IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Hey, fracking industry: you didn't build that, either!; Chevron caught cheating in SF refinery fire; Texas police Taser pipeline protesters; PLUS: BACONPOCALYPSE --- this time, global warming has gone too far! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Why is solar cheaper in Germany than the US?; Carbon tax could half deficit in 10 years; Obama must break 'climate silence'; EPA regs create $5 in benefits for every $1 in costs; Gov. Brown signs 'human right to water' bill; '100m to die' from global warming?; If US oil production is at all-time high, yet so are gas prices; Total Oil chief warns against drilling in Arctic ... PLUS: Obama vs. Romney: Stark contrast on the environment ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- TX Police Taser Keystone Pipeline Protesters:
- TransCanada Turns Sadistic in Texas: Keystone XL Protestors Tased and Pepper Sprayed (Bill McKibben, Huffington Post):
A plain-clothes police officer was among the aggressive officers to implement torture tactics. He put [Benjamin] Franklin in a chokehold cutting off his breathing, and bent him over backwards in an attempt to make him pass out. Franklin reports difficulty swallowing because of bruises sustained to his esophagus.
After the pepper spray didn't work the police again conferred with TransCanada employees before sending someone back to the police car to bring a taser. Franklin and Bebe were each tased for one second. Then Franklin was tased for 5 entire seconds. He described the pain as immense and almost physically unbearable.
- Keystone XL: 8 Blockaders Start Indefinite Tree Sit to Stop Keystone XL Pipeline Construction (EcoWatch):
This morning eight people climbed 80 feet into trees in the path of Keystone XL construction, and pledged not to come down until the pipeline is stopped for good. Construction cannot proceed until tree-sitters descend as TransCanada clear-cuts through hundreds of trees to make way for the toxic tar sands pipeline.
- These Two Texans Were Tasered, Choked and Pepper Sprayed for Protesting the Keystone XL (Treehugger)
- Judge Allows Trans-Canada to Take Crawford Land for Keystone Pipeline (Ft. Worth Weekly):
What triggered the direct, nonviolent protest was a 15 word decision-following a six-month court proceeding-by Lamar County Court Judge Bill Harris sent by iPhone that will allow TransCanada to take 50-foot swath of an East Texas ranch by eminent domain. If it stands, the decision will also allow TransCanada to take any other private land they need for their pipeline by eminent domain.
- Chevron Refinery Fire: EPA Finds Secret Bypass Equipment Gave False Readings:
- Criminal investigation at Chevron refinery (SF Gate):
Federal authorities have opened a criminal investigation of Chevron after discovering that the company detoured pollutants around monitoring equipment at its Richmond refinery for four years and burned them off into the atmosphere, in possible violation of a federal court order, The Chronicle has learned.
Air quality officials say Chevron fashioned a pipe inside its refinery that routed hydrocarbon gases around monitoring equipment and allowed them to be burned off without officials knowing about it. Some of the gases escaped into the air, but because the company didn't record them, investigators have no way of being certain of the level of pollution exposure to thousands of people who live downwind from the plant.
- Confirmed: Fracking Chemicals in Wyoming Water Supply:
- Diesel in Water Near Fracking Confirms EPA Tests Wyoming Disputes (Bloomberg):
A retest of water in Pavillion, Wyoming, found evidence of many of the same gases and compounds the Environmental Protection Agency used to link contamination there to hydraulic fracturing, the first finding of that kind.
- Pollutants linked to ‘fracking’ found in Wyoming groundwater (The Hill's E2Wire):
A U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report found traces of methane, ethane, diesel compounds and phenol in a monitoring well in rural Pavillion, Wyo., where residents say fracking has contaminated their drinking water.
- What 20 Months of Water Consumption for Fracking in the U.S. Looks Like (EcoWatch)
- PLUS: Two-thirds of company frack disclosures omit 'secrets' (E & E News)
- Hey, Frackers: You Didn't Build That!:
- Decades of Federal Dollars Helped Fuel Gas Boom (AP):
It sounds like a free-market success story: a natural gas boom created by drilling company innovation, delivering a vast new source of cheap energy without the government subsidies that solar and wind power demand.
But those who helped pioneer the technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, recall a different path. Over three decades, from the shale fields of Texas and Wyoming to the Marcellus in the Northeast, the federal government contributed more than $100 million in research to develop fracking, and billions more in tax breaks.
- Safety Rules for Fracking Disposal Wells Often Ignored (Pro Publica):
The growing number of wells used to dispose of wastewater from fracking are subject to lax oversight.
- Bacon-Pocalypse Now [Not Really]:
- There Will Be No Bacon Shortage (Slate):
How a British trade association press release sent the Internet into a senseless [HILARIOUS] panic
The issue is corn. Drought this year has destroyed a lot of the world’s corn crop. Over the summer when all the dead corn was in the news, the devastation was portrayed in the press primarily as a sob story about farmers. But as Slate warned you at the time, the economic consequences extend far beyond corn growers and their immediate community. That’s because corn, for better or for worse, is one of the key commodity inputs of the modern economy.
- Drought-Hit Hog Producers Face Choice: Struggle or Fold (Scientific American):"
With the worst drought in half a century driving feed prices sky high, pork producers are facing an untenable choice: drain their savings and gamble on a better future, or sell off their herd and get out of the business altogether.
- Confined dining: A primer on factory farms and what they mean for your meat (Grist)
- Oxfam Warns Climate Change And Extreme Weather Will Cause Food Prices To Soar (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
Further modeling the impact of warming-driven extreme weather shocks leads Oxfam to conclude corn prices could increase a staggering 500% by 2030.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Why is rooftop solar cheaper in Germany than in the U.S.? (Grist)
- U.S. carbon tax could halve deficit in 10 years: report (Reuters) [emphasis added]:
Imposing a $20 per metric ton carbon tax in the U.S. could reduce the country's budget deficit by 50 percent over the next 10 years, a report by the Congressional Research Service said on Tuesday.
- If Obama Wants To Be Re-Elected, He Needs To Break His Climate Silence (Climate Progress):
In the past four years, Americans have been struck by a barrage of billion-dollar climate disasters, driven by increasing greenhouse pollution from fossil fuels. From record heat waves to increasingly powerful storms, crushing droughts to unprecedented flooding, the impacts of climate change are now squarely being felt within our borders. Yet, amazingly, the clear and present danger of carbon-poisoned weather remains largely absent from this year's presidential election.
ClimateSilence.org chronicles this slow, collective descent toward mute acceptance of global calamity.
- EPA rules create $5 of good for each $1 they cost (Grist):
Research released yesterday by the (admittedly left-leaning) Economic Policy Institute argues that the economic impacts of the Obama administration’s (modest) efforts to reduce pollution uniformly produce much more economic benefit than cost. Specifically: for $26 billion in cost associated with pollution reduction, the country sees $144 billion in benefit — a return of $5.50 on every dollar spent.
- CA Gov. Brown Signs Human Right to Water Bill (IndyBay News):
By signing this bill into law, California becomes the first state in the nation to declare safe, clean, affordable and accessible water a human right.
- Explaining the ’100 million to die from climate change’ claim (Grist) [emphasis added]:
100 million people! With global population projected to be 8.3 billion by 2030, that’s one out of every 83 people — 1.2 percent of humanity — albeit over two decades. It brings to mind images of the worst natural disasters — flood waters ripping through Manhattan, typhoons destroying the Pacific Rim.
Wrong image. Think lung disease.
- UN: Can energy for all be a reality by 2030? (Guardian UK):
Ban Ki-moon is confident the UN initiative to promote sustainable energy can lead to universal access.
- Weather helping U.S. wildfires stay alive (UPI):
Some 35 large wildfires blistered parts of the Western United States Wednesday, weather forecasters said, away from the thunderstorms soaking parts of the East.
- U.S. Oil Production Is At Highest Level Since 1997; Yet Gas Prices Remain 'Stubbornly High' (Climate Progress):
So domestic oil production is higher than when George W. Bush was ever in office. What has that done to gasoline prices? They’re still hovering at historic highs. Here's why...
- TOTAL Chief Warns Against Arctic Drilling (Reuters):
Energy companies should not drill for crude oil in Arctic waters because the environmental risks are too high, Total SA Chief Executive Officer Christophe de Margerie said in the Financial Times on Wednesday.
- Living with PBB: Michigan Chemical plant dumped poisons, impacting town for years (Detroit Free Press):
Michigan Chemical closed as a result of the catastrophe in 1977, but only after dumping tons of PBB, as well as the now-banned pesticide DDT and other toxins, at the site and at the nearby Gratiot County Landfill.Today, the plant's environmental footprint remains: DDT in dead birds; PBB in the Pine River; pCBSA, a by-product of DDT, in the drinking water.
- Obama vs. Romney: A StarkContrast on the Environment: (Yale 360):
As the U.S. presidential campaign enters its final phase, Yale Environment 360 compares the sharply divergent views of President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on the environment and energy.
- Freaked-out climate scientists urge other freaked-out climate scientists to speak up, fight Man (Grist) [emphasis added]:
Can we make the radical changes necessary to meet that challenge? No, say climate scientists Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows in a recent commentary in Nature Climate Change, not "within orthodox political and economic constraints."
In other words: We either give up economic growth voluntarily for a little while or suffer a climate that will reverse economic growth long-term.
- Republican Meteorologist to Mitt Romney: My Top Ten Reasons for Republicans to Accept Reality on the Climate (Huffington Post Green)
- Skeptical Science: Get the FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Arguments
- Report: Humans near tipping point that could dramatically change Earth (CS Monitor):
Human activity is affecting Earth in many ways, but a new study suggests that continued population growth and its impact on climate and ecology could trigger a more profound chain reaction of effects within little more than a decade.
- 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)
- Thinking Big: NREL Study Shows 80 Percent Renewables Possible By 2050 (Climate Progress)
- 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."Share article...