IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Democrats take control of US Senate, pledge to act on climate; Automakers drop bid to block California's vehicle emissions standards; Oceans rising faster than scientists' most pessimistic forecasts; Coal will be gone from US electric grid by 2033, says new report; PLUS: COVID lockdowns temporarily cleared the air, but also increased global warming... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Biden’s EPA Nominee Vows ‘Urgency’ On Climate Change; Biden team in talks with utilities, car companies about emissions; Exxon, BP announce billions in losses for 2020; U.S. Cities Are Vastly Undercounting Emissions; Trump’s Last Minute Flubs Gift Biden Time to Rewrite Regulations; Biden Admin To Restart Permitting For Major Offshore Wind Project; California Leads U.S. Sprint Towards Electric Vehicles; K-Pop For The Planet: Fans Of S Korean Stars Take Up Climate Activism ... PLUS: Back of the Line: Chicago's COVID-19 vaccine plan put polluted communities last... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- COVID lockdowns cleared the air and slightly increased global warming:
- COVID-19 lockdowns temporarily raised global temperatures (National Center for Atmospheric Research):
“There was a big decline in emissions from the most polluting industries, and that had immediate, short-term effects on temperatures,” said NCAR scientist Andrew Gettelman, the study’s lead author. “Pollution cools the planet, so it makes sense that pollution reductions would warm the planet.”
- COVID-19 lockdowns temporarily raised global temperatures (Phys.Org):
The counterintuitive finding highlights the influence of airborne particles, or aerosols, that block incoming sunlight. When emissions of aerosols dropped last spring, more of the Sun's warmth reached the planet, especially in heavily industrialized nations, such as the United States and Russia, that normally pump high amounts of aerosols into the atmosphere.
- Automakers drop bid to block California's more stringent vehicle standards:
- Automakers Drop Efforts to Derail California Climate Rules (NY times):
Momentum is shifting toward a clean-car future as more automakers end their legal efforts to block California’s tough fuel economy standards.
- Final automaker holdouts drop support for Trump's fight with California over emissions (Detroit Free Press):
The automakers are part of a group, which includes Hyundai/Kia, Mazda and the National Automobile Dealers Association, announcing the change of heart Tuesday as the Biden administration resets national priorities on the environment and other issues.
- Toyota, Fiat Chrysler drop support for Trump effort to bar California emissions rules (Reuters)
- EPA Races to Draft Interim Vehicle Standards for CO2 (E&E News)
- Biden administration asks court to halt litigation on California emissions waiver, methane rollback (The Hill)
- General Motors announces plan for all-electric lineup by 2035 (Guardian)
- Senate Democrats pledge 'whole of Senate approach' to climate action:
- Schumer previews ‘whole-of-Senate’ climate fight (Roll Call)
- What Biden and Democratic Senate can do on climate in their first 100 days (Yale Climate Communications)
- Senate confirmed Pete Buttigieg for Transportation Secretary:
- Senate confirms Pete Buttigieg as transportation secretary (AP)
- Buttigieg says Transportation Dept will push ‘bold’ thinking (AP):
“We will continue to prioritize safety as the foundation of everything we do,” Buttigieg said in his email message, which was obtained by The Associated Press. “And at the same time, we will break new ground: in ensuring that our economy recovers and rebuilds, in rising to the climate challenge, and in making sure transportation is an engine for equity in this country.”
- Buttigieg’s Climate Promises: What Could He Actually Do? (NY Times)
- Oceans rising faster than scientists' most pessimistic forecasts:
- Sea Levels Are Rising Faster Than Most Pessimistic Forecasts (Bloomberg/MSN):
"It means our carbon budget is even more depleted," said Aslak Grinsted, a geophysicist at the University of Copenhagen who co-authored the research. Economies need to slash an additional 200 billion metric tons of carbon - equivalent to about five years of global emissions - to remain within the thresholds set by previous forecasts, he said.
- Sea Level Rise is Becoming Faster Than Most Pessimistic Forecasts (Earth.org):
The new observations show about a half-meter of sea level rise by 2100 can now be expected with just a 0.5 degree Celsius rise in temperature. Oceans could rise more than 1 meter at 2 degrees Celsius, a trajectory that will be easily passed under current climate policies.
- The transient sensitivity of sea level rise (Ocean Science)
- Coal on track to disappear from US electric grid by 2033:
- Coal to Exit From U.S. Power System by 2033, Morgan Stanley Says (Bloomberg/MSN):
The fossil fuel will be supplanted largely by renewables, which will supply 39% of U.S. electricity in 2030 and 55% in 2035, according to a report Monday from Morgan Stanley. The shift comes as a growing number of states implement laws mandating utilities eliminate carbon emissions from their fleets.
- EGEB: Coal will be gone from US power by 2033 - Morgan Stanley (Electrek):
what many legislators from coal-producing and dependent states such as Wyoming and West Virginia won't admit - because surely they must know - is that their attempts at preserving fossil fuel jobs are in vain. It's a losing battle.
'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
- Biden’s EPA Nominee Vows ‘Urgency’ On Climate Change (Washington Post)
- Biden team in talks with utilities, car companies about emissions: climate adviser Gina McCarthy (Reuters)
- Exxon, BP announce billions in losses for 2020 (The Hill)
- U.S. Cities Are Vastly Undercounting Emissions, Researchers Find (NY Times)
- Back of the Line: Chicago's COVID-19 vaccine plan put polluted communities last (Grist)
- Senate Committee Advances Granholm Nomination To Lead Energy (The Hill)
- Trump’s Last Minute Flubs Gift Biden Time to Rewrite Regulations (Bloomberg)
- California Leads U.S. Sprint Towards Electric Vehicles (Reuters)
- Biden Admin To Restart Permitting For Major Offshore Wind Project (Reuters)
- Water Warning: The Looming Threat of the World’s Aging Dams (Yale e360)
- B.C. Allows Logging In Nine ‘Protected’ Old-Growth Areas (The Narhwal)
- K-Pop For The Planet: Fans Of S Korean Stars Take Up Climate Activism (Reuters)
- Australia Tells Thousands To Leave Homes As Bushfire Threatens Perth (Reuters)
- Yellen Signals Action on Climate Change a Top Treasury Priority (CBS 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