IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Stark contrast on climate between U.S. and Europe at energy industry conference; Bad news for elephants; Good news for a U.S. electric grid powered by clean solar and wind; Appeals court rules youth climate lawsuit can move forward; PLUS: The Arctic just had its warmest winter on record, and polar scientists are kind of freaking out... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Democrats release infrastructure plan with $80 billion in electric grid upgrades; Spring is running 20 days early, but it’s not good; EPA is letting key staffers keep their political consulting side gigs; Climate change tightens grip on US west coast despite progressive aspirations; Forests that protect against climate impacts are increasingly threatened; Zinke backs off some oil drilling expansion due to GOP resistance; Subsidence will worsen sea level rise in coming decades; Trump official slams USGS for documenting glacier shrinkage; Tepco's 'ice wall' failing to contain radioactive water runoff... PLUS: As Arctic ice melts, territorial disputes are heating up, too... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Sean Hannity needs to update his climate change denial schtick
- It's official: 2018 saw the warmest Arctic winter ever recorded:
- "Crazy, crazy stuff": Arctic has its warmest winter on record (AP):
Reduced Arctic sea ice may be driving freak snowstorms in Europe, violent storms in North America.
- 'Crazy, crazy stuff': Arctic has warmest winter on record as climate change fears increase (Independent UK):
"It's just crazy, crazy stuff," said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, who has been studying the Arctic since 1982. "These heat waves - I've never seen anything like this."
- Unusually High Temperatures In Arctic Rise In Frequency (NPR) [emphasis added]:
"[T]hese heat waves are getting more and more frequent. And they are getting stronger and stronger to the point where last week, almost all of Europe except for southern Spain and Italy was colder than northern Greenland...What happens is the polar vortex, which seals the Arctic off in the winter, it's been weakening. And last week, it actually weakened and split in half, which effectively opened the refrigerator door. And all of that cold air in the Arctic came cascading down over Europe.
- Europe Was Colder Than the North Pole This Week. How Could That Be? (NY Times)
- Stark contrasts between U.S. and European oil companies at CERA Week:
- Rick Perry touts ‘new direction’ for energy policy based on Obama-era achievements (Climate Progress):
Nations should embrace "clean" fossil fuels, "for their own sake and for the sake of the world."
- At CERA Week energy summit, climate pits U.S. against Europe (Reuters):
The U.S. energy secretary blasted renewable fuels champions on Wednesday while the head of Royal Dutch Shell urged the energy sector to focus on world efforts to cut carbon emissions, revealing a yawning trans-Atlantic gap on climate issues...“The energy landscape is changing fast. So we must change, where change is what the world needs,” van Beurden said.
- VIDEO: U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry (CERA Week)
- VIDEO: Shell CEO Ben Van Bearden (CERA Week)
- VIDEO: BP CEO Bob Dudley (CERA Week)
- Perry calls shift away from fossil fuels "immoral" (Houston Chronicle):
Energy Secretary Rick Perry said Wednesday global efforts to shift away from fossil fuels were "immoral," threatening economic developments in poorer nations...The former Texas governor did not mention the term "climate change"...But the topic hung over his speech.
- Shell CEO: Climate change is our biggest issue (Houston Chronicle):
Shell already is the world's leader in liquefied natural gas. "There's no other issue with the potential to disrupt our industry on such a deep and fundamental level," van Beurden said of climate change and the need to help meet the Paris climate accord goals, even though the United States plans to split from the agreement under the Trump administration.
- Oil industry pushes back on electric vehicles (E&E News)
- CERA WEEK: BP's Dudley calls for price on carbon (Platts)
- Bad news for elephants as Trump reverses trophy ban:
- Trump reversal of elephant trophy ban underscores the need to watch what he does, not what he says (Washington Post):
Handing another win to the National Rifle Association, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service withdrew a ban related to importing elephant trophies from Africa. ...The Trump administration cites this finding as the justification for its policy change. But The Hill notes that Fish and Wildlife is simultaneously withdrawing other findings related to trophy hunting that stretch back to 1995. So that spin doesn't necessarily pass the smell test.
- Trump to consider elephant trophy imports on 'case-by-case' basis (The Hill):
The service also announced it is withdrawing a number of previous ESA findings, which date back to 1995, related to trophies of African elephants, bontebok and lions from multiple African countries.
- Trump Administration Reverses Promise To Ban Elephant Hunt Trophies (Huffington Post)
- 9th Circuit Court of Appeals clears obstacle to children's climate lawsuit:
- Children’s Climate Lawsuit Heads to Trial: Court Rejects Trump Attempt to Block It (Inside Climate News):
The lawsuit, brought in 2015 by 21 youths, argues that the federal government has violated their constitutional rights by failing to act on climate change.
- The US Government Just Lost Another Attempt To Stop Kids From Suing Over Climate Change (Buzzfeed):
It's Kids 2, Feds 0. This is now the second court to reject the government's efforts to get the case dismissed.
- Solar and wind alone can meet 80% of U.S. electricity needs:
- Stunner: Solar and wind power alone could provide four fifths of U.S. power (Climate Progress):
Study confirms U.S. could have a carbon-free grid in coming decades...the study only examined how wind and solar could power the grid. In doing so, it found these two sources alone could provide 80 percent of the power. This still leaves 20 percent that could be provided by a variety of alternative types of carbon-free power.
- Wind, solar could meet 80 percent of US electricity demand: study (AFP):
"What we found is that we could reliably get around 80 percent of our electricity from these sources by building either a continental-scale transmission network or facilities that could store 12 hours' worth of the nation's electricity demand."
- The Energy Interstate: A national system of electricity transmission could cut power-plant emissions by 80 percent. (The Atlantic, June 2016)
'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
- Democrats Release Infrastructure Plan With $80 Billion for Grid Upgrades (Green Tech Media)
- Spring is running 20 days early. It’s exactly what we expect, but it’s not good. (Washington Post)
- The EPA is letting key staffers keep their political consulting side gigs (Vox)
- Thaw in accord: As Arctic ice melts, territorial disputes are hotting up, too (Indpendent UK)
- Climate change tightens grip on US west coast despite progressive aspirations (Guardian UK)
- Forests Protect the Climate. A Future With More Storms Would Mean Trouble. (NY Times)
- Zinke Gets Strong GOP Resistance To Drilling Plan, Starts Backing Off (McClatchy DC)
- That sinking feeling: Sea Level Rise Will Worsen Coastal Flooding in Coming Decades: NOAA (Inside Climate News)
- Trump Official Slams USGS Scientists For Documenting Glacier Shrinkage (Washington Post)
- Tepco's 'Ice Wall' Fails To Freeze Fukushima's Toxic Water Buildup (Reuters)
- Report: Compensating distributed energy resources for environmental attributes (EDF)
- 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
- NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years: