[Ed note: Correct MP3 version inserted. Tuesday's version of the GNR, rather than today's, had originally been linked to the online player below.]
IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: Energy legislation fight now moves to the Senate; Climate change outlook now worse than before; Libby, MT now a "public health emergency"; Solar soon in the Sahara... PLUS: Rock snot! Yep --- "rock snot" ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail, Godzilla sightings in your home town? 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): Wired.com looks at "Déjà Poo"; An electrical Eco-switch to rule them all; New energy efficiency techniques tested for jet travel; Reducing DVD packaging helps Warner Bros.' bottom line... PLUS: Should bottled water companies guzzle water while residents are forced to cut back?.... See below for more Green News!
Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...
- Expansive Energy Bill Advances In Congress; Environmentalists Criticize Standards, Offshore Drilling
- Grist.org: Enviros cringe as Senate committee approves energy bill:
Friends of the Earth blasted the whole bill as a “flashback to Bush energy policy.”
The Sierra Club was also quick to announce its opposition. “Numerous changes to this bill during consideration by the committee have significantly undermined its integrity and ability to build the clean energy economy,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope. “While it makes positive strides in setting new energy-efficiency standards for our buildings and appliances, it falls far short of what President Obama has called for in order to repower America with renewable energy, create millions of new clean energy jobs, and fight global warming.”
- ANALYSIS: Big Food Under Fire --- Industrial agriculture shouldn't worry about the government. Mother Nature is a far more potent foe.
- Government Study Warns of Climate Change Effects :
But the speed and severity of these effects in the future are expressed with less certainty in the report and will depend to some extent on how quickly the United States and other nations move to reduce emissions.
“What we would want to have people take away is that climate change is happening now, and it’s actually beginning to affect our lives,” said Thomas R. Karl, director of the National Climatic Data Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a principal author of the report. “It’s not just happening in the Arctic regions, but it’s beginning to show up in our own backyards.”
- Report on Warming Offers New Details; Estimates Specify Effects on Different Regions of U.S
- READ THE REPORT: Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States
- For more information: The White House Office of Science & Technology Policy
- UN warns of ‘megadisasters’ linked to climate change:
Holmes said some of the world’s biggest cities, housing more than 10 million people each, were highly exposed, since they were located in coastal areas that would be threatened by rising sea levels or in earthquake zones.
“The risks of megadisasters in some of these megacities are rising all the time,” the UN relief chief warned, predicting a soaring death toll from future natural catastrophes.
- German blue chip firms throw weight behind north African solar project; Siemens, Deutsche Bank, RWE and E.on ready to invest in ambitious plan to power Europe with clean electricity from Africa
It is seen as particularly significant that the companies aim to start the expensive initiative in the midst of a financial crisis. But although none of the companies is keen to go into detail yet about their involvement, they stress that the project is a chance for them to drive forward the fight against climate change and in doing so to position themselves at the top of the green technology industry. Germany, despite its relative lack of sun, has become a leader in solar energy.
- EPA declares health emergency in Montana town
- EPA to Pay Medical Bills for People Sickened by Asbestos From Montana Mine:
- June 3, 2008: W.R. Grace's Asbestos Settlement Wins Approval
- May 9, 2009: W.R. Grace Acquitted In Mont. Asbestos Case; 3 Former Officials Also Found Not Guilty
The jury, which received the case Wednesday, returned its verdict yesterday morning, quickly dispensing with the government's long-running effort to hold Grace criminally responsible for high rates of lung disease in the mountain community of Libby.
Controversies about evidence loomed large over the case. The federal judge presiding over the trial in Missoula barred prosecutors from using much of the evidence they hoped to introduce, and the government apologized for withholding evidence from the defense.
"They have gotten away with murder," said Libby resident Gayla Benefield, who suffers effects from asbestos exposure and lost both parents to asbestos-related diseases, the Associated Press reported.
- An Unsightly Algae Extends Its Grip to a Crucial New York Stream
Didymo is not considered harmful to human health, but it can grow in mats so thick that they clog water intakes. And it is not called rock snot for nothing. It grows in long gooey tan, gray and brown masses that resemble wet toilet tissue or sludge. Despite its repulsive appearance, it is not slimy to the touch. Rather, it feels like wet cotton and does not break apart easily.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': More green news not covered in today's audio report... See below!
- Déjà Poo: The Living Machine Sewage System
Everybody likes trees, but (aesthetics aside) sending poop from the bathroom to the lobby may seem sort of icky. In environmental terms, though, it's a solid choice. Just as photovoltaics can help take a building off the power grid, living machines take strain off the pipes and municipal wastewater facilities on the "sewage grid." They also show that being green means thinking more creatively about our brown and yellow.
- Energy efficiency at home, the easy way!: The eco-switch saves energy – including your own
- American flight will test fuel-saving tricks
- Making a Case for the Environment and the Bottom Line: DVD packaging is getting lighter and flimsier
- Merced's water bottled by Safeway, resold at a profit
Wells are drying up across the county from an overtaxed and sinking water table.
Drought and climate change threaten the future of local water supplies.
And Merced has been selling its tap water since 2002 to a water bottling plant, which then sells that water at rates far above what it costs the plant to buy it from the city.
The Sierra Club's Water Privatization Task Force noted that the growth of the bottled water industry --- spearheaded by companies like Nestle, Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola --- is not only depleting aquifers and springs across the country, but also represents a step toward increasing water privatization.