IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Puerto Rico still in the grip of crisis, six months after Hurricane Maria; New documents reveal Trump's FEMA failed to respond to calls for assistance; Your bottled water is likely contaminated with microscopic plastic; Congress rejects Trump's EPA budget cuts again in federal spending bill; PLUS: Another charismatic species slips into extinction because of humans... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Why Are There Suddenly So Many Nor'Easters?; Oil Companies Conveniently Think Climate Science Stopped in 2013; Public lands are being sold in secret on the internet; Major insurers lost billions on natural disasters in 2017, they say climate change a ‘serious’ risk; Global Carbon Emissions Hit Record High In 2017; Flooding And Heavy Rains Rise 50% Worldwide In A Decade, Figures Show; Tougher Climate Policies Could Save 150 Million Lives, Researchers Find... PLUS: America's Misguided War on Childhood Lead Exposures... and much, MUCH more! ...
On today's BradCast: Big wins for Democrats, a public face-plant for a renowned GOP "voter fraud" fraudster, more on Irma's historic devastation, and the scientific facts behind what helped to make it so devastating, from someone who actually knows. [Audio link to full show is posted below.]
Before we get to the increasingly disturbing situation on the ground following Hurricane Irma in Florida and elsewhere --- and why that storm and Harvey before it were so terrible in the first place --- a few news items of note today. First up: Democrats took over two different state legislative seats in special elections wins on Tuesday, one in Oklahoma and one in New Hampshire. Both races were in districts that Trump won by very large margins last November. The victories for Dems --- including huge reported vote swings from R to D --- are of a piece with a series of other special elections held so far this year, including four in Oklahoma alone.
In, yes, related news, former President Jimmy Carter offered some noteworthy statements on North Korea that President Donald Trump may wish to notice, and also some words about worldwide democracy and the need for public oversight of ballot counting.
In the meantime, following some wildly misleading claims about stolen elections and "voter fraud" in New Hampshire from Kris Kobach, the vice-chair of Trump's so-called "Election Integrity" Commission and Sec. of State of Kansas, panelists and members of his own commission, including NH's own Sec. of State, blasted the GOP "voter fraud" fraudster, to his face, during the Commission's second public meeting, held on Tuesday in...NH!
While Republicans are very quick to use even the most sketchy threads of "evidence" they can possibly discover to claim that our democracy has fallen victim to a massive Democratic "voter fraud" conspiracy --- and that we must take radical steps to prevent it, even if it means millions of our fellow citizens lose their RIGHT to vote --- there is, apparently, a very different standard for "evidence" when it comes to climate change. On that, decades of peer-reviewed evidence and tens of thousands of studies don't seem to do the trick, for some reason. That evidence, is simply dismissed by the GOP's fossil fuel-funded cronies. Now it's costing the U.S. --- and the planet --- bigly.
After an update on the death toll and deteriorating conditions in some parts of Florida following Hurricane Irma, we're joined by Penn State University climate scientist and authorDR. MICHAEL E. MANN, to discuss what made Hurricanes Harvey and Irma so historically extraordinary (and deadly) and why now is absolutely the right time, despite claims to the contrary by top officials in the Trump Administration and their fellow wingnut denialist community, to discuss the growing impact of our climate crisis and the relationship between that and hurricanes, flooding, wild fires, drought and more across the globe.
"In a word, warmth," Mann tells me when I ask him why Harvey and Irma, from a meteorological perspective, were so uniquely devastating. "Warm oceans mean more moisture in the atmosphere, moisture that's available for record rainfall like we saw in Harvey. It also means greater intensification of these storms --- and indeed, we saw the most intense hurricane ever in the open Atlantic, Irma, at a 185 miles per hour."
He notes that "over the last three years, when global ocean temperatures have been at their warmest, we've seen the strongest hurricane ever, globally, which was Patricia in the Pacific a couple of years ago, we have seen, obviously, the strongest storm in the Northern Hemisphere [Irma]. We've also seen the strongest storm in the Southern Hemisphere [Winston]."
"We've warmed the global oceans more than one degree Fahrenheit. That amounts to about a 7% increase in wind speeds. That 7% increase in wind speed means roughly 20% increase in destructive potential. It's not coincidental that we're noticing that. That is not a subtle climate signal. That is a very tangible impact that warming is having on the destructive potential of these storms."
Mann goes on to explain how the U.S. is "falling behind" Europe when it comes to investment, and accurate results, in climate and weather forecasts; responds to critics who use "straw men" and denial to "muddy the waters" and "poison the well"; draws an interesting parallel between Superstorm Sandy and the Sandy Hook mass murder, in response to those who say "now is not the time to discuss climate"; explains why he believes, as a professor of meteorology, there are still so many broadcast meteorologists in the dwindling denier community (and casts some of the blame for that on his own Penn State); and why he feels that recent comments about climate change from Sen. John McCain may offer reason for optimism.
"Ironically, the era of Trump, as adverse as it might feel when it comes to climate action, may ironically be creating a divide within the Republican Party that could end up leading to a governing coalition for action on climate," says the ever optimistic Mann near the end of today's conversation...
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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Ad wars: Clean energy advocates want you to vote --- so the fossil fuel industry is attacking them; Colorado's highest court overturns local fracking bans; Big climate victory for kids in court in Washington State; Big conservation victories for lions and elephants; PLUS: Kenya's big bonfire of the ivories - to stop illegal trade and save elephants... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Global Warming Could Deplete The Oceans’ Oxygen – With Severe Results; 4 Arrested In Murder Of Honduran Activist Berta Cáceres; Persistent Water and Soil Contamination Found at N.D. Wastewater Spills; Armed Guards At India's Dams As Drought Grips Country; Hawaii's Last Sugar Harvest Paves Way For A Fight On The Land's Future; Dredging of Miami Port Badly Damaged Coral Reef... PLUS: After a Comeback, New Challenges for Yellowstone’s Grizzly Bears... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Surprise! Second toxic chemical also contaminating WV's water supply; Texas homeowners don't care for fracking earthquakes; Southern leg of Keystone XL pipeline now open for business; Score one for the Arctic - court setback for Shell's Arctic Adventure; PLUS: Full speed ahead for L.A.'s first-ever outdoor pro hockey game --- in a record heat wave... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Obama: Fossil fuels are here to stay; Targets of climate hate mail rally to support one another; Coal terminals and climate chaos: is this the future we want?; WA State moves on its own to stop ocean acidification; How Oil Drilling Is Like the "Civil Rights Revolution"; Extreme El Nino events to double ... PLUS: Big Green to Obama: "All of the above" a compromise we can't afford ... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Deadly flash floods after "biblical" rains in CO; Senate Republicans hold energy efficiency bill hostage; Clean up or close up: EPA's new rules put the squeeze on coal; Huge new aquifers discovered in Kenya; Debunking the Daily Mail/Fox 'News' ruse about '60% increase in Arctic ice' ruse; PLUS: Molasses spill kills thousands of fish in Hawaii ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): EPA Chemist Who Revealed Twin Towers Toxic Dust Fired; Utilities Realize Solar Energy's Threat to their Survival; Boulder Colorado and the Quest for Local Control of Energy; CNBC’s Joe Kernen Lies About Climate Change on Squawk Box; '50 dirtiest' US power plants emit more greenhouse gases than South Korea; Australian military: Climate change is a 'threat multiplier'; Tesla challenges BMW on home turf; Nuclear energy on 'collision course' with U.S. water supplies ... PLUS: VIDEO: A Climate Alarm, Too Muted for Some ... and much, MUCH more! ...
Kenya's electoral commission has said that a computer bug is to blame for a large number of rejected votes in the tallying of the presidential election.
Issack Hassan said the computer was multiplying each rejected vote by a factor of eight.
This led to huge disputes and allegations of fraud.
Vote-tallying has been restarted by hand following this and other glitches but Uhuru Kenyatta still has a large lead over Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
"For any rejected vote for any candidate, they were being multiplied by eight," said the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman.
The number of rejected votes has fallen dramatically from more than 330,000 - 6% - during an initial count, to 58,644.
Ah, yes. An imperfect version of "Democracy's Gold Standard" (publicly hand-counted paper ballots at the precinct --- so, perhaps we'll call what they'll now be using in Kenya the "Silver Standard") to save the day again.
How long before folks realize that's the way that every self-respecting, self-governing democracy ought to be counting ballots in their elections in the first place?
Please support The BRAD BLOG's fiercely independent, award-winning coverage of your electoral system, as available from no other media outlet in the nation --- now in our TENTH YEAR! --- with a donation to help us keep going (Snail mail, more options here). If you like, we'll send you some great, award-winning election integrity documentary films in return! Details right here...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Government shutdown showdown, now starring FEMA in the role of 'Hostage'!; GOP candidate Herman Cain bucks his party, says 'fund FEMA now'; More than 100 arrested in very polite Canadian pipeline protest; Celebrating the legacy of one woman in Africa; PLUS: Climate Science Rapid Response Team, ACTIVATE! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Appalachian leaders turn tables at congressional mountaintop removal field hearing; BP oil spill affected Gulf fish cell function; Obama On Perry: ‘You’ve got a governor whose state is on fire, denying climate change’; Japanese rice radiation levels prompt more tests; 'Unavoidable climate disruption' locked in; Oil co's flaring natural gas on the ND prairie; Labour Party threatens UK's six biggest energy companies; DOE report: U.S. should focus on transportation fuels; Proof that fracking can make water flammable; New lithium ion battery charges faster, runs longer; BP will be messing up Australia next; China invests $313B on clean tech; U.S. military moving to clean energy; Moving Planet actions around the globe; Only 8 fish stocks out of 136 by 2022; Media fact-check on Solyndra bankruptcy; the American 'allergy' to global warming...PLUS: U.S. Engineers: We have all the tech we need to cut carbon ...
Reports of hundreds dead in violent riots following Kenya's recent Presidential election continue. In the contested race, the incumbent President Kibaki was announced the winner, despite "pre-election opinion polls and early media tallies" which suggest that the challenger, Odinga, should have won.
[Chief EU observer Alexander Graf Lambsdorff] said his mission had evidence of presidential tallies announced in polling stations on the election being inflated by the time they were released by the electoral commission in Nairobi.
Got that? Because results were announced at the polling place before being sent away, it was possible for there to be checks and balances by election observers against the official central count as released, and possibly gamed, by the centralized election officials.
We'd hope the above point will be carefully noted by folks like Ohio SoS Jennifer Brunner, who has recently recommended against decentralized precinct-based counting, in favor of central county-level counting (see our recent exclusive interview with her on those points); those who have been pushing for all Vote-by-Mail elections of late; and those folks who are monitoring Iowa's caucuses on Thursday.