IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Poll shows Americans want clean energy, and are willing to pay for it; Mitt Romney, unclear on the concept of overfishing; Meet the nation's newest oil spill, now in Louisiana; Study criticizes federal pipeline oversight; Big Oil rolls in taxpayer dough, as America's wind energy industry begs for scraps; PLUS: Fox 'News' and hot air: No, wind farms do not cause global warming .... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): EPA offiical resigns over controversial remarks; ALEC plans $$$ campaign to take down state renewable energy targets; Fracking sand threatens drilling workers; Coal's future in US is rocky at best; Nuclear industry, regulators 'foot-dragging' on basic safety measures; IBM's 500-mile range electric car battery; Ocean plastic pollution: far worse than reported; Global water cycle changing faster than predicted; 'The Killing Agency': Wildlife agency kills indiscriminately & illegally... PLUS: AEI Scholar: “Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem”... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Mitt Romney: Unclear on the Concept of Overfishing:
- The Future of America’s First Fishery: Improving Management Of The New England Groundfishery (Climate Progress)
- Romney, Ayotte blast fishery management system in Portsmouth: Say federal regulations stymie economy (Fosters Daily Democrat)
- Mitt Romney fishes for votes in New Hampshire (Washington Post)
- Mitt Romney, Kelly Ayotte blast fishery management system (Boston Herald)
- VIDEO: Romney, Ayotte Speak In Portsmouth (WMUR Manchester, NH)
- Lament for an Ocean: The Collapse of the Atlantic Cod Fishery: A True Crime Story (Foreign Affairs, August 1999):
After a disastrous collapse in its cod stocks, however, it was closed indefinitely in 1992 to allow the stocks to replenish themselves. Six years have brought only faint signs of recovery.
- Collapse of the Atlantic Northwest Cod Fishery (Wikipedia)
- Meet the Nation's Newest Oil Spill, Now in Louisiana:
- Exxon Pipeline Spills Oil in Rural Louisiana (Inside Climate News):
Exxon Mobil scrambled on Monday to clean up 1,900 barrels of crude oil that leaked from a pipeline in a rural area near Torbert, Louisiana over the weekend.
- Exxon Mobil shuts Louisiana oil pipeline after leak (Baltimore Sun):
A spate of recent leaks and incidents has heightened local concerns and prompted calls for tougher scrutiny from regulators. Last July, Exxon' Silvertip pipeline spilled about 1,000 barrels of oil into the Yellowstone River in Montana, an accident that the company said cost it about $135 million.
- Public meetings renew focus on Keystone XL in Nebraska (Kearney Hub):
Opponents of the Keystone XL oil pipeline are preparing for a new series of public meetings in May sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.
- New Study Slams Federal Pipeline Oversight:
- Report Finds Pipeline Oversight Wanting (NYT Green):
- REPORT: Laws Don't Adequately Protect Great Lakes from Pipeline Oil Spills: Stronger rules needed to prevent a repeat of historic spill in Michigan (National Wildlife Federation):
Nearly two years after one of the worst oil spills in Midwest history, a new legal analysis by the National Wildlife Federation reveals that laws governing oil pipelines do not adequately protect the Great Lakes and its communities from oil pollution-and that states have not passed their own laws to fill in the gaps.
- Pipeline Spills Put Safeguards Under Scrutiny (NY Times, 9/9/2011):
The little-known federal agency charged with monitoring the system and enforcing safety measures - the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration - is chronically short of inspectors and lacks the resources needed to hire more, leaving too much of the regulatory control in the hands of pipeline operators themselves, according to federal reports, an examination of agency data and interviews with safety experts.
- Wind Energy Tax Credit Expiration: Already Killing US Manufacturing Jobs:
- VIDEO: US Wind Energy at the Crossroads (Climate Crock of the Week)
- VIDEO: Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) fights for extension of renewable energy tax credit (YouTube)
- 37,000 jobs at risk if wind energy tax credits expire, backers say (LA Times)
- Wind Tax Credit Stalls in Congress Despite Bipartisan support. So what's the Disconnect here? (Climate Crock of the Week):
Bottom line, if congress is serious about defunding all energy subsidies and making a truly level playing field, well and good, then start with the oil companies, and by the way, tell them they have to keep the Strait of Hormuz open on their own dime.
- Wind Farms DO NOT Cause Global Warming:
- Don't believe the headlines. Wind farms do not cause 'global' warming. (CS Monitor):
A recent study published in Nature Climate Change suggests that large wind farms could be pulling down hot air at night, raising the average temperature of the local region. The results of the study, however, have been widely misconstrued in the news media.
- Scientist Debunks "Misleading" Coverage Of Wind Farm Study (Media Matters):
A recent study of satellite data found that nighttime land temperatures in the immediate vicinity of wind turbines in Texas have increased relative to nearby areas without turbines. Conservative media outlets, including Fox Nation, Rush Limbaugh and Jim Hoft, are distorting the research to claim that wind farms "cause global warming" and Fox News' morning show concluded "wind ain't working." But the study's lead author said via email that this coverage is "misleading."
- STUDY: Impacts of wind farms on land surface temperature (Nature)
- POLL: Americans WANT Clean Energy, Emissions Regulations:
- Poll: 75 Percent of Americans Support Regulating CO2 As A Pollutant, 60 Percent Support Revenue-Neutral Carbon Tax (Climate Progress): [emphasis added]
The survey's results are counter to widely held assumptions among the media and politicians, but consistent with recent polling. The poll found:
+ 63% of Americans support "signing an international treaty that requires the United States to cut its emissions of carbon dioxide 90 percent by the year 2050"!
+ 61% of Americans say they would be more likely to vote for a political candidate who supports a "revenue neutral" tax shift, increasing taxes on fossil fuels, and reducing the federal income tax by an equal amount.
+ 61% said they support holding the fossil fuel industry responsible for "hidden costs we pay for citizens who get sick from polluted air and water, military costs to maintain access to foreign oil, and the environmental costs of spills and accidents.
- READ IT: Public Support for Climate & Energy Policies in March 2012 (Poll, Yale Project on Climate Change Communication)
- Poll: Large Majority Of Americans Understand Global Warming Made Several Major Extreme Weather Events Worse (Climate Progress)
- Economics Stunner: "Oil and Coal-Fired Power Plants Have Air Pollution Damages Larger Than Their Value Added." (Climate Progress)
- Gallup: 65% of Americans Have More Guts Than Obama, Support 'Imposing Mandatory Controls On CO2 Emissions' (Climate Progress)
- Pew Poll: Clean Energy Is A Political Wedge Among Republicans (Climate Progress)
- Donald Trump Keeps Up Absurd Attacks On Scotland's Wind Farms (Climate Progress)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- American Enterprise Institute And Brookings Must-Read: ‘The Republicans Are The Problem’ (Climate Progress):
Two leading political scholars — representing the conservative American Enterprise Institute and the centrist Brookings Institution – have published a must-read article, “Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem.”
- Memo To Media: EPA Official's Comments Applied Only To Lawbreakers: Weigel: Official Referred To "Companies That Broke The Law," Not Oil And Gas Companies At Large. (Media Matters)
- Analysis: U.S. mad cow find: lucky break or triumph of science? (Reuters):
The discovery this week of the fourth U.S. case of mad cow disease was one of two things for food safety experts: a validation of a decade-long focused surveillance regime or a lucky break that highlights the need to revisit previously scrapped efforts for more comprehensive surveillance.
Funding for cattle health programs in the proposed 2013 budget is set to fall by 20 percent compared to two years earlier.
The two major U.S. safeguards are a ban on using cattle protein in cattle feed, which can lead to animal-to-animal transmission, and keeping parts of the cow that can carry high concentrations of the disease, such as brains, spinal cords and nervous tissue, out of the food supply.
- ALEC Says It Plans To Craft Legislation To Take Down State Renewable Energy Targets (Climate Progress):
Two leading conservative political organizations say they are stepping up coordinated efforts to repeal state-level renewable energy targets.
- Fracking Sand Threatens Gas Well Workers, Researcher Says (BusinessWeek):
Sand dust created from the hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from rock is one of the most dangerous threats to workers at wells blossoming across the U.S., a government safety researcher said.
- US solar subsidies consistent with coal, oil: report (Reuters):
U.S. government support for solar energy is no different from its support for traditional energy sources, despite critics' complaints that the renewable energy source has gotten special incentives, a new solar-industry backed report found.
- Coal business update: 'Severe weakness' cited in U.S. markets (Coal Tattoo)
- Coal's Future Is Rocky at Best (BusinessWeek):
Coal is in a struggle with a perfect adversary: ultracheap natural gas.
- Analysis: Dow's new GMO corn: "time bomb" or farmers' dream? (Reuters):
Opponents include some specialty crop farmers who fear 2,4-D herbicide use could cause widespread damage to crops that are not engineered with a tolerance to it. It is so potent that its use is tightly restricted in some areas and at certain times of the year in some U.S. states.
- Nuclear Safety Advocates Accuse Industry And Regulators Of Foot-Dragging On Basic Safety Measures (Huffington Post Green):
[W]hat if the Pilgrim plant experienced a meltdown like the one that unfolded just over a year ago in Fukushima, Japan?
"I live just six miles from that plant across open water," says Lampert, a staunch advocate for tougher oversight of the nuclear power industry. "It always comes down to public safety versus the cost to industry of implementing something."
- Climate Change Has Intensified the Global Water Cycle (Climate Central):
Based on measurements gathered around the world from 1950-2000, a team of researchers from Australia and the U.S. has concluded that the hydrologic cycle is indeed changing. Wet areas are getting wetter and dry areas are getting drier. But it's happening about twice as fast as anyone thought, and that could mean big trouble for places like Australia, which has already been experiencing crushing drought in recent years.
- IBM R&D Working to Give Electric Cars 500 Miles of Range With Lithium-Air Batteries (Treehugger)
- Plastic pollution in ocean likely underestimated, researchers say (California Watch):
[R]esearchers from the Universities of Washington and Delaware and the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Mass., say the [Pacific Garbage Patch] is much bigger, and scarier, than that. They say scientists have only skimmed the surface on the devastating pollution caused by plastic debris in the ocean, and the research community is likely underestimating the amount of plastic in the ocean.
- LA opens rooftops for solar energy installations (Gimag):
The recent approval of a Feed-in-Tarriff (FiT) rooftop solar program known as CLEAN LA Solar by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power opens up over 12,000 acres of potential rooftop space for solar development.
- Shocker: The Killing Agency: USDA's Wildlife Services' Brutal Methods Leave A Trail of Death (Sacramento Bee):
[A] Bee investigation has found the agency's practices to be indiscriminate, at odds with science, inhumane and sometimes illegal.
- Clouds' Effect on Climate Change Is Last Bastion for Dissenters (NY Times):
His idea has drawn withering criticism from other scientists, who cite errors in his papers and say proof is lacking. Enough evidence is already in hand, they say, to rule out the powerful cooling effect from clouds that would be needed to offset the increase of greenhouse gases.
- Warm Ocean Currents Eroding Antarctic Ice Shelves (Environment News Service):
Warm ocean currents flowing beneath ice shelves are the main cause of recent ice loss from Antarctica, concludes a study by an international research team published today. The finding brings scientists closer to providing reliable projections of future sea level rise. Using measurements from NASA's Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite, ICESat, in combination with computer models, the researchers were able to distinguish between warm ocean currents thawing the ice sheets from below and warm air melting them from above.
- Skeptical Science: Get the FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Arguments
- 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.
- VIDEO ANIMATION: Time history of atmospheric CO2 (NOAA Carbon Tracker YouTube channel):
- VIDEO: Animation Charts Modern Global Warming (NYT Green)
- Must-Read: Economist William Nordhaus Slams Global Warming Deniers, Explains Cost of Delay is $4 Trillion (Climate Progress):
Nordhaus's blunt piece - "Why the Global Warming Skeptics Are Wrong" - is worth reading because he is no climate hawk.
"The skeptics' summary is based on poor analysis and on an incorrect reading of the results."
- Part 1: The brutal logic of climate change (David Roberts, Grist) [emphasis added]:
It's simple: If there is to be any hope of avoiding civilization-threatening climate disruption, the U.S. and other nations must act immediately and aggressively on an unprecedented scale. That means moving to emergency footing. War footing. "Hitler is on the march and our survival is at stake" footing. That simply won't be possible unless a critical mass of people are on board. It's not the kind of thing you can sneak in incrementally.
It is unpleasant to talk like this. People don't want to hear it.
- Part 2: The brutal logic of climate change mitigation (David Roberts, Grist)
- How to Buy Time in the Fight against Climate Change: Mobilize to Stop Soot and Methane: A short list of relatively simple actions taken to reduce greenhouse gases other than CO2 could help put the brakes on global warming--if implemented globally (Scientific American)
- Climate Scientists Rebuke Rupert Murdoch: WSJ Denier Op-Ed Like 'Dentists Practicing Cardiology' (Think Progress Green)
- Saudi Oil Minister Calls Global Warming "Humanity's Most Pressing Concern" (Climate Progress):
"We know that pumping oil out of the ground does not create many jobs. It does not foster an entrepreneurial spirit, nor does it sharpen critical faculties."
- VIDEO: Behold: The World's First 24/7 Solar Plant is Up and Running (Treehugger)
- 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)
- The Real Global Warming Signal (Tamino)
- No, global warming hasn't stopped (New Scientist)
- Top UN Climate Official Blasts U.S. Climate Policy: Americans Must Realize "This Is Their Future They're Compromising" (Think Progress Green)
- VIDEO: Climate Scientists Michael Mann on "A Look Into Our Climate: Past To Present To Future" (TEDx, YouTube)
- Earth's Plant Growth Fell Because of Climate Change, Study Finds (NYT Green)
- Heads in the Sand: Warning: "Climate change is occurring … and poses significant risks to humans and the environment," reports the National Academy of Sciences. As climate-change science moves in one direction, Republicans in Congress are moving in another. Why?
(National Journal) [emphasis added]:Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, says there's no question that the influence of his group and others like it has been instrumental in the rise of Republican candidates who question or deny climate science. "If you look at where the situation was three years ago and where it is today, there's been a dramatic turnaround. Most of these candidates have figured out that the science has become political," he said.
Groups like Americans for Prosperity have done it."