IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Trump's infrastructure proposal scam shifts costs onto states and cities, guts clean water and clean air regulations; Puerto Rico suffers a new blackout; Sea level rise is accelerating; PLUS: Tesla and South Australia team up to build the world's largest virtual power plant... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): How broadcast TV networks covered climate change (or didn't) in 2017; Rural America's drinking water crisis; EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt loves first-class travel; “It was complete chaos" says Hanford worker who inhaled plutonium; Planning for future ‘extreme weather’ is mentioned just once in 2018 budget deal; FPL was warned people would die at a sweltering nursing home; Tens of millions exposed to unsafe drinking water in U.S.; Can EPA's Pruitt gut CA's tough auto emissions standards?; Chemours toxic chemical pollution worries spread to West Virginia; Oakland needs $38m to fix lead contamination in schools... PLUS: America's ski trails are vanishing. Olympic skier has taken up the cause of fighting global warming, saving U.S. winters... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Trump's infrastructure proposal scam shifts costs onto states and cities, guts clean water and clean air regulations:
- Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Puts Less Emphasis on Public Benefit (NY Times):
The ability to find sources of funding outside the federal government will be the most important yardstick, accounting for 70 percent of the formula for choosing infrastructure projects. How “the project will spur economic and social returns on investment” ranks at the bottom, at just 5 percent.
- Trump's infrastructure blueprint 'a scam' (BBC)
- Trump infrastructure plan would speed up pipelines, cut environmental reviews (Reuters)
- Trump’s infrastructure plan is ‘a whole lot of waste’ just like his border wall (Climate Progress):
Gutting environmental review means tens of billions wasted on projects that will be ruined by climate change
- Trump’s infrastructure proposal, explained: Stingier grants and no actual source of new money (Vox)
- VIDEO: L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti at CAP event, How Trump’s Tax and Infrastructure Plans Hurt American Cities (Center for American Progress) [emphasis added]:
“That’s not Washington leadership,” Garcetti said. “Giving us a nickel or a dime for every 95 cents or 90 cents we put in doesn’t allow you to count our dollars as your infrastructure package.”
- Mayors Skeptical of Trump Infrastructure Plan (Governing Magazine)
- Infrastructure Build or Privatization Scam? (Paul Krugman, NY Times):
[H]ow is this kind of scheme supposed to finance investment that doesn’t produce a revenue stream? Toll roads are not the main thing we need right now; what about sewage systems, making up for deferred maintenance, and so on?...[T]he building and financing are carried out by private firms, and the future tolls and/or rent paid by the government go to those private interests. In that case we haven’t promoted investment at all, we’ve just in effect privatized a public asset — and given the buyers 82 percent of the purchase price in the form of a tax credit.
- Trump takes aim at blue states in infrastructure plan (Politico)
- White House Proposes $4.4 Trillion Budget That Adds $7 Trillion to Deficits (Washington Post)
- Puerto Rico suffers a new blackout:
- Power Restoration In Puerto Rico Experiences Setback With Blackout in San Juan (NPR)
- Latest blackout shows Puerto Rico’s fragility after Maria (NBC News)
- '5 months without power': Blackout is latest snag in Puerto Rico's long recovery from Hurricane Maria (USA Today)
- Puerto Rico’s blackout, the largest in American history, explained (Vox)
- The rate of sea level rise is accelerating:
- Climate-change–driven accelerated sea-level rise detected in the altimeter era (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) [emphasis added]:
If sea level continues to change at this rate and acceleration, sea-level rise by 2100 (~65 cm) will be more than double the amount if the rate was constant at 3 mm/year.
- Sea level rise is speeding up, scientists confirm (Climate Progress):
25 years of data shows that climate change will cause sea levels to rise at a faster rate.
- Satellite observations show sea levels rising, and climate change is accelerating it (CNN)
- Yes, sea level rise really is accelerating (Ars Technica):
[E]ven if the loss of ice from Greenland and Antarctica simply continued on the trajectory from recent years, this study suggests we would expect to see around 65 centimeters by the end of the century. That’s because sea level rise really is accelerating—as expected—enough that it’s now apparent even in the 25-year-long satellite record. And that’s a big deal.
- Everglades needs more fresh water to fight salt water intrusion (Phys.org)
- Oil from sunken Iranian tanker may have begun contaminating fishery:
- A Nearly Invisible Oil Spill Threatens Some of Asia’s Richest Fisheries (NY Tiomes):
Experts say there has never been so large a spill of condensate; up to 111,000 metric tons has poured into the ocean. It has almost certainly already invaded an ecosystem that includes some of the world’s most bountiful fisheries...Officials in Beijing announced on Feb. 1 that samples of fish taken within four to five nautical miles of the sunken ship contained traces of petroleum hydrocarbons, suggesting possible condensate contamination...
- China debating whether to raise sunken Iranian oil tanker from seabed (Asia Shimbun)
- Tesla to build 'virtual power plant' for South Australia:
- World’s largest ‘Virtual Power Plant’ to lower energy bills (South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill press release)
- Tesla and South Australia at it again, this time building a virtual power plant (Ars Technica):
This time, South Australia wants to build a 250MW virtual power plant. The plant will consist of thousands of solar panels and batteries running software that decides when the batteries charge and discharge to maximize efficiency and value to the grid...The "virtual" aspect of this distributed generation scheme comes into play as the systems' software decides when to store energy in the accompanying 13.5kWh Powerwall and when to sell it back to the grid.
- Tesla to outfit 50K Australian homes with solar + storage for 250 MW virtual power plant (Utility Dive)
- South Australian government strikes deal with Tesla to install free batteries to 50,000 homes (News Corp Australia)
- VIDEO: Tesla Tapped by Australia Anew in Virtual Power Plant Plan (Bloomberg):
Once completed, the virtual power facility could provide as much capacity as a large gas turbine or coal power plant, Tesla said in a statement...“If South Australia can sort through the funding and technical side of this project, then it’s worth doing because we’ll learn a lot more about rolling out distributed solar and batteries at scale.”
- Tesla’s South Australia Battery Project Is Setting Market Prices (Clean Technica)
'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
- How broadcast TV networks covered climate change (or didn't) in 2017 (Media Matters)
- Rural America’s Drinking-Water Crisis (The New Republic)
- First-class travel distinguishes Scott Pruitt’s EPA tenure (Washington Post)
- Planning for future ‘extreme weather’ is mentioned just once in 2018 budget deal (Climate Progress)
- “It was complete chaos" says Hanford worker who inhaled plutonium (Seattle NBC-King 5)
- She was naming lawmakers who took oil-and-gas money — so they barred her from the public hearing (Washington Post)
- FPL was warned people would die at a sweltering nursing home. But the utility had other priorities. (Sun-Sentinel)
- Critics Call Trump Cuts To Hanford Cleanup Budget 'Downright Dangerous' (Oregon Public Radio)
- Tens Of Millions In U.S. Exposed To Unsafe Drinking Water Each Year (USA Today)
- America’s Ski Trails Vanishing. This Olympian Has Taken Up the Cause. (NY Times)
- Is Pruitt Bluffing? Or Will He Gut Tough Calif. Emissions Standards? (McClatchy DC)
- Chemours' GenX Pollution Worries Spread To West Virginia (Delaware Online)
- It Could Cost Oakland Schools $38 Million To Fix Lead Contamination (East Bay Times)
- Scott Pruitt insincerely asked what's Earth's ideal temperature. Scientists answer (Guardian UK)
- Federal Resiliency Efforts Pay Off Six Times Their Investment, New Report Finds (Yale e360
- 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