IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: Global Swine Flu panic-demic?! Midnight and the Bush Administration; Utah student/ environmental activist faces prison time; Your dirty, dirty city; PLUS: ManBearPig!!!!! All that and more in today's Green News Report!
Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail, ManBearPig sightings? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (links below): Obama's 100 Days Green Report card; Poo-powered golf carts; EPA pulls permit for coal-fired power plant in the Navajo Nation; ice action at both poles; Obama the Explainer on cap-and-trade, short and sweet; PLUS: Re-growing forests combats climate change ...See below for more!
Info/links on stuff we talked about on today's episode, plus MORE green news, all follows below...
- World takes drastic steps to contain swine flu
- Mexico shuts down economy as flu pandemic imminent
- WATCH: South Park Episode #1006: "Manbearpig"
- UPDATE --- Symptom: swine flu. Diagnosis: industrial agriculture? [emphasis added]:
The question now becomes: Did the outbreak that started in February and killed three kids involve swine flu—or was the 4-year-old boy’s infection an isolated case? If not—if the La Gloria epidemic turns out to be ground zero of the infection—could the swine-flu outbreak have originated literally in the shadows of Granjas Carroll’s hog confinements, and not have some tie to intensive hog farming? That’s a question that health authorities have to vigorously pursue.
- Department of Interior Seeks to Vacate “Stream Buffer Zone Rule” for Mountaintop Coal Mining
- Salazar Seeks to Vacate Bush-Era Mining Rule
- Gov't revokes rule limiting species protections [emphasis added]:
Officials at the Interior and Commerce departments said they have reimposed the consultation requirement that assured the government's top biologists involved in species protection will have a say in federal action that could harm plants, animals and fish that are at risk of extinction.
Such consultation had been required for more than two decades until the Bush administration made it optional in rules issued last December, just weeks before the change in administrations. Environmentalists argued that the change severely reduced the protection afforded under the federal Endangered Species Act.
- Interior Dept. Re-institutes Independent Reviews on Endangered Species
- Interior Secretary Salazar finally restores ESA law, but polar bears lose out [emphasis added]:
On Tuesday, April 28, Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, used their authority to restore the ESA law to full strength, but failed to rescind the “special rule” that Bush applied to polar bears during his administration. The rule prohibits taking into account indirect habitat influence from greenhouse gases, in relation to polar bear protection.
Last year, Bush Interior Secretary, Kempthorne was quoted as saying, "This special rule will ensure that this icon of the arctic retains important protections as we work with the State of Alaska and other nations within the polar bear's range to develop and implement conservation measures. But as President Bush and I have said before, the ESA is not the right tool to set U.S. climate change policy.”
The idea that climate change issues should not be considered when managing a species, whose intire [sic] habitat is melting out from under it, seems questionable.
- Kansas Governor Vetoes Milk Labeling Bill
- Kudos to Kansas Governor Sebelius for Vetoing Controversial Milk Labeling Bill
- STUDY: State of the Air, 2009
Breathing polluted air can seriously harm your health and even shorten your life. For 10 years, the American Lung Association has used data from state air quality monitors to produce its annual State of the Air report. The more you learn about the air you breathe, the more you can protect your health and take steps to make our cleaner and healthier.
FACT: Only one city—Fargo, N.D.—ranked among the cleanest in all three air pollution categories covered in State of the Air
- Top Polluted U.S. Cities With the Worst Air: Pittsburgh Has Worst Air Pollution; Some Cities Are Cleaner Than Others
- Most Americans Breathe Unhealthy Air
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': More green news not covered in today's audio report... .... See below!
- Grist.org: Obama’s green achievements at 100 days
Seventy-nine percent of Americans think President Barack Obama will do a good job protecting the country’s environment, according to the latest Gallup poll on the topic, released on Earth Day. That includes 95 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of independents and – most surprisingly— 65 percent of Republicans.
At 100 days, what has he done to meet those expectations?
- Yamaha Unveils Golf Cart Powered by Poo
In Katori, where the cart is being tested, there is a place called Biomass Town where cow dung is processed into biofuel, which is then turned into methane. The methane is supplied via a tank that has been filled with activated carbon, a porous form of the element that assists in absorbing the methane at low pressure. Although our dreams of driving a truly poo-powered vehicle remain unfulfilled, we have to say we’re quite happy to add this lovely golf cart to our ongoing collection of poo-based green solutions.
- EPA withdraws permit for massive Navajo coal plant
- Reuters: New York-sized ice shelf collapses off Antarctica
- Climate change hitting entire Arctic ecosystem, says report: Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme study tells of profound changes to sea ice and permafrost, among others
- Obama the Explainer: President walks us through cap and trade in 4 crisp paragraphs
- Regrowing Forests Could Provide Climate Change Help: A new study shows that allowing cleared forest to grow back can help cut down carbon dioxide emissions [emphasis added]:
As policymakers and scientists try to find the best way to pump emissions from coal-fired power plants into deep underground reservoirs, another carbon dioxide sink is already soaking up greenhouse gases and has the potential to soak up much more.
As North American settlers moved west in the early 19th century, they cleared land for timber and agriculture, producing a third of the net carbon dioxide emissions since 1850, the researchers write. But as farms were abandoned and forests were allowed to regrow, the trees began sequestering more carbon, Rhemtulla said.
"Ecosystems provide all sorts of services, and this is a service that is often overlooked," Rhemtulla said. "It's an invisible thing that's happening with a great benefit that isn't always factored into decision-making."