With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 10/16/2014, 3:36pm PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Rep. Paul Ryan backs away - sort of - from outright climate science denial; Have we reached peak climate change denial?; Turns out natural gas isn't a bridge fuel to a low-emissions future; PLUS: Did a U.S. defense contractor really invent a compact nuclear fusion reactor? Separating fact from fiction... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Appalachian transition: coalfield residents must help themselves to diversify; Green groups sue over EPA GMO pesticide approval; Hanford nuclear workers reveal shoddy practices; Fact and fiction on the Arctic methane bomb; Risks of cheap water; Los Angeles mayor orders water cuts of 20% amid historic drought; Can Africa bypass the pollution phase of development?; Russian natgas shutdown would not hurt Europe; Autism again linked to air pollution ... PLUS: In Wisconsin, Dark Money Got A Mining Company What It Wanted... and much, MUCH more! ...

STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

  • Did Lockheed Martin Really Just Achieve Nuclear Fusion?:
    • So Lockheed Martin Says It’s Made a Big Advance in Nuclear Fusion… (Wired):
      Yesterday, Lockheed Martin joined a long line of companies claiming to be hot on the trail of nuclear fusion, the long-promised savior of our energy economy. ...The problem with that reactor? It doesn’t exist yet. “Some key parts of the prototype are theoretical and not yet proven,” says Nathan Gilliland, CEO of Canadian fusion company General Fusion.
    • Has Lockheed Martin really made a breakthrough in nuclear fusion technology? (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
      Lockheed’s announcement has generated a lot of publicity, but experts point to the lack of details or results, suggesting fusion power is still a long way off....The arms manufacturer announced on Wednesday that it was “working on a new compact fusion reactor (CFR) that can be developed and deployed in as little as 10 years”. But Lockheed’s four paragraph press release and accompanying video are heavy on hyperbole and light on detail.
    • VIDEO Press Release: Compact Fusion Research & Development (Lockheed Martin)

  • Natural Gas Is Not A 'Bridge' Fuel To Low-Emissions Future:
    • Study: Natural gas surge won't slow global warming (AP) [emphasis added]:
      Abundant natural gas in the United States has been displacing coal, which produces more of the chief global warming gas carbon dioxide.

      But the new international study says an expansion of natural gas use by 2050 would also keep other energy-producing technologies like wind, solar and nuclear, from being used more. And those technologies are even better than natural gas for avoiding global warming.

    • This New Study Explains Why Fracking Won't Solve Climate Change (Mother Jones):
      Even if we solve the methane problem, shale gas alone won't save us.

  • Rep. Paul Ryan Backs Away - Sort Of - From Outright Climate Denial:
  • US Climate Envoy Todd Stern: We May Be Reaching Tipping Point On Denial:
    • Seizing the Opportunity for Progress on Climate: Remarks by US Climate Envoy Todd Stern) [emphasis added]:
      On the critical issues of political will and public support, we are moving toward an eventual tipping point.... I doubt, even a year from now, whether major political candidates will consider it viable to deny the existence of climate change. Something is happening, and the pace of that something is going to quicken, especially driven by young people like you, who have the most to lose by dawdling evasion.
    • U.S. considers climate change plan that would mandate emission cuts (LA Times) [emphasis added]:
      The United States is considering a proposal to combat climate change that would require countries to offer plans for curtailing greenhouse gas emissions on a certain schedule but would leave it to individual nations to determine how deep their cuts would be, said Todd Stern, the nation’s chief climate negotiator.
    • VIDEO: Todd Stern, UN Climate Envoy Speech at Yale University:


'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

  • In Wisconsin, Dark Money Got A Mining Company What It Wanted (Pro Publica):
    When billionaire Chris Cline's company bought an option to mine a swath of northern Wisconsin in 2010, the company touted the project's potential to bring up to 700 well-paid jobs to a hard-pressed part of the state.
  • Appalachian transition: Why coalfield residents need to help themselves diversify their economy (Charleston Gazette):
    Including some sort of coalfield economic diversification program in the Obama clean energy program — and in the agenda of national progressive organizations that back Obama and the EPA — would help coalfield Democrats politically.
  • VIDEO: Calling the Methane Bomb Squad (Climate Crocks):
    It’s ironic that in the course of spending most of my time trying to raise awareness about how serious the climate issue is, recently I’ve had to be on the side of seeking to tamp down unnecessary alarm and fatalism that I’m seeing, particularly online. I’ve been planning to do a piece on the whole “undersea methane bomb” idea, and have been interviewing key scientists in this area for quite a while. I was not planning to release a finished piece for some time- as this is an area where I feel the need to step very carefully.
  • The Risks of Cheap Water (NY times):
    This summer, California’s water authority declared that wasting water — hosing a sidewalk, for example — was a crime. Next door, in Nevada, Las Vegas has paid out $200 million over the last decade for homes and businesses to pull out their lawns.
  • There are 620 million people in Africa without electricity. Here's where they live. (Vox):
    he International Energy Agency is out with an in-depth analysis of Africa's energy sector. One key theme? There are 620 million people in sub-Saharan Africa who don't have any electricity at all — and fixing that could require burning a lot more fossil fuels.
  • Amid drought, mayor directs L.A. to cut water use 20% by 2017 (LA Times):
    Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an executive directive on Tuesday requiring Los Angeles to reduce its fresh water use 20% by 2017 as a response to the prolonged drought. Garcetti also asked L.A. departments to dramatically cut the amount of water used by replacing lawns and other city landscaping, including street medians, with less thirsty plants.
  • EPA approval of Dow herbicide breaks law, critics say (Reuters):
    U.S. regulatory approval on Wednesday for a Dow AgroSciences herbicide to be used with new genetically modified crops outraged critics, who say the approval violates environmental law and will create a host of problems for people and animals.
  • Russian gas shutdown would not cause blackouts, says European commission (Guardian UK):
    Research adds to evidence linking autism to air pollutants (Science Daily):
    "We've now had three solid studies saying the same thing. The evidence is pretty compelling that something is going on with air pollution and autism," says Kalkbrenner, who adds that further study is needed to determine the neurodevelopmental impacts of specific chemical pollutants during precise developmental windows.
  • Former Workers, Whistleblowers Shed Light on Hanford Nuclear Site Safety Setbacks (Al Jazeera):
    Former employees at Hanford, the country's most contaminated nuclear waste site, discuss its disturbing safety culture.
  • Hagel: Climate change will challenge US military (AP) [emphasis added]:
    "Climate change is a 'threat multiplier' because it has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we already confront today — from infectious disease to armed insurgencies — and to produce new challenges in the future," Hagel said. He spoke during the opening session of the conference, which was attended by defense ministers and military chiefs of more than 30 countries from the Americas, Spain and Portugal.
  • Lost Louisiana: the race to reclaim vanished land back from the sea (Guardian UK)
  • Printable Solar Panels May Be Coming to a Device Near You (Mashable):
    Australian scientists claim they are extremely close to having printable solar panels available for market.
  • 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.


FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page

  • 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: