IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: Obama abandons polar bears, but exposes hidden Bush EPA study detailing cancer risks from coal ash; The highest ski run in the world, melted; PLUS: The awesome new 'Clean Coal' ringtones you've been waiting for! .... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail, dirty ring tones? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (links below): San Francisco bets on solar; 'Ghost Nets' threaten the world's oceans; Cheap, innovative solar-powered lantern could light poor villages; Chocolate-powered biodegradable race car; Hard times for climate plans in Canada and Australia; Plus: Who could've foreseen a Boom-and-Bust cycle in the Natural Gas Industry?!?...See below for more!
Info/links on stuff we talked about on today's episode, plus MORE green news, all follows below...
- U.S. Curbs Use of Species Act in Protecting Polar Bear:
In essence, the decision means that two consecutive presidents have judged that the act is not an appropriate means of curbing the emissions that scientists have linked to global warming.
The bear was listed as a threatened species under the act last May. But the special rule, adopted in December, said this designation did not give the Interior Department the authority to limit greenhouse gases outside the bears’ Arctic range.
- Obama sticks with Bush-era polar bear rule --- Protection was granted, but limits were set on what to do:
Fearful that the declaration putting the bear under the federal species law might be used to force regulation of carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas from burning fossil fuels, the Bush administration issued a special rule: No action outside of the bear's Arctic habitat could be considered as endangering its survival.
- Bush EPA hid data on coal-ash risks, study shows:
The Bush administration kept secret for nearly five years data that showed increased cancer risks from drinking water polluted by coal-ash impoundments, according to a new report issued Thursday.
Under President Bush, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials never made public an October 2002 study that outlined increased risks of as high as 1 in 50 additional cancer cases.
- Secret EPA study: Big cancer risks from coal-ash ponds:
Among the key findings:
– The coal ash threat could linger for 100 years...
– Higher cancer risk for up to 1 in 50 nearby residents...
– Higher non-cancer risks from lead and other sources...
The EPA also predicted that these unlined ash ponds can increase the risk of other “non-cancer” health effects, such as damage to vital organs like the liver and kidneys, or damage to the central nervous system.
- EPA takes over TVA coal-ash cleanup
- Coal-promoting ringtones draw Sierra Club’s ire
- Bolivia’s 18,000 year-old Chacaltaya glacier is gone --- A worldwide phenomenon:
This is all sadly consistent with other recent research (see Another climate impact comes faster than predicted: Himalayan glaciers “decapitated” and AGU 2008: Two trillion tons of land ice lost since 2003) ... And this country isn’t being spared — see “Another climate impact coming faster than predicted: Glacier National Park to go glacier-free a decade early.”
- Bolivia's Chacaltaya glacier is gone:
But it's not the end of alpine skiing at Chacaltaya that worries researcher Ramirez, but the death of the glacier and what that means for the people of the Andean cordillera. On the western, mostly arid side of the Andes, millions of people depend on rain, snow run-off and melting glaciers like Chacaltaya, Illimani and Huayna Potosifor their water.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': More green news not covered in today's audio report... See below!
- San Francisco Approves Major Solar Project
- Ghosts in the Ocean Machine:
Today, bottom set gill nets are more often cited as a problem. The bottom edge of these nets is anchored to the sea floor and floats are attached to their top, so that they form a vertical undersea wall of netting that can run anywhere from 600 to 10,000 meters in length. If a gillnet is abandoned or lost, it can continue to fish on its own for months - and sometimes years - indiscriminately killing fish and other animals.
- D.light Design: You Are the Light of the World [emphasis added]:
In a nutshell, D.Light's founders have built a low-cost light with a battery and a small solar panel that can help families in the developing world save more money each month.
The company has paired with One World Children’s Fund to accept donations and send one of their lamps to a poor village in the developing world. A mere $25 will provide light — and a better life — for a family. And a gift of $750 will bring light to an entire village.
- Formula 3 racing car powered by chocolate and steered by carrots - seriously
- Hard time for climate plans in Canada and Australia:
[Australia, Prime Minister Kevin] Rudd, who had called any delay in cap-and-trade “reckless and irresponsible”, now says "I believe (this) is the most sensible, rational, balanced response to a fundamental change in economic circumstances."
Halfway around the world, British Columbia may also be about to take a U-turn on a climate policy milestone. Nicola Jones reports in Nature today that the province has been uneasily bearing the burden of North America’s first carbon tax. The BC Liberal Party started the tax in July, but their challengers in an upcoming election on 12 May are against it.
- Natural Gas Industry Slow to Apply Brakes:
The chairman of the company, Bob Simpson, said on the same call: “Who wants to grow gas and production in a $3 price environment? We don’t.”