IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Climate change is changing Western U.S. forests, and altering mountain snowpack; December heat wave breaks records, sparks unusual late-season fires; Climate change is coming for Christmas trees; PLUS: Oil giant Shell ditches controversial Cambo drilling project in Scotland... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): A fraught and rocky energy transition pathway; CO2 tax at Europe's border: Revolution or protectionism?; One U.S. state consumes half the oil from the Amazon rainforest; Gambling 'America’s Amazon': toxic coal ash waste pit in one of America’s most biodiverse river systems; How state and local governments can leverage landfill solar; Norway rules out 2022 oil licenses in unexplored areas... PLUS: Desertification: How to stop the shifting sands... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Hannity falsely claimed the US ‘didn’t import a single barrel’ of Saudi oil pre-pandemic under Trump (Poynter):
The U.S. imported roughly half-million barrels of crude oil from Saudi Arabia per day in 2019, the last year before the pandemic under President Trump.
- Saudi Arabia, oil majors pulling in major profits by spiking oil prices:
- VIDEO: Oil prices rise after Aramco raises crude selling price (CNBC)
- Exclusive: oil companies’ profits soared to $174bn this year as US gas prices rose (Guardian):
“Americans looking for someone to blame for the pain they experience at the pump need look no further than the wealthy oil and gas company executives who choose to line their own pockets rather than lower gas prices with the billions of dollars in profit big oil rakes in month after month,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US.
- IEA’s Birol Says Energy Producers Are Key Cause of Price Spike (Bloomberg)
- Gas Exports Backfire on US Consumers, Generators (Climate Crocks)
- Unusual late-season heat wave breaks new December heat records:
- Winter heat wave sets December records in four U.S. states, Canada (Washington Post)
- Daily heat records smashed across B.C. as subtropical winds whip through province (CBC):
Penticton's 22.5 C on Wednesday ties it for the hottest December day ever recorded in Canada.
- 4 States Just Hit All-Time December Heat Records (Earther):
According to the National Weather Service, as much as a third of the continental U.S. experienced highs of over 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) this week. December really is the new September y’all.
- Montana heat sparks unusual December prairie fires:
- Prairies on Fire in Montana Amid a Record December Heat Wave (NY Times):
"We’re looking at conditions we haven’t seen for a thousand years in Montana and probably longer in terms of the drought," she said. "Temperatures are exceeding what we have seen for the last 11,000 years."...It was the third wildfire this year in the area of Denton, a town of about 200 people.
- 'It looked like a lake of fire': Montana airmen fight massive off-base fire (Military Times):
"That vehicle exploding saved our lives," Cappel said. "Without that divine intervention, that could have been me and my whole crew."
- Clean up begins after devastating Montana fire (Casper Star-Tribune)
- VIDEO: More fires sprout up in Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest (KTVH Helena)
- Climate change is coming for Christmas trees:
- Excessive June heat impacts on Oregon Christmas trees (Oregon State University)
- Why It Might Be Hard to Find a Christmas Tree (Inside Climate News):
Around 70 percent of noble fir seedlings in the Pacific Northwest died this summer, after a harsh drought combined with an unprecedented, climate change-driven heatwave in June...That could mean a Christmas tree shortage eight years from now.
- There's a New Front in the War on Christmas (Earther):
Up to 70 percent of noble fir seedlings died off this summer in Oregon, meaning the ghost of climate change present will further ruin the future.
- Experts detail Oregon forest damage in aftermath of June heat dome; long term effects unknown (Oregon Live)
- Climate change, wildfires, heat altering U.S. forests:
- Wildfires and climate change push low-elevation forests across a critical climate threshold for tree regeneration (PNAS)
- Wildfires are erasing Western forests. Climate change is making it permanent. (Grist):
The evidence is clear: Forests are shifting to scrublands across large swaths of the Western U.S...Now that the winter has cooled the 2021 fire season, scientists are looking at the big burn scars across the West with the grim understanding that, in some places, the pine and Douglas fir forests will not return. The driving force here is that the rising global temperature is wiping out seedlings.
- Climate change is already disrupting US forests and coasts – here’s what we’re seeing at 5 long-term research sites (The Conversation, 8/3/2021)
- Climate change to reduce Western forest snowpack, impacting water supplies:
- A low- to- no snow future and its impacts on water resources in the western United States [PDF] (Nature)
- Snow may vanish for years at a time in Mountain West with climate warming (Washington Post):
In about 35 to 60 years, mountainous states are projected to be nearly snowless for years at a time if greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked and climate change does not slow.
- Snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada could disappear in just 25 years (SF Chronicle)
- Shell Oil ditches controversial Cambo oilfield development
- Shell U-turn on Cambo could mean end for big North Sea oil projects (Guardian)
- Shell scraps plans to develop Cambo oilfield, citing economics not the climate (CNN):
The company said its decision was based on the economics of the project and the risk of delays, and that it remained committed to its oil and gas operations in the North Sea...[A]s Shell announced its withdrawal from the Cambo project late Thursday, the UK offshore wind sector announced two new turbine factories, which would provide jobs and regenerate Scottish ports that are being abandoned by the fossil fuel industry.
- UK's largest offshore wind tower factory proposed at Port of Nigg (BBC)
- VIDEO: Nicola Sturgeon on Cambo Oilfield, new wind energy factories (Daily Climate, Sky News)
'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
- A fraught and rocky energy transition pathway (Axios)
- CO2 tax at Europe's border: Revolution or protectionism? (Deutsche-Welle)
- Gambling ‘America’s Amazon’: Alabama’s largest utility plans to bury a heap of toxic coal waste in one of North America’s most biodiverse river systems (CNN)
- The Future of Landfills is Bright: How State and Local Governments Can Leverage Landfill Solar to Bring Clean Energy and Jobs to Communities across America (Rocky Mountain Institute)
- Desertification: How to stop the shifting sands (CNN)
- Norway rules out 2022 oil licences in unexplored areas (The Local Norway)
- Crude reality: One U.S. state consumes half the oil from the Amazon rainforest (CNBC)
- Police Hunt Suspects After 8 Wolves Poisoned in Oregon (Portland Oregonian)
- Off West Africa’s Coast, A Sea Of Oil Spills Goes Unreported (Mongabay)
- Bezos Commits Another $443 Million To Climate Justice And Conservation (The Verge)
- Democrats Eye Massive Shift in War on Wildfires: Prevention (LA Times)
- Increase in Lake Cyanobacteria Blooms Troubles Residents, Experts (New Hampshire Bulletin)
- Lack Of Water, Sewer Service Brings Health Risks To Some Alaska Villages (Arctic Today)
- SCOTUS Rejects Lobster Union Plea To Undo Whale Protections (E&E News)
- Green Upheaval: The New Geopolitics of Energy (Foreign Affairs)
- The World's First Solar-Powered Steel Mill Is Here (Earther)
- VIDEO: 2050: what happens if we ignore the climate crisis (Guardian UK)
- Guilt, grief and anxiety as young people fear for climate's future (Reuters)
- 99.9 percent Of Scientists Agree Climate Emergency Caused By Humans (Guardian UK)
- An Empire of Dying Wells: Old oil and gas sites are a climate menace. Meet the company that owns more of America's decaying wells than any other. (Bloomberg)
- 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 9 Years) Really Mean? (Inside Climate News)
- VIDEO: A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (The Intercept)
- 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.