IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: The long national shutdown is over --- for now --- and environmental services and protections are returning; PLUS: Australia erupts in 'freakishly early' bushfire season; AND: The 40th anniversary of the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Air pollution definitively linked to cancer; Lloyd's of London warns on warming, mocks deniers; Minimata Mercury Convention signed by world governments; Why Supreme Court taking on greenhouse gases isn't as bad as it looks; US shale boom shows signs of permanent decline; Uneven enforcement at US nuclear plants; Wisconsin opens wolf hunting season; ND farmers sue over natural gas flares; BP Oil Spill Trial update; World's first climate refugee seeks asylum in NZ; Kauai moves to restrict GMOs; PLUS much, MUCH more!...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Government Shutdown Ends, Republicans Concede Defeat:
- Full Transcript of President Obama's shutdown remarks (Washington Post)
- VIDEO: All those stunts, and yet GOP comes up empty (The Rachel Maddow Show, MSNBC)
- VIDEO: Pork sneaks into rushed Senate budget bill (The Rachel Maddow Show, MSBNC):
- Republicans back down, ending crisis over shutdown and debt limit: (NY Times):
Congressional Republicans conceded defeat on Wednesday in their bitter budget fight with President Obama over the new health care law as the House and Senate approved last-minute legislation ending a disruptive 16-day government shutdown and extending federal borrowing power to avert a financial default with potentially worldwide economic repercussions.
- Shutdown Took $24 Billion Bite Out of Economy (CNN)
- Shutdown Deal Averts Catastrophe But Leaves Economy in Peril (Washington Post)
- Senate Deal Includes Funding for Disaster Relief, And More(The Hill's e2 Wire)
- GOP blames National Park Service for government shutdown (The Hill's E2 Wire):
House Republicans on Wednesday assailed the National Park Service director for erecting barriers at national monuments during the government shutdown.
- Denial As a Way of Life: Climate denial is closely related to debt-ceiling denial (Legal Planet)
- Government Shutdown Delays Start Of Crab Season (NPR)
- Group Accuses Mcconnell of Putting 'Kentucky Kickback' in Debt Bill (The Hill)
- Australia Erupts in 'Freakishly Early' Bushfire Season:
- VIDEO: 'Miracle' if lives not lost in NSW fires: premier (The Australian)
- NSW bushfires: dozens of homes destroyed, Sydney skies darkened (ABC Australia)
- SLIDESHOW: In pictures: NSW bushfires (ABC Australia)
- As it happened: Dozens of homes lost as bushfires ravage parts of New South Wales (ABC Australia)
- 40th Anniversary of the 1973 Arab Oil Embargo:
- President Richard Nixon's Radio Address About the National Energy Crisis (The American Presidency Project, Univ. of California Santa Barbara)
- Forty Years After OPEC Embargo, U.S. Is Energy Giant (Bloomberg) [emphasis added]:
It would last only five months, but it haunts U.S. energy policy to this day. The modern global energy market bears scant resemblance to what existed 40 years ago. Today's market is far more diversified and resilient. Thanks to the shale gas revolution and soaring domestic oil and gas production, the U.S. has reduced the cost of its energy and become a major exporter of refined products. Add in the political and economic tumult within many OPEC member countries, and it's clear that, by almost any measure, OPEC is far weaker and the U.S. is far stronger than in 1973.
- Analysis: Forty Years After the Oil Embargo (Institute for Energy Research)
- Looking back on the Arab Oil Embargo, 40 years ago this week (Autoblog Green)
- AUDIO: UPI Report on 1973 Oil & Economic Crisis (UPI.com) [emphasis added]:
The summer of '73 made many Americans realize that the fuel shortage was a real thing.... Some station owners charge as much as $1 for a gallon of gas.
- Why the Energy Boom Won't Make America Into the New OPEC (National Journal):
Despite vast new oil and gas discoveries, the United States won't be able to brandish its new reserves as a geopolitical weapon.
- U.S. Gears Up to Be a Prime Gas Exporter (NY times)
- AUDIO: Songs of the Oil Embargo & Energy Crisis: (WFMU.org):
With gas heading north of three bucks a gallon, let's take a stroll down memory lane to those bad old days of 1973 and 1979, when an entire generation of Americans was raised while waiting on line for gasoline. Eventually, the situation grew so dire that a batch of novelty songs came out about it, which I am going to share with you here, whether you like it or not/
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Air Pollution Definitively Linked To Cancer (Climate Progress):
The IARC's research found the toll of air pollution on public health worldwide is significant. In 2010 alone, exposure to ambient fine particles was recently estimated to have contributed to 3.2 million premature deaths, predominantly from cardiovascular disease, and 223,000 deaths from lung cancer. More than half of the lung cancer deaths attributable to ambient fine particles were projected to have been in China and other East Asian countries.
- Climate change will hit oceans everywhere, with massive impacts on societies --- study (E & E News) [emphasis added]:
[Camilo Mora, the University of Hawaii, Manoa] led a group of 28 scientists who used output from the latest generation of climate models to calculate changes in acidity, temperature, oxygen and productivity for the world's oceans by 2100. They show that across the world's oceans, everything from food chains to fisheries will see influences of climate change.
- Lloyd's of London Latest Insurer to Warn on Warming, Mocks Deniers (Climate Crocks):
If you want to know if climate change is real, check with the people who actually have money on the table, skin in the game - the big insurance companies. These folks have more money than God, (almost as much as Exxon) and hire the smartest number crunchers in the world to assess their risk exposure. They are factoring in climate change, and pricing their coverage accordingly.
- Why The Supreme Court Taking On Greenhouse Gases Isn't As Bad As It Looks (Talking Points Memo)
- WSJ Mischaracterizes Upcoming Supreme Court Case About Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Media Matters)
- U.S. Shale-Oil Boom May Not Last as Fracking Wells Lack Staying Power (Bloomberg BusinessWeek):
Shale wells start strong and fade fast, and producers are drilling at a breakneck pace to hold output steady. In the fields, this incessant need to drill is known as the Red Queen, after the character in Through the Looking-Glass who tells Alice, "It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place."
- Uneven enforcement suspected at U.S. nuclear plants (SF Gate):
The number of safety violations at U.S. nuclear power plants varies dramatically from region to region, pointing to inconsistent enforcement in an industry now operating mostly beyond its original 40-year licenses, according to a congressional study awaiting release.... The striking variations do not appear to reflect real differences in reactor performance. Instead, the report says, the differences suggest that regulators interpret rules and guidelines differently among regions, perhaps because lower-level violations get limited review.
- Wisconsin wolf hunt gets underway (Wisconsin State Journal)
- The U.S. And The World Are Actually Making Big Strides In Energy Efficiency (Climate Progress):
Between 2005 and 2010, advances in energy efficiency saved eleven advanced western nations - including the U.S. - from burning $420 billion worth of oil. And without those advances, the total energy consumption of those countries would have been 65 percent higher in 2010.
- North Dakota landowners sue oil and gas companies for natural gas flares (Inforum) [emphasis added]:
Bismarck attorney Derrick Braaten said the plaintiffs are owed millions in lost royalties for the flared natural gas, and the case will likely grow to include more companies.
- Tar mat discovered at Fourchon Beach after Tropical Storm Karen (New Orleans Times-Picayune): The oily mixture is assumed to be left over from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill three years ago
- BP Oil Spill Trial: BP experts explain how they gauged the 2010 oil spill, government looks for faults, at trial on Thursday (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
- VIDEO: MythBusters: Roundabout vs. 4-way stop intersection, which is more efficient? (Treehugger):
[F]or example, roundabouts also have fuel-efficiency benefits because you often don't have to completely stop the vehicle, losing momentum and making the engine work harder to re-accelerate. They've also been shown to be safer (including for pedestrians).
- Pacific Islander seeks climate change asylu, in New Zealand: (Reuters):
A Pacific Island man trying to flee rising seas and environmental risks caused by global warming in his home country of Kiribati asked a New Zealand court on Wednesday to let him pursue his claim as a climate change refugee.
- Limits approved for genetically modified crops (GMO) crops in Kauai, Hawaii: (NY Times):
Legislators on the island of Kauai in Hawaii have approved a bill that would restrict the use of pesticides by companies developing genetically modified crops there.
- West Virginia residents file suit over Little Blue Run coal ash waste site: (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette):
In three years the flow of coal waste through a pipeline to the Little Blue Run dump is set to stop, but before that happens neighbors want compensation for the smell, seepage and alleged property damage caused by the mammoth waste site.
- Moving shale oil across melting tundra potentially risky business: (E & E News):
When the sun shines directly on the Hudson Bay Railway (HBR), the tracks can expand, warp and buckle. Trains have to slow down to 9 miles an hour or even stop. Journeys can be delayed for hours.
- Land Rover completes world-first 10,000 mile hybrid expedition test (Gizmag): Fifty-three days later, the company is pleased to report that its world-first hybrid journey along the Silk Trail was successful.
- The Minamata Mercury Convention: 12 Things It Does and Doesn't Do (Scientific American): The Minamata Convention, a United Nations pact launched Thursday, is designed to limit mercury use and emissions internationally
- California Bans Lead Ammunition: (Legal Planet): New Law Is Welcome, But Probably Won't Take Full Effect Until 2019
- 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.
- Skeptical Science: Database with FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Myths
- 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
- NASA Video: Warming over the last 130 years, and into the next 100 years:
- 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).
- Pacific Islander seeks climate change asylu, in New Zealand: (Reuters):