IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Canadian wildfires shatter records, send smoky air back to U.S. and over to Europe; Intensifying rainstorms pose hidden flood risks across the U.S.; Biden restores endangered species protections; PLUS: 3M settles another lawsuit over 'forever chemicals' contamination of municipal water systems... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Brutal heat and poisoned air. Well, what did you think climate change would look like?; Billions are being spent to turn the tide on the US West’s wildfires. It won’t be enough; Climate change made the TX heat wave more intense. Renewables softened the blow; EPA closes civil rights probe into Louisiana's 'Cancer Alley' pollution; Auto industry lobbying group assails Biden's plan to electrify America's cars; Most Americans underestimate the popularity of policies to protect the climate; The Death Cult of the American car; Solar sprawl is tearing up the Mojave Desert, but there is a better way... PLUS: Joshua trees win long term protection in environmental victory... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Canada's wildfires, smoke, and emissions officially the worst in recorded history:
- Canada wildfire season now worst on record as firefighters battle nearly 500 blazes (Axios)
- It’s Canada's worst fire season in modern history, as smoke fills skies (Washington Post)
- VIDEO: Canada is experiencing its 'worst wildfire season of the 21st century': Blair (CTV News)
- Canada’s wildfire carbon emissions hit record high in first six months of 2023 (Guardian)
- 'Our new normal': As climate change exacerbates wildfires, Canada faces a fiery future (The Star)
- Canada's wildfire smoke emissions break records (Axios)
- Feedback Loops of Fire Activity and Climate Change in Canada (EOS):
New research documents how a warming climate contributes to patterns in wildfire severity and frequency and how the fires contribute to climate change.
- Canadian wildfires send smoke to U.S. and Europe:
- VIDEO: Is This the New Normal? Canadian Smoke Reaches as Far as Europe (Climate Crocks)
- Canadian wildfire smoke reaches Europe as Canada reports its worst fire season on record (CNN/MSN)
- Canada wildfire smoke is drifting from the Midwest to the East Coast (Washington Post):
Air quality alerts related to wildfire smoke were in effect for parts of 20 states, covering nearly a third of the American population.
- Relentless Texas heat wave a public health emergency:
- Emergency Room Visits and 911 Calls for Heat Illness Spike During Texas Heat Wave (Inside Climate News)
- The heat wave blamed for 13 deaths in Texas so far spreads eastward (AP)
- Inmates are dying in stifling Texas prisons, but the state seldom acknowledges heat as a cause of death (Texas Tribune):
Since a heat wave gripped Texas, at least nine inmates, including two men in their 30s, have died of heart attacks or unknown causes in prisons lacking air conditioning. It’s been 11 years since the state last classified a death as heat-related.
- Extreme heat impacts are increasing across the US:
- Extreme heat kills more people in the United States than any other weather hazard (Washington Post)
- Extreme heat and air pollution can be deadly, with the health risk together worse than either alone (The Conversation)
- Texas’s nighttime temperatures are a symptom of a new, more dangerous kind of heat wave (CNN)
- Extreme Heat Is Here to Stay. Why Are We Not More Afraid? (NY Times):
In "The Heat Will Kill You First," Jeff Goodell documents the lethal effects of rising temperatures and argues that we need to take hot weather a lot more seriously.
- Climate change has sent temperatures soaring in Texas (Texas Tribune)
- More dangerous heat waves are on the way: See the impact by Zip code. (Washington Post, 8/15/2022)
- Outdated federal data understates the risk of extreme rain, flood events:
- Defining America's Climate Risk: Latest 8th National Risk Assessment: The Precipitation Problem (First Street Foundation):
The United States plans to use $1.2 Trillion in Federal appropriations from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2022 to protect against future flooding. However, inaccurate rainfall information poses a significant threat to the allocation and design standards of these projects.
- Extreme precipitation risks currently underestimated (Axios)
- Intensifying Rains Pose Hidden Flood Risks Across the U.S. (NY Times)
- Extreme floods are happening way more often than federal data would suggest, analysis shows (CNN/MSN):
A critical federal analysis of extreme rainfall is vastly underestimating the chances of flood events, with grave implications for everything from new roads and bridges to the rising cost of flood insurance, according to a new analysis. Intense rain events, like atmospheric rivers and torrential, training thunderstorms, are quickly making the idea of a "1-in-100-year flood event" obsolete.
- 3M settles another lawsuit over PFAS contamination:
- AUDIO: 3M reaches $10.3 billion settlement over 'forever chemicals' in public water systems (NPR)
- 'Profit Over the Public’s Health': Study Details Efforts by Makers of Forever Chemicals to Hide Their Harms (Inside Climate News):
After examining decades of once-secret files, researchers find that DuPont and 3M waited at least 20 years before disclosing dangers of PFAS.
- Biden rolls back Trump's rollback of Endangered Species Act protections:
- Biden Administration Moves to Restore Endangered Species Protections (NY Times):
New rules would void Trump-era changes that made it easier to remove animals and plants from the endangered list...[A]ctivists also said they were disappointed that the rules did not go further in eliminating Trump-era provisions. The Biden administration, for example, did not seek to change language that could let projects proceed as long as they didn’t destroy critical habitat "as a whole." Activists said that leaves open a loophole for pipelines or other projects that slowly encroach on critical habitat.
- Biden administration looks to reinstate protections for endangered species curbed by Trump (CNN/MSN):
The US Fish and Wildlife Service, along with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Maritime Fisheries Service, has proposed clarifying the standards for how the agencies list and reclassify species to ensure that the economic impact of doing so will not be a factor in their process. The Fish and Wildlife Service has also proposed reinstating a "base level of protection" or a "safety net" for all threatened species – which was removed by the Trump administration – though the agency will keep the option of providing additional species-specific rules.
- Biden administration moves to restore endangered species protections dropped by Trump (AP)
'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
- Brutal Heat and Poisoned Air. Well, What Did You Think Climate Change Would Look Like? (Climate Crocks)
- Billions are being spent to turn the tide on the US West’s wildfires. It won’t be enough (AP)
- Climate Change Made the Texas Heat Wave More Intense. Renewables Softened the Blow (Inside Climate News)
- EPA Closes Civil Rights Probe Into Louisiana Over ‘Cancer Alley’ Pollution (The Hill)
- Auto-Industry Group Assails Biden’s Plan to Electrify America’s Cars (NY Times)
- Joshua Trees Win Long Term Protection In Environmental Victory (Guardian)
- Most Americans underestimate the popularity of policies to protect the climate (Yale Climate Communications)
- Solar module recycling facility coming to Coachella Valley, California (PV Magazine)
- Solar sprawl is tearing up the Mojave Desert. Is there a better way? (LA Times_
- The Death Cult of the American Car: It’s obvious how to make the roads safer for cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers alike. We just don’t do it. (The American Prospect)
- Coal Ash Sinkhole Expands In NC, Contaminating Stream Amid Legal Dispute (States Newsroom)
- Billions are being spent to turn the tide on the US West’s wildfires. It won’t be enough (AP)
- Wildfire burn areas in California are growing ever larger due to greenhouse gas emissions (LA Times)
- VIDEO: PBS Newshour: Jeff Berardelli on Heat Dome and Jet Stream (Climate Crocks)
- Deforestation jumped 10 percent last year despite global pledges (Axios)
- Complete Series: Farmers Under Attack for Supporting Clean Energy (Climate Crocks)
- These are the places most at risk from record-breaking heat waves as the planet warms (CNN)
- Building Steam in Lithium Valley (The American Prospect)
- Feeling Overwhelmed About Going All-Electric at Home? Here's How to Get Started (Inside Climate News)
- VIDEO: See what three degrees of global warming looks like (The Economist/YouTube)
- The 7 climate tipping points that could change the world forever (Grist)
- The 1977 White House climate memo that should have changed the world (Guardian UK)
- Four solutions to mitigate climate change, from the IPCC (Dr. Michael Mann, Penn Today)
- Environmental Sacrifice Zones: 8 Places We've Given Up-Probably Forever (Environmental Health Network)
- Feeling Hopeless About the Climate? Try Our 30-Day Action Plan (The Revelator)
- VIDEO: 2050: what happens if we ignore the climate crisis (Guardian UK)
- 99.9 percent Of Scientists Agree Climate Emergency Caused By Humans (Guardian UK)
- 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)
- 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.