IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: British military deployed to combat extreme rain, flooding in UK; Oops - NC officials backtrack on water safety after massive coal waste spill; Another toxic coal waste spill into WV's drinking water; 2013 breaks record for billion-dollar extreme weather disasters; PLUS: We correct three --- count 'em, three! --- errors... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Heads up, Atlanta: new winter storm on the way; Too much winter, not enough propane in US; Oil industry double-dipping with government, insurance payments; Australia: weather service human-caused global warming responsible for record heat; WV chemical spill: 40% of homes still contaminated; BLM cheats taxpayers with giveaways to coal industry; Scientists criticize US decision to de-list wolves ... PLUS: Smear campaign: after scientist said weed-killer chemical was harmful, its maker pursued him ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: Fox News Objects To Obama Calling Climate Change A Fact (Media Matters)
- Keystone XL: 35 Permanent Jobs Once Built:
- State Department Says Keystone Pipeline Will Create Just 50 Jobs (BusinessWeek):
[T] the report says once the proposed pipeline enters service, it will support only 50 U.S. jobs-35 permanent employees and 15 temporary contractors.
- How to Deconstruct the Difficult Math of Keystone XL's Carbon Footprint (InsideClimate News): We may never know the Keystone XL's precise carbon footprint, but it's possible it will add up to a billion tons of CO2 over the lifetime of the project.
- Another Coal Waste Spill for West Virginia:
- 'Significant' coal slurry spill blackens Kanawha County creek (Charleston Gazette) [emphasis added]:
More than 100,000 gallons of coal slurry poured into an eastern Kanawha County stream Tuesday in what officials were calling a "significant spill" from a Patriot Coal processing facility...."There has been a significant environmental impact," said Harold Ward, acting director of the state Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Mining and Reclamation.
- PHOTOS: Pipe Break At Coal Facility Contaminates West Virginia Waterway (Climate Progress)
- State officials to announce plans for MCHM testing (Charleston Gazette)
- Officials: No downstream intakes near coal slurry spill in Kanawha County, WV (WOWK-TV Charleston)
- BACKGROUND: Toxic Coal Ash and Coal Slurry (Citizens Against Longwall Mining)
- Three Months Before Leak, Review Questioned Freedom Tanks (Charleston Gazette)
- North Carolina Officials Admit Mistake, Backtrack on Arsenic Levels:
- NC Admits Mistake, Says Arsenic Topped Safe Level (AP): North Carolina's environmental agency said Sunday it wrongly declared all test results for the arsenic levels in the Dan River as safe for people after a massive coal ash spill.
- Backtracking, Officials Admit Coal Ash Spill Caused Dangerous Arsenic Levels (Common Dreams)
- VIDEO: Officials find high levels of arsenic after Danville coal ash spill (WXII 12 News, Danville VA)
- After Coal Ash Spill, North Carolina Warns Residents To 'Avoid Prolonged Direct Contact' With River (Climate Progress)
- Duke Energy Spills Thousands Of Tons Of Coal Ash Into North Carolina River (DeSmog Blog)
- Big Coal's Ash Mess Follows Its Chemical Spill. Is This Some Kind of Bad Joke? (Bloomberg News):
Unless we're prepared to turn off a lot of lights and shut down a lot of factories real fast, we will have to continue to back away from coal gradually. And yes, that implies using more natural gas, which no matter what the anti-fracking forces say is a whole lot cleaner than coal and much less of a contributor to global warming.
- North Carolina Officials Blocked Lawsuits, Protected Duke Energy:
- North Carolina environment regulators shielded Duke's coal ash pollution (AP) [emphasis added]:
Clean water advocates have long complained that state regulators are too cozy with the polluters they regulate. But they say that coordination and cooperation has become even more overt since the January 2013 inauguration of Gov. Pat McCrory, a pro-business Republican who worked at Duke Energy for 28 years.
- Duke Energy belatedly pledges to overhaul coal-ash storage, after destroying river (Grist)
- It's Official: 2013 Breaks Record for Billion-Dollar Weather Disasters:
- Record Number of Billion-Dollar Disasters Globally in 2013 (Climate Central):
In all, 41 weather events caused $1 billion or more in damage in 2013 according to a report recently released by Aon Benfield, a reinsurance group. That's one more than the previous record set in 2010.
- Britian Inundated By Worst Rainfall in 250 Years:
- VIDEO: UK Met Office: Current Storms "..highly Unusual", Consistent with Climate Change (Climate Crocks)
- It hasn't rained this much in England since 1767, or maybe since ever (Grist) [emphasis added]:
"The frequency and severity of the flooding seen over the past few months is likely to become more commonplace in the future due to climate change," a flooding expert told The Guardian. "This means maintaining investment in flood defences in the longer term, but also making buildings and infrastructure more resistant, and being better prepared to actively respond to flooding."
- PHOTOS: Giant Waves Consuming Ancient UK Coastal Landmarks (Climate Crocks)
- VIDEO: Cameron on flood recovery: 'the government will do everything it can' (Guardian UK)
- UK floods: PM says money 'no object' in relief effort (BBC)
- UK floods: more heavy rain and travel chaos forecast (Guardian UK)
- What Britain has to do if it doesn't want to live with floods (no, it's not dredging) (Guardian UK)
- Analysis: How climate change features in newspaper coverage of the UK's floods (Carbon Brief)
- Met Office: Evidence 'suggests climate change link to storms' (BBC):
Unsettled weather at this time of year was not unexpected - but the prolonged spell of rain, as well as the intensity and height of coastal waves, was "very unusual".
"We have records going back to 1766 and we have nothing like this," she said. "We have seen some exceptional weather. We can't say it is unprecedented but it is exceptional."
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- A Valuable Reputation: After scientists said weed-killer chemical was harmful, its maker pursued him. (New Yorker):
[W]hen Hayes discovered that atrazine might impede the sexual development of frogs, his dealings with Syngenta became strained...Hayes has devoted the past fifteen years to studying atrazine, and during that time scientists around the world have expanded on his findings, suggesting that the herbicide is associated with birth defects in humans as well as in animals. The company documents show that, while Hayes was studying atrazine, Syngenta was studying him, as he had long suspected. Syngenta's public-relations team had drafted a list of four goals. The first was "discredit Hayes."
- Australia: Bureau of Meteorology says man-made climate change responsible for South Australia's record summer temperatures (The Australian)
- Oil industry double-dipping in U.S.: paid for cleanjup from government and again, secretly, from insurance companies (Reuters):
Court documents show many of the cases and settlement agreements follow a similar pattern, accusing the oil companies of "double-dipping" by collecting both special state funds and insurance money for the same tank cleanups. Some states say any insurance payouts should have gone to them since they covered the cost of the work.
- West Virginia Water Nightmare: Private Testing Finds Coal Chemical In 40 Percent Of Homes (Climate Progress)
- The Real Wastebook: Giveaways For Coal Industry: Report: U.S. Taxpayers Losing Out On Millions Each Year In Coal Leases (Media Matters)
- Heads Up, Atlanta: Winter Storm Will Basically Make the South Like The Walking Dead (Slate)
- U.S. Plan to Lift Wolf Protections In Doubt After Experts Question Science (Science Magazine)
- Too much winter, not nearly enough propane: (NY Times):
In the midst of one of the great natural gas drilling booms in the nation's history, millions of Americans are struggling with a problem that is chilling their bones. "There is not enough propane, a byproduct of natural gas production and crude oil refining, to heat their homes and keep their farms running."
- Health advocates find flame retardant fight follows familiar denial formula (Huffington Post Green):
When chemical companies hired Grant Gillham in 2007 to manage a campaign in defense of flame retardants in couches and other consumer goods, Gillham recalled being "assured that the scientific information they had supporting the safety and effectiveness of their products was valid."
- Drought blocking passages to sea for California's Coho salmon: (LA Times)
- American Petroleum Institute Kept Tabs on Enviros (Earth Island Journal):
In 2010 the American Petroleum Institute (API) paid the global intelligence firm Stratfor more than $13,000 a month for weekly intelligence bulletins profiling activist organizations and their campaigns on everything from energy and climate change to tax policy and human rights, according to documents published by WikiLeaks in 2012.
- The Republican Party Now Wants States To Seize Public Lands For Drilling And Mining (Climate Progress)
- EPA approves another pesticide highly toxic to bees (EcoNews):
Flying in the face of recent science demonstrating that pollinator populations are declining, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made the decision to unconditionally register another pesticide that is known to be highly toxic to bees-almost one year after the EPA registered sulfoxaflor, disregarding concerns from beekeepers and environmental groups.
- Buried pipeline rupture report raises questions about TransCanada inspections (CBC):
A CBC News investigation has unearthed a critical report that the federal regulator effectively buried for several years about a rupture on a trouble-prone TransCanada natural gas pipeline.
- Dow sues activists in India over Bhopal protest (Digital Journal):
Dow has filed its fourth lawsuit against activists in India that are seeking compensation for the 1984 gas leak at a Union Carbide Corporation facility in Bhopal. The Bhopal disaster killed 15,000 and affected an additional 500,000 in 1984.
- Summer Temperatures Dampen Sochi's Winter Olympics (Climate Progress)
- World's Largest Solar Thermal Plant Starts Operating In Drought-Stricken California (Climate Progress)
- In Iceland, Magma Used To Create Geothermal Power For First Time (Climate Progress):
After accidentally drilling into a chamber of molten lava more than a mile underground in 2009, researchers in Iceland have now found a way to use the magma to create geothermal energy.
- U.N. Says Lag in Confronting Climate Woes Will Be Costly (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
Nations have so dragged their feet in battling climate change that the situation has grown critical and the risk of severe economic disruption is rising, according to a draft United Nations report. Another 15 years of failure to limit carbon emissions could make the problem virtually impossible to solve with current technologies, experts found.
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).