IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Cancer clusters found downwind of Canada's tar sands; Nebraska judge rejects Keystone XL tar sand pipeline route; Inspector General finds no conflicts of interest in Keystone XL environmental report; Tesla wants to free you from your electric utility!; PLUS: Can wind turbines really slow down hurricanes?... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Drought & Dystopia in Syria: Vision of Mankind’s Future?; Save the butterflies: limits sought on Monsanto weedkiller; Climate change is coming for your coffee; Acidic waters kill 10m scallops in PacNW; Oil train rail cars unsafe, 'unacceptable'; NY utilities ordered to prepare for climate change ... PLUS: That fresh pine forest scent can also limit climate change ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Joe Kernan, CNBC Chief Climate Science Denier:
- VIDEO: CNBC's Joe Kernen: Climate Change Is 'Like Witchcraft' (Huffington Post)
- VIDEO: NOAA: January 2014 Was 4th Warmest on Record (Weather Channel)
- Keystone XL: Inspector General Finds Conflict of Interest, But It's OK:
- Report finds no conflict of interest, despite obvious conflicts of interest (Grist)
- Did the State Department Fail Obama on Keystone XL? (Bloomberg) [emphasis added]:
[T]here’s just no disputing that ERM, under the “sole direction and control” of State, did not follow State’s own conflict-of-interest disclosure guidelines...And now comes the capper. Far more alarming than any of the above, ERM also relied on another firm to complete its Keystone assessment—and that company, as it happens, is owned outright by a tar sands developer..
- Report: Keystone contractor followed federal rules (SF Gate) [emphasis added]:
The report focused on "whether the State Department followed its own flawed process for selecting a third-party contractor," [Rep. Raul] Grijalva said. "The fact that the answer is 'yes' doesn't address any outstanding concerns about the integrity of ERM's work, the State Department's in-house ability to evaluate its quality or whether the process itself needs to be reformed. Far from inspiring confidence in the project, the report "is evidence of the problem," Grijalva said.
- Keystone XL: Federal Judge Throws Out Nebraska Route:
- Judge throws out Nebraska pipeline law, complicating Keystone XL plans (Nebraska Watchdog)
- After Legal Setback In Nebraska, What’s Next For Keystone XL? (Climate Progress)
- Nebraska judge throws a big wrench in Keystone XL pipeline works (Grist) [emphasis added]:
This is how we got here: Many people who live in Nebraska were not thrilled to discover... that a law passed in 1963 gave companies building oil pipelines in the state the ability to use eminent domain to seize land. The law applied even if they happened to be foreign companies, like TransCanada, which rankled even more.
- Keystone XL: Senators Call for Public Health Impact Study of Cancer Clusters:
- Senators Call For Study On Keystone Health Effects After Doctor Cites Cancer Near Tar Sands (Climate Progress)
- Keystone XL Might Make You Sick, Literally (The Nation)
- Fort Chipewyan cancers "an ongoing tragedy": O'Connor (Fort McMurray Today)
- Cancer rates downstream from oilsands to be probed (CBC, August 2011)
- VIDEO: Senators Boxer, Whitehouse Expose Harmful Health Impacts of Tar Sands and Keystone XL Pipeline (Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Youtube Channel)
- Stanford Univ Study: Offshore Wind Turbines Can Slow Down Hurricanes:
- VIDEO: Offshore wind farms could tame hurricanes before they reach land, Stanford-led study says (Stanford Univ.):
Computer simulations by Professor Mark Z. Jacobson have shown that offshore wind farms with thousands of wind turbines could have sapped the power of three real-life hurricanes, significantly decreasing their winds and accompanying storm surge, and possibly preventing billions of dollars in damages.
- Taming Hurricanes With Wind Turbines (Weather Underground)
- Offshore Wind Farms Could Knock Down Hurricanes (Scientific American) A forest of 78,000 turbines would have drastically reduced the winds and storm surges from hurricanes Katrina and Sandy
- Tesla Wants To Free You From Your Electric Utility:
- Tesla Gigafactory: Gamechanger for Electric Cars & Energy Storage (Sustainable Business):
"Battery storage is the holy grail of the distributed generation movement," Morningstar analyst Travis Miller, told Bloomberg. "If developers can create a high-capacity battery technology, it opens the door to a significant increase in options for customers to supply their own power."
- Musk’s $5 Billion Tesla Gigafactory May Start Bidding War (Bloomberg)
- Tesla Gigafactory: Here’s The Plan (Clean Technica)
- Tesla Battery Jolts Shares Higher While Disrupting Power (Bloomberg)
- Smell of forest pine can limit climate change - researchers (BBC):
New research suggests a strong link between the powerful smell of pine trees and climate change. Scientists say they've found a mechanism by which these scented vapours turn into aerosols above boreal forests. These particles promote cooling by reflecting sunlight back into space and helping clouds to form.
- Drought & Dystopia in Syria: Vision of Mankind’s Future? (Climate Crocks):
“We don’t have any observed evidence to support a 100-year trend in precipitation that we would prescribe as being natural,” said study co-author Colin Kelley, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California at Santa Barbara. “We can only assume that the trend is anthropogenic.”
- Limits sought on weed killer glyphosate to help monarch butterflies (LA Times)
- Gulp: Climate Change May Be Causing a Global Coffee Shortage (Slate)
- World begins 2014 with unusual number of extreme weather events (Guardian UK): UN's World Meteorological Organisation says recent extremes of heat, cold and rain are almost certainly interlinked
- Acidic Waters Kill 10 Million Scallops Off Vancouver (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
A mass die-off of scallops near Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island is being linked to the increasingly acidic waters that are threatening marine life and aquatic industries along the West Coast. Rob Saunders, CEO of Island Scallops, estimates his company has lost three years worth of scallops and $10 million dollars.“I’m not sure we are going to stay alive and I’m not sure the oyster industry is going to stay alive,” Saunders told The Parksville Qualicum Beach NEWS. “It’s that dramatic.”
- Rail cars used to ship oil called 'unacceptable' (AP):
Rail tank cars being used to ship crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken region are an "unacceptable public risk," and even cars voluntarily upgraded by the industry may not be sufficient, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday.
- U.S. Safety Board: Tesoro Blocked Refinery Investigation (Bloomberg):
Tesoro Corp. (TSO) blocked the U.S. Chemical Safety Board from investigating an incident at a Northern California refinery and downplayed the extent of workers’ injuries, the board said. ... The company refused to preserve the accident site, prohibited certain interviews and indicated it wouldn’t comply with document requests.
- NY State Expects All Utilities to Prep for Climate Change (Climate Central)
- Global Shift to Clean Energy No Longer 'Theoretical' (The Tyee):
These days the data tell a powerful story. Recent price declines for solar energy have been "massive," [Ethan Zindler, Bloomberg New Energy Finance] explained, while merely "substantial" for wind, meaning that a global shift away from fossil fuels is no longer "theoretical."
- Enbridge Pipeline: unreported spills, alarming communities along 830-km pipe (Toronto Star):
Investigation unveils 35 spills along Enbridge’s suddenly controversial 830-km pipeline, many not revealed to communities until now.
- Conservative Media's Favorite Climate Scientist Fulfills Godwin's Law (Media Matters):
Roy Spencer: Climate Activists "Support Policies That Will Kill More People Than The Nazis Ever Did"
- 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)
- 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).
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page