With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 3/15/2012, 1:34pm PT  

TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: War with China? Trade war, that is; March heatwave kills spring, brings early summer for US; Keystone XL pipeline more bad than good for the economy and the environment; PLUS: TV weatherman singlehandedly overturns the laws of physics ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? 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' (see links below): Planet-saving, Nobel-winning ozone scientist passes; US, UK set to agree to emergency oil stocks release; Gulf Coast to get 80% of BP fines; Refiners Push EPA to scrap gas rule wanted by automakers; US solar grows to new record; 'Dark days' for coal; GOP 'playing politics' with wind credits; Water pollution from farming worsening ... PLUS: Will your city see record flooding in 2020? There's a map for that ... and much, MUCH more! ...


'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

  • Breaking: US, UK set to agree to emergency oil stocks release: (Reuters):
    Britain has decided to cooperate with the United States on a release of strategic oil stocks that is expected within months, two British sources said, in a bid to prevent fuel prices choking economic growth in a U.S. election year.
  • F. Sherwood Rowland, 84, Dies; Raised Alarm Over Aerosols (NY Times):
    Dr. Rowland’s discovery of the danger to the ozone layer presented by chlorinated fluorocarbons in aerosols was met with disdain, but the research later won him a Nobel Prize.
  • Senate Approves Amendment Giving Gulf States 80 Percent Of BP Spill Fines (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
  • Refiners Push EPA to Scrap Gasoline Rule That Automakers Want (Bloomberg BusinessWeek):
    The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said sulfur in gasoline “poisons” emission-control devices, reducing their ability to cut tailpipe emissions. As a result, carmakers must “overdesign” the equipment to meet pollution standards, the group said in document submitted to the EPA.
  • Big Oil Wants Even More Tax Cuts From Alaska: (Anchorage Daily News):
    BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. and Conoco Phillips Alaska told the Senate Resources Committee there are projects the companies could do on Alaska's North Slope to increase oil production, but those projects will have trouble attracting capital investment because of high state taxes.
  • U.S. solar power growth jumps to new record (Reuters):
    The U.S. solar industry installed a record number of panels in 2011, more than double 2010, and is likely to see strong growth again this year, according to a new report.
    The growth in U.S. demand comes as the makers of the panels that turn light into electricity have struggled to earn profits amid a glut of supplies on the global market that eroded margins.
  • Obama energy chief disavows 2008 remark in favor of raising gas prices (The Hill's E2 Wire)
  • Dark Days For Coal and Power Sectors (Wall St. Journal):
    After a brief golden period, coal-fired power has faced a perfect storm since 2008. Looming environmental rules, sharply lower gas prices and a collapse in electricity prices have made dozens of mostly older coal plants uneconomical or not worth upgrading. Coal's share of power generation is at its lowest since 1979. Another 14% of coal-fired capacity might be switched off in favor of natural-gas turbines this year, according to Barclays Capital. [plus the U.S. has passed Peak Coal - but who's counting? --- Ed.]
  • GOP Playing Politics With Wind Tax Credit (National Journal):
    Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., said that Republicans who support the production tax credit for wind are not supporting efforts to extend it before year’s end because they want to use it as a bargaining chip to compel extension of the Bush-era tax cuts.
  • ECU Researchers: Oil From BP Spill Got Into Ocean Food Chain (WITN):
    Research from students from the biology and geological science department show oil from the spill made it into the the oceans food chain through a tiny organism called zooplankton. This is important because zooplankton form the base of the food chain. They say their research helped determine the fingerprint of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that other researchers will be able to use.
  • After the Storm: The Hidden Health Risks of Flooding in a Warming World (Climate Progress)
  • Rising Sea Levels Seen as Threat to Coastal U.S. (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
    About 3.7 million Americans live within a few feet of high tide and risk being hit by more frequent coastal flooding in coming decades because of the sea level rise caused by global warming, according to new research.
    By far the most vulnerable state is Florida, the new analysis found, with roughly half of the nation’s at-risk population living near the coast on the porous, low-lying limestone shelf that constitutes much of that state. But Louisiana, California, New York and New Jersey are also particularly vulnerable, researchers found, and virtually the entire American coastline is at some degree of risk.

    “Sea level rise is like an invisible tsunami, building force while we do almost nothing,” said Benjamin H. Strauss, an author, with other scientists, of two new papers outlining the research. “We have a closing window of time to prevent the worst by preparing for higher seas.

  • Climate, Food Pressures Require Rethink on Water: U.N.: (Reuters):
    The world's water supply is being strained by climate change and the growing food, energy and sanitary needs of a fast-growing population, according to a United Nations study that calls for a radical rethink of policies to manage competing claims.
  • Water Pollution From Farming Is Worsening, Costing Billions (Bloomberg News)
  • World Breakthrough on Salt-Tolerant Wheat: (St. Petersburg Times):
    A team of Australian scientists has bred salt tolerance into a variety of durum wheat that shows improved grain yield by 25% on salty soils. Using 'non-GM' crop breeding techniques, scientists from CSIRO Plant Industry have introduced a salt-tolerant gene into a commercial durum wheat, with spectacular results shown in field tests.
  • The threat of carbon emissions on the world’s oceans (Op-ed, Washington Post):
    Emitting massive amounts of carbon dioxide doesn’t just change the chemistry of the atmosphere; it makes the oceans more acidic. Predicting the impact on ocean ecosystems involves educated speculation, which often involves applying evidence of what has happened before. In the latest edition of the journal Science, a team of researchers reckons that today’s human-emitted CO2 is increasing ocean acidity far faster than previous, naturally occurring episodes scientists have studied, which themselves appear to have had very alarming results.
  • VIDEO: James Hansen: Why I must speak out about climate change (TED Talks):
    Top climate scientist James Hansen tells the story of his involvement in the science of and debate over global climate change. In doing so he outlines the overwhelming evidence that change is happening and why that makes him deeply worried about the future.
  • Essential Climate Science Findings:
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