IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: As record floods move south from the Midwest, NOAA warns of much more to come; Big new problems after major petrochemical fire in Houston; Humanitarian crisis in Mozambique amid Cyclone Idai's widespread devastation; PLUS: Trump Administration gives troubled Georgia 'nook-yu-ler' plant billions more in taxpayer loan guarantees... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): In blow to climate, coal plants emitted more than ever in 2018; Shutting down almost every coal plant and swapping for renewables would save money: report; Recording reveals oil industry execs laughing at Trump access; Puerto Rico passes 100% renewable energy bill as it aims for storm resilience; Tearing down McMansion-sized housing myths; Navajo Nation votes to end efforts to purchase coal-fired power plant; Battery power’s latest plunge in costs threatens coal, gas; Fed researcher warns climate change could spur financial crisis; Louisiana’s Disappearing Coast... PLUS: Polluted by Money: How corporate cash corrupted one of the greenest states in America... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- McConnell forces Senate vote on Democrats' Green New Deal resolution:
- Senate to hold vote on "Green New Deal" resolution --- live updates (CBS News)
- Green New Deal vote tests Dem unity in Senate (The Hill)
- Mitch McConnell wants a Green New Deal vote. Democrats should take him up on it. (Vox)
- Humanitarian crisis in wake of Cyclone Idai disaster:
- Cyclone Death Toll Above 750; Fighting Disease New Challenge (AP):
Cyclone Idai’s death toll has risen above 750 in the three southern African countries hit 10 days ago by the storm, as workers restore electricity, water and try to prevent outbreak of cholera, authorities said Sunday.
- ‘Ticking bomb’ health warning over deteriorating conditions facing Cyclone Idai victims (UN News)
- Mozambique floods cover more ground than NYC, Chicago, D.C., and Boston — combined (Grist):
Beira, Mozambique, reportedly the hardest hit city, “will go down in history as having been the first city to be completely devastated by climate change,” said Graça Machel, the country’s former first lady and a prominent humanitarian in an interview with the Mozambique newspaper Verdade on Monday.
- 'Race against time': UN makes emergency appeal as Cyclone Idai death toll tops 750 (USA Today)
- Cyclone Idai: Death toll rises to 750 as Mozambique city of Beira begins long road to recovery (CNN)
- Cyclone Idai 'might be southern hemisphere's worst such disaster' (Guardian UK)
- Cyclone Idai: How the storm tore into southern Africa (BBC)
- Why disaster relief is so hard (Vox)
- New problems after massive petrochemical fire in Houston:
- Timeline: ITC chemical tank fire in Deer Park (KHOU-Houston)
- What happened at ITC facility in Deer Park over the weekend? (Houston Chonicle):
On Friday, a containment wall breached around the tank farm and sent foam and other volatile compounds into a drainage ditch that leads to the Houston Ship Channel. Parts of the facility also re-ignited, but those smaller fire were quickly extinguished.
- Deer Park's mayor says progress is being made after the chemical fire. But some residents aren't so sure (CNN)
- Texas sues company behind Deer Park terminal fire (Texas Tribune)
- 1,000 Locals Reportedly Seek Treatment After Multi-Day Fire at Houston Chemical Facility (Earther)
- Houston Ship Channel remains closed due to the ITC incident (KHOU-Houston)
- Houston Ship Channel closure could cost energy industry $1 billion (Houston Chronicle)
- Deer Park plant on fire at Intercontinental Terminals Co has history of environmental violations (Houston Chronicle)
- Deer Park fire underscores why good companies plan for disasters (op-ed, Houston Chronicle)
- Costs mount as historic floods move south from the Midwest:
- Midwest flooding costs increasing, with $1.6B damage in Iowa (Washington Post)
- The Missouri River Is Now Primed For Catastrophic Spring Floods (St. Louis Public Radio)
- Flooding Impairs Drinking Water Treatment For Kansas City, Missouri (Reuters)
- KC Water asks residents to conserve while Missouri River remains murky from flood (Kansas City Star)
- As Midwest floods persist, communities struggle with contaminated drinking water (The New Food Economy)
- NOAA warns 200 million Americans at high risk of flooding through May:
- Spring Outlook: Historic, widespread flooding to continue through May (NOAA)
- The Midwest floods are going to get much, much worse (Vox):
“The extensive flooding we’ve seen in the past two weeks will continue through May and become more dire and may be exacerbated in the coming weeks as the water flows downstream,” said Ed Clark, director of NOAA’s National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in a statement. “This is shaping up to be a potentially unprecedented flood season, with more than 200 million people at risk for flooding in their communities.”
- Unprecedented spring flooding possible, US forecasters say (AP):
Extra rain will bring more farm runoff down the Mississippi, which will likely lead to more oxygen-starved areas in the Gulf of Mexico and likely make the summer dead zone larger than normal.
- VIDEO: More Historic, Widespread Flooding Expected This Spring in Central U.S., NOAA Says (The Weather Channel)
- Climate change's fingerprints are on U.S. Midwest floods: scientists (Reuters):
“The atmosphere is pretty close to fully saturated, it’s got all the water it can take,” said Michael Wehner, a senior scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
- What's Behind the Massive Midwestern Floods: 2 Giant Waves of Water (Live Science)
- Nebraska Faces Over $1.3 Billion In Flood Losses (NPR)
- 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.
- Trump Admin. doubles down on support for troubled GA Vogtle nuclear plant expansion:
- To Save a Nuclear Plant, Trump Taps the Solyndra Loan Program He Tried to Cut (Bloomberg)
- Rick Perry calls expanding nuclear energy “the real” Green New Deal (Washington Post):
Yet on Friday, the president’s top energy official just announced a major $3.7 billion boost to keep afloat the last remaining commercial nuclear reactors under construction in the United States..."Ladies and gentlemen, look around you,” [Sec. Perry] said at the beginning of his address. “This is the real new green deal.”
- VIDEO: Sec. of Energy Rick Perry, Gov. Brian Kemp visit Plant Vogtle (U.S. Dept. of Energy on Twitter)
- Southern Co. says Vogtle costs to exceed $25B (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
- 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
- In blow to climate, coal plants emitted more than ever in 2018 (Washington Post)
- The Climate Benefits of the Green New Deal (Scientific American)
- Louisiana’s Disappearing Coast (The New Yorker)
- Recording Reveals Oil Industry Execs Laughing at Trump Access (Politico)
- Big oil’s ‘double speak’ on climate exposed in new report (Euractiv)
- Tearing Down McMansion-sized Housing Myths: Fisking one of Seattle’s premier anti-housing crusaders (Sightline Institute)
- Puerto Rico passes 100% renewable energy bill as it aims for storm resilience (Utility Dive)
- Shutting Down Almost Every Coal Plant and Swapping For Renewables Would Save Money, Report Finds (Earther)
- Radical transformation pathway towards sustainable electricity via evolutionary steps (Nature)
- Battery Power’s Latest Plunge in Costs Threatens Coal, Gas (Bloomberg New Energy Finance)
- Dominion makes final decision to close 10 coal and gas-fired units in Virginia (Utility Dive)
- Navajo Nation Votes To End Efforts To Purchase Coal-Fired Power Plant (Arizona Republic)
- EPA Says Missouri’s Plan To Regulate Coal Ash Ponds And Landfills Is Too Weak (St. Louis Public Radio)
- Fed Researcher Warns Climate Change Could Spur Financial Crisis (Bloomberg)
- EPA Chief Recuses Self From Pebble Mine Review His Ex-Law Firm Repped: Report (The Hill)
- Trump Administration Flips Switch On Energy Efficient Light Bulbs (NPR)
- Polluted by Money: How corporate cash corrupted one of the greenest states in America (Portland Oregonian)
- Nevada legislators introduce 100% carbon-free bill, with provision to include all energy providers (Utility Dive)
- 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: