With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 8/4/2016, 11:00am PT  

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: New criminal charges for MI state employees in the Flint Water Crisis; $170 million fine for Kalamazoo River tar sands pipeline spill; Many young voters don't see a difference between Clinton and Trump on climate change; PLUS: Donald Trump pushes (recycles?) tired old myths about renewable energy... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Environmental records shattered as climate change 'plays out before us'; Hurricane Drought Hits a New Record; Government Agencies Must Consider The Climate; Israel Proves the Desalination Era Is Here; Disasters linked to climate can increase risk of armed conflict; "Zombie" Anthrax Goes on a Killing Spree in Siberia--How?; Chernobyl’s Atomic Wasteland May Be Reborn With Solar; Australia Orders Climate Change U-Turn... PLUS: Poll finds Californians back climate change efforts despite cost... and much, MUCH more! ...

STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

  • Donald Trump recycles old myths about renewable energy:
    • VIDEO: Trump: Wind power ‘kills all your birds’ (The Hill) [emphasis added]:
      “It’s so expensive,” Trump said of alternative energy at a rally in Pennsylvania. “And honestly, it’s not working so good. I know a lot about solar. I love solar. But the payback is what, 18 years? Oh great, let me do it. Eighteen years,” he said, turning to wind power. “The wind kills all your birds. All your birds, killed. You know, the environmentalists never talk about that.”
    • Fastest-Growing Source Of Electricity ‘Not Working So Good,’ Trump Claims (Climate Progress):
      In fact, the cost of solar has declined 70 percent since 2008, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, and the return on investment for a homeowner in California, say, is nine years. In New Jersey, it is seven years...As Paula Dwyer wrote for Bloomberg shortly after the exchange, "Not only do Trump’s energy policies misunderstand supply and demand in this market. He seems to be winging it, letting industry officials all but write them."
    • Trump would be only climate denying world leader (NRDC):
      Donald Trump would be the only world leader to deny the science and dangers of climate change if elected President, finds a groundbreaking study released today. In fact, a review of the data shows that Trump could possibly be the only world leader not calling for urgent climate action.

  • Many young voters see no difference between Clinton and Trump on climate change:
    • Many young voters don't see a difference between Clinton and Trump on climate (Grist) [emphasis added]:
      One presidential candidate says scientists who work on climate change are "practically calling it a hoax" and wants to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency. The other calls climate change "an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time." And yet about four out of 10 millennials in battleground states think there is no difference between those candidates' views on the issue.

  • New criminal charges for Michigan state employees in Flint Water Crisis:
    • They 'Failed': 6 More Michigan Employees Charged In Flint Water Crisis (NPR):
      "Each of these individuals attempted to bury or cover up, to downplay or to hide information that contradicted their own narrative, their story. And their story was there's nothing wrong with Flint water, and it was perfectly safe to use. "In essence, these individuals concealed the truth. They were criminally wrong to do so, and the victims are real people. [They are] families who have been lied to by government officials, and treated as if they don't count. Well, they do count."
    • Flint water crisis: New criminal charges are brought (CNN)

  • Former PA Gov. Ed Rendell admits 'mistake' in fracking boom:
  • Enbridge to pay $170 million for Kalamazoo River tar sands pipeline spill:
    • Enbridge's Kalamazoo Spill Saga Ends in $177 Million Settlement (Inside Climate News):
      "In essence, the DOJ's policy is that it is not enough to just pay a penalty," Levine said. "The resolution of the alleged violations should be used as an opportunity to move technology and compliance forward. "Using the leverage of the DOJ in these settlement discussions is a creative means by which to move the ball forward when perhaps a company or an industry might not otherwise do so because of capital cost or research and development cost constraints."
    • This Ridiculously Low Oil Spill Fine Is What’s Wrong With Environmental Enforcement (Climate Progress):
      “Six years have passed with questions unanswered and concerns remain,” Susan Connolly, a local Michigan mother whose children suffered rashes as a result of the Kalamazoo spill, said in a statement. “The fines related to the Clean Water Act should not be in the form of a ‘settlement’ discussed and agreed to between the agencies and the at fault party. The maximum penalty should be ordered, criminal penalties assessed, and a Michigan Pipeline Trust created."

'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

  • Environmental records shattered as climate change 'plays out before us' (Guardian UK):
    Temperatures, sea levels and carbon dioxide all hit milestones amid extreme weather in 2015, major international ‘state of the climate’ report finds.
  • Hurricane Drought Hits a New Record (Scientific American):
    Saturday was a quiet day across the Gulf of Mexico, but not one without note, because a strange record was set: It has been 1,048 days since a hurricane developed in or entered the Gulf. That is the longest streak in the past 130 years, since formal record-keeping began in 1886.
  • Government Agencies Must Consider The Climate, White House Says (Climate Progress):
    The White House on Tuesday released new guidance that directs federal agencies to consider climate change during environmental reviews...does not create a new rule or regulation for agencies...Under the guidance, agencies are directed to consider the both the project’s impact on climate change (i.e., greenhouse gas emissions caused, directly or indirectly, by the project) as well as the effects of climate change (i.e., projected sea-level rise for a coastal project).
  • Poll finds Californians back climate change efforts despite cost (Sacramento Bee):
    According to the poll, most Californians (59 percent) expect higher gas prices as a result of environmental laws. But many are willing to pay: just under two-thirds of those anticipating higher prices favor both the current emissions reduction goals and the expansion proposal. A majority of likely voters (56 percent) said they’d pay more for electricity generated by renewable sources like solar or wind.

    A partisan divide runs through the responses.

  • Israel Proves the Desalination Era Is Here (Ensia):
    One of the driest countries on Earth now makes more freshwater than it needs.
  • Disasters linked to climate can increase risk of armed conflict (Guardian UK):
    Research found that 23% of violent clashes in ethnically divided places were connected to climate disasters.
  • "Zombie" Anthrax Goes on a Killing Spree in Siberia--How? (Scientific American):
    An outbreak of anthrax that has killed more than 2,000 reindeer and sickened 13 people in Siberia has been linked to 75-year-old anthrax spores released by melting permafrost. It's an event of the sort many scientists have warned about: Warming temperatures reviving dormant diseases, perhaps even pathogens long-thought extinct.
  • Chernobyl’s Atomic Wasteland May Be Reborn With Solar (Bloomerg):
    Thirty years after atomic fallout from the Chernobyl meltdown rendered an area the size of Luxembourg uninhabitable for centuries, Ukraine is seeking investors to develop solar power near the defunct Soviet reactors.
  • Monsantos Superweeds Saga Is Only Getting Worse (Take Part):
    Some farmers fear the next-generation line of GMO soybeans are trapping them in the corporation's technology.
  • Musk Tears Into California Board Over Emission Credits Standards (Bloomberg):
    “The California Air Resources Board is being incredibly weak in its application of ZEV credits,” Musk said on the company’s earnings call Wednesday, referring to the state’s zero-emission vehicle program. “The standards are pathetically low..."
  • Donald Trump wants you to take a hard look at America's space program (Mashable):
    "Somebody just asked me backstage, Mr. Trump, will you get involved in the space program?' Look what's happened to your employment. Look what's happened with our whole history of space and leadership. Look what's going oj folks. We're like a third-world nation."

  • Melting Greenland ice sheet will soon unearth toxic waste from long-forgotten Cold War-era military base (Mashable):
    In 1967, the U.S. decommissioned a military base that had been constructed underneath the Greenland Ice Sheet. In doing so, the military removed a portable nuclear reactor that had helped power the 200-person base, but left the rest of the waste there, from gasoline to PCBs and nuclear coolant water.
  • Australia Orders Climate Change U-Turn At Peak Science Body (Reuters):
    Australia's re-elected conservative government has announced a U-turn in its climate change policy, reinstating climate science as the bedrock of its peak science body [CSIRO] just months after slashing its funding and axing hundreds of jobs.
  • The Price Of Pork: Cheap Meat Comes At High Cost In Illinois (Chicago Tribune):
    When the sickening odor swept across Matt Heissinger's farmstead, his daughter would sprint from their home to the car. Clinging to the girl's clothes and hair, the smell drove her to tears as she feared becoming a high school outcast.
  • June marks 14 consecutive months of record heat for the globe (NOAA):
    Persistent heat on land and in the sea this June shattered records, yet again.
  • 7 Things You Should Do After Watching 'How to Let Go of the World' (Eco Watch):
    'How to Let Go of the World' is unlike any other documentary you've ever seen on climate change. Traveling to 12 countries on six continents, the film acknowledges that it may be too late to stop some of the worst consequences and asks, what is it that climate change can't destroy? What is so deep within us that no calamity can take it away?


FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page

  • NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years: