With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 10/25/2012, 3:33pm PT  

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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Hurricane Sandy threatens East Coast, as new study shows increase in big U.S. hurricanes; Koch Bros, Big Oil trying to kill wind industry; Judge rules: no mutants in national forests (for now); Plastic pollution, now in the Arctic; Ozone hole shrinks; PLUS: Time is running out for the Great Barrier Reef - half has been lost in just 30 years ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): US gov downplayed effect of Deepwater oil spill on whales; Cute Solar Charging Canopies charge while parked; Did the climate deniers win?; US politicians duck climate change because of cost; US to study cancer risks near nuclear sites; Methane destabilizing off East coast? ... PLUS: Renewable energy: Mandate it in the constitution? ... and much, MUCH more! ...


  • VIDEO: Bill Maher's New Rule For Climate Change Scientists (Huffington Post Green):

  • Judge: NO GMOs in Wildlife Refuges:
  • Koch Bros, Big Oil Try to Strangle US Wind Energy:
    • Koch Brothers Goal: Defeat the Wind Tax Credit (EcoWatch) [emphasis added]:
      [W]ith Koch Industries and fossil fuel groups mobilizing to defeat the [wind energy production tax] credit, its future after 2012 is uncertain. The American Energy Alliance, which has Koch ties, told Politico Pro this week that it aims to make the credit a toxic issue for House Republicans: “Our goal is to make the PTC so toxic that it makes it impossible for John Boehner to sit at a table with Harry Reid and say, ‘Yeah, I can bend on this one,’” said Benjamin Cole, spokesman for the American Energy Alliance.
    • Fossil Fuel Industry Ads Dominate TV Campaign (NY Times):
      “These are companies and industries that clearly feel threatened,” said Ken Goldstein, president of Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group. “And when companies and industries with resources feel threatened, they air advertisements.”
    • Conservative thinktanks step up attacks against Obama's clean energy strategy (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
      Confidential memo seen by Guardian calls for climate change sceptics to turn American public against solar and wind power. ... Now a confidential strategy memo seen by the Guardian advises using "subversion" to build a national movement of wind farm protesters.

  • Hurricane Sandy: A Frankenstorm for Halloween?:
    • Sandy slams Cuba, could hit US as 'Nor'easter on steroids' (MSNBC):
      Nor'easters are powerful storms that come up along the East Coast from the south and then increase in volatility with winds from the northeast. In this case, another storm is expected to move into the Northeast from the Ohio Valley around the same time, adding to the weather mix. Sandy will likely be around for the 21st anniversary of the infamous "Perfect Storm" of Oct. 30, 1991, that killed six fishermen.
    • Halloween scare? Hurricane Sandy shows similarities to 'perfect storm.' (+video) (CS Monitor):
      Hurricane Sandy, now near Jamaica, could hit the East Coast as a strong tropical storm, causing flooding early next week, according to one forecast model. But it could also head out to sea.

  • Big Hurricanes Increasing in US: Study:
    • Extreme hurricanes hitting U.S. more frequently, study says (LA Times) [emphasis added]:
      On Monday, a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences, or PNAS, concluded that large Katrina-sized hurricanes were twice as likely to form off the United States' southeast coast in hotter years than they were in colder years.

  • HALF of Great Barrier Reef Lost in Last 30 Years:
    • VIDEO: Half of Great Barrier Reef 'disappeared' in past 27 years (BBC)
    • Great Barrier Reef has lost half its corals since 1985, new study says (Washington Post):
      The sobering findings highlighted how even the world’s most protected marine areas are under assault from natural forces and causes linked to the human activity that is resulting in climate change.
      Researchers warned that Australian officials will have to step up efforts to curb controllable threats, such as coral-eating starfish, because they are easier to target than intense storms and rising ocean temperatures.
    • Scientists: To save Great Barrier Reef, kill starfish (CNN):
      Reacting to the study, the World Wildlife Fund said Australia must reduce fertilizer runoff as a first step to controlling the crown-of-thorns starfish.
    • World's biggest geoengineering experiment 'violates' UN rules: (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
      Satellite images appear to confirm the claim by Californian Russ George that the iron has spawned an artificial plankton bloom as large as 10,000 square kilometres. The intention is for the plankton to absorb carbon dioxide and then sink to the ocean bed - a geoengineering technique known as ocean fertilisation that he hopes will net lucrative carbon credits.

  • Plastic Pollution, Now in the Arctic!:
    • Biologists record increasing amounts of plastic litter in the Arctic deep sea: studies confirm that twice as much marine debris is lying on the seabed today compared to ten years ago (press release, Alfred Wegener Institute - Helmholtz Geimeinschaft) [emphasis added]:
      "The Arctic Ocean and especially its deep-sea areas have long been considered to be the most remote and secluded regions of our planet. Unfortunately, our results refute this notion at least for our observatory. The quantities observed were higher than those recorded from a deep-sea canyon not far from the industrialised Portuguese capital Lisbon," Melanie Bergmann explains.
    • Plastic Waste Increasing On Remote Arctic Seabed, Cameras Reveal (Yale 360:
      Deep-sea cameras deployed to monitor biodiversity on the Arctic seabed have documented a significant rise in the amount of plastic waste and other litter on the remote sea floors of the Far North, according to a new study.
    • Heat-trapping CO2 also makes ice more brittle (Summit Co. Voice):
      New MIT research suggests carbon dioxide has direct impact on glaciers and ice caps.

  • Good News: Ozone Hole 2nd Smallest in 20 Years:
    • Antarctic Ozone Hole Second Smallest in 20 Years, Scientists Say (Bloomberg):
      The seasonal ozone hole above the Antarctic was the second smallest in 20 years as warm temperatures slowed depletion of the layer that shields the planet from ultraviolet radiation, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    • The World We Avoided by Protecting the Ozone Layer (NASA) [emphasis added]:
      The year is 2065. Nearly two-thirds of Earth’s ozone is gone—not just over the poles, but everywhere. The infamous ozone hole over Antarctica, first discovered in the 1980s, is a year-round fixture, with a twin over the North Pole. The ultraviolet (UV) radiation falling on mid-latitude cities like Washington, D.C., is strong enough to cause sunburn in just five minutes.
    • Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Wikipedia):
      It is believed that if the international agreement is adhered to, the ozone layer is expected to recover by 2050. Due to its widespread adoption and implementation it has been hailed as an example of exceptional international co-operation, with Kofi Annan quoted as saying that "perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date has been the Montreal Protocol".

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

  • Renewable energy: Mandate it in the constitution? (CS Monitor):
    Renewable energy proposal in Michigan would enshrine a '25 by 25' mandate in the state constitution. If voters approve the referendum Nov. 6, Michigan would be the first state to include a renewable energy goal in its constitution.
  • US downplayed effect of Deepwater oil spill on whales, emails reveal (Guardian UK):
    Documents obtained by Greenpeace show officials controlling information about wildlife affected by the disaster
  • Cute Solar Charging Canopies Tilt Toward Sun (Treehugger):
    Solelia's solar charging canopy consists of 1 Kw of photovoltaic panels divided between two parking "spaces", with charging posts for each space. The panels, with the addition of an optional motor, can follow the sun during the day to always be in an optimal angle and produce as much electricity as possible. Solelia says the tilting canopies can produce up to 30% more electricity than conventional fixed solar cells.
  • Sir David Attenborough: US politicians duck climate change because of cost (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
    One of the world's leading naturalists has accused US politicians of ducking the issue of climate change because of the economic cost of tackling it and warned that it would take a terrible example of extreme weather to wake people up to the dangers of global warming...."Disaster. It's a terrible thing to say, isn't it?"
  • FRONTLINE: Did the climate deniers win? (Mother Jones):
    The hour-long report on the fossil-industry and right-wing climate science denial movement broadcast on PBS Frontline Wednesday night raises a key issue. Did deniers win their fight to stop action on global warming by killing it in Congress and keeping it out of the presidential campaign?
  • Government to study cancer risk of living near nuclear sites (Grist)
  • Climate-changing methane 'rapidly destabilizing' off East Coast, study finds (NBC):
    A changing Gulf Stream off the East Coast has destabilized frozen methane deposits trapped under nearly 4,000 square miles of seafloor, scientists reported Wednesday. And since methane is even more potent than carbon dioxide as a global warming gas, the researchers said, any large-scale release could have significant climate impacts.
  • Essential Climate Science Findings:
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