IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Landmark U.N. report warns humans are pushing 1 million species on land and sea to brink of extinction; Trump Administration repeals offshore drilling safety rules implemented after BP oil rig explosion; PLUS: Upper Midwest flooding in 2019 breaks all-time historic records... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): U.S. refuses to recognize threat of Arctic climate change as Sec. of State Pompeo cheers melting sea ice; Inslee rolls out sweeping climate plan, setting new standard for 2020 Democrats; Judges question EPA's lifting of ban on climate super pollutant HFCs; Louisiana: 'Almost every household has someone that has died from cancer'; Canadian court rules Trudeau's carbon tax constitutional; Super trawlers threaten Australian fisheries; Why is China placing a global bet on coal?... PLUS: A new brain study shows a better way to engage voters on climate change... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Upper Midwest flooding breaks historic records:
- Historic Mississippi River flooding could extend into June, experts warn (USA Today):
“We have points in Iowa and Illinois that have been in flood stage for over 30 days, which hasn’t occurred since we started keeping records — and some of them go back 150 years,” said Patrick Burke, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland...The Mississippi River crested at higher levels than it ever had in the past.
- The Mississippi River Has Been Flooding For 41 Days Now (NPR)
- Record floods worsened by warming and levees. 'How idiotic' (E&E News):
Is climate change exacerbating record flooding along the Mississippi River that's ravaging parts of Iowa, Illinois and Missouri? Yes, it is, experts say..."This is heavy rain, there's no question about it, and that's going to aggravate the problem," he said. "I'm not saying climate change is immaterial. I'm saying it's not the elephant in the room. The elephant in the room is river constriction. Short of that, we'd have floods, but they wouldn't be record floods."
- Flooding wreaks havoc along Mississippi River, a transit hub for $1 billion in goods (Washington Post)
- I Work With Suicidal Farmers. It’s Becoming Too Much to Bear. (New Republic):
Mike Rosmann left seminary to become a clinical psychologist for farmers. Now, as historic flooding ravages the Midwest, he's never been more overwhelmed.
- Trump Administration rolls back offshore drilling safety rules:
- Trump easing offshore drilling safety rules from Deepwater (AP):
As far as giving the industry more discretion in how it complies with the post-Deepwater Horizon safety rules, “That’s what we thought before the BP blowout,” Boesch said. “We let the industry decide and what happened was people took chances. That’s the reason why we need hard and fast standards.”
- Trump admin officially rolls back safety rules put in place after Deepwater Horizon (Climate Progress):
And under the Trump administration, enforcement of the regulations has been lax...DOI handed out nearly 1,700 waivers allowing offshore oil drillers to skirt the current safety regulations in the 20 months after they were introduced.
- The Trump Administration is Inviting Another Deepwater Horizon Event (Washington Monthly)
- Study shows continuing impacts of Deepwater Horizon oil spill (Phys.Org)
- Trump Administration lifts endangered species protections for oil & gas industry:
- Trump administration to roll back rare beetle protections opposed by oil lobby (Guardian UK):
The Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to “downlist” the species, labeling it as threatened rather than endangered. The decision would allow drilling and other industry activity in Oklahoma and parts of Kansas, Arkansas and Texas, with some exceptions in conservation areas.
- Lawsuit Seeks Endangered Species Protection for 24 Species Trump Administration Left Behind (Center for Biological Diversity)
- U.N. warns humans are pushing species to the brink of extinction:
- Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’ Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’ (United Nations Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services):
“The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health and quality of life worldwide.”
- VIDEO: IPBES-7 Media Launch Global Assessment Webcast (United Nations Youtube Channel)
- UN report: Humans accelerating extinction of other species (AP):
Many of the worst effects can be prevented by changing the way we grow food, produce energy, deal with climate change and dispose of waste, the report said. That involves concerted action by governments, companies and people. Individuals can help with simple changes to the way they eat and use energy, said the co-chairman of the report, ecological scientist Josef Settele of the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research in Germany. That doesn’t mean becoming a vegetarian or vegan, but balancing meat, vegetables and fruit, and walking and biking more, Watson said.
- One million species face extinction, U.N. report says. And humans will suffer as a result. (Washington Post):
For example, ocean ecosystems are degrading as temperatures rise toward 2 degrees Celsius — 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit — above preindustrial levels, the study warns. Coral reefs lost to warming and acidifying oceans could cause a collapse in commercial and indigenous fisheries, affecting billions of coastal residents who rely on seafood for protein.
- VIDEO: Interview with Sir Robert Watson, chief of U.N. Biodiversity (Deutsche-Welle Environment)
- Why biodiversity loss hurts humans as much as climate change (Deutsche-Welle Environment):
Without bees pollinating crops and trees turning carbon dioxide into oxygen, even basic human tasks such as eating and breathing become harder...In a sign of the powerful feedback loops at play, agriculture is itself a major driver of biodiversity loss, with pesticides, soil erosion and forest clearance destroying habitats and sinking wildlife populations. And in addition to its effect on food systems, the devastation of the earth's soil reduces its ability to retain water, hitting humans by increasing water stress and the frequency of floods.
- 1 Million Animal And Plant Species Are At Risk Of Extinction, U.N. Report Says (NPR)
- One million species threatened with extinction because of humans (CNN)
- The other alarming facts from the new UN species extinction report (Climate Progress)
'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
- U.S. Refuses to Recognize Threat of Arctic Climate Change as Trump Official Cheers Melting Sea Ice (Earther)
- Inslee rolls out sweeping climate plan, setting new standard for 2020 Democrats (Climate Progress)
- A new brain study shows a better way to engage voters on climate change (Climate Progress)
- Judges Question EPA's Lifting of Ban on Climate Super Pollutant HFCs (Inside Climate News)
- Canadian Court Rules Trudeau's Carbon Tax Constitutional (Reuters)
- Bald Eagle Poisoning Deaths Continue In Area Of Maryland (Baltimore Sun)
- Super Trawlers Threaten Australian Fisheries, Conservationists Warn (Guardian UK)
- New Jersey Governor Signs Public Beach Access Law (NPR)
- Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Already Imperiled Over Cost (Washington Post)
- Louisiana Town: 'Almost Every Household Has Someone That Has Died From Cancer' (Guardian UK)
- Staking Out Battle Lines, House Votes to Keep US in Paris Climate Pact (NY Times)
- Why Is China Placing A Global Bet On Coal? (NPR)
- Senate Dems Challenge Trump's UN Nominee On Climate Change (The Hill)
- 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