IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Problems found on Keystone XL pipeline in TX; Illegal Monsanto genetically modified wheat discovered in Oregon; Wal-mart guilty of toxic waste dumping; Shell admits moving grounded Arctic rig to avoid paying taxes; Russia evacuates its Arctic research station; PLUS: ExxonMobil's CEO unclear on the concept of man-made climate change ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Big win for Big Coal: Judge gives Patriot Coal OK to cut benefits; NM county first in nation to ban fracking to safeguard water; Video: the Impact Of Coal; Utilities fight shift to rooftop solar; Crappy solar panels threaten industry growth; Mountain of pet coke waste from tar sands looms in Detroit; China buys major US food supplier; Tesla to expand Supercharger network nationwide in 6 months ... PLUS: As glaciers melt, alpine mountains lose their glue... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: Michele Bachmann: "CO2 Is A Natural Byproduct of Nature!"
- Anomalies – Including Dents and Welds – Found Along Newly Laid Keystone XL Pipeline in Texas (Public Citizen):
Dozens of anomalies, including dents and welds, reportedly have been identified along a 60-mile stretch of the southern segment of the Keystone XL pipeline, north of the Sabine River in Texas.
- ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson: Unclear on the Concept of Dangerous Climate Change:
- LISTEN: Exxon Mobil Corporation Annual Shareholder Meeting Webcast at approx. 1:40 min.(ExxonMobil)
- Exxon Shareholders Don’t Want To Add Gays To Anti-Discrimination Rules Or Cut Emissions, Either (Talking Points Memo) [emphasis added]:
“What good is it to save the planet if humanity suffers?” CEO Rex Tillerson said at the oil giant’s annual meeting Wednesday.
- Consensus Statement from Global Scientists (Stanford Univ. Millenium Alliance for for Humanity & the Biosphere)
- CBO: Carbon tax an option to avoid 'catastrophic' outcomes (The Hill's e2 Wire)
- Oil CEO: Humans are involved with climate change (Fuel Fix):
"But we do think, as we think about this and try to tackle this issue as a global community, it needs to be tackled on a global scale and it needs to be industry blind. It needs to cut across all industries. you shouldn't be picking on one industry or another to try to solve the problem."
- Unburnable fuel: Either governments are not serious about climate change or fossil-fuel firms are overvalued (The Economist)
- Shell Oil Admits It Moved Grounded Rig to Avoid Paying Taxes:
- Shell Admits Real Reason Coast Guard Had To Rescue Its Arctic Drilling Rig: Failed Tax Avoidance Scheme (Climate Progress)
- Shell rig left Alaska port to avoid taxes, company official testifies (Anchorage Daily News):
Shell’s Kulluk oil drilling rig left Dutch Harbor in December to avoid the prospect of millions in taxes, a Shell official revealed Saturday in testimony to a Coast Guard investigation panel.
- Russia's Arctic Research Station Evacuated Due to Melting Ice:
- Russia Evacuates Arctic Station (Discovery):
Russia is evacuating 16 scientists from a research station located on an ice floe in the Arctic as the ground beneath their feet has disintegrated.
- Russia abandoning Arctic ice station (Arctic Sea Ice Blog):
Russia has ordered an "urgent" evacuation of it's drifting ice station known as North Pole-40 that sits on top Arctic sea ice, because of disintegrating sea ice that is posing dangerous conditions to reseachers. This is one more indication that the thickness of the ice is now getting very thin at places it was not before, a metric not fully captured in the extent and area data.
- The Arctic Ice “Death Spiral” (Phil Plait's Bad Astonomy)
- Arctic sea ice melt disrupts weather patterns (NBC News)
- Wal-Mart Pleads Guilty to Toxic Waste Dumping:
- Walmart fined $82 million for dumping poisons (Grist):
Walmart doesn’t just scrimp on employee wages. It also scrimps on employee training, and that led to its workers dumping returned pesticides, bleach, and other hazardous products into the trash or sewer systems.
- Wal-Mart pleads guilty to charges of dumping hazardous waste in California (AP):
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will pay $81.6 million after pleading guilty on Tuesday to criminal charges of improperly disposing of fertilizer, pesticides and other hazardous products that were pulled from stores in California and Missouri because of damaged packaging and other problems.
- Wal-Mart's Stock Price Hits Record High (NY Times, May 15, 2013)
- Illegal: Monsanto's GMO Wheat Discovered In Oregon Field:
- Monsanto Modified Wheat Not Approved by USDA Found in Field (Bloomberg) [emphasis added]:
Genetically modified wheat created by Monsanto Co. (MON) that wasn’t approved for use turned up on an 80-acre farm in Oregon last month, threatening the outlook for U.S. exports of the grain that are the world’s largest.
- US genetically modified wheat stokes fears, Japan cancels tender (CNBC)
- Illegal Strain Of Monsanto’s Gentically Modified Wheat Found On Oregon Farm (Think Progress):
Because the wheat was growing randomly, like a weed, it seems likely that this was a case of accidental contamination, rather than a deliberate planting of the illegal crop. In the past, the USDA has shown little sympathy for farmers whose crops have been inadvertently contaminated by Monsanto.
- VIDEO: USDA Investigating Detection Of Positive Genetically Engineered Glyphosate in Oregon (USDA Youtube account)
- Worldwide protests held against Monsanto (Al Jazeera)
- Senate rejects GM food labeling amendment to farm bill: Bernie Sanders of Vermont says he will continue to push for declaration on packaging of genetically modified ingredients (Guardian UK)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Court Victory for Big Coal: Judge gives Patriot Coal OK to cut benefits (Charleston Gazette):
The UMWA had argued Patriot Coal was created in October 2007 to hire all union workers who previously worked for Peabody Energy and Arch Coal east of the Mississippi River...Patriot filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2012. UMWA officials have consistently said Patriot was designed to fail.
- New Mexico county first in nation to ban fracking to safeguard water (LA Times): In acting to protect their water supply, the 5,000 residents of poor, conservative Mora County make it the first in the U.S. to ban fracking --- hydraulic fracturing for oil.
- Must-See Video Shows Impact Of Coal As Its Use In U.S. Power Sector Rebounds (Climate Progress): How much are you paying for "cheap" coal? Far, far more than you think.
- What’s threatening utilities: Innovation at the edge of the grid (Grist):
The U.S. electricity system is fun and fascinating! The beatings will continue until everyone agrees.
- Former EPA chief Lisa Jackson takes a job at Apple (Grist)
- Will Chinese Firm Bring Home The Bacon With Smithfield Deal? (NPR):
"If the Chinese come to own Smithfield, will Smithfield be at the dictates of its Chinese owner? Or will they let market forces determine whether they are going to expand their herd size or not?" [Dan Norcini, an independent commodities trader] said. "That's the big question because it could impact the rest of the industry."
- Killer Karbon Petcoke Pile Looms Over Motown (Climate Crocks): If you think its all about Keystone, think again.
- National Guard called to evacuate flooded Alaska town (LA Times)
- Crappy solar panels threaten industry growth (Grist) [emphasis added]:
As the solar sector explodes, some of the solar panels it produces are fizzling out....[N]obody knows how pervasive it is because nobody keeps track. Fingers are being pointed at corner cutting by manufacturing firms in China.
- Tesla announces huge expansion of Supercharger network, upgrade to cut charging time in half (Treehugger)
- BLM Sells 21m Tons of Coal (Op-ed, Denver Post):
The sole purpose of that transaction is to extend the life of the 500-megawatt Bonanza power plant in Utah, which will further degrade our air and jeopardize our climate.
- As Glaciers Melt, Alpine Mountains Lose Their Glue, Threatening Swiss Village (NY Times)
- Fracking Accident Leaks Toxic Benzene Into CO Stream: (Glenwood Springs Post-Independent) [emphasis added]:
[Downstream rancher Sidney Lindauer] said he is skeptical about the wisdom of leaving the cleanup in the hands of the company that owns the facilities from which the liquids leaked.
- Hundreds Protest Against Genetically Engineered Trees (EcoWatch):
“ArborGen is genetically engineering non-native eucalyptus trees to be freeze tolerant to feed ethanol refineries and biomass burners under the umbrella of climate mitigation,” said Anne Petermann, coordinator of the international Campaign to STOP GE Trees, executive director of Global Justice Ecology Project and conference attendee. “They want to convert biodiverse and carbon-rich forests into vast plantations of invasive, flammable and water-draining eucalyptus trees. This will be a disaster for the climate.”
- The 5 characteristics of global warming consensus denial (Skeptical Science):
All movements that reject an overwhelming scientific consensus show 5 inevitable characteristics [PDF]. They celebrate fake experts, cherry pick the data, argue using misrepresentation and logical fallacies, indulge in conspiracy theories, and demand impossible expectations of what research can deliver.
- VIDEO: Heidi Cullen Explains Climate, Extremes on CBS Face the Nation (Climate Central):
"And so right now I'd say that the jury is still out as to how global warming will affect tornadoes, which of those two variables will win out," Cullen said. "But when it comes to things like heat waves, when it comes to things like heavy rainstorms, drought, wildfires, we know that the atmosphere is on steroids, if you will. So basically we know that we'd have to deal with weather-related risks. We live in a country that has always seen extreme weather. We're basically moving in a direction where we're going to see more and more of certain of these extremes."
- Majority of Earth’s Population Faces Water Shortages by Mid-Century (Yale e360) [emphasis added]:
At the meeting, “Water in the Anthropocene,” the scientists said that the of over-pumping of underground aquifers, soaring populations, pollution, the over-use of fertilizers, and climate change are seriously threatening supplies of freshwater around much of the globe. Continuing on the current path will mean that most of Earth’s population “will be living under the handicap of severe water pressure,” the scientists said, adding, “This handicap will be self-inflicted and is, we believe, entirely avoidable.”
- We Have Met the Unknown Unknowns and They are Us (Legal Planet):
There are uncertainties about climate science such as tipping points and feedback effects. But these pale in comparison to the biggest source of uncertainties: people. Here are some of the major things we don't know and really can't know about future society.
- New Study: Climate change: human disaster looms: Forecast global temperature rise of 4C a calamity for large swaths of planet even if predicted extremes are not reached (Guardian UK)
- Warning: Even in the best-case scenario, climate change will kick our asses (Grist)
- COVER STORY: It's Global Warming, Stupid (Businessweek):
If all that doesn't impress, forget the scientists ostensibly devoted to advancing knowledge and saving lives. Listen instead to corporate insurers committed to compiling statistics for profit.
- Ocean Acidification: Animals are already dissolving in Southern Ocean (New Scientist)
- Skeptical Science: Get the FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Arguments
- VIDEO: James Hansen: Why I must speak out about climate change (TED Talks):
Top climate scientist James Hansen tells the story of his involvement in the science of and debate over global climate change. In doing so he outlines the overwhelming evidence that change is happening and why that makes him deeply worried about the future.
- VIDEO ANIMATION: Time history of atmospheric CO2 (NOAA Carbon Tracker YouTube channel):
- VIDEO: Animation Charts Modern Global Warming (NYT Green)
- Thinking Big: NREL Study Shows 80 Percent Renewables Possible By 2050 (Climate Progress)
- Part 1: The brutal logic of climate change (David Roberts, Grist) [emphasis added]:
It's simple: If there is to be any hope of avoiding civilization-threatening climate disruption, the U.S. and other nations must act immediately and aggressively on an unprecedented scale. That means moving to emergency footing. War footing. ...It is unpleasant to talk like this. People don't want to hear it.