IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Shrimping season opens in Louisiana (Eat up!); Pakistan's growing humanitarian crisis; Haiti's continuing humanitarian crisis... PLUS: The Long Haul in the Gulf ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Tidal Power: 'Dumb' turbine ready for rough ocean waters; Survey: American's incorrect opinions on energy efficiency; U.S. Chamber sues EPA over emissions limits; Deutsche Bank ditches U.S. for climate investment; Obama touts U.S. electric car battery market as economic boost; To cut demand for electricity, some customers agree to unplug ... PLUS: Dust Bowl 2: Drought detective predicts drier future for American Southwest ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- HELP PAKISTAN: TEXT 'SWAT' TO 50555 to instantly donate $10 from your cell phone
- The Great Global 'Wiggy Weather Freakout' of 2010
- NOAA: Second Warmest July and Warmest Year-to-Date Global Temperature on Record (NOAA.gov)
- In Weather Chaos, a Case for Global Warming (NY Times):
The floods battered New England, then Nashville, then Arkansas, then Oklahoma — and were followed by a deluge in Pakistan that has upended the lives of 20 million people.
The summer’s heat waves baked the eastern United States, parts of Africa and eastern Asia, and above all Russia, which lost millions of acres of wheat and thousands of lives in a drought worse than any other in the historical record.
Seemingly disconnected, these far-flung disasters are reviving the question of whether global warming is causing more weather extremes.
The collective answer of the scientific community can be boiled down to a single word: probably.
“The climate is changing,” said Jay Lawrimore, chief of climate analysis at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. “Extreme events are occurring with greater frequency, and in many cases with greater intensity.”
- Long hot summer of fire and floods fit IPCC predictions (AP)
- The skeptics are sweating: Former Weather Channel "adamant skeptic" says "it's a case of Weather Gone Wiggy": The "nature" of extreme weather "is changing along with changing atmospheric moisture, stability, and circulation patterns." (Climate Progress)
- If We Don't Want To Get Zapped, We Must Adapt (Weather Channel Blog)
- The Asian Floods—Signs of Climate Catastrophes to Come? (TIME)
- Experience the Future Today!: Study Says US Heat Wave Just Preview of Future: The US capital, Washington, is on track for 50 days in 2010 in which the mercury crosses 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius), a number that could rise as high as 100 by 2050, the National Wildlife Federation said in a study. (AFP)
- Pakistan Floods: 2nd Wave of Disaster Unfolding, While Haiti Languishes 8 Months On:
- HELP PAKISTAN: TEXT 'SWAT' TO 50555 to instantly donate $10 from your cell phone
- Ban Ki-Moon Calls For 'Unprecedented' Response to Pakistan Floods (Guardian UK)
- France Urged to Repay $40 Billion "Independence Debt" to Haiti (Democracy Now!):
A group of prominent academics and activists, including Noam Chomsky and Naomi Klein, have published an open letter in the French newspaper Libération calling on France to repay an "independence debt" it imposed nearly 200 years ago after Haiti successfully won independence from France.
- Thousands of Haitians Face Risk of Forcible Evictions from Temporary Camps (Democracy Now!)
- Most countries fail to deliver on Haiti aid pledges (CNN)
- U.S. Embassy Announces Groundbreaking Effort to Provide Emergency Food Assistance to Earthquake Victims in Haiti (press release, 8/17/10, U.S. Agency for International Development)
- "Eat Gulf Seafood": Shrimping Season Opens in Louisiana:
- WATCH: President Obama on the Recovery of the Gulf Coast
: The President speaks from Panama City, FL on the efforts that succeeded in containing the BP oil spill and reminds Americans that beaches along the Gulf Coast are open and that Gulf seafood is being tested and confirmed to be safe to eat (WhiteHouse.gov)
- WATCH: NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco on Gulf Seafood Safety (WhiteHouse.gov)
- Is Gulf Seafood Really "Safe"? (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones)
- Louisiana shrimp season opens amid spill concern (AP)
- Louisiana shrimpers reporting clean 1st day catch (AP)
- Chefs find relief after U.S. Gulf oil leak stops (Reuters)
- `CSI' for seafood: Gulf fish gets safety tests (Washington Post)
- Update: BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf:
- Reports focus on lingering effects of Gulf oil spill (CNN)
- Univ. of Georgia scientists: Gulf oil not gone, 80% remains (AP)
- Pressure worries stall relief well for damaged Gulf of Mexico oil well (NOLA.com)
- Ultimate shutdown of BP well to be delayed: BP engineers and the U.S. government's science team will meet this afternoon to figure out the best way to relieve pressure in the outer shell of the Macondo well before BP is allowed to complete the relief well. (NOLA.com)
- More Oil Expected As Storms Continue (Panama City News-Hearld)
- Can Plaintiffs in BP Suits Get a Fair Hearing?
- Interior ends environmental review waivers for deepwater projects (The Hill)
- Oil spill's human health impacts might extend into the future: The damage could, however, run deeper than skin irritation and breathing difficulties. A study of clean-up workers from the 2002 oil tanker spill off the coasts of France and Spain found increased levels of DNA damage. The greatest damage, the researchers found, was found in workers who had not worn protective masks, though elevated levels of damage seemed to dissipate over time. (Scientific American)
- What will gobble the spilled oil? (Philadelphia Inquirer):
Whether or not ecological disaster follows the BP spill may hinge on what eats the oil first.
"Right now it's a race between the microbes and the fish," said marine biologist Larry McKinney of Texas A&M University, a specialist in the Gulf of Mexico.
Ideally, microbes will win, transforming the oil into less toxic substances. If, on the other hand, fish or crustaceans or other organisms absorb it, the oil could spread through the food chain.
- BP Spill's Gulf Threat May Fade as Farms Pollute, Wetlands Sink (Bloomberg)
- Gov't Pledges to Actually Do Its Job on Regulating Offshore Drilling (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones):
The updated policy basically constitutes a pledge to uphold the environmental review and enforcement process that's already mandated under law, but has been systematically neglected for decades.
The two government agencies that are supposed to make sure complete environmental reviews happen—the Department of Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (previously the Minerals Management Service) and the Council on Environmental Quality—acknowledged in the announcement that they had not been following the law on environmental review, or even carrying out even the most basic protocol for evaluating the potential impacts of drilling before granting approval. The government has been green-lighting projects on the assumption that they are safe, rather than actually conducting reviews that are supposed to be mandatory.
- More environmental review planned for oil exploration and drilling (NOLA.com)
- After Another Close Call, Transocean Changed Rules (NY Times)
- Offshore Drilling Head Admits Agency Got Regulations From Industry (Talking Points Memo)
- Oil rigs' safety net questioned as governments rely on private inspections: To ensure that oil rigs, tankers and other commercial ships are in safe operating condition, governments around the world, including the U.S. government, often rely on inspections by private firms that are hired and paid by the vessels' owners. (Washington Post)
- Entering a Thicket, Engineers Quiz Oil Regulators (NYT Green)
- President Barack Obama's response to Gulf of Mexico oil spill gets largely passing grade (NOLA.com)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Dumbest Turbine Ready to Hit Rough Ocean Waters: Anything that's going to withstand the intense tidal undercurrents of northern Scotland would have to be pretty tough. (How Stuff Works)
- Survey Probes American's Incorrect Opinions on Energy Efficiency:
Flipping off the lights is not the biggest way to save energy (Scientific American)
- U.S. Chamber lawsuit attacks basis for EPA emissions limits (The Hill)
- Deutsche Bank spurns U.S. for climate investment (Reuters):
Alternative energy investment prospects have shriveled in the United States after the U.S. Senate was unable to break a deadlock over tackling global warming, a Deutsche Bank official said.
"You just throw your hands up and say ... we're going to take our money elsewhere," said Kevin Parker in an interview with Reuters.
Parker said Deutsche Bank will focus its "green" investment dollars more and more on opportunities in China and Western Europe, where it sees governments providing a more positive environment.
- Obama touts U.S. battery potential in calling clean energy an economic boost: President Obama used a Monday speech at a Wisconsin battery technology company to tout federal support for clean energy as a vital economic driver, but did not repeat his call for sweeping energy legislation that has collapsed in Congress. (The Hill)
- To Cut Demand for Electricity, Some Customers Agree to Unplug (NYT Green)
- Dust Bowl 2: Drought detective predicts drier future for American Southwest: The American Southwest, says Seager, is soon likely to experience a "permanent drought" condition on par with the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.(Grist)