IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: California sets the most significant clean energy target in world history, while facing dire new predictions for climate impacts; Air pollution is making us dumber; PLUS: Hurricane Maria now officially the deadliest U.S. natural disaster in more than a century... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): California's huge energy decision: link its grid to its neighbors, or stay autonomous?; Hurricane Maria will be a permanent stain on Trump's legacy; Detroit turns off every public school's drinking water due to high levels of lead, copper; Milestone for earthquake forecasting; New York AG: Exxon climate fraud investigation nearing end; Court overturns Trans Mountain oil pipeline approval; EPA to reconsider Obama-era curbs on mercury emissions by power plants; Trump donor buys California power plant, asks feds to change energy market; Western countries 'should deal with own waste' amid plunge in China's plastics imports... PLUS: What comes after plastic?... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Update: Hurricane Lane breaks record for 2nd highest US rainfall total:
- One Year After Harvey's Record Rain, Hurricane Lane Sets Preliminary Hawaii Tropical Cyclone Rainfall Record (Weather Channel)
- Hawaii's rain from Hurricane Lane, topping 50 inches, is among most extreme in U.S. records (Washington Post):
This preliminary total ranks as the second highest for a tropical storm or hurricane in the United States since records began in 1950, according to the National Weather Service office based in Honolulu. It also marks the greatest rainfall total on record from these storms in the state of Hawaii.
- Hurricane Maria now the deadliest US natural disaster in more than a century:
- Nearly a Year After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico Revises Death Toll to 2,975 (NY Times):
The new assessment is many times greater than the previous official tally of 64, which was not revised for nearly a year despite convincing evidence that the official death certificates failed to take full account of the fatal and often long-range impacts from the storm across the island.
- How Puerto Rico's death toll climbed from 64 to 2,975 in Hurricane Maria (CNN)
- VIDEO: Puerto Rico's governor acknowledges he made mistakes, after new Maria death toll report (CBS News)
- VIDEO: Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló addresses the new report that brings the island's death toll from Hurricane Maria to 2,975 (WSVN-TV)
- VIDEO: Trump touts Puerto Rico response as 'fantastic' despite nearly 3,000 dead (CNN):
President Donald Trump, facing a drastically revised death toll in Puerto Rico a year after dual hurricanes devastated the island, offered a still-rosy outlook of his administration's handling of the disaster on Wednesday. "I think we did a fantastic job in Puerto Rico," Trump told CNN's Jim Acosta during an exchange with reporters at the White House. "We're still helping Puerto Rico."
- San Juan mayor rips Trump for 'neglect' of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria (USA Today)
- Trump's continued indolent response to Hurricane Maria is our worst fears about him come true (Vox)
- Trump Revives Criticism Of Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria Death Toll Jumps (Huffington Post)
- Puerto Rico's new Hurricane Maria death toll demands an inquiry into why the truth is only coming out now (op-ed, Julio Varela, NBC News)
- Fact Check of the Day: Trump Claims 'We Did a Fantastic Job in Puerto Rico' (NY Times)
- Air pollution is making us dumber:
- The impact of exposure to air pollution on cognitive performance (Proceedings of the National Academies of Science)
- Air pollution causes 'huge' reduction in intelligence, study reveals (Guardian UK):
Impact of high levels of toxic air 'is equivalent to having lost a year of education'... Derrick Ho, at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said the impact of air pollution on cognition was important and his group had similar preliminary findings in their work. "It is because high air pollution can potentially be associated with oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration of humans," he said.
- Air pollution is making us dumber, study shows (CNN)
- Air Pollution Can Make Us Dumber, Study Finds (Motherboard):
Seniors and men are especially vulnerable to cognitive decline due to dirty air.
- New report projects dire impacts from climate change in California:
- Climate change will be deadlier, more destructive and costlier for California than previously believed, state warns (LA Times):
Those climbing temperatures could cause 6,700 to 11,300 more heat-related deaths annually in California by midcentury, the assessment found. Such fatalities will dominate economic damage to the state from climate change, costing up to $50 billion a year by midcentury.
- Climate change report: California to see 77 percent more land burned (San Francisco Chronicle)
- California Climate Change Report Adds to Evidence as State Pushes Back on Trump (Inside Climate News)
- California researchers confront 'apocalyptic' threat of climate change (Climate Progress)
- VIDEO: 5 Terrifying Takeaways From California's New Climate Assessment (Huffington Post):
In the first report of its kind since 2012, the state warns of less water, more fires, higher sea levels and more deaths.
- California sets most significant clean energy target in world history:
- On to Governor Brown's Desk: What 100% Clean Energy Means for California (Green Tech Media):
California will be the most populous and economically productive jurisdiction to commit to removing greenhouse gas emissions from its electrical grid. As de León told his Senate colleagues before Wednesday's vote, that's just the beginning. The state still has to tackle major greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles and buildings. Where the world's fifth-largest economy leads, others tend to follow. Now California just has to figure out how to deliver on the promise of a carbon-free grid. That's going to be a lot more complex and interesting than just building more wind and solar.
- California Lawmakers Just Voted to Make All Its Electricity Emissions-Free by 2045 (Mother Jones):
Although Hawaii was the first state to commit to a 100 percent renewable portfolio last year, California’s decision to go green would likely have much bigger implications. The most populous state in the country and with the world’s fifth largest economy.
- An all-renewable energy grid 'definitely feasible' for California. But at what cost? (Sacramento Bee):
[H]e said the real benefit of SB 100 is as a spur to innovation. California barely accounts for 1 percent of the world's greenhouse gases; by itself the state can't make a real dent in global warming. But if the state can master the technological challenges of an all-renewable grid, it can show the way for other states and countries.
- California advances an ambitious climate policy that should be a model for the world (MIT Technology Review)
- California Just Became the Largest Economy in the World to Commit to Zero Carbon Electricity (Earth Justice)
'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
- What comes after plastic? (Houston Chronicle)
- California's huge energy decision: link its grid to its neighbors, or stay autonomous? (Vox)
- Trump Will Have to Answer for the Real Puerto Rican Death Toll: With an estimated 2,975 dead, Hurricane Maria will be a permanent stain on Trump's legacy (Rolling Stone)
- A Milestone for Forecasting Earthquake Hazards (Columbia University)
- Detroit turns off every public school’s drinking water due to high levels of lead, copper (Climate Progress)
- New York AG: Exxon Climate Fraud Investigation Nearing End (Inside Climate News)
- Court Overturns Trans Mountain Oil Pipeline Approval, Leaving Project in Limbo (Reuters)
- EPA to Reconsider Obama-Era Curbs on Mercury Emissions by Power Plants (Inside Climate News)
- Trump donor buys California power plant, asks feds to change energy market (San Francisco Chronicle)
- Colorado Voters Will Get to Decide Whether to Tighten Oil Drilling Rules (Reuters)
- Western countries 'should deal with own waste' amid plunge in China’s plastics imports (Global Times)
- At water-starved Lake Mead and Lake Powell, 'the crisis is already real,' scientists say (Arizona Republic)
- Environmental Groups Fight Back Against Corporate Lawsuits (AP)
- Algae Bloom in Lake Superior Raises Worries on Climate Change, Tourism (NY Times)
- Myanmar Dam Breach Floods 85 Villages, Drives Thousands From Homes (Reuters)
- Interior Staffer Who Backed Shrinking National Monuments To Join BP (Washington Post)
- GOP’s Top Climate Champion Defeats Conspiracy Theorist In Florida (Huffington Post)
- South Portland’s Tar Sands Ban Upheld in Pipeline Battle (Inside Climate News)
- NASA Launching Advanced Laser To Measure Earth's Changing Ice (Space Daily)
- Pentagon challenges EPA 'secret science' proposal (E&E news)
- An Optimist's Guide to Solving Climate Change and Saving the World (Vice)
- 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)
- 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