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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Government shutdown doesn't stop record blizzard or National Weather Service meteorologists in Upper Midwest; 'Energy is the solution': making the economic case for climate action; Climate change denial industry harassing academics --- again; PLUS: Bright side to accidental power outage at Fukushima: at least we know the back-up systems work ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Professional climate science deniers manufactured the global warming 'pause'; Judge hears conflicting estimates in BP Oil Spill trial; 2 large coal plants close in PA; Diesel fumes linked to bees disappearance; Europe vs. Russia in natural gas antitrust suit; Battle in WA State over GMO labeling; CDC: Salmonella outbreak while government inspectors are furloughed; Radioactive fracking wastewater contaminated PA stream; Mass extinction may already be underway in world's oceans ... PLUS: IPCC Carbon Budget: How to Slice a Global Carbon Pie? ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Record-Breaking SD Blizzard: NWS Meteorologists Hike To Work Without Pay:
- NWS Staff Walks to Work in Blizzard Despite Shutdown (Climate Central):
"Access to the office is still blocked. Two employees were able to hike in around some obstructions, but it is not possible to drive out of the parking lot due to snow drifts and downed trees in the neighborhood. The SOO (one who hiked in) is attempting to take two stranded employees home this morning.
- South Dakota's Black Hills still digging out from 55 inches of snow (UPI)
- Record blizzard kills 60,000 S. Dakota cattle, gov't shutdown will slow aid (Reuters)
- Tens of thousands of cattle killed in Friday's blizzard, ranchers say (Rapid City Journal)
- Heavy, wet snow rolls into SD, Wyo.; strong winds, possible tornado, blow through Nebraska (Capitol Weather Gang, Washington Post)
- No, Record Snow Does Not Disprove Global Warming, Record Snow Proves Extreme Weather Impacts: (Skeptical Science)
- Furloughed FEMA workers recalled to respond to Tropical Storm Karen (NOLA.com)
- Shutdown stopping flow of weather information as dangerous storms threaten nation (Capitol Weather Gang, Washington Post)
- Making the Economic Case for Climate Action:
- VIDEO: US Secretary of State John Kerry's remarks, APEC CEO Summit 2013 [start @ 25:00] (APEC Youtube channel):
- TRANSCRIPT: US Secretary of State John Kerry's remarks at APEC CEO Summit in Bali (US State Dept.) [emphasis added]:
What’s astounding to me is this: Staring us in the face is an economic revolution that can solve all of this. There is a $6 trillion market out there for energy, with six billion to nine billion additional users over the next 20-40 years, and that is the marketplace of all time. The market that created the great wealth of the 1990s was a technology boom. It was a $1 trillion market, with one billion users. Compare that to the six trillion and six to nine billion users.
Energy is the solution to climate change.
- Kerry: 'Inviting catastrophe' on climate (The Hill's e2 Wire):
"The fact is that the absence of a concerted global commitment to address this is inviting catastrophe," he said. "And for everybody’s business, it is inviting uncertainty."
- The Real Budget Crisis: ‘The CO2 Emissions Budget Framing Is A Recipe For Delaying Concrete Action Now’ (Climate Progress):
The Washington establishment and the media have been mesmerized into inaction by a short-term budget crisis --- funding the continued operation of the government. But it is the continued operation of a livable climate that should have their full attention.
- Permit for oil drilling near homes and panther refuge stirs uproar, prompts EPA hearing (Tampa Bay Times):
This one might have also passed unnoticed except for one thing: a company working for Hughes sent out letters asking Golden Gate residents for information needed to draw up an evacuation plan in case of an explosion.
- (Fossil Fuel-funded) Environmental group sues to get UA records (Arizona Daily Star):
A Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group has sued the University of Arizona demanding the release of a cache of documents — including two professors’ emails — related to climate change and global warming.
- VIDEO: Chris Hayes And Michael Mann: Ken Cuccinelli’s War On Science Matters To VA Governor’s Race (Climate Progress)
- VA Supreme Court tosses Cuccinelli’s case against former U-Va. climate scientists Michael Mann (Washington Post)
- Tokyo Electric says contaminated water leaked at Fukushima (Reuters):
Heavy rain during a recent typhoon flooded one of the tank holding areas where Tepco stores excess water flushed over damaged reactors to keep them cool, a spokesman said.
- Former Japanese PM And Current Environment Minister Speak Out Against Nuclear Power (Climate Progress)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- How to Slice a Global Carbon Pie? (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
[T]o have the best chance of not exceeding the international target for global warming of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, society can burn no more than about 1 trillion tons of carbon, in the form of fossil fuels, and spew the resulting gases into the atmosphere. More than half that carbon budget has been used already.
In essence, the scientists were putting a big carbon pie on the table and asking: How are we going to carve this thing up?
- Judge Hears Conflicting Estimates of BP Oil Spill (AP):
Determining how much oil spilled is a multibillion-dollar question for U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier, who is presiding over the trial involving the deadly Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and the nation's worst offshore oil spill. The judge ultimately could decide how much more money BP owes for its role in the disaster. Government experts estimate 4.2 million barrels, or 176 million gallons, spilled into the Gulf. BP has urged Barbier to use an estimate of 2.45 million barrels, or nearly 103 million gallons, in calculating any Clean Water Act penalties.
- Obama Climate Adviser Zichal To Step Down: Officials (Reuters)
- It continues: Two Pennsylvania coal plants will close for good next week (Grist)
- Europe threatens Russia's Gazprom with anti-trust action: (NY Times):
The European Union's top antitrust enforcer on Thursday threatened to formally charge the Russian natural gas giant Gazprom with restricting trade and price gouging, raising the stakes in a two-year investigation that has already created tensions with Russia's president, Vladimir V. Putin.
- Concern for health of Greenpeace activistis detained in Russia (Guardian UK) Some activists and two journalists held in solitary confinement while others are being kept in extremely cold cells while awaiting piracy charges.
- Washington State battles over genetically modified food (USA Today)
- Who created the global warming 'pause'? (Chris Mooney, Grist):
How did a narrative almost opposite to the scientific consensus that human activities are causing climate change get started? Misinformation was spread by climate skeptics, aided by journalists and scientists themselves.
- Supreme Court Again Takes No Action on Climate Change Cases (Reuters)
- Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset, largest coal-fired plant in New England, to close by 2017 (MassLive.com)
- There’s a Major Foodborne Illness Outbreak and the Government’s Shut Down (Wired):
While the government is shut down, with food-safety personnel and disease detectives sent home and forbidden to work, a major foodborne-illness outbreak has begun. This evening, the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the US Department of Agriculture announced that “an estimated 278 illnesses … reported in 18 states” have been caused by chicken contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg and possibly produced by the firm Foster Farms.
- Blame diesel fumes for honeybee colony collapse (Salon):
New research says pollution from the fuel impairs bees' ability to smell and detect food sources
At all concentrations, just one minute after they added the pollutants, gas chromatography testing revealed that two of the main flower-scented chemicals in the original blend were rendered undetectable, degraded by the nitrogen dioxide.
- VIDEO: Panel Says We're Close to 'Danger Point' (Weather Channel)
- VIDEO: Fracking wastewater contaminated Pennsylvania streambeds, study finds (CS Monitor):
Despite being treated, wastewater from fracking and other forms of gas and oil extraction can leave elevated levels of contaminants in streambeds at the point they are discharged and well downstream, according to a study published Wednesday.
- Researchers find historic ocean acidification levels: "The next mass extinction may have already begun" (Climate Progress):
The study finds a "deadly trio" of human-caused effects are proving disastrous for the health of the world's oceans.
- Monsanto Is Getting Into The Climate Data Business (Climate Progress): To provide better climate data to its farmers, the world's largest seed company has made a major purchase.
- What Our Idyllic, Non-Dystopian Future Would Look Like If We Fixed the World (Motherboard/VICE):
The book, The World We Made: Alex McKay's Story from 2050, is told through the perspective of Alex, the non gender-specific protagonist living in the year 2050, reflecting on how the world came back from the brink of destruction. It's due to come out next month.
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).