IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Atlanta airport blackout exposes serious vulnerabilities in nation's air transportation system; Fast-growing winter wildfire in Southern California now third largest in state history; Study finds climate change already wreaking havoc on our weather; PLUS: Trump removes climate change from the list of national security threats... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Derailed Amtrak train was 50 mph over the speed limit; EPA moves to replace Obama-era Clean Power Plan; EPA's opp-research firm scrutinized EPA employees' emails to find dissenters; EPA's ties to GOP oppo-research firm go back years; China unveils ambitious plan to curb carbon emissions; British Columbia bans grizzly bear hunting; Trump kills USDA organic animal welfare rules, years in the making; GOP tax bill largely preserves renewable energy investment tax breaks; Trump rule change exploits taxpayers for mine cleanup; Meet the microgrid... PLUS: 60 environmental rules on the way out under Trump... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Atlanta airport blackout exposes serious vulnerabilities in nation's air transportation system:
- Utility faces questions after power outage at Atlanta airport (Washington Post):
“I do think Atlanta is a very unusual situation, but if what we’re being told is true and they had the backup right next to primary — we’ll I’m sure after action report will say that probably should not have happened. It’s classic that the redundancy didn’t work there. It just so highlights the need to modernize.”
- Atlanta Airport Blackout Sends Message to Terrorists: America Is Unprepared (Daily Beast):
A single-point failure makes the world’s busiest airport go dark for hours and traps thousands of passengers. It’s what phase one of an attack could look like.
- 11-hour power outage at Atlanta airport grounds thousands of flights (Utility Dive)
- Atlanta airport's main and backup power lines flow through same tunnel damaged by fire (USA Today)
- Power Failure at Atlanta Airport Snarls Air Traffic Nationwide (NY times)
- California's Thomas Fire now 3rd largest in state history:
- 'Beyond a perfect storm': Wind-driven California fire nears record (USA Today)
- Firefighters have never seen a wildfire like this one (LA Times):
Some 8,450 firefighters are on the lines, the largest mobilization of fire crews to fight any wildfire in California history. The Thomas is now the state’s third-largest fire on record but is likely to become the second within the next day or two.
- 271,500-acre Thomas Fire almost the second-largest wildfire in California history (San Luis Obispo Tribune)
- California Today: The World Asks Santa Barbara, ‘Are You O.K.?’ (NY Times)
- California fires have exposed 1.6 million people dangerous amounts of smoke that could be lethal for some (UK Daily Mail)
- 3 Reasons Why California's Fire Risk Won't Dampen Anytime Soon (NPR)
- 2017 wildfire season could be worst on record globally:
- Spreading like wildfire (Nature):
The 2017 wildfire season has seen unusually high fire levels in many parts of the world...What might now be considered high wildfire years like 2017 are likely to become more common in the future and this will inevitably stretch the existing institutional and infrastructural resources in place to manage them — resources that have already been shown to be inadequate this year in many places.
- Climate Change Is Already Wreaking Havoc on Our Weather, Scientists Find (TIME):
The Arctic is melting with no turning back. Climate change increased rainfall during Hurricane Harvey by at least 15%. And several extreme weather events that occurred in 2016 would not have been possible without man-made global warming...“Climate change is hurting us without a doubt,” said James Byrne, a professor at the University of Lethbridge who studies climate change, at a press conference. “Houston, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, British Columbia — worst fire season ever. California, I think they declared it the worst fire season.”
- Grim climate outlook demands action now (NZ Herald):
[E]lsewhere the 2017 wildfire season has seen unusually high fire levels in many parts of the world, with extensive and severe fires occurring in Chile, the Mediterranean, Russia, the US, Canada and even Greenland. This year's total burned area is estimated at about 622,000 ha compared with a 2008–2016 average of around 228,000 ha.
- Trump removes climate change from list of national security threats:
- Trump breaks with military leaders, removes climate change from list of national security threats (Climate Progress):
For more than a decade, military officials have argued climate change poses a critical threat.
- Trump drops climate change from US national security strategy (Guardian UK)
- Trump Drops Climate Threats from National Security Strategy (E&E News):
The president claimed yesterday that the true danger to U.S. security is not climate change, but regulations...Climate change, meanwhile, is treated as a parenthetical.
- VIDEO: President Obama's 2015 commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (YouTube):
Climate change will impact everything the U.S. Coast Guard's newest ensigns will do, President Barack Obama told the 223 members of the Coast Guard Academy's graduating class Wednesday morning.
- VIDEO: President Trump outlines National Security Strategy (NY Times)
- Trump removes climate change from national security threats after military says they are real (Quartz):
The omission comes less than a week after Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act, which sets policy for the US military for the coming fiscal year. That bill included a large section on climate change, in which current and former top US military brass stated the threat it poses to national security...By signing the defense bill, Trump also ordered a report on “vulnerabilities to military installations” that climate change could cause in the next 20 years.
- Trump’s Defense Secretary Cites Climate Change as National Security Challenge (Pro Publica, 3/14/2017)
- AMS scientists attribute 21 of 27 extreme weather events to climate change:
- Explaining Extremes: BAMS report assesses how human-caused climate change affected extreme weather of 2016. (Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society):
The events were the 2016 record global heat, the heat across Asia, as well as a marine heat wave off the coast of Alaska. While these results are novel, they were not unexpected.
- Special report: 2016 extreme weather events and ties to climate change (NOAA)
- How Global Warming Fueled Five Extreme Weather Events (NY Times):
[R]esearchers around the world analyzed 27 extreme weather events from 2016 and found that human-caused climate change was a “significant driver” for 21 of them. The effort is part of the growing field of climate change attribution, which explores connections between warming and weather events that have already happened.
- Three 2016 extremes 'not ... possible' without human warming (Yale Climate Connections):
The 'extreme magnitude' of three 2016 weather events 'would not have been possible without human-caused climate change,' an American Meteorological Society report says, for the first time finding a causal relationship.
'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
- VIDEO: Amtrak train was 50 mph over the speed limit, National Transportation Safety Board confirms (USA Today)
- EPA moves to replace Obama-era climate rule (E&E News)
- 60 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump (NY Times)
- The EPA’s Ties to a GOP Opposition Firm Go Far Beyond a PR Contract (Mother Jones)
- E.P.A. Employees Spoke Out. Then Came Scrutiny of Their Email. (NY Times)
- China Unveils an Ambitious Plan to Curb Climate Change Emissions (NY Times)
- House Plan Would Increase Trump's Disaster Aid Request (Reuters)
- Canada's British Columbia Province Bans Grizzly Bear Hunting (Reuters)
- Meet The Microgrid, The Technology Poised To Transform Electricity (Vox)
- Years in the Making, Organic Animal Welfare Rules Killed by Trump USDA (Civil Eats)
- Trump EPA Rule Change Exploits Taxpayers For Mine Cleanup, Critics Say (Guardian UK)
- Tax Bill Largely Preserves Incentives for Wind and Solar Power (NY Times)
- Final Permit For Disputed Michigan Mine Gets Accepted. Tribe Digs In. (Environmental Health News)
- For Alaskan Coastal Village Residents, Erosion Hits Home (NPR)
- What Oil Drilling Looks Like in the Arctic Refuge, 30 Years Later (NY Times)
- Zinke Reprimanded Park Head After Climate Tweets (The Hill)
- The U.S. meat industry is the largest source of drinking water pollution throughout the Midwest (The New Republic)
- The Climate Risks We Face (NY Times):
To stabilize global temperature, net carbon dioxide emissions must be reduced to zero. The window of time is rapidly closing to reduce emissions and limit warming to no more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, the goal set in the Paris climate accord. The further we push the climate system beyond historical conditions, the greater the risks of potentially unforeseen and even catastrophic changes to the climate - so every reduction in emissions helps.
- 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