IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: EPA gives Obama reason to reject Keystone XL pipeline; Feds must account for rising sea levels; Scarborough calls liberals 'science deniers'; Extreme weather whiplash from Boston to San Francisco; PLUS: Majority of Americans (including Republicans) now want government action on global warming, won't vote for politicians who don't... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Mercury levels rising in yellowfin tuna; State let oil companies taint drinkable water; IPCC: World has not woken up to water crisis caused by climate change; Saudis using oil to pry Russia away from Syria?; How fish could change the definition of 'organic'; Not enough time for geoengineering to work; One bacterium could save biofuel industry... PLUS: Fossil fuel companies gave Congress hundreds of millions to support Keystone XL... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: Scarborough: Opposing Pipelines Is the Left’s Science Denialism (Mediaite):
Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough tried to flip the “science denialism” charge — usually aimed at Republicans over everything from climate change to evolution to, as of yesterday, vaccination — onto Democrats Tuesday morning, when he wondered whether the left’s opposition to oil pipelines in the face of widespread union support was such an extreme and “alarmist” position that it counted as anti-science.
- EPA Weighs In On Keystone XL Pipeline:
- EPA: Oil prices should be part of Keystone XL decision (Fuel Fix)
- Keystone pipeline: Obama given boost from EPA report revising climate impact (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
In a letter to the State Department, the EPA said the recent drop in oil prices meant that Keystone would indeed promote further expansion of the Alberta tar sands, unleashing more greenhouse gas emissions and worsening climate change.
- EPA Keystone Review Links Oil Sands to Carbon Emission Jump (Bloomberg):
“Until ongoing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of oil sands are more successful and widespread,” developing the crude “represents a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions,” the EPA said Tuesday in a letter to the State Department, which is reviewing the project.
- EPA to Obama: You gotta reject Keystone (Grist)
- Feds Must Account For Rising Sea Levels in All Projects:
- In major shift, Obama administration will plan for rising seas in all federal projects (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
The new standard gives agencies three options for establishing the flood elevation and hazard area they use in siting, design and construction of federal projects. They can use data and methods “informed by best-available, actionable climate science”; build two feet above the 100-year flood elevation for standard projects and three feet above for critical buildings such as hospitals and evacuation centers; or build to the 500-year flood elevation.
- Want to Build with Federal Funds? New Order Requires Planning for Future Flood Risk (InsideClimate News):
Executive order helps ensure tax dollars aren't wasted on repairing projects that just end up getting flooded again.
- Emerging Consensus: Most Americans Back Climate Action, Including Republicans:
- Most Republicans Say They Back Climate Action, Poll Finds (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
Among Republicans, 48 percent say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports fighting climate change, a result that Jon A. Krosnick, a professor of political science at Stanford University and an author of the survey, called “the most powerful finding” in the poll.
- VIDEO: What Goes Around: Pendulum Swings, Chickens Come to Roost, as Climate Denial Dawg Don’t Hunt (Climate Crocks):
There may have to be another red meat issue developed for the coming GOP primary campaign. Climate denial is losing its luster.
- Wild Weather Whiplash From Boston to San Francisco:
- Boston’s record-setting snow blitz — a winter’s worth of snow in less than 10 days (Washington Post):
Nearly any way you cut it, Boston has just ended a record-setting stretch of snow, with 90 percent of this season’s total snowfall having fallen in the past 10 days alone. And there’s still at least another month of winter left.
- Groundhog Day 2015: Punxsutawney Phil sees shadow, predicts six more weeks of winter (Washington Post)
- No rainfall for San Francisco in January (UPI):
It is the first time this occurs in the 165 years since the region's weather started being recorded. Average rainfall for the month of January in the city is 4.5 inches of rain.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Mercury levels rising in Pacific yellowfin tuna (LA Times):
Mercury levels in yellowfin tuna caught in the Pacific Ocean have
been rising at a 3.8% annual rate since 1998, according to a new study.
- What major papers aren't telling you: fossil fuel companies gave Congress hundreds of millions to support Keystone XL (Media Matters) [emphasis added]:
[C]overage of congressional efforts to force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline has been missing an essential component of the story: the hundreds of millions of dollars that the fossil fuel industry spent in the midterm elections to elect members of Congress who support Keystone XL and other aspects of the oil industry's agenda. Of the newspapers reviewed, only The New York Times tied congressional support for Keystone XL back to the fossil fuel industry's campaign contributions.
- CA: State let oil companies taint drinkable water in Central Valley (SF Chronicle):
Oil companies in drought-ravaged California have, for years, pumped wastewater from their operations into aquifers that had been clean enough for people to drink. They did it with explicit permission from state regulators, who were supposed to protect the increasingly strained groundwater supplies from contamination.
- World has not woken up to water crisis caused by climate change: IPCC head (Reuters):
Water scarcity could lead to conflict between communities and nations as the world is still not fully aware of the water crisis many countries face as a result of climate change, the head of the U.N. panel of climate scientists warned on Tuesday.
- Atmospheric River Heads for California as a Massive Field Study Gears Up (Weather Underground):
[Atmospheric Rivers] are well worth getting a handle on, since they play an outsized role in both drought relief and flooding across California. It’s been estimated that 25 - 50% of California’s water supply is derived from AR events.
- Saudi Oil Seen as Lever to Pry Russia Away From Syria’s Assad (NY Times):
Saudi Arabia has been trying to pressure President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia to abandon his support for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, using its dominance of the global oil markets at a time when the Russian government is reeling from the effects of plummeting oil prices.
- Californians Meet Water Conservation Goal For First Time (Climate Progress):
A rainy December helped Californians meet a 20 percent water-saving goal for the first time in the year since it was proposed.
- Millions Of Gallons Of Oil Settled At The Bottom Of The Gulf After BP Oil Spill (Climate Progress):
Millions of gallons of oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill didn’t get cleaned up, and instead settled in the sediment of the Gulf of Mexico’s floor, a new study has found.
- How Fish Could Change What It Means For Food To Be Organic (NPR):
[T]he U.S. Department of Agriculture is considering a set of rules for organic farmed fish. Several consumer groups, though, say the recommended rules don't go far enough to meet the strict standards of other organic foods.
- Not enough time for geoengineering to work? (Bulletin of Atomic Scientists):
The first issue has to do with the deployment time necessary to introduce a technology at scale, and the second with how long we would need to commit to geoengineering to make a difference.
- How one bacterium could help ease reliance on food crops for biofuel (CS Monitor):
A lowly bacterium, once sidelined in biofuel production, may help reduce production costs in converting crop residue and other non-crop plants into fuel.
- These New Polls Show Why Americans Should Believe Climate Scientists In 30 Years (Climate Progress)
- It's Not Too Late To Stop Climate Change, And It'll Be Super-Cheap (Climate Progress):
I rarely disagree with Dave Roberts. But he has a column on Grist, "We can solve climate change, but it won't be cheap or easy," that is wrong, pure and simple....The most important climate issue is the cost and consequences of inaction.
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).