IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Gag order lifted in criminal trial of Massey Energy coal boss Don Blankenship; Sea levels rose 5 inches in 2 years in the Northeast; Oil drillers illegally dumping toxic wastewater in California; Air pollution standards cut rates of childhood asthma in half; PLUS: Republicans fail to override Obama's Keystone XL veto, but vow to try again...and again...and again... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Your shower wastes water. Here's what you can do about it; Anti-pollution documentary taking China by storm; NYC could see 6 feet of sea level rise; Revealed: secret plan to confuse public on climate change launched in 1998; Canada pushing First Nations to give up land rights; Christie's office pushed sweetheart pollution deal for Exxon; McDonald's to limit antibiotics in chicken... PLUS: K-cup founder regrets the 'environmental scourge' he invented... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Gag Order Lifted In Trial of 'Dark Lord of Coal' Don Blankenship:
- Gag Order Lifted in Criminal Case Against 'Dark Lord of Coal Country' Don Blankenship (The BRAD BLOG):
Media outlets successful in lifting order issued in trial against former Massey Energy CEO following nation's worst mine disaster in 40 years...
- Federal appeals court throws out Blankenship gag order (Charleston Gazette)
- Appeals Court Gag Order Ruling [PDF] (Charleston Gazette)
- Senate Republicans Fail to Override Obama's Keystone XL Veto (Bloomberg) [emphasis added]:
Eight Democrats joined 54 Republicans in voting to overturn the veto, short of the two-thirds super majority needed....
Michael Bennet of Colorado
Tom Carper of Delaware
Bob Casey of Pennsylvania
Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota
Joe Manchin of West Virginia
Claire McCaskill of Missouri
Jon Tester of Montana
Mark Warner of Virginia.
- CA: Hundreds of Illegal Oil Wastewater Pits Discovered:
- Hundreds of illicit oil wastewater pits found in Kern County (LA Times) [emphasis added]:
The possible existence of hundreds of unpermitted pits came to light when regional water officials compared their list of pit operators to a list compiled by the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources. The oil regulator's list contained at least 300 more waste pits than water officials had permitted.
- Who's behind the chemical-laden water pits in Kern County? (LA Times):
One thing is clear for officials who discovered hundreds of illicit oil wastewater pits in Kern County: They have years of work ahead of them to determine who put the chemical-laden water there and how to remediate any potential environmental damage....Inspections so far have revealed the existence of more than 300 previously unidentified waste sites.
- 100s of Pits Full of Oil Wastewater Discovered in Calif.'s Kern County (McClatchy DC)
- Alarming Spike in Sea Levels Across Northeastern Seaboard:
- An Extreme Event of Sea-level Rise along the Northeast Coast of North America in 2009–2010 (NOAA)
- Study: An extreme event of sea-level rise along the Northeast coast of North America in 2009–2010 (Nature Communications)
- Ocean scientists report ‘unprecedented’ spike in sea level off Portland several years ago (Portland Press-Herald):
Casco Bay waters rose by 5 inches during a peak period in 2009-10, and more extreme fluctuations are likely, increasing the threat of coastal flooding.
- VIDEO: Sea level rise over two-year period near Portland alarming (WCSH Portland, Maine)
- Sea levels in Northeast jumped 5 inches in just 2 years, study finds (Mashable) [emphasis added]:
The new research, from scientists at the University of Arizona and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, provides more evidence that, set against the backdrop of the long-term increase in global sea levels from melting polar ice caps and warming oceans, there exist sharp and even damaging shorter-term variability in sea levels at the local and regional level, driven by mercurial ocean currents and weather cycles.
- CA: Strict Air Pollutions Controls Cut Asthma Rates in Half:
- Healthier lungs in California kids after pollution controls (Reuters) [emphasis added]:
Over a 13-year period, the proportion of children with poor lung capacity and lung health fell by half as levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter dropped. The gains were seen both in youngsters who had asthma and in those who did not.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Your shower is wasting huge amounts of water. Here's what you can do about it. (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
Shower wonks have dubbed this extremely common pattern “behavioral waste,” or waste that occurs because of human habits. And there appears to be quite a lot of it. “Typically 20 percent of every shower, the duration, is essentially lost.”...What’s more, because water coming out of shower heads is supposed to be hot water, showers are also energy hogs....Evolve Technologies has designed a “thermostatic shut-off valve” [PDF] that can be installed behind the shower head.
- New York City Could See 6-Foot Sea Rise, Tripling of Heat Waves by 2100 (Scientific American):
If left unconstrained, global warming could wreak havoc on the Big Apple.
- The Anti-Pollution Documentary That's Taken China By Storm (NPR):
Two hundred million and counting: That's how many times a documentary about China's massive air pollution problem has been viewed online since the weekend. Environmentalists are hailing it as an eye-opener for Chinese citizens.
- What happened to the lobbyists who tried to reshape the US view of climate change? (Guardian UK):
In early 1998, some of the biggest fossil fuel companies in the world were hatching a plan to hijack the science of human-caused global warming....In a memo the plan boldly declared its goal would be to convince “a majority of the American public” that “significant uncertainties exist in climate science”.
- California shuts down some oil wells to protect groundwater AP):
The action came after a review found more than 2,500 instances when the state authorized oil field injections into protected water aquifers that could be used for drinking or irrigating crops. The state identified 176 as high priority concerns.
- A Brewing Problem: K-cup founder admits he 'feels guilty' over environmental impact (The Atlantic) [emphasis added]:
Sylvan has some regrets about selling his share of the company in 1997 for $50,000. But that’s not what really upsets him....[T]oday the cups are still not recyclable or biodegradable....Looking back on his invention, amid increasing public condemnation of K-Cups as a scourge on the planet, Sylvan told me, “I feel bad sometimes that I ever did it.”
- Looming Warming Spurt Could Reshape Climate Debate (Climate Central) [emphasis added]:
That’s the ominous conclusion of a vast and growing body of research that links sweeping Pacific Ocean cycles with rates of warming at the planet’s surface... With Pacific trade winds expected to slacken in the years ahead, the studies warn that seas will begin absorbing less of global warming’s energy, and that some of the heat they’ve been holding onto will rise to the surface.
- Canada Pushes 1st Nations To Give Up Land Rights for Oil, Gas Profits (Guardian UK):
The Harper government is trying to win support for its pipelines and resource agenda by pushing First Nations to sideline their aboriginal rights in exchange for business opportunities, documents reveal.
- New Study: Ocean Acidification Threatens Coastal Communities in 15 U.S. States (National Socio-Economic Environmental Synthesis Center):
The first nationwide vulnerability assessment for ocean acidification shows that coastal communities that depend on the nation's approximately $1 billion shelled mollusk (e.g., oysters and clams) industry are at long-term economic risk from ocean acidification.
- VIDEO: The View Bashes GOP Sen. Inhofe’s ‘Moronic’ Snowball Stunt (Mediaite):
"The weather is changing…. It’s terrible for the Republican Party to look like we can’t acknowledge reality.... But it is moronic to throw snow in the Capitol and say, I don’t know, I don’t think anything is changing."
- Christie’s Office Drove Exxon Settlement, Ex-Official Says (NY Times):
For more than a decade, the New Jersey attorney general’s office conducted a hard-fought legal battle to hold Exxon Mobil Corporation responsible for decades of environmental contamination in northern New Jersey.
- McDonald’s Moving to Limit Antibiotic Use in Chickens (NY Times):
McDonald’s said on Wednesday that it would begin using chickens that are not raised with antibiotics used to treat humans, a move likely to put pressure on competitors of the fast-food chain, which now sells more chicken than beef.
- Berkeley study directly IDs climate change culprit (SF Gate) [emphasis added]:
"We have known for decades that there must be an effect, but getting a direct measurement and isolating the carbon dioxide component are a technological coup," Christopher B. Field, a senior scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University who has led two major IPCC reports, said in an e-mail. The Berkeley scientists' study, he said, provides concrete evidence for the first time of carbon dioxide's effect on global warming.
- Now's Your Chance to Help Save the Imperiled Monarch Butterfly-and Get Paid to Do So (Take Part) [emphasis added]:
Another threat, according to Grant, has been well-intentioned individuals who have planted a tropical form of milkweed, which competes with native varieties and is not beneficial to monarchs or other pollinators.
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).