IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: 20m gallon water main break, amid worst drought in CA history, exposes threat of decrepit U.S. water infrastructure; Record wildfires depleting firefighting budgets; Republicans fiddle while the West burns; New report finds (again) climate change is really, really expensive; PLUS: Warming oceans bring flesh-eating bacteria to Florida... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Huge waves observed for first time in melting Arctic; Federal coal lease sale gets only 1 bidder; EPA kicks of power plant emissions hearings; Religious leaders call carbon pollution 'an affront to God'; AL utility regulators say curbing coal violates God's will; 'Holy Grail' lithium battery breakthrough; Flywheel energy storage breakthrough; Ris in 'nuisance flooding'; Toxic, bee-killing pesticides found in US waterways... PLUS: Trees save lives and billions of dollars ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- L.A. Water Main Break Loses 20 Million Gallons Amid Record Drought:
- UCLA flood: Estimate of gallons lost in main break doubles to 20 million (LA Times):
Complicating efforts to drain the garages was all the gasoline and other pollutants from the submerged vehicles now mixing into the water, officials said. Crews are testing the water to make sure that the liquid stew is not reaching any levels of becoming explosive or flammable. They were also monitoring the levels of pollution in the water before it enters the sewer system.
- UCLA flood: DWP should cover costs of water-main break, school says (LA Times)
- Major Water Main Break Exposes Decrepit U.S. Water System:
- VIDEO: Dr. Gerry Galloway testifies on aging water resource infrastructure in the United States [starts @ 37:40] (Senate Subcommittee on Water and Power, 7/25/2013)
- Aging pipe break points to US water main risk (AP) [emphasis added]:
[T]he country has reached a point where vast lengths of pipe are wearing out at about the same time, said Greg Kail of the nonprofit American Water Works Association. "Water pipes last a long, long time but they don't last forever," he said. "There is a lot of pipe in the ground and there is an enormous expense, collectively, in replacing it."
- 2013 Report Card on America's Water Infrastructure (American Society of Civil Engineers) [emphasis added]:
Assuming every pipe would need to be replaced, the cost over the coming decades could reach more than $1 trillion, according to the American Water Works Association (AWWA). The quality of drinking water in the United States remains universally high, however. Even though pipes and mains are frequently more than 100 years old and in need of replacement, outbreaks of disease attributable to drinking water are rare.
- LA's Crappy Old Pipes Mean More Epic Floods Are Coming (Mother Jones)
- California is clearly exceptional, but not in a good way: #Drought (Greg Laden, Scienceblogs)
- Record Wildfire Season Already Depleting Firefighting Budget:
- U.S. Forest Service Running Out of Money to Fight Wildfires (Weather Channel):
The scorching 2013 wildfire season has already cost the U.S. Forest Service more than it typically budgets to for firefighting. Wednesday, the agency said it is diverting $600 million from timber, recreation and other areas to fill the gap. The nation's top wildfire-fighting agency was down to $50 million after spending $967 million so far this year, Forest Service spokesman Larry Chambers said Wednesday in an email.
- VIDEO: NBC Shows How To Report On The Economic Costs Of Climate Change - Reporter Connects Global Warming To "The New Price Of Fighting Fires" (Media Matters)
- The annual cost of America’s forest fires has more than quintupled in the past 20 years (Washington Post)
- House Republicans Fiddle While Rome Burns:
- House Republicans Fiddle While Forest Service Runs Out Of Money To Fight Wildfires (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
“In case the Republican leadership hasn’t noticed, the west is going up in flames. Yosemite is burning, but they have turned a blind eye to continue this political, partisan ESA sideshow” said Peter DeFazio (D-OR) in releasing the report. “We should have dropped this charade and done something real — fixed wildfire funding before our agencies run out of money. There is no excuse for inaction.”
- Report: Delay on Climate Change Is Really, Really Expensive:
- White House says delays in curbing greenhouse-gas emissions may cost billions (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
[T]he United States could face billions of dollars in added economic costs if it delays action to curb the greenhouse-gas emissions linked to climate change. According to the report, each decade of delay will make it 40 percent more expensive to eventually reach the identical global climate target.
- Delaying climate action will carry heavy economic cost, White House warned (Guardian UK):
President's council of economic advisers sounds warning over delaying EPA power plant rules in face of industry lobbying
- Warming Ocean Brings Flesh-Eating Bacteria to Florida Waters:
- Flesh-Eating Bacteria in Florida: Warnings Issued About Swimming in Saltwater, Eating Raw Shellfish (Weather Channel)
- Two Cases Of Flesh Eating Bacteria In FL (WFMY Sarasota, FL)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- The Health Benefits of Trees (The Atlantic):
They prevent $7 billion in health costs every year by filtering air pollution—not to mention their psychological effects. New research says the closer you can live to trees, the better off you are.
- Researchers Observe Gnarly Waves In Arctic Ocean For First Time (Huffington Post) [emphasis added]:
The team linked the large Arctic waves to melting --- spurred by climate change --- and high storm winds in the region. "As the Arctic is melting, it's a pretty simple prediction that the additional open water should make waves," Thomson, an oceanographer with the university's Applied Physics Laboratory, said in a statement.
- Controversial Sale Of Federal Coal Yields Low Prices With Only One Bidder (Climate Progress):
The sale coincides with the Administration’s two-day public hearings in Denver, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s coal-fired power plant rule. In the days prior to the sale, environmental groups urged Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to halt the sale amid concerns that coal from the Spruce Stomp sale will be exported.
- U.S. EPA kicks off hearings on power plant emissions rules (Reuters):
The plan, unveiled on June 2, is the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's climate change strategy. It drew cheers from green groups hopeful of a carbon crackdown and accusations by some industry groups of a regulatory attack on coal.
- At EPA Hearing, Religious Leaders Call Carbon Pollution ‘An Affront To God’ (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
“God said ‘the land is mine; with me you are but aliens and tenants,’” he said. “‘Throughout the land that you hold, you shall provide for the redemption of the land.’”
...To be wasteful of the land’s bounty … is not just unproductive, but is an affront to God.
- Alabama Utility Officials: Coal Regulations Violate God's Will (RightWing Watch) [emphasis added]:
[O]ut of Alabama, we get a perfect example of biblical economics at work... a press conference delivered by officials from the Alabama Public Service Commission and the Republican National Committee yesterday at which they argued against new EPA coal plant regulations by claiming that “coal was created in Alabama by God, and the federal government should not enact policy that runs counter to God's plan."
- Retired Coal Miner To EPA: ‘We’re Dying, Literally Dying For You To Help Us’ (Climate Progress)
- Flywheel Energy Storage Breakthrough in Canada (Climate Crocks)
- Researchers achieve 'holy grail' of battery design: A stable lithium anode (Phys.Org):
"Of all the materials that one might use in an anode, lithium has the greatest potential. Some call it the Holy Grail," said Yi Cui, a professor of Material Science and Engineering and leader of the research team. "It is very lightweight and it has the highest energy density. You get more power per volume and weight, leading to lighter, smaller batteries with more power."
- The Rise of the Nuisance Flood (Pacific Standard Magazine):
Eight of the 10 studied cities that have seen the greatest increases in nuisance flooding rates are on the East Coast, where rising seas are often combined with subsiding land levels.
- New Federal Study: Highly Toxic, Bee-killing Pesticides Common in 9 Midwestern Waterways Including Mississippi and Missouri Rivers (Center for Biological Diversity):
“It’s shocking to see the prevalence of these toxic pesticides — already banned by the European Union — in so many American waterways,” said Jonathan Evans, toxics and endangered species campaign director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We’re sowing poison when these neonicotinoid-treated seeds, known to be toxic to important pollinators like honeybees, are now routinely used for many of our biggest crops, including 99 percent of our corn seeds.”
- Congressional watchdog urges EPA to step up actions on fracking (McClatchy DC)
- June 2014 was Earth's warmest on record as ocean temperatures surged (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that June was the globe's warmest in 134 years of records following its report that May was also the hottest on record. These reports are feeding anticipation that 2014 could become the warmest year on record.
- Global Ocean Temperatures Haven't Been This Hot Since Before 1880 (Mashable)
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).