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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: A Green News Special Report: President Obama's historic speech on climate change - his warnings, initiatives, and what it means for the future ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Dan Savage: 'The War This Time'; Researchers ID organic solar cell materials; Insurers reassess natural disaster policies; EPA abandons study that linked fracking to Wyoming water pollution; Breakthrough: cheaper, better batteries for 300-mile EVs; Record floods in India, Nepal, Calgary; 50k dead bees in OR from pesticides; Houston to get half its electricity from renewables; Ocean seafloor is covered in trash; Megadrought predicted for U.S. Southwest; Volvo tests in-road EV charging ... PLUS: "Goodbye, Miami": as the seas rise, there will be chaos... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: President Obama's Historic Climate Speech: 'We don't have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society' (C-SPAN Video Archive):
- TRANSCRIPT: Remarks by the President on Climate Change, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. (White House.gov)
- ‘Invest, Divest’: Obama Goes Full Climate Hawk In Speech Unveiling Plan To Cut Carbon Pollution (Climate Progress)
- President Obama rolled out a "Climate Action Plan" in an outdoor speech on a sweltering June afternoon in Washington D.C. today. (Climate Central):
On a hot and muggy Washington afternoon, President Obama, wiping sweat from his brow, announced that his administration intends to place limits on the greenhouse gas emissions of current and planned power plants and take a variety of other measures to reestablish American leadership in combating global warming while also making the country more resilient to the effects of climate change that are already evident.
- Why Coal Stocks Crashed Today (Motley Fool)
- Obama Outlines Ambitious Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases (NY Times)
- Obama’s Overseas Coal Pledge to Curb Ex-Im Bank Financing (Bloomberg):
As part of a “Climate Action Plan” released today, Obama called for ending U.S. support of foreign coal-fired power plants, unless they are in the poorest nations or have expensive carbon-capture technology.
- Obama Unveils Climate Change Strategy: End of Line for U.S. Coal Power? (National Geographic)
- Export Bank’s Financing Curbed Under Obama Overseas Coal Pledge (Bloomberg)
- Obama: Keystone XL Should Not Be Approved If It Will Increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Sam Stein, Huffington Post)
- Oil Sands May Irrevocably Tar the Climate (Scientific American):
The fate of the Alberta's tar sands mines—and the climate—may come down to the Keystone XL pipeline
- Oh, Canada: How America's friendly northern neighbor became a rogue, reckless petrostate. (Foreign Policy)
- Obama Will Approve Keystone Only If It ‘Does Not Significantly Exacerbate’ Carbon Pollution: (Climate Progress):
Would the “net” extend to emissions outside of the U.S.? The State Department could argue that any oil exported from the U.S. should not be counted in the determination of whether the pipeline would increase greenhouse gas emissions.
- Canada says sees no net increase in emissions from Keystone (Reuters)
- Experts weigh in on climate plan (Politico):
You can’t do something that is unattainable,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who famously fired a bullet through the cap-and-trade bill in a 2010 campaign ad. “It’s unreasonable. What they’re doing has never been done.”
- Reaction to President Obama’s Speech: A U.S. Climate Action Plan? (Weather Underground)
- Boehner: Obama climate proposal 'absolutely crazy' (The Hill's e2 Wire)
- Reading Between the Lines of Obama’s Climate Change Plan (Michael Levi, Council on Foreign Relations):
Five things that are buried in the plan released alongside the speech but could have important consequences.
- Climate Scientist Michael Mann: "All in all, it is the most aggressive and promising climate plan to come out of the executive branch in years, and President Obama should be applauded for the bold leadership he has shown in confronting the climate change threat head on."
- Obama’s climate plan spares oil and gas from big changes (Fuel Fix):
While the president took aim at a suite of tax incentives cherished by oil and gas companies, he left refineries out of the cornerstone of his plan to throttle industrial greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, he focused that initiative squarely on new and existing power plants, despite a 2010 legal settlement obligating the EPA to address refinery emissions too.
- Fox's Kelly On Obama's Comment That "The Planet Is Warming": "That Is Not The Full Story" (Media Matters)
- Fox Denies Temperature Record To Dispute Obama's Climate Speech (Media Matters)
- 87% of Americans Support Climate Action::
Polling Released Today by the Georgetown Climate Center Shows Strong Support from Republicans and Democrats for EPA Action
- Poll: Americans Shop With Climate on Their Minds (Environment News Service)
- Read the Report: The Critical Decade 2013:" 80% of Fossil Fuel 'Should Stay in the Ground" (Climate Commission, Australia)
- VIDEO: Climate Commission report says 80 per cent of fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground (Australia Broadcasting Company) [emphasis added]:
Professor Lesley Hughes, who co-authored the report, says there will be catastrophic consequences for the environment if the world does not move away from fossil fuels. "In order to achieve that goal of stabilising the climate at 2 degrees or less, we simply have to leave about 80 per cent of the world's fossil fuel reserves in the ground. We cannot afford to burn them and still have a stable and safe climate," she said.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Goodbye, Miami (Rolling Stone):
By century's end, rising sea levels will turn the nation's urban fantasyland into an American Atlantis. But long before the city is completely underwater, chaos will begin
- The War This Time: Why Was I Thinking About Pat Buchanan, Gay Bars, and AIDS While Colorado Burned? (The Stranger):
Reading about the wildfires in Colorado—particularly that "Nature Takes a Fiery Toll" piece—reminded of something the conservative Christian commentator/terrified white man/bigoted straight person Pat Buchanan had to say about "nature" back in 1983.
The last line of Buchanan's acid column was etched into my brain the day I read it: "The poor homosexuals—they have declared war on nature, and now nature is exacting an awful retribution."
- MIT: Researchers ID Thousands of Organic Materials for Use in Solar Cells (MIT Technology Review)
- Climate change making insurers reassess natural disaster policy (Raw Story):
“Traditional approaches, which are solely based on analysing historical data, increasingly fail to estimate today’s hazard probabilities,” the think tank for strategically important insurance and risk management issues, warned in a report.
- EPA abandons study that linked fracking, Wyoming water pollution (The Hill's e2 Wire):
The EPA said it will not complete or seek peer review of a 2011 draft study, which found that groundwater pollution in the Pavillion, Wyo., area was consistent with chemicals used in gas production. The EPA said it stands by its work but that it would now support further study led by the state of Wyoming.
- New Duke study bolsters finding of water contamination from drilling (E & E News)
- GM-backed Envia claims huge advance in cheaper, better batteries for 300-mile EVs (Autoblog Green)
- 2013 Monsoon Floods in Nepal and India: What happened and what could have been done? (ICI-Mod):
While the world is waking up to the news of the horrific scale of the recent flood disaster in the Mahakali basin of Nepal and Uttarakhand in India, several questions are being asked: what kind of climatic events led to this disaster? Could anything have been done to reduce the loss of life and property? What can we learn from this disaster for the future?
- Oregon investigating death of 'hundreds' of bees in Hillsboro days after 50,000 found in Wilsonville (Oregon Live):
In Wilsonville, state officials confirmed the pesticide Safari was the culprit in the deaths of thousands of bees. ... [W]hile Hillsboro also applied Safari, there's no confirmed link between the chemical and the bee deaths.
- German researchers make progress on a long-lasting battery for electric cars (GigaOm):
But the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (its German acronym is ZSW), a non-profit research consortium, says that its newly developed batteries last as long, or longer than, most people own a car, meaning that EV owners would never have to worry about replacing this costly auto component.
- Houston to buy half its power from renewable sources (Fuel Fix):
The city of Houston has agreed to purchase half its electricity from renewable sources. That will make Houston the largest municipal purchaser of renewable energy in the nation, according to the city, which cited estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Singapore air pollution hits record high (Guardian UK):
Sumatra island fires push toxic smog plumes to neighbouring Malaysia and Singapore, triggering record levels of haze
- Alberta flood recovery could take 10 years, says premier (Canadian Broadcasting Company): Most Calgary homes cleared for families to return
- Researchers study 18,000 hours of deep sea footage, find ocean seafloor is covered in trash (Treehugger)
- Major pipeline study upends Keystone XL battle (E & E News):
Larger pipelines carrying heavy Canadian oil sands fuel are at no greater risk of a spill than those running conventional crude, the National Academy of Sciences concluded today in a study hotly anticipated by both camps in the long-running debate over Keystone XL.
- Volvo testing wireless, in-road charging system for EVs (Autoblog Green)
- Megadrought in U.S. Southwest: A Bad Omen for Forests Globally (Yale e360):
Scientists studying a prolonged and severe drought in the southwestern U.S. say that extensive damage done to trees in that region portends what lies in store as other forests worldwide face rising temperatures, diminished rainfall, and devastating fires.
- Environmental Rules Delayed As White House Slows Reviews (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
The White House has blocked several Department of Energy regulations that would require appliances, lighting and buildings to use less energy and create less global-warming pollution, as part of a broader slowdown of new antipollution rules issued by the Obama administration.
- China Launches Major Cap & Trade Emissions Program (Scientific American):
To control greenhouse gases the Chinese government is experimenting with pilot programs in seven cities and regions that use markets
- Look Out Below: Antarctic Melting From Underneath (Climate Central):
Ice experts have long known that Antarctica is losing ice at the margins of its vast ice sheets, where the frozen continent meets the sea — presumably, they thought, from icebergs breaking off and floating away. According to a report published in Science, however, more than half the ice loss is coming from warming ocean waters, which are melting the ice from underneath.
- Too hot to live: grim long-term prediction (Sydney Morning Herald) [emphasis added]:
HALF the Earth could become too hot for human habitation in less than 300 years, Australian scientists warn. New research by the University of NSW has forecast the effect of climate change over the next three centuries, a longer time scale than that considered in many similar studies. The research suggests that without action to cut greenhouse gas emissions, average temperatures could rise as much as 10 to 12 per cent by 2300.
- We Have Met the Unknown Unknowns and They are Us (Legal Planet):
There are uncertainties about climate science such as tipping points and feedback effects. But these pale in comparison to the biggest source of uncertainties: people. Here are some of the major things we don't know and really can't know about future society.
- Warning: Even in the best-case scenario, climate change will kick our asses (Grist)
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page