IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Bad timing for sequester cuts to hit US firefighting budget; NM county bans fracking due to drought; CT passes law to require GMO labeling...sort of; NV ditches coal plants; Renewable energy breaks out across US; PLUS: National Mall's new monument...to climate change! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): The ‘Social Cost Of Carbon’ Is Almost Double What The Government Previously Thought; Invention could wrap buildings in solar panels; World’s Biggest Coal Company Is Turning To Solar Energy To Lower Its Utility Bill; USDA helping farmers adapt to climate change; AFP targets Dems over non-existent carbon tax; LED lightbulbs saved $657m this year; Study: trash litters ocean floor ... PLUS: The Most Important Day of the 21st Century ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- GOP Congressman With Computer Science Degree Justifies Opposition To EPA Rules: ‘I’m A Scientist’ (Climate Progress)
- Tropical Storm Andrea, 1st in 'Extremely Active' Hurricane Season:
- Hurricane season likely to be 'extremely active,' say meteorologists (NBC News)
- Hurricane Season Is Here: Please Return Your Hatches to Their Properly Battened Position (Houston Press)
- Tropical Storm Andrea makes landfall in Florida (USA Today)
- DC's Newest Monument to Climate Change [sort of]:
- New D.C. monument: The mall flood wall (Op-ed, Politico):
Taxpayers are paying for the construction of a new wall on the National Mall. Longer than a football field, the wall has not been built to honor the nation’s fallen heroes or great leaders from our past. It has been quietly constructed over the past 2½ years to protect a vast swath of downtown Washington from a devastating flood. No longer a theory, climate change is here. The wall is a small part of the tens of billions of dollars Americans will have to pay in the future just to take the edge off the devastating effects of climate alteration...a flood would inundate all of the national museums and the agencies...the National Archives... The damage to our national treasures would be literally beyond calculation.
- Remapping Our Awareness Of Storm Surge Danger (NPR)
- Severe Storms Bring More ‘Weather Whiplash’ to U.S. (Climate Central)
- Forest Service Chief: Wildfires Will Get Worse:
- VIDEO: Federal Wildland Fire Management, US Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell (C-SPAN)
- Climate change causing US wildfire season to last longer, Congress told (Guardian UK): US forest service chief says hotter, drier conditions mean wildfire season lasts two months longer than it did 40 years ago
- 900 Firefighters Battle Major Wildfires Fueled By ‘Historic’ New Mexico Drought (Climate Progress)
- Wildfires hit West, could spread to Native American sites (Reuters)
- Intense thunderstorms more likely to batter a warming world (Daily Climate)
- Counties, Cities Ban Fracking:
- Boulder approves one-year fracking moratorium (The Daily Camera)
- New Mexico county first in nation to ban fracking to safeguard water (LA Times) [emphasis added]:
In acting to protect their water supply, the 5,000 residents of poor, conservative Mora County make it the first in the U.S. to ban fracking --- hydraulic fracturing for oil....the controversial oil and gas extraction technique known as "fracking" that has compromised water quantity and quality in communities around the country.
"I don't want to destroy our water," Alcon said. "You can't drink oil."
- Fort Collins City Council lifts fracking ban on Prospect Energy (The Coloradoan)
- Fort Collins Police investigating error-filled COGA fracking petition (The Coloradoan)
- IL: Environmental Groups Split on Illinois Fracking Bill (PR Watch):
The Illinois legislature has passed a fracking regulatory bill, expected to be signed into law by the governor, hailed by some environmental groups as the "toughest in the country." But other groups are highly critical, both of the bill and of the way some big environmental groups worked with legislators and industry to pass it into law.
- California, Illinois lawmakers welcome frackers (Grist)
- Nevada Breaks Up With Coal:
- NV Energy bill wins passage, signaling state’s shift from coal (Las Vegas Sun) [emphasis added]:
In a vote Monday night, the Assembly approved a landmark energy shift away from coal-fired power plants like Reid Gardner in Clark County and mandated investment in renewable energy and natural gas.
- US Interior Expands Renewable Energy Projects:
- Interior Department Approves Up To 4GW Of New Renewable Energy Projects (CleanTechnica):
Within 24 hours, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell approved three renewable energy projects on federal land in Arizona and Nevada, and announced Interior will hold the first auction for US offshore wind farm leases in July. Together, the two decisions could create nearly 4 gigawatts of new clean electricity generation.
- Renewable Energy Gets A Rural Boost in Colorado (Climate Progress):
Hickenlooper’s signature on the bill is the latest rejection of a national campaign by conservative organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, and the Heartland Institute to thwart clean energy momentum by rolling back state renewable energy standards that have been adopted in 29 states and the District of Columbia.
- U.S. to Hold First Sale for Offshore Wind Energy Leases (NY Times)
- A Floating Wind Tower Is Launched in Maine (NY Times)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- The ‘Social Cost Of Carbon’ Is Almost Double What The Government Previously Thought (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
The U.S. government updated its estimate of how much carbon pollution harms the economy. They found that their previous estimated costs were too low — ranging from 50 to 100 percent depending on the year and the estimate.
- The World’s Biggest Coal Company Is Turning To Solar Energy To Lower Its Utility Bill (Climate Progress):
Not only is Coal India pursuing commercial solar power plants, it’s also “mulling” the installation of rooftop solar panels at the Ranchi Central Mine Planning and Design Institute, where it does mining research. The panels would go on “staff colonies” and in mining areas, with the goal of reducing the company’s energy bills.
- The Most Important Day of the 21st Century (Peter Gleick, Huffington Post Green):
One day, sometime around the middle of this century, during the lifetime of people now alive, the population of the planet will be smaller than it was the day before. Global population growth is slowing, will level off, and one remarkable day, decline.
This day will mark the dividing line --- the definitive transition --- between a world dominated by the concept of exponential, inexorable growth to one that has the opportunity to come to grips with true long-term global sustainability.
- USDA Tailors Regional Climate Plans to Help Farmers Beat the Heat (Bloomberg):
Vilsack will introduce U.S. Department of Agriculture programs today to combat the effects of climate volatility. As a Corn Belt drought, the worst since the 1930s, is replaced by the wettest Iowa spring on record, farmers need resources and research to make better choices on planting and dealing with threats from the weather, he said in previewing a speech today at the National Press Club in Washington.
- Dems up for reelection target of Americans for Prosperity carbon tax campaign (The Hill's e2 Wire)
- VIDEO: Aussie scientists print flexible solar panels (The Age) [emphasis added]:
Australian scientists have found a way to print large but extremely lightweight and flexible solar panels like money. World-leading scientists at the CSIRO said the A3-sized panels, which are created by laying a liquid photovoltaic ink onto thin, flexible plastic could soon mean everyone has the ability to print their own solar panels at home. "It would definitely be feasible to do that," said CSIRO materials scientist Dr Scott Watkins."The general concept of being able to manufacture on demand, in a house or in a workplace, is really a key feature of what we're doing."
- Number of the Day: $675 million in saved energy costs during 2012 thank to LED lights (Treehugger):
But what's even more impressive is the potential for improvement. There are still many low-hanging fruits to be picked, and as LEDs are becoming better and cheaper, this should start to happen rather quickly. The DOE estimates that if the nine markets included in the estimate above were to switch to LEDs overnight, "annual source energy savings could approach 3,873 tBtu, or about 3.9 quadrillion Btu (quads)". This would be the equivalent of about $37 billion in annual energy costs!
- Dresden hit as 100,000 people across Germany fight floods (Guardian UK):
River Elbe more than 6 metres above normal level as military and national disaster team work frantically to hold back floodwaters
- Study finds ocean littered with rubbish, impacting sea creatures (AusNews.com):
There are 5.2 pieces of debris for every person in Australia and on beaches there are 3.2 pieces of rubbish for every metre of beach.
- Alaska’s Bristol Bay mine project: Ground zero for the next big environmental fight? (Washington Post):
A dispute over a proposed copper and gold mine near Alaska’s Bristol Bay may be one of the most important environmental decisions of President Obama’s second term — yet few are even aware that the fight is happening.
- Think Again: Blame The News For The Public’s Ignorance About The Climate (Climate Progress): While there is some excellent climate reporting in the mainstream media, many—if not most—members of the mainstream media have been AWOL on the issue.
- Innovation: Catalyst Could Jump-Start E-Cars, Green Energy (Science Daily):
Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists have designed a new type of nanostructured-carbon-based catalyst that could pave the way for reliable, economical next-generation batteries and alkaline fuel cells, providing for practical use of wind- and solar-powered electricity, as well as enhanced hybrid electric vehicles.
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page