IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: A new entry into the 2016 Democratic presidential race --- and yes, we've got his position on climate change; Oil industry's deceptive ad campaign succeeds in California, as the state breaks new ground in climate and energy legislation; PLUS: Sarah Palin wants to be Energy Secretary --- and then quit... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Are scientists who collaborate with GMO industry tainted?; What Media Should Know About The Fossil Fuel Industry's Latest Pro-Smog Pollution Campaigns; Global warming could push bacteria species into overdrive; Obama:Act Now or Condemn World to a Nightmare; New study reveals the possibility of hurricanes 'unlike anything you've seen in history'; Scientists discover that the world contains dramatically more trees than previously thought - but it's not good news; 6.5 Million Americans Drink Water Contaminated With the Chemical Used to Make Non-Stick Pans... PLUS: Climate Change Is Darkening Seattle's Water Forecast... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Harvard Prof. Lessig wants to be president to get money out of politics --- and then quit:
- VIDEO: Harvard Law Professor Announces He's Running For President (Talking Points Memo):
Lessig says he's running to address campaign finance reform, voting rights issues and "political gerrymandering." Should he achieve his agenda as president, the 54-year-old South Dakota native promises to resign and let his vice president take over.
- Larry Lessig Believes Democracy Is Screwed. So He's Running For President To Save It.
The Harvard legal scholar promised to quit if he passes his reform agenda. (Huffington Post)
- VIDEO: Prof. Lawrence Lessig on Climate Change and Money in Politics (Lessig YouTube Channel)
- Sarah Palin wants to be Energy Secretary, kill the department --- and then quit:
- VIDEO: Sarah Palin on State of the Union: Full Interview (CNN State of the Union)
- Sarah Palin wants to be Donald Trump's energy secretary, has no idea what the job entails (Vox.com):
Sarah Palin is already picking out a job for herself in the forthcoming Donald Trump administration. She'd like to run the Department of Energy for a brief period, before abolishing it. Sounds promising! Except for one tiny little catch - it's not clear she even knows what the department does.
- Sarah Palin makes pitch to lead - and 'get rid of' - a Trump energy department (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
She also rejected President Obama's focus on the threat posed by climate change, particularly to her state, saying: "I'm not going to blame … changes in the weather on man's footprint."...Palin added: "These blames on man's activity, some of that I know is bogus."
- In Western states, idea of reclaiming federal land still has a strong allure (LOs Angeles):
Legal and economic scholarship on Utah's transfer bill concludes that the federal land transfer is never going to happen, and if public lands were indeed somehow given to the states, the result would be a financial disaster.
- California state legislature tackles ambitious climate and pollution agenda:
- AUDIO: 'California To Start Rationing Gas!,' They Lied: 'BradCast' 9/9/2015 (The BRADBLOG):
Guest: Timothy O'Connor of the Environmental Defense Fund...
- California Is About to Do Something Great That No State Has Ever Done Before (Mother JOnes):
Neither bill includes specific prescriptions for how to meet the targets. Those are left to the state's Air Resources Board (CARB), which would be required to turn in an enforcement plan by 2017. The gas consumption target would likely require some combination of new fuel efficiency standards for cars, incentives for alternative fuels and biofuels, cooperation with local planning agencies to improve public transit and make communities less car-reliant, and a push to get people to buy more electric vehicles. (California is already home to half of the roughly 174,000 electric vehicles on the road in the United States.)
- Can California really cut gasoline use by 50 percent? (San Jose Mercury News) [emphasis added]:
as the final days of this year's legislative session in Sacramento loom, a controversial bill that would require the state to reduce petroleum use by motor vehicles at least 50 percent by 2030 is causing people in the Capitol and around the state to ask: "Is that even possible?" Yet lost in the debate are two key facts: The state will get halfway to that goal even if it does nothing.
- Will California redouble its push for clean energy? It all rides on this upcoming vote (Vox.com)
- Cutting 50 Percent from California's Petroleum Consumption can Lower Fuel Prices and Price Volatility While Keeping the Economy Strong (Tim O'Connor, Environmental Defense Fund)
- Big Oil wins in California - for now - with deceptive ad campaign:
- Gas reduction dropped from California climate change bill (LA Times):
“Oil has won the skirmish. But they've lost the bigger battle,” he said at a Capitol news conference. “Because I am more determined than ever.”
Brown added, “We're not going to miss a beat.”
- Oil Industry Contributions Blamed for Standoff Over Climate Change Bill in California (VICE News)
- Jerry Brown, Kevin de Leon abandon bill to require 50 percent cut in gasoline use (Sacramento Bee)
- WSPA Lies: Oil Companies Are At It Again… And California Is The Target (Union of Concerned Scientists)
- Fact check: Ad misleads on gas reduction law (Sacramento Bee):
Oil interests exploit ambiguity in proposed law, but claims are overblown.
- Ad blitz heats up climate change fight (Cal Matters)
- Major Calif. Climate Bills Hinge on Moderate Democratic Holdouts (Courthouse News Service)
- VIDEO: California Gas Restriction Act of 2015 (Western States Petroleum Assoc. via CA Drivers Alliance)
- VIDEO: Say NO to California Driving Restrictions (Western States Petroleum Assoc. via CA Drivers Alliance)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- What Media Should Know About The Fossil Fuel Industry's Latest Pro-Smog Pollution Campaigns: One Group Relies On Debunked Study, Another Is Front Group For Energy Industry (Media Matters):
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Environmental Policy Alliance are each running TV ad campaigns attacking the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) forthcoming smog pollution reduction rule. But before members of the media repeat the ads' claims, they should know that NAM's ads are based on a misleading study, and that the Environmental Policy Alliance is a front group for oil and gas PR executive Richard Berman.
- "Nobody expected that it could do something so bizarre": Global warming could push bacteria species into overdrive (Climate Crocks) [emphasis added]:
A new study from USC and the Massachusetts-based Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) shows that changing conditions due to climate change could send Tricho into overdrive with no way to stop - reproducing faster and generating lots more nitrogen. Without the ability to slow down, however, Tricho has the potential to gobble up all its available resources, which could trigger die-offs of the microorganism and the higher organisms that depend on it.
- VIDEO: Obama on Climate Change: Act Now or Condemn World to a Nightmare (NBC News):
We are not moving fast enough. None of the nations represented here are moving fast enough...The United Statesrecognizes our role in creating this problem and embraces our role in solving it....The time to heed the critics and the cynics and the deniers is past.
- New study reveals the possibility of hurricanes 'unlike anything you've seen in history' (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
The purpose of the study is "to raise awareness of what a very low probability, very high impact hurricane event might look like," said Emanuel. The gray swan storms were generated by a computer model that "coupled" together, in the researchers' parlance, a very high-resolution hurricane model with a global climate model. That allowed the researchers to populate the simulated world with oodles of different storms.
- Are scientists who collaborate with GMO industry tainted? (Grist):
Neither of these facts is hugely consequential in itself. But these scientists work on opposite sides of today's widening debate over the future of U.S. agriculture - the argument between "big" and "small," conventional and organic, whether farming should go back to the land or back to the lab. Because of that, and thanks to a New York Times feature that hoisted them into the spotlight, they have become lightning rods for questions about research funding, conflicts of interest, and scientific ethics.
- Scientists discover that the world contains dramatically more trees than previously thought (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
However, in no way do the researchers consider this good news. The study also finds that there are 46 percent fewer trees on Earth than there were before humans started the lengthy, but recently accelerating, process of deforestation.
- 6.5 Million Americans Drink Water Contaminated With the Chemical Used to Make Non-Stick Pans (Environmental Working Group):
[N]ationwide testing has found that 6.5 million Americans in 27 states are drinking water tainted by an industrial compound that was used for decades to make Teflon. The chemical, known as PFOA, has been detected in 94 public water systems.
- Ready, Fire, Aim: Republicans Plunge Forward on Wrong Side of Climate Debate (Climate Crocks):
Top Republican lawmakers are planning a wide-ranging offensive — including outreach to foreign officials by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office — to undermine President Barack Obama’s hopes of reaching an international climate change agreement that would cement his environmental legacy.
- California Moves To Protect Citizens From Monsanto's GMO Weed Killer (Environmental Working Group):
Because manufacturers loathe adding labels that could scare away customers, putting a chemical on the Proposition 65 list often leads them to reformulate the product or even to take it off the market. Since Roundup - primarily applied to genetically modified (GMO) crops - is the most widely used herbicide in the U.S., Monsanto will break out the heavy artillery to oppose the state's listing.
- NatGeo Gives Fox Control of Media Assets in $725 Million Deal (Washington Post):
Although the partners spoke optimistically about the new marketing and promotional potential of their enlarged venture, the news sent shudders through the magazine’s downtown Washington offices. The one-word reaction from one of the magazine’s journalists: “Dread.”
- West Texas Residents Raise a Fight Over Another Trans-National Pipeline (InsideClimate News):
Residents have rallied to oppose the Trans-Pecos pipeline, which will transport Eagle Ford shale gas across one of Texas' last remaining pristine areas.
- Obama's Climate Plan Just Won Another Key Victory in Court (Mother Jones):
A federal court in DC ruled that they would have to wait until the rules were finalized. They tried again last month, when the final details were announced. But this afternoon, they got smacked down again because the rules, while now final, still haven't been published in the federal register (that process typically takes months).
- Climate Change Is Darkening Seattle's Water Forecast (InvestigateWest):
One of the country's fastest-growing cities suddenly has a long-term water problem.
- Huge Pirate Tuna Fishing Operation Exposed in Pacific, Says Greenpeace (Guardian UK):
A Taiwanese longline vessel caught with 75kg of shark fins near Papua New Guinea was only the 'tip of the iceberg' of operations driving a decline in tuna.
- Climate Change Could Put Tribes' Electric Systems at Risk (Climate Central):
Heat waves, extreme storms, wildfire and other effects of climate change pose major threats to the electric power systems in Native American communities across the country, most significantly in the West and Southwest, according to a new U.S. Department of Energy report.
- Ex Machina: No Techno-Fix For Irreversible Ocean Collapse From Carbon Pollution (Climate Progress):
The Nature Climate Change study examined what would happen if we continue current CO2 emissions trends through 2050 and then try to remove huge volumes of CO2 from the air after the fact with some techno-fix. The result, as co-author John Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, put it, is "we will not be able to preserve ocean life as we know it."
- Every country is now pledging to tackle CO2 emissions. It's still not enough. (Vox.com):
In other words, if the world wants to stay below 2°C of global warming - which has long been considered the danger zone for climate change - these pledges are only a first step. Countries will have to do a whole lot more than they're currently promising. And the IEA has a few ideas for what "do a whole lot more" might entail.
1. Increase energy efficiency in the industry, buildings, and transport sectors.
2. Progressively reduce the use of the least efficient coal-fired power plants and banning their construction.
3. Increase investment in renewable energy technologies in the power sector from $270 billion in 2014 to $400 billion in 2030.
4. Gradually phase out fossil fuel subsidies to end-users by 2030.
5. Reduce methane emissions in oil and gas production.
- 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).