IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Fossil fuel industry & Rupert Murdoch win, climate activists lose in Australia election; Record heat wave closes schools in Upper Midwest; Texas residents sue BP over pollution; PLUS: The future of car racing is electrifying ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Did denier intimidation convince IPCC To ‘lowball’ climate report?; ‘Denialism’ by enviros has not been ‘more damaging than right-wing denialism’; EPA quietly withdraws 2 chemical safety rules; P&G halts use of 2 chemicals in personal care products; UK government opposes pesticide ban to protect bees; WI: Libertarians join with enviros over solar; U.S. to destroy ivory stocks; USDA program fails to stop contaminated meat; House GOP demands EPA pollution study data; A solar charger that fits on your key ring ... PLUS: Arctic sea ice delusions strike the Daily Mail on Sunday and Telegraph ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Syria, Climate Change & Civil War:
- The Direct Line Between Climate Change and the Current Disaster in Syria (The BRAD BLOG)
- How Climate Change Primed Syria for War (Climate Crocks)
- Drought Helped Spark Syria’s Civil War — Is it One of Many Climate Wars to Come? (Moyers & Co.)
- Arab Summer: Warming-Fueled Drought Helped Spark Syria’s Civil War (Joe Romm, Climate Progress)
- AUDIO: How Could A Drought Spark A Civil War? (NPR)
- Your Labor Day Syria Reader, Part 2: William Polk (James Fallows, The Atlantic)
- Record Fall Heat Wave Closes Schools in Midwest:
- Record heat wave blasts U.S. Midwest (Reuters)
- Australia: Bushfire Season off to Early & Brutal Start:
- Horror start to season as bushfire conditions develop early (The Age, Australia):
After the warmest winter and hottest summer on record for large parts of the nation's south-east, Sydney felt summer's ferocity earlier in the year than usual on Tuesday. By 6pm, the Rural Fire Service said there were 63 fires burning across NSW, 31 of them uncontained, with four major fires at the highest emergency warning level, meaning property and lives were under direct threat.
- Dozens of bushfires hit Australia (Telegraph UK)
- VIDEO: Bushfires threaten homes in western Sydney (Guardian UK)
- PHOTOS: Bushfire emergency in western Sydney (Guardian UK)
- Australia's New Climate "Skeptic" Prime Minister Will Repeal Carbon Tax:
- Abbott Says Coalition Has Mandate Amid Senate Carbon Challenge (Bloomberg):
Abbott, a former Rhodes Scholar and trainee priest, has promised to repeal Labor’s 30 percent tax on mining sector profits and dismantle its carbon pricing mechanism.
- How the carbon tax became the 'killing fields' of Australian politics (Mother Jones):
Climate change and carbon pricing have toppled political leaders and divided Australia.
- Australia's New Prime Minister Wants To Immediately Dismantle His Country's Fight Against Climate Change (Business Insider)
- Wall St. Journal's Carbon Tax Warning for U.S. Politicians:
- Wall St. Journal's Warning to U.S. Politicians: (Media Matters):
Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal is using the victory of conservative Tony Abbott in Australia's recent race for prime minister as a cautionary tale, warning American politicians to "beware the faddish politics of climate change."
- BP Sued Over Texas Refinery's Toxic Chemicals Release:
- BP Texas Refinery Neighbors Seek Billions at Toxin Trial (Bloomberg):
BP knowingly vented at least 500,000 pounds of toxic chemicals, including benzene, from a faulty refinery unit to a flare the company knew was incapable of destroying the toxins, Tony Buzbee, the residents’ lead attorney, said in a phone interview. ... “BP decided there was just too much money to be made at the time, so they decided to flare the emissions and take the consequences,” Buzbee said.
- BP heading to court over health claims at Texas City refinery (Fuel Fix) [emphasis added]:
Tons of toxic gases spewed from a tower at BP’s Texas City refinery for more than 40 days in 2010 without warning to the public....The lawsuit alleges that BP could have shut down a unit that caused the release but refused to do so because it would have cost $20 million in lost revenue.
- BP asks 5th Circuit to throw out claims settlement unless separate appeal on claims process is granted (NOLA.com)
- BP negotiated the settlement it's trying to disown: Keith Jones (NOLA.com)
- Shell Fined Paltry $1.1m Fine for Violating Arctic Clean Air Permits:
- Shell to pay $1.1 million in fines to settle with EPA over Arctic drilling (Fuel Fix):
Emissions from the Discoverer were a known problem heading into the brief Arctic drilling season. After the EPA granted a one-year air pollution permit to Shell for the Discoverer and its support vessels, Shell asked to be allowed to release an unlimited amount of ammonia and more nitrogen oxide than originally authorized from the ship’s main generator engines.
- Shell to pay $1.1 million in fines for Arctic air-quality violations (Reuters)
- Renault Launches Formula All-Electric Race Tour:
- VIDEO: Future of racing? Formula E unveils fully-electric car (Guardian UK)
- Formula E details Spark-Renault's SRT_01E electric race car (Engadget)
- L.A. is on the Formula E schedule next year, electric racer hits the streets to celebrate (Engadget)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- NY Times: Did Denier ‘Intimidation Tactics’ Move IPCC To ‘Lowball’ Sea Level Rise And Climate Sensitivity? (Climate Progress)
- Arctic sea ice delusions strike the Daily Mail on Sunday and Telegraph (Guardian UK):
Both UK periodicals focus on short-term noise and ignore the rapid long-term Arctic sea ice death spiral....
Both articles claimed that Arctic sea ice extent grew 60 percent in August 2013 as compared to August 2012. While this factoid may be technically true (though the 60 percent figure appears to be an exaggeration), it's also largely irrelevant. For one thing, the annual Arctic sea ice minimum occurs in September – we're not there yet. And while this year's minimum extent will certainly be higher than last year's, that's not the least bit surprising.
- No, Naomi Klein And Salon, ‘Denialism’ By Enviros Has Not Been ‘More Damaging Than The Right-Wing Denialism’ (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
Seriously, who is more to blame? The people who put this issue on the national agenda in the first place by persisting for decades against a largely indifferent political elite and media — and who have tried to rally action, however non-optimally? Or the people who have spread lies, funded disinformation campaigns, poisoned the public dialogue, and blocked even the most modest action?
- P&G halts use of 2 chemicals in personal care products (Cincinnati Enquirer):
Procter & Gamble is phasing out the use of two chemicals by 2014 from its beauty and personal care products. Activist groups have targeted P&G and other manufacturers of consumer products to end the use of phthalates and triclosan, chemicals that advocates say have been linked to birth defects and infertility.
- House GOP demands Harvard air pollution study data (Boston Globe):
House Republicans scouring for evidence of overreaching environmental regulations are taking aim at a two-decade-old, taxpayer-funded scientific study by Harvard researchers that linked air pollution to disease and death.
- USDA pilot program fails to stop contaminated meat (Washington Post):
A meat inspection program that the Agriculture Department plans to roll out in pork plants nationwide has repeatedly failed to stop the production of contaminated meat at American and foreign plants that have already adopted the approach, documents and interviews show.
- San Bruno Pipeline Explosion: Claims from pipeline blast will reach $565M, utility says (Fuel Fix)
- Pacific Islands climate change pact wins US support (AFP):
A new Pacific regional pact calling for aggressive action to combat climate change has achieved a "major accomplishment" by gaining US support, officials said Sunday.
- Obama signs on to 3 international climate pacts in 3 days (Grist)
- G20 countries agree to phase down CFCs, potent greenhouse gases (Reuters)
- US will destroy ivory stockpile to fight wildlife trafficking (Reuters):
The United States will destroy its six-ton stockpile of elephant ivory as a way to combat wildlife trafficking, an international fight that often has law enforcement outgunned by well-financed crime syndicates, White House panelists said on Monday.
- EPA Quietly Withdraws Two Proposed Chemical Safety Rules (Huffington Post Green) [emphasis added]:
The potential rules were in limbo at the Office of Management for several years. One of the rules was a proposal to add Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical included in many water bottles and other plastic products that has been linked to a number of potential health concerns, to the list of "chemicals of concern" that would be subject to more scrutiny. The EPA also proposed listing eight different types of phthalates, another group of chemicals often used in plastic products, and several types of flame retardants known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs).
- Unlikely Bedfellows: Wisconsin Libertarians Join Greens In Favor Of Solar Energy (Climate Progress)
- ClicLite brings solar charging to your keyring (Gizmag)
- Bee declines: MPs attack government for opposing pesticide ban (Guardian UK)
- Your exfoliating cream is destroying the environment (Salon):
Microbeads, found in many cosmetics, are the latest addition to the marine plastics problem.
- Did Climate Change-Driven Drought Exacerbate Syrian Conflict?: (Hullabaloo):
Syria has been convulsed by civil war since climate change came to Syria with a vengeance. Drought devastated the country from 2006 to 2011. Rainfall in most of the country fell below eight inches (20 cm) a year, the absolute minimum needed to sustain un-irrigated farming.
- Who distrusts whom about what in the climate science debate? (Cultural Cognition Project, Yale Law School):
1. Members of the public do trust scientists.
2. Members of culturally opposing groups distrust each other when they perceive their status is at risk in debates over public policy.
3. When facts become entangled in cultural status conflicts, members of opposing groups (all of whom do trust scientists) will form divergent perceptions of what scientists believe.
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page
- Video Proof That Global Warming is a 'Hoax'!: NASA Temperature Data 1888-2011 (The BRAD BLOG):
- NASA climate change video: This is the U.S. in 2100 (NASA).