IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Britain basks in warmest February ever recorded; New House Democratic majority unleashes wave of oversight on climate, energy, and environment; A turning point for solar power in Arizona; PLUS: Republicans shifting away from outright climate change denial?... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): This is an emergency, damn it: Green New Deal critics are missing the bigger picture; Senate confirms ex-coal lobbyist to lead EPA; Flood-prone cities like Houston may need to start buying people out; Scientists pull CO2 from the air, turn it into coal; Evidence for global warming passes physics' gold standard threshold; CPAC: The Green New Deal "is what Stalin dreamt about but never achieved"; Russia orders firms to release captive whales after outcry; Personhood for Lake Erie?... PLUS: You can’t take on climate change without tackling sprawl... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Britain breaks all-time high February temperature records:
- UK basks in warmest February days on record (BBC):
It is the first time a temperature of over 20C has been recorded in winter. It breaks the UK's record for February, set when the temperature reached 19.7C in Greenwich in 1998... It's hard to believe that a year ago Britain was about to endure the worst of the so-called Beast from the East, with widespread snow and sub-zero temperatures.
- UK experiences hottest winter day ever as 21.2C is recorded in London (Guardian UK):
The record had already been broken on Monday, when temperatures exceeded 20C during winter for the very first time. This week’s unseasonably warm weather differs dramatically from the beginning of the month, when sub-zero temperatures were recorded across the country...Parts of Britain on Tuesday were hotter than Malibu, Athens, Crete and Barcelona.
- Media reaction: The UK’s record-breaking winter heat in 2019 (Carbon Brief)
- Wildfires rage across Britain after hottest winter day on record (Reuters)
- Study finds people quickly adjust accustomed to extreme weather:
- Rapidly declining remarkability of temperature anomalies may obscure public perception of climate change (PNAS)
- Extreme Weather Can Feel 'Normal' After Just a Few Years, Study Finds (NY Times):
Generally, it took just two to eight years for Americans in a given location to adjust their mental baselines of what was normal - in other words, to stop recognizing that those extreme temperatures were in fact extreme. "The definition of 'normal weather' shifts rapidly over time in a changing climate," the authors wrote...But if people stop registering extreme temperatures as extreme, it may limit the public's willingness to take or support action on global warming, the researchers said.
- What counts as extreme temperature is a moving target (Anthropocene Magazine)
- House Democrats unleash wave of oversight on climate, environment:
- EPA enforcement chief defends agency’s record (Washington Post):
“It’s hard to ignore the facts. So, if the EPA isn’t enforcing our environmental laws, who is?” DeGette asked. “The question is why? Why is the EPA sitting on the sidelines?”
- Civil penalties for polluters dropped dramatically in Trump’s first two years, analysis shows (Washington Post)
- VIDEO: “Examining How Federal Infrastructure Policy Could Help Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Change” (House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee)
- Infrastructure is bipartisan concern, but House panel differs on climate change (Washington Post):
The projected rising seas and extreme weather is anticipated to take a toll on the U.S. infrastructure. Both of them find vulnerable targets in roads, bridges, ports, rail lines, airports, transit and waste water systems.
- VIDEO: House GOP committee members walk out of hearing on "The Denial Playbook: How Industries Manipulate Science and Policy from Climate Change to Public Health" (House Natural Resources Committee Democrats)
- Republicans force House subcommittee to adjourn during hearing on climate change (The Hill)
- Republicans (some) shifting away from outright climate change denial:
- John Kasich to fellow GOPers: Stop denying climate change (Axios):
Kasich is a potential 2020 opponent of President Trump — and he represents the leading edge of a Republican Party slowly evolving away from a decade-long position denying that climate change is a real problem. Kasich revealed his plan for his speech in an exclusive interview with Axios Monday.
- VIDEO: JakeSherman tells KatyTurNBC that the Green New Deal is largely to credit for Republican leaders beginning to acknowledge that their positions on climate change are 'untenable.' (Waleed Shahid, Twitter)
- Climate deniers reveal true fear about Green New Deal: That it will force Republicans to the left (Climate Progress)
- Republicans shifting stance on climate (Politico)
- “Innovation”: the latest GOP smokescreen on climate change policy (Vox)
- Turning point for solar in Arizona:
- Historic shift: APS says batteries are cheapest energy option, plans big investment (Arizona Republic):
The batteries will displace traditional power plants, particularly natural-gas-fired generators, and increase the amount of renewable energy APS uses.
- APS to install 850 MW of storage, 100 MW of solar in major clean energy buy (Utility Dive)
- AES Building 100 Megawatt Battery In Arizona To Fight The Duck Curve With Solar (Clean Technica)
- This utility is being investigated by the FBI for trying to block rooftop solar (Climate Progress, 8/1/2017)
- It's the Green News Report's 10th anniversary!
'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
- This is an emergency, damn it: Green New Deal critics are missing the bigger picture (Vox)
- Senate confirms ex-coal lobbyist to lead U.S. environment regulator (Reuters)
- Flood-prone cities like Houston may need to start buying people out, study says (Climate Progress)
- You can’t take on climate change without tackling sprawl (Grist)
- Scientists Just Pulled CO2 From Air And Turned It Into Coal (Forbes)
- Power lines: The next 'Green New Deal' battlefront? (E&E News)
- Evidence For Global Warming Passes Physics' Gold Standard Threshold (Earther)
- Sebastian Gorka at CPAC: The Green New Deal "is what Stalin dreamt about but never achieved" (Media Matters)
- Trump Is Increasingly Alone on One Side of the Climate Science Divide (NY Times)
- Russia orders firms to release captive whales after outcry (Reuters)
- Dianne Feinstein Is a Bigger Climate Threat Than Trump: Only a bold plan like the Green New Deal can slow global warming, and that won't happen if powerful Democrats keep calling for moderation. (The New Republic)
- US Keeps SO2 Air Pollution Standard Established Under Obama (AP)
- Coastal Flooding Erasing Billions in Property Value as Sea Level Rises (Inside Climate News)
- Ohio City Votes To Give Lake Erie Personhood Status Over Algae Blooms (Guardian UK)
- Time to Panic: The planet is getting warmer in catastrophic ways. And fear may be the only thing that saves us. (David Wallace-Wells op-ed, NY Times)
- SEJ Backgrounder: Green New Deal Proposes Sweeping Economic Transformation (Society of Environmental Journalists)
- Explainer: The 'Green New Deal': Mobilizing for a just, prosperous, and sustainable economy (New Consensus)
- 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
- NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years:
- UK experiences hottest winter day ever as 21.2C is recorded in London (Guardian UK):