IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Rescue turns to recovery and rebuilding amidst Colorado's "biblical" flooding, while concerns grow after floodwaters swamp oil & gas fields; It's official: August 2013 was the 4th hottest on record; PLUS: Here's to Alaska! Mining giant pulls out of controversial Pebble Mine project ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): CDC confirms role of factory farms in rise of superbugs; Human fingerprints visible in atmospheric changes: study; Hansen: climate sensitivity is high, burning all fossil fuels would make most of planet ‘uninhabitable’; NM cleans up after floods; Chipotle video takes on factory farming; Fracking may emit less methane than previously measured; African grass could reduce livestock industry emissions; WA State braces for coal export explosion; Canadian scientists charge government censorship ... PLUS: Save the Pandas! We Need Their Poop. ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- 'Green News Report' Heard in 350.org's New Anti-Keystone XL Pipeline Video (The BRAD BLOG)
- 9/21 National Day of Action: Draw the Line Against the Keystone XL Pipeline: Find an event near year for this Saturday's rallies at 350.org (350.org)
- The 5 stages of climate denial are on display ahead of the IPCC report (Guardian UK): Climate contrarians appear to be running damage control in the media before the next IPCC report is published.
- Colorado Floods: Rescue and Recovery, Then Rebuilding:
- Boulder Daily Camera: Main Flood Coverage Page (Boulder Daily Camera)
- Colorado evacuations continue as flood crest moves downstream (Reuters)
- Boulder registers wettest 24-hour period, and month, on record (Daily Camera): Devastating downpour now ranks as a 100-year flood
- Climate Change Influenced 2012's Extreme Weather, Report Finds (Live Science)
- Floodwaters Swamp CO Oil & Gas Fields:
- Colorado flooding: Evacuations, broken oil pipeline in Weld County (Denver Post)
- VIDEO: Flood Waters Impact Oil & Gas Wells In Colorado (CBS Denver):
[Tisha Schuller with the Colorado Oil and Gas Association] said many oil and gas wells were shut down before the storm arrived last week in an attempt at preventing environmental contamination. Asked if it was possible any wells leaked fracking chemicals, Schuller said, “We won’t know until the waters recede.”
- Oil and fracking chemicals spill into Colorado’s floodwaters (Grist)
- Boulder Floods - The Climate Change Connection:
- Everything that led to Colorado’s record-breaking flood, and why it will only get worse (Quartz)
- VIDEO: Colorado’s ‘Biblical’ Flood in Line with Climate Trends (Climate Central):
“This is clearly going to be a historic event," National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini said in an interview. “The true magnitude is really just becoming obvious now.”
[M]ost parts of the U.S. have seen an increase in extreme precipitation events, according to the draft National Climate Assessment report that was released this past January.
- Scientists Warn of Rising Flood Risks (Climate Central)
- Sunshine Aids Colorado Evacuations; 38 Dead in Mexico From Manuel and Ingrid (Dr. Jeff Master's Weather Underground):
The Colorado Emergency Management Agency reported that “Some areas in Larimer County experienced a 100-year flood and other areas experienced a 1,000-year flood. It all depends on where the heaviest rain fell. Areas with more extensive damage experienced the 1,000 year flooding.”
- Historic Rainfall and Floods in Colorado (NOAA Climate Page)
- Pebble Mine Partner Pulls Out:
- Anglo American pulls out of proposed Pebble mine (Anchorage Daily News)
- Anglo American pulls out of Alaska mines project: Company withdraws from plans to develop vast open-pit gold and copper mines in an area of pristine streams and wetlands (Guardian UK)
- VIDEO: Frontline PBS: Alaska Gold: Pebble Mine (PBS.org)
- EPA chief hears Pebble mine arguments in SW Alaska visit (Anchorage Daily News)
- AUDIO: Dillingham Residents Talk Pebble Mine With EPA Administrator (Alaska Public Radio)
- It's Official: August 2013 4th Hottest August on Record:
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Save the Pandas! We Need Their Poop. (Slate):
At the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society this week, researchers from the University of Mississippi gave a presentation on how microbes in the bear’s feces might help us better break down plant material for biofuel. (Yes, scientists say that pandas really are bears.) Or as the headline of the press release put it, “Panda Poop Microbes Could Make Biofuels of the Future.”
- Human Fingerprints Visible in Atmospheric Changes (Climate Central) [emphasis added]:
Increases in greenhouse gases in the troposphere generally act as an insulator, leading to warming. In contrast, the stratosphere, which is the next layer up, has cooled due to a combination of less warmth leaving the troposphere and the depletion of the ozone layer. Changes in the troposphere have the potential to alter global weather patterns, while a cooler stratosphere lets in harmful ultraviolet radiation and can affect the troposphere in certain areas, such as over Antarctica.
- Hansen Study: Climate Sensitivity Is High, Burning All Fossil Fuels Would Make Most Of Planet ‘Uninhabitable’ (Climate Progress):
“Burning all fossil fuels” would warm land areas on average about 20°C (36°F) and warm the poles a stunning 30°C (54°F). This “would make most of the planet uninhabitable by humans, thus calling into question strategies that emphasize adaptation to climate change.”
- New Mexico Cleans up After Widespread Flooding (Time Magazine)
- VIDEO: Chipotle's "The Scarecrow" ad is brilliant critique of Big Ag and factory farms (Treehugger)
- VIDEO: Watch two guys free a wolf who was caught in barbed wire (Grist)
- China’s Coming War on Coal (Climate Crocks): [T]he mere fact that the government is openly beginning a process to rein in what has formerly been touted as the road to modernization and industrialization is extremely telling.
- CDC Acknowledges Role of Factory Farms in Antibiotic Resistance (Food Safety News):
Antibiotics are commonly used to promote the growth of food-producing animals and to prevent, control and treat disease. But overuse can promote the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the food supply and ultimately cause resistant infections in humans.
- Fracking May Emit Less Methane Than Previous Estimates (Climate Central) [emphasis added]:
The study, led by University of Texas chemical engineering professor David T. Allen and sponsored by the Environmental Defense Fund and nine oil and gas companies, found that methane emissions from the natural gas production sites were overall about the same as EPA estimates with some notable exceptions. But if emissions control technology is used, emissions can be drastically reduced during some parts of the gas production process. The study was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
- African grass could substantially cut greenhouse gas emissions from livestock industry (MongaBay):
Brachiaria grasses have been found to inhibit the release of nitrous oxide, which has a more powerful warming effect than carbon dioxide or methane, leading them to be called a super grass.
- When Coal Comes To Town: Western Communities Brace For Coal Export Explosion (Climate Progress):
“Sheridan had to scramble to come up with $5 million for upgrades to its sewage treatment plan,” said Brad Mohrmann, a consultant who has worked on a separate study of economic development possibilities for the current railroad properties if the rail line is moved. “Where are they going to get $160 million? That would never happen … BNSF is not interested in throwing in one dime.”
- Tepco Drains 1,130 Tons of Rainwater at Fukushima After Typhoon (Bloomberg)
- Canadian Scientists Protest Against Government Censorship (Guardian UK):
Rules bar government researchers from talking about their own work with journalists and even fellow researchers.
- FERC nominee: Natural gas a ‘terrific’ fuel, spoke ‘un-carefully’ in calling it dead-end (The Hill's e2 Wire):
[FERC Nominee Ron] Binz is under attack from Republicans and conservative groups for saying in March that natural gas, from a climate standpoint, is a “dead end” after 2035 absent use of carbon capture and storage technology.
- The Most Important Climate Pacts You’ve Never Heard Of (Climate Central):
Reducing emissions of the short-lived pollutants offers the chance to slow global warming in the near-term while diplomats continue the arduous process of negotiating a longer-term climate treaty, since carbon emissions cuts will be required to limit long-term warming and its myriad effects regardless of how steep any cuts to short-lived pollutants are.
- What You Need To Know About Fukushima’s Radiation And The U.S. Food Supply (Climate Progress)
- Boulder Colorado and the Quest for Local Control of Energy (Climate Crocks)
- VIDEO: A Climate Alarm, Too Muted for Some (NY Times):
To be clear, even if the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ends up sticking with the lowball numbers in these two instances, they are worrisome enough. As best scientists can tell, the question with sea level is not whether it is going to get to three feet and then five feet of increase, but merely whether it will happen in this century or the next.
- '50 dirtiest' US power plants emit more greenhouse gases than South Korea (CS Monitor) [emphasis added]:
A new study by an environmental group suggests that reining in a handful of America's coal-fired power plants would have a major impact on greenhouse gas emissions....But "there are currently no demonstrated technologies to control CO2 emissions from large coal-fired power plants such as Scherer," Mr. Williams notes.
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page
- Video Proof That Global Warming is a 'Hoax'!: NASA Temperature Data 1888-2011 (The BRAD BLOG):
- NASA climate change video: This is the U.S. in 2100 (NASA).