IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Obama's Interior nominee promises "balanced" use of public lands; Extreme weather forces Republicans to cancel climate science denial hearing; Colorado city defies Governor, bans fracking; Conflict of interest in State Dept's glowing Keystone XL pipeline report; PLUS: Hottest summer ever on record in Australia ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Why are sinkholes swallowing Florida?; 'Carbon capture and storage will never pay off'; Jump In atmospheric CO2 brings climate catastrophe closer; U.S. clean energy trade surplus with China; Climate change will open up surprising new Arctic shipping routes; Ice Age study bolsters CO2 and warming link; CA town requires all new homes to have solar power; GOP legislator seeks a new carbon tax on bicycle riders; Infections with 'Nightmare Bacteria' on the rise in U.S. hospitals ... PLUS: Don't Worry: Keystone XL pipeline would be safe from the climate impacts it would cause ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: "Snowquester": Winter Storm Saturn sweeps the country, but the media has a much better name for it. (Colbert Report)
- Daylight Savings Time Coming (But It Doesn't Save Energy):
- Let's Not Spring Forward: Even cows don't like Daylight Saving Time. (Scientific American)
- Does Daylight Saving Time Conserve Energy?: Recent studies shed some light on the efficiency of seasonally changing the clocks (Scientific American)
- Whitehouse.gov Petition to 'Eliminate the bi-annual time change caused by Daylight Savings Time' (FARK.com)
- Fort Collins Defies Governor, Bans Fracking:
- Threat of Colorado lawsuit looms as fracking ban OK'd in Fort Collins (Denver Post)
- Businesses surprised to see their names on pro-fracking petition (Fort Collins Coloradoan)
- VIDEO: Gov. John Hickenlooper: State Will Sue Any City In Colorado That Bans Fracking (CBS Denver):
- Sally Jewell, Interior Nominee, Promises "Balanced" Use of Public Lands:
- VIDEO: Secretary of the Interior nominee Sally Jewell's opening statement (Politico)
- VIDEO: Full Confirmation Hearing for Sally Jewell to be Interior Secretary (C-SPAN)
- Sally Jewell's Energy Strategy: Interior Secretary Nominee Pledges Balanced Approeach (Huffington Post)
- Obama Interior Pick Championed Outdoor Jobs Over Oil (Bloomberg News)
- Jewell expresses support for using Antiquities Act as Interior Secretary (Idaho Statesman)
- Despite Industry Efforts To Blame Administration, There’s A Geologic Reason Most Drilling Occurs On Nonfederal Lands: i.e., that's not where the fossil fuels are (Climate Progress)
- Extreme Weather Forces Republicans to Cancel Climate Science Denial Hearing:
- House Committee Cancels Climate Denier Hearing — Because Of The Weather (Climate Progress):
Ever since Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) first took over as chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, the climate denier and Koch Industries beneficiary has planned a hearing to “review” climate science. But on Wednesday, a major snowstorm in Washington, D.C. put the hearing, which was stacked with climate deniers, on hold.
- Snowquestration: How D.C. Fits In With The 'Less Snow, More Blizzards' Pattern (Climate Progress)
- Climate contradiction: Less [overall] snow, more blizzards (USA Today)
- Keystone XL Contractor Wrote State's Sunny Environment Impact Report:
- Critical Part of Keystone Report Done by Firms with Deep Oil Industry Ties (InsideClimate.org):
Two consulting firms provided State Department with key analysis of whether the pipeline would speed development of Canada's oil sands.
- ‘State Department’ Keystone XL Report Actually Written By TransCanada Contractor (Grist):
The “sustainability consultancy” Environmental Resources Management (ERM) was paid an undisclosed amount under contract to TransCanada to write the statement [PDF], which is now an official government document.
- Report May Ease Path for New Pipeline (NY Times)
- VIDEO: Van Jones: Keystone XL would be 'the Obama Pipeline' (Grist)
- State Dept. on Keystone XL: So not a big deal (Grist)
- Hottest Summer Ever on Record for Australia:
- VIDEO: Australia enters 'new climatic territory': Climate Commission (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
Prof. Tim Flannery, Australia Climate Commission: "[W]hen you get records being broken at that scale, you can start to see a shifting from one climate system to another. So the climate has in one sense actually changed and we are now entering a new series of climatic conditions that we just haven't seen before."
- Australia's record-breaking hottest summer (Guardian UK):
January was the hottest month since records began in 1910 - it's getting hotter, and extreme heat is happening more often
- Australia's climate 'on steroids' after record-breaking summer (Telegraph UK):
Australia's weather went "on steroids" over a summer that saw an unprecedented heatwave, bushfires and floods, the head of the country's Climate Commission has said, warning that global warming would only make things worse.
- VIDEO: Australia enters 'new climatic territory': Climate Commission (Australian Broadcasting Corporation):
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Don't Worry: Keystone XL Pipeline Would Be Safe From The Climate Impacts It Would Cause (Climate Progress)
- Follow the latest from the BP Oil Spill Trial at The New Orleans Times-Picayune (Main Page)
- Why Sinkholes Are Eating Florida (Discovery News):
To slake a thirsty state's population, Florida has been aggressively pumping out groundwater, destabilizing its limestone bedrock and contributing to the growing number of sinkholes, according to a USGS report.
- Big One-Year Jump In Atmospheric CO2 Brings Climate Catastrophe Closer (Climate Progress)
- Scientist Rebukes Latest "Factually Wrong" Attempt To Deny Climate Change: News That Rising Emissions Could Lead To Dire Warming Should Prompt Action, Not Denial (Media Matters)
- Why carbon capture and storage will never pay off (Smart Planet)
- Advantage America: New Report Reveals U.S. Clean Energy Trade Surplus with China in 2011 (Pew Environment):
The United States and China traded more than $8.5 billion worth of clean energy goods and services in 2011, the latest year for which data are available. According to a report released today by The Pew Charitable Trusts, U.S. companies enjoyed a $1.63 billion sales advantage over their Chinese counterparts.
- Climate change will open up surprising new Arctic shipping routes (Washington Post)
- NY Assembly Passes Two Year Fracking Moratorium, Senate Expected to Follow (EcoWatch)
- Study of Ice Age Bolsters Carbon and Warming Link (NY Times):
A meticulous new analysis of Antarctic ice suggests that the sharp warming that ended the last ice age occurred in lock step with increases of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the latest of many indications that the gas is a powerful influence on the earth's climate.
- Developed Nations Must Cut Emissions In Half By 2020, Says New Study
- Insurance only part of disaster resilience, says climate change panel (Guardian UK):
Expert warns that people should not be seduced by disaster insurance, saying it is not a panacea for weather-related shocks
- Renewable rules: Lancaster, Calif., requires all new homes to have solar power (Mother Nature News):
Led by a solar-loving Republican mayor and blessed with plenty of sunshine, this Mojave Desert city will require all new single-family homes to be equipped with solar starting in 2014.
- State legislator seeks a new carbon tax on bicycle riders (1787 Network):
On March 2, an email sent out by a Washington state legislator surfaced that indicated that he is in support of a new tax on bicycle sales which acts as a carbon tax forcyclists who pollute the environment through the increased expulsion of carbon dioxide.
- Infections With 'Nightmare Bacteria' Are On The Rise In U.S. Hospitals (NPR)
- Pesticides are killing our sperm (Grist):
George Washington University researchers pored over 17 scientific studies that were published between 2007 and 2012 and reported in the journal Toxicology that 15 of them found "significant associations between exposure to pesticides and semen quality indicators."
- Atmospheric Warming Altering Ocean Salinity And The Water Cycle (Climate Progress):
A clear change in salinity has been detected in the world's oceans, signaling shifts and acceleration in the global rainfall and evaporation cycle tied directly to climate change.
- The New Sustainable Energy Factbook: A Strong Case for Consistent Policy (Bloomberg New Energy Finance, via Climate Progress.org):
The report provides a detailed account of the energy market for investors and policymakers making a strong case for the role of stable policies in leveling the playing field for clean energy technologies in the evolving energy landscape.
- 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?