IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: From hellish heat to 'unprecedented' flooding, Australia hit with extreme weather whiplash; Meet the new Interior boss, even worse than the old Interior boss; Polar Vortex forces nuclear plant to shut down; PLUS: Trump Administration preparing to bulldoze National Butterfly Sanctuary to make way for his border wall... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): At State of the Union, guests will signal growing ‘Green New Deal’ and climate momentum; Climate change is roasting the Himalaya region, threatening water supply for millions; Study warns self-driving cars may cause endless traffic jams; More US companies discussing climate in wake of hurricanes, wildfires; Former Koch official runs EPA chemical research; Canadian firm scraps plan to mine former Utah monument land; U.S. Navy wants to build a wall to stave off climate change; Company gets water permit for refinery near national park... PLUS: Teenagers emerge as a force in climate protests across Europe... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Australia grapples with extreme weather whiplash:
- BOM says Townsville flooding far from over, as city lies trapped in weather 'convergence' zone (ABC Australia)
- Australia in January 2019 (Australia Bureau Of Meteorology):
January warmest on record for Australia; warmest or second-warmest in each State and Territory. The month saw a series of heatwaves unprecedented in their scale and duration/
- 20,000 homes at risk in Australia floods as crocodiles, snakes wash up (CNN):
Devastating flooding in northeast Australia has forced thousands of people from their homes and brought snakes and crocodiles onto the streets as authorities warn of strong winds and more rain on the way.
- Townsville warned as floodgates open (BBC)
- ‘Unprecedented’ Floods in Australia Force Hundreds to Evacuate (NY Times)
- Australia floods: Crocodiles seen in 'once in a century' waters (BBC)
- Perth weather to soar into high 30s in the longest run of hot days since 2014 (ABC Australia)
- Australian extremes impossible without a climate change kick (Sophie Clewis)
- Polar Vortex tests U.S. electric resilience, shuts down NJ nuclear reactor:
- Power Companies vs. the Polar Vortex: How Did the Grid Hold Up? (Inside Climate News)
- Cold weather forces Salem nuclear unit offline as owner PSE&G presses for subsidies (Utility Dive):
Last year, Entergy's Pilgrim nuclear plant in Vermont went offline during a cold snap due to a transmission fault. And in past Polar Vortexes, coal operators have seen fuel piles and plant mechanics freeze while gas plants have experienced disruptions to fuel supplies. This time, the issue at the Salem plant involved so-called frazzle ice that can accumulate on the plant's water intake system during extreme cold.
- Below-freezing temps shut down Salem nuclear reactor (Press of Atlantic City)
- Brace for the Polar Vortex; It May Be Visiting More Often (NY Times):
“They are definitely becoming more common,” said Jennifer Francis, a senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center. ...[B]ecause of changes to the polar vortex, when wintry weather does arrive, it’s often more intense — witness the four back-to-back nor’easters last year.
- 'Disturbing': NASA finds new cavity, indicates accelerated Antarctic melting
- There's a Huge Cavity Under Antarctica's Most Endangered Glacier (Earther)
- Huge Cavity in Antarctic Glacier Signals Rapid Decay (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)
- Cavity in Antarctica Glacier Is Two-Thirds the Size of Manhattan, Scientists Say (NY Times)
- Huge Hole Discovered beneath Fast-Melting Antarctic Glacier (Scientific American):
Ice in the hole disappeared in the last three years, worrying scientists about future ice loss.
- Yes, climate extremes are arriving faster than previously predicted:
- VIDEO: Dr. Michael Mann on extreme Polar Vortex in the U.S. (Penn State Univ.)
- Using the big freeze to deny climate change... stupidity or cynicism? (Dr. Michael Mann, Guardian UK)
- The world's oceans are warming faster than predicted (CBC, 1/10/2019)
- Australia's extreme heat is sign of things to come, scientists warn (Guardian UK):
Australia sweltered through the hottest month in its history in January, spurring mass deaths of fish, fire warnings and concerns among climate scientists that extreme heat is hitting faster and harder than anticipated.
- Trump nominates former oil lobbyist for top post at Interior Dept.:
- David Bernhardt: Trump selects former oil lobbyist to oversee interior department (Guardian UK):
Bernhardt’s reputation as a technocrat working efficiently behind the scenes stands as a 180-degree turn from that of his flamboyant predecessor...“Bernhardt got this nomination as a reward for months of work cramming America’s natural heritage into a wood chipper,” said Kieran Suckling, the executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity advocacy group, one of many environmental organizations condemning Trump’s intended nomination.
- Trump’s nominee to lead the Interior Department is under fire for actions during shutdown (Climate Progress)
- Trump to nominate David Bernhardt, a former lobbyist, as the next Interior secretary (Washington Post)
- Earthjustice Statement on Nomination of David Bernhardt (EarthJustice)
- Trump Admin. prepares to bulldoze National Butterfly Sanctuary for border wall:
- What the Border Wall will do here (National Butterfly Center):
1) Eradicate an enormous amount of native habitat, including host plants for butterflies, breeding and feeding areas for wildlife, and lands set aside for conservation of endangered and threatened species-- including avian species that migrate N/S through this area or over-winter, here, in the tip of the Central US Flyway...
- VIDEO: National Butterfly Center faces uncertainty as heavy equipment arrives (The Monitor)
- First signs of border wall construction spotted at National Butterfly Center (San Antonio Express-News):
The Trump administration is waiving 28 environmental laws to build the wall, a decision that brought a lawsuit in November by Defenders of Wildlife, which asserts that the waivers exceed the government’s authority. “This isn’t due process,” Burnett said, because the butterfly center isn’t on federal land.
- US prepares to start building portion of Texas border wall (AP)
- Texas butterfly center fighting border wall construction (Dallas Morning News)
- VIDEO: How Trump’s border wall could impact the environment (Vox)
- U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Environmental Challenge to Trump's Border Wall in California (Fortune, 12/3/2018)
'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
- At State of the Union, guests will signal growing ‘Green New Deal’ and climate momentum (Climate Progress)
- Climate change is roasting the Himalaya region, threatening millions (National Geographic)
- Study warns self-driving cars may cause endless traffic jams to avoid parking fees (Climate Progress)
- Skeptic On Radiation Limits Will Head EPA Radiation Panel (AP)
- Former Koch Official Runs EPA Chemical Research (Politico)
- More US Companies Discussing Climate In Wake Of Hurricanes, Wildfires (Reuters)
- Canadian Firm Scraps Plan To Mine Former Utah Monument Land (Huffington Post)
- Senators Call On EPA To Restrict Key Drinking Water Contaminants (The Hill)
- Teenagers Emerge as a Force in Climate Protests Across Europe (NY Times)
- US government appeals ruling that blocked Keystone pipeline (AP)
- Company gets water permit for refinery near national park (AP)
- The Navy Wants to Build a Wall to Stave Off Climate Change (Bloomberg)
- Trump EPA's Pollution, Waste Reduction Numbers Are Lowest In A Decade (The Hill)
- 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.
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page