IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Cargo ship carrying acid, oil, and plastic sinks off Sri Lanka's coast; Man-made global warming to blame for one-third of global heat deaths, study finds; Texas winter storm and blackout death toll four or five times higher than official state tally; PLUS: Interior Department suspends Trump-era oil and gas leasing in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): ‘Black Wednesday’ for big oil as courtrooms and boardrooms turn on industry; Russia begins development on Arctic oil project that will produce 25 million tons of oil per year; Tasked to fight climate change, secretive U.N. agency does the opposite; Treaties offer Indian Country new aid in environmental fights; 100s of fishing fleets that go ‘dark’ suspected of illegal hunting: study; Exxon board gets a third activist pushing greener energy...PLUS: G7 nations have given $190 billion to fossil fuel industry since 2020... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Environmental disaster off the coast of Sri Lanka:
- VIDEO: Ecological disaster looms as ship with 'dangerous goods' aboard sinks off Sri Lankan coast (Washington Post):
The Sri Lankan navy had warned of severe pollution if the ship were to go down at its current location just outside the port of Colombo, the South Asian country’s largest city.
- A burning ship covered beautiful beaches in plastic 'snow.' Now Sri Lanka faces an environmental disaster. (Washington Post):
Sri Lankan authorities suspect the fire was caused by a leak from the ship’s containers, which were carrying 25 metric tons of nitric acid. (The chemical is used in fertilizers as well as explosives.)
- With fire contained, Sri Lanka faces plastic pellet problem from stricken ship (Mongabay)
- Study: 40 percent of heat deaths directly tied to global warming:
- Study blames climate change for 37 percent of heat deaths worldwide (NBC News):
"These are deaths related to heat that actually can be prevented. It is something we directly cause," an epidemiologist said.
- Climate change responsible for about a third of heat deaths, study says (The Verge):
Heat-related deaths are a serious problem in a warming world.
- The burden of heat-related mortality attributable to recent human-induced climate change (Nature Climate Change)
- U.S. not ready for deadly combo of power grid failures and extreme heat:
- A New, Deadly Risk for Cities in Summer: Power Failures During Heat Waves (NY Times):
The growing risk of overlapping heat waves and power failures poses a severe threat that major American cities are not prepared for, new research suggests. Power failures have increased by more than 60 percent since 2015, even as climate change has made heat waves worse...[Cooling] centers could accommodate no more than 2 percent of a given city's population, the authors found, leaving an overwhelming majority of residents in danger.
- VIDEO: Study author Brian Stone, Jr.: Summer heat waves could cause more blackouts than ever (CBS News)
- Compound Climate and Infrastructure Events: How Electrical Grid Failure Alters Heat Wave Risk (National Library of Medicine)
- Analysis: Death toll in Texas storm and blackout far higher than official tally:
- The Texas Winter Storm And Power Outages Killed Hundreds More People Than The State Says (Buzzfeed):
The true number of people killed by the disastrous winter storm and power outages that devastated Texas in February is likely four or five times what the state has acknowledged so far. A BuzzFeed News data analysis reveals the hidden scale of a catastrophe that trapped millions of people in freezing darkness, cut off access to running water, and overwhelmed emergency services for days.
- Colorado River cutbacks begin as historic Western drought intensifies:
- First-ever Colorado River water shortage is now almost certain, new projections show (CNN):
If the next major study in August from the USBR projects water levels in the lake will be below 1,075 feet on January 1, it would trigger the first-ever shortage declaration on the Colorado River, meaning some communities would begin to see their water deliveries cut significantly next year...Climate change is also taking a toll on the river's water supply. A study by US Geological Survey scientists published in 2020 found that the Colorado River's flow has declined by about 20% over the last century, and over half of that decline can be attributed to warming temperatures across the basin.
- Arizona farmers to bear brunt of cuts from Colorado River (AP, 4/29/2021)
- Drought intensifies forcing rationing of Colorado River water (Payson Roundup)
- As Lake Mead drops below shortage mark, shifting shorelines keep marinas in motion (Arizona Republic)
- Southwest's new climate peril (Axios):
Although it's interspersed with short intervals of wetter years, parts of the West, including California, are suffering through an emerging, human-caused "megadrought" that began in 2000. Studies show this drought, measured using soil moisture data and tree rings, is the second-worst in the past 1,200 years.
- Biden Interior Dept. suspends Trump-era oil leases in ANWR:
- Biden suspends oil leases in Alaska’s Arctic refuge (AP):
The order by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland follows a temporary moratorium on oil and gas lease activities imposed by President Joe Biden on his first day in office. Biden’s Jan. 20 executive order suggested a new environmental review was needed to address possible legal flaws in a drilling program approved by the Trump administration under a 2017 law enacted by Congress. After conducting a required review, Interior said it "identified defects in the underlying record of decision supporting the leases, including the lack of analysis of a reasonable range of alternatives" required under the National Environmental Policy Act, a bedrock environmental law.
- Biden administration suspends Trump-era oil and gas drilling leases in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (CBS News):
Republicans and the oil industry have been attempting to gain access to the refuge for decades, locked in an ongoing battle with Democrats and local activists.
- Biden administration ANWR move puts Lisa Murkowski on the defensive (Washington Examiner)
- Biden to suspend oil leases in Alaska's Arctic refuge (CBC)
- Biden’s Justice Department Is Defending a Trump-Era Plan to Drill the Arctic (Earther)
'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
- ‘Black Wednesday’ for big oil as courtrooms and boardrooms turn on industry (Guardian UK)
- Russia Begins Development on Arctic Oil Project That Will Produce 25 Million Tons of Oil Per Year (Earther)
- Tasked to Fight Climate Change, Secretive U.N. Agency Does the Opposite (NY Times)
- Treaties Offer New Aid In Environmental Fights (Indian Country Today)
- Texas Breeder Deer May Have Spread Brain Disease Into The Wild (Huffington Post)
- 100s Of Fishing Fleets That Go ‘Dark’ Suspected Of Illegal Hunting: Study (Guardian UK)
- Exxon Board to Get a Third Activist Pushing Cleaner Energy (NY Times)
- Judge Rules Against Noem In Fireworks Lawsuit; Noem Vows 2022 Appeal (KELO)
- Emails: Utilities drafted talking points against gas bans (E&E News)
- Old Fault Lines in the Climate Movement Reopen, Complicate Biden’s Path (Reuters)
- G7 Nations Have Given $190 Billion to Fossil Fuel Industry Since 2020 (Earther)
- Nations Must Drop Fossil Fuels, Fast, World Energy Body Warns (NY Times)
- Electric cars: What will happen to all the dead batteries? (BBC)
- Climate Fund Choices for Investors Are Multiplying (Bloomberg/Yahoo)
- 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