IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: November 2020 was the hottest November ever recorded globally; Trump EPA rejects tougher standards on deadly soot, despite link to COVID-19 deaths; Denmark sets a deadline for ending fossil fuel extraction; UK stores kill glitter; PLUS: Scientists discover pollution from car tires is killing salmon... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): How climate change could undo 50 years of public health gains; Annual Report Card Marks Another Disastrous Year for the Arctic; Will Biden Pick a USDA Secretary Who Sees Our Food Crises Clearly?; US Air Pollution Monitoring Network Falling Into Disrepair; Could Old Coal Plants be Reborn?; From Alaska to California, the climate is off-kilter in the West; Unplugged: Abandoned oil and gas wells leave the ocean floor spewing methane... PLUS: Residents Kept In Dark About Storm Risks To Louisiana's Chemical Plants... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- November 2020 was the hottest November ever recorded:
- Earth just notched its warmest November, as 2020 closes in on record for hottest year (Washington Post):
The presence of La Niña tends to put a damper on global average surface temperatures, and the fact 2020 is headed toward a record or near-record finish anyway can be viewed as an indication of global warming's increasingly overt influence. Each La Niña year is turning out warmer than the last, as is each El Niño year, on average.
- VIDEO: Europe's autumn 'the hottest on record amid world's warmest November' (The West Australian)
- Another Month on a Warming Planet: Record-Hot November (NYTimes):
Last week, in releasing a World Meteorological Organization climate report that noted, among other things, that 2020 was on track to be one of the three warmest years ever, the organization's secretary-general, Petteri Taalas, said that La Niña's cooling effect "has not been sufficient to put a brake on this year's heat."
- Last month was the hottest November ever as Europe had its warmest fall on record (CNN)
- Trump EPA rejects tighter standards for deadly soot pollution:
- Trump administration rejects tougher standards on soot, a deadly air pollutant (Washington Post):
The Environmental Protection Agency retained the current thresholds for fine-particle pollution for another five years, despite mounting evidence linking air pollution to lethal outcomes in respiratory illnesses, including covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Documents obtained by The Washington Post show that the EPA has disregarded concerns raised by some administration officials that several of its air policy rollbacks would disproportionately affect minority and low-income communities.
- Trump EPA rejects tighter soot standards (E&E News):
With six weeks left in President Trump's term, EPA has cemented plans to bypass tighter soot standards, despite agency career staff conclusions and concerns about tens of thousands of additional deaths every year...[EPA Admin. Wheeler's] determination bypassed the findings of EPA air office employees who concluded in a report this year that the existing annual limit on soot exposure could be too weak to prevent "a substantial number" of premature deaths each year. An overview of 30 urban areas, for example, tied exposure to as many as 45,000 annual deaths from heart disease and other causes, with minority communities at greater risk.
- On Way Out the Door, Trump EPA Rejects Tightening Deadly Soot Pollution Standards (Common Dreams)
- EPA overrides scientists' calls for tougher pollutant limit (AP)
- Democrats warn Trump administration against last-minute regulations (Politico, 11/16/20)
- Pollution from car tires is killing WA State salmon:
- VIDEO: Worn tires contribute to chemical that kills Coho salmon (Univ. of Washington):
Every fall more than half of the coho salmon that return to Puget Sound's urban streams die before they can spawn. In some streams, all of them die. But scientists didn't know why. Now a team led by researchers at the University of Washington Tacoma, UW and Washington State University Puyallup have discovered the answer. When it rains, stormwater flushes bits of aging vehicle tires on roads into neighboring streams. The killer is in the mix of chemicals that leach from tire wear particles: a molecule related to a preservative that keeps tires from breaking down too quickly.
- How Scientists Tracked Down a Mass Killer (of Salmon) (NY Times)
- Salmon have been dying mysteriously on the West Coast for years. Scientists think a chemical in tires may be responsible (CNN):
[A]s tire treads break down over time and leave behind bits of microplastics on roads, the 6PPD in them reacts with ozone to become a different chemical --- a previously unreported byproduct called 6PPD-quinone, scientists say. This chemical is toxic to coho salmon.
- 3 major UK stores eliminate polluting glitter for Christmas:
- Morrisons and Waitrose ditch glitter for Christmas (BBC):
Sainsbury's said that this year "customers will find no glitter on our Christmas cards, wrapping paper or gift bags." It has also removed glitter used on a range of crackers, decorations, and flowers...That plastic then breaks down into smaller, toxic pieces, which can be ingested by creatures, harming and potentially killing them, if it fills their stomachs.
- 3 Major UK Retailers Are Banning Glitter This Christmas Over Environmental Concerns (EcoWatch):
"Every time a cracker is pulled, or a card is opened, plastics have been used ... but just the once. So, we've taken glitter and plastic out of our festive range this year - so that our customers can enjoy their festivities without worrying about the environmental impact," Morrisons home director Christine Bryce said in a statement. "This means that we're now 100 percent glitter free across all our own brand ranges which is an important step in the fight against plastic pollution."
- Denmark sets deadline to end fossil fuel extraction:
- Denmark becomes first major oil-producing nation to set deadline to end extraction (Washington Post):
Speaking to The Post, Denmark's energy minister countered the criticism, saying a faster timeline would expose the Danish state to compensation claims from oil companies with the potential to "harm our welfare considerably."
- Denmark to end oil, gas extraction in North Sea (AP):
Denmark has decided to end all oil and gas activities in the North Sea by 2050 and has cancelled its latest licensing round, saying the country is "now putting an end to the fossil fuel era."
- Denmark to end new oil and gas exploration in North Sea (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
- How climate change could undo 50 years of public health gains (Grist)
- Annual Report Card Marks Another Disastrous Year for the Arctic (Inside Climate News)
- Will Biden Pick a USDA Secretary Who Sees Our Food Crises Clearly?: The notion that Tom Vilsack and Heidi Heitkamp represent rural America is reductive and outdated (Mother Jones)
- US Air Pollution Monitoring Network Falling Into Disrepair - GAO Report (Reuters)
- Trump Admin Seeks To Allow Polar Bear Disturbance For Oil in ANWR (Reuters)
- Nissan pulls out of Trump emissions fight with California (AP)
- Is Trump Holding Congestion Pricing in New York City Hostage? (Inside Climate News)
- Could Old Coal Plants be Reborn? (Climate Crocks)
- From Alaska to California, the climate is off-kilter in the West (Grist/High Country News)
- Unplugged: Abandoned oil and gas wells leave the ocean floor spewing methane (Daily Climate)
- Many U.S. States Are Behind On Their Own Climate Milestones: Report (Reuters)
- Industry Touts Manure-to-Energy Projects. Environs Cry ‘Greenwashing (Inside Climate News)
- Residents Kept In Dark About Storm Risks To La.'s Chemical Plants (WWNO/Southerly)
- Xavier Becerra Brings Environmental Justice to Forefront (NY Times)
- Congress gives recycling infrastructure potential boost with Save Our Seas 2.0 passage (Waste Dive)
- Cows Get Hot, Too: A New Way to Cool Dairy Cattle in California’s Increasing Heat (Inside Climate News)
- Primer for the Hydrogen Economy (Climate Crocks)
- Climate Change Will Force a New American Migration (Pro Publica)
- 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