IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Historic storm cripples Texas, knocks out power to millions, brings record low temperatures to dozens of states; Even so, U.S. winters aren't as cold as they used to be; PLUS: Biden warns China is outpacing U.S. on infrastructure... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Bank of America says climate change will be this decade’s most important theme, and China has spent twice as much as the U.S.; EPA to jettison major Obama climate rule, the Clean Power Plan, as Biden eyes a bigger push; Interior postpones March oil leases onshore and offshore; Grocery store freezers contributing to climate change... PLUS: An old Ted Cruz tweet mocking California's 'failed energy policies' resurfaces as storm leaves millions of Texans without power... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Historic storm pummels U.S.:
- Deadly storm that left millions in Texas without power spreads into New England and Deep South (CBS News
- Winter weather: 3 dead in North Carolina tornado; millions still without power in Texas; more ice, snow coming (USA Today)
- President Biden approves Texas emergency declaration amid winter storm (KTRK)
- More than 200 million people are under alerts as a deadly winter storm moves into the Northeast (CNN)
- Storm knocks out power to millions in Texas:
- A Glimpse of the Future in Texas: Climate Change Means Trouble for Power Grids (NY Times):
Systems are designed to handle spikes in demand, but the wild and unpredictable weather linked to global warming will very likely push grids beyond their limits.
- Why the Texas power grid is struggling to cope with the extreme cold (Vox):
A sudden spike in energy demand and a loss of natural gas, coal, nuclear, and wind energy during a winter storm triggered blackouts across the state.
- Valentine’s Day Giving The Texas Electric Grid The Cold Shoulder (Forbes):
The energy world is currently transfixed by what is going on in Texas...Also, about 60% of homes in Texas are heated by electricity, but not the efficient heat pumps that can operate at these temperatures. Many are the inefficient resistance heating or the older kind of heat pumps that use resistance heating as a back-up when the heat pumps lag behind.
- Why Does Texas Have Its Own Power Grid? (Houston Public Media)
- The Energy 202: How a bitter cold snap is crippling power in Texas (Washington Post)
- Conservatives Are Seriously Accusing Wind Turbines of Killing People in the Texas Blackouts (The New Republic)
- Climate change makes such extreme storms more likely:
- Startling numbers reveal the rarity of the frigid temperatures across much of the US (CNN):
There was a 130-degree spread in temperatures across the US yesterday, from 90 degrees in Florida to 40 below zero in Wisconsin and Minnesota. And while hundreds of record lows are being set in the central US, Miami hit a record high heat index of 91 on Sunday.
- Q&A: How is Arctic warming linked to the ‘polar vortex’ and other extreme weather? (Carbon Brief)
- US winters not as cold as they used to be
- Coldest Days Are Not as Cold (Climate Central):
Frigid air from the Arctic has descended on the lower 48 states this week, bringing the coldest air of the season. But as greenhouse gas emissions continue to drive climate change, cold extremes are just not as cold as they used to be across the country...The average trend across these cities is a 7°F rise, and 42 cities have recorded an increase of 10°F or more. And the warming trend is happening in cities across the country: Boise, Idaho (16°F), Albany, N.Y. (14°F), Minneapolis (12°F), Nashville, Tenn. (14°F), and Anchorage, Alaska (12°F).
- What to make of old-fashioned Texas cold, snow in a 21st-century climate? (Texas Climate News)
- Pres. Biden warns China is outpacing US on building new infrastructure:
- Biden warns China is going to ‘eat our lunch’ if U.S. doesn’t get moving on infrastructure (CNBC):
“They’re investing a lot of money, they’re investing billions of dollars and dealing with a whole range of issues that relate to transportation, the environment and a whole range of other things,” Biden said he told a bipartisan group of senators whom he met with in the Oval Office. “They have a major, major new initiative on rail and they already have rail that goes 225 miles an hour with ease..."
- VIDEO: President Biden Holds Infrastructure Meeting with Senators (C-SPAN)
'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
- An old Ted Cruz tweet mocking California's 'failed energy policies' resurfaces as storm leaves millions of Texans without power (Business Insider/MSN)
- Bank of America says climate change will be this decade’s most important theme, and China has spent twice as much as the U.S. (Bloomberg/MSN)
- EPA to jettison major Obama climate rule, as Biden eyes a bigger push (Washington Post)
- Interior postpones March oil leases onshore and offshore (AP)
- There’s an invisible climate threat seeping from grocery store freezers. Biden wants to change that. (Washington Post)
- Luxury Car Brand Jaguar To Go All-Electric By 2025 (Detroit News)
- EPA Awards $220M To Clean Up Abandoned Uranium Mines On Navajo Nation (KUTV)
- Climate Activist Jailed in India as Government Clamps Down on Dissent (NY Times)
- Chicago Plant Sparked A Hunger Strike Amid Environmental Racism Claims (Guardian)
- Top Economists Warn U.S. Against Underestimating Climate Damage (Bloomberg/Financial Post)
- Facing A Reckoning, Wyoming Wrestles With A Transition From Fossil Fuels (NPR)
- They’re Arctic Survivors. How Will They Adapt to Climate Change? (NY Times)
- Japan Rocked By 'Aftershock' From Devastating 2011 Fukushima Quake (CNN)
- This GOP Congressman Wants To Remove 4 Dams To Save Idaho’s Salmon (Idaho Stateman)
- 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