IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Fossil fuels booming in the US --- literally --- with more new explosions this week; World's largest solar plant now open; Extreme winter weather again cripples the South; Extreme weather is extremely expensive and becoming more so; PLUS: Yes, climate change is coming for your Winter Olympics ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Church of England takes on 'giant evil' of climate change; Russian environmentalist jailed; No country will take tanker ablaze and adrift in Pacific; How much to fix climate change, and how much if we don't? Abrupt climate change: the 'expected unexpected'; CA to ban sale of polluting 'microbeads' in cosmetics; FEMA won't reimburse WV for chemical spill costs ... PLUS: Fusion energy breakthrough: US scientists achieve 'turning point' ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics: On Track For Warmest Winter Games Ever:
- Sochi Warmth Part of Global Pattern (Climate Crocks)
- Olympic halfpipe problems mounting (Boston Globe)
- Winter Olympics Inadvertently Adapting to Climate Change (Climate Central)
- Why Is It So Warm in Sochi Right Now? (Live Science)
- Yes, Climate Change is Coming For Your Winter Olympics:
- Winter Olympics Face a Bleak Future Without Action on Climate Change, Athletes Warn (The Weather Channel)
- Do the Winter Olympics Have a Future in a Warming World? (The Atlantic):
Russia's balmy weather could be a sign of things to come, a new study says. We're running out of places cold enough to host the Games.
- Report [pdf]: The Future of the Winter Olumpics in a Warmer World (Univ. of Waterloo) [emphasis added]:
[I]n a substantially warmer world, celebrating the second centennial of the Olympic Winter Games in 2124 would be challenging....Sadly, if we experience climate change in the degree predicted by scientists, by the mid-21st century, close to half of the cities that have hosted the Olympic Winter Games in the past would no longer be able to. It simply would not be cold enough.
- US Ski Team Member Andrew Newell & 105 Winter Olympians Call for Climate Action (Protect Our Winters.org)
- North Carolina Crippled By 'Rare' 'Historic' Winter Storm:
- The Real Reason Why This Week’s Massive Ice Storm Is So Unusual (Climate Progress)
- Winter Storm Paralyzes Roads In North Carolina, Despite Warnings (North Carolina Public Radio)
- Hot Alaska, Cold Georgia: How The Shifted Polar Vortex Turned Winter Upside-Down (Climate Progress)
- Extreme Weather Is Extremely Expensive:
- Failure to prepare for extreme weather costs billions (USA Today) [emphasis added]:
Failing to prepare for extreme weather events has cost the United States $1.15 trillion in economic losses from 1980 to 2010 and could cost another trillion in coming years, a Department of Homeland Security official told a Senate panel Wednesday.
- Senator Warns Extreme Weather Is 'New Norm' (Wall St. Journal)
- VIDEO: Extreme Weather Events: The Costs of Not Being Prepared (US Senate Committee on Homeland Security)
- GAO Report: Extreme Weather Events: The Costs of Not Being Prepared [pdf] (Government Accountability Office)
- Record Number of Billion-Dollar Disasters Globally in 2013 (Climate Central)
- This Week's Fossil Fuel Explosions:
- Natural Gas Pipeline Explosion Levels Homes In Kentucky Town (Climate Progress)
- Kentucky: VIDEO: Cleanup begins after Adair County blast destroys 2 homes (WKLY Louisville, KY)
- Train Derails In Pennsylvania, Spilling Up To 4,000 Gallons Of Oil (Climate Progress)
- Worker still missing after southwestern Pa. gas well explosion (State Impact PA)
- One of two Greene well fires still burning; worker remains missing (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
- Massive Solar Spill in CA As World's Largest Solar Thermal Plant Opens:
- World’s Largest Solar Thermal Plant Uses As Much Water As Two Holes On Nearby Golf Course (Climate Progress)
- Huge Ivanpah solar power plant, owned by Google and Oakland company, opens as industry booms (San Jose Mercury News)
- Future of solar unclear as big plant comes online (SF Gate)
- World's Largest Solar Thermal Plant Starts Operating In Drought-Stricken California (Climate Progress)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- US scientists achieve 'turning point' in fusion energy quest (Reuters):
U.S. scientists announced on Wednesday an important milestone in the costly, decades-old quest to develop fusion energy, which, if harnessed successfully, promises a nearly inexhaustible energy source for future generations.
- Economist Says Best Climate Fix A Tough Sell, But Worth It (NPR) [emphasis added]:
If people would simply pay the cost of using the atmosphere as a dump for carbon dioxide, that would create a powerful incentive to dump less and invest in cleaner ways to generate energy. But how do you do that? "We need to put a price on carbon, so that when anyone, anywhere, anytime does something that puts carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, there's a price tag on that," he says.
- Church of England Takes on 'Giant Evil' of Climate Change (Climate Progress):
On Wednesday, the Church of England’s parliamentary body announced that it was considering redirecting its investments in an effort to battle climate change. The motion put forward, which called for the Church to recognize “the damage being done to the planet through the burning of fossil fuels,” received overwhelming support.
- Russian Environmentalist, and Critic of Olympics, Gets 3-Year Prison Sentence (NY Times)
- ADRIFT: Fire-hit tanker in North Asia shows flaws in safe-haven rules (Reuters):
A fire-ravaged ship loaded with hazardous chemicals has become a maritime football in the north Pacific, with Japan and South Korea unwilling to give it refuge even though they risk a wider environmental disaster if it sinks.
- California bill banning sale of cosmetics with microbeads to be proposed (LA Times):
California is lining up to become the largest state to ban the sale of cosmetic products, such as facial scrubs, containing tiny plastic beads that find their way into waterways and the ocean.
- UK storms: Man dies amid 'almost unparalleled natural crisis' (BBC)
- Video: Abrupt Climate Change, and the Expected Unexpected (Climate Crocks)
- FEMA won't reimburse West Virginia's spill costs (Charleston Daily Mail):
FEMA spokesman Dan Watson said the agency provided about 7 million liters of water and more than 130,000 meals during the initial response to the spill. Watson said FEMA officials decided the state didn't need any additional help. "While the initial emergency declaration was approved and resources were provided to support the immediate response, it was determined in this case certain costs associated with the response and recovery efforts were not beyond the response and recovery capabilities of state and local governments," Watson said.
- Conflict in oil industry over lifting crude export ban (NY Times):
T. Boone Pickens has personified the nation's oil industry for more than a generation. So when he made an offhand comment at a conference here a few weeks ago expressing reservations about lifting the nation's ban on exports of crude oil, he startled some of his old allies in the business.
- A Valuable Reputation: After scientist said weed-killer chemical was harmful, its maker pursued him. (New Yorker):
[W]hen Hayes discovered that atrazine might impede the sexual development of frogs, his dealings with Syngenta became strained...Hayes has devoted the past fifteen years to studying atrazine, and during that time scientists around the world have expanded on his findings, suggesting that the herbicide is associated with birth defects in humans as well as in animals. The company documents show that, while Hayes was studying atrazine, Syngenta was studying him, as he had long suspected. Syngenta's public-relations team had drafted a list of four goals. The first was "discredit Hayes."
- Australia: Bureau of Meteorology says man-made climate change responsible for South Australia's record summer temperatures (The Australian)
- Oil industry double-dipping in U.S.: paid for cleanjup from government and again, secretly, from insurance companies (Reuters):
Court documents show many of the cases and settlement agreements follow a similar pattern, accusing the oil companies of "double-dipping" by collecting both special state funds and insurance money for the same tank cleanups. Some states say any insurance payouts should have gone to them since they covered the cost of the work.
- West Virginia Water Nightmare: Private Testing Finds Coal Chemical In 40 Percent Of Homes (Climate Progress)
- The Real Wastebook: Giveaways For Coal Industry: Report: U.S. Taxpayers Losing Out On Millions Each Year In Coal Leases (Media Matters)
- Health advocates find flame retardant fight follows familiar denial formula (Huffington Post Green):
When chemical companies hired Grant Gillham in 2007 to manage a campaign in defense of flame retardants in couches and other consumer goods, Gillham recalled being "assured that the scientific information they had supporting the safety and effectiveness of their products was valid."
- In Iceland, Magma Used To Create Geothermal Power For First Time (Climate Progress):
After accidentally drilling into a chamber of molten lava more than a mile underground in 2009, researchers in Iceland have now found a way to use the magma to create geothermal energy.
- U.N. Says Lag in Confronting Climate Woes Will Be Costly (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
Nations have so dragged their feet in battling climate change that the situation has grown critical and the risk of severe economic disruption is rising, according to a draft United Nations report. Another 15 years of failure to limit carbon emissions could make the problem virtually impossible to solve with current technologies, experts found.
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page
- Video Proof That Global Warming is a 'Hoax'!: NASA Temperature Data 1888-2011 (The BRAD BLOG):
- NASA climate change video: This is the U.S. in 2100 (NASA).