IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: What was Newt thinking?!; SPECIAL COVERAGE: UN Climate Conference in Durban, S. Africa; 'Occupy Durban'?; Canada's hard right turn on climate; 2011 not hottest year on record; PLUS: Fake hoax redux: Climategate 2.0! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Radiation covers 8% of Japan; Fukushima crisis 'stunting children's growth'; Majority in U.S. Support Carbon Tax ... PLUS: The New Story of Stuff: Are we reaching "peak stuff"? ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Live Streaming & Video: WATCH the UN Climate Conference: (United Nations):
The United Nations Climate Change Conference, Durban 2011, will bring together representatives of the world's governments, international organizations and civil society. The discussions will seek to advance, in a balanced fashion, the implementation of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, as well as the Bali Action Plan, agreed at COP 13 in 2007, and the Cancun Agreements, reached at COP 16 last December.
- SPECIAL COVERAGE: COP 17: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change:
- Divergent views signal tough climate talks ahead (AP) [emphasis added]:
The U.S., Europe and the developing countries laid out diverging positions at the outset, signaling tough talks ahead even as South African President Jacob Zuma called for national interests to be laid aside "for a common good and benefit of all humanity."
As if to illustrate the effects of global warming, a fierce storm on the eve of the talks flooded shack settlements and killed at least five people in the port city hosting the international gathering.
- Rich nations 'give up' on new climate treaty until 2020 (Guardian UK): Ahead of critical talks and despite pledge for new treaty by 2012, biggest economies privately admit likelihood of long delay
- EU wants global climate deal by 2015: European Union’s director of climate policy says the world needs a more ambitious plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions (Business Day)
- A Fair COP: 'Fate of World to be Decided on Dec. 9: (OpenDemocracy.org):
The date the world ends (or doesn’t) is set. 9 December 2011. The United Nations Climate Change summit, COP17, concludes that day and so does any realistic hope of keeping climate change to the already significant 2°c increase in global temperatures that countries have signed up to.
While it is in the best interests of every man, woman and child on this planet to put into effect massive, sustained and genuine measures to halt global warming, there is a yet higher prize for every single negotiator at the table: to bring about an accord which limits everyone else (thus saving the planet) while leaving their nation free to carry on or even increase emissions (thus saving their political careers). It is therefore recognised as a classic instance of the prisoner’s dilemma.
- S. African President Jacob Zuma Opens Durban Climate Negotiations With Plea To Delegates (AP):
Global warming already is causing suffering and conflict in Africa, from drought in Sudan and Somalia to flooding in South Africa, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday, urging delegates at an international climate conference to look beyond national interests for solutions.
- Pope calls for responsible, credible climate deal (AP)
- SA President Zuma's Opening Speech Misses the Mark (Greenpeace Blog)
- Eight countries get Climate Investment Funds (Science & Development Network)
- Is a global agreement the only way to tackle climate change? (Guardian UK)
- UN: farmers must produce 70% more food by 2050 to feed population (Guardian UK):
A quarter of farmland is highly degraded, according to the first report into the state of the world's land resources
The United Nations has completed the first global assessment of the state of the planet's land resources, finding in a report that a quarter of all farmland is highly degraded and warning the trend must be reversed if the world's growing population is to be fed.
- VIDEO: What Can We Expect From the Durban Climate Talks?: Interview with Andrew Light, Center for American Progress (Climate Progress)
- Durban and the climate change deniers (Guardian UK)
- WMO: 2011 Maintains Decade-Long Trend, But Is NOT the Hottest Year Ever:
- World temps maintain the heat of global warming (SF Gate)
- Global Warming: 2011 Tied for the 10th Hottest Year on Record: (AP):
World temperatures keep rising, and are heading for a threshold that could lead to irreversible changes of the Earth, the U.N. weather office said Tuesday.
- Despite warm autumn, 2011 temperatures fail to reach record highs (Guardian UK)
- As the Press Declares Durban Talks Dead, 2011 Maintains Hottest-Decade Record (Climate Progress)
- World Meteorological Organization: 2011 ‘caps decade tying record for heat’ (Telegraph UK) [emphasis added]:
“Our science is solid and it proves unequivocally that the world is warming and that this warming is due to human activities,” WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said in a statement, adding that policy-makers should take note of the findings.
“Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached new highs and are very rapidly approaching levels consistent with a 2 to 2.4 Celsius rise in average global temperatures.”
- Killer Floods Strike Durban At Start Of Climate Talks (Think Progress Green)
- Erratic, Extreme Day-to-Day Weather Puts Climate Change in New Light and Creates Potential New Amplifying Feedback (Climate Progress)
- Canada's Hard Right Turn on Climate:
- VIDEO: Canada to pull out of Kyoto Protocol next month (CTV)
- Climate Conference 2011: Canada Says Kyoto Protocol 'Biggest Blunder,' May Withdraw (Huffington Post Green)
- VIDEO: Canada: Feds won't sign new climate deal without major emitters (CTV):
NDP MP Peter Julian called the government's decision "environmental vandalism," and accused the Conservatives of both harming the environment and killing future "green" jobs.
Canada's obligations to future generations should be clear to all," Julian said. "So how can the Conservatives justify abandoning Canada's legal and moral obligations to fight climate change, and how can they betray future generations so irresponsibly?"
- OCCUPY DURBAN?:
- Climate change: vulnerable countries consider 'occupying' Durban talks: Former president of Costa Rica calls on countries most affected by climate change to refuse to leave talks until progress is made (Guardian UK):
"We went to Copenhagen [in 2009] with the illusion we could reach an equitable agreement. We went to Cancún [in 2009] where we saw slight but not sufficient progress. Frustration is now deep and building. Now we hear that we will need more conferences. Sometime we have to get serious. We should be going to Durban with the firm conviction that we do not come back until we have made substantial advances."
Spokespeople for developing country negotiating blocs declined to comment on the call for a revolt, but one ambassador said from Durban: "The Occupy Wall Street movement and the Occupy the Climate Change negotiations movement confront the same problem. We need this if we want to have any positive result. Otherwise it will be worse than Cancún."
- VIDEO: Call Issued To Occupy Durban (Think Progress Green) [emphasis added]:
"The riots of London, and the indignados of Madrid, and the now growing global Occupy Wall Street movement is a sign of the frustration felt by many given that we are not addressing their economic needs. So with respect to climate maybe we need an Occupy Durban. A sit-in by the delegations of those countries that are most affected, that are going from one COP [UN Conference of Parties] to the next COP to the next COP without getting positive and concrete responses on the issues that they want dealt with, which are transfer of technology, which are new financing mechanisms to be able to finance adaptation and combat climate change, which are everything it takes to move development in a new direction."
- Fake Hoax Redux: Just in time for COP 17, It's Climategate 2.0!:
- Climategate 2.0: Have Journalists Learned Their Lesson? UPDATE: No. (Think Progress Green):
"What appears to be a new batch of emails and other documents from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit has been released," reports the BBC. The emails are accompanied by a new selection of pull-quotes that include words like "trick" and "deceptive" and "scheme," causing right-wing hacks like the Telegraph's James Delingpole to salivate about the threat of "Climategate 2.0? to "global warming loons."
Climategate was a scandal of corrupt, deceitful, and shoddy reporting.
- The Real Scandal: The Endless Effort to Smear Climate Scientists (Climate Progress)
- Fresh round of hacked climate science emails leaked online: A file containing 5,000 emails has been made available in an apparent attempt to repeat the impact of 2009's similar release (Guardian UK):
A fresh tranche of private emails exchanged between leading climate scientists throughout the last decade was released online on Tuesday. The unauthorised publication is an apparent attempt to repeat the impact of a similar release of emails on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit in late 2009.
- Memo To Media: Research First, Then Report On Climate Emails (Media Matters)
- Deniers Serve Up Warmed-Over Stolen Emails and Media Bites (Climate Progress)
- Study: Fox News Makes You Know Less (Political Wire):
"Because of the controls for partisanship, we know these results are not just driven by Republicans or other groups being more likely to watch Fox News," said Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson and an analyst for the PublicMind Poll. "Rather, the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don't watch any news at all."
- NBC's Must-See TV: "Today No One Can Deny That Extreme Weather is Here to Stay" Thanks to Fossil-Fuel Driven Warming (Climate Progress)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Radiation covers 8 per cent of Japan (Australian Broadcasting Company):
The ministry says most of the contamination was caused by four large plumes of radiation spewed out by the Fukushima nuclear plant in the first two weeks after meltdowns. The government says some of the radioactive material fell with rain and snow, leaving the affected areas with accumulations of more than 10,000 becquerels of caesium per square metre.
Last week tests found unsafe levels of radioactive contamination in recently harvested rice from the Fukushima region.
- Fukushima crisis 'stunting children's growth' (Australian Broadcasting Company)
- Majority in U.S. Support Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax, Survey Says (Clean Tech):
A majority of Americans across the political spectrum support policies that reduce carbon emissions, including a revenue-neutral carbon tax, according to a new survey by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.
- Politifact: Koch's Solyndra ad against President Barack Obama 'Mostly False': (Politifact)
- The art of talking climate science (Grist):
Richard C. J. Somerville and Susan Jay Hassol offer some tips for climate science communicators in the October issue of Physics Today [PDF], along with a good overview of the most common pitfalls of climate communications, and the political and cultural context in which climate scientists must operate.
- War On Coal? EPA Regulations Boost Coal Employment To 15-Year High (Think Progress Green):
even as America deals with high unemployment and a sluggish economic recovery, coal employment this year rose to its highest level since 1996, according to data from the Mine Safety and Health Administration.
- Carbon Mitigation Strategy: Use Wood for Buildings First, Bioenergy Second (Science Daily):
"When it comes to keeping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, it makes more sense to use trees to recycle as much carbon as we can and offset the burning of fossil fuel than it does to store carbon in standing forests and continuing burning fossil fuels," said Bruce Lippke, University of Washington professor emeritus of forest resources.
- Future cancers from Fukushima plant may be hidden (AP) [emphasis added]:
[T]he ordinary rate of cancer is so high, and our understanding of the effects of radiation exposure so limited, that any increase in cases from the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster may be undetectable.
That's partly because cancer is one of the top killers of people in industrialized nations. Odds are high that if you live long enough, you will die of cancer. The average lifetime cancer risk is about 40 percent.
- VA: Wildfire at Great Dismal Swamp extinguished; it started Aug. 4 (LA Times)
- China Outlines Cuts in Carbon Emissions (NY Times)
- The New Story of Stuff: Can We Consume Less? (Yale 360) [emphasis added]:
A new study finds that Britons are consuming less than they did a decade ago, with similar patterns being seen across Europe. Could this be the beginning of a trend in developed countries? Might we be reaching "peak stuff"?
China's assault on the world's resources continues apace. It consumes around 40 percent of the world's cement and steel, some 30 percent of its rubber and coal.
- Essential Climate Science Findings:
- VIDEO ANIMATION: Time history of atmospheric CO2 (NOAA Carbon Tracker YouTube channel):
- Skeptical Science: Get the FULL DEBUNKING of All Climate Science Denier Arguments
- World headed for irreversible climate change in five years, IEA warns: If fossil fuel infrastructure is not rapidly changed, the world will 'lose for ever' the chance to avoid dangerous climate change (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
The world is likely to build so many fossil-fuelled power stations, energy-guzzling factories and inefficient buildings in the next five years that it will become impossible to hold global warming to safe levels, and the last chance of combating dangerous climate change will be "lost for ever", according to the most thorough analysis yet of world energy infrastructure.
"The door is closing," Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency, said. "I am very worried - if we don't change direction now on how we use energy, we will end up beyond what scientists tell us is the minimum [for safety]. The door will be closed forever."
- Concise Overview: The IPCC report on extreme climate and weather events (Real Climate)
- READ the IPCC Report: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)