With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 6/3/2010, 1:16pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Latest on the BP Oil Disaster: Progress on 'Cut-'N-Cap'? President Obama rallies for a clean energy economy, Oil reaches the beaches of Mississippi and Alabama... PLUS: Dumb things Sarah Palin now says about offshore drilling ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? 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.

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Record-breaking heat wave kills hundreds in India, Pakistan; USDA forecasts a plague of grasshoppers for 2010; Has Southwestern U.S. reached 'peak water'?; Greenland's rapid uplift is evidence of rapid ice loss; EPA finally forcing Texas to clean up its air ...PLUS: UK nukes: "What we are effectively paying for here is decades of cheap nuclear electricity for which we have suddenly got a massive postdated bill"...

STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

  • Hundreds die in Indian heatwave: Death toll expected to rise as India faces record temperatures of up to 122F in hottest summer on record (Guardian UK)
  • USDA forecasts a plague of grasshoppers for 2010 (Science Blogs)
  • Study: Ocean Warmed Significantly Over Past 16 Years: Water takes longer to heat up and cool down than does the air or land, so ocean warming is considered to be a better indicator of global warming than measurements of global atmospheric temperatures at the Earth's surface. (Live Science)
  • Has the Southwest Passed "Peak Water"? (KQED):
    "We're not going to run out of water," said Palaniappan, "but we're going to see a change. We're at the end of cheap, easy access to water. We're going to have to go further, pay more, and expect less in terms of fresh water."
    ...
    The report divides peak water into three types: peak renewable water, the total annual supply of water from sources such as rainfall, rivers, and groundwater sources that are refilled relatively quickly; peak non-renewable water, which includes groundwater aquifers that either do not refill or do so extremely slowly; and peak ecological water, past which, the value of ecological services provided by water is greater than the value it provides in direct human services. Or simply, it's the point where taking water causes more ecological damage than it's worth.

    In the western US, we are definitely past peak ecological water.
    ...
    We’re operating on a tight margin, a very tight margin, so the question is about projecting what we think the future will look like twenty years out."

  • Greenland's Uplift: Evidence Of Rapid Ice Loss: "What's surprising, and a bit worrisome, is that the ice is melting so fast that we can actually see the land uplift in response," he says. "Even more surprising, the rise seems to be accelerating, implying that melting is accelerating." (Scientific Blogging)
    • Carbon "Burp" Helped End Last Ice Age - Study: Researchers writing in Science have found the possible source of a huge carbon dioxide 'burp' that happened some 18,000 years ago and which helped to end the last ice age. (Scientific Blogging)
  • Environmental Cage Match: After a history of pulling its punches, is the EPA finally forcing TCEQ to clean up the Texas air? (Austin Chronicle):
    TCEQ's failure to protect Texans from the illnesses, diseases, and early deaths caused by air pollutants is no shock, unfortunately, to those familiar with the agency. The litany of its laxity is long and, yes, infuriating – if you don't happen to own an oil refinery. The state environmental agency has a long record of prioritizing the needs and demands of businesses – the oil and gas industry, petrochemical companies, coal-fired power plants, and other major pollution sources – at the expense of public health.
    ...
    While critics say TCEQ is inexcusably lax across the board, its air permitting system is particularly egregious.
    ...
    "TCEQ is not in the business of protecting the health and well-being of Texans. They're in the business of issuing permits for big polluters."
  • But Wait, There's More!: TCEQ Fesses Up: More Benzene Data Withheld from Public: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality today came clean about additional elevated benzene levels in the Fort Worth area. [They just forgot to tell the public.] (Texas Observer)
  • The £4bn black hole in Britain's nuclear power budget: Energy secretary blames predecessors for avoiding tough decisions in 'classic example of short-termism' (Guardian UK):
    Britain is facing a £4bn black hole in unavoidable nuclear decommissioning and waste costs, Chris Huhne, the energy and climate change secretary disclosed tonight.
    ...
    "I do not think it is possible for anyone responsibly to stand aside and say we are not going to deal with it. We just have to, but what we are effectively paying for here is decades of cheap nuclear electricity for which we have suddenly got a massive postdated bill."