With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 8/3/2010, 12:40pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Thousands dead in Pakistan floods; Temperature records shattered around the world; Plankton levels plummet around the world (and why it matters to you and me); Alarm bells ignored in the MI oil spill... PLUS: It’s official! The BP oil disaster in the Gulf is now the WORST accidental oil spill in the history of mankind... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Fossil Fuel Subsidies Are 12 Times Support for Renewables; Can regulation beget innovation?; China oil spill far bigger than stated: expert; Rand Paul: Congress has no business protecting miners; Garbage islands threaten China's Three Gorges dam; US inaction threatens international climate negotiations; Why We'll See $300 Oil by 2020; 2010 Gulf 'Dead Zone' One of Largest Ever; 5-yr Restoration Plan for Gulf Coast ...PLUS: Slimeburger in paradise?: Avoiding pink slime in your ground beef ...

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

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

  • This Year's Gulf 'Dead Zone' One of Largest Ever:
  • Gulf Restoration Plan:
    • After the Spill: BP $5 Billion Down Payment Among Recommendations to Restore Coastal Louisiana: How President Obama Can Fulfill Pledge to Make Coastal Louisiana Better Than It Was Before Spill (Nat'l Audobon Society):
      Among other steps, the report recommends:

      1. Immediately negotiate with BP a $5 billion down payment on what they will ultimately be assessed for natural resource damages from the spill and create a separate escrow account for that money.
      2. Amend the Oil Pollution Act to create a separate fund for Gulf Coast and Mississippi River Delta restoration...
      3. Seek a supplemental appropriation of $500 million from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for LCA projects and raise the amount available under the trust fund for this disaster to include at least $155 million for the LCA construction program in Fiscal Year 2012.
      4. Complete construction on LCA projects within five years.

      "The path to restoring [the Mississippi River's] precious delta begins with reestablishing the river'...

    • READ IT: Louisiana Coastal Restoration Initiative [.pdf] (Nat'l Audobon Society, Environmental Defense Fund, Nat'l Wildlife Federation)
  • Fossil Fuel Subsidies Are 12 Times Support for Renewables, Study Shows (Bloomberg):
    Governments last year gave $43 billion to $46 billion of support to renewable energy through tax credits, guaranteed electricity prices known as feed-in tariffs and alternative energy credits, the London-based research group said today in a statement. That compares with the $557 billion that the International Energy Agency last month said was spent to subsidize fossil fuels in 2008.
    ...
    “This analysis shows that the global direct subsidy for fossil fuels is around ten times the subsidy for renewables.”
  • Can regulation beget innovation? (Steve Pearlstein, Washington Post):
    US expert: China oil spill far bigger than stated: China's worst known oil spill is dozens of times larger than the government has reported — bigger than the famous Exxon Valdez spill two decades ago — and some of the oil was dumped deliberately to avoid further disaster, an American expert said. (AP)
  • Rand Paul: Congress has no business protecting miners: On the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster that killed 29: "I know that doesn't sound … I want to be compassionate, and I'm sorry for what happened, but I wonder: Was it just an accident?" (The Hill)
  • Garbage islands threaten China's Three Gorges dam: Thousands of tons of garbage washed down by recent torrential rain are threatening to jam the locks of China's massive Three Gorges Dam, and is in places so thick people can stand on it, state media said on Monday. (Reuters)
  • US inaction on climate troubles global talks: The failure of a climate bill in the U.S. Senate is likely to weigh heavily on international negotiations that begin Monday on a new agreement to control global warming. (AP)
  • Why We'll See $300 Oil by 2020 (Seeking Alpha):
    For decades, the theory of peak oil-or the idea that the world either has or will soon exhaust its ability to produce more oil-was derided as a doomsday scenario too unbelievable to ever come to pass. But $147 oil and one commodity crash later, and suddenly peak oil doesn't sound so strange after all.

    In fact, mounting scientific evidence suggests that peak oil will not only be a reality, but may soon be upon us, says Charles Maxwell, senior energy analyst for Weeden & Co.

  • Slimeburger in paradise?: Avoiding pink slime in ground beef:
    Let's start with a definition. "Pink slime" is the nickname earned by a formerly inedible byproduct of the beef industry. Once used in pet food, it's now a cheap additive in ground beef.
    ...
    [I]f you've had a hamburger from a fast food chain, or bought ground beef from a grocery store, you've consumed the stuff.

    What's more, the slime business is growing all the time. BPI's "ultimate goal is to have our products incorporated in all ground beef and other further processed meats produced in the United States. Our products can also be found in Canada, Mexico, and Japan with expansion plans for Central America, Europe, and Pacific Rim countries." (Keep those expansion plans in mind if you want to avoid getting slimed when you travel.)
    ...
    [K]eep in mind that pink slime is not just in hamburgers, Anne. BPI also slimes retail ground beef, low-fat hotdogs, taco meats, lunch meats, chili, beef stick snacks, sausages, pepperoni, and other encased meats, retail frozen entrees, meatballs, fabricated roast beef, and canned foods. Pink slime, it seems, is everywhere.

    Here are some tips to help you make sure the beef in your burger is the kind you actually want to eat...