IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: 2010 shaping up as hottest year on record; BP Oil Disaster stop-and-go; MI from 'Rust Belt' to 'Green Belt'; New revelations in WV coal mine disaster; PLUS: It's ALIVE! (For now.) Climate and Clean Energy Legislation is back in the U.S. Senate! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!...
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Big Giveaways To Big Oil; Hacking the Electric Grid?; Wild Tiger Population Dropped by 96.8% in 20 Years; Will Anything Curb China's Appetite for Rare Wildlife?; Puget Sound Chemistry Transformed by Climate Change and Runoff; Spain overtakes US with world's biggest solar power station; Silly Putty Ingredient Found in Chicken McNuggets; Long Island town threatens to sue Fannie & Freddie over clean-energy program; Paleoclimatologist studies sea levels in a desert ...PLUS: Climate scientists: “The urgent need to act cannot be overstated.”...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- You're Getting Warmer: 2010 Hottest On Record So Far
- June Sea Surface Temperatures in the tropical Atlantic set a new record: Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) in the Atlantic's Main Development Region for hurricanes had their warmest June on record, according to an analysis (Weather Underground)
- Warming Waters Exacerbate Dwindling New England Fisheries: Curbs on fishing may not be enough to help fish populations deal with the changes wrought by global warming (Scientific American)
- First half of 2010 sets heat records (Washington Post Carbon)
- New Revelations in West Virginia Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster:
- Massey Mine Workers Disabled Safety Monitor: On Feb. 13, an electrician deliberately disabled a methane gas monitor on a continuous mining machine because the monitor repeatedly shut down the machine. Three witnesses say the electrician was ordered by a mine supervisor. (NPR)
- Breaking it down: NPR report: Massey Energy ordered methane detector disabled at Upper Big Branch Mine (Coal Tattoo)
- Obama, Granholm Promote U.S. Electric Car Battery Industry:
- Obama touts investment in Michigan battery plant: Obama says 9 battery plants being built with help of Recovery Act funds will help US produce 40% of world's advanced batteries in 5 years. (AP)
- Obama talks of job creation to skeptical Americans: President Barack Obama said on Thursday his policies were getting "an incredible bang for our buck" by boosting U.S. jobs, and chided Republicans for obstructing reforms he said were aiding economic recovery. (Reuters)
- Obama Set To Kick Off Electric-Vehicle Offensive: The Holland plant is the ninth of nine new advanced battery factories to start construction as part of the $2.4 billion in Recovery Act advanced battery and electric-vehicle awards (Edmunds Insider)
- Why Electric Cars Aren't Catching On--Yet (The New Republic)
- The LATEST in the BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf:
- No oil flowing into Gulf as test starts, BP says (AFP)
- BP Stops Leak, But The Gulf Crisis Isn't Over (The Vine)
- When Will BP Plug the Damn Hole?: (Mother Jones):
Execs hope relief wells can stop the gusher in time for their quarterly conference call with investors—but don't hold your breath.
A relief well drilled to quell last year's Montara blowout off the coast of Australia took five tries before it succeeded—with an average of one week between them. Relief wells to stop the massive Ixtoc 1 blowout in June 1979, now the Gulf's second-worst spill ever, took a full year.
- BP Begins Test on Leaking Well in Gulf of Mexico (Bloomberg)
- Gulf oil spill: BP resumes test of leaking well (LA Times)
- Oil smears hundreds more pelicans, terns in nesting area, researchers say (LA Times)
- Scientists urge U.S. to move quickly to study Gulf oil spill (McClatchy DC)
- Feds: BP owes royalties on gushing oil (The Hill)
- Lubchenco: ‘Highly Toxic’ Undersea Cloud Of Oil ‘Is Undoubtedly Poisonous’ (Think Progress)
- Senate holds hearings on oil spill dispersants (Summit Co. News)
- Migratory birds flying right into oily morass: 'Thousands will die,' says ornithologist (USA Today)
- Gulf turtle evacuees could get lost at sea (New Scientist)
- Gulf spill raises questions about role of oil consultants (McClatchy DC)
- Scientists say Gulf spill altering food web: Scientists are reporting early signs that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is altering the marine food web by killing or tainting some creatures and spurring the growth of others more suited to a fouled environment. (AP)
- Gulf's Artificial Islands Already Failing (Discovery News)
- Chandeleur sand berm segment shrinking like a wool sweater in hot water!: These sad and shocking images document the waste of enormous resources and time. It’s very hard to resist the temptation to say, “I told you so.” (LACoastPost)
- Lessons from Exxon Valdez spill have gone unheeded (Washington Post)
- As Oil Industry Fights a Tax, It Reaps Subsidies (NY Times)
- A Deepwater Drilling Freeze for Europe? (NYT Green)
- Senate Democrats Threaten to Bring Climate & Clean Energy Legislation Before August Recess:
- Utilities are trying to pull off the scam of the decade (Grist):
Instead, let me just cut to the core point: A deal to exempt utilities from new Clean Air Act rules in exchange for their support for a utility-only cap-and-trade system would be a terrible deal. Terrible.
Why would it be so bad? Because the new Clean Air Act regulations are going to have bigger, faster, and more substantial effects on the power sector than any watered-down utility-only cap-and-trade system. Those regulations will eliminate more pollution, shut down more dirty coal plants, and avoid more greenhouse gases than a utility-only cap-and-trade system.
The power sector is terrified. After putting off needed investments in new, cleaner generation for years and years --- aided and abetted by simpatico regulators in D.C. --- all the sudden they're going to have to start making those investments.
- The Energy Bill Could Be A Disaster, If Utilities Get Their Way (The Vine)
- Reid confirms July energy debate, eyes limited carbon curbs: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plans to bring broad energy legislation to the Senate floor as soon as the week of July 26 that will include provisions to limit greenhouse gas emissions from electric power plants. (The Hill)
- Reid warms to July climate vote (Politico)
- Four Big Questions About The Senate's Energy Push (The New Republic)
- VIDEO: New Orleans' Shamarr Allen: Sorry Don't Clean the Spill (YouTube):
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Big Giveaways To Big Oil:: NYT: "An examination of the American tax code indicates that oil production is among the most heavily subsidized businesses." (Think Progress)
- Hacking the Electric Grid? You and What Army?: No, simple hackers can't take down the electric grid. To pull it off, you needs spies, sats & Moscow/Beijing-level assets. Here's the deal. (Wired)
- Wild Tiger Population Dropped by 96.8% in 20 Years (Treehugger)
- Will Anything Curb China's Appetite for Rare Wildlife? Ilegal Shipment of Endangered Pangolins Intercepted (NYT Green)
- Puget Sound Chemistry Transformed by Climate Change and Runoff: Puget Sound is becoming more acidic thanks to a combination of agricultural runoff and rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere (Scientific American)
- Spain overtakes US with world's biggest solar power station: With the new La Florida plant, the nation's solar power production is now equivalent to output of a nuclear power station, surpassing the U.S. in total solar generation. (Guardian UK)
- Yummy: Silly Putty Ingredient Found in Chicken McNuggets (Sustainable Food)
- The Climate Divide: Reports From Four Fronts in the War on Warming (NY Times)
- Power of Babylon: Long Island town threatens to sue Fannie & Freddie over clean-energy program (Grist):
The regulators announced strict guidelines that force localities into a corner. Cities can continue to offer PACE, but then Fannie and Freddie must impose stricter lending standards on all local borrowers --- even those who never intend to take out PACE loans --- that will disqualify many applicants and properties that would otherwise be eligible for a mortgage. In effect, the new guidelines force mayors and city councils to choose between promoting energy efficiency and improving the health of their already battered real-estate markets.
- Paleoclimatologist studies sea levels in a desert (Grist):
The tilt of the planet varies predictably on a 41,000-year cycle. More tilt means warmer summers and colder winters at high latitudes; less tilt means cooler summers and milder winters. Scientists believe this 41,000-year variation (known as the Milankovitch cycle), along with other variables --- like the shape of Earth's orbit and the seasonal timing of when Earth is closest to the sun --- have influenced the advance and retreat of glaciers and thus the onset of ice ages as more or less solar radiation reaches Earth at mid-to-high latitudes.
Raymo says, "everything I've learned about the dynamism of the planet's climate places me, like most all of my colleagues, strongly in the camp that says we need to take preventive action to keep the planet from warming further. I am extremely concerned that we've made such large changes in the composition of our atmosphere with so little understanding of the consequences. The path we are on is completely anomalous to anything that has gone before."
- Climate scientists: “The urgent need to act cannot be overstated.”: "Climate change caused by humans is already affecting our lives and livelihoods — with extreme storms, unusual floods and droughts, intense heat waves, rising seas and many changes in biological systems — as climate scientists have projected." (Climate Progress)