IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Climate change finds its way into the latest Democratic debate; Greenhouse gas concentrations reach record highs; 2019 is the wettest year on record for the Lower 48; PLUS: The words heard 'round the world - "climate emergency" is Oxford Dictionary's 2019 'Word of the Year'... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): U.N.: 'Bleak' outlook as carbon emissions gap grows; Trump EPA scales back safety rules adopted after chemical blast; No, koalas aren't 'functionally extinct'—yet; Supreme Court won't throw out climate scientist's defamation suit; 'Biblical destruction' from storms in Europe; New solar heat technology could help solve tricky industrial heat problem; How cities are turning food into fuel; Tesla's Big Battery to get even bigger... PLUS: 10 ways to accelerate progress against climate change... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- The word(s) heard 'round the world: "climate emergency":
- Oxford Dictionaries declares 'climate emergency' the word of 2019 (Guardian UK):
According to the dictionary's data, usage of "climate emergency" soared 10,796 percent. Oxford said the choice was reflective, not just of the rise in climate awareness, but the focus specifically on the language we use to discuss it. The rise of "climate emergency" reflected a conscious push towards language of immediacy and urgency, the dictionary said.
- 'Climate emergency' is Oxford Dictionary's word of the year (USA Today)
- 100 percent consensus among 2019 studies on the reality of man-made climate change:
- Scientists Reach 100% Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming (Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society):
The consensus among research scientists on anthropogenic global warming has grown to 100%, based on a review of 11,602 peer-reviewed articles on "climate change" and "global warming" published in the first 7 months of 2019.
- Greenhouse gas concentrations hit record highs
- Climate change: Greenhouse gas concentrations again break records (BBC):
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says the increase in CO2 was just above the average rise recorded over the last decade. Levels of other warming gases, such as methane and nitrous oxide, have also surged by above average amounts. Since 1990 there's been an increase of 43% in the warming effect on the climate of long lived greenhouse gases.
- Climate-heating greenhouse gases hit new high, UN reports (Guardian UK):
"It is worth recalling that the last time the Earth experienced a comparable concentration of carbon dioxide was 3-5m years ago. Back then, the temperature was 2-3C warmer and sea level was 10-20 metres higher than now."
- 2019 wettest year on record for Lower 48, with consequences:
- A Wet Year Causes Farm Woes Far Beyond the Floodplains (NY Times):
The damage from the destructive spring flooding in the Midwest has been followed in parts of the country by a miserable autumn that is making a bad farming year worse, with effects that could be felt into next spring. Even the widespread flooding in the spring was worse for many farmers than the images of sodden river towns would suggest, said Scott Irwin, an agricultural economist at the University of Illinois.
- October 2019 was coolest in 10 years [in Lower 48] as U.S. continued its wettest year to date (NOAA)
- Keystone spill 10 times larger than company previously estimated:
- Land affected by Keystone pipeline leak 10 times bigger than thought (AP):
TC Energy has put up berms around the affected area and is excavating contaminated soil from the entire site, at depths of up to 1.8 metres (six feet), Suess said. The oily soil is being stockpiled and will be taken to a landfill in Sawyer, North Dakota, he said.
- The Company Behind the Keystone Pipeline Shouldn't Be Allowed to Run a Gas Station at This Point (Esquire)
- Billionaire Michael Bloomberg joins 2020 Democratic presidential primary race:
- Bloomberg Is a Climate Leader. So Why Aren't Activists Excited About a Run for President? (Inside Climate News):
Because of his work with the United Nations, with the C40 organization of cities dedicated to climate action, and the Financial Stability Board, Bloomberg has more experience in international climate diplomacy than any other Democratic candidate with the possible exception of Biden. And his experience in governance, as mayor of the nation's largest city from 2002 to 2013, sets him apart from fellow billionaire Steyer, who has no similar record of public service or effort to implement climate policy.
- Michael Bloomberg Promises $500 Million to Help End Coal (NY Times, 6/6/2019)
- Climate change get a discussion at latest 2020 Democratic debate in Atlanta:
- VIDEO: Democratic Debate (Full) - Atlanta, GA, November 20, 2019 (MSNBC & Washington Post)
- Bernie Sanders wants to take fossil fuel companies to criminal court (Vox)
- Pete Buttigieg targets farmers with climate message, and other debate highlights (Washington Post)
- Can farmers sow their way out of climate change? (CBS News)
- To Slow Global Warming, U.N. Warns Agriculture Must Change (NPR, 8/8/2019)
'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
- 'Bleak' outlook as carbon emissions gap grows (BBC)
- No, koalas aren't 'functionally extinct'—yet (National Geographic)
- 10 ways to accelerate progress against climate change (Vox)
- Supreme Court won't throw out climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann's defamation suit against National Review (CNN)
- Storms in France, Greece and Italy leave 'biblical destruction' (Guardian UK)
- Future forests facing climate balancing act (BBC)
- Global use of coal-fired electricity set for biggest fall this year (Guardian UK)
- Puerto Rico’s Next Big Crisis Is Water (Huffington Post)
- A new solar heat technology could help solve one of the trickiest climate problems: high-temperature industrial heat (Vox)
- Copenhagen: What it takes to be carbon neutral - for a family, a city, a country (Inside Climate News)
- How Cities Are Turning Food Into Fuel (Politico)
- Renewable energy: Digital circuit breakers could help the grid become much smarter and cleaner (David Roberts, Vox)
- Australia: Tesla Big Battery Getting Bigger (Climate Crocks)
- Arizona Tribes Oppose Plan To Dam Colorado River Tributary (AP)
- Trump DOI Wants To Give Some Gulf Wells a Break On Royalty Payments (Washington Post)
- Trump EPA Scales Back Safety Rules Adopted After Deadly Chemical Blast (Washington Post)
- What Does '12 Years to Act on Climate Change' (Now 11 Years) Really Mean? (Inside Climate News)
- 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