In today’s edition, Greens are furious: on the one hand, President Obama goes to Alaska to alert voters on the disastrous effects of climate change, and on the other, he gives the go-ahead to Shell to drill for oil in Alaska’s Arctic waters. Also, climate change could bring twice as many big El Niños, scientists say, while others (in the Water section) wonder what will happen when the floods hit drought-parched California. Finally, (in the Carbon section), the Obama administration is expected to propose as soon as Tuesday the first-ever federal regulation to cut emissions of methane.

Quote of the day

“The president cannot have it both ways. Announcing a tour of Alaska to highlight climate change days before giving Shell the final approval to drill in the Arctic ocean is deeply hypocritical.”

Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard, in Politico’s story Greens decry Obama’s Shell game  

Lead stories

Greens decry Obama’s Shell game  
By Elana Schor – Politico 
President Barack Obama crushed greens’ hearts Monday by giving Shell the final go-ahead to drill for oil in Alaska’s Arctic waters, just two weeks after he thrilled them by issuing his landmark regulations on climate change.

Arctic Drilling Approval Threatens Obama’s Climate Legacy 
By Katherine Bagley – InsideClimate News  
The Obama administration’s final approval of Royal Dutch Shell’s drilling for oil in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea provoked an angry reaction on Monday from environmentalists who had come to consider President Obama a champion in the fight against climate change. 

Warming will hurt the poor but boost the rich in the short term 
New Scientist
Climate change could initially benefit rich countries while damaging the economies of poor nations. 
***LB: Also in this story “That’s the conclusion of a new way of modelling its impact, which challenges earlier forecasts. Previous methods of estimating the economic effects of climate change usually looked at how individual sectors like agriculture or tourism would be affected, then added them all up to give the net effect on each country’s economy.”  

Climate change could bring twice as many big El Niños 
By Sammy Roth – The Desert Sun 
Scientists have long wondered whether rising global temperatures will lead to an increase in intense El Niño events, like the one that could bring major storms to Southern California this winter. According to a groundbreaking study published Monday, the answer is a resounding, “Yes.”

Can an Islamic climate change declaration inspire 1.6B Muslims? 
By Lisa Friedman – E&E 
Islamic leaders from around the globe tomorrow will unveil a declaration calling on the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims to embrace climate change action as part of their religious duty. 

Can the church shift the balance to renewable energy in the Philippines? 
By Judith Balea – The Guardian
In June, the Catholic church in the Philippines joined the One Million Against Coal Campaign, which aims to gather at least one million signatures nationwide in a bid to pressure the government to reverse the approval of dozens of coal power plants meant to address the country’s energy security concerns.


EMA Annual Meeting
October 28-30, 2015
Omni Parker House Hotel
Boston, MA 

2015 Rising Seas Summit 
Association of Climate Change Officers 
November 12-13, 2015, Cambridge, MA   


U.S. Is Set to Propose Regulation to Cut Methane Emissions
By Coral Davenport – The New York Times 
The Obama administration is expected to propose as soon as Tuesday the first-ever federal regulation to cut emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming, by the nation’s oil and natural-gas industry, officials familiar with the plan said on Monday.

Turning CO2 emissions into plastic with algae? It may not be as crazy as it sounds 
By Niina Heikkinen – E&E  
From polyester shirts, plastic milk jugs and PVC pipes to the production of high-grade industrial ethanol, the contribution of the chemical feedstock ethylene can be found just about everywhere around the globe.  

Natural gas / coal 

Papal Encyclical On Climate Change Puts Coal Country Catholics In Tough Spot 
By Aaron Shrank – NPR (+Audio) 
Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment is getting a thorough reading in Wyoming, which is the country’s top coal-producing state.


Are carbon taxes working? ScottishPower confirms March 2016 closing date for Longannet coal power plant 
By James Murray – BusinessGreen 
ScottishPower has today confirmed it is to close the giant Longannet coal-fired power station on 31 March next year, arguing the “combination of high carbon taxes and high transmission charging” had made the plant uneconomic.

Clean tech 

Dongfeng to jointly develop green cars with Saab owner 
Chinese automakers Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd and National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), which bought bankrupt carmaker Saab in 2012, signed an agreement Monday to jointly develop green cars, the state-owned Xinhua news agency reported. 

Apple driverless car rumours fuelled by test facility talks 
By James Phillips – BusinessGreen
Tech giant Apple appears to be developing a self-driving vehicle near its Silicon Valley base in California, according to recently revealed documents.


What will happen when the floods hit drought-parched California?  
By Heather Mack  – grist  
After four years of a near-biblical dry spell, it’s hard to think of California ever getting wet again.
***LB: Also in this story “Just last week climatologists announced that the “Godzilla El Niño” could drench California this winter. Droughts often end in floods. That may sound like a welcome respite, but it will almost certainly hurt: Going from drought to flood is one of the toughest switches to make.”

Central Asian glaciers thaw fast in threat to hydro power, farms  
By Alister Doyle – Reuters
Mountain glaciers in Central Asia have shrunk four times faster than the world average, threatening river flows vital for agriculture and hydro power from Uzbekistan to western China, scientists said on Monday. 

Global warming is reversing 1,800 years of natural ocean cooling, study finds 
By Steve Connor – The Independent  
Man-made global warming has triggered a reversal of the natural ocean cooling that has occurred over the past 1,800 years, a study has found.

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