IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.S. extreme weather whiplash: blizzards in the north, extreme tornado outbreaks in the south; Drought deepens in the Western U.S. and Europe; Corporate broadcast media coverage of climate change plummeted in 2020; PLUS: Top Texas utility regulator caught on tape promising to protect investors over consumers... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Saving the Climate in a Triple Crisis: A moon shot model for the transformation of capitalism; Oil firms knew decades ago fossil fuels posed grave health risks, files reveal; Biden Administration Wants Financial Sector To Face Up To Climate Risk; Bottom trawling releases as much carbon as air travel, landmark study finds; Eight States Are Seeding Clouds to Overcome Megadrought; Seaweed: A planet-saving, anti-burping drug for cows; As endangered birds lose their songs, they can’t find mates ... PLUS: EV Turning Point: Momentum Builds for US Electric Vehicle Transition... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Rare, record blizzard hits Wyoming, as tornado outbreak pummels South:
- Wyoming got buried beneath a record blizzard, trapping meteorologists in their office for 5 days (Washington Post)
- Severe Threat Pushes East: Tornadoes, Hail, Damaging Winds Possible Thursday (Weather Channel)
- Southeast faces elevated risk of severe storms and tornadoes after Wednesday's outbreak (Washington Post)
- Deep South Tornado Destroys Dozens Of Homes (Weather Channel)
- Drone Offers Stunning Close-Up of Alabama Tornado (Weather Channel)
- Climate change is changing tornado risk:
- Southern states brace for large and dangerous tornado outbreak as climate patterns shift (CBS News):
[T]ornadoes are becoming more common in March. This past weekend, as historic snowfall plastered Denver and Cheyenne, the same storm spun up 19 tornadoes in the Texas Panhandle. In a 2015 paper, researchers found that the onset of tornado season has moved up 13 days since the late 1970s. And the tornado threat is not just shifting in time, it is also shifting location.
- CBS Meteorologist Jeff Beradelli: Thread: How a warmer climate is changing the tornado threat (Jeff Berardelli, @WeatherProf, Twitter)
- While thousands deal with outages, why don't we bury power lines? (MSN News)
- Deep drought persists and deepens in Western US, Europe:
- Historic drought deepens in the West as window for rain, snow closes (Washington Post):
Much of the region experienced developing drought in the summer, following a warm and dry spring. Since then, conditions have deteriorated, and the precipitation deficits continue to build...Nearly a quarter of the area was in the worst drought category, an event with a probability frequency of once every 50 to 100 years.
- Map released: March 18, 2021 (U.S. Drought Monitor)
- AUDIO: America's West Faces A Megadrought. What's The Solution? (WBUR):
The western U.S. is no stranger to drought. But this isn't any dry spell. More than 70% of the West is exceptionally parched. Could it be a permanent change?
- The megadrought parching 77 percent of the Western US, explained (Vox)
- Study: American Southwest faces a 'megadrought,' the region's worst in centuries (Las Vegas Sun, 4/18/2020):
"[Climate change is] the primary mechanism here in terms of how climate change took this mediocre drought and made it into the second worst megadrought," [Benjamin Cook, co-author and associate research scientist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory] said.
- Deep drought in Europe the 'worst in 2000 years'
- Climate crisis: recent European droughts 'worst in 2,000 years' (Guardian UK):
The series of severe droughts and heatwaves in Europe since 2014 is the most extreme for more than 2,000 years, research suggests. The study analysed tree rings dating as far back as the Roman empire to create the longest such record to date. The scientists said global heating was the most probable cause of the recent rise in extreme heat.
- Europe's droughts since 2015 'worst in 2,000 years' (AFP):
Recent summer droughts in Europe were the most severe the region has seen in 2,110 years as climate change has stoked punishing heat waves, according to new research Monday that raises the alarm for ecosystems and agriculture. Using data from tree rings in living and dead European oaks going back to the time of the Romans, scientists identified a long-term drying trend that suddenly intensified in 2015 beyond anything seen in two millennia.
- Western States Chart Diverging Paths As Water Shortages Loom (AP)
- Top Texas utility regulator fired after getting caught prioritizing investors over consumers:
- Last Texas Utility Commissioner Resigns After Leaked Call Pledging Profits (Earther)
- AUDIO: Some on Wall Street Profited off Texas Blackouts. In a Private Call, a Top Regulator Pledged He Would Try to Protect Their Windfall. (Texas Monthly):
While many Texans last week were worried about sky-high electric bills from February’s winter storms, the state’s sole utility commissioner was privately reassuring out-of-state investors who profited from the crisis that he was working to keep their windfall safe. Texas Monthly has obtained a recording of a 48-minute call on March 9 in which Texas Public Utility Commission chairman Arthur D’Andrea discussed the fallout from the February power crisis with investors.
- VIDEO: Texas Regulator Resigns as Financial Fallout Continues (Climate Crocks)
- VIDEO: ERCOT bill uncertain as PUC chair is caught in call promising profits: Report (KTRK-Austin)
- This simple paperwork blunder left Texans cold during the deadly freeze (Houston Chronicle):
A full assessment of how big a role electric power cut to gas facilities played in the grid outages is likely months away. Yet how some of Texas’s largest and most sophisticated energy companies, depended upon by nearly every resident and business, failed to complete a two-minute paperwork chore remains one of the most baffling mysteries of last month’s deadly outages.
- Broadcast TV coverage of climate change plummeted in 2020:
- How broadcast TV networks covered climate change in 2020 (Media Matters):
The overall climate change coverage on corporate broadcast TV nightly news and Sunday shows plummeted by 53%. These shows covered climate change for a total of 112 total minutes in 2020 --- the lowest amount of coverage since 2016.
- U.S. Capitol attackers ruined Trump's last-minute deregulation push:
- Capitol mob may have trashed 3 Trump pollution rules (E&E News):
Former President Trump's team had drafted the rules to go into effect immediately to make them less vulnerable to the incoming Democrats. "The rioters to some extent worked against their savior Donald Trump," as one advocacy source put it.
'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
- Saving the Climate in a Triple Crisis: A moon shot model for the transformation of capitalism (The New Republic)
- Oil firms knew decades ago fossil fuels posed grave health risks, files reveal (Guardian UK)
- Biden Administration Wants Financial Sector To Face Up To Climate Risk (Washington Post)
- Bottom trawling releases as much carbon as air travel, landmark study finds (Guardian UK)
- Eight States Are Seeding Clouds to Overcome Megadrought (Scientific American)
- View from the Peak: IEA Says Gasoline has Topped Off (Climate Crocks)
- Seaweed: A planet-saving, anti-burping drug for cows (Grist)
- As endangered birds lose their songs, they can’t find mates (AP)
- Low-income and Latino Neighborhoods Endure More Extreme Heat in SW (AZ Central)
- EV Turning Point: Momentum Builds for US Electric Vehicle Transition
- Company Wants To Mine Gold Near Death Valley. Tribes Are Fighting It (LA Times)
- Environmental Racism'? Tenn. Pipeline Sparks Uproar (E&E News)
- How climate change could undo 50 years of public health gains (Grist)
- Feeding Cattle Seaweed Reduces Their Greenhouse Gas Emissions 82 Percent (Phys.Org)
- 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