IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Record jump in carbon emissions on track for 5°C increase in world temps; US & China reach major climate agreement; Another court victory for Monsanto; PLUS: As California breaks new solar records, one of the state's old nuclear plant will now shut forever ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): BP ends Gulf cleanup operations; Coal Subsidy: IG says US sold public's coal too cheap; KXL: Transcanada recruited local police against opponents; More pests developing resistant to GMO crops; Egypt warns Ethiopia against Nile mega-dam; Ocean acidification killing baby oysters; Methane leaks from fracking could negate US emissions cuts ... PLUS: What to make of a warming "plateau," and what happens when it ends ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: Stephen Colbert Skewers Monsanto's Fugitive GMO Wheat (Colbert Report)
- Monsanto Wins Appeal Against Organic Farmers:
- Organic growers lose decision in suit versus Monsanto over seeds (Reuters):
In its ruling Monday, the appellate court said the organic growers must rely on Monsanto assurances on the company's website that it will not sue them so long as the mix is very slight.
- Appeals Court Makes Monsanto Promise Not To Sue Organic Farmers (Think Progress)
- IEA: World on Track for 5°C Rise = 9°F:
- What's Behind the New Warning on Global Carbon Emissions? (National Geographic) [emphasis added]:
If the world waits until 2020 to take action on global climate change, it will undoubtedly be too late, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warns in a new report.
However, the Paris-based agency, which is tasked with maintaining global energy security, identified four proven policies, each relying on current technology, that could be implemented immediately.
- VIDEO: Redrawing the Energy-Climate Map report - Presentation by Fatih Birol, Chief Economist (IEA)
- IEA Report: Re-Drawing the Energy-Climate Map (World Energy Outlook, IEA)
- Carbon dioxide emissions rose 1.4 percent in 2012, IEA report says (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
The agency said continuing that pace could mean a temperature increase over pre-industrial times of as much as 5.3 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit), which IEA chief economist Fatih Birol warned “would be a disaster for all countries.”
“This puts us on a difficult and dangerous trajectory,” Birol said. “If we don’t do anything between now and 2020, it will be very difficult because there will be a lot of carbon already in the atmosphere and the energy infrastructure will be locked in.”
- After release of report, UN climate change official reiterates now is ‘crucial moment’ to act (UNFCC)
- The IEA thinks we can still avoid 2°C of global warming. Here’s how.
- IEA report: Global energy emissions hit record high in 2012 (The Hill's e2 Wire)
- Four solutions to meet climate targets - at no net cost (Renew Economy)
- Climate science tells us the alarm bells are ringing (Op-ed, Washington Post)
- IEA: Five key charts on energy and climate (GreenPeace)
- U.S., China Reach Major Climate Agreement on HFCs:
- US-China summit ends with accord on all but cyber-espionage (Guardian UK):
Obama's meeting with Xi overshadowed by revelations of NSA's snooping - but deals are made on N Korea and HFCs emissions
- Who Is Fooling Who When It Comes to Combating Climate Change? (Scientific American)
- U.S. and China team up to fight climate-changing HFCs (Grist)
- Nuclear: San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant to Close:
- Nuclear Power Plant in Limbo Decides to Close (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
The company has $2.7 billion saved up for decommissioning, which is about 90 percent of what is required.... Division of costs between Edison's shareholders and ratepayers, its insurers and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which supplied the heat exchangers, has not been determined.
- San Onofre nuclear power plant to be closed permanently (LA Times):
Southern California Edison's move ushers in a new era for energy in the region. The effect on rates isn't yet known.
- VIDEO: Local News on San Onofre Power Plant Closing (Fox8 San Diego)
- Solar Energy Breaks Generation Records in CA, Germany:
- California Smashes Solar Record With 2 GW Generated Across State Grid (Clean Technica)
- Germany’s PV Generation Peaked at 23.4 Gigawatts on June 6 (GreenTech Media)
- 2013 Q1 Update: U.S. Solar Industry Keeps Chugging Along (Forbes)
- US Installs Record 723 Megawatts of Solar PV in Q1 2013 (GreenTech Media)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- BP Ends Oil Spill Cleanup In Gulf, Except For Louisiana (AP):
Reports of oil sightings in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida will soon be the U.S. Coast Guard's responsibility to investigate.
- US coal sold too low, taxpayers lose millions -government watchdog (Reuters) [emphasis added]:
U.S. officials who administer a federal coal program have undervalued the fuel, costing taxpayers $62 million in some recent mining leases alone, said a government report released on Tuesday. About 40 percent of the coal sold in the United States is drawn from federal land and the program is administered by the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management, which is required to seek a fair price on behalf of taxpayers.
- TransCanada prepped local police for prosecuting pipeline foes (E & E News):
The PowerPoint presentation given to EnergyWire by Bold Nebraska, a group organizing Plains-area locals against the $5.3 billion heavy crude line, illustrates the extent of the company's preparations to face continued civil disobedience by environmentalists mobilized against further development of the carbon-rich Canadian oil sands. The briefing, dated December 2012, includes names and photos of more than 20 activists arrested for protesting Keystone XL, including actress Daryl Hannah...
- 'No Nile, no Egypt', Cairo warns over Ethiopia dam (Reuters):
Egypt's foreign minister, vowing not to give up "a single drop of water from the Nile", said on Sunday he would go to Addis Ababa to discuss a giant dam that Ethiopia has begun building in defiance of Cairo's objections.
- Growing Number of Pests Developing Resistance to GM Crops (Yale e360):
An increasing number of pest species are developing resistance to crops genetically engineered to be toxic to insects, according to new research. In an analysis of 77 studies conducted in eight countries, a team of U.S. and French scientists found that five of 13 major pest species had become resistant to so-called Bt cotton or corn plants, which are genetically modified to exude a bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis, that is toxic to insects. Three of the cases occurred in the U.S., where half of all Bt plantings occur.
- Late and lame, farm bill finally clears Senate (Grist):
You may recall that once there was hope for major reform in the legislation: Strip away the subsidies supporting giant monocultures, and move that money to support the kind of farming that makes people, and the environment, healthier. Remember that? Yeah, not going to happen.
- NRDC chief: Fracking 'most complicated thing I've encountered' (The Hill's e2 Wire):
She explained that fracking presents a double-edged sword of sorts. It's facilitated a growth in domestic natural gas, which has half the carbon content of coal. But at the same time, Beinecke said, it's still a carbon fuel. On top of that, Beinecke said it's still unclear what fracking might do to public health.
- Ocean acidification pushing young oysters into "death race" (MongaBay):
The scientists found that while ocean acidification in the region was not yet reached the levels where it would begin dissolving adult oyster shells, current levels were making it increasingly difficult for more vulnerable oyster larvae to build their shells.
- Methane leaks could negate climate benefits of US natural gas boom: report (Guardian UK):
Reduction in carbon emissions triggered by America's shift from coal to gas is being offset by a sharp rise in methane
- Court ruling called a game changer for renewable power (EnergyWire):
A federal appeals court found last week that it's unconstitutional for Michigan to discriminate against out-of-state renewable electricity --- a decision being described as giving a major edge to clean power in the legal fight over the future of the U.S. grid.
- VIDEO: Water in the Anthropocene (CSIRO):
- By Degrees: What to Make of a Warming Plateau (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
What happened when the mid-20th-century lull came to an end? You guessed it: an extremely rapid warming of the planet. So, if past is prologue, this current plateau will end at some point, too, and a new era of rapid global warming will begin. ...We might one day find ourselves looking back on the crazy weather of the 2010s with a deep yearning for those halcyon days.
- The 'Social Cost Of Carbon' Is Almost Double What The Government Previously Thought (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
The U.S. government updated its estimate of how much carbon pollution harms the economy. They found that their previous estimated costs were too low - ranging from 50 to 100 percent depending on the year and the estimate.
- Number of the Day: $675 million in saved energy costs during 2012 thank to LED lights (Treehugger):
This would be the equivalent of about $37 billion in annual energy costs!
- 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.
- Warning: Even in the best-case scenario, climate change will kick our asses (Grist)
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page