IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: 'Copenhagen' begins, and the stakes are high as nations of the world meet to address global climate change ... PLUS: More hot air over hacked & stolen emails from climate scientists ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': EPA finalizes 'endangerment finding,' greenhouse gas ruling 'sends message to world'; Refinery accidents release of toxic chemicals into water; Health problems follow air pollution; Millions in U.S. Drink Dirty Water, Records Show; EPA to review wastewater regulations for coal power plants; One of last old-growth forests in Europe is threatened by logging; Scientists: The last time carbon dioxide levels were this high was 15 million years ago; What’s all the Dam fuss about? Army Corps plays with Willamette water flows... PLUS: Decade of 2000s was warmest ever, scientists say ....
Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...
- HISTORIC SUMMIT UNDERWAY IN COPENHAGEN:
- WATCH THE SUMMIT: Live and On Demand (UNFCCC)
- Climate Talks Open With Calls for Urgent Action (NY Times)
- The Major Players in the Copenhagen Talks and Their Positions (ClimateWire)
- COP15: What's at Stake in Under 5 Minutes: Your guide to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. (Planet Green)
- ‘Copenhagen 101′ (Dot Earth)
- Surprise--Obama Changes Up His Copenhagen Schedule (The New Republic)
- Three Ways The Copenhagen Talks Could Succeed (Or Go Bust) (The New Republic)
- Fourteen days to seal history's judgment on this generation : A first-of-its-kind joint editorial calling for action from world leaders on climate change is published today by 56 newspapers around the world in 20 languages (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
The science is complex but the facts are clear. The world needs to take steps to limit temperature rises to 2C, an aim that will require global emissions to peak and begin falling within the next 5-10 years. A bigger rise of 3-4C --- the smallest increase we can prudently expect to follow inaction --- would parch continents, turning farmland into desert. Half of all species could become extinct, untold millions of people would be displaced, whole nations drowned by the sea. The controversy over emails by British researchers that suggest they tried to suppress inconvenient data has muddied the waters but failed to dent the mass of evidence on which these predictions are based.
At the deal's heart must be a settlement between the rich world and the developing world covering how the burden of fighting climate change will be divided — and how we will share a newly precious resource: the trillion or so tonnes of carbon that we can emit before the mercury rises to dangerous levels.
- How the climate change global editorial project came about: Today 56 major newspapers in 45 countries speak with one voice on climate change ahead of the Copenhagen summit. This is how it happened (Guardian UK)
- Copenhagen Coverage from Copenhagen:
- Grist's COP15 Special Coverage Page: How Fokked Are We?
- Society of Environmental Journalists: COPENblog (SEJ)
- Mother Jones Reporting Live From Copenhagen: Breaking news and analysis from the climate talks that could change the world. (Mother Jones)
- Reuters U.N. Climate Conference Special Coverage & Twitter Page (Reuters)
- Guardian UK Special Copenhagen Conference Blog (Guardian Environment Blog)
- Daily Climate's Copenhagen update (The Daily Climate)
- Copenhagen Interactive: Emissions, Treaties and Impacts:: At the Copenhagen climate conference, discussions are likely to cover emissions levels, the legacy of the Kyoto Protocol and the risks of inaction on global warming. Explore each issue in an interactive presentation. (NY Times)
- Copenhagen Target Converter: What has each nation pledged, and what to their carbon reduction targets mean? (Sandbag Climate Game)
- COP15: Nations Begin Negotiations:
- E.U. pushes China further after pledge to slow carbon intensity (AFP)
- Copenhagen climate summit in disarray after 'Danish text' leak: Developing countries react furiously to leaked draft agreement that would hand more power to rich nations, sideline the UN's negotiating role and abandon the Kyoto protocol (Guardian UK)
- Leaked Draft Raises Questions About Danish Leadership (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones)
- China minister eyes date for peak carbon emissions (AFP)
- Canada's image lies in tatters: The tar barons have held the nation to ransom. This thuggish petro-state is today the greatest obstacle to a deal in Copenhagen (Guardian UK)
- Tortured Legacy: Canada's Oil-Sands Bounty (Green Inc.)
- India to reduce carbon intensity by 24% by 2020 (Guardian UK)
- India Caveat: India --- Less than 'Business As Usual' as Climate Policy (Roger Pielke, Jr.)
- What Happens When Your Country Drowns? Meet the citizens of Tuvalu, the world's first climate refugees (Mother Jones)
- Can REDD Keep Indonesia’s Forests Green? (Jakarta Globe)
- More Economic Analysis of Cap & Trade:
- Surprise—Economists Agree! A consensus is emerging about the costs of containing climate change. So why is no one writing that? (Slate)
- OP-ED: An Affordable Truth (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
The truth is that conservatives who predict economic doom if we try to fight climate change are betraying their own principles. They claim to believe that capitalism is infinitely adaptable, that the magic of the marketplace can deal with any problem. But for some reason they insist that cap and trade — a system specifically designed to bring the power of market incentives to bear on environmental problems — can’t work.
Well, they’re wrong — again. For we’ve been here before.div>
- More Fallout from Hacked Climate Science Emails:
- Hacked email climate scientists receive death threats: CRU scientists receive torrents of abusive and threatening e-mails since leaks that began in mid-November 2009 (Guardian UK)
- Watergate Redux: Break-ins Reported At Another Top Climate Research Center (Wonk Room
- The SwiftHack Scandal: What You Need to Know(Enviroknow)
- Saudi Arabia: ‘Climategate’ shakes trust in scientists (Raw Story)
- STUDY: Toward a Stalemate in Copenhagen: How Industry Pressures and National Agendas Dim Prospects for a Climate Treaty
- Swifthack.com: round up of latest hacked emails coverage
- The Dirty Dozen of Climate Change Denial
- Limbaugh calls climate change consensus "terrorism" and "environmental jihadism" (Media Matters)
- The Republican Definition Of ‘Fascism’: Defending Climate Science From Exxon-Mobil Corruption (Wonk Room)
- They could study this in journalism schools: NYT v. WaPo on climate emails (The Atlantic)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': More green news not covered in today's audio report...
- Obama finalizes 'endangerment finding' on global warming: The declaration could give the EPA the power to issue sweep regulations on greenhouse gases. That could mean tough new emissions standards for vehicles, factories and power plants (LA Times)
- FLASHBACK: Survey Finds Bush Administration Interfering with EPA Scientists (Environmental News Service, 4/24/2008) [h/t Little Green Footballs]
- U.S. greenhouse gas ruling sends message to world (Reuters)
- Accidental release of toxic chemicals, polluted water by local refinery plants cited in report (Times Picayune):
Frequent accidents at 10 of the state's biggest refineries resulted in the release of millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into the air and millions of gallons of polluted water into state water courses between 2005 and 2008, according to a report to be released this morning by the Louisiana Bucket Brigade.
Almost a third of the 2,116 accidents at the 10 plants in four years occurred as the result of hurricanes or other bad weather events, according to the report.
- In East S.F. Bay, where pollution goes, health problems follow (Contra Costa Times)
- Millions in U.S. Drink Dirty Water, Records Show (NY Times)
- Selenium from power plants poses ecological risks, spurs EPA review (Environmental Health News) [emphasis added]:
Power plants that burn coal require large volumes of water for their cooling towers so they are typically situated close to lakes and rivers, said C. Richard Bozek, director of environmental policy at the Edison Electric Institute, a trade association of shareholder-owned electric companies.
The EPA has regulated power plant wastewater since 1982 for other contaminants, but regulation of selenium and metals has been left to individual states.
In September, after studying some coal-fired power plants, the EPA concluded that "current regulations have not kept pace with changes that have occurred in the electric power industry over the last three decades.”
- Forest Medieval: Poland’s Bialowieza is one of the only old growth forests in Europe. Despite being a World Heritage Site, it’s threatened by logging. (Earth Island Institute)
- Last Time Carbon Dioxide Levels Were This High: 15 Million Years Ago, Scientists Report
- What’s All the Dam Fuss About?: Army Corps plays with Willamette water flows (Eugene Weekly)
- Decade of 2000s was warmest ever, scientists say (AP) [emphasis added]:
It dawned with the warmest winter on record in the United States. And when the sun sets this New Year's Eve, the decade of the 2000s will end as the warmest ever on global temperature charts.
Warmer still, scientists say, lies ahead.
Before the turn of the last century, with slide rule, pencil and months of tedious calculation, Svante Arrhenius was the first to show that carbon dioxide would warm the planet — in 3,000 years. The brilliant Swede hadn't foreseen the 20th-century explosion in use of fossil fuels.