IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: BP says the oil well is plugged. The Feds say most of the oil is gone. But is it?... PLUS: The UN’s secret plan to take over the world with bicycles! ... AND: Senate Democrats cave yet again… All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Why 2 million (promised) green jobs couldn't sell a climate bill; When religious beliefs become dangerous; New state surveys affirm Americans' belief in global warming, gov't action; Fossil fuels keep getting all the (tax) breaks; Editor of The Atlantic "fabricates another quote to smear" climate scientist; CA's climate law will improve lives of low income Californians; Big agreement on home appliances means big savings for consumers ...PLUS: Bye Bye Miami: Scientist says it's too late to stop significant sea level rise ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- 35 Years Ago on August 8th, Term 'Global Warming' Was Coined:: Thirty-five years ago this week, Wallace Broecker predicted decades of dangerous climate change caused by humans. Unfortunately, he was all too prescient. (Foreign Policy):
Wally's seminal Science paper built upon decades of earlier work by scientists who had found natural cycles of planetary warming and cooling in Greenland ice cores (Dansgaard, 1973), developed a mean global temperature from meteorological records (Mitchell, 1963), modeled the greenhouse influence of carbon dioxide on the atmosphere (Manabe and Wetherald, 1967, 1975; Rasool and Schneider, 1971), and measured the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels (Keeling, 1973). Synthesizing the work, Broecker accurately predicted "that the present cooling trend will, within a decade or so, give way to a pronounced warming induced by carbon dioxide."
In fact, one can even go back to the 1896 work of Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius, in which he predicted that the burning of coal could eventually double atmospheric CO2, leading to a temperature increase of several degrees Celsius, though he believed such a day was far into the future.
- Bike Sharing Programs Are A United Nations Takeover Plot!:
- Bike agenda spins cities toward U.N. control, Maes warns (Denver Post)
- Dan Maes: Denver bike sharing first step toward UN domination (Colorado Independent)
- The Sinister United Nations Bicycle Sharing Takeover Plot (Little Green Footballls)
- Colorado Candidate Warns of Bicycle Plot (NY Times):
"[It is] part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty,” Mr. Maes said of the organization, which was established in 1990 during a conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
He added: “This is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms.”
- Senate Democrats Delay Action On Oil Spill Bill:
- Senate Democrats can't get votes to pass Gulf oil spill bill: Despite months of public outrage over the massive BP oil spill, frustrated Democratic Senate leaders abandoned their effort Tuesday to pass spill-related legislation before leaving for their summer recess later this week (McClatchy)
- Senate Democrats delay action on oil spill bill (Reuters)
- Spill-Bill Delay Spurs Lobbyists Into Action (Wall St. Journal)
- The LATEST in the BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf: The End of The Beginning, And the Media Gets It Wrong AGAIN:
- Crush of mud finally plugs BP's well in the Gulf (AP)
- President says the 'long battle' over spill 'finally close to coming to an end' (The Hill)
- READ THE REPORT: Federal Science Report Details Fate of Oil from BP Spill (NOAA)
- Effects from gulf oil spill far from over, experts say (St. Petersberg Times):
In other words, half of it, or about 2.5 million barrels, is still unrecovered.
Rick Steiner, a retired University of Alaska professor who worked on the Exxon Valdez disaster, questioned the validity of the estimates in the report, explaining, "These are just what we call WAGs — wild- a** guesses."
- Experts question NOAA's oil report: Many scientists say they're skeptical of a widely publicized government report Wednesday that concludes much of the oil that gushed from BP's leaking well is gone and poses little threat to the Gulf of Mexico. (McClatchy Newspapers)
- Where Did BP's Oil Go? (TNR's The Vine):
Rough summary: About one-quarter of the oil is still bobbing on the sea surface or washed ashore. Another quarter has been dispersed into microscopic droplets, either by artificial chemicals or natural processes. And another quarter has been "dissolved." All told, just 25 percent has been physically removed from the Gulf ecosystem. The rest is still lurking... somewhere. But what sorts of harm is that lingering oil doing? As the NOAA notes, answering that question will take time and a lot more research.
- BP's Magical, Disappearing Oil Spill: Most importantly, just because the oil has dispersed doesn't mean it disappeared. It's now spread under the water, thanks to the at least 1.8 million gallons of chemical dispersants used on the spill. (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones)
- Risky Business: NY Times jumps the gun, irresponsibly dismisses threat of remaining oil: [T]he media failed to stress that the absence of evident oil is not necessarily evidence of absent oil. (Columbia Journalism Review)
- U.S. Finds Most Oil From Spill Poses Little Additional Risk (NY Times):
[NOAA's Lubchenco] emphasized, however, that the government remained concerned about the ecological damage that has already occurred and the potential for more, and said it would continue monitoring the gulf.
“I think we don’t know yet the full impact of this spill on the ecosystem or the people of the gulf,” Dr. Lubchenco said.
Among the biggest unanswered questions, she said, is how much damage the oil has done to the eggs and larvae of organisms like fish, crabs and shrimp. That may not become clear for a year or longer, as new generations of those creatures come to maturity.
- The Politics of Dispersants (NYT Green):
Wednesday at a Senate hearing on the Deepwater Horizon spill in the gulf....(Sen.) Whitehouse also pointed out that the test for toxicity is useless for evaluating another threat, the release of chemicals that could disrupt the endocrine systems of sea animals and, possibly, humans. The reason is that the toxicity is measured by putting shrimp and fish into higher and higher concentrations until they die; that does not allow for testing longer-term effects.
One scientist who testified at the hearing, Jacqueline Savitz, senior campaign director at the environmental group Oceana, put it this way: “If you zap somebody with a bunch of chemicals and they don’t die, it doesn’t mean they continue to develop normally.’’
- BP’s expected oil disaster fine: $17.6 billion. (Think Progress)
- EPA: Dispersants no more toxic than oil (UPI)
- Feds Giving Spill Data to BP—But Public Stays in Dark: Why is the government telling BP how much damage oil has caused in the Gulf, but keeping it secret from the rest of us? (Mother Jones)
- Idle Iron: There are more than 1,000 idle oil and gas rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, structures abandoned years ago and left to collapse into the waters.: Now Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) is calling on the Department of Interior to force oil companies to dismantle and responsibly dispose of their old rigs. (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones)
- 'Death Gyre' in the Gulf: (Unconfirmed) Firsthand accounts and leaked photos of a secret BP processing facility --- possibly for dead animals --- point to a massive cover-up in the Gulf. An exclusive report. (Mother Nature News)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Why 2 million (promised) green jobs couldn't sell a climate bill: On Capitol Hill, the fossil-fuel crowd enjoyed two key advantages. One was influence: Oil and gas companies have combined for nearly $90 million in federal lobbying expenditures and campaign contributions so far this year, according to records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. Wind, solar and other “alternative energy” firms have tallied about $16 million. (LA Times Green)
- Faith and Foolishness: When Religious Beliefs Become Dangerous: Religious leaders should be held accountable when their irrational ideas turn harmful: The survey’s most enlightening aspect was its categorization of responses by levels of religious activity, which suggests that the most devout are on average least willing to accept the evidence of reality. (Scientific American)
- New State Surveys Affirm Americans' Belief in Global Warming, Support for Government Action on Climate Change: The new research also shows that majorities of residents in these states - 74 percent of Floridians, 77 percent of Maine residents and 77 percent of Massachusetts residents - think the U.S. government should take action to limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by businesses. Of those supporting such federal action, 74 percent or more of the respondents from each state thought this should start "right away." (Woods Institute for the Environment)
- Throw Me the Money: Fossil fuels keep getting the breaks: a new report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which confirms that governments around the world shell out significantly more money in subsidies for fossil fuels than for renewables (Grist)
- Atlantic shocker: Senior editor Clive Crook fabricates another quote to smear Michael Mann (Climate Progress)
- Opinion: AB32 will improve lives of low income and minority Californians: The companies bankrolling Proposition 23, Tesoro and Valero, are two of the largest polluters in our state, and their intent is to kill California's job-creating clean-air and -energy standards and cripple clean-energy competition. (San Jose Mercury News)
- Big Agreement on Home Appliances Means Big Savings for Consumers: These six appliances now join street lights and residential air conditioners and furnaces in waiting for Congress to enact consensus agreements on future standards. There certainly are a lot of energy savings and billions of consumer savings just looking for a home on Capitol Hill. (Huffington Post Green)
- Bye Bye Miami: Scientist Says Too Late to Stop Significant Sea Level Rise (or save Miami) (Center for Environmental Journalism):
In White’s view, it’s already too late to turn back the clock on climate change to save low-lying coastal cities like Miami. The ice cores that he and his colleagues drill from Greenland and Antarctica tell us that the last time greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere were as high as they are today, the world was even warmer than it is now, Greenland was largely deglaciated, and sea level was 10 to 15 feet higher.
“If sea level is rising at the rate that it is today, this is something that we can deal with. We’ll lose Miami, for example, but we can perhaps pay for that if we decide that’s the way we want to go. If sea level is rising very rapidly then that makes adaptation more difficult and more expensive.”
“I think that adaptation is in our future whether we like it or not. We’re going to have to deal with this problem. You can’t stop physics. You can argue all you want. You can say global warming is not happening all you want, but that’s not going to stop global warming.