IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Climate action is now a major plank for Beto and Booker in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary; New poll shows climate change is a top issue for voters; Jakarta and Washington D.C. grapple with rising seas; PLUS: New York State bans offshore drilling and plastic bags... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): A remarkable political moment for climate change; Interior Dept. loosens regulations for offshore drilling dating from Deepwater Horizon spill; NASA research shows humans have been influencing drought for more than a century; Senators question whether Interior watchdog, solicitor nominees can handle mounting scandals; Aquaculture company pays fine over escaped Atlantic salmon; FWS proposes downlisting beetle in win for oil industry... PLUS: High levels of toxic PFAS chemicals pollute breast milk around world... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Another round of flooding in the Upper Midwest drowns Davenport, Iowa:
- Parts of downtown Davenport, Iowa, flood as barrier fails (AP)
- Iowa's downtown Davenport floods after Mississippi River barrier fails (CNN):
With the river at flood stage in several states, Davenport's flooding could portend what other communities downriver may face in the coming days if barriers don't hold...Recent heavy rain and melting snow have swollen portions of the Mississippi River, pushing it to major or moderate flood stage in parts of Iowa, Illinois and Missouri.
- Mississippi River rising amid dangerous Midwest flooding (CBS):
"Excessive rain along with excessive snow pack has led to a situation along the Mississippi River," said Emergency Management Director David Donovan. This is the wettest year in Davenport since July, 1993. Floodwaters reached over 22 feet. The flood stage here is 15.
- Farmers wash up 'in a fragile place' after historic Midwest floods (Chicago Tribune):
The devastating floods increased concerns about the mental health and well-being of farmers who already were struggling with yearslong economic uncertainty.
- Climate change has already started disrupting life in the Great Lakes region - and it's only going to get worse (Chicago Tribune, 3/21/2019)
- Indonesia to move capital away from sinking Jakarta:
- Indonesia's planning minister announces capital city move (BBC):
Jakarta is also one of the fastest-sinking cities in the world. Researchers say that large parts of the megacity could be entirely submerged by 2050. North Jakarta sunk 2.5m (eight feet) in 10 years and is continuing to sink an average of 1-15cm a year.
- Indonesia plans to move its capital from Jakarta. Here's why (CNBC)
- VIDEO: Jakarta is sinking into the sea, Indonesia plans to build a new capital in Borneo's rainforest. (DailyKos)
- Indonesia Announces Capital May Relocate From Jakarta as City Sinks (Weather Channel)
- Jokowi wants to move capital out of Java (Jakarta Post)
- Beto O'Rourke rolls out ambitious 2020 campaign climate policy:
- Taking On Our Greatest Threat: Climate Change (Beto O'Rourke)
- VIDEO: Beto O'Rourke releases $5 trillion climate plan (All In with Chris Hayes, MSNBC)
- Beto O'Rourke proposes $5-trillion climate plan for net-zero emissions by 2050 (LA Times):
Though O'Rourke's plan does not include some of the more sweeping social programs of the Green New Deal, such as a jobs guarantee for every American, it is more specific in its spending prescriptions. O'Rourke proposes $1.5 trillion in federal spending, which could then be combined with state and local dollars as well as private capital for a total $5-trillion package.
- Beto O'Rourke now has the most robust climate proposal of any 2020 presidential candidate (Vox):
But getting more specific with his policies also opens him up to scrutiny and criticism...These reactions are revealing a fissure between candidates and environmental activists who keep pushing further, a gap that could haunt both sides come election day.
- Beto O'Rourke's First Policy Proposal Is a $5 Trillion Plan to Tackle Climate Change (Earther)
- Sen. Cory Booker unveils environmental justice policy:
- VIDEO: Cory Booker on his environmental justice policy (Cory Booker, Facebook)
- Cory Booker offers plan to address environmental inequality (AP)
- Booker’s argument for environmental justice stays within the lines (Politifact)
- Cory Booker makes "environmental justice" central to his White House bid (CBS):
Booker's plan calls for companies to pay for the pollution they cause, an increase in staffing at various departments of the EPA, doubling the fees on coal mine operators to fund the cleanup of abandoned mines, and "safeguarding the basic human right of safe drinking water" by better enforcing standards set forth in the Safe Drinking Water Act.
- Cory Booker offers plan to address environmental inequality (AP):
Calling environmental inequality one of today's civil rights battles, the New Jersey senator said during a campaign stop in the South Carolina capital that the federal government hasn't done enough to ensure all Americans have equal access to clean, healthy communities.
- It's Monday, April 29, and here come the 2020 climate platforms. (Grist)
- Climate change #1 issue for Democratic primary voters:
- Climate change is quickly taking over as the top 2020 issue for Democratic voters (Climate Progress)
- Poll: Climate change is top issue for registered Democrats (CNN):
The CNN poll found that 82 percent of registered voters who identified as Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents listed climate change as a "very important" top priority they’d like to see get the focus of a presidential candidate.
- The latest CNN poll on 2020 Democrats (CNN)
- Washington D.C. adopts resilience plan for flood-prone areas:
- D.C. Is First to Plan to Remove, Retrofit Flood-Prone Buildings (Bloomberg):
Washington is announcing a goal of retrofitting or removing all of its flood-prone buildings by 2050, the first major U.S. city to set such a policy.
- D.C. Releases First-Ever Resilience Strategy, Planning For Climate Change (WAMU)
- Nevada targets 50 percent renewable electricity by 2030:
- Nevada passes bill for 50% renewables by 2030, 100% carbon free by 2050 (Utility Dive)
- Nevada governor signs bill raising clean energy standard (AP)
- Nevada’s 50% Renewable Portfolio Standard Clears Legislature (Green Tech Media)
- Maine bans single-use plastic foam containers:
- Maine becomes 1st state to ban single-use foam containers (Bangor Daily News):
Such industry groups asserted that the bill doesn't mean consumers will stop littering. The groups said they're taking voluntary steps to make plastic package reusable, recyclable or recoverable by 2030. The plastic industry in January committed to spending $1.5 billion over five years to end plastic waste through a new nonprofit, The Alliance to End Plastic Waste, according to American Chemistry Council lobbyist Margaret Gorman.
- Maine becomes first state to ban Styrofoam food containers, effective 2021 (USA Today)
- Maine becomes the first state to ban Styrofoam (CNN):
"Polystyrene cannot be recycled like a lot of other products, so while that cup of coffee may be finished, the Styrofoam cup it was in is not," Mills said in a statement to CNN affiliate WMTW. "In fact, it will be around for decades to come and eventually it will break down into particles, polluting our environment, hurting our wildlife, and even detrimentally impacting our economy."
- New York State bans offshore drilling and plastic bags:
- VIDEO: Cuomo signs New York offshore drilling ban alongside Billy Joel (Newsday):
The bill would prohibit state agencies from processing applications for pipelines or any other transportation and distribution services needed to facilitate offshore drilling...State officials said offshore drilling could cost New York nearly 320,000 jobs and billions of dollars in revenue generated through the tourism and fishing industries while putting the Atlantic seaboard at high risk to a major oil spill.
- New York Bans Offshore Drilling in Its Waters (US News & World Report):
"You have a president and an administration that looks out at the world and says we have no climate change issue. We have no environmental issue"..."Today's bill says no how, no way are you going to drill the coast off Long Island and New York," he said.
- New York passes statewide organics mandate, plastic bag ban (Waste Dive):
Effective March 2020, the state will prohibit distribution of any "plastic carryout bag" (with some exemptions) and allow cities or counties to implement their own five-cent fees on paper bags. New York City, among other local governments, is now expected to take that step...While the plastic bag ban has been getting most of the attention, the organics mandate is arguably an even bigger change.
- Plastic Bags to Be Banned in New York; Second Statewide Ban, After California (NY Times)
'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
- Notes from a Remarkable Political Moment for Climate Change (Bill McKibben, New Yorker)
- Interior Dept. Loosens Offshore-Drilling Safety Rules Dating From Deepwater Horizon (NY Times)
- Senators question whether Interior watchdog, solicitor nominees can handle mounting scandals (Climate Progress)
- NASA Research Shows Humans Have Been Influencing Drought For Over a Century (Earther)
- Cooke Aquaculture Pays $332,000 Over Escaped Atlantic Salmon (AP)
- FWS proposes downlisting beetle in win for oil industry (E&E News)
- High Levels of Toxic PFAS Chemicals Pollute Breast Milk Around World (The Intercept)
- Trump EPA Insists Monsanto's Roundup Is Safe, Despite Cancer Cases (Guardian UK)
- From Apples to Popcorn, Climate Change Is Altering Foods America Grows (NY Times)
- NASA Carbon Observatory Set For Launch Despite Trump Efforts To Ax It (LA Times)
- New Mexico Official Stops New Oil, Gas Drilling On State Land Near Chaco (Santa Fe New Mexican)
- Republicans Coax Trump to Scrap U.S. Ship Waiver Plan for Gas (Bloomberg)
- Criticism of O’Rourke’s climate plan misstates the science (Climate Progress)
- We Asked All 2020 Democrats About Climate Change. Here Are Their Ideas. (NY Times)
- VIDEO: A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (The Intercept)
- This Is How Human Extinction Could Play Out (Rolling Stone)
- 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:
- Farmers wash up 'in a fragile place' after historic Midwest floods (Chicago Tribune):