IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.S. on verge of breaking its record for the most billion-dollar disasters in a single year; California insurers canceling homeowner policies due to record wildfires; PLUS: U.N. warns world must pick up the pace in cutting greenhouse gas emissions... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): It’s close but 2020 likely to end up hottest year on record; Biochar Traps Water and Fixes Carbon in Soil, Helping the Climate; Scientists Cheered By Bowhead Whale Recovery Despite Arctic Warming; The End Of Coal? Investors Aren't Buying Myth Of Industry's 'Renaissance'; Pollution, poverty and pandemic: A community on edge; FEMA seeks to slash disaster aid as Trump heads for exit... PLUS: Plastic pipes are polluting drinking water systems after wildfires, increase risk in urban fires... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Another oil tanker attacked in Saudi Arabia:
- Explosion from ‘external source’ strikes oil tanker in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia; port shut (Washington Post)
- Oil tanker off Saudi Arabian port hit by explosion caused by 'external source' (Guardian UK):
The latest in a series of attacks on shipping in the kingdom will be linked to the Saudis’ years-long war with Houthi rebels in Yemen...If the port has been laid with mines, it will pose a danger not only to Saudi Arabia but to the rest of the world. Mines can enter the water and then be carried away by the currents that change by the season in the Red Sea.
- 2020 likely to shatter US record for billion-dollar weather disasters:
- 2020 Billion Dollar Disasters (Climate Central)
- VIDEO: U.S. to shatter record for billion-dollar climate disasters in 2020 (CBS)
- The stormy, fiery year when climate disasters wouldn’t stop (AP):
The United States didn’t just set a record for the most disasters costing at least $1 billion — adjusted for inflation — the nation obliterated the record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration...All these U.S. disasters have “really added up to create a catastrophic year,” said Adam Smith, a NOAA applied climatologist. “Climate change has its fingerprints on many of these different extremes and disasters.”
- Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: Events (NOAA/Natl Centers for Environmental Information)
- 2020 Is a Record Year for Disaster Shelters, Red Cross Says (E&E News/Scientific American):
The combination of hurricanes, wildfires, and the pandemic meant the organization provided four times as much assistance as in an average year.
- Insurers dropping CA homeowner policies after record wildfire season:
- Wildfire Risk Leaves Californians Without Homeowners Insurance (Bloomberg):
The deepening insurance crisis underscores how that market is trying to grapple with a risk that’s escalated in recent years...Insurers say they can no longer shoulder the losses at current prices, so they’re seeking to raise rates for some homeowners. But insurers have also been dropping homeowners, refusing to renew policies in high-risk areas for fears that the losses would continue to pile up no matter how much they charge.
- Companies reluctant to renew fire insurance for countless Bay Area homeowners (ABC-San Francisco)
- California bans insurers from dropping coverage to another 200,000 fire-prone homes (LA Times, 12/18/19)
- UN: World is falling behind on meeting Paris Accord targets:
- Climate Primer: Explaining the Global Carbon Budget and Why It Matters (Inside Climate News)
- The world’s rich need to cut their carbon footprint by a factor of 30 to slow climate change, U.N. warns (Washington Post):
Last year’s “emissions gap” report found that humans would need to collectively cut emissions by close to pandemic amounts (7.6 percent) every year to begin to meet the Paris agreement’s most ambitious climate goals. That is nowhere near to becoming a reality.
- Despite the record drop in CO2 emissions, we’re still almost over our carbon budget (Fast Company)
- Global Carbon Project: Coronavirus causes ‘record fall’ in fossil-fuel emissions in 2020 (Carbon Brief)
- Five years on, signs that Paris climate accord is working (AP):
With numerous countries pledging to clean up their act and projected temperature rises now smaller than they once were, scientists and diplomats say the outlook for mid-to-late century is not as gloomy as it was when the historic 2015 Paris climate accord was signed. But they caution that impacts of warming already are hitting Earth harder than scientists predicted.
- World carbon dioxide emissions drop 7% in pandemic-hit 2020 (AP)
- We’re Set To Exhaust The World’s Carbon Budget By 2030 (Gizmodo)
- Earth Still Sailing Into Climate Chaos, UN Says, But Course Could Shift (NY Times)
- UN Climate Ambition Summit: Leaders commit to raising climate targets:
- U.N. chief urges leaders of every country to declare 'climate emergency' (Reuters)
- Paris Anniversary Climate Ambition Summit: Who’s In And Who’s Out (Climate Home News):
China, India and Canada made the grade to showcase their climate ambition on the anniversary of the Paris Agreement. Australia, Brazil and South Africa did not.
- VIDEO: Antonio Guterres, Greta Thunberg: 5 Years After Paris Agreement, World Is “Speeding in the Wrong Direction” on Climate (Democracy Now!)
- US: Biden Administration to hold world climate summit early next year and seek to rejoin Paris accord (Guardian UK)
- EU leaders agree to reduce emissions after all-night talks (AP)
- Analysis: China’s new 2030 targets promise more low-carbon power than meets the eye (Carbon Brief)
- Inside the global fight to save capitalism: Paris is burning, but help is on the way (Politico)
- Nissan ditches Trump lawsuit to overturn CA's stringent auto standards:
- Nissan pulls out of Trump emissions fight with California (AP):
Nissan says it will no longer support the Trump administration in its legal fight to end California’s ability to set its own auto-pollution and gas-mileage standards.
- Nissan Leaves Trump’s Fight Against California Car Rules (Bloomberg/Yahoo News)
- Tasmania achieves 100% renewable electricity:
- Tasmania declares itself 100 per cent powered by renewable electricity (Renew Economy)
- Tasmania achieves 100% renewable energy goal ahead of schedule (Power Engineering Intl)
'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
- It’s close but 2020 likely to end up hottest year on record (AP)
- Plastic pipes are polluting drinking water systems after wildfires, increase risk in urban fires (Phys.Org)
- Claims of ‘Bleak’ Environmental Justice Record Appear to Fell Nichols (NY Times)
- FEMA seeks to slash disaster aid as Trump heads for exit (E&E News)
- Pollution, poverty and pandemic: A community on edge (E&E News(M/li>
- Yukon Wetlands Pushed To Tipping Point By Placer Mining: First Nation (The Narwhal)
- It’s Official: Alberta’s Oilsands Tailings Ponds Are Leaking. Now What? (The Narhwal)
- WTO Fails To Agree Rules To Stop Over-Fishing, But Will Try Again (Reuters)
- Spotted Owls Could Go Extinct Without More Federal Protection. (Washington Post)
- Chinese Dams Under U.S. Scrutiny In Mekong Rivalry (Reuters)
- California Environmentalists Blast Federal Oil Lease Sale (AP)
- The End Of Coal? Investors Aren't Buying Myth Of Industry's 'Renaissance' (Guardian UK)
- Scientists Cheered By Bowhead Whale Recovery Despite Arctic Warming (Guardian UK)
- Biochar Traps Water and Fixes Carbon in Soil, Helping the Climate (Inside Climate News)
- 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