IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.N. COP25 climate summit kicks off in Madrid; 'Bleak' report warns world on track for catastrophic warming; Study finds dangerous planetary 'tipping points' closer than predicted; PLUS: Residents finally return home after Texas petrochemical plant explosions ruin Thanksgiving... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): WMO report highlights accelerating climate change impacts over last 10 years; Under pressure, 2 utilities ditch pro-coal trade group; Next generation climate models explained; Coal power becoming 'uninsurable'; Cracks in Greenland ice sheet producing massive waterfalls; California solves batteries’ embarrassing climate problem... PLUS: Greta Thunberg arrives in Lisbon after three-week voyage from US... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Evacuation orders lifted after TX petrochemical plant explosions ruin Thanksgiving:
- Explosions Shake a Texas Town, and Its View on Thanksgiving (NY Times):
It was a Thanksgiving of pies abandoned at homes that had been left in a hurry, turkey eaten in hotel rooms, and naps on cots handed out by Red Cross volunteers.
- VIDEO: 50,000 people allowed back home after blasts at chemical plant in Texas (CBS News)
- Texas chemical plant explosion causes extensive damage to city (CNN)
- Refinery Plant Explosion in Texas Raises Questions About Chemical Safety Rules (NPR)
- Port Neches plant rocked by multiple explosions was declared high priority violator by EPA (Texas Tribune):
The Southeast Texas chemical manufacturing plant, owned by Houston-based Texas Petroleum Chemical Group, has a long history of environmental violations and been out of compliance with federal clean air laws for years...[E]nvironmental and consumer advocacy groups on Wednesday said that those penalties - the civil ones add up to less than $200,000 - are nowhere near enough to deter a company that brings in billions of dollars a year from taking sufficient corrective actions.
- Bad timing: Trump EPA rescinds Obama's Chemical Disaster Rule:
- Trump administration scales back safety rules adopted after deadly chemical explosion (Washington Post):
Under the new standards, companies will not have to provide public access to information about what kinds of chemicals are stored on their sites. They also will not have to undertake several measures aimed at preventing accidents, such as analyzing safer technology and procedures, conducting a "root-cause analysis" after a major chemical release or obtaining a third-party audit when an accident has occurred.
- EPA rolls back regulations written after fatal 2013 explosion in West, Texas (Houston Chronicle)
- Just One Week After Trump Rolled Back Safety Measures, Chemical Plant Explosion Rocks Texas Town (Common Dreams)
- UNFCC COP25 climate summit kicks off in Madrid, Spain:
- UN Climate Change Conference - December 2019 (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)
- COP25: UN climate change conference, 5 things you need to know (UNFCC)
- COP25: WWF and Prado Museum use art to show climate change (BBC)
- COP25 really is the 'point of no return' in the climate emergency. Here's why (CNN)
- Climate change: The COP25 talks trying to change the world (BBC)
- COP25: Trump Administration vs. Congressional Democrats:
- VIDEO: U.S. Still Fighting Climate Change Despite Trump, Pelosi Says at COP25 (Bloomberg)
- US Congress commits to act on climate crisis, despite Donald Trump (Guardian UK)
- No senior members of Trump's administration will attend COP25 climate conference in Spain (AFP):
"The United States will continue to participate in ongoing climate change negotiations and meetings --- such as COP25 --- to ensure a level playing field that protects US interests," the US State Department said Saturday.
- At COP 25 Kickoff, Spain's Socialist Leader Rips 'Fanatics' Like Trump Who Deny Climate Crisis (Common Dreams)
- VIDEO: Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL): "How we confront the climate crisis will be judged not by our colleagues or even our voters, but by our grandchildren" (Rep. Sean Casten, former clean tech entrepreneur)
- Mind the Gap --- U.N. Emissions Gap Report's dire warning:
- UNEP: 1.5C climate target ‘slipping out of reach’ (Carbon Brief)
- 'Bleak' outlook as carbon emissions gap grows (BBC):
Countries will have to increase their carbon-cutting ambitions five fold if the world is to avoid warming by more than 1.5C, the UN says. The annual emissions gap report shows that even if all current promises are met, the world will warm by more than double that amount by 2100.
- Summary of @UNEP's Emissions Gap Report 2019, on the massive task ahead to break the rising trend in global greenhouse gas emissions, and to turn it around to rapid reductions (Thread by Kees van der Leun, @Sustainable2050)
- UN Report Says This is Our Last Shot to Take Action on Climate Change (Earther):
A bleak report report published by the United Nation Environment Program (UNEP) on Tuesday warns that global temperatures are on track to rise by as much as 3.9 degrees Celsius (7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century. As last year’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change showed, even reaching 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) could usher in the loss of nearly all coral reefs and most Arctic sea ice. The new report warns that the nearly 4 degrees Celsius of warming we’re on track for would be “destructive.”
- Domino Effect - Study warns planetary 'tipping points' are closer than they appear:
- Climate tipping points - too risky to bet against (Nature):
The growing threat of abrupt and irreversible climate changes must compel political and economic action on emissions...Here we summarize evidence on the threat of exceeding tipping points, identify knowledge gaps and suggest how these should be plugged. We explore the effects of such large-scale changes, how quickly they might unfold and whether we still have any control over them.
- Nine climate tipping points now 'active,' warn scientists
Nine active tipping points:
Arctic sea ice
Greenland ice sheet
Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation
West Antarctic Ice Sheet
Parts of East Antarctica
The collapse of major ice sheets on Greenland, West Antarctica and part of East Antarctica would commit the world to around 10 metres of irreversible sea-level rise.
- U.N. Secretary-General Antionio Guterres warns world fast-approaching 'point of no return':
- VIDEO: Green economy 'not to be feared, but an opportunity to be embraced' says UN chief as COP25 gets underway (U.N. News)
- VIDEO: 'Signals of hope' multiplying in face of global climate crisis, insists UN's Guterres (U.N. News)
'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
- Greta Thunberg arrives in Lisbon after three-week voyage from US (Guardian UK)
- Under pressure, 2 utilities ditch pro-coal trade group (E&E News)
- CMIP6: the next generation of climate models explained (Carbon Brief)
- WMO Report: Don't Say Nobody Warned Us (Earther)
- Coal Power Becoming 'Uninsurable' As Firms Refuse Cover (Guardian UK)
- Climate Change Forces 1 Person From Their Home Every 2 Seconds: Report (ABC News)
- Cracks in the Greenland ice sheet are producing massive waterfalls, raising scientists’ concerns for sea level rise (Washington Post)
- William Ruckelshaus, Twice EPA Chief, Dies (E&E News)
- California solves batteries’ embarrassing climate problem (Vox)
- Trump’s New Border Policy Threatens National Park Visitors Everywhere (Earther)
- 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
- NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years: