renewed drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; UK press watchdog says climate change denying article was faulty... PLUS: Evidence of spills at toxic site during Harvey floods.... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Here we go again: Hurricane Maria tracks Irma's destructive path:
- Category 5 Hurricane Maria Targeting the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico (The Weather Channel):
Hurricane Maria, once again a Category 5 hurricane, has its sights set on a potentially catastrophic strike on the already storm-weary Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, following a first-on-record Category 5 landfall for the island of Dominica Monday night.
- Category 5 Hurricane Maria is a disaster scenario for Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands; Jose to brush by New England (Washington Post)
- Virgin Islands lack supplies for second hurricane pummeling (Politico)
- Hurricane Maria barrels toward Puerto Rico after crippling Dominica (CNN)
- Tropical storms multiply in Pacific Ocean as Norma edges toward Los Cabos (Chicago Tribune)
- NOAA predicted an active season:
- Early-season storms one indicator of active Atlantic hurricane season ahead (NOAA.gov):
Above-normal season likely with 14 to 19 named storms
- The 2017 Hurricane Season Really Is More Intense Than Normal (NY Times):
It was only 25 days ago that Hurricane Harvey made landfall. You could be forgiven for thinking it’s been longer. After all, that was four hurricanes ago...“We’ve had more than a year’s worth of named storms when you look at the long-term average, and that’s being just past the midpoint of the season.”
- Record hurricanes have zero impact on Trump's brain:
- Trump says ‘we’ve had bigger storms’ when asked about Harvey, Irma and climate change (Washington Post):
“That’s just not correct,” said Kerry Emanuel, a hurricane expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Parsing Trump’s comment that “we’ve had bigger storms than this” begins with trying to understand what Trump means by “bigger.”...Hurricane Harvey went down in storm annals for having more rainfall than any other hurricane in the continental United States. And Hurricane Irma maintained Category 5 wind speeds for longer than any other hurricane for which scientists have satellite data.
- Trump on hurricanes: ‘I never even knew a Category 5 existed’ (MSNBC)
- Interior Sec. Zinke recommends shrinking 10 national monuments:
- Shrink at least 4 national monuments and modify a half-dozen others, Zinke tells Trump (Washington Post):
It emphasizes the need to adjust the proclamations to address concerns of local officials or affected industries, saying the administration should permit “traditional uses” now restricted within the monuments’ boundaries, such as grazing, logging, coal mining and commercial fishing.
- Utah quietly tells feds: Trim Bears Ears monument by 90 percent (Salt Lake Tribune)
- Opponents vow to sue over Zinke national monuments changes (The Spectrum)
- REPORT: Too Wild To Drill. (The Wilderness Society)
- EPA rolls back rule to protect drinking water from coal pollution:
- 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.
- Scott Pruitt says EPA will reconsider rule safeguarding communities from coal ash (Climate Progress):
No surprise: Pruitt finds industry petitions convincing.
- EPA will reconsider Obama-era safeguards on coal waste (Washington Post)
- TVA: Coal ash removal near Gallatin power plant would take 24 years (Tennesseean)
- Paris Agreement and climate change at United Nations General Assembly:
- U.S. Governors at U.N. Assembly: ‘You Have Allies’ on Climate Change (NY Times)
- Trump Adviser Tells Ministers U.S. Will Leave Paris Climate Accord (NY Times)
- The world might fine the U.S. for leaving the Paris agreement. (The New Republic):
At the opening ceremony of Climate Week NYC on Monday—less than a mile away from the U.N. meeting—former Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers raised the idea of a “border adjustment carbon tax.” Under this plan, each country that signed the Paris agreement would institute a carbon tax. Countries that don’t have one—i.e., the United States—would face financial penalties levied on exports and imports.
- Todd Stern: President Trump, stay in the Paris agreement. You’ll regret it if you don’t. (Washington Post):
President Trump is reportedly considering whether to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement. That would be a huge mistake, and you don’t have to be a softhearted environmentalist to understand why. Hardheaded analysis based on the interests of national security and U.S. business leads to the inescapable conclusion that remaining in the agreement is in America’s best interest.
- 30th anniversary of the world's first global climate treaty, the Montreal Protocol:
- 30 years of healing the ozone layer (Phys Org):
This week marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The signing of the Montreal Protocol was a landmark political event. The treaty is the first in the history of the United Nations to achieve universal ratification. Environmental science made it happen.
- Montreal Protocol: Successful Ozone and Climate Agreement Turns 30 (IISD)
- Saving the ozone layer: why the Montreal Protocol worked (The Conversation)
- A Climate Success Story to Build On (NY Times)
- The ozone problem is back with a vengeance (Green Biz)
'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 great nutrient collapse: The atmosphere is literally changing the food we eat (Politico):
Could carbon dioxide have an effect on human health we haven’t accounted for yet? The answer appears to be yes...
- Study: ‘Unprecedented’ rain, warmth for Alaska by end of century (Alaksa Dispatch News):
If current carbon emissions and climate trends hold, the Far North can join the hurricane-soaked South as a place of wet-weather extremes, new research shows...By the end of the century, one-day maximum rainfalls will be 53 percent heavier than what is now considered the norm — the weather recorded from 1981 to 2010 — and maximum five-day rainfalls will be 50 percent heavier, according to the study.
- AP Exclusive: Evidence of spills at toxic site during Harvey floods (AP):
The reported spills, which have been not publicly detailed, occurred at U.S. Oil Recovery, a former petroleum industry waste processing plant contaminated with a dangerous brew of cancer-causing chemicals. On Aug. 29, the day Harvey’s remnants cleared out, a county pollution control team sent photos to the Environmental Protection Agency of three large concrete tanks flooded with water. That led PRP Group, the company overseeing the ongoing cleanup, to call a federal emergency hotline to report a spill affecting nearby Vince Bayou.
- Florida’s Poop Nightmare Has Come True (The New Republic):
Hurricane Irma caused massive sewage overflows, highlighting the twin dangers of an aging infrastructure and climate change.
- America Is on the Verge of Ratpocalypse (The New Republic):
Warmer weather is fueling a rodent surge, straining public health systems and the economy. It's time for the federal government to step in...“The reason the rats are so bad now, we believe, is because of the warm winters,” said Gerard Brown, program manager of the Rodent and Vector Control Division of the D.C. Department of Health, at a 2016 rat summit.
- NOAA: Earth sweltered to 3rd hottest August, summer on record (AP):
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday the globe last month averaged 61.5 degrees (16.43 Celsius), which was a degree-and-a-half higher than the 20th century average, but behind 2016 and 2015.
- Trump administration working toward renewed drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Washington Post):
The Trump administration is quietly moving to allow energy exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for the first time in more than 30 years, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post, with a draft rule that would lay the groundwork for drilling.
- British Press Watchdog Says Climate Change Article Was Faulty (NY Times):
A self-policing group within the British news industry has forced the tabloid The Mail on Sunday to acknowledge that an article it published asserting that climate researchers in the United States had manipulated data was inaccurate and misleading.
- Clinton urges government workers not to quit their posts (Politico):
“I don’t want us to lose the decades — really, if you added it all up, the thousands of years — of experience in the EPA, in the State Department, in the Labor Department, in a lot of the places being targeted by the administration,” Clinton said. “At some point they’re going to need you, and the country is going to need you. And I hope you’re still there.”
- 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