IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.S. Supreme Court allows kids' landmark climate trial to proceed; New study finds 90% of world's children breathe highly polluted air; Plastic pollution is everywhere --- now even in human waste; PLUS: The World Bank finally ditches coal, because renewables are cheaper... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Facing climate change, states and cities seek to borrow billions; Judge blasts USF&WS, says endangered red wolves can't be shot; Trump backs wood power that scientists call dirtier than coal; Trump’s air pollution adviser says clean air saves no lives; Divisive Minnesota mine wins permits, but faces challenges; Wait, have we really wiped out 60 percent of animals?; Things aren’t looking good for climate change content on the EPA’s website; Large hydro-power dams 'not sustainable' in the developing world; Palau is first nation to ban 'reef-toxic' sunscreens... PLUS: "Ratpocalypse": Climate change could mean rat population explosion... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- US Supreme Court allows kids' landmark climate civil rights case to proceed:
- The Supreme Court just allowed a major climate lawsuit to go ahead (Vox):
Several legal analysts told Vox that the Supreme Court’s temporary stay of a case in a lower court was unusual, but the action signaled that the high court is very interested in the issues at play and that the justices expect the case could have significant ripple effects.
- Supreme Court Lets Youths’ Case Demanding Climate Action Proceed (NY Times):
The court’s unsigned order said the Trump administration had raised substantial questions about the plaintiffs’ legal theories and the sweeping relief they sought. But the court said it would not intercede, instructing the plaintiffs to take the case back to an appeals court.
- 90 per cent of world's children breath highly polluted air:
- 90% of world's children are breathing toxic air, WHO study finds (Guardian):
Report says air pollution is having a devastating impact on children worldwide, storing up a public health time bomb.
- More than 90% of world's children breathe toxic air, report says, as India prepares for most polluted season (CNN):
In 2016, 600,000 children were estimated to have died from acute lower respiratory infections caused by polluted air. Air pollution is one of the leading threats to health in children under 5, accounting for almost one in 10 deaths among this age group, the report reveals.
- AUDIO: How indoor pollution causes children to breathe toxic air (BBC Weekend)
- Early childhood exposure to air pollution linked to autism:
- Air pollution linked to autism (press release, Science Daily)
- Air pollution linked to autism: study (Phys.org):
"The developing brains of young children are more vulnerable to toxic exposures in the environment and several studies have suggested this could impact brain function and the immune system. These effects could explain the strong link we found between exposure to air pollutants and ASD, but further research is needed to explore the associations between air pollution and mental health more broadly."
- Australian study links autism to toxic air pollutants (TVNZ-New Zealand):
The study of nearly 1500 children in China, aged up to three years, found those exposed to fine particles from some outdoor pollutants were up to 78 per cent more likely to develop autism spectrum disorder.
- Plastic pollution is everywhere, even in human poo:
- In a first, microplastics found in human poop (National Geographic):
The Environmental Agency in Austria tested the stool samples for 10 different types of plastic. They found nine of them, most commonly PET and polypropylene (PP), a common component of plastic food wrappers and synthetic clothes...“We didn’t study harm,” he says. “We showed there are microplastics in human stool. Up to now, people believed it, but now we know it. That’s important.”
- Microplastics Find Their Way Into Your Gut, a Pilot Study Finds (NY Times):
Though it will take more than 1,000 years for most of these items to degrade, many will soon break apart into tiny shards known as microplastics, trillions of which have been showing up in the oceans, fish, tap water and even table salt. Now, we can add one more microplastic repository to the list: the human gut.
- Scientists Say They've Found Microplastics in People's Poop, But Don't Worry Just Yet (Gizmodo)
- EU parliament votes to phase out most single-use plastic items:
- European parliament approves sweeping ban on single-use plastics (Guardian):
Under the proposed directive, items such as plastic straws, cotton swabs, disposable plastic plates and cutlery would be banned by 2021, and 90% of plastic bottle recycled by 2025. Described by the European commission as a clampdown on “the top 10 plastic products that most often end up in the ocean”, the proposed legislation passed 571 votes to 53...“Unless the UK mirrors EU action on plastics after Brexit, the Tories risk turning the UK into a dumping ground for cheap, non-recyclable plastics.”
- Graphics: Single-use plastics ban approved by European Parliament (BBC)
- EU lawmakers move to ban throw-away plastics (Reuters)
- World Bank ditches coal, because renewables are cheaper:
- World Bank won't back Kosovo coal power plant project (Reuters):
The World Bank said on Wednesday it would not support a planned 500-megawatt (MW) power plant in Kosovo, the Balkan country’s first major energy project in more than two decades, because it would use coal rather than cheaper renewable fuels.
- VIDEO: World Bank Pres. Jim Yong Kim at Civil Society Town Hall 2018 (Twitter)
- Is the World Bank Ending Financing for Coal? Only in Kosovo… (NRDC)
'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
- Facing Climate Change, States and Cities Seek to Borrow Billions (Bloomberg)
- Things aren’t looking good for climate change content on the EPA’s website (Climate Progress)
- Judge Blasts USF&WS, Says Endangered Red Wolves Can't Be Shot (Washington Post)
- Tribe Challenges Corps Findings On Dakota Access Pipeline (AP)
- Large Hydropower Dams 'Not Sustainable' In The Developing World (BBC)
- Noam Chomsky Calls Trump and Republican Allies "Criminally Insane" (Scientific American)
- Apocalyptic Climate Reporting Completely Misses the Point (The Nation)
- Wait, Have We Really Wiped Out 60 Percent of Animals?: The findings of a major new report have been widely mischaracterized—although the actual news is still grim. (The Atlantic)
- Chatterjee blasts Clean Power Plan, praises EPA replacement in filed comments (Utility Dive)
- Trump’s air pollution adviser: Clean air saves no lives (Reveal)
- Divisive Minnesota Mine Wins Permits, But Faces Challenges (AP)
- Hottest Fight On Ballot? Arizona's Smackdown Over Solar Power. (Washington Post)
- Palau, In W. Pacific, Is First Nation To Ban 'Reef-Toxic' Sunscreens (NPR)
- Trump Backs Wood Power Scientists Call Dirtier Than Coal (Bloomberg)
- Ratpocalypse: Climate Change Could Mean Rat Population Explosion (Newsweek)
- What genuine, no-bullshit ambition on climate change would look like: How to hit the most stringent targets, with no loopholes. (David Roberts, Vox)
- A Global Shift To Sustainability Would Save Us $26 Trillion (Vox)
- Project Drawdown: 100 Solutions to Reverse Global Warming (Drawdown.org)
- 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