IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Leo DiCaprio takes on his most important role yet; Louisiana's Gov. Bobby Jindal plays his dumbest role yet; Fracking operations confirmed to contaminate water supplies --- again; Black lung coal disease on the rise --- again; PLUS: Polluter front group attacks scary actors and musicians for speaking out on global warming ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Oceans smash all-tim temp record set 2 months ago; Red Tide off Florida smothering everything in its path; High-stakes climate summit aims to be turning point for climate change; US moves to reduce HFCS; US launches $70m fund to train veterans to install solar panels; Mine spill devastates Mexican farmers; Cuteness: Archbishop Desmond Tutu 'walks the walk' on climate ... PLUS: VIDEO: Naomi Klein on market capitalism vs. climate change ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Science Denier Gov. Bobby Jindal Uses the 'I Know You Are But What Am I?' Defense:
- Bobby Jindal on Climate Denial: 'I Know You Are, But What Am I?' (The BRAD BLOG) [emphasis added]:
Jindal's new plan to deflect criticism about his denial of global warming and anthropogenic climate change in his state --- which is rapidly disappearing into the ocean --- seems to be to employ the old "I know you are, but what am I?" strategy that works so well for 7-year olds.
- Bobby Jindal: White House 'science deniers' (Politico) [emphasis added]:
"The reality is, right now, we've got an administration -the Obama administration - that are science deniers when it comes to harnessing America's energy resources and the potential to create good-paying jobs," the Republican and potential 2016 candidate said at a breakfast sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.
- Louisiana Governor Hedges On Climate Change As His State Disappears Into the Sea (Climate Progress)
- Black Lung Disease Surges in Coal Country:
- Resurgence of a Debilitating and Entirely Preventable Respiratory Disease among Working Coal Miners (ATS Journals)
- Severe black lung reaches near-record levels (Coal Tattoo):
Each of these cases is a tragedy and represents a failure among all those responsible for preventing this severe disease.
- Coal Kills: Severe black lung in coal miners returns to 1970s levels (Louisville Courier-Journal):
"For more than 10 years we've been hearing about the resurgence of black lung. Sadly, there's been little sense of urgency to address the problem," said Celeste Monforton, professorial lecturer at The George Washington University School of Public Health and a former MSHA policy adviser.
- Two more coal miners die on the job (Coal Tattoo)
- Study Confirms Fracking Operations Contaminate Water Supplies:
- Study blames methane leaks on faulty well casings (Charleston Gazette):
Problems with natural gas well construction appears to be the primary cause of drinking water contamination from shale-gas extraction, according to a new study published today by researchers from five universities. The study did not find evidence of methane gas migrating from deep underground into residential drinking wells, an indication that neither the drilling nor "fracking" process caused contamination from those deep underground areas. But the study also left open the possibility that pressures from drilling or fracking could be contributing to or causing well casing failures closer to the surface.
- Natural gas production contaminated drinking water in Texas, study finds (LA Times):
The newly identified cases "caught this contamination in the act," said Robert Jackson, a study coauthor and professor of environmental science at Stanford University. The discovery challenges a long-standing assertion by the oil and gas industry that the U.S. energy boom has not damaged water supplies.
- Texas drinking water tainted by natural gas operations, scientists find (Dallas Morning News)
- Leo DiCaprio's Biggest Role Yet: UN Messenger of Peace:
- VIDEO: Leonardo DiCaprio appointed UN climate change representative (BBC)
- Secretary-General designates Leonardo DiCaprio as UN Messenger of Peace (United Nations) [emphasis added]:
"It's an honor to accept the role of UN Messenger of Peace on Climate Change and to support the Secretary General in his efforts to address one of the most important issues we face as a global community," said Leonardo DiCaprio. "I feel a moral obligation to speak out at this key moment in human history - it is a moment for action. How we respond to the climate crisis in the coming years will likely determine the fate of humanity and our planet."
- Leonardo DiCaprio named UN messenger of peace for climate (Sydney Morning Herald)
- Celebrity bullies like the 'tar sands' punching bag (Troy Media)
- Alberta riled by Leonardo DiCaprio's position on oil sands (Globe & Mail)
- VIDEO: "Step Up": Leonardo DiCaprio's Remarks at the Our Ocean Conference (US State Dept.)
- Polluter Front Groups, Media Attack Scary Actors & Musicians!:
- Billboards Attack Anti-Fracking Celebrities (EcoWatch) [emphasis added]:
A head-scratching set of billboards has popped up along major highways in Pennsylvania. There's a photo of Lady Gaga sporting a jeweled choker and a slab of meat on her head. "Would you take energy advice from a woman wearing a meat dress?" it says. Another features Robert Redford with the caption: "Demands green living. Flies on private jets."
[G]o to their website and you quickly learn who they are really fighting. They claim that sinister cabal of environmental groups is trying to destroy all we hold dear as fossil fuel-loving Americans by pushing (gasp) "the green agenda."
- Big Oil's 'Grass-Roots' Groups in California (BusinessWeek):
In recent months, groups have popped up that appear to be grass-roots organizations started by ordinary people opposed to the rules. In fact, they're paid for by the oil industry.
- High-Stakes Climate Summit Aims to Be Turning Point for Global Action (InsideClimate News):
A United Nations chief dismayed at the lack of resolve toward the climate crisis; a daunting deadline for negotiating a new treaty; 125 or so heads of state; a sprawling agenda of fossil fuels, food, forestry and finance; a train of think tanks hauling gigabytes of green data; countless teach-ins, press conferences, art shows—plus tens or even hundreds of thousands of activists marching through midtown Manhattan, demanding action now.
- Oceans Smash All-Time Temperature Records Set Two Months Ago Ahead of UN Climate Summit (Mashable) [emphasis added]:
Both of these records, NOAA says, were driven in large part by unusually warm ocean temperatures around the world. In fact, global average ocean temperatures were so high in August - 1.17 degrees Fahrenheit above average, to be exact - that they broke the all-time record set just two months ago....The fact that the planet is so warm without an El Niño around to boost temperatures is a sign that global warming has become so noticeable that an El Niño event is no longer needed to set all-time records like this.
- U.S. Moves to Reduce Global Warming Emissions of HFCs (NY Times)
- VIDEO: Naomi Klein on market capitalism vs. climate change (MSNBC)
- US launches $70m fund to train veterans to install solar panels (AP):
The jobs training program is among a host of initiatives the White House says will cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 300 million tons through 2030, plus save billions of dollars on energy bills for homeowners and businesses. It will launch this fall at one or more military bases and train a total of at least 50,000, including veterans.
- Red Tide Off Florida Smothering Everything In Its Path (AP):
It's like Florida's version of The Blob. Slow moving glops of toxic algae in the northeast Gulf of Mexico are killing sea turtles, sharks and fish, and threatening the waters and beaches that fuel the region's economy.
- Cuteness: Archibisop Desmond Tutu pledges to #WalktheWalk on climate change! (Walk the Walk Campaign):
- Leaking Dominion Virginia Power Coal Ash Ponds Spur Complaint (Huffington Post Green):
Three conservation groups accused Dominion Virginia Power Wednesday of illegally discharging coal ash waste into the Potomac River. Five coal ash ponds at Dominion’s Possum Point power plant, 30 miles south of Washington, "have been illegally leaking toxic pollutants for decades into groundwater and two popular waterways,” the Southern Environmental Law Center, representing Potomac Riverkeeper and the Sierra Club, said in a statement....The groups said they are prepared to sue Dominion if the pollution is not addressed. They alleged the state DEQ has been aware of the problem, but has been unresponsive."
- Energized by Climate Summit, Climate Week NYC 2014 redoubles its efforts (United Nations)
- Mine Spill Devastates Mexican Farmers (Al Jazeera)
- Kids Exposed in the Womb To Phthalates More Likely To Have Asthma (Environmental Health News)
- Altered to Withstand Herbicide, Corn and Soybeans Gain Approval (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
The Agriculture Department has approved the commercial planting of corn and soybeans genetically engineered to survive being sprayed by the herbicide known as 2,4-D... the new crops would give them a sorely needed new tool to fight rapidly spreading weeds that can no longer be killed by Roundup, known generically as glyphosate, the usual herbicide of choice. But critics say that cultivation of the crops, which were developed by Dow AgroSciences, will mean a sharp increase in the spraying of 2,4-D, a chemical they say would be more damaging to the environment, nearby non-engineered crops and possibly human health, than Roundup.
- USC Study Proves Nature Can Recover From Invasive Species: (UCLA Natural Reserve System) [emphasis added]:
Now a study set in California's Channel Islands indicates eradication alone can jumpstart recovery. Led by two UC Santa Cruz undergraduates, the research shows native shrubs reclaiming the island on their own nearly three decades after removal of sheep and other grazers. The study is published in the journal Restoration Ecology.
- August was hottest on record worldwide, says NASA (Guardian UK):
2014 is shaping up to be an exceptionally warm year with May and June also the hottest ever/
- 100% of power for Vermont city now renewable (Boston Globe)
- VIDEO: Weather in 2050: Warmer, Wetter, Wilder, According to U.N. World Meteorological Organization (The Weather Channel):
Mega-droughts. Long-lasting heat waves. Flooded coastal cities. These are the weather scenarios for 2050 from a series of imaginary yet realistic reports from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) that predict of future of warmer, wetter and wilder weather.
- Naomi Klein Is Right, Unchecked Capitalism Will Destroy Civilization (Climate Progress):
Choosing "unregulated capitalism" over human civilization would be a "morally monstrous" choice - and so the winning message for the climate movement is a moral one.
- 4 Scenarios Show What Climate Change Will Do To The Earth, From Pretty Bad To Disaster (Fast CoExist):
But exactly how bad is still an open question, and a lot depends not only on how we react, but how quickly. The rate at which humans cut down on greenhouse gas emissions--if we do choose to cut them--will have a large bearing on how the world turns out by 2100, the forecasts reveal.
- Skeptical Science: Database with FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Myths
- How to Solve Global Warming: It's the Energy Supply (Scientific American):
Restraining global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius will require changing how the world produces and uses energy to power its cities and factories, heats and cools buildings, as well as moves people and goods in airplanes, trains, cars, ships and trucks, according to the IPCC. Changes are required not just in technology, but also in people's behavior.
- Warning: Even in the best-case scenario, climate change will kick our asses (Grist)
- NASA Video: Warming over the last 130 years, and into the next 100 years:
- 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).
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page