IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Catastrophic floods in Germany and Central Europe show nowhere is safe from our worsening climate emergency; Parts of Amazon rainforest now emit more carbon than they absorb; PG&E says its equipment ignited CA's Dixie Fire; PLUS: High-tide flooding hit a new record in the U.S. last year. NASA warns it's about to get much, much worse... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): The Age of Megafires: The World Hits a Climate Tipping Point; Climate-Driven Changes in Clouds are Likely to Amplify Global Warming; How a Powerful US Lobby Group API Helps Big Oil To Block Climate Action; U.S. Wheat Crop Is in Trouble; Schumer Tees Up Bipartisan Infrastructure Vote After GOPers Urge Delay; Dems Propose a Border Tax Based on Countries’ Greenhouse Gas Emissions... PLUS:
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Western electric grid stress-tested by massive wildfires and 3rd extreme heat wave in a month; California Gov. Newsom expands state drought emergency declaration; June 2021 the hottest June ever recorded in U.S. history; PLUS: Rightwing weather? Fox 'News' to launch its own weather channel... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 5 ways the West is struggling to cope with historic heat waves; Italy Shielding a Glacier from Heat; 43 bodies found in Arizona borderland amid brutal heat; US drilling approvals increase despite Biden climate pledge; Studies Converge On The Benefits Of A Rapid Clean Energy Transition; Climate Scientists Take Swipe At Exxon Mobil, Industry In Leaked Report; UN Sets Out Paris-Style Plan To Cut Extinction Rate By Factor Of 10... PLUS: On climate policy, there's one main thing and then there's everything else... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: First named storm of the 2021 hurricane season makes deadly landfall in the U.S.; New study confirms the U.S. Southwest is much drier than just decades ago; The amount of heat trapped by the planet has roughly doubled since 2005; PLUS: Sen. Bernie Sanders draws bright red line against regressive taxes in endless infrastructure talks... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Drought and Record Heat in the West: The Climate Change Connection; Plan to raze 4 dams on California-Oregon line clears hurdle; Companies bet carbon labels can help the climate. Will consumers catch on?; 'Historic': Belgium Court Says Inadequate Climate Policy a Human Rights Violation; UN Irks Australia By Urging That Great Barrier Reef Be Listed 'In Danger'; New Oilfield In African Wilderness Threatens Lives Of 130,000 Elephants... PLUS: City Sinking Into Sea Welcomes Bitcoin Miners... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Biden doubles FEMA disaster funding as NOAA forecasts another intense hurricane season; U.S. renewable energy deployment hits record pace in 2021; PLUS: Republicans reject corporate tax increases to fund major infrastructure upgrades... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): On 60th anniversary of JFK's 'Moon Shot' speech, climate action is our Moon Shot; Summer forecast calls for intensifying drought across American West; G7 to end state financing for coal power plants this year; Sewer Energy: How your hot showers and toilet flushes can help the climate; Carbon storage offers hope for climate, cash for farmers; Biden reimposes Obama-era federal flood standard for rebuilding; Trump EPA censored science policy to approve toxic weedkiller... PLUS: The fight for the soul – and the future – of ExxonMobil... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: The Earth's new normal is hotter than it used to be, thanks to global warming; Alarming news for the planet's glaciers; California accuses Nestle of stealing millions of gallons of water; Major flaws in state's forest carbon offset program; PLUS: Biden cancels Trump border wall funding, money saved will repair environmental damage... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): China's greenhouse gas emissions now larger than all developed countries combined; Emissions cuts could drop the impact of melting ice on oceans by half; Maine fishing interests seek ban on offshore wind; Methane is a major global warming, health menace: UN report; As cars go electric, China is set to rule electric car production; In the West, drought disaster looms; Leaked slides show natural gas industry is freaking out... PLUS: How melting glaciers have accelerated a shift in Earth’s axis... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.S. global threat assessment warns climate change is a clear and present danger; Japan to dump Fukushima's radioactive wastewater into the Pacific Ocean; Biden's budget seeks to undo Trump's damage; Atmospheric methane hits largest single-year increase on record; PLUS: To combat climate change, France moves to ban short airline flights... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): China ‘Must Shut 600 Coal-Fired Plants’ To Hit Climate Target; Big Companies Line Up to Crush Green Transparency Resolutions; Study Finds Lower Life Expectancy Around Superfund Sites; Tribal Lawsuit Halts Donlin Gold Mine; 'Seismic shift' at FERC could kill natural gas pipelines; Florida To Close Wastewater Reservoir With Leak History... PLUS: DDT’s Toxic Legacy Can Harm Granddaughters Of Women Exposed: Study... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.S. Senate confirms historic nomination of Rep. Deb Haaland as Interior Secretary; Jackson, MS still without clean drinking water one month after winter storm; US dams and levees get D grades from American engineers; Democrats turn to crafting massive infrastructure bill, with focus on climate resilience; PLUS: February 2021 was the 16th warmest February globally... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): New E.P.A. Head Says Agency Has Climate Regulations Underway; Congress Launches Probe Into Multibillion-Dollar 'Clean Coal' Tax Credit; Cold War Ice Core Reveals Greenland Was Recently Ice-Free; Countries Tried to Curb Trade in Plastic Waste. The US Is Shipping More; Western States Chart Diverging Paths As Water Shortages Loom; Tiny Town, Big Decision: What Are We Willing to Pay to Fight Rising Sea?; Auto industry urges emissions deal weaker than Obama’s; 8-month PFAS disclosure gap draws backlash for MI officials... PLUS: Capitol mob may have trashed 3 Trump pollution rules... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.S. on verge of breaking its record for the most billion-dollar disasters in a single year; California insurers canceling homeowner policies due to record wildfires; PLUS: U.N. warns world must pick up the pace in cutting greenhouse gas emissions... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): It’s close but 2020 likely to end up hottest year on record; Biochar Traps Water and Fixes Carbon in Soil, Helping the Climate; Scientists Cheered By Bowhead Whale Recovery Despite Arctic Warming; The End Of Coal? Investors Aren't Buying Myth Of Industry's 'Renaissance'; Pollution, poverty and pandemic: A community on edge; FEMA seeks to slash disaster aid as Trump heads for exit... PLUS: Plastic pipes are polluting drinking water systems after wildfires, increase risk in urban fires... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Scientists warn of dramatic transformation in the Arctic; Trump EPA makes it even harder to enact new pollution rules; Another chemical plant explosion, this time in West Virginia; PLUS: New York State's giant pension fund is divesting from fossil fuels... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): In Georgia, Hit by Hurricanes and Drought, Climate Change Is on Ballot; ‘Buy it or else’: Inside Monsanto and BASF’s moves to force dicamba on farmers; Global soils underpin life but future looks ‘bleak’, warns UN report; 'Everything is drying up': As springs on Hopi land decline, a sacred connection is threatened; Earth Still Sailing Into Climate Chaos, UN Says, But Course Could Shift; Trump kick-starts oil drilling license sales in Arctic refuge on Jan. 6; Abandoned Oil And Gas Wells Leave The Ocean Floor Spewing Methane... PLUS: The fate of Scotland's salmon depends on its forests ... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.K. accelerates phase-out of gasoline and diesel cars to 2030; U.S. carmakers knew 50 years ago that burning fossil fuels causes global warming and then lied about it; Trump Interior Department allows states to veto federal conservation projects; October 2020 only the fourth hottest October on record; PLUS: San Francisco upgrades building codes to phase out fossil fuels... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Iota’s devastation comes into focus in storm-weary Nicaragua; GM announces plans for 30 new EVs by 2025; An Unlikely Alliance of Farm and Environmental Groups Takes on Climate Change; No Senate? No problem, progressive group New Consensus tells Biden; Amazon road-building could deforest millions of hectares: report; Trump pushes new environmental rollbacks on way out the door; Loeffler-Warnock Ga. Senate Runoff Offers Extreme Contrasts on Climate; Klamath: Historic Deal Revives Plan For Largest US Dam Demolition... PLUS: RoboCop Sets Sail: A new generation of autonomous vessels is looking to catch illegal fishers in the act... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Hurricane Sally batters AL, FL, GA with record rain, flooding; West Coast wildfires and climate change believed responsible for mass die-off of migratory birds in Southwest; Trump appoints notorious climate science denier to federal climate science agency; PLUS: 175-year-old science magazine issues first political endorsement ever... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Dual disasters: How is climate change worsening wildfires and hurricanes?; Climate Change Will Force a New American Migration; There is only one name left on the 2020 Atlantic hurricane list. So what's next?; Fives States Have Filed Climate Change Lawsuits, Seeking Damages From Big Oil and Gas... PLUS: Senate 2020: In Alabama, Two Very Different Views on Climate Change Give Voters a Clear Choice... and much, MUCH more! ...
On today's BradCast: Last year, a federal judge in Georgia banned the state's 20-year old, unverifiable touchscreen voting systems, finding them to be "unsecure, unreliable and grossly outdated" and, thus, effectively unconstitutional for use in federal elections. This week, that same federal judge held a hearing to determine whether the new unverifiable touchscreen voting systems Georgia has chosen to use this year for the first time are any better, or whether the Peach State should have listened to the cybersecurity and voting systems experts who strongly urged the state to move, instead, to a verifiable hand-marked paper ballot system. [Audio link to show follows below.]
But first today, Hurricane Sally slammed ashore near the Alabama / Florida border this morning. As predicted, the very slow moving storm is packing a punch, with rainfall "measured in feet, not inches swamping homes and forcing the rescue of hundreds of people as it pushed inland." Desi Doyen joins us for the latest on that slow moving disaster as water is quickly rising, rescues continue, the storm moves into Georgia, and as more hurricanes are already lining up behind it in an already record breaking Atlantic hurricane season (which still continues until late November!)
Even as that climate change-intensified disaster unfolds on the heels of Hurricane Laura just three weeks ago (with thousands still without power and in shelters in Louisiana), along with the record deadly climate-fueled wildfires out west, Donald Trump has chosen --- amid all of this --- a notorious climate science denier for a top position on "environmental observation and prediction" at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
If those stories don't underscore the existential importance of this year's elections, we don't know what would.
On that score, the final state Primary Elections of the 2020 season were held on Tuesday in Joe Biden's adopted home state of Delaware, with most ballots cast by mail, and with both masks and social distancing in place at the polls. Happily, there have been no reported voting problems to come to my attention yet and, as expected, there were few surprises in the reported computer-tallied results. Some of them, however, are either eyebrow raising, historic, or just plain fun. Among those categories is the QAnon conspiracist who is now the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in the state; the first openly transgender person to (almost certainly) win a seat in a state Senate; and the 12-year, Democratic state legislator who opposed same-sex marriage being beaten soundly on Tuesday --- in a landslide --- by a local, gay, progressive drag queen!
And with the primaries finally (and thankfully!) out of the way, we move straight to the general elections and back to Georgia, which Democrats hope to flip from red to blue in the Presidential election this year for the first time in decades. But it's also a state where not one, but two vulnerable Republican U.S. Senators are facing tough re-election challenges from Democrats.
There is a lot riding politically on the state of Georgia this year, which makes this week's much-anticipated three-day virtual hearing in an Atlanta federal court all the more critical. When the second day of the three-day hearing which wrapped up this week, regarding the security of the state's vulnerable new computer voting, pollbook and tabulation systems was interrupted --- "Zoom bombed" --- with photos of the 9/11 attacks, swastikas and pornography posted by a user calling him or herself "Osama", it would have been impossible for U.S. District Court Judge Amy Totenberg to miss the irony.
"It was a very sobering reminder of just how vulnerable electronics are, and just how targeted the United States and our elections are right now," says MARILYN MARKS, our guest today. She is Executive Director of the non-partisan Coalition for Good Governance, a lead plaintiff in the long-running case. She says it served as a reminder of the need to "get hand-marked paper ballots that are verifiable and auditable."
The Coalition is suing for a ruling that would find Georgia's new, unverifiable, $100+ million touchscreen voting system made by the Canadian firm Dominion Voting Systems to be an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote. That would be a similar finding to the one Totenberg issued last year, effectively banning and decertifying the state's 20-year use of its previous insecure, unverifiable touchscreen voting systems made by Diebold.
In addition to hoping to see those systems replaced with verifiable hand-marked paper ballots, the Coalition is asking the judge to order backup paper pollbooks at every polling place, after the new electronic pollbook systems failed during the state's June primary elections, leading to hours-long lines, largely in minority voting districts. The plaintiffs are also calling for oversight of the state's optical-scan tabulation systems which failed to tally thousands of votes on absentee ballots during the state's recent primaries. (We interviewed Jeanne DuFort, who discovered that problem, and is also a plaintiff in this case on several recent programs.)
Marks shares her observations from this week's hearings, including on the testimony and cross-examination of the Coalition's cybersecurity and voting systems expert witnesses (many of whom have also appeared multiple times on this show, including Univ. of Michigan's Alex Halderman, UC-Berkley's Philip Stark, expert data researcher Kevin Skoglund and legendary Finnish cybersecurity expert Harri Hursti). Similarly, Marks offers her thoughts on the state's, um, less-than-expert witnesses and responds to a number of allegations made by the attorney representing Georgia and its Republican Sec. of State Brad Raffensperger, who selected this new, "Rube Goldberg" computerized voting system despite the urging of experts and voters alike.
Among the stunning points noted by Marks was the testimony from the man who led the certification testing of this system for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). Marks reports the witness seemed "quite confused about the technology" and "admitted to having no real security background and not really any long-term established security people on his team." She says his testimony "made it clear that security is really not a top priority for the certification of voting systems" at the federal level, adding, "It was really kind of unbelievable."
While transcripts may be available from the hearing soon (we'll update with a link to them here when they are), Marks noted some portions will be redacted, since the state argued privately in front of the judge on certain issues that even the plaintiffs were not allowed to witness. (Though I wonder whether "Osama" did?)
"The public learned a lot from these expert witnesses about just how seriously vulnerable the Georgia election system is," she tells me. "The expert witnesses gave extremely compelling testimony during the direct examination by our attorneys. But when the state's attorneys got them up on the stand for cross-examination, they were equally strong. Quite frankly, the state was really not able to get in any type of evidence --- because there is none --- that would help get anyone comfortable with their equipment."
When it came to the witnesses from the state and the voting system vendors, she says, her attorneys explained to the court that those "experts have not been able to tell the court just the basic fundamental operational and security details --- the plaintiffs have been the ones who bring all the information. The state basically had no one with any independence. Every expert witness they had had a financial interest in ballot-marking devices. Two of the expert witnesses are [voting system] vendors, three of the expert witnesses are vendors of ballot-marking device suppliers. So they were hardly considered independent, at least by the laymen who were watching."
While Marks says she does not know when Totenberg will issue her ruling, it is likely to be soon. Reports from the virtual courtroom via AP suggest Judge Totenberg appeared concerned by points made by the plaintiffs and may be forced to implement changes --- if she determines there is time to do so with Early Voting beginning in just four weeks in the Peach State. Marks believes there is plenty of time to make the state's elections more secure and overseeable, though the state begs to differ. Soon we'll learn how the Judge feels.
During closing arguments, according to AP's coverage, Robert McGuire, an attorney for the Coalition and individual voter plaintiffs, "recalled Totenberg's prior admonitions to the state" by noting that "Totenberg previously told the state that a new voting system should address the need for 'transparent, fair, accurate, and verifiable election processes that guarantee each citizen's fundamental right to cast an accountable vote.'" But the state's new computerized Ballot Marking Device system "satisfies none of these requirements," McGuire said...
While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
* * *
MONTHLY BRAD BLOG SUBSCRIPTION
(Snail mail support to "Brad Friedman, 7095 Hollywood Blvd., #594 Los Angeles, CA 90028" always welcome too!)
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Hurricane Sally approaches the U.S. Gulf Coast, with more hurricanes on the way; Deadly West Coast wildfires break more new records; August 2020 was the second hottest August ever recorded; PLUS: Former Vice President Joe Biden blasts climate denier Trump and urges swift action... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): After Australia, Reading the Lies About West Coast Fires Feels Like Deja Vu; Scientists baffled by orcas ramming sailing boats near Spain and Portugal; New EPA Guidance Rule Could Backfire on Business, Lawyers Say; Two Major Antarctic Glaciers Are Tearing Loose From Their Restraints; Daimler AG To Pay $1.5B To Settle Emissions Cheating Probes; Secret Recording Reveals Oil Execs’ Private Views on Climate Change... PLUS: 10 Years Ago, World Leaders Set Biodiversity Goals. They Haven’t Met a Single One.... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Extreme weather broils the United States; Greenland ice sheet potentially hits 'point of no return,' study warns; PLUS: Trump Administration officially opens pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling (But don't tell Trump)... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): White House To Withdraw Pendley's BLM Nomination; Seven Top Oil Firms Downgrade Assets by $87 Billion in Nine Months; Wind and Sun Killing Gas in Texas; China’s Summer of Floods is a Preview of Climate Disasters to Come; Walls or Wetlands? How Southeast Cities Are Grappling With Rising Seas... PLUS: How utilities use secret campaigns against climate action... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: More fossil fuel disasters --- Deadly natural gas explosion levels homes in Baltimore; Fuel spill creates ecological disaster for island nation Mauritius; Buckle up for a hyperactive hurricane season; July 2020 was the third hottest July ever recorded globally; PLUS: And then there were none --- Canada's last intact ice shelf collapses... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Trump EPA lifts controls on climate-warming methane; Interior proposes easing royalty calculations for public lands extraction; Deadly derecho leaves path of destruction across Midwest; Investors launch climate plan to get to net zero emissions by 2050; Warming world will be 'devastating' for frozen peatlands; Big oil remembers 'friend' Trump with millions in campaign funds; BP's green energy targets will be tough to meet... PLUS: 'As the tundra burns, we cannot afford climate silence': a letter from the Arctic... and much, MUCH more! ...