With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 6/17/2014, 3:44pm PT  


 

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Giant 'never-before-seen' twin tornadoes pummel Nebraska; Obama openly mocks climate change deniers; New study finds - again - economic benefits of EPA regulations outweigh costs; PLUS: Billionaire Koch Brothers' 'Kochtopus' grows a new tentacle... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Germany sells out guidebooks to renewable energy sites; Oil and coal must be phased out entirely by 2050: study; Group of 77 & China agree to fight climate change; Upbeat ending to U.N.-Bonn climate talks; Warren Buffett issues warning on catastrophic insurance bond bubble; EPA doesn't kill coal jobs - new technology already did; Fukushima operator struggling to build ice wall; Tesla Motors goes open source to fight global warming; Abandoned oil wells spouting significant levels of methane ... PLUS: Even Science Museums Being Undermined by Fossil Fuel-Funded Science Denialism ... and much, MUCH more! ...

STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

  • GOP Threatens Government Shutdown Over New EPA Rules:
    • Republicans to Try to Block Funds for EPA Emissions Rules (Bloomberg News):
      Republicans will try to block the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed greenhouse-gas rule by denying the funding to implement it, according to a senior member of a U.S. House appropriations panel.
    • House Republicans Are So Mad at the EPA that They Might Force Another Shutdown (The New Republic) [emphasis added]:
      The likelihood of a partial shutdown depends on how much Republicans are willing to bet on obstructing climate change action. Polls suggest it could be a risky fight headed into the midterm elections: A recent Bloomberg survey found nearly two-thirds of Americans are willing to pay more for electricity if it means curbing pollution.

  • Extreme Weather in Nebraska: Twin Full-Sized Tornadoes 'Never Been Recorded' Before:
    • Rare Twin Tornadoes Kill Two in Nebraska (Dr. Jeff Masters' Weather Underground):
      While it is common for large, violent tornadoes to form multiple funnels that rotate around each other, Monday night's Pilger, Nebraska twin tornadoes were not one of these standard "multi-vortex" entities. The Pilger tornadoes were separated by 2 - 3 miles, and were both spawned by the same isolated supercell thunderstorm. A rotating supercell thunderstorm typically has just one center of rotation and spawns only one tornado, but Monday's storm was so massive that it was able to form two centers of rotation that each spawned large and destructive tornadoes.
    • VIDEO: 'Jaw-dropping', 'Never Seen Before': Twin tornadoes hit Nebraska (MSNBC):
    • VIDEO: Tornadoes pummel Nebraska (CNN)

  • Kochtopus Grows A New Tentacle:
    • Koch Brothers Unveil New Strategy at Big Donor Retreat (The Daily Beast):
      In the face of expanding energy regulations, stepped-up Democratic attacks and the ongoing fight over Obamacare, the billionaire Koch brothers and scores of wealthy allies have set an initial 2014 fundraising target of $290 million which should boost GOP candidates and support dozens of conservative groups-including a new energy initiative with what looks like a deregulatory, pro-consumer spin, The Daily Beast has learned.
    • Kochs launch new super PAC for midterm fight (Politico_:
      [T]he Koch brothers unveiled a significant new weapon in its rapidly expanding arsenal - a super PAC called Freedom Partners Action Fund.
      The new group aims to spend more than $15 million in the 2014 midterm campaigns - part of a much larger spending effort expected to total $290 million...

  • EPA Regulations Brought at least $215B in Economic Benefits:
    • White House: Benefits of new rules worth more than $217B in past decade (SNL Financial Blog):
      The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs' draft review of "economically significant" rules issued between October 2003 and September 2013 - those likely to have an annual effect of $100 million or more on the U.S. economy - found an overall benefit of between $217 billion and $863 billion in 2001 dollars. Meanwhile, the May 30 report estimated that the costs of the 116 major federal regulations finalized during that time period totaled between $57 billion and $84 billion.

  • President Obama Openly Mocks Climate Change Deniers:
    • Obama rips climate change deniers in graduation speech (Reuters):
      With a feisty tone and a touch of aggravation, President Barack Obama on Saturday laid into Republicans who question the science of climate change and urged graduating college students to take on global warming as a cause.
    • At Commencement, Obama Mocks Lawmakers Who Deny Climate Change (NY Times)
    • VIDEO: President Obama's University of California- Irvine Commencement Address (C-SPAN)
    • TRANSCRIPT: President Obama's remarks at UC Irvine commencement ceremony (Daily Kos) [emphasis added]:
      [T]his not to discourage you. I’m telling you all this because I want to light a fire under you. As the generation getting shortchanged by inaction on this issue, I want all of you to understand you cannot accept that this is the way it has to be. The climate change deniers suggest there’s still a debate over the science. There is not.
      ...
      America cannot meet this threat alone. Of course, the world cannot meet it without America. This is a fight that America must lead. So I’m going to keep doing my part for as long as I hold this office and as long as I’m a citizen once out of office. But we’re going to need you, the next generation, to finish the job.
      ...
      You need to invest in what helps, and divest from what harms. And you’ve got to remind everyone who represents you, at every level of government, that doing something about climate change is a prerequisite for your vote.

'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

  • Oil and Coal Must Be Phased Out Entirely by 2050 to Stop Catastrophic Warming (Motherboard/VICE):
    If we really want to maintain a livable climate, and prevent global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius, then no nation, anywhere, can burn any oil, gas, or coal at all after 2050, according to a striking new analysis of the latest climate science.
  • Even Science Museums Being Undermined by Fossil Fuel-Funded Science Denialism (The BRAD BLOG) [emphasis added]:
    This is a pity, a disservice, and even an outrage....a 2010 survey of science museum visitors found that 73% "said that they would like to learn more about climate change and that they trusted informal science institutions more than any other source to provide that information."
  • Extreme Weather Is Expensive: Buffett Warning Unheeded as Catastrophe Bond Sales Climb (Bloomberg News) [emphasis added]:
    "The hurricane does not know the rate that was charged for the hurricane policy, so it's not going to respond to how much you charge," Buffett said at the Edison Electric Institute's annual convention in Las Vegas on June 9. "And if you charge an inadequate premium, you will get creamed over time."
  • Abandoned oil wells spouting significant levels of methane: study (The Tyee):
    A Princeton University study has found that leaks from abandoned oil and gas wellbores pose not only a risk to groundwater, but represent a growing threat to the climate.
  • Group of 77 and China Agree to Fight Climate Change (Environment News Service):
    "The fate of billions of poor people and the state of the planet depend on the success of our efforts," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told leaders of the Group of 77 and China at their summit meeting Sunday in Santa Cruz.
  • UN Climate Talks Close on Upbeat Note (Deutsche Welle)
  • Ohio Governor Signs Bill Freezing Renewable-Energy Standards (Washington Post)
  • Germany sells guidebooks on renewable energy sites (Guardian UK):
    Guidebooks detailing nearly 200 green projects around the country proves to be a hit with tourists as first edition is sold out
  • The EPA Doesn't Kill Coal Jobs. Better Mining Does (Bloomberg News):
    The U.S. has lost more coal jobs since 1978 than it has today, and climate policy isn't the reason. There wasn't any. Coal companies are in the business of producing coal, not jobs. Between 1978, when the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration started collecting data, and 2013, the U.S. shed more than 132,000 coal jobs, or nearly 52 percent of its workforce, according to MSHA data.
  • Fukushima operator struggles to build ice wall to contain radioactive water (Guardian UK):
    Tepco says it is behind schedule with scheme because temperature of pipes sunk into ground is not low enough
  • Tesla Just Gave All Its Patents Away to Competitors (Wired):
    "The mission of the company is to accelerate the widespread adoption of electric cars," explained Tesla spokesperson Simon Sproule in an interview before the patent announcement was made. "If Tesla acts as the catalyst for other manufacturers … that will have been achieved."
    ...
    [I]n order to do that on a large scale, the company needs to move past the niche markets that the Model S currently plays in. They need the public to stop thinking of them as electric cars and to start thinking of them simply as cars.
  • Supercritical: Breakthrough for Solar With Storage (Climate Crocks) [emphasis added]:
    It's like breaking the sound barrier; this step change proves solar has the potential to compete with the peak performance capabilities of fossil fuel sources. Instead of relying on burning fossil fuels to produce supercritical steam, this breakthrough demonstrates that the power plants of the future could instead be using the free, zero emission energy of the sun to achieve the same result.


FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page

  • Skeptical Science: Database with FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Myths
  • 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.
  • 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: