IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Michigan dams fail, causing massive flooding, toxic threat amid pandemic; Super Cyclone Amphan slams into India; Trump Administration hits renewable energy projects with retroactive rent increases; PLUS: Global emissions plunged an unprecedented 17% during pandemic shutdowns... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Holding the World's Breath at 11,135 Feet; White House warned EPA about legal concerns, 'spurious' tone on auto rules; EU Commission planning 'green' auto industry rescue; Tree Deaths in Urban Settings Are Linked to Leaks from Natural Gas Pipelines Below Streets; EPA employees allege leadership interference with science... PLUS: Aging Dams, Changing Climate: A Dangerous Mix... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Super Amphan slams into India, Banglaesh:
- Amphan: Kolkata Devastated As Cyclone Leaves Scores Dead (BBC)
- Deadly cyclone cuts destructive path in India and Bangladesh (AP):
Wide swaths of coastal India and Bangladesh were flooded and millions were without power Thursday as Cyclone Amphan, the most powerful storm to hit the region in more than a decade, killed over 80 people and cut a path of destruction that is still being assessed.
- More than 80 killed in India and Bangladesh as Cyclone Amphan heaps misery on coronavirus-hit areas (CNN)
- Cyclone Amphan poses extreme storm surge danger for eastern India, Bangladesh (Washington Post):
The shape of the Bay of Bengal maximizes storm surge at its northern end, since the region becomes narrower as storms spin farther to the north, creating a funnel effect for the movement of water. Past storms that have struck this densely populated region have killed tens of thousands of people and displaced thousands more.
- Double disasters Michigan: catastrophic flooding + pandemic:
- Risky dam fails, Dow Superfund site threatened: Authorities now assessing damage from Central Michigan flooding (Chicago Tribune):
Officials warned that the scope of the damage could take days to fully see. The nearly century-old Edenville Dam, which failed to hold back floodwaters, was the target of lengthy investigations by federal regulators, who revoked the facility's license over safety violations two years before the flooding. Wixom Lake, which had been held back by the dam, was left nearly empty.
- 'Ridiculous,' 'scary,' 'distraction': Whitmer berates Trump's threats to cut off Mich. funding (NBC)
- Dow in Midland: Flood water mixed with our containment ponds; no chemicals released (Detroit Free Press)
- Wixom Lake residents left with surreal scene where water used to be (ABC News12-Flint)
- Dam Failure Threatens a Dow Chemical Complex and Superfund Cleanup (NY Times):
Floodwaters from two breached dams in Michigan on Wednesday flowed into a sprawling Dow chemical complex and threatened a vast Superfund toxic-cleanup site downriver, raising concerns of wider environmental fallout from the dam disaster and historic flooding.
- Michigan dam had record of safety violations before failure (CBS News)
- These before and after images show how much a Michigan dam failure drained a lake (CNN)
- Prepare for more downpours: Heavy rain has increased across most of the United States, and is likely to increase further (NOAA)
- The Weird American Story of Why My Hometown Is Underwater - And why Midland could be in for (more) toxic problems. (Slate)
- Trump BLM slaps renewable energy projects with retroactive rent bills:
- Trump admin slaps solar, wind operators with retroactive rent bills (Reuters):
(Reuters) - The Trump administration has ended a two-year rent holiday for solar and wind projects operating on federal lands, handing them whopping retroactive bills at a time the industry is struggling with the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak, according to company officials.
- Oil companies drilling on federal land get break on royalties. Solar and wind firms get past-due rent bills. (Washington Post):
Bureau of Land Management cites pandemic in cutting amount Utah energy companies must pay while retroactively billing alternative-energy producers.
- U.S. Cuts Royalty Payments for Drillers on Utah Federal Land (Bloomberg)
- 'Stealth Bailout' Shovels Millions of Dollars to Oil Companies (Bloomberg)
- EPA Settlements: Will Coronavirus Get Polluters Off The Hook? (Grist)
- Global emissions plunged an unprecedented 17 percent during pandemic shutdowns:
- Temporary reduction in daily global CO2 emissions during the COVID-19 forced confinement [PDF] (Nature Climate Change)
- Study: World carbon pollution falls 17% during pandemic peak (AP):
In their study of carbon dioxide emissions during the coronavirus pandemic, an international team of scientists calculated that pollution levels are heading back up - and for the year will end up between 4% and 7% lower than 2019 levels. That's still the biggest annual drop in carbon emissions since World War II.
- Global CO2 Emissions Saw Record Drop During Pandemic Lockdown (E&E News)
- AUDIO: 'A Historic Event Playing Out in the Midst of an Historic Event': 'BradCast' 5/20/2020 (The BRAD BLOG):
Penn State climate scientist Dr. Michael E. Mann on today's multiple climate-fueled disasters and what we must do to solve them...Our esteemed guest on today's BradCast argues "Donald Trump is literally a threat to the planet and to all living things on the planet." He is right and has the evidence to prove it.
- VIDEO: Record fall in greenhouse gas emissions due to coronavirus lockdown (BBC News)
- The strongest, most dangerous hurricanes are now far more likely because of climate change, study shows (Washington Post)
'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
- Holding the World's Breath at 11,135 Feet (Earther)
- Aging Dams, Changing Climate: A Dangerous Mix (Weather Underground)
- White House warned EPA about legal concerns, 'spurious' tone on auto rules (E&E News)
- EU Commission planning 'green' auto industry rescue: report (Deutsche-Welle)
- Democrats decry 'pandemic of pollution' under Trump's EPA (AP)
- Tree Deaths in Urban Settings Are Linked to Leaks from Natural Gas Pipelines Below Streets (Inside Climate News)
- EPA’s ‘Secret Science’ Rule Meets with an Outpouring of Protest on Last Day for Public Comment (Inside Climate News)
- EPA employees allege leadership interference with science in watchdog survey (The Hill)
- NOAA predicts Atlantic hurricane season will be unusually active (Washington Post)
- Cities Find Green Ways to Reduce Storm Floods (US News)
- Tesla quietly adds bidirectional charging capability for game-changing new features (Electrek)
- Virus Is Changing Public Transportation From Goody-Two-Shoes To Pariah (Politico)
- Urban Tree Deaths Are Linked to Leaks from Gas Pipes Below Streets (Inside Climate News)
- Tunnel Vision: Lessons in the Impermanence of Permafrost (Undark)
- 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