IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Death and destruction in Canadian oil train explosion; Record rain, floods paralyze Toronto; State Dept. doesn't know the Keystone XL pipeline's route; GOP opposition to EPA nominee softening?; PLUS: The Dutch solution to air pollution ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): China's coal pollution deadlier than thought; SW forests may never recover from mega-fires; Naive Ezra Klein: 'You can’t deny global warming after seeing this graph'; GMO marks 2013 World Food Prize winners; US hazardous chemical oversight system is seriously flawed; Global warming 'drive-by' twitter - once again, just shooting blanks; Koch Bros, Tea Party at odds over GA solar; Comprehensive paleoclimate study confirms 'Hockey Stick' Graph AGAIN ... PLUS: Study: Global warming likely to make hurricanes stronger & more frequent ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- TSB investigators lay out timeline of Lac-Mégantic disaster: Residents who live in town's core are still banned from returning home (CBC) [emphasis added]:
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is raising questions about the type of "general purpose" tanker car routinely used to haul flammable materials like crude oil in the wake of its investigation into the fatal derailment and explosion of train cars in Quebec on Saturday.
- 13 dead, many still missing in Lac-Mégantic (CBC): 1,500 evacuees prepare to return home on Tuesday
- Safety rules lag as oil transport by train rises (CBC) [emphasis added]:
Even if all current pipeline projects are approved in Canada, national oil production will exceed pipeline capacity by one million barrels a day by 2025, and that oil needs a way of reaching the coasts.... Building costly pipeline infrastructure is simply not worth it for the companies developing these wells.
- Canadian train disaster sharpens debate on oil transportation (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
The Association of American Railroads on Monday pointed to statistics that it said showed that pipelines have an average hazmat spill size more than four times that of railroads and that their total amount spilled per billion ton-miles is about 1.6 times that of the railroads.
- Quebec oil-train tragedy triggered oil spill that threatens water supplies (Grist)
- Shameful: Keystone XL Proponent Using Deadly Lac-Megantic, Quebec Oil Train Tragedy To Promote Pipeline (DeSmogBlog)
- Keystone XL Pipeline: Deciding Without Data (Environment News Service):
The U.S. State Department is in the process of deciding whether the proposed Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline would be in the U.S. national interest, but the determination is being made without Keystone XL’s digital GIS data, such as the longitude and latitude of milepost markers, waterbody crossings and the centerline route.
- State Dept. Admits It Doesn't Know Exact Keystone XL Route: (DeSmogBlog)
- Wild rainstorm in Toronto causes flooding (Toronto Sun)
- Calgary floods spotlight cities' costly failure to plan for climate change (CBC): Municipalities not ready for rising number of severe weather events
- Toronto floods leave hydro system 'hanging by a thread' (CBC)
- VIDEO: Snake on Toronto storm-stricken train caught on video (CBC)
- Rain pounds Toronto, strands commuters on train (CBC)
- To clean the air, Dutch scientists invent pavement that eats smog (LA Times) [emphasis added]:
What if the solution to smog was right where the rubber meets the road? Scientists in the Netherlands have found that installing special air-purifying pavement on city streets can cut air pollution nearly in half....with paving blocks sprayed with titanium oxide, which has the ability to remove pollutants from the air and turn them into less harmful chemicals.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Naive Ezra Klein Says: You can’t deny global warming after seeing this graph (Washington Post):
[T]he trend, particularly in recent years, is clear: The world is getting warmer. ”The period 2000-2010 was the warmest decade on record since modern meteorological records began around 1850,” the authors write. And it’s not abating. NASA says 2012 was the 9th warmest year on record.
- GMO Battle Marks Choice of 2013 World Food Prize Winners (Environment News Service):
The 2013 World Food Prize has gone to three scientists turned chemical company executives who pioneered the development of genetically modified organisms, GMOs. For the first time, the jury’s selection has been met with “shock and outrage” from sustainable food and environmental advocates across the world.
- Exclusive: U.S. system for flagging hazardous chemicals is widely flawed (Reuters):
A 27-year-old U.S. program intended to warn the public of the presence of hazardous chemicals is flawed in many states due to scant oversight and lax reporting by plant owners, a Reuters examination finds...But facilities across the country often misidentify these chemicals or their location, and sometimes fail to report the existence of the substances altogether.
- Global threat to food supply as water wells dry up, warns top environment expert (Guardian UK):
"The real threat to our future is peak water."... Wells are drying up and underwater tables falling so fast in the Middle East and parts of India, China and the US that food supplies are seriously threatened, one of the world's leading resource analysts has warned.
- Global Warming Twitter Drive-By Shooting: Whew! Just Blanks (As Always) (Professor Mandia):
I decided to post a series of Tweets about global warming because, frankly, I was a bit annoyed at the “it hasn’t warmed in x years” meme. Honestly, there are multiple lines of evidence that show how ridiculous that statement is.... Top 10 warmest years globally: 2010, 2005, 1998, 2003, 2002, 2006, 2009, 2007, 2004, 2012...
- China's coal pollution: Deadlier than thought (Washington Post): Study finds China's policy of free coal has shortened life expectancy in the north by 5.5 years.
- Hurricanes Likely to Get Stronger & More Frequent: Study (Climate Central):
A new study by Kerry Emanuel, a prominent hurricane researcher at MIT, found that contrary to previous findings, tropical cyclones are likely to become both stronger and more frequent in the years to come, especially in the western North Pacific, where storms can devastate the heavily populated coastlines of Asian nations. ... Emanuel's study casts doubt on what had been the consensus view of most climate scientists — that in most ocean basins, tropical cyclones are likely to become less frequent as the world warms, but that the storms that do occur are likely to contain stronger winds and heavier rains.
- Koch Brothers Fund Effort To Undermine Tea Party Support Of Solar Energy in Georgia (Climate Progress):
Tea Party members supporting the solar expansion see it as a simple free market issue. They believe consumers have the right to choose where their electricity comes from...Americans For Prosperity, a conservative group funded by the Koch brothers, came out against the proposed solar measure last week.
The Southwest's Forests May Never Recover From Megafires: "Abnormal" fire risks are the new normal (Mother Jones) [emphasis added]:In earlier low-grade wildfires, the trees that survived seeded recovery in the next generation. Nowadays, by contrast, the fierce heat of the mega-fires frequently incinerates all of the conifer seeds and seedlings and sterilizes the soil, making it all but impossible for the forest to regenerate.
- Most Comprehensive Paleoclimate Reconstruction Confirms Hockey Stick [AGAIN] (Climate Progress):
The past 2000 years of climate change have now been reconstructed in more detail than ever before by the PAGES 2k project. The results reveal interesting regional differences between the different continents, but also important common trends. The global average of the new reconstruction looks like a twin of the original “hockey stick”, the first such reconstruction published fifteen years ago.
- Boxer calls on states, EPA to strengthen safety regs after Texas factory blast (The Hill's e2 Wire)
- Analyst: The great US energy boom is already stagnating (Fuel Fix):
In a new note, AllianceBernstein’s Bob Brackett argues US oil production is now at an inflection point: halfway through the year, growth has ground to a halt.
- Experts See New Normal as a Hotter, Drier West Faces More Huge Fires (NY Times)
- Goodbye, Miami (Rolling Stone):
By century's end, rising sea levels will turn the nation's urban fantasyland into an American Atlantis. But long before the city is completely underwater, chaos will begin
- Climate change making insurers reassess natural disaster policy (Raw Story)
- Skeptical Science: Get the FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Arguments
- Warning: Even in the best-case scenario, climate change will kick our asses (Grist)
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page