With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 3/24/2015, 12:15pm PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Get out your popcorn - Climate change-denying Sen. Ted Cruz is running for president...and Gov. Jerry Brown is unimpressed; Is mandatory water rationing in California's future?; PLUS: In Florida, don't say 'climate change' or you be sent to a mental hospital....All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Scientists Want to Mine Our Poop for Gold --- Literally; Gulf Stream Slowdown: 'The Day After Tomorrow' Might Kinda, Sorta Come True; 10 years after BP refinery explosion, more reforms needed; 26 US coal companies have gone bankrupt in the last three years; Texas town goes 100% renewable energy; Top Chinese Official Says Climate Change Is “Serious Threat"; Yemen tearing itself apart over water; BP drops membership with ALEC... PLUS: Plastic pollution worse than thought: Scientists finding plastic embedded in scales of fish... 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)...

  • Scientists Want to Mine Our Poop for Gold --- Literally (Motherboard) [emphasis added]:
    Contained within our s**t are surprisingly large quantities of silver, gold, and platinum...Extrapolating from their data, the authors worked out that the waste produced annually by a million Americans could contain as much as 13 million dollars worth of metals. That’s over four billion dollars worth of gold coming out of our collective arses every year.
  • Gulf Stream Slowdown: 'The Day After Tomorrow' Might Kinda, Sorta Come True (Slate):
    According to new research published Monday, the idea that underpins the film’s plot—that rapid Arctic ice melt could cause dramatic changes to the global climate system—just got one step closer to reality. Of particular concern are the profound changes happening in the Greenland ice sheet: It appears that the massive amount of freshwater from melting Greenland glaciers has now begun to slow the ocean’s circulating currents.
  • 10 years after BP Texas City explosion, CSB and OSHA say more must be done (Safety & Health Magazine) [emphasis added]:
    Fifteen workers were killed and nearly 200 were injured in the 2005 blast, which was caused by an ignited vapor cloud that formed from an eruption of flammable liquid hydrocarbons. A poor safety culture that ignored warning signs, a deficient process safety management program, and the use of obsolete equipment all contributed to the BP blast, CSB states in a new video....These deficiencies also were present in other CSB-investigated refinery disasters, including a 2010 Tesoro refinery explosion and a 2012 Chevron refinery fire, the agency said.
  • US coal crash ‘serves as a warning’ to fossil fuel investors (RTCC):
    At least 26 US coal companies have gone bankrupt in the last three years, finds Carbon Tracker, in a sign of things to come.
  • Texas town goes all in on renewable energy (Texas Tribune):
    Georgetown’s municipal utility on Wednesday unveiled plans to abandon traditional electricity sources like coal and gas power plants, instead exclusively tapping wind and solar energy to meet all of its customers’ power needs. It is the state's first city-owned utility to make that leap.
  • Top Chinese Official Says Climate Change Is “Serious Threat,” Could Have “Huge Impact” (Slate):
    Climate change could have a "huge impact" on China, reducing crop yields and harming the environment, the country's top weather scientist has warned, in a rare official admission.
  • BP drops membership with ALEC (Climate Investigations):
    Major oil-and-gas corporation BP announced Monday it is parting ways with the American Legislative Exchange Council, marking just the latest—and likely most significant—departure of a blue-chip company from the conservative group in recent months.
  • Ethiopia's leap toward solar energy (Clean Leap):
    The deal will help Ethiopian Electric Power develop a 300 MW new solar project in Ethiopia - with the aim of helping the country hit its goal of expanding electricity capacity from the current 55% coverage to 75% by the end of 2015.
  • Surprise Finding Heightens Concern Over Tiny Bits Of Plastic Polluting Our Oceans (Huffington Post Green):
    "It fragments quickly. We fear that as plastic continues to break down, it becomes even more susceptible to being eaten by marine organisms or taken into the gills of fish or, apparently, even embedded into their scale"...
  • Tandem solar cell with silicon and perovskite paves way for high-efficiency, low-cost solar (The Conversation):
    Now that solar cells are less expensive to manufacture, the industry has entered a third phase with the goal: increasing efficiency while keeping low-cost manufacturing.
  • Yemen Is Tearing Itself Apart Over Water (Newsweek) [emphasis added]:
    According to a study commissioned by the World Bank, the city could be unsustainable as soon as 2019. Unless action is taken soon, Sana’a’s residents may be forced to leave the city to wither and die. The wars of the future, it is often said, will be fought not over oil but over water. Yemen offers us a glimpse of the coming apocalypse. Worse, AQAP is looking to export its water “weapon.”
  • Will Alaska's weird winter be followed by equally strange summer? (Alaska Dispatch News):
    Such snowpack conditions usually foreshadow an early --- though not necessarily abnormally large --- wildfire season, Thoman said. There is no correlation between snowpack and overall extent of annual wildfires, although the correlation with early fires is very strong, he said.
  • The Only Place It Was Cold This Winter Was The East Coast Of The United States (Climate Progress):
    If you live on the East Coast of the United States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just released some statistics that may surprise you:
    +Globally, this has been the hottest winter on record, topping the previous record (2007) by 0.05°F.
    +This was “the 19th warmest winter for the contiguous US.”
    + Globally it’s easily been the hottest start to any year (January-February), beating the previous records (2002, 2007) by 0.07°F.
    + This was the second warmest February globally, and “slightly below” the 20th-century average in the contiguous U.S.
    ...In particular, many Western states saw their hottest winter on record — which is not a surprise if you live in drought-stricken California or its neighbor.
  • Obama will order federal agencies to cut carbon emissions 40% in 10 years (Vox.com) [emphasis added]:
    [T]he real significance might be the ripple effects this move has on the broader supply chain. After all, the federal government is a huge purchaser of energy goods and services. It owns more than 360,000 buildings and 650,000 fleet vehicles, according to the Washington Post. So if federal agencies are buying up more wind or solar or hybrid vehicles, that boosts the market for these technologies.
  • FEMA to States: No Climate Planning, No Money (InsideClimate News) [emphasis added]:
    The policy doesn't affect federal money for relief after a hurricane, flood or other disaster. Specifically, beginning in March 2016, states seeking preparedness money will have to assess how climate change threatens their communities.
  • Rate Of Climate Change To Soar By 2020s, With Arctic Warming 1°F Per Decade (Climate Progress):
    New research from a major national lab projects that the rate of climate change, which has risen sharply in recent decades, will soar by the 2020s. This worrisome projection - which has implications for extreme weather, sea level rise, and permafrost melt - is consistent with several recent studies.
  • 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

  • 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: