IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Will John Kerry, or won't John Kerry?; Sierra Club vows to break the law for climate change and to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline; Dangerous air pollution in Salt Lake City; PLUS: The Mafia wants a piece of the clean energy action ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Somebody is paying cash to anti-wind protesters (Trump?); World's biggest renewable energy storage farm opens in TX; Charting a New Course for the U.S. and the Environment; Google's Driverless Car Is Worth Trillions; Airlines 'made billions in windfall profits' from EU carbon tax; Colorado: January red flag fire warning; Rising Sea Level: How High Could the Tide Go?; Medical Experts Warn The Rise Of Resistant Bacteria Will Cause ‘Antibiotic Apocalypse’; CNN's Brain Freeze On Climate Change --- again... PLUS: What holds energy tech back? The infernal battery ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Sec. State Nom John Kerry On Keystone, Climate, Clean Energy:
- VIDEO: Kerry Pledges To Confront Climate Change: ‘I Will Be A Passionate Advocate’ Of Action (Climate Progress):
I would respectfully say to you that climate change is not something to be feared in response to — the steps to respond to — it’s to be feared if we don’t. 3,500 communities in our nation last year broke records for heat … and we had a derailment because of it. We had record fires. We had record levels of damage from sandy, $70 billion. If we can’t see the downside of spending that money and risking lives for all the changes that are taking place, to agriculture, to our communities, the ocean and so forth, we are ignoring what science is telling us. I will be a passionate advocate on this not based on ideology but based on facts and science, and I hope to sit with all of you and convince you that this $6 trillion market is worth millions of American jobs and we better go after it.
- Obama climate pledge faces test on oil pipeline (AP)
- John Kerry: Climate Change Is A 'Life-Threatening Issue' (VIDEO) (Huffington Post Green)
- How Much Will Tar Sands Oil Add to Global Warming? (Scientific American)
- Sierra Club is Going to Jail:
- VIDEO: Sierra Club approves civil disobedience in response to Keystone (Current TV)
- Sierra Club Canada to review ban on civil disobedience, with B.C. pipelines in mind: U.S. club announces end of prohibition on peaceful law-breaking (Vancouver Sun)
- Joe Romm: 'Obama Could Reject Keystone XL':
- AUDIO: KPFK 'BradCast': Climate Progress' Joe Romm Joins Us to Discuss Obama's Green Inaugural (The BradBlog)
- Two Hopeful Signs The Obama Administration Will Not Approve The Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline (Climate Progress):
The State Department decision won’t come until after March, which means it will almost certainly be made by the new Secretary, climate hawk John Kerry.
- Dems Launch Congressional Climate Task Force:
- Waxman-Whitehouse-Markey Lead Charge for Climate Action (Climate Progress):
Follow on the heels of President Obama’s commitment, long time climate hawks Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Reps. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Waxman today announced the formation of a “Bicameral Climate Change Task Force.”
“It will be dedicated to focusing Congressional and public attention on climate change and developing effective policy responses, and will be open to all other Members of Congress interested in collaborating on this issue.”
- Your Soap Is Killing Fish:
- Antibacterial Agent Used in Common Soaps Found in Increasing Amounts in Freshwater Lakes (Science Daily):
The findings are directly linked to increased triclosan use over the past few decades. In addition, the researchers found an increasing amount of other chemical compounds, called chlorinated triclosan derivatives, that form when triclosan is exposed to chlorine during the wastewater disinfection process. When exposed to sunlight, triclosan and its chlorinated derivatives form dioxins that have potential toxic effects in the environment. These dioxins were also found in the lakes.
- Mafia Wants a Piece of Clean Energy Action:
- Sting operations reveal Mafia involvement in renewable energy (Washington Post):
“Uncle Vincenzo,” implored the businessman, Angelo Salvatore, using a term of affection for the alleged head of Sicily’s Gimbellina crime family, 79-year-old Vincenzo Funari. According to a transcript of their wiretapped conversation, Salvatore continued, “for the love of our sons, renewable energy is important. . . . it’s a business we can live on.”
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- What holds energy tech back? The infernal battery (AP) [emphasis added]:
As 21st century technology strains to become ever faster, cleaner and cheaper, an invention from more than 200 years ago keeps holding it back. It's why electric cars aren't clogging the roads and why Boeing's new ultra-efficient 787 Dreamliners aren't flying high. And chances are you have this little invention next to you right now and probably have cursed it recently: the infernal battery.
- VIDEO: CNN's Brain Freeze On Climate Change (MediaMatters.org):
Despite the clear scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and that humans are causing it, CNN's Erin Burnett treated climate change as the subject of debate.
- Fasten Your Seatbelts: Google's Driverless Car Is Worth Trillions: (Forbes) [emphasis added]:
In fact, the driverless car has broad implications for society, for the economy and for individual businesses. Just in the U.S., the car puts up for grab some $2 trillion a year in revenue and even more market cap. It creates business opportunities that dwarf Google’s current search-based business and unleashes existential challenges to market leaders across numerous industries, including car makers, auto insurers, energy companies and others that share in car-related revenue.
- Airlines 'made billions in windfall profits' from EU carbon tax (Guardian UK):
Report states carriers earned up to €1.36bn last year, despite claims that charge would impose crippling costs on industry
- Geo-engineering: 'Rock' fix for oceans is badly flawed: study (Australian Broadcasting Co.):
Claims that global warming can be braked by dissolving huge quantities of rock in the sea to absorb carbon emissions are laden with flaws, according to a new study. The analysis is the latest scientific appraisal into geo-engineering, or techniques that are being promoted as quick fixes to the climate crisis.
- Duke Completes World's Biggest Power Storage System at Wind Farm (Bloomberg News)
- Trolling for Paid Wind Farm Protesters: "Earn Quick and Easy $20 for an hour or less of work" (NY Craisglist)
- Watchdog to probe EPA handling of lead smelter risks (USA Today):
The EPA's inspector general, in the wake of a USA TODAY investigation, has announced it plans to examine the agency's program for addressing human exposures to lead smelters during 2013.
- Charting a New Course for the U.S. and the Environment (Yale 360):
After more than four decades as a leading environmentalist, Gus Speth is disillusioned with what has been accomplished. What’s needed now, he says in an interview with Yale Environment 360, is a transformative change in America’s political economy that will benefit both society and the planet.
- Colorado: January red flag fire warning in the mountains highlights new climate reality (Summit County Voice):
“If you look over the last 30 years, this would be extraordinary,” Baker said, referring to the January red flag warning. “But if you look at the 2000s, it’s not so unusual,” he added, explaining that the current weather pattern is reminiscent of the situation in the early 2000s that culminated with the Hayman Fire — the largest ever in Colorado — in June of 2002.
- Rising Sea Level: How High Could the Tide Go? [Hint: a lot.] (NYT Green)
- Medical Experts Warn The Rise Of Resistant Bacteria Will Cause ‘Antibiotic Apocalypse’ (Think Progress)
- COVER STORY: It's Global Warming, Stupid (Businessweek):
Yes, yes, it's unsophisticated to blame any given storm on climate change. Men and women in white lab coats tell us-and they're right-that many factors contribute to each severe weather episode. Climate deniers exploit scientific complexity to avoid any discussion at all.
If all that doesn't impress, forget the scientists ostensibly devoted to advancing knowledge and saving lives. Listen instead to corporate insurers committed to compiling statistics for profit.
- CO2 Emissions Rises Mean Dangerous Climate Change Now Almost Certain (Guardian)
- Study: Sea Levels Rising 60% Faster Than Projected, Planet Keeps Warming As Expected (Climate Progress)
- Ocean Acidification: Animals are already dissolving in Southern Ocean (New Scientist)
- Global warming targets further out of reach, UN says (Phys.org):
Based on current pledges, global average temperatures could rise by 3 to 5 degrees Celsius (5.4 to 9.0 degrees Fahrenheit) this century --- way above the two degrees Celsius being targeted, said a UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report.
- Thawing of permafrost to be 'major factor' in global warming, warns UN report (UN News Centre)
- 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.
- Skeptical Science: Get the FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Arguments
- Report: Humans near tipping point that could dramatically change Earth (CS Monitor) [emphasis added]:
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)
- 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)
- 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... "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)
- The Real Global Warming Signal (Tamino)
- No, global warming hasn't stopped (New Scientist)
- 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?