With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 12/11/2014, 4:25pm PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: GOP anti-environment wish list makes it into "Cromnibus" bill; Crunch time at UN climate treaty talks in Peru; Worldwide calls for an end to fossil fuels; Australia goaded into joining UN Green Climate Fund; PLUS: 'Freedom Industries' boss facing accountability for West Virginia chemical spill... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Russia’s militarization of the Arctic; 7 psychological reasons stopping action on climate change; Study gauges total plastic pollution in ocean; The big hidden energy story unfolding - and it's not oil; Unraveling the El Nino mystery; Should solar homeowners pay for grid maintenance? ... PLUS: How Solar Power Could Slay the Fossil Fuel Empire by 2030... and much, MUCH more! ...

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

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

  • Russia’s Militarization of the Arctic (Climate Crocks) [emphasis added]:
    But like here in the US, while wealthy interests fund science denial to keep their populations ignorant of the threat from climate change, they quietly prepare for a climate altered future in which the arctic ocean opens for trade and exploitation.
  • How Solar Power Could Slay the Fossil Fuel Empire by 2030 (Motherboard):
    In just 15 years, the world as we know it will have transformed forever. The age of oil, gas, coal and nuclear will be over. A new age of clean power and smarter cars will fundamentally, totally, and permanently disrupt the existing fossil fuel-dependent industrial infrastructure in a way that even the most starry-eyed proponents of ‘green energy’ could never have imagined.
  • Study Gauges Plastic Levels in Oceans (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
    “Plastics are like a cocktail of contaminants floating around in the aquatic habitat,” said Chelsea M. Rochman, a marine ecologist at the University of California, Davis. “These contaminants may be magnifying up the food chain.”... “We’ve got to put some onus on producers,” he said. “If you make it, take it back, or make sure the ocean can deal with it in an environmentally harmless way.”
  • The 7 psychological reasons that are stopping us from acting on climate change (Washington Post):
    When a gigantic threat is staring you in the face, and you can't act upon it, it's safe to assume there's some sort of mental blockage happening. So what's the hangup?
  • There's a Big Energy Story Unfolding and It's Not About Cheap Oil (Vice.com):
    While most consumers have been eagerly watching oil prices plummet in the last several months, little attention has been given to the potentially even more significant developments in the solar sector.
  • How Scientists Unraveled the El Nino Mystery (Climate Central):
    Climate scientists had even found that through long chains of cause and effect, warm Pacific temperatures were linked to warm air over the Arctic and cold air over Russia — regions that were literally half a world away.
  • A Provocateur Sees Profits in Coal’s Long, Slow Death (BusinessWeek):
    His warnings are all the more interesting when framed against what Murray, chief executive officer and owner of Murray Energy Corp., is actually doing. For all the doom and gloom, he is gorging on coal mines --- Murray Energy last fall spent $3.5 billion to acquire five of Consol Energy Inc.’s West Virginia operations.
  • Dr. Michael Mann: Global warming’s dangers stare us in face (Op-ed, Providence Journal):
    Dennis Slonka's Dec. 8 Commentary piece (“Climate science will never be ‘settled’ ”) on climate change is wrong and stoops to personal accusations directed at my work and character. Let me set the record straight.
  • Should Homeowners With Solar Panels Pay To Maintain Electrical Grid? (NPR):
    "Solar is here to stay," said economist Judy Chang of the Brattle Group, a consulting firm that advises both the utilities and solar industries. "Utilities have to cope with that. Personally, I think they should cope with it by embracing it, because you can only fight it so far."
  • DOE Announces $12.5B in Loans for Advanced Nuclear (Green Tech Media)
  • Optimism Faces Grave Realities at Climate Talks (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
    While a breach of the 3.6 degree threshold appears inevitable, scientists say that United Nations negotiators should not give up on their efforts to cut emissions. At stake now, they say, is the difference between a newly unpleasant world and an uninhabitable one.
  • Stanford geophysicist maps saltwater threat to California aquifers (Stanford Univ)
  • Energy Firms in Secretive Alliance With Attorneys General (NY Times):
    The letter to the Environmental Protection Agency from Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma carried a blunt accusation: Federal regulators were grossly overestimating the amount of air pollution caused by energy companies drilling new natural gas wells in his state. But Mr. Pruitt left out one critical point. The three-page letter was written by lawyers for Devon Energy, one of Oklahoma's biggest oil and gas companies, and was delivered to him by Devon's chief of lobbying.
  • Researchers convert sunlight to electricity with over 40 percent efficiency (Phys.org):
    UNSW Australia's solar researchers have converted over 40% of the sunlight hitting a solar system into electricity, the highest efficiency ever reported...."We used commercial solar cells, but in a new way, so these efficiency improvements are readily accessible to the solar industry," added Dr Mark Keevers, the UNSW solar scientist who managed the project.
  • How to stop global warming, in 7 steps (Vox.com) [emphasis added]:
    5) Cutting emissions will cost us - but so will global warming... Economic modeling suggests that this would shave 0.06 percentage points off global economic growth each year....The world would still get richer over time, but at a somewhat slower rate.


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
  • 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.
  • 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: