IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: America's first high-speed rail line breaks ground in CA; Environment to lose another champion in the Senate; More tank problems one year after WV toxic chemical spill; Fracking industry causing more quakes in OH and TX; PLUS: The Golden State invests big time in the new green economy... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): George Will again gets it exactly backwards on climate change; Denmark sets world record for wind energy production; Yes, it's cold, and global warming is still real; Serengeti Strategy - how corporate interests target individual scientists; China makes it easier to sue industrial polluters; Australia is burning and climate change is to blame; Did AZ just revolutionize the utility-solar industry?... PLUS: Stop what you’re doing and watch Elizabeth Warren rip apart Keystone XL pipeline... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Sen. Barbara Boxer Will Not Seek Re-Election in 2016:
- VIDEO: A Message from Sen. Barbara Boxer About the Future (BarbaraBoxer.com)
- California Breaks Ground on America's First High-Speed Rail Line:
- Is America falling in love with trains again? (Telegraph UK):
As ground is broken on Tuesday on America's first true high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, a new age of the train may be dawning in the US.
- Fracking Industry Definitely Caused Earthquakes in Ohio:
- For The First Time, Scientists Prove Fracking Caused An Earthquake Strong Enough To Be Felt By Humans (Cliamte Progress)
- Study: Fracking caused earthquakes in existing faults in Ohio (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
- Fracking Confirmed as Cause of Rare “Felt” Earthquake in Ohio [PDF] (Seismological Society of America)
- Did Fracking Cause Earthquake Swarm in Texas?:
- 26 Earthquakes Later, Fracking’s Smoking Gun Is in Texas (Daily Beast):
Irving, Texas’ sudden onset tremor problem might be the fracking industry’s nightmare. There’s a monster lurking under Texas, beneath the sand and oil and cowboy bones, and it’s getting a little restless after a 15 million year nap....Irving itself has more than 2,000 of these sites nearby...
- Cluster of earthquakes rattle Dallas area for second day (KXAN-TV Dallas-Ft. Worth)
- 11 North Texas Earthquakes In Around 27 Hours (CBS Dallas-Ft. Worth)
- More Storage Tank Problems One Year After WV Chemical Spill:
- VIDEO: WV DEP: 1,100 above-ground storage tanks found 'not fit for service' (WOWK-TV Charlottesville)
- Freedom officials knew about facility’s problems for years, feds say (Charleston Gazette)
- CA Gov. Jerry Brown: 'We Will Lead the Way On Climate Change':
- VIDEO: CA Gov. Jerry Brown's Inaugural Address (C-SPAN)
- Transcript: Gov. Jerry Brown's Inaugural Address (Office of the Governor of California) [emphasis added]:
I envision a wide range of initiatives: more distributed power, expanded rooftop solar, micro-grids, an energy imbalance market, battery storage, the full integration of information technology and electrical distribution and millions of electric and low-carbon vehicles. How we achieve these goals and at what pace will take great thought and imagination mixed with pragmatic caution. It will require enormous innovation, research and investment. And we will need active collaboration at every stage with our scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, businesses and officials at all levels.
- Gov. Jerry Brown Begins Last Term With a Bold Energy Plan (NY Times)
- Gov. Brown's renewable energy plan could boost solar, wind industries (LA Times)
- Senator Barbara Boxer Says She Won’t Seek Re-election in 2016 (NY Times)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Stop what you’re doing and watch Elizabeth Warren rip apart Keystone XL pipeline (Grist):
Who does this new Republican Congress work for: foreign oil companies or the American people? Today, their first priority is to advance a pipeline that means a whole lot to an army of well-paid lobbyists, and a whole lot to a giant, foreign oil company..
- George Will Gets It Exactly Backward On Climate Change (Climate Progress):
Will manages to ignore the authors’ long discussions of this point and instead conclude that because the climate changed in the past for reasons other than human-caused carbon pollution, we can’t know that carbon pollution will cause harmful changes in the future.
- Where in the World Are the Fossil Fuels That Cannot Be Burned to Restrain Global Warming? (Scientific American):
A new analysis reveals the nations—U.S. included—that must sacrifice exploiting much of their carbon-based energy resources if they are serious about combating climate change
- Denmark Sets World Record For Wind Power Production (Climate Progress)
- Yes, It’s Cold. Global Warming Is Still Real. (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
As you may remember, global warming means that the globe — i.e., the whole planet, not just where you live — is steadily increasing in temperature, on average. The fact that it is very cold in one small part of the world for a short period of time does not disprove a long-term global trend.
- The Serengeti strategy: How special interests try to intimidate scientists, and how best to fight back (Michael Mann, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists):
Much as lions on the Serengeti seek out vulnerable zebras at the edge of a herd, special interests faced with adverse scientific evidence often target individual scientists rather than take on an entire scientific field at once.
- China Says It Will Make It Easier For Environmental Groups To Sue Polluters (Climate Progress)
- Australia Is Burning, and Climate Change Is Making It Worse (BusinessWeek) [emphasis added]:
Fires may be inevitable in Australian summers, but climate change is making the problem more severe, says Will Steffen, an adjunct professor at the Australian National University’s Fenner School of Environment & Society. “Pretty much all parts of the continent do burn...We are seeing an increase in the most populated areas of Australia. That’s really of concern, the fires that can encroach on the edge of cities.”
- Arizona's utility-owned solar programs: The new business models utilities are looking for? (Utility Dive) [emphasis added]:
Two innovative utility-owned solar programs were finalized by Arizona regulators at the close of 2014, programs that could change the net energy metering controversy. More importantly, they could change the utility business model and the solar business.
- Beautiful wind turbine trees generate clean energy in urban environments (Treehugger):
French entrepreneur Jérôme Michaud-Larivière came up with the design one day while noticing the way the wind rustled the leaves on trees, lifting and spinning them, and he wondered if a wind energy device based on that could generate energy.
- 'Greener' plastic recycling uses no water and only half the energy (Gizmag):
Mexican startup Ak Inovex has developed a new method of recycling plastic that does away with water and only consumes half the energy of previous systems. At the same time, it produces plastic pellets of equal or better quality, resulting in an environmentally friendlier process that also promises to be significantly cheaper.
- Surprise! Environmental regulations may not cost as much as governments and businesses fear (The Economist) [emphasis added]:
Now, they finally have some hard figures....More importantly, the new study confirms earlier findings about the impact of individual measures: “an increase in stringency of environmental policies does not harm productivity growth.” This contradicts what most governments and companies seem to believe: that green rules may be justified by the need to save the planet but impose immediate economic costs.
- 2014 Was The Hottest Year On Record Globally By Far (Climate Progress):
The Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) has announced that 2014 was the hottest year in more than 120 years of record-keeping — by far. NOAA is expected to make a similar call in a couple of weeks and so is NASA.
- The People Have Spoken: This Is The Most Brazen Lie Of 2014 (Climate Progress):
Earlier this year, readers of the Tampa Bay Times’ fact-checking project PolitiFact were asked to vote on what they believe was the year’s biggest lie. And as of Wednesday, the results are in: “Climate change is a hoax” was the overwhelming choice.
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).