IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Hysterical Fox 'News' flip-floppery on Tesla; Consensus strikes again: 97% of climate scientists say global warming is man-made, but the public thinks it's evenly split; CO2 levels pass 400ppm; You're already paying a 'disaster tax'; PLUS: Thanks to renewable energy, one town now has too much money ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Explosive pig poo foam!; Supreme Court rules for Monsanto; Floods could overwhelm London barriers; Conoco-Philips CEO admits humans cause global warming - but is against getting off oil; Interior Dept issues new fracking rules; Ernie Moniz confirmed as Energy Secretary; Stephen Chu wishes he'd accomplished more on climate change; Japan takes first step to a permanent reactor shutdown after Fukushima ... PLUS: Vote with your wallet in the supermarket? There's an app for that ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Hilarious: VIDEO: Fox's Tesla Re-Coil (MediaMatters.org):
- Consensus Confirmed: 97% of Climate Scientists Say Global Warming is Man-Made:
- Closing the Consensus Gap on Climate Change (Weather Underground) [emphasis added]:
The consensus gap has real-world consequences. When people correctly understand that climate scientists agree on human-caused global warming, they are more likely to support policy to mitigate global warming. The consensus gap is directly linked to a lack of public support for climate action. This underscores the importance of clearly communicating the consensus and closing the consensus gap.
- Scientists say united on global warming, at odds with public view (Reuters)
- VIDEO: 97 Percent of Climate Scientists Can't Be Wrong (Mother Jones):
Telling Americans that scientists don't agree is the classic climate denial strategy. It's been over a decade since consultant Frank Luntz famously furnished the GOP with strategies to kill climate action during the Bush years, recommending in a leaked memo [PDF]: "you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue." Oh, yeah, and avoid truth: "A compelling story, even if factually inaccurate, can be more emotionally compelling than a dry recitation of the truth." It seems to have worked: Only a minority of Americans believes global warming is caused by humans: 42 percent, according to a 2012 Pew study.
- 400ppm CO2 Threshold Reached:
- Heat-Trapping Gas Passes Milestone, Raising Fears (NY Times);
"It feels like the inevitable march toward disaster," said Maureen E. Raymo, a scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a unit of Columbia University.
- Life on Earth under threat from CO2 levels, say scientists (Independent UK):
There will be a dramatic global decline in the number of animal and plant species this century if the world continues to procrastinate over measures to cut carbon dioxide emissions to limit climate change, a study has found.
- Visiting Sweden, Kerry offers 'regret' that US hasn't done more on climate (The Hill's e2 Wire):
"I have to say that I regret that my own country - and President Obama knows this and is committed to changing it - needs to do more and we are committed to doing more..."
- VIDEO: Sec. of State John Kerry Calls for International Action on Climate Change:: Secretary Kerry Delivers Remarks at the Arctic Council Ministerial Session (State Dept)
- Climate Scientist Mann: There's Still Time to Avoid 450ppm:
- VIDEO: Climate Desk Live: A Conversation With Climate Scientist Michael Mann (ClimateDesk.org)
- This Is Life in a 400 PPM World (Motherboard)
- Exteme Weather Whiplash: You're Already Paying a 'Climate Disruption Tax':
- VIDEO: We're Already Paying a Carbon Tax in Disaster Relief (Peter Sinclair's Climate Crocks): You might like a carbon tax.
- Extreme Weather Whiplash Is Expensive:
- Taxpayers Get $96 Billion Bill For 2012 Extreme Weather = One-Sixth of Non-Defense Discretionary Spending (Climate Progress)
- Climate change will bring greater extremes in weather, warns Government's chief scientific adviser (Independent UK)
- USGS: Spring 2012 Earliest on Record (US Geological Survey): 2012 was the earliest spring over the 48 U.S. states since 1900 when systematic weather data began to be available for the entire area.
- Extreme Weather Whiplash: 106° in Iowa on the Heels of Record May Snows (Dr. Jeff Masters' Weather Underground blog) [emphasis added]:
[H]ow's this for a definition of "Weather Whiplash": Sioux City, Iowa had their first-ever snowfall on record in the month of May on May 1 (1.4"), but hit an astonishing 106° yesterday. Not only was this their hottest temperature ever measured in the month of May, but only two June days in recorded history have been hotter (June, 10, 1933: 107° and June 21, 1988: 108°.) On May 12th they registered 29°, and thus had a 77° rise over 56 hours (from 6 a.m. May 12 to 1:30 p.m May 14.)
- Thanks to Wnd Energy: Tiny Town Has Too Much Money
- Arfons Budget: French Town Has Too Much Money To Spend Thanks To Wind Turbines, Mayor Says (Huffington Post Green)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Buycott app lets you vote with your wallet in the supermarket (CNET):
Think you know what's in your grocery cart? Think again. Or use the Buycott app to check.
- VIDEO: Mysterious Poop Foam Causes Explosions on Hog Farms (Mother Jones)
- Supreme Court says you can violate a patent by planting a seed (Washington Post):
Farmer Vernon Bowman thought he’d found a legal way to get proprietary soybeans at cheap, generic prices. But the Supreme Court disagreed, ruling Monday that he was guilty of patent infringement.
- Q&A: Steven Chu on returning to Stanford, his time as U.S. Energy Secretary (Stanford Univ.)
- Japan takes first step to a permanent reactor shutdown after Fukushima (Retuers)
- Floods could overwhelm London as sea levels rise - unless Thames Barrier is upgraded (Independent UK): Study concludes there is 1 in 20 chance that existing defences would be unable to cope with extreme storm surge
- Oil CEO: Humans are involved with climate change (Fuel Fix):
But when asked about the role of government in discouraging greenhouse gas emissions, Lance said it needed careful consideration, even though ConocoPhillips operates in countries with such rules...."But we do think, as we think about this and try to tackle this issue as a global community, it needs to be tackled on a global scale and it needs to be industry blind. It needs to cut across all industries. you shouldn't be picking on one industry or another to try to solve the problem."
- Interior issues new drilling rule on public land (AP) [emphasis added]:
The Obama administration said Thursday it will require companies that drill for oil and natural gas on federal lands to publicly disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations. The new ''fracking'' rule replaces a draft proposed last year that was withdrawn amid industry complaints that federal regulation could hinder an ongoing boom in natural gas production.
- Senate Confirms Ernest Moniz As Energy Secretary (Huffington Post Green)
- America's first climate refugees Newtok, Alaska is losing ground to the sea at a dangerous rate and for its residents, exile is inevitable. (Guardian UK):
These villages, whose residents are nearly all native Alaskans, are already experiencing the flooding and erosion that are the signature effects of climate change in Alaska. The residents of a number of villages - including Newtok - are now actively working to leave their homes and the lands they have occupied for centuries and move to safer locations.
- Wall Street Journal's Idiocracy: CO2 Is What Plants Crave (Media Matters.org)
- U.S. Supreme Court Rules for Monsanto in Patent Fight (Reuters)
- Plans to Export U.S. Natural Gas Stir Debate: (AP):
A domestic natural gas boom already has lowered U.S. energy prices while stoking fears of environmental disaster. Now U.S. producers are poised to ship vast quantities of gas overseas as energy companies seek permits for proposed export projects that could set off a renewed frenzy of fracking.
- CNRL hopes to turn CO2 emissions into algae (Calgary Herald) [emphasis added]:
As it blooms, the algae develops fat - in other words, oil, said Joy Romero, vice-president of technology development at Canadian Natural. That oil can be blended with heavy bitumen to make it flow more easily through pipelines, or sold to refiners, who can turn it into diesel or gasoline. The material left behind once the oil has been stripped out can be used as a fertilizer, which CNRL could use in reclaiming oilsands mines. John Parr, Canadian Natural's vice-president of thermal projects, said the biomass is high in protein and carbohydrates, making it a "perfect" animal feed.
- Warning: Even in the best-case scenario, climate change will kick our asses (Grist)
- Conventional Wisdom About Clean Energy Is Still Way Out of Date (GreenTech Media): "We're fifteen to twenty years out of date in how we think about renewables," said Dr. Eric Martinot to an audience at the first Pathways to 100% Renewables Conference held April 16 in San Francisco. "It's not 1990 anymore."
- Unburnable fuel: Either governments are not serious about climate change or fossil-fuel firms are overvalued (The Economist) [emphasis added]:
But what if some of those [fossil fuel] reserves can never be dug up and burned? ... If governments were determined to implement their climate policies, a lot of that carbon would have to be left in the ground...
- COVER STORY: It's Global Warming, Stupid (Businessweek):
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.
- 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.
- Skeptical Science: Get the FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Arguments
- 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. ...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 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)