IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Deadly tornadoes hammer the South, complicating coronavirus emergency response; Farmers forced to dump fresh milk, destroy food crops, as coronavirus upends U.S. food system; Wildfires burn through radioactive forests near Chernobyl nuclear disaster; PLUS: Historic deal reached to cut global oil production... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): One weird trick to achieve American 'energy dominance'; Thirst for oil vanishes, leaving industry in chaos; With boats stuck in harbor because of COVID-19, will fish stocks recover?; Methane levels reach all-time high; Olive oil industry under increasing threat from 'olive leprosy'; A decade after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, offshore drilling is still unsafe... PLUS: Decades of climate science denial has led to denial of the coronavirus pandemic... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Deadly tornadoes hammer the South amid a pandemic:
- Deadliest tornado outbreak in 6 years: Stunned residents begin cleanup in the South, East (USA Today)
- Coronavirus, then tornado damage: For some South Carolina residents, there's 'nowhere to go' (USA Today)
- VIDEO: The storm systems left over 1 million people without power Monday morning as it travels up the Atlantic coast. (NBC News)
- VIDEO: Tornado Outbreak Tears Across the South, Killing 32 (Weather Channel)
- States In The South Urged People To Protect Themselves From Tornadoes Before Protecting Themselves From The Coronavirus (Buzzfeed)
- Historic deal reached to cut global oil production:
- Crude mixed on output deal, recession fears; shares slip (Reuters)
- Factbox: Non OPEC+ crude oil supply cuts (Reuters)
- The Big Deal to Cut Oil Production May Not Be Big Enough (NY Times):
Experts estimate that demand has fallen by somewhere between 25 million barrels and 35 million barrels a day — or up to three and a half times as much as what the oil nations are promising to cut.
- Saudi energy minister says effective global oil cuts at more than 19 million bpd (Reuters)
- Cheap oil isn't going away, even after record production cuts (CNN)
- Oil ends on mixed note as drop in demand offsets support from historic OPEC+ deal to cut output (Market Watch):
Given the difficulty for most producers outside of core-OPEC to implement large cuts, the OPEC+ agreement “leaves the voluntary cuts as still too little and too late to avoid breaching storage capacity, ensuring that low oil prices force all producers to contribute to the market rebalancing,” said Damien Courvalin, Callum Bruce and Jeffrey Currie, analysts at Goldman Sachs, in a note to clients.
- VIDEO: Fracking’s Troubled Boom (Climate Crocks)
- Coronavirus May Kill Our Fracking Fever Dream (NY Times)
- Coronavirus destabilizing the U.S. food system:
- Dumped Milk, Smashed Eggs, Plowed Vegetables: Food Waste of the Pandemic (NY Times):
The widespread destruction of fresh food — at a time when many Americans are hurting financially and millions are suddenly out of work — is an especially dystopian turn of events, even by the standards of a global pandemic. It reflects the profound economic uncertainty wrought by the virus and how difficult it has been for huge sectors of the economy, like agriculture, to adjust to such a sudden change in how they must operate.
- 'A disastrous situation': mountains of food wasted as coronavirus scrambles supply chain (Guardian UK)
- VIDEO: Lines at food banks grow as some farmers destroy food (CNN)
- Wisconsin farm groups are asking the USDA to purchase dairy products because some farms have no buyers for milk (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
- Fact check: Farmers are dumping milk because of change in demand, bottling limitations (USA Today)
- Thousands of cars and hours of waiting as demand grows at New Orleans food banks (NOLA)
- 'Elbow to elbow:' North America meat plant workers fall ill, walk off jobs (Reuters)
- Smithfield shutting U.S. pork plant indefinitely, warns of meat shortages during pandemic (Reuters):
Smithfield Foods, the world’s biggest pork processor, said on Sunday it will shut a U.S. plant indefinitely due to a rash of coronavirus cases among employees and warned the country was moving “perilously close to the edge” in supplies for grocers.
- Food goes to waste amid coronavirus crisis (Politico)
- The farmworkers putting food on America's tables are facing their own coronavirus crisis (CNN)
- Wildfires rage in radioactive forests around Chernobyl nuclear disaster:
- Chernobyl Wildfires Reignite, Stirring Up Radiation (NY Times):
According to the state center of radiation and nuclear safety, contaminated smoke is expected to reach Kyiv this weekend. However, the radiation level in the air, once smoke has disbursed far from the fires, is considered safe. It is expected to be about a hundredth of the level deemed an emergency....The main risk from the fires comes from inhaling, via the smoke, small radioactive particles thrown years ago from the open core of the Chernobyl reactor, said Olena Miskun, an air pollution expert with Ecodiya, an environmental advocacy group.
- Fire raging near Ukraine's Chernobyl poses radiation risk, say activists (Reuters)
- Clear gains in public health seen after closures of polluting coal plants:
- Hospital Visits Declined After Sulfur Dioxide Reductions from Louisville-Area Coal Plants (Inside Climate News):
By taking advantage of a "natural experiment" brought on by the closure of one coal-fired power plant and the addition of new pollution controls at others in the area, health researchers have documented how lowering air pollution improves the lives of asthma patients.
- Improved asthma outcomes observed in the vicinity of coal power plant retirement, retrofit and conversion to natural gas (Nature)
- Air pollution linked to far higher Covid-19 death rates, study finds (Guardian UK)
'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
- One Weird Trick To Achieving American Energy Dominance (Forbes)
- Decades of Science Denial Related to Climate Change Has Led to Denial of the Coronavirus Pandemic (Inside Climate News)
- The US has a collective action problem that’s larger than the coronavirus crisis (Vox)
- New renewable energy capacity hit record levels in 2019 (Guardian UK)
- Methane levels reach all-time high (E&E News)
- U.S. banks prepare to seize energy assets as shale boom goes bust (Reuters)
- Olive oil industry under increasing threat from 'olive leprosy' (Guardian UK)
- A decade after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, offshore drilling is still unsafe (The Conversation)
- She’s A Furloughed Single Mom Of 3. The Utility Is Shutting Off Her Power Anyway. (Huffington Post)
- The Coronavirus Is a Preview of Our Climate-Change Future (NY Magazine)
- With Boats Stuck in Harbor Because of COVID-19, Will Fish Bounce Back? (Smithsonian Magazine)
- Exxon's Snake Oil: 100 years of deception (Columbia Journalism Review)
- 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)
- 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