IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Major environmental organizations embrace racial justice after the police killing of George Floyd; Communities of color disproportionately at risk from climate impacts; Britain has gone coal-free for two months; PLUS: Step aside, murder hornets! Get ready for the giant toxic toad invasion!... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Falling renewable, storage costs make 90% carbon-free US grid feasible by 2035, UC Berkeley finds; Deadly mosquito-borne illness is brewing in the Northeast; Great, now the ocean is filled with COVID trash; Interior to push drilling in Florida waters after November election; Capturing the green energy of the deep blue sea; Shell’s plastics plant outside Pittsburgh has suddenly become a riskier bet... PLUS: It's time for environmental studies to own up to erasing black people... and much, MUCH more!
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Get ready for the toxic giant cane toad invasion:
- Poisonous Toads Invade South Florida in Latest Sign of the Apocalypse (Earther):
What sucks even more is that climate change could make these toxic toads more common. As the atmosphere warms, it can hold more water. That’s increasing the odds of extreme rain events throughout North America...It could unfortunately be good news for these weird poisonous cane toads that kill pets and seemingly eat everything.
- Giant toxic toads come out in South Florida as heavy rains set the perfect mood for breeding (Miami Herald):
The cane toads can also cause environmental damage. They have no predators and eat pretty much anything: small lizards, snakes, bugs, and even smaller native frogs. Cane toads also compete with native frogs for food and breeding areas...With hundreds of man-made lakes and canals, and plenty of bugs year-round, this is paradise for them.
- Big Green organizations commit to racial justice as inextricably linked to climate action:
- As Protests Rage Over George Floyd’s Death, Climate Activists Embrace Racial Justice (Inside Climate News):
While some established, and predominantly white, climate and environmental organizations have struggled with diversity in their ranks and faced criticism for being disconnected from communities of color, there are clear signs that they are becoming increasingly focused on racial and environmental justice.
- Green Groups Back Protesters --- But Grapple With Own Issues With Race (Washington Post)
- Racism Is Killing the Planet (Sierra Club):
[W]e will never survive the climate crisis without ending white supremacy. Here’s why: You can’t have climate change without sacrifice zones, and you can’t have sacrifice zones without disposable people, and you can't have disposable people without racism.
- Racism, Police Violence, and the Climate Are Not Separate Issues (Bill McKibben, New York Magazine):
Or, to put it another way, having a racist and violent police force in your neighborhood is a lot like having a coal-fired power plant in your neighborhood. And having both? And maybe some smoke pouring in from a nearby wildfire? African-Americans are three times as likely to die from asthma as the rest of the population. “I Can’t Breathe” is the daily condition of too many people in this country. One way or another, there are a lot of knees on a lot of necks.
- Communities of color disproportionately bear the burden of pollution and climate impacts:
- Population of top 10 counties for disasters: 81% minority (E&E News):
Counties, cities and neighborhoods with large numbers of black and Hispanic residents are more likely than others to suffer from events such as extreme heat and flooding because they are often located in damage-prone areas and frequently lack the resources to recover quickly from disasters. It's the result of long-lived policies that clustered minorities in undesirable areas such as floodplains and denied them amenities like green spaces and tree canopies that can mitigate some effects of climate change.
- EPA Finds Black Americans Face More Health-Threatening Air Pollution (Inside Climate News, 3/2/2018):
"The new study from EPA researchers confirms that race, not poverty, is the strongest predictor of exposure to health-threatening particulate matter, especially for African Americans," said Robert Bullard, a professor of urban planning and environmental policy and administration of justice at Texas Southern University, who was not involved in the research.
- Trump's EPA Concludes Environmental Racism Is Real (The Atlantic, Feb. 2018):
[T]hose warnings have been buttressed by study after study indicating that people of color face disproportionate risks from pollution, and that polluting industries are often located in the middle of their communities...[P]eople of color are much more likely to live near polluters and breathe polluted air. Specifically, the study finds that people in poverty are exposed to more fine particulate matter than people living above poverty. According to the study’s authors, “results at national, state, and county scales all indicate that non-Whites tend to be burdened disproportionately to Whites.”
- Inequity in consumption of goods and services adds to racial–ethnic disparities in air pollution exposure (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 3/11/2019)
- 'Father of Environmental Justice': Climate action requires addressing racial justice:
- VIDEO: Dr. Robert Bullard: How Environmental Racism Shapes the US: (PBS, 3/3/2020):
The U.S. is segregated, and so is pollution. These words come from the so-called “father of environmental justice,” Robert Bullard. As a sociologist, he has proved that minority communities in Houston suffer most from pollution and has written more than a dozen books on sustainable development, environmental racism and climate justice..."When we talk about climate change and we talk about environmental justice, when we start connecting the tissue of climate responsibility and the issue around vulnerability, you can’t get around solutions, real solutions, without talking about justice inequity."
- Dr. Robert Bullard: Lessons From 40 Years of Documenting Environmental Racism (The Revelator)
- Britain has been coal-free for electricity for two straight months:
- Britain goes coal free as renewables edge out fossil fuels (BBC):
A decade ago about 40% of the country's electricity came from coal; coronavirus is part of the story, but far from all. When Britain went into lockdown, electricity demand plummeted; the National Grid responded by taking power plants off the network. The four remaining coal-fired plants were among the first to be shut down. The last coal generator came off the system at midnight on 9 April. No coal has been burnt for electricity since.
- What does Britain’s two months without coal power mean? (Power Technology Magazine)
'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
- A Deadly Mosquito-Borne Illness Is Brewing in the Northeast: eastern equine encephalitis kills almost half of its victims, and cases are on the rise (One Zero)
- It's Time for Environmental Studies to Own Up to Erasing Black People (Vice)
- Great, now the ocean is filled with COVID trash: Masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer (Grist)
- Falling renewable, storage costs make 90% carbon-free US grid feasible by 2035, UC Berkeley finds (Utility Dive)
- Interior To Push Drilling In Florida Waters After November Election (Politico)
- Iowa Quietly Passes Its 3rd Ag-Gag Bill After Constitutional Challenges (The Intercept)
- Environmentalists Targeted Exxon Mobil. Then Hackers Targeted Them. (NY Times)
- Capturing The Green Energy Of The Deep Blue Sea (Washington Post)
- Lake Ontario ‘Aquatic Landfill’ To Contain 150-Year-Old Toxic Blob (The Narwhal)
- Shell’s Plastics Plant Outside Pittsburgh Has Suddenly Become a Riskier Bet, a Study Concludes (Inside Climate News)
- Bipartisan Land and Water Conservation Fund bill might get political, thanks to Trump (E&E News)
- TV news ignores the fact that hurricanes disproportionately harm communities of color (Grist)
- Could drones spray crops? EPA is considering it (E&E News)
- 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
- NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years: