IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Senate Democrats grill Trump EPA chief nominee Andrew Wheeler in confirmation hearing; 'Code red' as historic heat wave grips Australia; EPA criminal actions against polluters hit 30-year low; Antarctica's ice sheets melting 6 times faster than in 1980s; PLUS: The business world is waking up to climate change impacts... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Some of the biggest green groups have cold feet over "Green New Deal" document; Cement: the massive CO2 emitter you may not know about; Permafrost melt, the most dangerous climate feedback loop, is speeding up; Trump replacement for Obama Clean Power Plan worse than doing nothing; Shutdown threatens to make this year's fire seasons even worse; Experts warned this floating garbage collector wouldn’t work. The ocean proved them right; Climate change is making it harder for young people to become farmers; Most coffee species at risk of extinction due to climate change, scientists warn; Indonesia lands remarkable victory with aggressive conservation measures... PLUS: Less beef, more beans - experts say the world needs a new diet... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: Burnout and Despair: Studying the Climate, with guest Dr. Michael Mann (The Agenda, TVO):
Studying climate change can take its emotional toll. Some scientists and activists have experienced grief, depression, and anxiety. Some have received death threats. The Agenda looks beyond the science to the psychological strain climate change can have on those that know it best.
- 'Code Red' for Australia in record-breaking extreme heat wave:
- Extreme heatwave: all-time temperature records fall across parts of Australia (Guardian UK)
- Australia extreme heatwave: 'code red' issued as Port Augusta hits 48.9C (120F) (Guardian UK)
- New extreme heat wave hits Australia causing temperatures to soar (CNN)
- Child hospitalised during extreme heatwave (News Australia)
- Antarctica's ice sheets melting 6 times faster than in 1980s:
- Four decades of Antarctic Ice Sheet mass balance from 1979–2017 (PNAS)
- Antarctic ice-sheet sensitivity to obliquity forcing enhanced through ocean connections (Nature GeoScience)
- Ice loss from Antarctica has sextupled since the 1970s, new research finds (Washington Post)
[I]f the ice flow speeds up, the ice sheet’s losses can outpace snowfall volume. When that happens, seas rise. That’s what the new research says is happening...“The traditional view from many decades ago is that nothing much is happening in East Antarctica,” Rignot said, adding, “It’s a little bit like wishful thinking.”
- Study of Antarctic sea ice collapse warns of potential 10-foot sea rise (Climate Progress):
A stunning new study on Antarctic sea ice collapse greatly raises the risk of a 10-foot sea level rise this century if President Donald Trump’s climate policies aren’t quickly reversed...[T]he new study finds that parts of the vastly larger East Antarctic Ice Sheet (EAIS) are also disintegrating.
- Antarctica ice melt has accelerated by 280% in the last 4 decades (CNN):
A pair of new studies released on Monday share a same ominous message --- that our planet's ice is melting at an alarming rate, which is bad news for global sea levels.
- Earth's Tilt May Exacerbate a Melting Antarctic (Live Science)
- Trump EPA's pollution enforcement actions lowest in 30 years:
- Criminal enforcement collapse at EPA (PEER press release)
- EPA Criminal Action Against Polluters Hits 30-Year Low (AP):
But the 166 cases referred for prosecution in the last fiscal year is the lowest number since 1988, when Ronald Reagan was president and 151 cases were referred, according to Justice Department data obtained by the nonprofit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility advocacy group and released Tuesday.
- How Trump’s EPA is letting environmental criminals off the hook, in one chart (Vox):
“Everything that I have seen announced in terms of substantive prosecutions have been cases that originated in the Obama administration...There is little that I’ve seen that is not an Obama-era investigation.”
- GAO investigating EPA's low enforcement numbers (The Hill)
- Democrats grill Trump EPA chief nominee Andrew Wheeler:
- VIDEO: EPA Administrator Confirmation Hearing (C-SPAN):
Andrew Wheeler, President Trump’s pick for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA administrator, testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Mr. Wheeler was asked about his views on climate change, auto emissions standards, the Clean Power Plan and various EPA rule proposals.
- VIDEO: At confirmation hearing, Trump’s EPA pick vows to advance a deregulatory agenda (Washington Post)
- Andrew Wheeler, at E.P.A. Confirmation Hearing, Walks a Fine Line on Climate Change (NY Times):
[I]f the hearing itself is any indication, Mr. Wheeler could be in for a rocky tenure.
- EPA Nominee Andrew Wheeler Wasn’t Ready for the Senate’s Questions on Climate Change (Mother Jones)
- EPA nominee Andrew Wheeler’s confirmation hearing was all about climate change (Vox)
- On path to Senate confirmation, Trump's EPA pick has tried to avoid Scott Pruitt's missteps (LA Times)
- A Coal Baron’s Takeover of the EPA Is Nearly Complete (The New Republic):
Wheeler proved that he’s deeply knowledgeable about the energy industry and EPA regulations, and that he’s more politically adept than his predecessor.
- The Next Likely EPA Chief Has Almost Completed His Former Coal Client’s Wish List (Mother Jones):
The last major action Wheeler took before his agency shut down late last month was remove the legal justification for the EPA’s regulation for mercury, arsenic and air toxics, a move that weakens the EPA’s position in a court case pursued by, yes, [his former boss] Bob Murray.
- The business world is waking up to the risks of climate change:
- These are the biggest risks facing our world in 2019 (World Economic Forum)
- Failure to curb climate change a top risk: Davos survey (Reuters):
“Of all risks, it is in relation to the environment that the world is most clearly sleepwalking into catastrophe,” said the report.
- Climate is the biggest risk to business (and the world) (CNN):
Business leaders and experts surveyed by WEF said that extreme weather, migration caused by climate change and natural disasters are the three risks they're most likely to face in 2019.
- Global tension is hampering our ability to fight climate change, Davos survey warns (CNBC)
- AUDIO: Power to the People?: CA Could Buy the State's Largest Private Utility Co. at a 'Fire Sale' Price: 'BradCast' 1/15/2019 (The Brad Blog)
- California’s largest utility just declared bankruptcy. Hello, climate change. (Vox)
'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
- Some of the Biggest Green Groups Have Cold Feet Over the “Green New Deal” (The New Republic)
- Climate change: The massive CO2 emitter you may not know about [Spoiler: it's cement.] (BBC)
- The most dangerous climate feedback loop is speeding up (Climate Progress)
- Trump replacement for Obama climate plan worse than doing nothing – study (Guardian UK)
- Shutdown threatens to make this year's fire seasons even worse (Oregon Mail Tribune)
- Experts warned this floating garbage collector wouldn’t work. The ocean proved them right. (Washington Post)
- Less Beef, More Beans. Experts Say World Needs A New Diet (AP)
- Climate change is making it harder for young people to become farmers (Yale Climate Connections)
- Most coffee species at risk of extinction due to climate change, scientists warn (ABC Australia)
- 'One fish at a time': Indonesia lands remarkable victory with aggressive conservation measures (Guardian UK)
- New U.S. Oil And Gas Drilling To Unleash 1,000 Coal Plants’ Worth Of Pollution By 2050 (Huffington Post)
- Nestlé lays out first steps to making all product packaging recyclable by 2025 (Waste Dive)
- Reporter explains local effects of climate change through advice column (Columbia Journalism Review)
- 'Drought, climate change and mismanagement': What experts think caused the death of a million Menindee fish (ABC Australia)
- Are We Living Through Climate Change’s Worst-Case Scenario? (The Atlantic)
- Fourth National Climate Assessment, Vol. 2: Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States [PDF] (U.S. Global Change Research Program)
- 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