IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Lights out for the power grid in South America; U.S. military reportedly escalates cyber-intrusions into Russia's power grid; Gulf of Mexico dead zone set to be record size this year, thanks in part to climate change; PLUS: U.K. commits to the most aggressive climate target in the world... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Here's what to know about the Trump replacement for Obama's Clean Power Plan, due out this week; EU Commission finds national climate plans insufficient; Germany joins push for EU-wide 2050 net zero emissions goal; NY State reaches landmark deal on Green New Deal-style climate bill; Where does your plastic go? Global probe reveals America's dirty little secret; Valley Fever is hitting farmworkers hard, and climate change is making it worse; Nestlé is still taking national forest water for its Arrowhead label, with feds' help... PLUS: Democratic voters overwhelmingly support a climate debate, poll finds... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Lights out for the power grid as massive blackout hits South America:
- Blackout in South America raises questions about power grid (AP):
While the precise cause has yet to be established, the blackout originated at a transmission point between two power stations in the country’s northeast “when the system was getting too much power,” Lopetegui said. A chain of events then caused a total disruption, he said... Argentine energy experts said that operational and design errors probably played a role and that the system should have isolated the local failure before it cascaded so disastrously.
- Argentina, Uruguay restoring electrical power after huge blackout (France 24):
It was the first time a power cut had affected the entirety of both Argentina, with a population of more than 44 million, and Uruguay, which has 3.4 million inhabitants... [Argentina's Energy Ministry Gustavo Lopetegui] said the outage took place "automatically to protect the system... We don't have any more information right now on how it occurred. We're not ruling out any possibility, but a cyber attack is not among the main alternatives being considered."
- How Argentina's nationwide blackout happened (Deustche-Welle News)
- NYT: US military escalates intrusions in Russia's power grid:
- U.S. Escalates Online Attacks on Russia’s Power Grid (NY Times):
It is intended partly as a warning, and partly to be poised to conduct cyberstrikes if a major conflict broke out between Washington and Moscow...Two administration officials said they believed Mr. Trump had not been briefed in any detail about the steps to place “implants” — software code that can be used for surveillance or attack — inside the Russian grid. Pentagon and intelligence officials described broad hesitation to go into detail with Mr. Trump about operations against Russia for concern over his reaction — and the possibility that he might countermand it or discuss it with foreign officials, as he did in 2017 when he mentioned a sensitive operation in Syria to the Russian foreign minister.
- Hackers behind dangerous oil and gas intrusions are probing US power grids (Ars Technica):
In a new troubling escalation, hackers behind at least two potentially fatal intrusions on industrial facilities have expanded their activities to probing dozens of power grids in the US and elsewhere, researchers with security firm Dragos reported Friday...The most alarming thing about this attack was its use of never-before-seen malware that targeted the facility’s safety processes.
- US and Russia clash over power grid 'hack attacks' (BBC)
- VIDEO: Trump flips out over NYT report on new US aggression with Russia (Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC)
- Kremlin Warns of Cyberwar After Report of U.S. Hacking Into Russian Power Grid (NY Times)
- Russia warns of “cyberwar” following report the US attacked its power grid (Ars Techinica)
- Cyberattacks Put Russian Fingers on the Switch at Power Plants, U.S. Says (NY Times, 3/15/2018):
The Trump administration accused Russia on Thursday of engineering a series of cyberattacks that targeted American and European nuclear power plants and water and electric systems, and could have sabotaged or shut power plants off at will.
- Hackers trigger yet another power outage in Ukraine (Ars Technica, 1/11/2017)
- Utilities Cautioned About Potential for a Cyberattack (NY Times, 2/29/2016)
- Russian Hackers Targeting Oil and Gas Companies (NY Times, 6/30/2014)
- Gulf of Mexico dead zone likely to be record size, thanks to climate change:
- The Gulf of Mexico's 'Dead Zone' Could Balloon to Over 8,000 Square Miles This Summer (Earther)
- NOAA forecasts very large ‘dead zone’ for Gulf of Mexico (NOAA):
A major factor contributing to the large dead zone this year is the abnormally high amount of spring rainfall in many parts of the Mississippi River watershed, which led to record high river flows and much larger nutrient loading to the Gulf of Mexico...These nitrate loads were about 18% above the long-term average, and phosphorus loads were about 49% above the long-term average.
- Louisiana governor: Upriver floods a disaster for fisheries (AP)
- AUDIO: The Gulf Of Mexico's Expanding Dead Zone (NPR):
The answer is well upstream, and it includes stopping or mitigating the nitrogen that's getting into the Mississippi River. And there are all kinds of improved agricultural practices that can be applied. But if we do start taking small steps and people start adopting better practices, we can make a difference.
- Heavy Rainfall Trends Across the U.S. (Climate Central)
- Midwest floods may be killing Gulf dolphins:
- VIDEO: Number of bottlenose dolphin deaths triple in Gulf of Mexico, NOAA reports (CBS News)
- Dolphins along the Gulf Coast are dying at triple the normal rate, scientists say (NBC News):
Suspects so far include the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010, which has had a lasting impact on wildlife along the Gulf shore, and spring's historic Midwest river flooding, which has sent freshwater rushing into the Gulf....[S]cientists studying dolphin carcasses have discovered "visible skin lesions consistent with freshwater exposure," said Erin Fougères, administrator for the marine mammal stranding program in NOAA Fisheries' southeast region.
- 2019 Bottlenose Dolphin Unusual Mortality Event along the Northern Gulf of Mexico (NOAA)
- More than 260 dead dolphins found on Gulf Coast since February, triple the usual amount NOAA says (Accuweather)
- UK Prime Minister May commits to net zero emissions by 2050:
- The UK has now committed to the most aggressive climate target in the world (Vox):
May’s announcement makes the UK the first G7 country to make such a robust commitment. It’s also one of the most aggressive and comprehensive climate goals in the world since the CCC’s recommendation encompasses the entire UK economy, and the country is starting from an inefficient, fossil fuel-heavy baseline.
- VIDEO: Theresa May: Net zero climate target 'ambitious and crucial' (BBC)
- Theresa May commits to net zero UK carbon emissions by 2050 (Guardian UK)
- What will it take for the UK to reach net zero emissions? (Guardian UK):
The net zero carbon target will require sweeping changes to almost every aspect of British life, affecting our homes, food and the way we get around, as well as jobs and businesses across the board. Ministers hope there will be health benefits and improvements to the natural environment along the way, as well as helping to stave off the global climate emergency.
'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
- Here comes the Trump carbon rule. What to know (E&E News)
- EU Commission finds national climate plans insufficient (Deustche-Welle)
- Germany joins push for EU-wide 2050 net zero emissions goal (Politico)
- NY State Reaches Landmark Deal On Green New Deal-Style Climate Bill (Huffington Post)
- Where Does Your Plastic Go?" Global Probe Reveals America's Dirty Secret (Guardian UK)
- After a miserable May with unusual warmth, Arctic sea ice hits a record low for early June (Discover Magazine)
- Climate Change-Fueled Valley Fever is Hitting Farmworkers Hard (Civil Eats)
- Nestlé is still taking national forest water for its Arrowhead label, with feds' help (Desert Sun)
- US crude settles down 1.1% at $51.93 as economic worries outweigh tanker tensions (CNBC)
- Democratic Voters Overwhelmingly Support Hosting A Climate Debate, Poll Finds (Huffington Post)
- Even Before the Floods, Farms were in Crisis. Wind Power is One Answer (Climate Crocks)
- 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