IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: First-ever carbon pollution standards for new power plants; Colorado's flood disaster now an oil spill disaster; US coal plants 7th biggest polluter in the world (all by themselves!); Fracking industry study accidentally proves case for more regulation; PLUS: Al Gore says science denial should be socially unacceptable ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): What it means to be 95% certain about climate change; India plans to build world's largest solar plant; WSJ debunks WSJ on renewable energy; Risky plan to remove spent fuel from Fukushima's unstable Reactor 4; Study predicts 40% increase in storms; Cutting carbon pollution would save lives; Monsanto & Big Ag spend millions to stop WA state GMO labeling; Commercial fishermen don't deny climate change impacts on oceans ... PLUS: An Illustrated Bestiary of Climate Trolls ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- CO Flood Disaster Now An Oil Spill Disaster:
- Flooding spills continue to grow as new sites are inspected (Greeley Tribune): By Tuesday, the amount spilled sat at 34,524 gallons of oil spilled from storage tanks.
- In wake of Colorado floods, officials start counting oil and gas spills (Grist)
- Industry puppets spew obscene lies while people drown (David Sirota, Salon)
- Oil & Gas Well Inspections Falling Short: GAO Says: (Fuel Fix): Environmental inspections of oil and gas facilities on public lands have jumped nearly twofold since 2007, but federal investigators said Monday that the government is doing a poor job of targeting the riskiest sites.
- EPA Issues 1st Ever Carbon Pollution Standards:
- EPA's Rule On Greenhouse Gases: Big Promises, Little Impact (McClatchy DC):
The Obama administration on Friday set the first-ever limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, but their impact could be minimal because they don't apply to existing plants and there are few coal-fired power plants being built in the United States.
- EPA coal standards still face uphill battle (E & E News):
Imposing stringent caps on carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants won't harm the coal industry but instead will inject new life in the waning coal-fired electricity sector, insists U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.
- Southern Co.'s Kemper Plant Comes to the Fore with EPA’s Carbon Dioxide Proposal (Bloomberg):
Of the four plants being built with carbon capture systems cited by the EPA, only the 582 megawatt Kemper plant in Mississippi is under construction. It is expected to capture approximately 65 percent of its carbon dioxide emissions when it begins operation in early 2014.
- One failed project, another over budget, hint at carbon-capture challenges under EPA rules (Grist)
- Current U.s. Coal Plants Excluded From New Carbon Capture Rules --- EPA Chief (Reuters)
- E.P.A. Rules on Emissions at Existing Coal Plants Might Give States Leeway (New York Times)
- US Coal Plants: 7th Biggest Polluter on the Planet:
- '50 dirtiest' US power plants emit more greenhouse gases than South Korea (CS Monitor): Fifty US power plants emit more greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels than all but six nations, says a new report.
Of the country's 6,000 coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, wind, and solar electric-generating facilities, a small sub-group of mostly coal-fired power generators produces more than its share of the nation’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions compared with the electricity it produces, the report found. The "50 dirtiest" power plants generated nearly 33 percent of the US power sector's carbon dioxide emissions in 2011 but only about 16 percent of its electricity.
- Fracking Study Accidentally Proves Case For Regulation:
- Study Of Best Fracked Wells Finds Low Methane Emissions, But Skips Super-Emitters (Climate Progress):
dThe good news: A sample of what are probably the best fracked wells in the country finds low emissions of methane, a potent heat-trapping gas. The bad news: The study likely missed the super-emitters, the wells that are responsible for the vast majority of methane leakage.
- Natural Gas Study: Allays Fears for Some, Inspires Hot Air From Others (Huffington Post Green)
- Study: Methane leaks from gas drilling not huge (AP)
- Al Gore: "Put A Price on Carbon, Put A Price On Denial:"
- Al Gore: ‘There needs to be a political price' for climate 'denial’ (The Hill's e2 Wire):
“It is simply not acceptable for major companies to mimic the unethical strategy of the tobacco companies in presenting blatantly false information in order to protect a business model,” Gore added, alleging that’s what some oil and coal companies are doing. “There needs to be a political price for denial.”
- Study: Delaying climate action will triple costs (Grist)
- Forecast: Deluge of Propaganda from Climate Change Denial Industry:
- Put your pooper scoopers on high alert: A deluge of climate change denial is on its way (Slate): The IPCC assessment report is due out in a few days, and the deniers are in overdrive cranking out the noise. You'd better be prepared for it.
- No, the World Isn’t Cooling (Phil Plait, Slate)
- Rising tide: Researchers struggle to project how fast, how high and how far the oceans will rise. (Nature Magazine):
The [IPCC] panel had previously projected much higher rates of sea-level rise, but its 2007 assessment admitted that it could not tackle the entire problem: the predictions did not include the possibility of rapid changes in ice cover in Greenland or the Antarctic because the authors had concluded that it was impossible to forecast such behaviour.
- 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.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Climate Trolls – An Illustrated Bestiary (Sci Blogs):
Some will dazzle you with words so long and unfamiliar and thoughts so obscure and eccentric that you’ll feel you must believe. Some will simply badger and harass you until you can take no more. It is a harsh and dangerous world. This is why I wish to provide you a guide to these many and varied beings you will surely come across as you venture ever deeper into their native realm. May it be a light for you in dark places, when all other lights go out.
- What It Means To Be 95 Percent Certain About Climate Change (AP):
There's a mismatch between what scientists say about how certain they are and what the general public thinks the experts mean, experts say.
- India plans to build the largest solar plant in the world (Climate Progress): Indian utilities plan to use 23,000 acres of land to build the largest solar power plant in the world, at 4GW of power.
- Six Myths About Renewable Energy: The impact on jobs and other assumptions that don't hold up anymore (Wall St. Journal): WSJ debunks the WSJ on myths about the renewable energy sector.
- What You Need to Know about the Forthcoming Climate Change Report (Scientific American)
- VIDEO: 'Green Tea Coalition' Fights for Solar in Georgia (The BRAD BLOG):
[P]erhaps we can forgive Fox needing to find some way to save face here, but wouldn't "Joining environmentalists to advance Tea Party values" have been equally as accurate, if not more so?
- Study Sees a Higher Risk of Storms on the Horizon (NY Times):
All 10 models projected an overall increase in potential severe-weather days in the spring and autumn after about 2040. In some models, the risk of storms was found to decrease in part of the nation centered on Kansas and Nebraska, and only in summer.... Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., a second scientist whose own research has foreshadowed some of the findings, said he believes the study “actually underplays the worries.”
- Risky repair of Fukushima could spill 15,000x radiation of Hiroshima, create 85 Chernobyls (Americablog):
Fukushima’s owner, Tokyo Electric (Tepco), says that within as few as 60 days it may begin trying to remove more than 1300 spent fuel rods from a badly damaged pool perched 100 feet in the air. The pool rests on a badly damaged building that is tilting, sinking and could easily come down in the next earthquake, if not on its own. Some 400 tons of fuel in that pool could spew out more than 15,000 times as much radiation as was released at Hiroshima.
- Selective Conservationists: Right Wing Only Worried About Birds When Attacking Wind Energy (Media Matters)
- Cleaner Air from Curbing CO2 Emissions Would Save Lives, Study Finds (Yale e360) [emphasis added]:
Cutting carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, vehicles, and other sources would reduce particulate matter and ozone emissions, which are tied to cardiovascular distress, respiratory illnesses, lung cancer, and strokes. The study estimated that by 2100, 1.4 million to 3 million premature deaths a year could be avoided thanks to cuts of CO2 emissions.
- GMO Labeling: Monsanto ponies up and Big Ag pulls ahead in GMO labeling horse race (Grist)
- Australia Climate Council revived after being axed (BBC):
An Australian climate change body scrapped by the new government has been relaunched as a non-profit organisation reliant on public donations....The Climate Commission was set up to provide "an independent and reliable source of information about the science of climate change" under former Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
- "Sometimes we'll catch 5,000 pounds of jellyfish." - What climate change is doing to fishing (Climate Progress): For many US fishermen, there's no debate about climate change.
- "Super typhoon" Usagi kills 20 in southern China, swipes Hong Kong (Reuters)
- Mitusbishi, SoCal Edison To Be Cited For San Onofre Nuclear Plant Malfunction (AP):
The manufacturer of steam generators at California's shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant and the utility that runs the facility will be cited by federal regulators for a flawed design.
- Former Halliburton manager charged in Gulf spill case (Fuel Fix)
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).