IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Scientists warn of dramatic transformation in the Arctic; Trump EPA makes it even harder to enact new pollution rules; Another chemical plant explosion, this time in West Virginia; PLUS: New York State's giant pension fund is divesting from fossil fuels... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): In Georgia, Hit by Hurricanes and Drought, Climate Change Is on Ballot; ‘Buy it or else’: Inside Monsanto and BASF’s moves to force dicamba on farmers; Global soils underpin life but future looks ‘bleak’, warns UN report; 'Everything is drying up': As springs on Hopi land decline, a sacred connection is threatened; Earth Still Sailing Into Climate Chaos, UN Says, But Course Could Shift; Trump kick-starts oil drilling license sales in Arctic refuge on Jan. 6; Abandoned Oil And Gas Wells Leave The Ocean Floor Spewing Methane... PLUS: The fate of Scotland's salmon depends on its forests ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Deadly chemical plant explosion rocks tiny Bell, West Virginia:
- Investigations ensue after one person killed in Belle chemical plant explosion (Charleston Gazette):
A chemical plant explosion at Optima Chemical’s facility on the Chemours Company’s site in Belle Tuesday night killed one of the plant’s workers, sent two others to the hospital and prompted investigations into the blast that rocked the Eastern Kanawha County community. The explosion occurred at 10:02 p.m. and killed John Gillenwater, 42, of Hurricane, a husband and father of two.
- Shelter In Place Lifted Following Chemical Plant Explosion In West Virginia (CBS)
- Water customers not impacted by chemical plant explosion in Kanawha County (WSAZ-Charleston)
- Trump EPA makes it even harder to enact new pollution rules:
- New Trump Rule Aims to Limit Tough Clean Air Measures Under Biden (NY times):
The E.P.A. rule, which changes the way cost-benefit analyses are used, would make it easier for fossil fuel companies to fight regulations in court.
- Trump EPA finalizes rollback making it harder to enact new public health rules (Washington Post:
The new cost-benefit requirements, which apply to all future Clean Air Act rules, instruct the agency to weigh all the economic costs of curbing an air pollutant but disregard many of the incidental benefits that arise, such as illnesses and deaths avoided by a potential regulation. In other words, if reducing emissions from power plants also saves tens of thousands of lives each year by cutting soot, those “co-benefits” should not be counted.
- New EPA rule could make it more difficult to limit air pollution (CNN)
- Democrats warn Trump administration against last-minute regulations (Politico, 11/16/20)
- Trump rolled back more than 125 environmental safeguards. Here’s how. (Washington Post)
- NOAA Arctic Report Card: Dramatic shift well underway in the Arctic:
- Global warming has profoundly transformed Arctic in just 15 years, report warns (Washington Post):
The Arctic as we once knew it, an inhospitable, barely accessible and icebound place, is gone. Climate change has transformed it into a region that can heat up to 100 degrees, is beset by ferocious wildfires, and is covered in permafrost that is no longer permanent. The sea ice cover that has long defined the Far North is fast disappearing.
- VIDEO: Arctic Report Card 2020 Headlines (NOAA)
- VIDEO: AGU Fall Meeting 2020 Press Conference: 2020 Arctic Report Card (American Geophysical Union)
- "Alarming" and "extraordinary" rate of change as the Arctic warms, NOAA report says (CBS):
The cause of the rapid warming is straightforward and well understood: It is human-caused climate change. But in the Arctic, the pace of warming is 2 to 3 times the global average — a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification.
- Annual Report Card Marks Another Disastrous Year for the Arctic (Inside Climate News)
- The Arctic is getting hotter, greener and less icy much faster than expected, report finds (CNN)
- Vast wildfires in Siberia linked to warming Arctic (AP)
- NY State's giant pension fund to divest from fossil fuels:
- New York’s $226 Billion Pension Fund Is Dropping Fossil Fuel Stocks (NY times:
Mr. DiNapoli, who is the fund’s sole trustee, has joined other investors who have concluded that energy companies that do not reshape themselves to part with oil and gas are poor long-term bets, and who seek to use their financial clout to address the threat of climate change.
- New York Pension Fund Pledges Net-Zero Emissions by 2040 (Yahoo News/Bloomberg):
The New York State Common Retirement Fund pledged to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its investments by 2040, a decade before any other U.S. pension plan, and may divest from the riskiest oil and gas companies by 2025...Other large pension investors have taken action to reduce their carbon footprints, including the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and Australia’s Retail Employees Superannuation Trust, which have committed to transition their investments to net-zero emissions by 2050.
- New York State Sends a Blunt Message to Big Oil (op-ed, Bill McKibben, NY times)
- New York State Pension Fund Sets 2040 Net Zero Carbon Emissions Target (press release, Office of the New York State Comptroller)
'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 Georgia, Hit by Hurricanes and Drought, Climate Change Is on Ballot (Inside Climate News)
- ‘Buy it or else’: Inside Monsanto and BASF’s moves to force dicamba on farmers (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
- Global soils underpin life but future looks ‘bleak’, warns UN report (Guardian UK)
- 'Everything is drying up': As springs on Hopi land decline, a sacred connection is threatened (AZ Central)
- Earth Still Sailing Into Climate Chaos, UN Says, But Course Could Shift (NY Times)
- Trump kick-starts oil drilling licence sales in Arctic refuge on Jan. 6 (Guardian UK)
- Factbox: Who will spearhead Biden's climate, energy and agriculture policies? (Reuters)
- EPA internal email: 1 week left to finish rollbacks (E&E News)
- EPA guidance may exempt some water polluters from Supreme Court permit mandate (The Hill)
- Many U.S. states are behind on their own climate milestones: report (Reuters)
- ‘An MBA in Corruption’: How Top Oil Trader Paid Bribes for Years (Bloomberg)
- Abandoned Oil And Gas Wells Leave The Ocean Floor Spewing Methane (Daily Climate)
- VIDEO: UK startup 3D prints electric vehicle (Reuters)
- Southwestern US Communities And Hispanics Most Likely To Have Arsenic-Laden Water (Environmental Health News)
- 550+ Green Groups Call for Biden to Act on Plastics Pollution in 2021 (DeSmog Blog)
- Climate Crisis Is Killing Some of Earth's Oldest Living Things (NY Times)
- Why The Fate Of Scotland's Salmon Depends On Its Forests (Deustche-Welle)
- How climate change could undo 50 years of public health gains (Grist)
- 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