IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Record cold and 'bomb cyclone' slam Eastern U.S.; Drought grips California --- again; What happens in the melting Arctic doesn't stay in the melting Arctic; PLUS: Under cover of the holidays, Trump Administration guts even more environment and safety regulations... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Trump Admin. moves to drastically expand offshore drilling; Quarter of world's population could face permanent drought if Paris deal goals aren't met; Extreme cold heats up battle between coal vs. nuclear lobbyists for taxpayer subsidies; How climate change deniers rise to the top of Google search results; 2017 crushed a major temperature record and scientists are sounding the alarm; Clean energy soared in the U.S. in 2017; Coal company sues WA State over rejected export terminal; PA shuts down Sunoco pipeline under construction after 'egregious violations'; More than half of new Norway car sales are electric or hybrid... PLUS: Researchers can now blame warming for individual disasters... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Record cold and 'bomb cyclone' hit entire U.S. Eastern seaboard:
- Historic 'bomb cyclone' unleashes blizzard conditions from coastal Virginia to New England. Frigid air to follow. (Washington Post)
- A 'bomb cyclone,' explained (Mashable):
"Bomb cyclone" may seem like an obscure expression invented by meteorologists for attention, or to describe some sinister atmosphere terrorism plot, but it's actually rooted in the science of meteorology.
- Why So Cold? Climate Change May Be Part of the Answer (NY Times):
"There's a lot of agreement that the Arctic plays a role, it's just not known exactly how much," said Marlene Kretschmer, a researcher at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. "It's a very complex system."
- Record cold in the U.S. and Canada has no end in sight - a running list of the records so far (Mashable):
[L]arge portions of U.S. and Canada are currently experiencing the most unusually cold air of anywhere on the planet, with warmer-than-average air dominating the globe.
- A Response For People Using Record Cold U.S. Weather To Refute Climate Change (Forbes)
- Does Record Snowfall Disprove Global Warming? 'Exactly the Opposite,' Scientist Says (EcoWatch)
- Warmer in Alaska than Florida? Why our weather is upside down (AP):
That's because the Arctic's deeply frigid weather escaped its regular atmospheric jail that traps the worst cold. It then meandered south to the central and eastern United States...While the United States has been in the deep freeze, the rest of the globe has been toastier than normal.
- California: extreme dryness affecting mountain snowpack:
- VIDEO: January 3, 2018 Snow Survey Press Conference (CA Dept. of Water Resources Facebook page)
- Dry December Produces Below-Average Snowpack (CA Dept. of Water Resources)
- SoCal Experiencing One of the Driest Starts to Water Year on Record (KTLA Los Angeles)
- Sparse Sierra snowpack has officials worried about a long, dry summer (SF Chronicle)
- Dry spell sparks fears of another California drought (AP)
- The Latest: California's first 2018 survey finds little snow (AP)
- From feet of powder to a snow-free winter, Flagstaff weather swings to extremes in 2017 (AZ Daily Sun)
- Trump Admin. rescinds new standards for fracking:
- To round out a year of rollbacks, the Trump administration just repealed key regulations on fracking (Washington Post):
On the last business day of the year, the Interior Department rescinded a 2015 Obama administration rule that would have set new environmental limitations on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on public lands.
- Trump administration officially scraps Obama-era rules for fracking on federal land (Climate Progress):
The rules would have, among other things, required companies to disclose the chemicals used in their operations.
- Trump Admin. weakens safety regulations on offshore drilling:
- Trump administration to overhaul safety-monitoring rules for offshore drilling (Washington Post):
The Trump administration is overhauling how federal officials monitor safety procedures on offshore drilling operations, revising a pair of rules enacted in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill on the grounds that they are overly burdensome on industry.
- The Trump Administration Just Halted An Offshore Oil Drilling Inspection Study (Buzzfeed)
- Trump administration shuts down study on the safety of offshore drilling (Nation Of Change):
"One thing we should all be able to agree on is that safety is of paramount importance, so preventing a study like this simply flies in the face of common sense."
- Coal mining industry deaths double over last year's record low:
- U.S. Coal Mine Deaths Rise After Record-Low 2016 (NPR):
In September, President Trump's appointee to head MSHA, former mining company executive David Zatezalo, was criticized for allegedly approving the firing of a worker who complained about safety violations. However, most of the mine fatalities occurred before Zatezalo took over MSHA.
- Coal mining deaths double in 2017 (The Hill):
Workplace deaths in the coal mining industry increased last year to their highest point in three years. A total of 15 miners died on the job in 2017, Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) data show, compared with eight in 2016. That year saw the fewest mining deaths since records began.
- Trump's Mine-Safety Nominee Ran Coal Firm Cited for Illegal Employment Practices (Pro Publica):
Records show the coal mining company formerly run by David Zatezalo retaliated against a foreman who complained of harassment and unsafe conditions.
- Trump took credit for airline safety in 2017. What about the surge in coal miner deaths? (Climate Progress)
'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
- Trump administration to expand drilling off U.S. continental waters (Washington Post)
- Study: Quarter of world's population could face permanent drought if Paris deal goals aren't met (The Hill)
- Arctic Blast Heating Up Battle Between Energy Lobbying Groups for Coal and Nuclear (Bloomberg)
- Researchers can now blame warming for individual disasters (E&E News)
- As an EPA intern, I was barred from mentioning climate change (Washington Post)
- How Climate Change Deniers Rise to the Top in Google Searches (NY Times)
- 2017 crushed a major temperature record and scientists are sounding the alarm (Climate Progress)
- Farmers in Iowa: 'Smothered' and 'shoved aside' in rural America (Washington Post)
- Clean Energy Soared in the U.S. in 2017 Due to Economics, Policy, Tech (Inside Climate News)
- Coal Company Sues Washington State Over Coal-Export Terminal (AP)
- Foresight Energy moves to partially seal Illinois coal mine plagued by underground fire (St. Louis Today)
- Pennsylvania Shuts Down Construction On Sunoco Gas Pipeline After 'Egregious' Violations (AP)
- Dominion Offers To Buy SCANA In Wake Of S.C. Nuclear Plant Failure (Charleston Post & Courier)
- More Than Half Of New Norway Car Sales Now Electric Or Hybrid (Reuters)
- Trump's offshore drilling expansion, deregulation is deadly combo (The Hill)
- AUDIO: An Inconvenient 'BradCast' with Al Gore (The BRAD BLOG):
Guest Host Angie Coiro's exclusive interview with the former Vice President on elections, pollution, persuasion, activism, and hope...
- 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