We’re in a race against time to prevent widespread climate disasters. Can the good news outpace the bad?
Stay informed with the weekly Good News/Bad News recap from the team at Years of Living Dangerously.
THE BAD NEWS
IS CHRYSLER AN EMISSIONS CHEAT TOO?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has accused Fiat Chrysler of installing software that might allow vehicles to cheat at emissions tests, thus allowing vehicles to pollute more than is allowed under the Clean Air Act. The “notice of violation” for failing to disclose the software covers an estimated 104,000 diesel engine vehicles. The agency has not specifically defined how the software functions, but says it is continuing to investigate. Read More
POLLUTION RULES ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK
Obama’s pollution-cutting methane and coal rules are under threat from the GOP, thanks to a rule that allows Congress to overturn executive branch regulations. Republican representatives said they particularly intend to target environmental regulations. Read More
CORAL BLEACHING HITS JAPAN
Bleaching has hit 75% percent of Japan’s largest coral reef, in rapid beaching events in November and December. The event is part of a global bleaching trend, which ocean experts say is the new normal due to climate change. Read More
GIANT CHUNK OF ANTARCTICA ABOUT TO BREAK OFF
A large riff in the ice shelf called Larsen C recently grew dramatically, leaving an area of 5,000 square kilometers—roughly the size of Delaware—on the brink of floating away from the rest of the continent. If the area does eventually break off, it will be in the top 10 largest icebergs ever recorded, and could contribute to global sea level rise. Read More
METHANE IMPACTS THE OCEAN LONG AFTER IT’S GONE FROM THE AIR
A new study found that Methane pollution, although it persists in the atmosphere for less time than carbon dioxide emissions, can continue to impact the oceans for centuries to come. Methane stays in the atmosphere for about a decade, but will continue to contribute to heat and expand the ocean for long afterwards. Read More
THE GOOD NEWS
OBAMA BLOCKS ATLANTIC OCEAN FUEL HUNT
Obama rejected six requests to use seismic testing to map untapped oil and gas sites in the Atlantic Ocean. The administration previously suspended all off-shore drilling in the Atlantic for a five year period, and permanently protected some areas from future drilling. Read More
BIG BUSINESS CALLS ON TRUMP FOR CLIMATE ACTION
Over 600 companies and investors have signed onto an open letter calling on Donald Trump to act on climate change. “Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk,” the letter states. The list of signatories includes household names like Staples, Levi Strauss, eBay and Starbucks Coffee, as well as a number of large utilities. Although it’s unclear if Trump will take the message to heart, the letter represents a major show of unified support for climate action from the business community. Read More
DUTCH TRAINS FIND A BREEZY WAY TO GO GREEN
Starting on January 1, Dutch trains are powered by the wind, according to national railway company NS. The rail company carries about 600,000 passengers per day, and met its goal to use 100 percent clean energy an entire year ahead of schedule. Read More
EXXON LOSES DOCUMENT DISCLOSURE REQUEST
A Massachusetts judge has ruled that Exxon Mobil Corp must hand over internal documents related to climate change to the state’s attorney general. Prosecutors from New York and Massachusetts are leading separate investigations into whether the oil company knowingly misled investors and the public about the risks of climate change. Read More
NEW YORK STATE SEES A WIND-POWERED FUTURE
Following the debut of the first U.S. off-shore wind farm in Rhode Island, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed the development of a wind project off the shore of Long Island. The proposal would generate enough clean energy to power 1.25 million homes by 2030. Read More
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