IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Major oil spill off the Santa Barbara coast; Another settlement reached in 2010 BP Gulf Oil Spill; Fossil fuels subsidized to the tune of $5 trillion a year; PLUS: President Obama to Coast Guard cadets: climate change is a threat to global and national security ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): US House Republicans Vote To Restrict Research Funding; Chinese Fleets Illegally Fish in West African Waters, Greenpeace Says; In Heavily Fracked Ohio County, Unsafe Levels of Toxic Pollutants; Avian Flu Outbreak Takes Poultry Producers Into Uncharted Territory... PLUS: Experts Blast New York Times Hit Piece On EPA... and much, MUCH more! ...
After 12 years in the U.S. House, the very conservative Rep. Inglis was primaried out in 2010 by the Tea Party after he dared change his position from being a climate change denier to wanting to take action after consultation with scientists and even his own children.
Inglis has since founded the Energy and Enterprise Initiative at George Mason University, "guided by the conservative principles of free enterprise and economic growth, limited government, liberty, accountability and reasonable risk avoidance to solve our nation's energy and climate challenges."
We discussed whether he has any regrets about how things worked out in Congress; about his appearance in the new documentary Merchants of Doubt, which exposes how the denial industry works (and how the same sleaze merchants who denied the harm of cigarette smoke in previous decades on behalf of Big Tobacco are now using the very same tactics today. Watch the trailer.); why Republicans have become science deniers and whether he is optimistic that will change any time soon; and his plan for a revenue-neutral carbon tax to fight global warming by both reducing emissions and correcting what he (accurately) describes as the "market distortion" that allows polluters to socialize the cost of pollution and, essentially, pollute for free.
"One of the key philosophical underpinnings of conservative thought is that humans are responsible moral actors," Inglis told me. Yet, he says, the fossil fuel industry is being allowed to get away without taking responsibility for the damage they are causing to both people and the planet. "That's where we are on climate. We're allowing people to socialize their soot and they will get away with it as long as we let them get away without accountability." He says that was is currently lacking is "accountable transparent marketplaces."
"If we could get through the denial and get to the debate," it would be a good thing, explains Inglis, who describes global warming as a "crucial issue, vital to the future of our children and grandchildren" as he offers a surprisingly optimistic outlook for the future. How optimistic? He even believes some non-denier Republicans may enter the 2016 Presidential primary race! I'm dubious --- but we'll see. It was a fascinating conversation.
Also on today's show: even Fox "News" is now turning against the obnoxious organizers of the deadly anti-Muslim event in Garland, TX over the weekend; CO2 reaches a new and horrible milestone; another oil bomb train explodes in ND; and some very very good news for progressives folks in Alberta, Canada (and maybe for environmentalists down here!) after last night's election there...
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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: The race for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination just doubled in size: Fox 'News' darling Ben Carson jumps in; former CEO Carly Fiorina jumps in; former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee jumps in --- climate change deniers all; PLUS: The Pope's moral message on climate change... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Elon Musk unveils fancy new Tesla battery — ’cause existing batteries “suck”; Scientists call for limits on non-stick and stain-resistant chemicals that can leach into foods; CA crops raised with oil-field water; Ominous signs for endangered Great Lakes blue butterfly; Heartland Institute's president denies they are deniers; GOP lawmakers slash NASA budget... PLUS: Climate change drives 'new era' in Arctic, say Norwegian scientists... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: After years of denial, Oklahoma finally admits fracking causes earthquakes; Fines and accountability for oil spills, coal waste spills, and deadly natural gas explosions; PLUS: Environmentalists push back at new Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Oklahoma Lawmakers Vote To Outlaw Fracking Bans As Earthquakes In The State Spike; Video: "Dear Future Generations: Sorry"; Common pesticides hurting health of wild bees; Congress passes bipartisan energy efficiency bill; TV meteorologists increasingly accept climate science; Bad news in lionfish invasion; After 30 years, EPA tightens air pollution standards; CEOs to world leaders: Get off your asses and fix climate change... PLUS: 'Pipelines Blow Up And People Die... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Ontario, Canada joins cap and trade system to fight global warming; Students push Harvard to divest billions from fossil fuels; New poll finds majority of Americans support a tax on carbon emissions; PLUS: Last male white rhino on Earth is now under 24-hour armed guard... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Dutch government taken to court over climate change; Fort McMurray's wastelands: Premature expropriations plague communities across Canada; Sardine population collapses, prompting ban on commercial fishing; Coal is dying all by itself; Nuclear Waste Reprocessing: Poised for growth, or on death's door?... PLUS: Judges Hear Challenge to Proposed E.P.A. Rule to Curb Climate Change... and much, MUCH more! ...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Another GOP climate science denier enters the 2016 race; And a non-denier jumps in on the Democratic side; Bad news for Big Coal in China; PLUS: Florida's denier disease is spreading --- now officials in Wisconsin barred from work on climate change... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Climate censorship gains steam in red states; Rapid global warming may be coming sooner than you think; The last time oceans went acidic this fast, 96% of marine life went extinct; Why new study on Arctic permafrost is so scary - it's the microbes; L.A. mayor envision greener city where people walk and use mass transit; 5 years after BP Oil Spill, Obama Admin proposes new safety rules... PLUS: Republican Wins Award For Believing In Climate Change... and much, MUCH more! ...
The formally sanctioned racing organization, FIA Formula E Championship, was formed for the express purpose of promoting sustainable automotive technology. In 2013, it commissioned a study that was designed to measure "the global value of Formula E to the EV [electric vehicle] market over the next 25 years (2015-2040) and its wider economic, environmental and social impact." The authors of the study concluded that an all electric vehicle racing circuit would "help sell an additional 77 million EVs worldwide, save 4 billion barrels of oil and help make savings of 2 billion euros [$2.179 billion] in healthcare."
Study in hand, in September 2014 the group kicked-off its inaugural Formula E race season in Beijing --- the first stop on an international 10-race calendar. Appearing at Long Beach State University in advance of the 6th race, the Long Beach ePrix over this past weekend, Formula E Series CEO Alejandro Agag told students that the goal was to "fundamentally change how the public sees electric vehicles" and that "Formula E is the future."
In its pre-event coverage of the April 4 race in Long Beach, California, the L.A.Times reported that fans would be spared the noise of ordinary racing and that, instead of refueling, pit stops would involve the changing out of batteries. Formula E Series cars have plenty of horsepower, however, accelerating from 0 to 62 mph in 3 seconds, with maximum speeds topping out near 150 mph.
FIA Formula E is not the first racing organization to raise environmental concerns. In 2013, the Indy 500 addressed emission concernsvia race cars that utilized "ethanol blends."
However, as observed by the Colombia Water Center, a number of "scientists argue that when the life cycle of ethanol production is compared to that of conventional gasoline, there may be no reduction in greenhouse gas emissions at all." Citing an Argonne National Laboratory study, they note that corn ethanol is water intensive, consuming between "20 to 324 gallons of water per gallon of ethanol."
Of course, if FIA Formula E really wishes to advance sustainable technology, it should rely upon photovoltaic solar to recharge the batteries used in its race cars. As noted by the Sierra Club, electric vehicles that rely upon coal power plants "may emit more CO2 and SO2 pollution than hybrid electric vehicles."
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Lots of good and/or hysterical news today! Climate change denier Ted Cruz compares himself to Galileo; BP breaks up with ALEC; Texas town goes 100 percent renewable; PLUS: Florida official struggles with Gov. Scott's unwritten ban on the words 'climate change'....All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): India to Rich World: Give us Cash and We’ll Cut Emissions Faster; Study shows acceleration in decline of Antarctic ice shelves; Has California’s mega-drought already begun?; Exxon Shareholder Climate Vote Blocked, Chevron's Approved by SEC; The hidden benefits of cutting coal pollution... PLUS: Shut Up and Dance: Should we stop talking about climate change and start dancing about it?... and much, MUCH more! ...
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! ...
A federal appeals court has lifted the gag order that had been imposed by a lower court in the criminal trial of West Virginia coal baron Don Blankenship.
The appellate court's unsigned order [PDF] on Thursday was issued in response to a suit filed by a number of media outlets, including AP, the Wall Street Journal and the Charleston Gazette, challenging the gag order by U.S. District Court Judge Irene C. Berger. That order, issued last November, had also sealed all documents in the indictment of the former Massey Energy CEO, who faces four criminal counts related to the massive April 2010 explosion at the company's Upper Big Branch (UBB) mine in West Virginia, resulting in the deaths of 29 miners.
Finding that the U.S. District Court had been "sincere and forthright" in its "proactive effort to ensure to the maximum extent possible that Blankenship’s right to a fair trial before an impartial jury will be protected", the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals nonetheless determined that "The public enjoys a qualified right of access to criminal trials"...
IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: VETOED: Obama nixes Keystone XL pipeline bill; EXPOSED: prominent climate denier researcher funded by fossil fuel industry; BUSTED: Duke Energy clipped by the Feds; Sorry, deniers: Climate change is not caused by the sun; PLUS: It's GNR's 6th Anniversary!.... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Obama is right: climate change kills more people than terrorism; New U.S. heat records outnumber new cold records; Solar energy now unstoppable force; White House proposes first-ever Arctic oil drill rules; Roll up those windows: traffic pollution is killing you; Bjorn Lomborg: we must pollute the world's poor with coal pollution; Marines graduate into solar industry... PLUS: The true impact of not recycling your old electronics... and much, MUCH more! ...
For years, top climate science deniers, such as Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), have been citing a handful of folks like Dr. Wei-Hock "Willie" Soon for their willingness to dispute the central thesis of global warming, as shared by the overwhelming consensus of world climatologists.
Now, however, according to documents published over the weekend by the New York Times, it appears that Soon has been accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars (out of some $1.2 million he's received, in fact) from the fossil fuel industry --- including at least $409,000 from coal giant Southern Company and $230,000 from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. Soon was also paid hundreds of thousands by ExxonMobil, American Petroleum Institute, the Kochs' Donors Trust and others for his reports and appearances.
While some of those payments were previously known, it appears that Soon failed to disclose many of these extraordinary conflicts of interest when publishing his scientific papers concerning discredited global warming theories and when serving as an "expert" witness at Congressional hearings.
"At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure," the Times reports, "and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work."
Soon is often incorrectly identified as a "Harvard astrophysicist" when appearing on right-wing news outlets, even though he is an aerospace engineer with "little formal training in climatology," according to the paper. His part-time employers at The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics are, to say the least, not at all happy about Soon's very serious apparent ethical breaches...
Ben van Beurden, the head of Royal Dutch Shell, is apparently a little perturbed by those of us who have marched, called, written and worked for strong action to reduce the carbon pollution that is cooking our planet. Now he's asking for a time-out in the discussion over human-caused climate change, and wants (his version of) sane and reasoned voices --- i.e., the voices of his Big Oil brethren --- to weigh in.
The head of Shell has launched a stinging attack on increasingly vocal critics who are calling for fossil fuels to be left in the ground, accusing them of peddling naive and impractical solutions to climate change.
Ben van Beurden urged fellow industry leaders meeting in London to be "more assertive" in debates over the future of energy. But Shell's chief executive admitted that the oil sector had its own credibility problem, enhanced by the fact that too many energy industrialists had been slow to acknowledge global warming.
Of course, van Beurden downplays what really happened...
Granted, MSNBC's weekend programming hasn't been the same since Chris Hayes left Up in 2013 to host his weeknight broadcast All In, but this segment was just too daffy. Holder, who answered graciously nonetheless, seemed to know that something had gone off the rails; while responding to Harris-Perry, he seemed to be second-guessing his decision to participate in the interview.
Reportedly, there has been a lot of second-guessing at the network, and it's not hard to understand why. MSNBC has a credibility problem --- though its not about ducks or even Brian Williams --- but a segment on the February 9 edition of The Ed Show unintentionally highlighted its magnitude...