IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt lies about climate science over your public airwaves; Invest one dollar in building disaster resilience, save six dollars in economic losses; Dunkin' Donuts ditches polystyrene foam cups; PLUS: California tosses a wrench into Trump's plans to expand offshore drilling... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): It looked as if Earth’s ozone layer was healing nicely — until now; Saudi Arabia plots shift to solar; CA taxpayers could foot the bill to decommission old oil rigs; XCel Energy expects to save millions in shift to renewables; Tesla to outfit 50K Australian homes with solar + storage for 250 MW virtual power plant; Climate change pushes LG&E's parent company to slash coal-burning in Kentucky; Toxic coal ash from power plants seeping into groundwater; State attorneys general sue Trump Admin. over Clean Water Rule delay; Trump's State Dept. misses UN Paris Agreement climate reporting deadline... PLUS: Degrowth - is it time for a new kind of economics?... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt lies about climate science over your public airwaves:
- VIDEO: EPA Chief Scott Pruitt goes one-on-one with News 3 (KSNV Las Vegas)
- EPA’s Scott Pruitt asks whether global warming ‘necessarily is a bad thing’ (Washington Post):
It’s unclear why Pruitt thinks warmer temperatures may be better for people. The last 11,700 years, before the end of the last ice age, constitute a relatively stable period of climate for human civilization. Many of the cities built during those millennia dot the coasts of Earth’s continents and were situated there assuming relatively stable sea levels.
- Pruitt suggests warming can help humans (E&E News) [emphasis added]:
"I think there's assumptions made that because the climate is warming, that that necessarily is a bad thing," Pruitt said..."Is it an existential threat, is it something that is unsustainable, or what kind of effect or harm is this going to have?" he said...Possible impacts include sea-level rise and an increase in deadly heat waves, potentially making some areas of the planet uninhabitable.
- Scott Pruitt insincerely asked what's Earth's ideal temperature. Scientists answer (Guardian UK):
“There is no one perfect temperature for the earth, but there is for us humans, and that’s the temperature we’ve had over the last few thousands of years when we built our civilization, agriculture, economy, and infrastructure...Two-thirds of the world’s largest cities are located within a meter of sea level. What happens when sea level rises a meter or more, as it’s likely to this century? We can’t pick up Shanghai or London or New York and move them. Most of our arable land is already carefully allocated and farmed."
- The great nutrient collapse: The atmosphere is literally changing the food we eat, for the worse. And almost nobody is paying attention. (Politico)
- Carbon Dioxide May Rob Crops Of Nutrition, Leaving Millions At Risk (NPR)
- Plant quality declines as CO2 levels rise (National Institutes of Health)
- EPA chief Pruitt reveals Trump climate policy is built on a lie (Climate Progress):
Pruitt says humans 'most flourished’ during warming trends. Science says otherwise.
- Arctic permafrost holds world's largest pool of toxic mercury, and it's melting:
- Permafrost Stores a Globally Significant Amount of Mercury (American Geophysical Union Publications)
- Arctic Is Full Of Toxic Mercury; Climate Change Is Going To Release It (Washington Post):
“As permafrost thaws in the future, some portion of this mercury will get released into the environment, with unknown impact to people and our food supplies,” said Kevin Schaefer, a scientist with the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., and a co-author of the study.
- World's Largest Mercury Reserve Found Underneath Arctic Permafrost, And Climate Change Will Release It All (Tech Times)
- HUD quietly reinstates Obama-era flood standards:
- Trump Applies Obama-Era Flood Aid Rules He Axed Six Months Ago (Bloomberg):
Six months ago, President Donald Trump revoked an Obama-era rule requiring federally funded projects to account for the increased flood risk associated with global warming...On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development told states how to spend the $7.4 billion in disaster-recovery money Congress approved after Hurricane Harvey. Tucked into the document’s 101 pages was the requirement that any new structures in a floodplain be built well above projected flood levels --- virtually the same requirements as those that Trump revoked last August.
- Building for disaster resilience ultimately saves money:
- Building to withstand disasters pays off big, study shows (CU Bolder Today):
The study also found that for every $1 spent to exceed building codes and make structures more hazard-resistant in the future, $4 would be saved. In all, over the next 75 years, these measures could prevent 600 deaths, 1 million injuries and 4,000 cases of post-traumatic stress disorder, the report concludes.
- Federal Resiliency Efforts Pay Off Six Times Their Investment, New Report Finds (Yale e360
- Research Confirms Disaster Resilient Building Investment Pays Off (Claims Journal)
- California tosses a wrench into Trump's offshore drilling expansion plans:
- California says will block crude oil from Trump offshore drilling plan (Reuters):
California will block the transportation through its state of petroleum from new offshore oil rigs, officials told Reuters on Wednesday, a move meant to hobble the Trump administration’s effort to vastly expand drilling in U.S. federal waters.
- “New offshore oil can’t be brought ashore” key California Agency tells Trump Administration [PDF] (California State Lands Commission)
- California just gave coastal states a blueprint to block Trump’s offshore drilling plan (CNBC):
California has another trick up its sleeve: a federal law called the Coastal Zonal Management Act. The law, designed to boost federal and state cooperation in managing the nation's waters, gives states authority to review offshore federal and industrial activity that could impact their local environment.
- Dunkin' Donuts ditches polystyrene foam cups:
- Dunkin' Donuts to stop using foam cups by 2020 (AP):
Dunkin' said Wednesday that the polystyrene foam cups will be completely phased out from its stores globally by 2020. The chain said it will replace foam cups with double-walled paper cups at its U.S. locations, beginning this spring with all New York and California restaurants.
- Dunkin’ Donuts joins eco-friendly parade, will switch to paper cups by 2020 (Washington Post)
- Dunkin' Donuts aims to ditch foam cups for paper by 2020 (CNBC):
The foam material cannot be recycled and its manufacturing process is potentially dangerous. The main ingredient, styrene, has been named a possible human carcinogen.
'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
- It looked as if Earth’s ozone layer was healing nicely — until now (Washington Post)
- From Oil to Solar: Saudi Arabia Plots a Shift to Renewables (NY Times)
- California taxpayers could foot the bill to shutter old oil rigs in the Pacific (San Jose Mercury News)
- Xcel Energy Expects to Save Millions with Renewables (Triple Pundit)
- Degrowth - is it time for a new kind of economics? (Deutsche-Welle)
- UN Agency Targets Black-Carbon Pollution From Ships (Nature)
- Climate change pushes LG&E's parent company to slash coal-burning in Kentucky (Louisville Courier-Journal)
- Pruitt wants to ‘eradicate lead.’ Is that possible? (E&E News)
- New York Comptroller Wants to Divest From Planned Pebble Copper Mine Project (BNA News)
- Tesla to outfit 50K Australian homes with solar + storage for 250 MW virtual power plant (Utility Dive)
- Power Plants' Coal Ash Reports Show Toxics Leaking into Groundwater (Inside Climate News)
- The EPA Killed This Newspaper’s Funding. Was It Something They Said? (WAMU)
- The Next Head of Trump’s EPA (The New Republic)
- Attorneys General Sue Trump Administration Over Water Rule (Washington Post)
- Trump's State Department Misses Climate Report Deadline (AP)
- Defenders of science, this is the messaging strategy you've been waiting for (Climate Progress)
- Trump's failing war on green power: Wind and solar energy may have come too far for even a pro-fossil-fuel administration to stuff back into the barrel. (Politico)
- 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