IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Breaking: U.S. Supreme Court to hear challenge to EPA greenhouse gas emission regulations; India dodges a bullet with Super Cyclone Phailin, while Fukushima prepares for another; 800,000+ gallon oil spill in ND; Government shutdown shuts down US Antarctic research program; PLUS: Glimpse the future with the latest winners in solar cars and solar houses ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Treaty curbing mercury emissions now international law; USA Today "balances" hundreds of scientists with fossil fuel-backed group; A way to full solar energy deployment; A warning for the US Southwest - it's gonna get a lot hotter; Light at the end of the tunnel for fusion energy research?; Study: climate may be even more sensitive than we thought; BP pleads guilty to negligence in TX refinery pollution, but absolved by jury; Which is better: plastic or compostable plastic?; US court hands win to Keystone XL pipeline supporters; Arizona solar plant generates electricity at night ... PLUS: Denial As a Way of Life: Climate denial is closely related to debt-ceiling denial ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- US Supreme Court to Hear Challenge To EPA Greenhouse Gas Regulations:
- Supreme Court Grants Cert on One Aspect of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Suit (Legal Planet): Court lets stand endangerment finding, rules regulating emissions from automobile tailpipes
- Supreme Court Will Hear Challenge To EPA Greenhouse Gas Rules (AP) [emphasis added]:
The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to decide whether to block key aspects of the Obama administration's plan aimed at cutting power plant and factory emissions of the gases blamed for global warming. ...The question in the case is whether the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate automobile emissions of greenhouses gases as air pollutants, which stemmed from a 2007 Supreme Court ruling, also applies to power plants and factories.
- Supreme Court Clears Way for Power Plant Climate Pollution Standards (National Wildlife Federation)
- Mass. v. EPA bears fruit for environmental petitioners (Legal Planet)
- Extreme Weather: Mass Evacuations Save Lives in India, While Japan Prepares Fukushima:
- Major disaster averted: 5 reasons why cyclone Phailin not as bad as feared in India (Washington Post)
- Cyclone Phailin: India relieved at low death toll (CNN)
- Super Cyclonic Storm Phailin: The Strongest Cyclone Ever in the North Indian Ocean Basin (LiveScience)
- How India Has Learned To Deal With Major Cyclones (NPR):
Third, the state learned lessons from the disaster in 1999. This time, nearly 1 million people were evacuated — — from their homes.
- Once-A-Decade Typhoon Threatens Already-Leaking Fukushima Nuclear Plant (Climate Progress)
- Meet the Nation's Newest Oil Spill, Now in North Dakota:
- North Dakota waits nearly 2 weeks to tell public about 20K-barrel oil spill in farmer’s field (Washington Post):
Kris Roberts, an environmental geologist with the North Dakota Health Department, said that while companies must notify the state of any spills, the state doesn’t have to release that information to the public.
- North Dakota suffers first big oil spill (Reuters):
A Tesoro Logistics LP pipeline has spilled more than 20,000 barrels of crude oil into a rural North Dakota field, the biggest leak in the state since it became a major U.S. producer.
- US Government Shutdown Shuts Down Antarctic Research Program:
- US Government Shutdown Forces Closure of Antarctica Research Stations (VOA News)
- U.S. Will Suspend Antarctic Program, Major Construction Projects if Shutdown Lingers (Science Magazine)
- U.S. Antarctic research victim of shutdown; losses are irreplaceable (LA Times)
- Light at the end of the tunnel for fusion energy research? Not while the government is dark (E & E News)
- Glimpse the Future: Winners of Solar Car Race, Solar House Design Competition:
- Solar-powered cars in record 2,000 mile Australian outback challenge (Telegraph UK):
A Dutch team has travelled almost 2,000 miles without petrol across the Australian outback in a futuristic solar-powered car to win the World Solar Challenge.
- Michigan Solar Car Team overcomes crash to place ninth in Australia (Michigan Daily)
- Stanford solar car takes fourth in world competition (Palo Alto News): Stanford's "Luminos" was the first American car to finish
- Team Austria wins Solar Decathlon 2013 (Gizmag):
This year marks the first time that all of the entries tied for a win in the Energy category, as every house was successful in producing more energy than it consumes.
While it makes for a cool, breezy living experience, the house will be modified with increased insulation for its future exhibition in Austria.
- Solar Decathlon 2013: Team Austria Wins Top Honors (Architecture Daily), including schematics of the design challengers.
- SLIDESHOW: Solar Decathlon 2013 winners, final standings (LA Times)
- Teams Cook & Serve Gourmet Dinners At Solar Decathlon 2013 (Clean Technica)
- SOLAR DECATHLON 2013 Main Page (Dept. of Energy):
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Treaty Curbing Mercury Emissions Becomes International Law (Environment News Service):
Japan, where residents of Minamata suffered lethal mercury poisoning in the mid-1950s, today became one of the first countries to sign a new international treaty to reduce mercury emissions and to phase out many products containing the toxic metal....The convention provides for controls and reductions across a range of products, processes and industries where mercury is used, released or emitted. The treaty addresses the direct mining of mercury, export and import of the metal, and safe storage of waste mercury.
- Denial As a Way of Life: Climate denial is closely related to debt-ceiling denial (Legal Planet):
Both climate change and a significant U.S. default are unprecedented historically, so we can’t rely directly on past experience. Both involve systemic risks, which by their nature are less frequent and less easily understood than an action’s immediate impacts. And in both cases, the deniers are not merely saying that the outcome is uncertain — which would still lead to serious precautions because the potential harm is so great — but denying that there’s any possibility of a bad outcome. That means that all the experts are either incompetent or lying...
- USA TODAY "Balances" Hundreds Of Scientists With Fossil-Fuel Backed Group: Latest Paper To Mainstream Noxious Heartland Institute's Lies (Media Matters)
- A Way to the Most Abundant Energy (Scientific American): Viable solar energy has been a long-sought-after goal, but with new and affordable technologies, we might soon be able to make the switch
- A Warning from the American Southwest: It’s Getting Hotter (Washington Spectator) [emphasis added]:
The assessment is sobering. ... Since 2000, the flow of the Colorado River is 16% less than in the previous 100 years, the Rio Grande has dropped by 23% and the Sacramento-San Joaquin fell by 37%. Across the West, snow is melting up to a month earlier and the area of federal lands burned in forest fires tripled compared to the 1970s. Western landscapes are being devastated, as beetles that thrive in warmer temperatures destroy millions of acres of drought-stressed pine trees.
- BP oil spill: Ex-Halliburton manager pleads guilty to destroying evidence (Guardian UK): Anthony Badalamenti faces a maximum sentence of a year in prison and a $100,000 fine after his guilty plea in US district court
- Second UK member of Greenpeace crew jailed in Russia is denied bail (Guardian UK)
- Light at the end of the tunnel for fusion energy research? Not while the government is dark (E & E News):
With the government shut down, America's 60-year-old experiment in high-energy physics has collided with its 230-year-old experiment in representative democracy. Though the national labs have enough cash to coast for a few weeks, institutions like Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, home to the ignition facility, are trimming expenses where they can until a funding resolution passes Congress.
- Nature CLOUD Study Author: ‘The Climate May Be More Sensitive Than Previously Thought’ (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
“If there’s been more cooling from aerosols than thought at the moment then this temperature rise will have resulted from a smaller forcing – or change – than previously thought,” he said. “That would mean the projected temperatures this century for a doubling of carbon dioxide may be bigger than current estimates.”
- BP negligent in Texas refinery leak but absolved of wrongdoing (Grist):
The Houston Chronicle reported that a 12-person jury deliberated for nearly three days before concluding that BP had been negligent but that it was to be absolved of wrongdoing.
- Ask Umbra: Which is better, plastic or compostable forks? (Grist):
[B]ioplastic loses its biodegradability chops if it's accidentally tossed in the trash by confused consumers. And if it's mistakenly placed in the recycling bin, bioplastic can gum up the works down at the recycling plant by contaminating the rest of the regular plastic load.
- Solar Power @ Night: 280MW solar plant in Arizona can produce power 6 hours after the sun goes down (Treehugger)
- US Court: Transcanada's Keystone XL Profits More Important than Environment (DeSmog Blog):
"What the Corps is doing is artificially dividing up these massive pipelines, treating them as thousands of individual projects to avoid environmental review," Hayes explained ... "The Corps artificially treats these massive pipelines as thousands of individual projects so as to qualify under NWP 12 and avoid NEPA compliance."
- Massive Spruce Beetle Outbreak In Colorado Caused By Drought: CU-Boulder Study (Huffington Post Green):
"It was interesting that drought was a better predictor for spruce beetle outbreaks than temperature," said Sarah Hart, CU-Boulder doctoral student and lead study author, in a statement. "The study suggests that spruce beetle outbreaks occur when warm and dry conditions cause stress in the host trees."
- Analysis: Lawsuits Likely As EPA declares US Ethanol Blend Wall a 'Reality' (Reuters)
- Study links warmer water temps to higher levels of mercury in fish (Washington Post):
Under the watchful eyes of scientists, a little forage fish that lives off the southern coast of Maine developed a strangely large appetite....[I]n warmer waters, at temperatures projected for the future by climate scientists, their metabolism — and their appetites — go up, which is not a good thing if there are toxins in their food.
- VIDEO: Panel Says We're Close to 'Danger Point' (Weather Channel)
- 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).