IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: The U.S. may soon have its first-ever climate science denying Secretary of State; World leaders sound alarm over global water scarcity crisis; Black lung disease surges back in Coal Country; Toymaker LEGO goes greener with plant-based plastics; PLUS: Seven years after the meltdown, Japan struggles to contain Fukushima's radioactive wastewater... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Oil giant Statoil begins transition to renewables, scrubs ‘oil’ from its name; Fast-melting Arctic is already messing with the ocean’s circulation; Bottled water contaminated with microplastics; Floods flushed 43 billion plastic pieces out to sea in UK; Climate science goes to court next week; Judge rules U.S. Army Corp liable for floods linked to habitat projects; FEMA flood maps underestimate real risks; Pruitt warns ‘California is not the arbiter’ of U.S. emissions standards; Zinke pretends to worry that wind turbines kill birds, but his agency just made it easier.... PLUS: Stephen Hawking’s dire warning about what Trump’s policies will do to the Earth... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Mike Pompeo could be the first-ever climate change denying US Sec. of State:
- VIDEO: Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) rejects global scientific consensus: (C-SPAN)
- Mike Pompeo may be the first climate-denying secretary of state. (The New Republic)
- Pompeo, Trump’s Pick for Secretary of State, Is a ‘Great Climate Skeptic’ (NY Times)
- Meet Mike Pompeo: The Congressional Candidate Spawned By The ‘Kochtopus’ (Think Progress)
- Tillerson exit might bring climate disbelief to State (E&E News, 11/30/2017):
[W]hile Tillerson, the former Exxon Mobil Corp. CEO, raised environmentalists' hopes last year with his belief in man-made climate change and support for continued U.S. involvement in the Paris climate accord, Pompeo has a history of disputing that humans play a significant role in global warming...During his Senate confirmation hearing in January, Pompeo said President Obama's suggestion that climate change is a top-tier national security threat was "ignorant, dangerous and absolutely unbelievable."
- Trump’s Pick To Replace Former Exxon CEO As Secretary Of State Is A Bigger Climate Denier (Huffington Post)
- World leaders warn of looming global water crisis:
- UN-World Bank panel report calls for ‘fundamental shift’ in water management (United Nations)
- 12 World Leaders Issue Clarion Call for Accelerated Action on Water (World Bank):
“World leaders now recognize that we face a global water crisis and that we need to reassess how we value and manage water,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “The panel’s recommendations can help to safeguard water resources and make access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation a reality for all.”
- Report: Making Every Drop Count - An Agenda for Water Action (PDF] (United Nations)
- World leaders sound alarm over global water crisis (CBS News)
- Call for fundamental shift in global water management (RTE Daily)
- UN chief urges water action as world leaders warn of new crisis (Xinhua)
- Black lung disease surges back in Coal Country:
- Progressive Massive Fibrosis in Coal Miners From 3 Clinics in Virginia (JAMA)
- AUDIO: Black Lung Study Finds Biggest Cluster Ever Of Fatal Coal Miners' Disease (NPR) [emphasis added]:
Epidemiologists at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health say they've identified the largest cluster of advanced black lung disease ever reported, a cluster that was first uncovered by NPR 14 months ago..."This is the largest cluster of progressive massive fibrosis ever reported in the scientific literature," says Scott Laney, a NIOSH epidemiologist involved in the study. "We've gone from having nearly eradicated PMF in the mid-1990s to the highest concentration of cases that anyone has ever seen," he said
- Black Lung Disease Comes Storming Back in Coal Country (NY Times):
Federal investigators this month identified the largest cluster of advanced black lung cases ever officially recorded. More than 400 coal miners frequenting three clinics in southwestern Virginia between 2013 and 2017 were found to have complicated black lung disease, an extreme form characterized by dense masses of scar tissue in the lungs.
- Doctors floored by epidemic levels of black lung in Appalachian coal miners (Ars Technica)
- Japan stuggles to contain Fukushima's radioactive wastewater:
- VIDEO: Tepco's 'ice wall' fails to freeze Fukushima's toxic water buildup (Reuters):
A costly “ice wall” is failing to keep groundwater from seeping into the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, data from operator Tokyo Electric Power Co shows, preventing it from removing radioactive melted fuel at the site seven years after the disaster.
- Third court rules Tepco, government liable over Fukushima disaster: media (Reuters)
- Fukushima ice wall yields limited benefit for its cost (Nikkei Asian Review)
- Lego toymaker goes green-er with bio-plastics
- First sustainable LEGO bricks will be launched in 2018 (LEGO)
- Lego announces launch of bioplastic pieces (Treehugger):
The new pieces, made from a bioplastic sourced from Brazilian sugarcane, will start appearing in Lego kits this year. Currently, the pieces are limited to Lego's trees, bushes, and leaves, a.k.a. 'botanical elements', but the company's eventual goal is to use plant sources for all of its beloved building bricks.
- First sustainable Lego pieces to go on sale (Guardian UK):
The new-style Lego elements are made from polyethylene – a soft, durable and flexible plastic that can now be made with ethanol extracted from sugar cane material and, Lego claims, is as durable as conventional plastic. As a bio-plastic, it can be recycled many times, though it is unlikely to be 100% biodegradable.
- Lego Is Making Sustainable Eco-Friendly Blocks Made of Sugar Cane Bioplastic (Newsweek)
'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
- Oil giant Statoil begins transition to renewables, scrubs ‘oil’ from its name (Climate Progress)
- The fast-melting Arctic is already messing with the ocean’s circulation, scientists say (Washington Post)
- Bottled water not safe from microplastic contamination (Deustche-Welle)
- Flooding has flushed 43 billion plastic pieces out to sea in UK (Science)
- Stephen Hawking’s dire warning about what Trump’s policies will do to the Earth (Climate Progress)
- Climate Science Goes to Court Next Week (Earther)
- Judge: U.S. Army Corp Responsible For Floods Linked To Habitat Projects (E&E News)
- FEMA Flood Maps Underestimate Real Risks: Study. Florida’s A Hot Spot. (Miami Herald)
- Zinke Defends Hiking Park Fees Amid Travel Spending Flap (AP)
- Pruitt Says ‘California Is Not The Arbiter’ Of U.S. Emissions Standards (Washington Post)
- Ryan Zinke Worries Wind Turbines Kill Birds. His Agency Just Made It Easier. (Huffington Post)
- Wildfire Risk: Areas where homes, forests mix increased rapidly over two decades (US Forest Service)
- 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