IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Tempers boil over as town runs out of water while drought deepens in TX; Devastating famine spreads in East Africa; New rules for heavy trucks; Japanese officials withheld radiation information from residents; PLUS: Al Gore calls 'BULLSH**T!' --- literally --- on the Climate Change Denial industry ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Fracking: groundwater contamination documented by EPA in 1987; Koch's ALEC Conf touts 'The Many Benefits of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment'; Australia's new carbon tax will boost jobs, revenues: study; China shuts down 583 lead-acid battery plants; U.S. invests in more solar power; TN nuke plant shut down due to hot river; Japan withheld radiation data, leaving evacuees in peril; 'Brave' Fukushima workers expect to 'die within weeks'; Israel to build $423m desalination plant; Consumers get a break on gas prices; St. Louis to pay $5B to repair sewers; Last of the Lobstermen: Chasing a vanishing treasure... PLUS: BBC’s ‘Top Gear’ FAKES test in order to criticize electric cars...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Conservative Media Celebrates Lying to Public About Climate Science:
- "We Win": Conservative Media Celebrate Public Misconception That Climate Scientists "Falsified" Data --- Multiple Investigations Into "Climategate" Found No Falsification Of Data (MediaMatters.org):
After relentlessly pushing the false claim that the so-called "Climategate" controversy showed climate scientists deceitfully manipulating data, conservative media are celebrating a Rasmussen Reports poll finding that a majority of Americans believe "some scientists" have likely "falsified research data" to support "their own theories and beliefs about global warming."
- Conservative, white men most likely to be climate change sceptics, study shows (Guardian UK):
The demographic was more than twice as likely than other adults to say the media exaggerated seriousness of climate change.
- Gee, Why Are Climate Scientists So Perturbed? (NYT Green)
- CBO: Clean Energy Standards Are an Affordable Way to Cut Carbon Emissions (Climate Progress)
- TX Town Runs Out of Water Amid Deepening Drought:
- VIDEO; North Texas town turns off water (KVUE Austin):
"No water. No water. Zero water," said Kemp Mayor Donald Kile. "We’re in pretty bad shape, to be honest with you."
As the temperature surged into the triple digits for the 37th consecutive day, the mayor decided Sunday afternoon to shut down the municipal water system. The unexpected move infuriated and surprised residents of this Kaufman County town 40 miles southeast of Dallas.
- Mysterious Nationwide Heat Wave Causes Exploding Sidewalks and a Blood-Red Reservoir (Think Progress Green)
- After Praying for Rain, Texas Governor Rick Perry Prays for the EPA to Stop Environmental Regulations (Climate Progress)
- Local churches pray for rain as governor organizes rally (Longview, TX News-Journal) [emphasis added]:
“We’ve prayed for rain for the past several weeks,” [Rev. Richard] Jones said. “I don’t know if God is trying to get our attention ... It seems like things have to get desperate. I’m all for what Gov. Perry is doing and think it took a lot of courage for him to call for this prayer meeting.”
- EIA: High temperatures drove record electricity demand and very high wholesale prices in Texas (GreenCarCongress)
- Texas Drought Now Worse Than When Gov. Rick Perry Issued Proclamation Calling on All Texans to Pray for Rain (Think Progress Green)
- Texas In Worst Ever Drought, Hottest Ever Heat Wave (Think Progress Green)
- Severe US drought sets another record; Costs soar past $1.5 billion Details (WaPo Capitol Weather Gang)
- The New Normal: Billion-Dollar Disasters (Mother Jones)
- Devastating famine spreads in East Africa:
- UN fears dramatic rise in Somalia famine refugees (AP):
The number of people fleeing famine-hit areas of Somalia is likely to rise dramatically and could overwhelm international aid efforts in the Horn of Africa, a U.N. aid official said Tuesday.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization's representative in Kenya warned that the situation could become "simply unbearable" in the coming weeks if Somalis continue to abandon their homes in south and central parts of the country in search of food.
- Somalia famine: WFP begins 800-ton airlift of food (AP)
- Kenyan Drought Kills Livestock Worth $690 Million, Daily Nation Reports (Bloomberg)
- What has caused the East Africa crisis? (CNN)
- Five things to know about the food crisis in the Horn of Africa (CNN)
- Making sense of a senseless famine (UK Globe & Mail):
International aid workers, meanwhile, furnish this place with a measure of hope that inspires and amazes me. They prevent me from becoming completely heartbroken because they show, through their urgency and actions, that individuals can make an enormous difference in a crisis such as this.
- New (Fuel Economy) Rules for Heavy Trucks:
- Obama sets first fuel rules for big trucks, buses --- even HD pickups (USA Today):
The rules break down the vehicles into three categories:
* Diesel semis will have to cut fuel use 23%
* HD pickups and vans will have to do 10% better if they are gasoline powered and 15% if they run on diesel.
* Everything else --- from buses to garbage trucks to cement mixers will have to cut use 9%.
The White House released no miles-per-gallon equivalents for the rules, saying that it would be confusing because the categories include so many different types of vehicles and varying payloads.
- White House Announces First Ever Oil Savings Standards for Heavy Duty Trucks, Buses, saving $50 billion in fuel costs and over 500 million barrels of oil (WhiteHouse.gov)
- President Obama Announces First Ever Fuel Economy Standards for Commercial Vehicles (White House blog):
“While we were working to improve the efficiency of cars and light-duty trucks, something interesting happened,” said President Obama. “We started getting letters asking that we do the same for medium and heavy-duty trucks. They were from the people who build, buy, and drive these trucks."
- President Announces New Truck Fuel Efficiency Standards
Cancels speech, meets privately with industry leaders (C-SPAN)
- Trucks follow cars on road to better fuel efficiency (CNet)
- Anger In Japan Over Withheld Radiation Forecasts:
- Japan Withheld Nuclear Data, Leaving Evacuees in Peril (NY Times):
In the days after the Fukushima nuclear meltdown began, Japanese officials let evacuees go into areas of high radiation, downplaying and withholding information about the danger.
- Japan Premier Promises UN Chief To Share Lessons From Nuclear Crisis, Disasters With the World (AP)
- The 100-Year Battle To Make Fukushima Safe: Grim Prediction as Brave Workers Expect To 'Die Within Weeks' (London Daily Mail)
- Japan To Lift Some Nuclear Evacuation Advisories (AP)
- Al Gore Calls BS --- Literally --- on the Climate Change Denial Industry:
- AUDIO: Al Gore calls B.S. on global warming naysayers (The Real Aspen)
- “Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming” by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway
AUDIO: Pissed-Off Al Gore Calls ‘Bullshit’ On ‘Crap’ Peddled By Climate Denial Machine (Think Progress Green) [emphasis added]:
There are about ten other memes out there. When you go and talk to any audience about climate, you hear them washing back at you the same crap over and over and over again. They have polluted this — There’s no longer a shared reality on an issue like climate even though the very existence of our civilization is threatened.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Fracking: A Tainted Water Well, and Concern There May Be More (NYT Green):
Oil and gas executives have long claimed that there is no case in which hydraulic fracturing has contaminated a drinking water aquifer.
But such a case exists. And one of the biggest bars to enumerating suspected additional cases is the oil and gas industry's refusal to allow disclosure of them --- a condition of court settlements with landowners.
- Fact Check: Contamination Of Groundwater By Fracking Was Documented In 1987 (Think Progress Green)
- George Orwell would be proud: At Koch's ALEC Conference: 'The Many Benefits of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment (Think Progress Green)
- China Shuts Down 583 Lead-acid Battery Plants (EEO News):
A total of 583 lead-acid battery manufacturing plants have been shut down over recent months as part of a campaign to strictly enforce environmental standards on the booming sector.
The factories were forced to close for a variety of reasons ranging from improper disposal of hazardous waste through to their small production scale and poor technical standard, according to a statement issued on Aug 2 by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP).
- At last, Australia's PM gets break on climate plan, carbon tax (Brisbane Times):
The [Australian] government’s carbon price plans could deliver more than double the cut in domestic greenhouse gas emissions that Treasury predicted, a new analysis by the research group ClimateWorks has found.
- U.S. invests more cash into solar power (UPI):
The U.S. Energy Department announced it was offering a $967 million loan guarantee to back a 290-megawatt solar plant in Arizona. U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the loan for Aqua Caliente Solar to support the construction of a solar generating facility in Yuma County, Ariz.
- 90 Degree River Shuts Tennessee Nuclear Plant for Second Time (Clean Technica):
“When the river’s ambient temperature reaches 90 degrees, we can’t add any heat to it,” TVA’s nuclear spokesman Ray Golden told the Times Free Press.
The shutdown marks the second summer in a row that TVA has had to shut down nuclear power as local rivers have reached record temperatures. Last year’s shutdown cost the company $50 million in replacement power, a cost it passed along to its customers.
- Israel to Build $423 Million Desalination Plant (Reuters);
Israel said on Monday it was building a 1.5 billion shekel ($423 million) desalination plant, which upon completion in 2013, will join four other plants in providing the country with three-quarters of its drinking water.
- As Stocks Plunge, Consumers Get a Break on Gas Prices (NY Times):
The growing gloom about the economy has pushed down oil and gasoline prices, along with the prices of an array of other commodities. And while that could mean more spending power for consumers, perhaps tempering any possible downturn, the steep drop in energy prices reflects worries that economic activity is headed in the wrong direction.
- Last of the Lobstermen, Chasing A Vanishing Treasure (NY Times):
A big die-off of lobsters in Long Island Sound has put local lobstermen on their last legs. Likely causes of the decline include global warming, pesticides, a hurricane, and bacteria.
- Drought Will Impact Wildlife Habitats in TX for Years to Come (AP):
Texas' record drought will damage entire ecosystems for years to come.
- St. Louis Sewer District Will Pay $4.7 BILLION to Stop Overflows (Environment News Service):
In a legal settlement with the United States and an environmental foundation, The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District has agreed to make extensive improvements to its sewer systems and treatment plants, at an estimated cost of $4.7 billion over 23 years.
- BBC’s ‘Top Gear’ Ran Down Electric Car To Push Right-Wing Agenda (Think Progress Green) [emphasis added]:
[A]n episode of BBC’s massively popular car show Top Gear “showed Jeremy Clarkson and James May setting off for Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire, 60 miles away” in a Nissan Leaf.
“The car unexpectedly ran out of charge when they got to Lincoln, and had to be pushed.” They concluded that “electric cars are not the future”.
But Top Gear’s producers had secretly drained the Leaf battery to a 30-mile charge before setting off, and “at no point were viewers told that the battery had been more than half empty at the start of the trip.” Then, “it appeared that the Leaf was driven in loops for more than 10 miles in Lincoln until the battery was flat.”
- At last, Australia's PM gets break on climate plan, carbon tax (Brisbane Times):