Hot News: January 4, 2017 - The Years Project

Hot News: January 4, 2017

By Climate Nexus

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House Quietly Shifts Federal Lands Policy: The House passed a new provision Tuesday that would change the cost calculation of transferring federal land, making it easier to give state and local regulators more control. The official GOP platform advocates for state control of federal public lands, and Tuesday’s vote may signify an initial move in how the GOP plans to manage public lands in a Trump administration. While Trump has expressed interest in reducing regulations to encourage resource development – including fossil fuels – on large areas of public land nationwide, he has voiced opposition to transferring lands to state control, and his nominee for Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, is also opposed. (Washington Post $, The Hill)

2016 Weather Makes a Pricey Year For Insurers: Natural disasters cost insurers nearly $50 billion in payouts in 2016 – double the $27 billion paid in 2015, according to a new analysis by global research firm Munich Re. The analysis shows $10.2 billion in overall losses in North America, which saw more natural disasters in 2016 than in any year since 1980. Munich Re researcher Peter Hoppe emphasized to USA Today that while specific weather events cannot be directly attributed to climate change, “there are now many indications that certain events – such as persistent weather systems or storms bringing torrential rain and hail – are more likely to occur in certain regions as a result of climate change.” (ReutersUSAToday)

Break Out The Umbrellas, Californians: Speaking of extreme weather…California may see three additional extreme rainfall events per year if global temperatures continue to increase at current rates, according to new research from MIT. In December of 2014, a record rainstorm, known as a “pineapple express,”  dropped three inches of rain in an hour on San Francisco, causing mudslides and power outages in the area. Using new methodology to examine large-scale atmospheric events, the MIT research demonstrates that a 4 degree C rise by 2100 – which scientists agree is expected without significant policy shifts – would trigger more storms like the 2014 pineapple express in the state. One such storm is drenching California at the moment, with another heavy deluge of rainfall forecast to slam into the state starting this weekend. (MIT: Greenwire $, Pineapple express: Mashable.)

US News
  • Rick Perry’s Texas giveaways (ProPublica)
  • Miami Beach: property market braced for change in climate (FT $)
  • Dakota pipeline protesters, nearby residents brace for 2017 (NPR)
  • Tillerson to cede control of $240 million in Exxon as Trump pick (Bloomberg)
  • Will 2017 be the year we get serious about sustainable food? (Guardian)
  • Greens launch six-figure campaign against EPA nominee (The Hill)
  • North Carolina environmental chief moves to block his own removal by new governor (ThinkProgress)
  • Solar farm approved for long-closed site of Charlotte dump (Winston-Salem Journal)
  • Mustang Hybrid among 13 new electric Ford cars that will soon be a reality (Mashable)
  • Senate chairman meets Trump’s EPA nominee (The Hill)
  • Mapping the Koch brothers’ influence over Trump’s environmental policies (GOOD)
  • Maryland governor outlines environmental initiatives (APWBAL)
  • Louisiana history washes away as sea levels rise, land sinks (WWNO)
  • Climate change a bull’s-eye in the era of all-Republican rule (ClimateWire $)
  • Powerful storms leave at least 5 dead in Alabama and Florida (NPR)
  • State water officials are optimistic despite ‘gloomy’ California snowpack survey (LA Times $, AP)
  • Electric bus maker Proterra adds $140 million in equity financing (Greentech Media)
  • Here’s which of Obama’s climate regulations congressional Republicans find most offensive (Fast CoExist)
  • Study: Coastal NC officials not willing to prepare for sea level rise (WCQS)
  • Side effect of California’s drought? More climate pollution (Desert Sun)
  • U.S. yanks funds from unbuilt windmill farm in New Jersey (AP)
  • The most vulnerable NASA missions under Trump (The Atlantic)

World News

  • Companies should report possible climate costs, say global executives (Wall Street Journal $)
  • Chinese renewable power giant builds global empire (AP)
  • Reducing the oilsands’ environmental footprint (Bloomberg TV)
  • 2017: agriculture begins to tackle its role in climate change (InsideClimate News)
  • France delivers 2050 climate plan to UN (Climate Home)
  • Extreme weather killed thousands and cost billions across the globe in 2016 (Washington Post $)
  • India’s double first in climate battle (BBC News)
  • Is Germany’s renewable power boom stalling? (Climate Home)
  • Beijing enjoys brief respite, but choking smog to return on Tuesday (Reuters)
  • Time-lapse video shows Beijing swamped by a tide of smog (New York Times $)
  • Sustainable tuna fishing is bad for climate – here’s why (New Scientist)
  • Record number of oil and gas firms go bust as renewable energy revolution begins to bite (Independent)
  • Forest fires a worry for 2017 after ‘problematic and concerning’ lack of NWT snow (CBC News)
  • France to launch inaugural ‘green’ bond this month (Reuters)
  • There were a crazy number of record highs in 2016 (Climate Central)
  • Why drought-resistant farming could be a feminist act in Lesotho (Christian Science Monitor)
  • Drones help communities map flood risk in Dar es Salaam slums (Thomson Reuters Foundation)

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