IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Arizona electric company's secret plot to kill solar industry; Hawaiian island rejects being a testing ground for GMOs and pesticides; Washington State fighting GMOs, too; Another U.S. city breaks up with coal; PLUS: Warning: fossil fuels may not be a good investment ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): NYC hurricane expert: "Sandy wasn't the Big One"; Top 10 Food Facts on World Food Day; Australia: Thousands evacuate as conditions worsen; Exposure to DDT may be passed down through subsequent generations; Invasion of the False Widow Spider media stories!; Tea Party Republicans back water infrastructure bill; Monsanto insists Roundup is 'safe' after cancers spike in Argentina; ND pipeline spill raises questions on oversight, inspections; Canada: Spike in carcinogens downwind of petrochemical plants; FDA asks for help as pet deaths spike ... PLUS: Why we don't care about saving our grandchildren from climate change ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Russia Reduces Charges in Greenpeace Case (NY Times)
- AZ Electric Company's Secret Plot to Kill Rooftop Solar Industry:
- Arizona Utility Funds Solar Smear Campaign, Saying It Is ‘Obligated to Fight’ (GreenTech Media)
- Arizona Public Service, solar companies clash over credits to customers (Arizona Republic):
As part of its strategy, Arizona Public Service Co. sent cash to two non-profit groups that support the utility’s goal to make solar customers pay higher bills....The cash sent to the two non-profits is helping to pay for ads and websites that use a more negative tone toward the solar industry....This is the first time APS has acknowledged it is contributing to the groups.
- APS lobbyist pitched plan to alter energy panel (Arizona Republic):
The plan proposed that APS fund a $4.3 million campaign using out-of-state non-profit groups to generate “fake controversies” regarding the Arizona Corporation Commission. Those controversies could sway voters and lead them to elect new regulators, the plan suggested, or could influence legislators to add additional seats on the commission.
- Arizona Utility Funds Solar Smear Campaign, Saying It Is 'Obligated to Fight' (GreenTech Media)
- 'Utilities for Dummies': The current utility business model is standing in the way of a low-carbon future. (Grist): In this series, David Roberts explains how utilities work and why that needs to change.
- Solar panels could destroy U.S. utilities, according to U.S. utilities (Grist)
- VIDEO: APS, solar industry at odds on value of power from rooftop units (Arizona Republic)
- What's Good for APS Is Not Necessarily Good for Arizona (or Solar) (Barry Goldwater, Jr. for GreenTech Media): Instead of trying to fix the problem, APS is trying to fix the game.
- 'Unburnable Assets': Warning for Investors in Fossil Fuels:
- Exxon Mobil's big threat: a calculator (Yahoo Finance)
- The climate challenge: Achieving zero emissions (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) [emphasis added]:
If policy makers cap carbon emissions, the risk of "unburnable assets" could have a significant impact on the valuation of some companies. It is worth recalling that the investors are in so many cases people like you and me. The Asset Owners Disclosure Project estimates an average of over 55 per cent of pension funds' portfolios is being invested in high carbon assets or sectors greatly exposed to climate change physical impacts and climate change-related regulation. The looming choice may be either stranding those assets or stranding the planet.
- Investor Group Demands Answers From Fossil Fuel Producers on 'Unburnable' Carbon (InsideClimate News):
Groundbreaking initiative is forcing an investor rethink: What's the value of fossil fuel stocks if companies must leave reserves in the ground?
- Al Gore: Divest Now From 'Sub-Prime' Coal And Oil Companies Before 'Carbon Bubble' Bursts (Climate Progress):
Al Gore's Climate Reality Project will kick off a live-stream, multimedia event. It will explore how we are all already paying the cost of carbon pollution - and what we can do about it. Details and webcast here.
- Global Warming's Terrifying New Math: 3 imple numbers that add up to global catastrophe - and that make clear who the real enemy is (Rolling Stone)
- Kauai Rejects Being Testing Ground for Pesticides and GMOs:
- Kauai council approves controversial GMO bill (Hawaii News Now)
- VIDEO: GMO seeds grow into big fight on Kauai (PBS Newshour):
The prevailing winds here blow out of the northeast. And the residents here say that when those winds blow, they bring dust and pesticides from these fields down into their neighborhoods and homes.
- 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.
- Washington State: Corporations Pour Millions into Anti-GMO Labeling campaign:
- Poll: GMO Labeling Initiative 'Too Close to Call' in Washington State (Food Safety News):
[T]here's been a dramatic 41-percent shift since last month in opinions about the ballot measure. Support for I-522 has gone down by 20 percent and opposition has grown by 21 percent.
- Monsanto ponies up and Big Ag pulls ahead in GMO labeling horse race (Grist)
- Money Pours Into GMO Labeling Ballot Initiative (WBUR Boston):
If approved by voters, the measure - Initiative 522 - would require labeling on raw or processed food containing genetically modified ingredients. Support and opposition campaigns have spent millions of dollars. Agribusiness and the food industry have pumped in a record $17 million so far to defeat Initiative 522.
- Will Washington state break U.S. logjam on labeling GMO food? (Bellingham Herald)
- Another U.S. City Breaks Up With Coal:
- Asheville Votes to Move Beyond Coal (Huffington Post Green):
Chicago. Los Angeles. Austin. Asheville. Wait, what? That's right, Asheville, North Carolina, can now join the ranks of cities that have chosen to move beyond coal. On Tuesday night the city council voted UNANIMOUSLY to move the city from coal-fired electricity toward a clean energy future.
An investigation by a local riverkeeper also revealed that the coal ash ponds at the plant were leaking toxic chemicals into the French Broad River and groundwater. Coal ash is the by-product of burning coal for power, and it's full of nasty chemicals such as arsenic and lead.
- Asheville to work with Duke on carbon issue (Asheville Citizen-Times): Partnership aims to reduce utility's local emissions
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Why we don't care about saving our grandchildren from climate change: (TIME's Eco-Centric Blog) [emphasis added]:
A new study shows that human beings are too selfish to endure present pain to avert future climate change. That's why we need win-win solutions now.
The Nature Climate Change study also underscores why "win-win" climate policies - like innovation investments that can lead directly to cheap clean energy, rather than policies that make dirty energy more expensive - are likely to be the most effective ones. Barring a species-wide personality change, few of us will be willing to endure present pain so that our grandchildren won't have to endure an unlivable climate.
- Top 10 Food Facts on World Food Day: (Union of Concerned Scientists)
- AP Analysis: Argentines Link Health Problems To Monsanto GMOs, Pesticides: (AP):
A nation once known for its grass-fed beef has undergone a remarkable transformation since 1996, when the St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. promised that adopting its patented seeds and chemicals would increase crop yields and lower pesticide use. Today, Argentina's entire soy crop and nearly all its corn and cotton are genetically modified, with soy cultivation alone tripling to 47 million acres (19 million hectares).
Agrochemical use did decline at first, then it bounced back, increasing ninefold...
- Monsanto Calls Glyphosate 'Safe' After AP Report (AP):
Argentine doctors interviewed by the AP said their caseloads — not laboratory experiments — show an apparent correlation between the arrival of intensive industrial agriculture and rising rates of cancer and birth defects in rural communities, and they're calling for broader, longer-term studies to rule out agrochemical exposure as a cause of these and other illnesses.
- NYC hurricane expert: "Sandy wasn't the Big One" (Grist):
Professor Nicholas K. Coch spent decades warning officials that a hurricane could slam into New York City. Superstorm Sandy proved him right --- but it could have been much worse, he says.
- Australia Bush Fires: Thousands told to evacuate as conditions worsen: (Reuters):
Thousands of Australians were urged to evacuate their homes on Wednesday as dry winds threatened to fan a firestorm in mountainous bushland around Sydney, where firefighters battled to control blazes which have been raging for a week.
- Australian army started bushfire blaze - climate also blamed: (Environment News Service)
- Exposure to DDT may be passed down through subsequent generations: (LA Times):
Exposure to the pesticide DDT could be playing a role in high rates of obesity three generations later, a new study says.
- Invasion of the False Widow Spider media stories!: (Guardian UK):
Spider sightings may be up, but experts say it's due to a reaction to the media frenzy, not an explosion in their population.
- Tea Party Republicans, Obama Back Water Infrastructure Bill: (Bloomberg News):
The U.S. House voted to authorize commercial navigation, flood control and environmental restoration projects, work that could cost taxpayers as much as $8.2 billion over the next decade.
- Russia Reduces Charges Against Greenpeace Activists Over Arctic Protest (Reuters)
- North Dakota pipeline spill raises questions amid state's oil boom: (LA Times):
Tesoro Logistics and North Dakota didn't quickly tell the public about an oil pipeline spill, and the firm doesn't know when it started.
- Study Finds High Levels of Carcinogens Downwind of Petrochemical Plants in Edmonton (Edmonton Journal):
Other pollutants, including some known to cause cancer, also measured well above normal. And cancer rates linked to those chemicals were found to be higher in communities closest to the so-called Industrial Heartland.
- U.S. Steps Up Investigation as Pet Death Toll Hits 580; Imported Food From China Implicated (McClatchy):
The Food and Drug Administration has a mystery on its hands.
Thousands of dogs and at least 10 cats have become sick after eating various forms of jerky for pets over the past few years. Some 580 animals have died, the agency says. But it's not sure why.
- Delegates debate watered-down plan to protect Antarctica marine preserve: (NPR)
Less than 1 percent of the world's oceans are set aside as protected areas, but diplomats meeting now in Australia could substantially increase that figure.
- "The ocean is broken" (Newcastle Herald) [emphasis added]:
What was missing was the cries of the seabirds which, on all previous similar voyages, had surrounded the boat. The birds were missing because the fish were missing.
- 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
- 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).