IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Deadly British heat wave; Deadly floods in India; US heat wave cuts power at nuclear plants; Radioactive water leaking from Fukushima; New EPA Administrator, new fights over fracking and emissions; PLUS: What could possibly go wrong?: Russia building floating nuclear power plants ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Globally, June was 2nd hottest on record: NASA; US Algae Company Turns Sewage Into Biofuel; Alberta tar sands spills: no end in sight; Discounts mean electric car costs near zero; Melting glaciers around the world experiencing ‘Jokulhlaup’; Wildfires spread across warming Arctic boreal forest; Animal welfare activists sue to overturn 'Ag Gag' law... PLUS: 'Elysium': For the wealthy, climate-gated communities. For the rest of us, whatever is left ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Limbaugh's Left-Wing Conspiracy Covers Exercise, Coconut Oil, Global Warming, Michelle Obama (Media Matters)
- Deadly British Heat Wave:
- Wildfire warning: Heatwave death toll as high as 760 - and farms at risk (UK Independent) UK experiences sixth consecutive day of over 30C temperatures
- Deadly Floods in India, 4th Deadliest Weather Disaster Since 2000:
- India floods: More than 5,700 people 'presumed dead' (BBC)
- Poorly planned hydropower plants linked to North India floods (RTCC): Hydropower developers accused of flouting planning regulations, resulting in heavy flooding in Uttarakhand
- D.C. Sets Record With 138 Hours Above 80°F During Brutal Nationwide Heat Wave (Climate Progress)
- Increasing Impacts of Climate Change Already Occurring:
- Insurance Industry, Republicans Split on Climate Change (Bloomberg)
- NASA: Globally, June Was Second Warmest On Record (Climate Progress)
- The Costs of Climate Change and Extreme Weather Are Passing the High-Water Mark (TIME Eco-Centric)
- A Decade of Climate Extremes: Global Climate 2001-2010 [PDF] (World Meteorological Organization)
- Air pollution linked to higher risk of lung cancer and heart failure: (Guardian UK)
- US Heat Wave Cuts Power at Nuke Plants, Foreshadowing Warmer Future:
- Mass. nuke plant adjusts power output in heat wave (Boston Globe)
- Burning Fossil Fuels Imperils Our Ability to Burn Fossil Fuels (Mother Jones) [emphasis added]:
[P]lants account for more than 40% of the fresh water drawn from lakes and rivers in the US each year. But climate change limits access to that water and poses a major threat to our ability to keep power plants running, according to a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists. If plants don't have enough water, they can't operate.
- Climate Change Will Cause More Energy Breakdowns, U.S. Warns (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
The effects are already being felt, the report says. Power plants are shutting down or reducing output because of a shortage of cooling water. Barges carrying coal and oil are being delayed by low water levels in major waterways. Floods and storm surges are inundating ports, refineries, pipelines and rail yards. Powerful windstorms and raging wildfires are felling transformers and transmission lines.... “The cost today is measured in the billions. Over the coming decades, it will be in the trillions. You can’t just put your head in the sand anymore.”
- Aging Nuclear Reactors Pose Safety Challenge: IAEA (Reuters)
- EPA's Gina McCarthy: "We Need to Act on Climate Change" [But Maybe Not Fracking]:
- VIDEO: New EPA Admin McCarthy: 'We have a clear responsibility to act on climate change' (EPA.gov)
- 'Do not operate' quake-linked disposal wells --- EPA draft report (E & E News)
- EPA’s Abandoned Wyoming Fracking Study One Retreat of Many: (Pro Publica) [emphasis added]:
In private conversations, however, high-ranking agency officials acknowledge that fierce pressure from the drilling industry and its powerful allies on Capitol Hill --- as well as financial constraints and a delicate policy balance sought by the White House --- is squelching their ability to scrutinize not only the effects of oil and gas drilling, but other environmental protections as well.
Last year, the agency's budget was sliced 17 percent, to below 1998 levels.
- Pavillion, WY Fracking Pollution Study Dropped By EPA, Investigation Turned Over To State (AP)
- Fracking Pollution Probe in Wyoming Cast in Doubt by EPA (Bloomberg)
- EPA Pulls Its Punches When It Comes to Issuing Findings on Fracking (Center for Media & Democracy)
- EPA's Water Contamination Investigation Halted In Texas After Range Resources Protest (AP)
- U.S. rules on fracking on public lands seen costing drillers dearly; House approves 'fracking,' offshore drilling changes (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Caving to Corporate Pressure, EPA Dropped Fracking Contamination Probe (Common Dreams): 'The deep pocketed oil and gas industry will stop at nothing to protect its own interests'
- House Republicans Gut EPA Budget, Energy Efficiency Standards:
- House GOP to slash environmental, arts funding (AP)
- Republicans Propose Limiting Obama Climate Plan in Budget (Bloomberg)
- Move Over, Light Bulbs: Republicans Pick a Fight With Ceiling Fans (GreenTech Media) [emphasis added]:
The efficiency standards for ceiling fans were requested by the industry itself so they wouldn't have to deal with a patchwork of state-by-state regulations, and the standards were approved in 2005. For those keeping score at home, in 2005, there was a Republican White House, a Republican-run Senate, and a Republican-run House.
- House Republican making the transition from light bulbs to ceiling fans (MaddowBlog, MSNBC)
- Ceiling Fan Makers Strive to Block Efficiency Rules They Once Sought (Roll Call)
- TEPCO Admits Radioactive Water Leaking Into Ocean:
- Operator of crippled Japan nuke plant admits likely that radioactive water leaking into sea (AP) [emphasis added]:
Tokyo Electric Power Co., which operates the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, also came under fire Monday for not disclosing earlier that the number of plant workers with thyroid radiation exposures exceeding threshold levels for increased cancer risks was 10 times what it said released earlier.
- Steam Detected at Damaged Fukushima Reactor: (NY Times):
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant stood ready Thursday to inject boric acid into one of its most heavily damaged reactors after it found steam emanating from the reactor building. The preventive measure would stave off sustained nuclear reactions in the reactor's damaged core, though officials stressed that such reactions were a remote possibility.
- Russia Builds Floating Nuclear Power Plants: (Environment News Service):
So much for the lessons of Fukushima. Never mind oil spills, the Russian Federation is preparing an energy initiative that, if it has problems, will inject nuclear material into the maritime environment.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- VIDEO: For The Wealthy, Climate-Gated Communities. For the Rest of Us, Whatever is Left (Climate Crock of the Week)
- Indonesia's Palm Oil Industry Rife With Human-Rights Abuses (BusinessWeek):
Among the estimated 3.7 million workers in the industry are thousands of child laborers and workers who face dangerous and abusive conditions. Debt bondage is common, and traffickers who prey on victims face few, if any, sanctions from business or government officials.
- US Algae Company Turns Sewage Into Biofuel, In France (Clean Technica)
- Record Heat for the World’s Most Northerly City? (Weather Underground):
Temperatures at Norilsk, Russia peaked at 32.0°C (89.6°F) on Sunday July 21st, one of the warmest readings ever observed at this large city in the Russian Arctic at 69° 20'N latitude, almost as far north as Barrow, Alaska, and one of the warmest temperatures ever measured at such a northerly latitude.
- Animal Welfare Activists File Lawsuite to Overturn UT 'Ag Gag' Law: (AP)
- ‘Nobody understands’ spills at Alberta oil sands operation (Toronto Star): Oil spills at an oil sands operation in Cold Lake, Alberta have been going on for weeks with no end in sight, according to a government scientist.
- How Last Week’s Hearing On The Social Cost Of Carbon Put Right-Wing Objections To Bed (Climate Progress)
- To Spark Buyers for Electric Cars, Drop the Price to Nearly $0 (Wall St. Journal): A new round of discount leases on plug-in cars combined with electric-vehicle incentives, could make a battery-electric car extraordinarily economical
- Melting Glaciers Across The Globe Experiencing ‘Jokulhlaup,’ Icelandic For ‘Glacier Leap’ (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
The idea that glaciers change at a glacial speed is increasingly false. They are melting and retreating rapidly all over the world. But the unpredictable flood surges at the Mendenhall Glacier, about 14 miles from downtown Juneau, Alaska’s capital, are turning a jog into a sprint as global temperatures and climate variability increase.
- BP Judge Refuses to Suspend Spill-Settlement Payments (AP):
[U.S. District Judge Carl] Barbier said he found it "especially offensive" that BP CEO Robert Dudley claimed during an interview televised by CNBC on Thursday that the settlement process has been "hijacked." "Personal attacks, hyperbole and use of such language in my opinion crosses the line," he said.
- Reuters Climate Change Coverage Declined Significantly After "Skeptic" Editor Joined
New Analysis Backs Whistleblower's Claims (Media Matters):A Media Matters study finds that Reuters' coverage of climate change declined by nearly 50 percent under the regime of the current managing editor, lending credence to a former reporter's claim that a "climate of fear" has gripped the agency.
- A Song Of Ice And Fire: Wildfires Force ‘Unprecedented’ Changes In Warming Subarctic Forests (Climate Progress)
- Snow and Arctic sea ice extent plummet suddenly as globe bakes (Washington Post)
- Here's How the Koch Brothers Retaliate Against Journalists They Don't Like (Grist)
- New Study Predicts Dramatic Sea Level Rise: (Reuters):
Sea levels could rise by 2.3 metres for each degree Celsius that global temperatures increase and they will remain high for centuries to come, according to a new study by the leading climate research institute, released on Monday.
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page