IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Staggering economic losses from extreme weather and historic floods in the Upper Midwest; 'Shelter in place' order issued after massive, toxic chemical fire extinguished in Houston; Trump EPA chief Wheeler pushes more dangerous delay on climate change, while 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates push climate change solutions; PLUS: Federal judge blocks oil and gas drilling in Wyoming in 'Holy Grail' ruling... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 'We don't have anything': the fight for survival after Cyclone Idai; Congress’ inaction endangers black lung fund; Trump's [bogus] $100 trillion price tag for the Green New Deal came from a tweet; Solar and wind firms call the 'Green New Deal’ too extreme; Spinach, Strawberries, Kale Top List Of Most Pesticide-Tainted Produce; Mining Company Quashed Dam Safety Audit Efforts Before Brazil Disaster; Jury Finds Monsanto’s Roundup Likely Cause Of Cancer In 2nd Bay Area Man; Western States Finalize Landmark Drought Plan For Colorado River Water... PLUS: Banks Put $1.9 Trillion Into Fossil Fuels Since The Paris Climate Deal... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Federal judge blocks oil and gas drilling in Wyoming:
- Citing climate change, U.S. judge blocks oil and gas drilling in large swath of Wyoming (NBC News):
U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras in Washington appeared to go a step further than other judges in his order issued late Tuesday. Previous rulings focused on individual lease sales or permits. But Contreras said that when the U.S. Bureau of Land Management auctions public lands for oil and gas leasing, officials must consider emissions from past, present and foreseeable future oil and gas leases nationwide.
- Federal ruling on oil and gas drilling in Wyoming gives new avenue to challenge BLM leases in Utah (Salt Lake Tribune):
“Given the national, cumulative nature of climate change," [Judge] Contreras wrote, “considering each individual drilling project in a vacuum deprives the agency and the public of the context necessary to evaluate oil and gas drilling on federal land.”
- Federal judge demands Trump administration reveal how its drilling plans will fuel climate change (Washington Post):
Federal oil, gas and coal leasing — both on land and offshore — accounts for a quarter of America’s total carbon output, according to a report issued last year by the Interior Department’s U.S. Geological Survey. Oil and gas drilling accounts for about 40 percent, or 500 million metric tons, of that total...Although BLM would be required to disclose the overall climate impact of its leasing decisions, it could still go ahead and open those lands up for development.
- Massive petrochemical fire finally extinguished in Houston:
- Shelter-in-place alert issued for Deer Park after elevated benzene levels detected (Houston Chronicle):
By Thursday morning, benzene had escaped through the foam blanket covering the tanks at the facility, according to the Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie Christensen. She said vapors could be released as the foam separates over the next 24 hours.
- Shelter-in-place order given to Deer Park and Galena Park residents after benzene levels rise (Texas Tribune):
- Deer Park plant on fire at Intercontinental Terminals Co has history of environmental violations (Houston Chronicle)
- Shelter-in-place ordered due to benzene levels in Texas city where chemicals facility burned for 3 days (CBS News):
The Texas Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday that benzene levels near the facility didn't pose a health concern.
- A Chemical Site In Texas Has Been On Fire For Days, But Air Quality Is Safe, Officials Say (Huffington Post)
- Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
- Staggering economic losses from extreme weather and historic floods in the Upper Midwest:
- Historic floods cause widespread damage in Nebraska, Iowa (Axios):
These floods are, in parts of Nebraska in particular, worse than longtime residents have experienced and in many cases are downright unprecedented in historical records.
- What's Behind the Massive Midwestern Floods: 2 Giant Waves of Water (Live Science)
- Nebraska Faces Over $1.3 Billion In Flood Losses (NPR)
- More floodwaters rising in storm-ravaged U.S. Midwest (Reuters)
- As part of Midwest starts flood cleanup, downstream region braces for inundation (Philadelphia Inquirer):
The start of the cleanup was coupled with a realization that the recovery could take years, amid warnings that current infrastructure of dams and levees won't be adequate to protect from the increased frequency & severity of flooding from climate change.
- When Are We Going to Start Planning for Floods? (Slate)
- The waters are rising, the floods are coming. What are we doing to save ourselves? (USA Today)
- Trump EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler pushes more dangerous delay on climate change:
- VIDEO: Clean drinking water a bigger global threat than climate change, EPA's Wheeler says (CBS News):
Climate change, Wheeler said, "is an important change we have to be addressing and we are addressing." But he added that "most of the threats from climate change are 50 to 75 years out," while unsafe drinking water is killing people right now.
- EPA chief Wheeler argues for shifting focus from climate change to water (AP):
The federal government’s own climate assessment last year concluded climate change caused by oil, gas and coal emissions already is hitting the United States. Weather extremes such as flooding, hurricanes and drought “have already become more frequent, intense, widespread or of long duration,” the report, compiled by scientists at EPA and other federal agencies, said....They “are the largest and most immediate environmental and public health issues affecting the world right now,” [Wheeler] said..
- EPA head: Drinking water, not climate change, is world's most pressing issue (Axios)
- A tipping point on climate change (Axios)
- 2020 Democratic presidential candidates push climate change solutions:
- VIDEO: Sen. Warren to audience member on climate change: You may want to sit for this (CNN):
During a CNN town hall in Jackson, Mississippi, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) states that the United States is leading the world in the wrong direction when it comes to the crisis of climate change.
- VIDEO: Can South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg break out of a crowded field of Democratic presidential hopefuls (Fox News Sunday)
- VIDEO: Jay Inslee - Running for President on a Platform of Fighting Climate Change - Extended Interview (The Daily Show)
- How the Green New Deal Is Forcing Politicians to Finally Address Climate Change (Time)
- In the Green New Deal era, everyone has a climate ‘plan’ (even the right) (Grist)
- America Cares About Climate Change Again: For the first time in years, a broad spectrum of climate advocates is playing offense (The Atlantic)
- 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
- 'We don't have anything': the fight for survival after Cyclone Idai (Guardian UK)
- Cyclone Idai: How the storm tore into southern Africa (BBC)
- Congress’ inaction endangers black lung fund (AP)
- Trump's $100 trillion price tag for the Green New Deal may have come from a tweet (Washington Post)
- Solar and wind firms call the 'Green New Deal’ too extreme (Reuters)
- Army Bill For Public Records On Contaminant: About $300,000 (AP)
- Spinach, Strawberries, Kale Top List Of Most Pesticide-Tainted Produce (Environmental Health News)
- Banks Put $1.9 Trillion Into Fossil Fuels Since The Paris Climate Deal (Fast Company)
- Miner Vale Quashed Dam Safety Audit Efforts Before Brazil Disaster (Reuters)
- Jury Finds Monsanto’s Roundup Likely Cause Of Cancer In 2nd Bay Area Man (SF Chronicle)
- Western States Finalize Landmark Drought Plan For Colorado River Water (Denver Post)
- Not Trusting FEMA Flood Maps, More Hurricane-Hit Cities Set Own Rules (Inside Climate News)
- Italy's Terna to spend record sums on grid for shift to renewables (Reuters)
- Trump's top economic adviser still supports carbon tax (E&E News)
- Sen. Masto says she's close to a deal to remove plutonium secretly shipped to Southern Nevada (Reno Gazette-Journal)
- Nevada legislators introduce 100% carbon-free bill, with provision to include all energy providers (Utility Dive)
- Tiny solar cells harvest indoor light (Yale Climate Connections)
- 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)
- 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: