IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Trump visits Puerto Rico, downplays the disaster there; U.S. taxpayers give the fossil fuel industry $20 billion a year in subsidies; Scotland bans fracking; PLUS: Hidden costs of climate change costing U.S. tax-payers hundreds of billions a year, and it's getting worse... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): TransCanada abandons Energy East, Eastern Mainline projects; Interior Department whistleblower resigns, calling Ryan Zinke's leadership a failure; Scientists mapping Greenland have produced some surprising - and worrying - results; Interior Department rejects 25 endangered species petitions; Federal judge rebukes Trump Admin, reinstates federal methane emissions rules; Solar energy boom sets records, shatters expectations; Trump takes first step toward scrapping Obama's Clean Power Plan; Scientists may have solved 'missing' methane mystery; Harvey damage at San Jacinto waste pits shows bigger problems for EPA... PLUS: Climate change could nearly triple airplane turbulence in the next decades.... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Trump downplays the disaster in Puerto Rico:
- VIDEO: Trump to Puerto Rico - your hurricane isn't a real catastrophe like Katrina. And its throwing our budget a little out of whack. (Vox)
- FEMA has yet to authorize full disaster help for Puerto Rico (Vox):
Texas got it 10 days after Hurricane Harvey hit.
- Trump administration asks Congress for $29 billion in disaster aid (AP):
The request would bring the price tag for this year’s costly hurricane season to about $44 billion — and that’s before rebuilding efforts get under way in earnest.
- A tale of two Puerto Ricos: What Trump saw, and what he didn't (Washington Post):
The Puerto Rico that President Trump saw during his four-hour visit on Tuesday afternoon was that of Angel Pérez Otero, the mayor of Guaynabo, a wealthy San Juan suburb known for its amenity-driven gated communities that was largely spared when Hurricane Maria hit two weeks ago.
- Maria's Puerto Rico death toll rises to 34 (CNN)
- Trump's Puerto Rico event was way worse than his tweets (CNN):
The whole 13+ minutes is surreal. Time and time again, Trump makes the whole thing about him --- using the various officials, military and otherwise, around him to reinforce the ideas that he is doing a great job. On display is someone wholly wrapped up in himself, incapable of understanding that this moment --- on the ground of a historic natural disaster for the Puerto Rican people --was not about him.
- Trump comes face to face with stricken Puerto Rico (AP)
- Puerto Rico's Drinking Water Crisis Isn't Going Away Anytime Soon (Mother Jones):
Hurricane Maria caused vast power outages, causing pumps at water treatment plants to fail across the island. After loss of water pressure, especially in a water system that's as aging and leaky as Puerto Rico's, there's an immediate threat of bacteria and other contaminants seeping into the water supply. "The lack of ability to treat the water means that the raw sewage and floodwaters can contaminate the drinking source," says Erik Olson a lawyer at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
- White House walks back Trump's Puerto Rico comments as Wall Street reels (Politico)
- Hidden costs of climate change already cost U.S. $240 billion a year:
- Hidden Costs of Climate Change Running Hundreds of Billions a Year (National Geographic):
A new report warns of a high price tag on the impacts of global warming, from storm damage to health costs. But solutions can provide better value, the authors say.
- Climate Shocks May Cost U.S. $1 Billion a Day (Bloomberg):
“The increasing damage from climate-change related storms, wild fires, human health, agriculture loss and the like are taxing the potential of economic growth,” said James McCarthy, a Harvard University professor whose co-authors included Robert Watson, former chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The researchers weren’t paid for their work.
- Hidden Costs of Climate Change: weather extremes, fossil fuel pollution cost US $240 billion: study (Reuters)
- Former FEMA director warns US not ready for climate shocks:
- Former FEMA director issues warning to America on future hurricanes (Climate Progress):
While President Donald Trump on Tuesday toured the post-hurricane devastation in Puerto Rico, former FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate warned that disasters are going to exceed U.S. response capabilities, especially if the country does not improve its infrastructure.
- VIDEO: Fmr. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate on Lessons Learned from Superstorm Sandy (Center for American Progress)
- U.S. taxpayer subsidies to Big OIl top $20 billion a year:
- The US Is Paying Big Oil to Keep Fossil Fuels Profitable: Subsidies are keeping “zombie energy” alive. (Motherboard):
'Zombie oil' that ought to stay in the ground is kept alive thanks to federal and state governments in the US feeding it billions of dollars. This is oil consumers don't need, and that oil companies therefore wouldn't touch without these subsidies, a new analysis published in Nature Energy reveals.
- High Oil Subsidies Ensure Profit for Nearly Half New U.S. Investments, Study Shows (Inside Climate News):
The findings suggests U.S. oil may be more dependent on subsidies than previously thought. The subsidies could also undermine international climate goals.
- Scotland bans fracking:
- Scottish government bans fracking after public opposition (Guardian UK):
Energy minister Paul Wheelhouse says allowing unconventional extraction of coal and gas would put climate goals at risk
'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
- TransCanada abandons Energy East, Eastern Mainline projects (BBC):
It will no longer proceed with its proposed Energy East Pipeline and Eastern Mainline projects. The decision comes after Canada's national energy regulator expanded its review of the projects in August. The Energy East has faced fierce opposition in some communities along the pipeline's route and from some indigenous groups. In a statement on Thursday, TransCanada president Russ Girling said the decision comes "after careful review of changed circumstances".
- Interior Department whistleblower resigns, calling Ryan Zinke’s leadership a failure (Washington Post)
- Scientists mapping Greenland have produced some surprising – and worrying – results (Washington Post)
- Interior Department rejects 25 endangered species petitions, including several linked to climate change (Washington Post)
- Contrary To Original Plan, Atlantic Coast Pipeline May Extend Beyond North Carolina (WUNC)
- Putin says oil cut deal with OPEC could last to end of 2018 (CNBC)
- Climate change could nearly triple airplane turbulence in the next decades, study says (ABC News)
- Senate Weighs Key EPA Nominees With Close Ties To Chemical, Fossil Fuels (Washington Post)
- Federal Judge Reinstates Obama-Era Rule On Methane Emissions (Washington Post)
- Solar Energy Boom Sets New Records, Shattering Expectations (Inside Climate News)
- Trump Takes a First Step Toward Scrapping Obama’s Global Warming Policy (NY times)
- Scientists May Have Found Solution To The Atmosphere’s Methane Mystery (Washington Post)
- Harvey Damage At San Jacinto Waste Pits Shows Bigger Problems For EPA (KUHT)
- Putin says he'd drive a Tesla as the world shifts toward greener forms of transport (Bloomberg)
- 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...
- 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