IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Puerto Rico cancels controversial grid repair contract; Tesla restores power to PR children's hospital with solar and battery storage; Tropical Storm Philippe knocks out power in 7 Northeastern states; Global CO2 jumps to highest level in more than 3 million years; PLUS: Congressional Republicans may support resilient electric grids. Just don't mention climate change... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): EPA Pruitt to fill science panels with industry representatives; CO residents condemn regulators for allowing drilling near homes; NOAA about-face on red snapper revives overfishing threat; Same lake, but unequal water rates for minority communities; 'Emissions gap' alarmingly high, says UN; Loss of federal sanctuary protections endangers crucial reefs; Fish rebounding two years after CA dam removal; Trump to shrink 2 national monuments in UT; Native American professor resigns over censorship of DAPL seminars... PLUS: Trump's gang of climate change deniers has grown into an army in top government positions.... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- WMO: CO2 levels jump at a record rate to highest level in 3 million years:
- Greenhouse gas concentrations surge to new record (World Meteorological Organization):
Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surged at a record-breaking speed in 2016 to the highest level in 800 000 years, according to the World Meteorological Organization's Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. The abrupt changes in the atmosphere witnessed in the past 70 years are without precedent.
- Global atmospheric CO2 levels hit record high (Guardian UK):
This acceleration occurred despite a slowdown – and perhaps even a plateauing – of emissions because El Niño intensified droughts and weakened the ability of vegetation to absorb carbon dioxide. As the planet warms, El Niños are expected to become more frequent...The last time Earth experienced similar CO2 concentration rates was during the Pliocene era (three to five million years ago), when the sea level was up to 20m higher than now.
- Record surge in atmospheric CO2 seen in 2016 (BBC):
Last year's increase was 50% higher than the average of the past 10 years.
- Tropical Storm Philippe knocks out power to 7 Northeastern states:
- More than 1 million power outages in the Northeast after blockbuster fall storm
- Why utilities don’t move power lines out of hurricanes’ way (Vox):
It’s easier for utilities to focus on restoring power after storms than preventing outages during them...[A]t the state and federal level, there’s considerable resistance to planning for the various impacts of extreme weather events linked to climate change...[T]he US Department of Energy estimated in 2013 that weather-related power outages cost the economy between $18 billion and $33 billion each year.
- Isn't it better to just bury power lines? That may depend on where you live (CNN):
"You can't say undergrounding is all good or undergrounding is all bad," said Theodore Kury, director of energy studies at the University of Florida's Public Utility Research Center. "It's something that needs to be looked at on a case-by-case basis."
- Why aren’t power lines buried in the U.S. like they are in Europe? (Electrocution Lawyers)
- PREPA cancels controversial $300 million contract to repair Puerto Rico's electric grid:
- Puerto Rico moves to cancel contract with Whitefish Energy to repair electric grid (Washington Post):
The contract with Whitefish Energy — a firm that had just two employees the day the storm hit — had drawn blistering criticism from members of Congress for days. And on Friday the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has a large role in determining government reimbursements, said it had “significant concerns” about how the contract was secured...Rosselló said that he is requesting assistance from Florida and New York under “mutual aid” arrangements that utilities traditionally activate during emergencies. The territory had not previously done so and had not responded to offers of assistance.
- Here's What's In That $300 Million Whitefish Contract (NPR)
- Puerto Rico Governor Says Aid From New York, Florida Will Be ‘Critical’ After Whitefish Deal Scuttled (NBC News)
- VIDEO: Puerto Rico’s Frantic Search for Someone to Turn on the Lights (NBC News)
- The Whitefish contract in Puerto Rico shows the real cost of bad government (Washington Post)
- With Whitefish Deal Canceled, What's Next For Puerto Rico's Recovery? (NPR)
- Puerto Rico's Power Authority Cancels Controversial Whitefish Contract (NPR)
- Repulsed by Whitefish Energy? Maybe You Also Hate Capitalism. (In These Times):
Following public outrage, the company’s power contract in Puerto Rico was canceled. But the company still reveals a great deal about the banal evils of capitalism.
- Tesla micro-grid system now running children's hospital:
- Puerto Rico’s Solar Future Takes Shape at Children’s Hospital, with Tesla Batteries (Inside Climate News):
Tesla announces 'first of many' solar-plus-storage projects in Puerto Rico. It's one of several efforts to repower the island with renewable energy post-hurricane...Solar panels began filling a parking lot outside a children's hospital this week as Elon Musk's first major solar-plus-storage project in Puerto Rico took shape, demonstrating how quickly solar microgrids can be established for long-term clean, resilient power...The cost of renewables is comparable to the prices customers already paid for electricity, and a new, decentralized grid would be more conducive to integrating distributed energy, Kunkel said. That could help raise the island's renewable energy portfolio, which is currently only at 2 percent, and make it more resilient to future storms.
- Rep. Kevin McCarthy urges rebuilding for resilience in Puerto Rico:
- VIDEO: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy Talks Tax Reform, Hurricane Relief (Fox News)
- Just don’t say climate change: McCarthy called on the government to think about resiliency as it rebuilds the island’s infrastructure (Politico):
“When we go back and make investments there, we should prepare ourselves there will be a future hurricane some time in the future. It’s happened before and it will happen again but we should prepare ourselves, so we're not repaying for the exact same thing.” ME would gently remind everyone that’s exactly what the Obama-era flood standard that Trump rolled back earlier this year sought to address.
'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
- EPA's Pruitt To Fill Science Panels With Industry, Conservative Members (Washington Post)
- Angry Coloradans Berate State Regulators For Allowing Drilling Near Homes (Denver Post)
- Oceans: NOAA About-Face On Red Snapper Revives Overfishing Debate (E&E News)
- Tribune Investigation: The Water Drain - Same Lake, Unequal Rates (Chicago Tribune)
- Emissions Gap Remains 'Alarmingly High' Says UN (BBC)
- Loss of Federal Protections May Imperil Pacific Reefs, Scientists Warn (NY Times)
- Trump’s Gang of Climate Deniers Has Grown Into an Army (The New Republic)
- Two Years After California’s Biggest Dam Removal, Fish Rebound (Water Deeply)
- Trump Plans to Shrink Two National Monuments in Utah (NY Times)
- Green energy vs. coal: A secret campaign to convince Ohioans that wind and solar would kill jobs (Cleveland Plain-Dealer)
- U.S. Trade Panel Set To Recommend Solar Trade Tariffs (Reuters)
- Doctors: Global Warming Is Taking A Toll On People’s Health (AP)
- City officials seek reprieve from pollution limits in Spokane River (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
- Report: Los Alamos lab comes up short on emergency drills (AP)
- How a 672,000-Gallon Oil Spill off the Gulf Coast was nearly invisible (NY Times)
- Native American professor resigns over disputed lecture series on DAPL protests (Washington Post)
- Why Has the E.P.A. Shifted on Toxic Chemicals? An Industry Insider Helps Call the Shots (NY Times)
- 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:
- Global atmospheric CO2 levels hit record high (Guardian UK):