IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: Our special coverage of the historic U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen continues; AP finds 'no fraud' in stolen climate science emails; New poll finds majority of Americans want a climate treaty ... PLUS: Teabaggers in Copenhagen get a taste of their own tea! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': Solar-powered plane has successful test flight; Washington Post Op-Ed editor defends Palin denier column; Climate scientists debunk WSJ “Stalinist” screed; China races ahead of U.S. in green energy; Home weatherization industry one of few primed for expansion; World Bank to fund solar projects in Middle East and North Africa; Plans for new U.S. nuclear plant withdrawn after losing bid for taxpayer loans; Mining company pays record $1.79 billion to clean up hazardous waste across U.S.... PLUS: Top Ten clean technology predictions for 2010....
Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...
- Copenhagen Climate Conference Negotiations Continue:
- WATCH: UNFCCC Climate Conference Webcast and archives of all conference proceedings
- Copenhagen global warming draft points to hard bargaining ahead: A draft pact for a global warming treaty released Friday in Copenhagen would commit the US to significant emissions cuts by 2020 and draw developing nations into an agreement for the first time. (Christian Science Monitor)
- Copenhagen Talks Enter Final Phase (NY Times)
- RECAP: The first week of COP15: Environmental ministers from the 192 countries participating in the talks will now review several draft texts in order to seal a deal before heads of state arrive this week. (The Nation)
- Rising Tide of Dueling Climate Proposals Swamping U.N. Summit (ClimateWire)
- Copenhagen, Day Eight: Climate progress behind closed doors --- LA Times says the public conflicts at the UNFCCC conference are “one big optical illusion.” (Climate Progress)
- Climate Talks Stall Briefly as Poorer Nations Walk Out (NY Times)
- The one real story out of the first week of Copenhagen: Threatened states and the grassroots movement have pushed the moral imperative back on the table. (Grist)
- Developing nations stage climate summit walkout: Talks have resumed at the international climate change summit in Copenhagen after a walkout by developing countries. The protest was led by African nations, which accused rich countries of trying to wreck the existing UN Kyoto Protocol. (Australian Broadcasting Company)
- Does the US Owe a Climate Debt? (Mother Jones)
- ANALYSIS: Myth vs. reality on the Copenhagen climate summit (Grist)
- OP-ED: Mikhail Gorbachev: We Have a Real Emergency (NY Times)
- U.S. Announces Clean Energy Initiative to Assist Developing Nations:
- U.S. Dept. of Energy Anounces "Climate REDI" (U.S. Dept. of Energy):
Today at the Copenhagen climate conference, on behalf of President Obama, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the launch of a new initiative to promote clean energy technologies in developing countries....The program will accelerate deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies in developing countries – reducing greenhouse gas emissions, fighting energy poverty and improving public health for the most vulnerable, particularly women and children.
- WATCH IT: Sec. Chu's PowerPoint Presentation to the U.N. Climate Conference on "Climate REDI" [.pdf] (U.S. Dept. of Energy)
- U.S. offers plan to aid poor nations develop clean energy: Among the initiatives is a program to provide solar energy and LED lanterns to millions in the developing world who lack access to electricity, providing a low-cost alternative to expensive and polluting kerosene lamps. (AFP)
- Outside the Conference --- Protesters, NGOs, and Deniers:
- Protesters Call for More from UN Climate Summit (Mother Jones)
- Demonstration Day in Denmark (NY Times)
- Canada—or practical jokers?—announces bold new climate position (Grist)
- Canadian Officials Respond: Spoof Releases Inhibit Democracy (Environment Canada)
- Poll: Majority of Americans Want a Binding Climate Treaty:
- Most back a treaty on global warming (USA Today)
- Poll: Action on climate will heat up economy, jobs (AP)
- Meanwhile, U.S. Domestic Legislation Crawls Forward in the Senate:
- Senators Offer New Climate Proposals (NY Times)
- Kerry, Graham, and Lieberman release framework for Senate climate/energy bill (Grist)
- Cantwell’s cap-and-trade bill: almost genius (Grist)
- Sen. John Kerry (D-MA): Climate Change Reality: The Senate Debate: "Ten things that are important to keep in the back of all of our minds as we both understand this process and help push it forward..." (Daily Kos)
- Coal state senator slams coal industry obstruction: Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV): Tactics of ‘fear mongering’ coal industry ‘morally indefensible’ (Grist)
- Graham, Kerry, Lieberman embrace market-based system to cut carbon pollution : “In the range of 17%” by 2020 and 80%+ by 2050 — bipartisan backing for Obama’s Copenhagen pledge. Lieberman: "We're going to get this job done in this session of Congress" (Climate Progress)
- The Magic Power of Hacked Emails Fails to Overturn Science, Convince the Earth:
- BRAD BLOG: 'Exhaustive Review' of Climate Email Finds No Evidence of Fraud (Brad Blog)
- AP IMPACT: Science not faked, but not pretty (AP)
- Deniergate: Turning the tables on climate sceptics (New Scientist) [emphasis added]:
If we are going to judge the truth of claims on the behaviour of those making them, it seems only fair to look at the behaviour of a few of those questioning the scientific consensus. There are many similar examples we did not include. We leave readers to draw their own conclusions about who to trust.
- WATCH: Tea Party Goader Gets Heckled --- Just Like His Group Urged Followers To Do To Congressmen! (Talking Points Memo):
- Lord Monckton calls young climate activists 'Hitler Youth': Monckton berates a group of young activists for interrupting a meeting of climate sceptics in Copenhagen, calling them 'Nazis' and 'Hitler Youth'(Guardian UK)
- WATCH: NOAA Chief Gives High School Chemistry Lesson to Congressional Committee: Lubchenco gives a demonstration of the science of ocean acidification: Only the anti-science idealogues want a world without fish (Climate Progress):
And yet the anti-science crowd in Congress have a difficult time using the emails to explain how unrestricted emissions of carbon dioxide will not ruin our oceans. As Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) said at the hearing:
"He said there was 'a little emotion in my voice because I have seen in my neighborhood what this phenomenon is doing,' referring to the higher rate of acidification in the oceans, especially the shallow waters off our Pacific coast….Is there anybody in this room who has information to suggest that the oceans are not becoming more acidic? Has anybody got information like that? Anybody? Has anybody got an explanation why the oceans are becoming more acidic, other than the fact that there is massive amounts of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere? Has anybody got an explanation for that?”
- A new atmospheric pattern emerges: the Arctic Dipole (Weather Underground)
- The "Evil Twin" of Global Warming: New climate change signal: oceans turning acidic: Climate change is driving talks to curb greenhouse gas emissions in Copenhagen, but scientists warn that rising CO2 is turning oceans more acidic. (Christian Science Monitor)
- Climate change causing 'corrosive' water to affect Arctic marine life: study (Vancouver Sun)
- Dead-zone microbe thriving off British Columbia coast: SUP05 appears to be ubiquitous in the planet's expanding dead zones, or oxygen-poor waters, and is likely affecting how much carbon the oceans suck up and how much nitrogen they release. (CanWest News Service)
- The Big Idea: The Carbon Bathtub (National Geographic) [emphasis added]:
It’s simple, really: As long as we pour CO2; into the atmosphere faster than nature drains it out, the planet warms. And that extra carbon takes a long time to drain out of the tub.
Most of Sterman’s students—and his results have been replicated at other universities—didn’t understand that, at least not when the problem was described in the usual climate jargon. Most thought that simply stopping emissions from rising would stop the rise of CO2; in the atmosphere— as if a tap running steadily but rapidly would not eventually overflow the tub. If MIT graduate students don’t get it, most politicians and voters probably don’t either. “And that means they think it’s easier to stabilize greenhouse gases and stop warming than it is,” Sterman says.
- Glaciers in southern China receding rapidly, scientists say (LA Times)
- The climate denial industry is out to dupe the public. And it's working (Guardian UK)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': More green news not covered in today's audio report...
- Sun shines on solar plane's 350-metre maiden flight: Next test: solar-powered flight at night (The Age Australia)
- 'Washington Post' Op-Ed Editor Defends Running Palin Column (Editor & Publisher)
- Climate scientists around the world debunk Wall Street Journal “Stalinist” screed (Climate Progress)
- China races ahead of U.S. to invest in green energy (Washington Times)
- Home weatherization: One of America’s few industries primed for expansion (Huffington Post Green)
- Follow the Sun: World Bank Collects $5.5 Billion for Solar Projects in Middle-East and North-Africa (Treehugger)
- Mining Company Asarco Pays $1.79 Billion to Clean Up Hazardous Waste Across U.S. (Green Inc.)
- Top Ten clean technology predictions for 2010 (CleanTech)
- Nuclear Energy's Bad Bet (Mother Jones):
Well this was predictable. This Monday, Unistar Nuclear Energy, the Maryland-based nuclear company, asked the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to suspend its application to build a new power plant on New York's Nine Mile Island. A spokesman for Unistar said that the project could not proceed without adequate federal loan guarantees, which essentially pass the project's risk on to taxpayers. Since Unistar began planning its new generation of nuclear power facilities, the dirty truth has been that it can't get the funding it needs unless the government pledges to take care of the risk.
As Mariah Blake reports in the January/February issue of Mother Jones, six of the country's largest financial firms, including Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, wrote a letter to the DOE in mid-2007 saying they would not fund nuclear projects without complete government support.