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Latest Featured Reports | Tuesday, April 23, 2024
'First Domino Falls' in UAW Effort to Unionize the South: 'BradCast' 4/22/24
Guest: Labor journo Steven Greenhouse; Also: House passes Ukraine aid; Prosecutors accuse Trump of 2016 'election fraud' in NY trial...
Sunday 'Popcorn Ready' Toons
THIS WEEK: Stormy outlook ... Abortion wrongs ... American values ... Earth Day ... And much more in our latest collection of the week's best political toons!...
Bad Climate News for Home, Car Owners; Good Labor News for Workers in the South: 'BradCast' 4/18/24
Also: Jury seated in NY; NV okays abortion initiative; OH Repubs block Biden from ballot...
'Green News Report' 4/18/24
  w/ Brad & Desi
Deluge in Dubai; Climate impacts to cost trillions per year; New lightbulb efficiency standards; PLUS: Biden Admin cracks down on toxic silica dust to protect workers' lungs...
Previous GNRs: 4/16/24 - 4/11/24 - Archives...
SCOTUS Suddenly Worried About Overcriminalization ... for J6 Insurrectionists: 'BradCast' 4/17/24
Guest: LawDork's Chris Geidner; Also: GOP impeachment ends; Turnout doubles in AL...
'Trump Media' Plummeting, MAGA Buyers Losing Life Savings: 'BradCast' 4/16/24
Also: Trump's ridiculous 'immunity'; 7 jurors seated in NY criminal trial; Repubs deliver impeachment to Senate; Smartmatic, OAN settle 2020 defamation suit...
'Green News Report' 4/16/24
Record ocean heat bleaching corals worldwide; EV charging roads in Indiana; Biden raising drilling, mining royalties for first time in a century; PLUS: A marine mystery in Florida...
Trump's First Criminal Trial, for Cheating in 2016, Begins in NY: 'BradCast' 4/15/24
Special coverage of an historic day with Heather Digby Parton of Salon, attorney Keith Barber of Daily Kos...
Sunday 'Party Like It's 1864' Toons
THIS WEEK: Bad politics, good toonery and at least one wake-up call, in our latest collection of the week's best toons!...
Biden Closes 'Gun Show Loophole'; Repubs Turn Desperate: 'BradCast' 4/11/24
RNC Chair says Ukraine our enemy; GA Lt. Guv faces probe; Fox hides AZ abortion ruling, Hannity blames Dems; WI Justice to retire...
'Green News Report' 4/11/24
10th hottest month ever in a row; Swiss climate inaction violates human rights; PLUS: EPA crack down on airborne chemical plant pollution, 'forever chemicals' in drinking water...
BARCODED BALLOTS AND BALLOT MARKING DEVICES
BMDs pose a new threat to democracy in all 50 states...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...


With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 4/9/2024 10:36am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Buckle up! It's going to be a hyperactive hurricane season; New study finds half of the Colorado River's water is used to grow feed for cattle; Good news for CA snowpack, for now; PLUS: Disney's Tomorrowland says goodbye to Yesterdayville... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): European court rules human rights violated by climate inaction; Norfolk Southern agrees to $600 million settlement for fiery Ohio derailment, residents fear it’s not enough; PFAS 'forever chemicals' are pervasive in water worldwide, study finds; Toyota's hybrid bet paying off; Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear reactor damaged following drone attack; Colombia capital Bogota to ration water as reservoirs run dry... PLUS: There’s an explosion of plastic waste. Big plastic manufacturing companies say 'We've got this'... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 4/4/2024 10:31am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.N. officials warn of looming hunger crisis across Southern Africa amid deepening drought; Biden Administration invests billions to innovate and decarbonize manufacturing; Melting polar ice is changing Earth's rotation; PLUS: America's first commercial-scale offshore wind farm is now operational... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Just 57 companies churn out 80% of post-Paris emissions; Warming is getting worse, so scientists just tested a way to deflect the sun; US saw staggering growth in solar and wind power over the last decade; Will Bitcoin, data centers and cannabis risk US climate goals?; Spinning, whirling fish in FL prompt emergency response; US aims to 'crack the code' on deploying geothermal energy at scale; Cranes return to Ukraine: birds of joy in a war-torn land... PLUS: A guide to electric car disinformation... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 3/14/2024 10:34am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Florida Republicans ban local efforts to protect outdoor workers from extreme heat exposure; Fossil fuel industry still not plugging climate-warming methane leaks; Republicans' Project 2025 would withdraw U.S. from Paris Climate Agreement again, and block re-entry; PLUS: California's snowpack is back, but too late to help struggling salmon... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): As heat becomes a national threat, who will be protected?; Arizona’s most populous county has confirmed 645 heat-associated deaths in metro Phoenix last year; Taps run dry in Johannesburg amid record heat wave; Methane emissions are triple government estimates, study finds; ‘Invisible’ water losses in California’s agricultural heartland now match volume of giant reservoir; 7 of the 10 hottest countries in the world are on 1 continent; MA town spent $600K on sand, one winter storm washed it away days later... PLUS: The oceans we knew are already gone... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 1/18/2024 10:41am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.S. Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority appears ready to gut federal agency authority on environmental regulations and more; Social media sites profiting off of a new breed of climate denial, new study finds; PLUS: Frigid Arctic air strands drivers of both electric and gasoline vehicles... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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GNR's now celebrating 14 YEARS of independent green news, politics, analysis, snarky comment and connecting climate change dots over your public airwaves!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): An unprecedented flu strain is attacking hundreds of animal species. Humans could be next; 'Control the narrative': Alabama utility wields influence by financing news; EU bans 'misleading' environmental claims that rely on offsetting; Bird populations are declining. Some are in your neighborhood; Dr. Michael Mann’s defamation case over online attacks finally comes to trial... PLUS: These startups are teaming up to decarbonize cement and concrete... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 12/19/2023 10:22am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Record rain and floods inundate northeast Australia and batter the U.S. East Coast; 2023 unleashed a record number of billion-dollar weather disasters in the U.S.; PLUS: New polls show bipartisan majorities of Americans increasingly want climate action... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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GNR's now celebrating 14 YEARS of independent green news, politics, analysis, snarky comment and connecting climate change dots over your public airwaves!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): El Nino is nearing historic strength and what it means; Why people still fall for fake news about climate change; Thousands of Texas drilling wastewater spills threaten land, water, animals; CA prepares to transform sewage into pure drinking water under new rules; Young voters explain why they’re bailing on Biden — and whether they’d come back; EPA must do more to ensure captured carbon stays underground, report warns... PLUS: 12 climate change books to give friends and family over the holidays... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 12/14/2023 10:54am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: World's nations strike historic agreement to transition away from fossil fuels at COP28 U.N. climate conference; PLUS: Dramatic changes underway in the Arctic, thanks to climate change... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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GNR's now celebrating 14 YEARS of independent green news, politics, analysis, snarky comment and connecting climate change dots over your public airwaves!
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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): COP28: the science is clear — fossil fuels must go; Experts at odds over result of UN climate talks in Dubai; How will El Nino affect the US this winter?; CA wants farmers to capture methane from cow manure, neighbors say no, thanks; Millions infected with Dengue this year in new record amid hotter temperatures; First EV charger funded by infrastructure law now operational; US EPA must do more to ensure captured carbon stays underground - report; Hidden death toll of flooding in Bangladesh sends a grim climate signal... PLUS: 9 climate book stocking stuffers... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 12/5/2023 10:43am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Big breakthrough on Loss and Damage funding at COP28 U.N. climate treaty negotiations in Dubai; Fossil fuel industry works to stop phase-out of fossil fuels; PLUS: Biden EPA's new rule would force removal of all of America's lead water pipes... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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GNR's now celebrating 14 YEARS of independent green news, politics, analysis, snarky comment and connecting climate change dots over your public airwaves!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels to hit record high in 2023; West Virginians could get stuck cleaning up the coal industry's messes; From Pennsylvania to Texas, tracking vinyl chloride production in the U.S.; EPA is aiming to get rid of lead pipes in 10 years, but not in Chicago; 'Forever Chemical' in English tap water samples carcinogenic, WHO rules; Hundreds of new oil and gas projects approved despite climate crisis... PLUS: The environment: another victim of Russia's invasion ... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 11/30/2023 10:52am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: 'Unprecedented' heat waves set all-time high national records in Brazil and South Africa; Commercial jet the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean powered by waste fat and sugar, not fossil fuels; PLUS: President Biden touts booming clean energy jobs, manufacturing in MAGA Republican's district... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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GNR's now celebrating 14 YEARS of independent green news, politics, analysis, snarky comment and connecting climate change dots over your public airwaves!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): CA's Salton Sea has even more lithium than previously thought; Cybersecurity agency warns that water utilities are vulnerable to hackers after PA attack; New life for old coal: Minelands and power plants are hot renewable development spots; Biden Admin sued for hiding records on opposition to fossil fuel phaseout; LA liquefied natural gas facility is the next carbon bomb ... PLUS: Biden’s paradox: Can a green grid coexist with industrial surge?... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 11/28/2023 10:39am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.N. report warns world is far off track to avoid catastrophic warming; Annual U.N. climate conference, COP28, gets underway in oil-rich Dubai; PLUS: International Energy Agency warns fossil fuel industry faces a reckoning... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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GNR's now celebrating 14 YEARS of independent green news, politics, analysis, snarky comment and connecting climate change dots over your public airwaves!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Revealed: Saudi Arabia’s grand plan to ‘hook’ poor countries on oil; As prices fall, EVs and hybrids take hold in light truck market; Fires in Brazil threaten jaguars, houses and plants in the world’s largest tropical wetlands; New Jersey banning sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035; Electric heat costs way less than reports say, new data suggests; TV forecasters talk about climate change but face pushback and threats; US oil and gas production set to break record in 2023 despite UN treaty... PLUS: Former coal towns get money for clean-energy factories... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 11/16/2023 10:07am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.S. is warming faster than the rest of the globe and every region is affected, National Climate Assessment warns; U.S. and China agree to work together to displace fossil fuels and tackle the climate crisis; PLUS: Biden Administration releases new funding to strengthen climate resilience across the nation... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Brazil: Health warnings as country gripped by 'unbearable' heatwave; New York sues PepsiCo over plastic bottles and wrappers that pollute clean water; Two studies on Greenland reveal ominous signs for sea level rise; Canada says it can fight climate change and be major oil nation. Massive fires may force a reckoning; Somalia floods: Bodies unearthed and bridges swept away; COP28 Host UAE has world's biggest climate-busting oil plans, data show... PLUS: How to electrify your life when you rent... and much, MUCH more! ...

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Guests: Matthew Lee and Rev. Dr. Jessica Moerman of the Evangelical Environmental Network; Also: U.S. climate report details nationwide threats; U.S., China deal to displace fossil fuels with renewables...
By Brad Friedman on 11/15/2023 6:54pm PT  

A whole lot of climate related political news converges on today's BradCast. [Audio link to full show follows below this summary.]

You'll not be shocked to learn that Donald Trump is still lying to his followers about climate change, clean renewable energy and electrification. No, as he lied during a recent rally in Texas, California didn't experience "blackouts all over the place this summer". We had zero, in fact, thanks to renewable energy and battery storage, and haven't had one since 2020.

Sadly, however, Trump is hardly the only Republican politician willing to hoax his own supporters on behalf of the deadly fossil fuel industry which funds so much of the party. At last week's GOP Presidential Primary Debate in Miami --- of all places --- none of the candidates even mentioned climate and, shamefully, neither did the NBC News moderators, who failed to ask a single question about the most existential crisis facing our planet. In Miami!

But the facts about the climate crisis, caused largely by the burning of coal, oil and natural gas, continue to flood in, along with our rising and warming seas, whether any particularly party remains in denial or not. On Tuesday, the U.S. Government released its Fifth National Climate Assessment, a 37-chapter, 2,200-page report which includes an interactive atlas that allows users to zoom down to the county level across a nation where warming is far outpacing the global average.

Climate related disasters are touching every corner of the country, and --- in addition to lives lost --- it's costing an extraordinary amount of money. Last year alone cost U.S. tax payers $178 billion in damage from climate-fueled storms, wildfires and droughts, etc. The new report, as terrifying as it may be, is also hopeful, as it details how it is still not too late to implement already existing tools to mitigate at least the worst of the dangers still to come.

And, on Tuesday, the world may have received a big boost toward that goal, with an announcement by the U.S. and China, in advance of President Biden's meeting today with President Xi Jinping, that the two nations have agreed to jointly ramp up the use of wind, solar and other renewable energy in hopes of displacing fossil fuels in the near future. That's a big deal, as both countries agreed to "pursue efforts to triple renewable energy capacity globally by 2030."

But how do we overcome GOP fossil-fuel funded intransigence (and lies) which have made China very wary that any agreement struck now with the U.S. may not be honored if Democrats are displaced from the White House in the future?

That remains a challenge. But there may be a glimmer of hope for the GOP, as a recent op-ed at The Hill details "The global climate solution Republicans have been looking for". What is that solution? A bill recently introduced by three Senate Republicans --- Bill Cassidy (LA), Lindsey Graham (SC), and Roger Wicker (MS) --- called the Foreign Pollution Fee Act of 2023.

What would it do? It would impose a fee on imports of certain carbon-intensive products manufactured in nations without the same kind of environmental regulations that make similar products more expensive to produce in the U.S. Several weeks ago, the European Union announced a similar tax that puts a fair price on carbon emitted during production of goods that are imported into the EU. They call theirs a Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism.

Its sounds kind of geeky, but only because it is. It would, however, according to my guests today, both help to lower emissions around the world and bring overseas jobs back to the U.S.

We're joined today by MATTHEW LEE, author of the aforementioned opinion piece at The Hill and a Federal Policy Specialist at the non-profit Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN). We're also happy to be joined by REV. DR. JESSICA MOERMAN, President and CEO of EEN, which has long carried out the mission of educating and mobilizing evangelical Christians to reclaim the Biblical mandate of caring for creation and working toward a healthy, stable climate.

Lee explains the Republicans' policy proposal, how it would work, and what it hopes to accomplish. Moerman, who, as it turns out, is also (helpfully) a Ph.D. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, also offers her insights into this week's alarming Climate Assessment Report. She was at the White House on Tuesday when the report was released, and when Biden announced $6 billion in new investments to help mitigate the worst of the climate challenges we are all facing.

"For many decades, our country has had higher environmental standards than other countries," Lee tells me today. "American products are among the cleanest in the world. The problem is that because our companies are held to higher standards, there's an incentive for companies to offshore their factories and take advantage of looser regulations abroad in order to increase profits. This is a problem that a carbon border adjustment or foreign pollution fee, or whatever you want to call it, addresses. If companies have an incentive to offshore their factories to take advantage of looser regulations abroad, let's just charge them a fee when they want to import their products back to the U.S."

"Fossil fuel pollution killed 8 million people around the world --- that accounts for 1 in 5 deaths --- in 2018," Lee says. "If there's any way that we can use our policies to incentivize foreign governments to do better in protecting the health and lives of their citizens and children everywhere, that's something that we should get behind. That's something that Republicans would totally get behind, evangelicals, and anyone who really cares for the health and lives of people around the world."

For her part, Moerman assures me this Republican proposal has no poison pills we might otherwise expect from a "Republican climate bill". "I understand your skepticism," she says. "As we are looking at policy options, we always look at, first, does it defend life? Does it make sure that it's defending the health and livelihoods of all people? Does it protect the environment or, as we see it, God's Creation? And, also, does it support those family-sustaining careers in the clean economy? This one checks all of those boxes."

In speaking about evangelical community's move to the political right in recent decades, Moerman contends "we are seeing a real shift in our community. As evangelicals, we are people who take the Bible seriously. That means we also have to take seriously our biblical mandate to care for God's Creation." She explains that progress is being made in her community "whenever we talk about it in this framing. Take climate out of the partisan political space, the culture war space, and really root it in scripture, in our faith of following through on our values of honoring God, by taking that stewardship mandate seriously. And also loving our neighbor by ensuring that they have that healthy environment and safe climate to thrive in."

Will it work? Will Republicans in Congress take hold of that mandate when, as Moerman notes, "20% of deaths [across the world] can be attributed to fossil fuel pollution"? She says the U.S. steel, aluminum and even oil and gas industry is supporting the bill, "so that should make Republicans pay attention."

We'll see. I remain skeptical, but hopeful. Lee says that Wicker has taken his name off the measure, so we'll see if that is a bad omen. But, we've got to do something, at this point, and we need to do it fast. At least if "God's Creation" might have a chance of surviving our ever-worsening climate nightmares...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 10/10/2023 9:55am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Big victory for striking auto workers demanding a just transition to electric vehicles; Glacial outburst flood in India kills dozens, damages significant infrastructure; Millions of children displaced every year due to extreme weather disasters; PLUS: Climate change is coming for your olive oil... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Deadly humid heat could hit billions, spread as far as US Midwest; Pacific coast of Mexico preps for a one-two punch from Max and Lidia; Heat, high water, hurricanes: schools are not ready for climate change; Rich, white communities most likely to oppose wind farms, study finds; How incarcerated people are helping to restore a fragile ecosystem; Mega CAFOs on the Chesapeake... PLUS: 'Without water, there is no life': drought in Brazil's Amazon... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/26/2023 10:30am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: New Orleans declares emergency over saltwater intrusion in drinking water; Fracking operations are "devouring America's groundwater" amid persistent drought; PLUS: Republicans' government shutdown will suspend critical operations like FEMA disaster recovery... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Facing 'horrific' sea level rise, Tuvalu crafts climate survival plan; Thousands of federal firefighters face a looming pay cut. How much is up to Congress; Exxon weighs chemicals output boost as EVs threaten gasoline use; Follow the Money: Why is an Arab oil man running international climate conference?; Heat-related deaths in 2022 hit highest level on record in England... PLUS: Time to Evolve: Dad goes viral on replacing gas stove... and much, MUCH more! ...

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With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/12/2023 9:57am PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: First Greece, now catastrophic Libya floods cause widespread death and devastation; First-ever Africa Climate Summit issues call for global carbon tax on fossil fuels; U.N. report warns world is way off track to curb global warming; PLUS: Climate protesters interrupt U.S. Open Tennis Championship... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): U.S. hits new record for number of billion-dollar weather disasters in a single year; Experts warn of 'denialism comeback' ahead of November’s climate talks; Trump border wall caused major cultural and environmental harm; Heat brings Texas grid closest it has been to outages since 2021 Winter; FEMA announces $3 billion for climate resiliency as time runs low for Congress to replenish its disaster fund; Congress enters pivotal week on spending... PLUS: Conspiracy theories falsely link wildfires to 'smart cities'... and much, MUCH more! ...

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Guest: Thomas Frank of E&E News; Also: Globe continues to swelter; GOP's climate change 'solution'; Trump loses again in federal court...
By Brad Friedman on 7/19/2023 6:46pm PT  

Just last week, amid record temperatures, massive flooding and the choking smoke across a dozen states from hundreds of wildfires, U.S. House "Freedom Caucus" Chair Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), partying like it's 1999, declared during a Congressional hearing that climate change is "a problem that doesn't exist." Today's BradCast, demonstrable scientific facts, and the insurance industry running for the exits from Ron DeSantis' Florida, all beg to differ. [Audio link to full show follows below this summary.]

First up, it was another humiliating loss for the disgraced former President in court today, as a federal judge soundly rejected Donald Trump's effort to move Alvin Bragg's 34 felony count indictment in New York from state to federal court. The judge found in his order that, "Hush money paid to an adult film star is not related to a President’s official acts. It does not reflect in any way the color of the President’s official duties." Thus, the criminal case against Trump will remain in state court and Trump will not be allowed to have the Dept. of Justice substituted as defendant instead of him. He will have to answer for his own acts of fraud in paying out nearly half a million dollars --- while serving in the White House --- in hopes of covering up his payoffs to a porn star to help him win the 2016 election.

Beyond that, no more Trump news for today! (You're welcome!) Though we've got a lot of consequences from our worsening climate crisis which may or may not be more welcome.

A few House Republicans, of late, are pretending they are not climate crisis deniers anymore. Their plan: Hugely increase the production of the fossil fuels that are responsible for global heating, but plant a whole bunch of trees --- a trillion of them, in fact (which would require a space as large as the continental U.S.) --- to make balance it all out. Or something. The ridiculous plan, of course, wouldn't even come close to working. We discuss.

Then, after a quick spin around the nation and globe today, through hundreds of shattered heat records and sweltering cities and tourist attractions throughout Europe and the U.S. over the past several weeks (with no end in sight), we land back in Florida, where the insurance industry continues to head for the doors. Last week it was Farmers. This week, AAA. There are no climate denialists, as it turns out, in the insurance actuarial business.

Premiums for homeowners insurance have risen about 7% over the past year nationwide, on average. But they have spiked some 40% in Ron DeSantis' Florida as ocean temps in the south of the state reach bathwater temps of over 90 degrees. All a recipe for hurricane disaster as this year's storm season is barely underway.

We're joined today by Pulitzer Prize finalist THOMAS FRANK, climate impacts reporter for E&E News, where he focuses on disasters, disaster recovery and federal efforts by FEMA and other federal agencies to serve as a backstop to the growing number of billion dollar disasters across the nation.

We spoke with Frank last year, just after Hurricane Ian devastated parts of Florida, including parts inland where few even bother to buy flood insurance. Even if they want to now, it's nearly impossible for many to afford it.

"The recent news involving Farmers, one of the nation's largest insurance companies, and AAA, is the opposite of what the Governor and the State Legislature envisioned happening when they had a special session back in December and enacted a couple of laws aimed at bringing insurers back. Those are very bad signals," Frank explains, detailing why the state's insurance market continues to collapse, along with fears that the housing market itself may not be far behind.

But the DeSantis denial continues. Last week, the Florida Governor and 2024 GOP hopeful invoked what one media wag describes as his "wish upon a star" strategy. DeSantis claimed insurance companies would soon return to the state. "I think they're gonna wait through this hurricane season," he told rightwing radio host Howie Carr, before adding, "Knock on wood we won't have a big storm this summer."

It's not only Florida, of course, though it is a canary in the national coal mine. The climate crisis --- created by the burning of fossil fuels --- is flashing bright red warning signs everywhere at this point, even as the fossil fuel industry and mostly Republican politicians they have bought off, continue to shamefully ignore, obfuscate and lie about it as long as they can.

"The phrase you use, 'canary in the coal mine' is completely appropriate," Frank tells me. Florida, he says, is "a canary in the coal mine for hurricane-prone states. California is the canary in the coal mine for wildfire-prone states. People in Colorado, Oregon and Washington should be watching California. It's a similar scenario unfolding there."

"What you're starting to see happen is the insurance industry is becoming aware of climate risks, and they're starting to incorporate that into their prices. If someone has to pay $7,000 for their home on the coast of Florida, maybe that is what they should pay," he argues. "The reality is that the insurance industry --- I know a lot of people hate it --- but one thing it does very well is it prices risk. That's all it does. When the insurance industry starts increasing your premiums, they're not doing it because they just want to scam you, they're doing it because that's what their actuaries and algorithms think the risk is to your home."

"You see that happening in a lot of states," says Frank, recent adjustments to premium pricing in parts of Colorado. "You are building in a wildfire zone. Colorado had a couple of very bad wildfires in the past year. So insurers start raising their rates, they start leaving the state, cancelling policies, non-renewing policies. It's happening in more and more states. It's a trend that is not going to be reversed."

Sounds like a very real problem. Then again, we could just start planting a lot of trees, knock on wood, and hope for the best...

CLICK TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD SHOW!...

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