IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Wacky weather Down Under; San Francisco's fog of change; Permafrost shifts North ... PLUS: GOP going socialist as Obama goes Nuclear (or Nookyular)? ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': Interior Dept. nets millions in unpaid royalties; Ominous Warning on the Effects of Ocean Acidification; Google founder on erasing our 'innovation deficit'; Wham-O going green; Perception of 'green' businesses vs. reality; The U.S. innovation gap; Asian carp finally spooks feds; Chicago earthquake a wake-up call for carbon capture? ... PLUS: "Whatevergate": Deconstructing the latest IPCC denier deviltry ...
Info/links on those stories and all the ones we talked about on today's episode follow below...
- Rio's Heatwave Continues: Skimpy Costumes Aren't the Cause for the Heatwave in Rio, El Nino is (ABC)
- Heat wilting Rio Carnival street parties (AP)
- NOAA: Warmest January in both satellite records: Warming is +0.18°C (.32°F) decade (Climate Progress)
- Massive crop losses predicted from heatwave (Australia Broadcasting Company)
- 'Once in a decade deluge' hits Australia (BBC)
- Hundreds flee Australia flooding (BBC)
- San Francisco's Fog Is A-Changin':
- Fog Decline Threatens California’s Towering Redwoods (Wired)
- Decline in fog threatens California's iconic redwood ecosystems (Mongabay)
- Permafrost Shifting North:
- Permafrost Recedes 80 Miles in 50 Years (Mother Jones)
- Obama Goes Nuclear with First New Nuke Plants in 30 Years:
- Obama's Nuclear Boondoggle (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones) [emphasis added]:
[T]he first beneficiary of this largesse—and apparently the best candidate it could find was a proposed plant that's been put on hold by federal regulators due to serious safety concerns.
[L]ast October, federal regulators discovered significant safety concerns in the design proposal for the Westinghouse AP1000 reactors that are slated to be used for the Georgia project and six others around the country.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) rejected the proposal after determining that the shield design would not protect the reactor from earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and airplane crashes.
- Georgia Power Still Increasing Rates to Pay for New Nuclear Plant: Georgia Power still plans to increase rates next year to finance two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle despite billions of dollars in federal loan guarantees announced Tuesday by the Obama administration. (AP)
- Obama ups nuclear investment for climate fight: Obama, a Democrat trying to win Republican support for a bill to overhaul U.S. energy practices, said the United States needed to increase its supply of nuclear power to meet its energy needs and fight climate change. (Reuters)
- WATCH IT: Obama Nuclear Power Plant Announcement Speech (Shallow Nation) [emphasis added]:
“I know it has long been assumed that those who champion the environment are opposed to nuclear power. But the fact is, even though we have not broken ground on a new nuclear plant in thirty years, nuclear energy remains our largest source of fuel that produces no carbon emissions. To meet our growing energy needs and prevent the worst consequences of climate change, we’ll need to increase our supply of nuclear power. It’s that simple.
- READ IT: Transcript: Remarks by the President on Energy (Chicago Sun-Times)
- Southern Co.'s lobbying draws complaints (Dallas Morning News)
- Obama's risky nuclear renaissance: Barack Obama's promise to fund new nuclear power plants is a major financial gamble – and US taxpayers will foot the bill (Guardian UK)
- Senate Moderates Keeping Distance From Climate Bill (ClimateWire)
- Energy Sec Unaware That Nuclear Loans Have 50 Percent Risk of Default (Mother Jones)
- Obama's $8 Billion Nuclear Boost Dogged by Safety Concerns (Solve Climate)
- Nuclear Regulatory Commission Informs Westinghouse of Safety Issues (NRC)
- GOP: Obama "Anti-Nuclear" (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones):
The GOP plan also touts its "no-cost nuclear power initiative"...They don't manage to explain how it will be "no-cost," since the nuclear industry has made it very clear that it can't exist without government support.
"Without loan guarantees we will not build nuclear power plants," Michael J. Wallace, co-chief executive of UniStar Nuclear and vice president of Constellation Energy, told the New York Times in 2007. The nuclear industry has called for $100 billion in loan guarantees from the government. And while those are, in theory, "loans," the Congressional Budget Office projects default rates of "well above 50 percent." With the cost of reactors now estimated at over $10 billion, plans to build 100 new plants in the next two decades would require more than a trillion dollars in capital investment.
- Lobbyists Earn $1.3 Million Per Hour As Lawmakers Log Long Days (Open Secrets)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA': More green news not covered in today's audio report...
- US Interior enforcement cases net $157 million in 2009: The Interior Department on Tuesday said it recovered more than $157 million in 2009 from companies that underpaid the government for the right to produce energy on federal lands. (Reuters)
- An Ominous Warning on the Effects of Ocean Acidification (Yale 360) [emphasis added]:
A new study says the seas are acidifying ten times faster today than 55 million years ago when a mass extinction of marine species occurred. And, the study concludes, current changes in ocean chemistry due to the burning of fossil fuels may portend a new wave of die-offs.
- Google Founder: Erasing our innovation deficit (Washington Post)
- Wham-O going green with purchase of Colorado toy company (Plastics News)
- Report on Green Business Practices Pits Perception Against Reality (Green Inc.)
- OP-ED: What’s Wrong With Us?: The nation’s ports, inland waterways, drinking water and wastewater systems — you name it — are hurting to one degree or another. Ignoring these problems imperils public safety, diminishes our economic competitiveness, is penny-wise and pound-foolish, and results in tremendous missed opportunities to create new jobs on a vast scale. (Bob Herbert, NY Times)
- Asian Carp Finally Spook The Feds (The New Republic)
- The Big Shake: Chicago Earthquake a Wake-up Call for Clean Coal (Jeff Biggers, Huffington Post Green)
- Whatevergate (Real Climate):
It won’t have escaped many of our readers’ notice that there has been what can only be described as a media frenzy (mostly in the UK) with regards to climate change in recent weeks.
The coverage has contained more bad reporting, misrepresentation and confusion on the subject than we have seen in such a short time anywhere. While the UK newspaper scene is uniquely competitive (especially compared to the US with over half a dozen national dailies selling in the same market), and historically there have been equally frenzied bouts of mis-reporting in the past on topics as diverse as pit bulls, vaccines and child abductions, there is something new in this mess that is worth discussing. And that has been a huge shift in the Overton window for climate change.