IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Stanford University breaks up with coal - billions of dollars of it; It's official: fracking causing earthquakes in Oklahoma; Fracking also increasing traffic fatalities; Koch Brothers conning your grandmother; PLUS: New rules for the deadly 'Ford Pinto of rail cars'... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Protecting communities of color from industrial pollution; How the US stopped its fisheries from collapsing; Why wave power is lagging behind as an energy source; Judge rules victims of Citgo’s criminal pollution not entitled to compensation; Marco Rubio accuses Obama of not being a meterologist; Judge smacks down 'wind turbine syndrome' lawsuit; NASA to grow lettuce in space; Japan testing space-based solar energy transmission; Solar cells the size of a pencil point ... PLUS: Is a Godzilla-sized El Nino heading our way this fall? ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- New Rules For the 'Ford Pinto' of Oil Train Cars:
- VIDEO: Exploding oil railcars trigger new advisory (The Rachel Maddow Show)
- U.S. Issues Safety Alert for Oil Trains (NY Times):
Calling the movement of crude oil by rail an “imminent hazard” to the public, the federal Department of Transportation said on Wednesday that railroads would be required to notify local emergency responders whenever oil shipments traveled through their states.
Canada also took a decisive step to force shippers to use a stronger model of tank car within the next three years.
- Transportation Department Issues Emergency Order On Crude Oil Trains (AP)
- More oil spilled from trains in 2013 than in previous 4 decades, federal data show (McClatchy DC):
Including major derailments in Alabama and North Dakota, more than 1.15 million gallons of crude oil was spilled from rail cars in 2013, according to data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. By comparison, from 1975 to 2012, U.S. railroads spilled a combined 800,000 gallons of crude oil.
- The Government Takes a Weak Stab at Making Oil Trains Safer (BusinessWeek)
- Canada's Oil-By-Rail Shipments Jump Nine-Fold In 2 Years (Huffington Post)
- Stanford University Breaks Up With Coal:
- Stanford joins divestment campaign; Obama should be next (Climate Science Watch)
- Stanford to divest from coal companies (Stanford University):
"Stanford has a responsibility as a global citizen to promote sustainability for our planet, and we work intensively to do so through our research, our educational programs and our campus operations," said Stanford President John Hennessy.
- When Colleges Ditch Coal Investments, It's Barely A Drop In The Bucket (NPR):
The school's decision to did not send shock waves through the industry. In fact, representatives say it will have no financial impact on the industry at all. Nor will it curb the growing demand around the world for coal-generated electricity.
- Stanford to Purge $18 Billion Endowment of Coal Stock (NY Times)
- VIDEO: Stanford Divests: Student-Led Movement Forces Elite School to Pull (Democracy Now!):
- Fracking Behind Rise In Oklahoma Earthquakes:
- Record Number of Oklahoma Tremors Raises Possibility of Damaging Earthquakes (US Geological Survey):
The analysis suggests that a likely contributing factor to the increase in earthquakes is triggering by wastewater injected into deep geologic formations. This phenomenon is known as injection-induced seismicity, which has been documented for nearly half a century, with new cases identified recently in Arkansas, Ohio, Texas and Colorado.
- Wastewater disposal may trigger quakes at greater distance than previously thought (press release, Seismological Society of America)
- Oklahoma Should Brace For A Big Earthquake (Climate Progress):
Oklahoma has been rocked by 183 earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or greater between October 2013 and April 14, 2014. On average, this area sees just two such powerful earthquakes per year. And since 2009, when fracking took off in the state, Oklahoma has been shaken by 20 magnitude 4.0 to 4.8 quakes. On Nov. 5, 2011 a 5.6 earthquake — the largest ever recorded in the state — rocked the city of Prague, in central Oklahoma.
- Fracking Heavy Equipment Traffic Causing Rise In Traffic Fatalities:
- AP IMPACT: Deadly side effect to fracking boom: more traffic deaths (AP) [emphasis added]:
Booming production of oil and natural gas has exacted a little-known price on some of the nation's roads, contributing to a spike in traffic fatalities in states where many streets and highways are choked with large trucks and heavy drilling equipment.
The traffic accidents have devastated families: two young boys crushed to death last year by a tanker truck in West Virginia; a Pennsylvania father killed by another tanker in 2011; a 19-year old Texas man fatally injured in 2012 after colliding with a drilling truck on his way to work. A month later, on the same road, three retired teachers died in another collision with a truck.
- Your Next Car Accident Could Be Fracking’s Fault (Climate Progress)
- Trying to Tame Canada's Highway of Death (VICE)
- Koch Brothers Scaring Your Grandma Over Renewable Energy:
- Postcards Target Elderly In Attempt To Spread Clean Energy Disinformation (Climate Progress):
The postcards targeted senior citizens, urging them to call their representatives and ask for a repeal of the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). They represent a desperate, backward-looking tactic that proved ineffective.
- Koch brothers and big utilities campaign to unplug solar power (LA Times)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Video: El Nino – What Are the Odds? (Climate Crocks):
I interviewed Dr. Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and Dr. Josh Willis of NASA JPL. Their opinion? It’s on its way, and it looks like a big one.
- How the US stopped its fisheries from collapsing (VOX):
Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its annual fisheries update for 2013 — and the news was encouraging. Yes, progress has been uneven. About one-fifth of assessed stocks are still overfished. But on the whole, US fisheries are steadily recovering.
- EPA’s next challenge: Protect communities in nation’s industrial dumping grounds (Grist):
[M]uch of the problem lies in permitting, which often concentrates polluters in or around those racially redlined communities because they are the paths of least resistance. People struggling with poverty, underemployment, and failed schools have little time or energy to tussle with corporations.
- Why Wave Power Has Lagged Far Behind as Energy Source (Yale e360):
[A] central challenge has proven to be the complexity of harnessing wave power, which has led to a host of designs, including writhing snake-like attenuators, bobbing buoys, even devices mounted discreetly on the ocean floor that work by exploiting differences in pressure as a wave passes by.
- Victims Of Citgo’s Criminal Pollution Not Entitled To Compensation, Judge Rules (Climate Progress):
Citgo Corp. will not have to pay any restitution to people who experienced health problems from the company’s previously uncovered oil tanks in Corpus Christi, Texas, despite a 2007 conviction of environmental crimes for the violation, a federal judge has ruled.
- Marco Rubio: Obama’s ‘Not A Meteorologist’ And His Policies Won’t Fix Climate Change (Climate Progress)
- Japanese space agency hopes to harness solar power in 25 years (CBS News):
[T]he Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has proposed a plan to create a series of geosynchronous-orbiting satellites that could collect solar power, beaming it back to Earth. The agency also reportedly hopes to have it done within the incredibly ambitious timeline of 25 years.
- NASA tests growing lettuce in space (Telegraph UK):
Astronauts can look forward to fresh vegetables as result of experiment by American space agency.
- New solar breakthrough could be the final nail in coal’s coffin (Salon):
Researchers figured out how to make solar cells out of safer, environmentally friendly materials.
- Why are so many white men trying to save the planet without the rest of us? (Guardian UK): Climate change affects minorities and women, the elderly and the poor. But the leadership of the environmental movement is pale and male. That doesn't look like progress.
- ABC Wind "Victims" Rebuked as Wind's Winning Streak Rolls On (The Green Miles):
Did the Hobarts withhold information about the mold and radon on their property? Or did ABC choose to withhold it for some other reason? In either case, ABC didn't tell viewers the whole story.
- Solar Cells the Size of a Pencil Point (Fox Business):
North Carolina-based Semprius says it has produced the world’s most efficient solar cells – and they’re the size of the period at the end of this sentence.
- How to Solve Global Warming: It's the Energy Supply (Scientific American):
Restraining global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius will require changing how the world produces and uses energy to power its cities and factories, heats and cools buildings, as well as moves people and goods in airplanes, trains, cars, ships and trucks, according to the IPCC. Changes are required not just in technology, but also in people's behavior.
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).