IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: Baby it's cold outside! Record cold and storms in U.S. and Europe --- but the hottest decade on record Down Under; Water shortages in Mexico City and water contamination in China ... PLUS: A new tax for an old bag ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': New rules curb wind power development in Wyoming; Prison for man convicted of killing China's last endangered Indo-Chinese tiger; Manatees vs. the Military in Florida; Controversial solution to Red River flooding in North Dakota; California state Republicans work to halt climate law; French Constitutional Council nixes carbon tax for being insufficiently tax-y .... PLUS: Tools for doing your own home energy audit! ....
Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...
- U.S. Faces Record Cold Weather; Florida Crops May Avoid Damage (BusinessWeek)
- Cold From China to U.S. Disrupts Travel, Fuel Costs Rise (Bloomberg)
- South Chilled by Arctic Winds, Record Snow in East: Bitter cold and snow sweeping into the eastern U.S left part of New England under record snowfall and hit Southerners with subfreezing temperatures that farmers fear could destroy strawberries and other crops. (Fox News)
- New Year freeze, avalanches leave trail of death across Europe (AFP)
- Hottest decade on record Down Under (Sydney Morning Herald)
- Australia baked under hottest decade on record (Scientific American)
- Mexico City battles water crisis with taxes, pleas (Reuters)
- China diesel spill reaches Yellow River: A spill of around 150,000 litres of diesel oil from a broken pipeline in northwestern China into a river has started reaching the Yellow River, but drinking water is safe for now, state media said on Monday. (Reuters)
- Washington DC slaps fee on plastic shopping bags (AFP)
- Plastic bags are killing us: The most ubiquitous consumer item on Earth, the lowly plastic bag is an environmental scourge like none other, sapping the life out of our oceans and thwarting our attempts to recycle it. (Salon)[emphasis added]:
Every year, Americans throw away some 100 billion plastic bags after they've been used to transport a prescription home from the drugstore or a quart of milk from the grocery store. It's equivalent to dumping nearly 12 million barrels of oil.
Only 1 percent of plastic bags are recycled worldwide --- about 2 percent in the U.S. --- and the rest, when discarded, can persist for centuries. They can spend eternity in landfills, but that's not always the case. "They're so aerodynamic that even when they're properly disposed of in a trash can they can still blow away and become litter," says Mark Murray, executive director of Californians Against Waste.
Bits of plastic bags have been found in the nests of albatrosses in the remote Midway Islands. Floating bags can look all too much like tasty jellyfish to hungry marine critters. According to the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, more than a million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die every year from eating or getting entangled in plastic.
- D.C. bags wasteful shopping habit with tax on paper and plastic (Washington Post)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': More green news not covered in today's audio report...
- Reuters Exclusive: New rules to limit wind power in Wyoming (Reuters)
- Man Sentenced in Killing & Eating China's Last Indo-Chinese Tiger (Treehugger)
- It's manatee vs. military in pending habitat ruling: As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers environmental groups' bid to expand the creatures' critical habitat in Florida and southern Georgia, the Navy has concerns about its own turf. (LA Times)
- North Dakota: Red River Flooding Solution Is a Problem to Some (NY Times)
- California Climate Law Faces Opposition (Green Inc.)
- Analysis: French Constitutional Council nixes carbon tax for being insufficiently tax-y (Ezra Klein, Washington Post)
- SciAm's Solar Home Series: Tools for doing your own energy audit (Scientific American)