IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.S. intelligence agencies contradict the Trump Administration on climate risks; ExxonMobil counter-sues against climate change lawsuits; Trump repeals Obama-era methane rule; Broadcast news failing to inform the public about the real-life impacts of climate change; PLUS: The Queen of England has had it with single-use plastic waste... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): U.N. climate report sees ‘very high risk’ the planet will warm beyond key limit; Shell's pivot to renewables sharpens in CA; Federal grants for 'clean coal' misspent on liquor, lobbying; Interior Secretary pushing reorganization despite objections from states; Kentucky lawmaker borrows Koch-speak to gain support for anti-solar bill; EPA doesn’t have enough money to keep investigating Pruitt’s scandals; California regulators first to allow multiple revenue streams for energy storage; Germany to fight pollution with free public transportation; DuPont knew cancer-causing solvents could vaporize into New Jersey homes... PLUS: Democrats deal Dominion a blow in debate over Virginia utility scheme... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- US intelligence agencies contradict Trump, warn of climate change threat:
- Statement for the Record: Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community, Daniel R. Coats, Director of National Intelligence (Senate Intelligence Committee):
The impacts of the long-term trends toward a warming climate, more air pollution, biodiversity loss, and water scarcity are likely to fuel economic and social discontent — and possibly upheaval — through 2018.
- Intelligence Agencies Warn of Climate Risks in Worldwide Threat Assessment (Inside Climate News):
In their annual summary of global threats, the nation's intelligence agencies warned on Tuesday that climate change and other environmental trends "are likely to fuel economic and social discontent—and possibly upheaval—through 2018."
- U.S. Intelligence Agencies Break With Trump Over Climate Threats (Bloomberg)
- A Spy’s Guide to Climate Change (NY Times)
- 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.
- Trump Admin. repeals Obama-era methane rule:
- Trump Administration Targets Obama-Era Effort to Limit Methane (NY Times):
The Trump administration on Monday moved to repeal one of the last unchallenged climate-change regulations rushed into place in the waning days of the Obama presidency — a rule restricting the release of planet-warming methane into the atmosphere.
- In their own words: Interior Department admits it’s helping oil and gas companies at the expense of taxpayers, clean air (Center for Western Priorities):
[A] reading of the BLM’s own documents shows that eliminating the methane waste rule is a massive giveaway to oil and gas companies that will cost taxpayers millions of dollars...Eliminating the methane waste rule will cause taxpayers and landowners to lose between $26 and $32 million in royalty payments, because publicly-owned natural gas that would have been captured and sold will now be leaked, vented or flared into the atmosphere.
- Administration moves to trample taxpayers, public health, and climate via methane waste rule rollback (Western Environmental Law Center)
- Congress’ repeal of Obama methane rule will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions (Climate Progress)
- Exxon Mobil counter-sues groups suing it over climate lies:
- Exxon Sues the Suers in Fierce Climate-Change Case (Bloomberg):
As climate-change lawsuits against the oil industry mount, Exxon Mobil Corp. is taking a bare-knuckle approach rarely seen in legal disputes: It’s going after the lawyers who are suing it...The company claims the lawyers, public officials and environmental activists are “conspiring” against it in a coordinated legal and public relations campaign.
- Exxon Is Trying to Play the Victim (Earther):
In an effort to wriggle out of the growing legal morass, Exxon recently submitted a petition alleging a massive conspiracy against the company...Exxon has even come up with a name for the conspiracy: “The La Jolla playbook,” named after a June 2012 workshop that saw about two dozen scientists, historians, and lawyers meet to discuss lessons from the fight against major tobacco companies. Earther has obtained a copy of this devious playbook through this *squints* publicly available report that Exxon cites in its first footnote.
- Alleging a conspiracy, Exxon is countersuing the people taking it to court on climate change (Quartz)
- Media Matters: Broadcast networks failing to inform public on climate impacts:
- How broadcast TV networks covered climate change (or didn't) in 2017 (Media Matters):
Broadcast TV news neglected many critical climate change stories in 2017 while devoting most of its climate coverage to President Donald Trump. Seventy-nine percent of climate change coverage on the major corporate broadcast TV networks last year focused on statements or actions by the Trump administration, with heavy attention given to the president's decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement and to whether he accepts that human-caused climate change is a scientific reality. But the networks undercovered or ignored the ways that climate change had real-life impacts on people, the economy, national security...
- Good News: There’s More Coverage of Climate Change. Bad News: It’s Because of Trump. (Mother Jones)
- Queen of England bans single-use plastic at royal properties:
- Queen bans plastic straws and bottles on royal estates after David Attenborough documentary (Independent UK):
Buckingham Palace outlines new waste plans saying there is a 'strong desire to tackle the issue' in royal household following Sir David's documentary on wildlife in the Commonwealth
- The Queen declares war on plastic after David Attenborough documentary (Telegraph UK)
- Queen backs plan to cut plastic use on royal estates (BBC)
'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
- Leaked U.N. climate report sees ‘very high risk’ the planet will warm beyond key limit (Washington Post)
- Shell's Pivot to Renewables Sharpens With California Deal (Bloomberg)
- Federal Grants Meant for Clean Coal Misspent on Liquor, Spas (Bloomberg)
- Despite Complaints, Interior Boss Pushing Big Reorganization (AP)
- Kentucky lawmaker borrows analogy from Koch-funded group to gain support for anti-solar bill (Climate Progress)
- The EPA doesn’t have enough money to keep investigating Pruitt’s scandals (Climate Progress)
- Democrats deal Dominion a blow in debate over Virginia utility reform (Utility Dive)
- California regulators first to allow multiple revenue streams for energy storage (Utility Dive)
- Germany to fight pollution with free public transportation (Washington Post)
- Greens Sue Trump Over Fracking Waste In Gulf (The Hill)
- Here Are the Places That Struggle to Meet Rules on Safe Drinking Water (NY Times)
- Military Spends Millions to Replace Toxic Firefighting Foam with Toxic Foam (The Intercept)
- Trump Budget Seeks 23 Percent Cut At EPA, Ending Dozens Of Programs (Washington Post)
- Toxic Secrets: DuPont knew cancer-causing solvents could vaporize into New Jersey homes (Bergen Record)
- Satellites Show Warming Is Accelerating Sea Level Rise (AP)
- Scientist Stands Between Pruitt and Destruction of EPA Science Panels (Mother Jones)
- US Renewable Energy Generation Now ‘Within Striking Distance’ of Nuclear (Green Tech Media)
- 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