IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: While we were out: Scandal-plagued EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt forced to resign...but his replacement spells bad news for the environment and public health; Starbucks joins the global movement to end plastic pollution; PLUS: Extreme temperatures shatter all-time heat records around the world... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): New Trump Supreme Court pick gives environmental groups a lot to fear as consensus strategy emerges; We’ll All Be Paying for Scott Pruitt for Ages; Heat waves bother you? Under Trump climate policies, add another 12°F; “It Isn’t Just Flint”: How the Next Water Crisis Could Happen Anywhere; Utilities’ Energy Efficiency Programs Are a Bargain, National Lab Finds; Hot Summer Nights Are Getting Hotter. Here's Why It's a Health and Wildfire Risk.; Florida: Summertime Slime Fueled By Climate Change As Well As Pollution... PLUS: Scott Pruitt and the Global Heat Wave... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt resigns:
- E.P.A. Chief Scott Pruitt Resigns Under a Cloud of Ethics Scandals (NY Times)
- Scott Pruitt is leaving behind a toxic mess at the EPA (Vox):
Pruitt did lasting damage to the agency, and his replacement, Andrew Wheeler, will pick up where Pruitt left off.
- Why Scott Pruitt lasted so long at the EPA, and what finally did him in (Vox)
- Pruitt Was Told to Resign in Call From White House, Sources Say (Bloomberg)
- The full text of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's resignation letter to President Trump (USA Today)
- Scott Pruitt, Fallen E.P.A. Chief, May Rise Again in Oklahoma (NY Times)
- Scott Pruitt investigations aren’t ending just because he resigned (Climate Progress)
- Pruitt's parting gifts for America: more pollution and more cancer:
- ‘Super Polluting’ Trucks Receive Loophole on Pruitt’s Last Day (NY Times):
In the final hours of Scott Pruitt’s tenure as administrator, the Environmental Protection Agency moved on Friday to effectively grant a loophole that will allow a major increase in the manufacturing of a diesel freight truck that produces as much as 55 times the air pollution as trucks that have modern emissions controls.
- How $225,000 Can Help Secure a Pollution Loophole at Trump’s E.P.A. (NY Times)
- Sources: EPA blocks warnings on cancer-causing chemical (Politico):
The warnings are contained in a draft health assessment EPA scientists completed just before Donald Trump became president, according to the officials. They said top advisers to departing Administrator Scott Pruitt are delaying its release as part of a campaign to undermine the agency’s independent research into the health risks of toxic chemicals.
- EPA Sitting On Warnings About Cancer-Causing Chemical: Report (Huffington Post)
- Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler committed to Trump's deregulatory agenda:
- A brief guide to Andrew Wheeler, Scott Pruitt’s replacement at the EPA (Vox)
- How Andrew Wheeler, the New Acting E.P.A. Chief, Differs From Scott Pruitt (NY Times):
But unlike Mr. Pruitt — who had come to Washington as an outsider and aspiring politician, only to get caught up in a swirl of controversy over his costly first-class travel and security spending — Mr. Wheeler is viewed as a consummate Washington insider who avoids the limelight and has spent years effectively navigating the rules.
- New EPA chief Andrew Wheeler has a fondness for right-wing media and climate-denier blogs (Media Matters)
- Scott Pruitt’s likely successor has long lobbying history on issues before the EPA (Washington Post)
- Andrew Wheeler: He Lobbied for Coal. Now He’s In the Trump Administration, and Watching His Words (Bloomberg)
- Andrew Wheeler has the potential to be even more dangerous than Scott Pruitt (op-ed, The Hill)
- Extreme heat records shattered around the world:
- Record heat put thousands of Californians in the dark Friday. Scientists predicted this from climate change. (Washington Post):
“We studied this a long time ago... now our projections are becoming reality,” tweeted Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University. In 2006, Hayhoe and colleagues published the study “Climate, Extreme Heat, and Electricity Demand in California” in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. “Over the twenty-first century, the frequency of extreme-heat events for major cities in heavily air-conditioned California is projected to increase rapidly,” the study said. It warned that as temperatures soared, electricity demand would exceed supply.
- The Record-Breaking Heat Isn't Just Uncomfortable – It's Killing People (Weather Channel)
- Quebec says up to 70 people may have died in connection with heat wave (CBC)
- Africa’s Hottest Reliably Measured Temperature on Record: 124.3°F on Thursday in Algeria (Weather Underground)
- It Was Absurdly Hot in North Africa Yesterday (Earther)
- U.K. ‘Heat Wave’? Irish ‘Drought’? Unfamiliar Words for Unfamiliar Times (NY Times)
- Extreme Heat Event in Northern Siberia and the coastal Arctic Ocean This Week (Meterologist Nick Humphrey's Ocean's Wrath blog)
- The Guardian view on climate change: a global heatwave (op-ed, Guardian UK)
- The World Wants Air-Conditioning. That Could Warm the World. (NY Times, 5/18/18)
- Japan: record rainfall event triggers deadly flash floods and landslides:
- Japan floods: 155 killed after torrential rain and landslides (BBC):
At least 155 people have died in floods and landslides triggered by torrential rain in western Japan, says the government. It is the highest death toll caused by rainfall that Japan has seen in more than three decades.
- Despite precautions, geographic vulnerabilities raise risks for Japan during deadly downpours (Japan Times)
- Climate change will accelerate extreme weather events in the coming years (PRI):
“If we continue to emit these warming greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, then the heat waves will become more frequent and more intense, [along with] droughts, wildfires and floods,” [Penn State professor and atmospheric scientist Michael Mann] continues. “We are seeing a taste of what's in store and there's no question in my mind that, in the unprecedented extreme weather that we've seen over the past year, we can see the fingerprint of human influence on our climate.”
- Starbucks announces phase-out of plastic straws by 2020:
- Starbucks to Stop Using Disposable Plastic Straws by 2020 (NY Times):
In the United States alone, an estimated more than 500 million disposable plastic straws are used every day, according to Eco-Cycle, a nonprofit recycling organization. Although plastic straws are made from polypropylene, a recyclable plastic, most recyclers won’t accept them...That means plastic straws get tossed in the garbage, ending up in landfills and polluting the ocean. It takes “about 200 years for polypropylene plastic straws to break down under normal environmental conditions,” Ms. Athey said.
- Starbucks to ban plastics straws in all stores by 2020 (BBC)
- Seattle becomes first major U.S. city to ban straws (Washington Post)
'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
- Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Record on the Environment (Legal Planet)
- New Trump Supreme Court pick gives environmental groups a lot to fear as consensus strategy emerges (Climate Progress)
- We’ll All Be Paying for Scott Pruitt for Ages (NY Times Editorial Board)
- Scott Pruitt and the Global Heat Wave (op-ed, NY Times)
- Heat waves bother you? Under Trump climate policies, add another 12°F (Climate Progress)
- “It Isn’t Just Flint.” How the Next Water Crisis Could Happen Anywhere. (Mother JOnes)
- Utilities’ Energy Efficiency Programs Are a Bargain, National Lab Finds (Utility Dive)
- Hot Summer Nights Are Getting Hotter. Here's Why It's a Health and Wildfire Risk. (Inside Climate News)
- Florida: Summertime Slime Fueled By Climate Change As Well As Pollution (Tampa Bay Times)
- How a Natural Gas Group Pushed For New Energy Curriculum In Texas (Austin American-Statesman)
- Phoenix Tries To Reverse Its 'Silent Storm' Of Heat Deaths (NPR)
- DuPont’s Museum of Disastrous Chemistry Continues to Spread Its Poison (The Intercept)
- Study: Wind turbines in North Carolina don’t impact Navy radar (AP)
- Anthony Kennedy's Betrayal of the Planet (Washington Monthly)
- The great nutrient collapse: The atmosphere is literally changing the food we eat, for the worse. And almost nobody is paying attention. (Politico)
- The world's bleak climate situation, in 3 charts: We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there. (Vox)
- 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