IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Utility company PG&E's power lines caused deadliest fire in California history; CO2 in the atmosphere hits disturbing milestone --- exactly as Exxon predicted decades ago; Delaying action on climate change could cost investors more than $1 trillion; PLUS: Burger King takes the Impossible Whopper nationwide... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): This one weird trick can help any state or city pass clean energy policy; Jay Inslee unveils $9 trillion climate jobs plan to cut emissions and bolster unions; Sen. Warren: Our military can help lead the fight in combating climate change; WV town didn't want to be a nuclear waste dump, but he government gave them no choice; Flood-ravaged Midwest mayors avoid mentioning climate change; Climate policy foes seize on White House rule change to challenge EPA endangerment finding; Border wall to go up in national monument, wildlife refuge... PLUS: Gas car sales 'have already peaked and may never recover' as battery prices plunge... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- PG&E's equipment caused deadly Camp Fire:
- PG&E power lines caused California's deadliest fire, investigators conclude (LA Times):
PG&E filed for bankruptcy protection in part because of losses from the Nov. 8 fire, which scorched more than 153,000 acres and has put new pressure on utilities to improve the safety of their power distribution systems.
- Officials: Camp Fire, deadliest in California history, was caused by PG&E electrical transmission lines (CNBC)
- Paradise goes on as PG&E gets official blame for fire: 'It doesn't make me feel better at all.' (SF Chronicle):
"The small amount of light, with PG&E being found at fault, is that it will open up a financial door for people to possibly get some money to try to get them back to a place close to where they were," said Town Council member Michael Zuccolillo. "It's not going to change that people died. It's not going to change the emotional strain and trauma people went through. It may help them in restarting their lives. That's the only silver lining."
- Judge Orders PG&E Directors to Visit Town Destroyed by Wildfire (NY Times):
Judge Alsup issued the order after PG&E was found to have violated its probation. The company was placed on probation after being convicted of six felonies that stemmed from a 2010 gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno just south of San Francisco.
- Memo to prosecutors in Camp fire: Convicting a company of murder is easier said than done (LA Times, 1/24/19)
- Insider Alleges Pressured PG&E Workers Resorted to Dangerous Shortcuts (NBC San Francisco, 5/14/19))
- Insurance industry ranks climate impacts as #1 risk to sector:
- 12th Annual Survey of Emerging Risks [PDF] (Society of Actuaries, et al)
- Insurance experts rank climate change as top risk for 2019 (Grist)
- Climate Change Jumps To Biggest Risk For Insurers (Wyoming Public Media)
- Attention Louisiana climate deniers: Insurers say climate change now biggest risk (NOLA)
- The Challenges of Climate Change: The global actuarial response to the difficulties of climate change (The Actuary Magazine):
Actuaries can appreciate the gap that the high-risk appetite nations are displaying with regard to achieving the common goal of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, in comparison to the level of risks we tolerate in other undertakings.
- UN report: Delaying climate action could cost investors $1.2 trillion in next 15 years:
- Stalling on Climate Change Action May Cost Investors Over $1 Trillion (Bloomberg):
Extreme weather events, including floods, tropical cyclones, and extreme hot and cold days are already hitting business operations. Should governments install tougher policy in the push for cleaner technology, emission-intensive companies will increasingly struggle to compete.
- Changing Course: A comprehensive investor guide to scenario-based methods for climate risk assessment, in response to the TCFD (U.N. Environment Finance Initiative)
- VIDEO: Our new report for investors implementing the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (U.N. Environment Finance Initiative)
- Here's how investors can save the planet and still make some money (CNBC)
- Atmospheric CO2 hits 415ppm for first time in human history:
- Carbon dioxide levels hit landmark at 415 ppm, highest in human history (USA Today):
Carbon dioxide levels millions of years ago were higher than 2019 levels, but Earth's temperatures were also far higher. In the 800,000 years before the Industrial Revolution, CO2 levels didn't surpass 300 parts per million. Homo sapiens didn't emerge until about 300,000 years ago, and some of their predecessors were around about 2 million years ago.
- 'Record-setting' doesn't do our CO2 levels justice. This chart does. (Popular Science):
This means levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are now nearly 40 percent higher than ever in human history. And because the measurement directly correlates with things like global temperature and ocean acidification, this record concentration is further proof that humans are changing the environment at an unprecedented rate.
- Exxon Knew: Exxon's own scientists nailed the timing of climate thresholds:
- Exxon: The Road Not Taken (Inside Climate News):
Exxon's Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels' Role in Global Warming Decades Ago. Top executives were warned of possible catastrophe from greenhouse effect, then led efforts to block solutions.
- Exxon predicted in 1982 exactly how high global carbon emissions would be today (Climate Progress):
Not only did Exxon predict the rise in emissions, it also understood how severe the consequences would be.
- AOC, Sanders slam Exxon, politicians who advocate "middle ground" on climate action:
- VIDEO: AOC and Bernie Sanders rally against mediocre climate change action (Mashable):
Ocasio-Cortez slammed politicians for not acting on climate change in the past, in particular, for not taking cues from NASA, which first warned Congress of the risks of climate change in 1989. "I will be damned if the same politicians who refused to act then are going to try to come back today and say we need a middle-of-the-road approach to save our lives," she said.
- VIDEO: The last #Road2GND tour stop at Howard University in Washington DC (full video) (Sunrise Movement, Facebook)
- Ocasio-Cortez: No 'middle ground' on fighting climate change (Washington Post)
- Climate change tests Joe Biden as he confronts a major question for Democrats: Is any compromise too much? (Washington Post)
- Burger King to roll out Impossible Whopper nationwide:
- VIDEO: Impossible Foods, Beyond Meat and the growth of the meatless meat market (CBS News):
Meatless meat can taste just like the real thing, and investors are salivating over what some predict could become a $35 billion alternative meat market.
- Burger King to sell vegan Whopper nationwide by end of the year (CBS News):
The move is by no means a fast-food first, as White Castle in September began selling the so-called Impossible Slider, and veggie rival Beyond Meat in January said it was rolling out its plant-based burger at fast-food chain Carl's Jr.
- We tried Burger King's plant-based Impossible Whopper next to the original - here's how they actually compare (Business Insider)
- Beyond Meat goes public with a bang: 5 things to know about the plant-based meat maker (Market Watch)
- Burger King is testing out an Impossible Whopper. This is why: (CNN, (4/1/19))
- Meat Eaters Guide: Full Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Common Proteins and Vegetables (Environmental Working Group)
'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 one weird trick can help any state or city pass clean energy policy (Vox)
- Jay Inslee Unveils $9 Trillion Climate Jobs Plan To Cut Emissions And Bolster Unions (Huffington Post)
- Our military can help lead the fight in combating climate change (Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Medium)
- This Town Didn't Want to Be a Radioactive Waste Dump. The Government Is Giving Them No Choice. (Earther)
- In Flood-Hit Midwest, Mayors See Climate Change as a Subject Best Avoided (NY Times)
- New York Rejects Pipeline in Fierce Battle Over State’s Energy Future (NY Times)
- Climate Policy Foes Seize on New White House Rule to Challenge Endangerment Finding (Inside Climate News)
- Industry group Utility Air Regulatory Group, tied to EPA air chief, dissolves (Politico)
- Border wall to go up in national monument, wildlife refuge (AP)
- Wyoming coal giant Cloud Peak files for bankruptcy (Casper Star-Tribune)
- Investors worried about climate change take aim at companies from Amazon to Taco Bell (AP)
- Gas car sales 'have already peaked and may never recover' as battery prices plunge (Climate Progress)
- Federal Agency Renews Twin Metals Mine Leases In Minnesota (AP)
- 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