IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Chemical industry giant 3M agrees to pay Minnesota $850 million over decades-long water contamination; New report finds the next five years will determine sea levels for the next 300; Sea ice at both poles hits an ominous new record low; PLUS: Washington State is the latest coastal state to block Trump's expansion of offshore drilling... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Black lung disease comes roaring back in Coal Country; Texas fines small gas stations for environmental violations far more than big polluters; Aerosols pose a deadly climate change threat; TN university withdraws truck pollution study that supported its benefactor; Florida PSC staff pushes approval of unneeded FPL gas plant over opposition; Automakers' 'harmonization' push would weaken fuel efficiency gains; Judge orders government review of Keystone pipeline documents; Grocery bags and takeout containers aren't enough. It's time to phase out all single-use plastic; China’s trash ban forces Europe to confront its waste problem... PLUS: St. Louis-area residents sue over radioactive material stored at West Lake Landfill Superfund sites... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- 3M agrees to pay $850 million to settle major water contamination lawsuit:
- Minnesota settles water pollution suit against 3M for $850 million (Minnesota Public Radio):
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson on Tuesday announced an $850 million settlement in the state's lawsuit against 3M over water contamination by perfluorochemicals, or PFCs, in several east Twin Cities suburbs. A trial in the state's largest environmental lawsuit had been set to begin Tuesday with jury selection. The state sought $5 billion in punitive damages from 3M.
- 3M settles groundwater lawsuit for $850 million (Minneapolis Star-Tribune):
The money will be used to clean up drinking water and groundwater contamination in east metro communities.
- Minnesota lawsuit against 3M for water pollution finally headed to trial (Minnesota Public Radio, 2/19/18)
- January 2018 was the 5th warmest on record:
- January was 5th warmest on record for the globe (NOAA):
Despite the cooling influence of La Nina this winter, the global temperature ranked among the five warmest on record in January. Earth’s polar regions continued to experience record-low ice conditions... The average Arctic sea ice coverage in January was 9.4 percent below the 1981-2010 average, the smallest for the month since records began in 1979. Antarctic sea ice extent in January was 17.4 percent below average, the second smallest January on record.
- Record low sea ice extent at both poles:
- VIDEO: Arctic Report Card 2017 (NOAA)
- We’re witnessing the fastest decline in Arctic sea ice in at least 1,500 years (Vox)
- Polar Ice Is Lost at Sea (Rolling Stone):
Our planet reached another milestone earlier this week: Sea ice fell to its lowest level since human civilization began more than 12,000 years ago
- Alaska's Bering Sea Lost a Third of Its Ice in Just 8 Days (Inside Climate News)
- Arctic hit by heat wave:
- Arctic temperatures soar 45 degrees above normal, flooded by extremely mild air on all sides (Washington Post):
While the Eastern United States simmers in some of its warmest February weather ever recorded, the Arctic is also stewing in temperatures more than 45 degrees above normal. This latest huge temperature spike in the Arctic is another striking indicator of its rapidly transforming climate.
- It will be warmer at the North Pole next week than much of Europe, as sea ice vanishes (Mashable):
The polar vortex split, and now the North Pole is comparatively balmy.
- Wednesday will be the warmest February day ever recorded along the East Coast (Mashable)
- Every 5 years of delay in climate action add another 8 inches to sea level rise:
- The next five years will shape sea level rise for the next 300, study says (Washington Post):
The world is far off course from its goals in cutting greenhouse gas emissions — and research published Tuesday illustrates one of the most striking implications of this. Namely, it finds that for every five years in the present that we continue to put off strong action on climate change, the ocean could rise an additional eight inches by the year 2300 — a dramatic illustration of just how much decisions in the present will affect distant future generations.
- Committed sea-level rise under the Paris Agreement and the legacy of delayed mitigation action (Nature)
- Every five-year delay in meeting Paris goals could ‘add 20cm’ to global sea levels (Carbon Brief)
- Sea-level legacy: 20cm more rise by 2300 for each 5-year delay in peaking emissions (Eureka Alert)
- Washington State vows to block Trump's offshore drilling expansion of its coast:
- Washington state likely to deny permits for Trump oil drilling plan: official (Reuters):
Franz told Reuters in a telephone interview she wants the letter to send a clear warning to the federal government, which in January proposed opening federal waters off the coasts of nearly every state to leasing for oil and gas extraction. “We didn’t invite you here, and we don’t want you here,” she said...Franz’s office will also use its authority over ports and shipping terminals to hinder crude from being carried ashore by floating storage or offloading ships, which are a rarer and more expensive way to transport oil than pipelines, Franz told Reuters.
- Commissioner Franz Calls On Trump Administration To Withdraw Its Offshore Drilling Proposal (Dept. of Natural Resources, State of Washington):
Letter to Secretary Zinke highlights that oil and gas infrastructure will need DNR approval to cross state lands Olympia
- Commissioner of Public Lands Speaks Out Against Offshore Drilling (Lewis Co. Chronicle)
'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
- Black Lung Disease Comes Storming Back in Coal Country (NY Times)
- Too Big To Fine, Too Small To Fight Back: Texas’ environmental agency targets small business owners for minor recordkeeping violations, while letting the corporate polluters off easy (Texas Observer)
- Devil's Bargain: Why Aerosols Pose a Deadly Climate Change Threat (Rolling Stone)
- University Pulls Back on Pollution Study That Supported Its Benefactor (NY Times)
- Florida PSC staff pushes approval of "unneeded" FPL gas plant over opposition (Utility Dive)
- Carmakers’ 'Harmonization’ Push Could Soften Fuel Efficiency Gains (Bloomberg)
- Judge orders government review of Keystone pipeline documents (AP)
- St. Louis-area residents sue over radioactive material stored at West Lake Landfill Superfund sites (St. Louis Today)
- Grocery bags and takeout containers aren't enough. It's time to phase out all single-use plastic (LA Times)
- China’s trash ban forces Europe to confront its waste problem (Politico)
- Australia faces rubbish crisis as China curbs waste imports (The Straits Times)
- Wyoming to get four new wind energy projects (Utility Dive)
- How $225,000 Can Help Secure a Pollution Loophole at Trump’s E.P.A. (NY Times)
- 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