IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Get out your popcorn - Climate change-denying Sen. Ted Cruz is running for president...and Gov. Jerry Brown is unimpressed; Is mandatory water rationing in California's future?; PLUS: In Florida, don't say 'climate change' or you be sent to a mental hospital....All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Scientists Want to Mine Our Poop for Gold --- Literally; Gulf Stream Slowdown: 'The Day After Tomorrow' Might Kinda, Sorta Come True; 10 years after BP refinery explosion, more reforms needed; 26 US coal companies have gone bankrupt in the last three years; Texas town goes 100% renewable energy; Top Chinese Official Says Climate Change Is “Serious Threat"; Yemen tearing itself apart over water; BP drops membership with ALEC... PLUS: Plastic pollution worse than thought: Scientists finding plastic embedded in scales of fish... and much, MUCH more! ...
Out here in California --- for those of us now living directly "on the front edge of a climate crisis", as MSNBC's Chris Hayes describes it in the interview below --- it's both extraordinarily unusual and incredibly welcome to hear a politician with ambitions for higher office speak as frankly as Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) does here.
Newsom describes the state's voluntarily water conservation measures to date, in the face of our record-shattering drought, as "small ball".
"I think we're going to have to move to mandatory rationing," he notes bluntly. Hayes appears surprised in response, noting that calls for mandatory rationing are "essentially anathema in American political vocabulary."
"This is serious," Newsom responds in turn, detailing the crisis the state is now facing. "This is Code Red".
"We can call for voluntary rationing because that polls better, or we can lead. And I guess at the end of the day, we have to ask ourselves 'Are we just stewards? Or are we gonna step up and step in and actually share our private thoughts --- trust me, private thoughts are ample around some requirements for mandatory reductions --- or we can continue to play the finger in the wind politics that, frankly, has put us in this crisis in the first place."
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Another Category 5 storm wreaks devastation in the Pacific; Extreme weather is getting extremely expensive; Scientist warns California could soon run out of water; PLUS: Some good news: for the first time in history, the global economy grew, but carbon emissions did not....All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Now East Antarctica is rapidly melting, too; Record number of manatees counted in Florida; Wind power competitive with natural gas even without subsidies; Al Gore: climate deniers should pay a political price; Arctic melt is messing with our weather; Climate change is baking Alaska; Europe's regulation of pesticides could affect US food; Freedom Industries owners plead guilty in chemical spill; US Rail industry pushes White House to ease rules... PLUS: Experts agree: Renewable energy taking over... and much, MUCH more! ...
Last year, the California State Supreme Court improperly nixed a ballot initiative meant to encourage state Legislators to support an amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's infamous Citizens United decision, according to a court brief recently filed by several state advocacy groups.
In the summer of 2014, the California state Legislature enacted SB 1272, a ballot initiative (Prop 49), asking California voters to advise whether the state's elected representatives should pursue passage of an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would overturn Citizens United. The advisory measure, had it been allowed on the general election ballot last year, had sought to establish that corporations are not people and that the rights enshrined in our nation's founding documents apply only to living, breathing human beings.
The effort to permit voters to weigh-in on the subject was cut short when the CA Supreme Court promptly ordered then Secretary of State Debra Bowen to remove Prop 49 from the November ballot pending full briefing and argument with respect to a legal challenge filed by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association ("HJTA") --- an anti-tax organization founded by Republican Howard Jarvis.
In Eu, the CA Supremes struck down a ballot initiative that sought "to compel California's elected representatives, on penalty of loss of salary, to apply to Congress to convene a constitutional convention for the…purpose of proposing an amendment to the United States Constitution requiring a balanced federal budget." (Emphasis added).
But, according to the amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief, recently filed by Free Speech for People (FSP) and other advocacy groups, the Court's earlier decision in Eu does not support last year's decision to remove the Overturn Citizens United initiative from the 2014 ballot. The brief explains that the state Legislature does, indeed, have the constitutional authority to seek advisory instructions from the Golden State's electorate via the ballot.
FSP not only defends the legality of the Prop 49 initiative, as measured against both the U.S. and California Constitutions, but presents both historical and legal arguments that, if successful, could define the very essence of our (small "r") republican form of government (aka, representative democracy) --- a form of government that is guaranteed in every state by Article 4, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Gag order lifted in criminal trial of Massey Energy coal boss Don Blankenship; Sea levels rose 5 inches in 2 years in the Northeast; Oil drillers illegally dumping toxic wastewater in California; Air pollution standards cut rates of childhood asthma in half; PLUS: Republicans fail to override Obama's Keystone XL veto, but vow to try again...and again...and again... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Your shower wastes water. Here's what you can do about it; Anti-pollution documentary taking China by storm; NYC could see 6 feet of sea level rise; Revealed: secret plan to confuse public on climate change launched in 1998; Canada pushing First Nations to give up land rights; Christie's office pushed sweetheart pollution deal for Exxon; McDonald's to limit antibiotics in chicken... PLUS: K-cup founder regrets the 'environmental scourge' he invented... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: A snowball's chance in the US Senate; Warm winter records shattered in the US West; Two big oil companies call for a price on carbon emissions; PLUS: In 1983, scientists predicted global warming would trigger unrest in the Middle East. A new study proves it.... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Hundreds of illegal oil waste pits discovered in CA; Exxon Mobil settles with NJ over toxic waste; Keeping the dust down in Owens Valley, CA; Fracking opponents getting increased scrutiny from police; Flame retardants in hand-me-down foam products ... PLUS: As the Colorado River Runs Dry: Ongoing Battle Between Urban, Rural Water Users... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Another day, another oil explosion, this time at an Exxon refinery in CA; 'Anti-petroleum' activists are a security threat, says Canada; January 2015 the 2nd hottest on record; PLUS: 'Our best idea': President Obama protects 3 new national monuments... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): NYC could see 6-ft sea level rise; 'Every Kid in a Park': all 4th graders to get free national park passes; What can be done about psuedo-skepticism?; Duke Energy to pay $100m for coal ash spill; Arsenic found in CA water; Four new oil-related spills in North Dakota... PLUS: Fox News has no shame: Easily duped wingnuts spout phony science and climate-change lies... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Another day, another oil train explosion - make that two; Schizophrenic extreme weather pounds the U.S.; U.S. Southwest about to get a lot drier; PLUS: Ohio bans local fracking bans.... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Shell CEO calls for 'balanced' discussion on climate change; Proliferation of chemicals linked to rise in neurological disorders; Water taps start to run dry in Brazil's largest city; BC First Nations reject another pipeline across their lands; How the White House walked away from 'clean coal'; EPA targeted after preliminary 'veto' of Pebble Mine; Uncertain future for damaged nuclear waste repository; Judge dismisses levee lawsuit against oil and gas industry... PLUS: "More research" into geo-engineering is not such a hot idea... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Eleventh time's the charm: House GOP passes Keystone XL bill --- again; Apple Computers invests big in big solar; Record snow in Boston with more on the way; Oil companies dump toxic waste into CA's aquifers; PLUS: Uncle Sam wants YOU to help save the monarch butterfly... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Geoengineering is dangerous and 'should not be deployed'; Heavy metal in your valentine chocolate?; New Tesla battery will power your home, and maybe the electric grid, too; BOMB-Shell CEO calls for "carbon pricing system"; Fox host: 'We had to give up our freedom' during snow storm because climate change is a hoax; Oil CEO says worse to come for oil industry; Total Oil report $5b loss; Native Americans protest bison killings... PLUS: VIDEO: Thanks Dr. Evil! Fossil Fuel Propaganda Misfire Goes Viral... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Australia's climate change-denying Prime Minister Tony Abbott takes a coal drubbing; Record number of malnourished baby sea lions washing ashore in CA; BP's missing oil has been found - at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico; PLUS: The first presidential warning on global warming was issued 50 years ago this week... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): We have some really good news on how America uses energy; Of course Paris climate talks won't keep warming below 2 degrees Celius; 'Clean coal' plant FutreGen is dead --- again; Massive mine spill due to design flaw; 5 questions to ask when deciding on rooftop solar; WV legislature guts weak new chemical tank regulations; The real problem underlying deteriorating US road infrastructure; Utility vs. Solar battle gets uglier; Galapagos declares emergency over grounded ship... PLUS: Wind pattern behind California’s drought also struck at ocean food chain... and much, MUCH more! ...
When California state Sen. Lou Correa (D) authored SB 29 last year, allowing Vote-by-Mail (VBM) ballots to be accepted and counted even if they arrive at county election headquarters up to three days after Election Day, some state Election Integrity advocates were concerned.
Somewhat vague language in part of the bill might allow for a case where, in the event of a very close margin announced on Election Night, unvoted absentee ballots could be quickly filled out after the fact and delivered to election officials inside the new three day post-election window.
If a race was close enough, late arriving ballots --- either legitimately voted on or before Election Day, or, depending on how local election officials choose to interpret the statute, illegitimately voted and delivered after Election Day --- could actually reverse the results of such a contest.
Little could Correa have known, however, as he was successfully moving his bill through the California state legislature last year, to take effect in January 2015, that the very first election of the year --- and the very first to be decided by a small enough margin that it could be directly affected by late ballots now allowed under SB 29 --- would be...Lou Correa's...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: EPA gives Obama reason to reject Keystone XL pipeline; Feds must account for rising sea levels; Scarborough calls liberals 'science deniers'; Extreme weather whiplash from Boston to San Francisco; PLUS: Majority of Americans (including Republicans) now want government action on global warming, won't vote for politicians who don't... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Mercury levels rising in yellowfin tuna; State let oil companies taint drinkable water; IPCC: World has not woken up to water crisis caused by climate change; Saudis using oil to pry Russia away from Syria?; How fish could change the definition of 'organic'; Not enough time for geoengineering to work; One bacterium could save biofuel industry... PLUS: Fossil fuel companies gave Congress hundreds of millions to support Keystone XL... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: U.S. pipelines now rupturing faster than we can keep track of them; So, U.S. Senate passes Keystone XL bill with Dem help; Obama's India trip a boost for US nuclear industry; IMF calls for end to fossil fuel subsidies; PLUS: Some good news: fracking banned in Scotland, and great 'Fox News' for a change!... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): It's not too late to stop climate change, and it'll be super-cheap; Americans are out of step with science on pretty much everything; Climate models don't over-predict warming; Big Utilties' 'Kodak Moment': a phase-change builds; Air pollution plunges in AL; Feds open waters to largest offshore wind farm; EPA sued over industrial livestock pollution... PLUS: Oceans on the verge of a 'mass bleaching event'... and much, MUCH more! ...
If you were looking for a fresh reminder as to why Vote-by-Mail is a terrible idea, why provisional ballots are not the same as actually casting a vote, and why there needs to be more accountability for and oversight of election officials, today's BradCast on KPFK/Pacifica Radio should fit the bill.
In short, we cover the election contest now pending in the race for City Council (Seat 1) in the San Diego County city of Chula Vista, CA. The certified results from the November 2014 election show a 2-vote margin between the John McCann (R) and Steve Padilla (D) in a race with some 37,000 ballots cast. McCann has been certified as the "winner".
Trouble is, according to the lawsuit [PDF], at least 15 mail-in and provisional ballots were rejected, even though the signatures on them matched the signatures from the voters' registrations on file. That, argues attorney John S. Moot (my guest this week, and a former Chula Vista City Council Member himself), is in violation of the law.
The other trouble is, those ballots were rejected by San Diego County Registrar Michael Vu, who was the infamous Election Director of Cuyahoga County, Ohio's most populist (and most Democratic) county during the 2004 Presidential election, when two of his immediate subordinates were indicted and found guilty of rigging the Presidential "recount" in Cuyahoga. Yes, if you didn't know or don't remember, there was a partial "recount" of that election, across the entire Buckeye State, as requested by the Green and Libertarian Parties. And, yes, it was found to have been rigged in a court of law.
Vu, who was protected at the time by the Republicans who ran the Cuyahoga Election Board, was never charged and was happily hired not long thereafter by San Diego County, where elections have been little more than a joke for many years, even before Vu got there.
For the full story on this, listen to this week's show and Moot's commentary on the suit he's filed on behalf of his client, a long-time poll worker and voter from Chula Vista.
A cluster of new, eye-opening studies released late last week bring into sharp focus the fact that society's current path threatens to bring us into a head-on collision with planetary boundaries, leading to unnecessarily unpleasant results.
That's quite a trend. One could hold out hope that this undeniable --- and undesirable --- trend of rising global temperatures would bring an end to the ludicrous propaganda of the climate change denial industry and their claims of a "global warming pause," "hiatus" and "global cooling" --- all in service of perpetuating the supremacy and profits of the fossil fuel industry. But that hope, as we detailed on Friday, is most likely in vain.
If you keep doing the things that raise global temperatures, you shouldn't be surprised when temperatures keep going up. Sec. of State John Kerry summed it up succinctly: "What’s surprising is that anyone is surprised that 2014 was the hottest year on record. The science has been screaming at us for a long, long time."
Except humanity is doing a lot more than just cooking the planet by raising the temperature. Consider this less-than-cheerful news from the UK's Guardian [emphasis added]...