IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Crises at meatpacking plants a 'reckoning' for industrial agriculture; Scientists warn environmental destruction will lead to more pandemics; Western U.S. in beginning stages of mega-drought; PLUS: Big surprise win for clean water from the U.S. Supreme Court... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): In Montana, Children File Suit to Protect ‘the Last Best Place’; Emissions Declines Will Set Records This Year. But It’s Not Good News; Texas regulators release plan to cut oil production; Study: Gas-powered appliances may be hazardous for your health; Germany's Merkel wants green recovery from coronavirus crisis; Scientists try to plant 'forests of the future' that can survive man-made climate change; As lockdowns lift, new hazards lurk in the water... PLUS: Climate experts call for 'dangerous' Michael Moore film to be taken down
... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Trump orders meatpacking plants to stay open during global pandemic:
- Is meat really "essential," though? (Heated.World):
Welcome to America, where we consider pork chops more important than preserving the planet's livability.
- Meatpackers welcome Trump order; others question virus risks (AP)
- Piglets aborted, chickens gassed as pandemic slams meat sector (Reuters)
- Trump orders meat plants to stay open in pandemic (Washington Post):
“We’re going to sign an executive order today, I believe,” Trump said. “It was a very unique circumstance because of liability.” He did not elaborate...Legal experts say there are serious questions about whether legislation Trump cited authorizes the president to grant broad immunity to businesses from workplace, environmental and other safety protections, nor is it clear whether Trump can order a shuttered manufacturing plant to reopen.
- Meat plant workers to Trump: Employees aren't going to show up (CNN)
- The real reason Trump treats meatpacking workers as disposable (op-ed, CNN):
These are the people the President wants to continue working for the benefit of American consumers. How unsurprising that the President, who has shown unprecedented cruelty and disdain for immigrants and minorities, now expects them to risk their lives so we all can have an uninterrupted food supply.
- Coronavirus pandemic triggers 'day of reckoning' for industrialized food system:
- Day of reckoning dawns for industrial livestock farms (E&E News):
Ever-expanding livestock farms carry an environmental impact, too, as concentrated animal feeding operations with more than 2,500 pigs or 1,000 beef cattle trigger environmental regulations on manure and raise worries about greenhouse gas emissions. Lack of slaughter facilities can make those farms bigger still, for a time.
- Unsanitized: J.D. Scholten on How to Revitalize Our Broken Food Systems (The American Prospect):
“Sixty percent of apple juice is made in China,” Scholten noted. “Here in our district there are apple orchards all over the place, and we’re not an apple area. All these policies, geared toward international trade, we’re losing sight of our base of agriculture and our food system. Who are we doing this for?”
- Global food system is broken, say world’s science academies (Guardian UK, 11/28/2018)
- Scientists warn environmental destruction will lead to more pandemics:
- COVID-19 Stimulus Measures Must Save Lives, Protect Livelihoods, and Safeguard Nature to Reduce the Risk of Future Pandemics (IPBES):
There is a single species that is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic - us. As with the climate and biodiversity crises, recent pandemics are a direct consequence of human activity – particularly our global financial and economic systems, based on a limited paradigm that prizes economic growth at any cost. We have a small window of opportunity, in overcoming the challenges of the current crisis, to avoid sowing the seeds of future ones.
- Deadly Leaps: These scientists saw the coronavirus coming. Now they're trying to stop the next pandemic before it starts. (Grist)
- Halt destruction of nature or suffer even worse pandemics, say world’s top scientists (Guardian UK)
- Western U.S. in beginning stages of climate change-driven mega-drought:
- Large contribution from anthropogenic warming to an emerging North American megadrought (Science)
- The western U.S. is locked in the grips of the first human-caused megadrought, study finds (Washington Post)
- The American West May Be Entering a ‘Megadrought’ Worse Than Any in Historical Record (Smithsonian Magazine)
- VIDEO: Megadrought emerging in western U.S. could be the worst in 1,200 years, study finds (Jeff Berardelli, CBS News)
- Big win for clean water from the U.S. Supreme Court:
- Clean Water Act Covers Groundwater Discharges, Supreme Court Rules (NY Times)
- Supreme Court rejects EPA’s narrow view of Clean Water Act (AP)
- The Clean Water Case of the Century (Earth Justice):
The Court rejected the Trump administration’s polluter-friendly position in the clearest of terms: “We do not see how Congress could have intended to create such a large and obvious loophole in one of the key regulatory innovations of the Clean Water Act.”
- Supreme Court rejects Trump-backed clean water ‘loophole’ in major environment case (CNBC):
The majority ruled that the Clean Water Act forbids polluters from spewing waste into navigable waters like oceans and streams without a permit even if the pollution travels indirectly through groundwater...A study ordered by the Environmental Protection Agency showed that nearly all of the waste ends up in the Pacific Ocean.
- VIDEO: Supreme Court sides largely with environmentalists in Maui wastewater case (Hawaii News Now)
- Supreme Court Leaves the Clean Water Act Intact (press release, Earth Justice)
'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
- In Montana, Children File Suit to Protect ‘the Last Best Place’ (Inside Climate News)
- Emissions Declines Will Set Records This Year. But It’s Not Good News. (NY Times)
- Texas regulators release plan to cut oil production (E&E News)
- Study: Gas-powered appliances may be hazardous for your health (Grist)
- Germany's Merkel wants green recovery from coronavirus crisis (Reuters)
- In Fast-Warming Minnesota, Scientists Try To Plant Forests Of Future (Washington Post)
- Oil Execs On Trump’s ‘Opening The Country’ Council Are Major GOP Donors (Huffington Post)
- Millions Of Farm Animals Culled As US Food Supply Chain Chokes Up (Guardian UK)
- EPA Board: 'Secret Science' Proposal May 'Reduce Scientific Integrity' (The Hill)
- As lockdowns lift, new hazards lurk in the water: Stagnant water in unused buildings can harbour infectious bacteria and heavy metals (Nature)
- Climate experts call for 'dangerous' Michael Moore film to be taken down (Guardian UK)
- 'Planet of the Humans': Michael Moore and Jeff Gibbs deliver a gift to climate deniers (Greener Life, Greener World)
- 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