IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Egg-gregious egg recall gets egg-spanded (sorry); "Gulf Dead Zone" gets egg-spanded, too, as thousands of dead fish turn up, and oil continues to come ashore, as the Obama Administration gets slammed for low-balling oil spill estimates ... PLUS: The World's Longest Traffic Jam --- 10 days! And you thought your commute was bad ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Safety fears raised at French nuclear reactor; Hot river forces cutbacks at TN nuclear power plant; Chilean miners trapped for four more months; Earth's Plant Growth Fell Because of Climate Change: study; New website tracks fossil fuel lobbying; Koch brothers give over $100 million and counting to right-wing groups ...PLUS: Happy "Earth Overshoot Day" - We've Consumed the Planet's Resources This Year Faster Than Ever! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Thousands of Drivers Jammed in Traffic Near Beijing
- China to Invest Billions in Electric and Hybrid Cars (NY Times)
- Federal government makes push for use of electric cars (AP)
- Egg recall culprit has a history of corporate crimes (Robert Reich's blog):
Egg recall originator, agribusinessman Jack DeCoster, is pulling 380 million eggs off the shelves. His corporate malfeasance reaches back for decades, but he seems to regard fines as the cost of doing business. A database of repeat corporate offenders could prevent another egg recall or oil spill.
- The egg recall saga continues (Food Politics)
- Egg Recall Expanded After Salmonella Outbreak (NY Times):
The company behind the recall, Wright County Egg, of Galt, Iowa, is owned by Jack DeCoster, who has had run-ins with regulators over poor or unsafe working conditions, environmental violations, the harassment of workers and the hiring of illegal immigrants.
- Amid Egg Recall, FDA Chief Calls for More Authority (AOL News)
- More than 1,300 Ill and 550,000,000 Salmonella Recalled Eggs is an "Eggbarrassment" (Bill Marler, Marler Blog)
- Egg Recall Gives Boost to Food-Safety Bill (Wall St. Journal)
- Food Safety Legislation: Effects of Senate Bill 510 on small farms: Senate staff analysis (Food Politics)
- Half a billion eggs have been recalled (CNN)
- The case against corporate social responsibility? (Food Politics)
- NOAA's Supposed Peer Reviewers: We Never Reviewed the Report (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones)
- Thousands of dead fish surface at mouth of Mississippi River (Raw Story)
- Oil spill hearings: Key managers testify about Deepwater Horizon explosions (NOLA.com)
- Gulf oil spill: Has it caused a new fish kill? (LA Times)
- Gulf of Mexico's Fish Beachings May Be Increasing Because of BP Oil Spill (Bloomberg)
- Study: oil spill plumes may trigger deep-sea "dead zones" (USA Today)
- This Year's Gulf 'Dead Zone' Among Largest Ever (Greenwire)
- White House, Critics Reach Stalemate in Dispute Over Oil Budget in Gulf (Greenwire)
- Gov't Admits There's A Lot More Oil Left In The Gulf Than They Initially Said (Talking Poinst Memo)
- Spill Fund May Prove as Challenging as 9/11 Payments (NYT Green)
- Feinberg Criticized for Spill-Compensation Terms (Wall St. Journal)
- Drilling Permits for Deep Waters Face New Review (NY Times)
- "It's As If A Nuclear Apocalypse Has Gone Off In the Gulf": [T]he full ramifications of this disaster won’t be understood for years. That’s why it’s so essential the media doesn’t buy the narrative that the crisis is over. (Unreported Blog)
- BP oil spill disaster could end up working in favor of coastal restoration (NOLA.com)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Safety Fears Raised at French Reactor (NYT Green)
- Hot river forces costly cutback for TVA nuclear power plant (Chattanooga Times Free-Press):
The Tennessee Valley Authority has lost nearly $50 million in power generation from its biggest nuclear plant because the Tennessee River in Alabama is too hot.
Unless the summer cools down, TVA could lose millions of dollars more...
- Trapped Chilean Miners Cheer, Sing in First Verbal Contact with Officials (Voice of America News)
- Earth's Plant Growth Fell Because of Climate Change, Study Finds (NYT Green)
- Charles And David Koch Exposed For Insidious Role In Crafting The Modern Right (Think Progress)
- Happy "Earth Overshoot Day" - We've Consumed the Planet's Resources This Year Faster Than Ever! (Planet Green):
Every year, Global Footprint Network calculates nature's supply in the form of biocapacity, the amount of resources the planet generates, and compares that to human demand: the amount it takes to produce all the living resources we consume and absorb our carbon dioxide emissions. Earth Overshoot Day, a concept devised by U.K.-based new economics foundation, marks the day when demand on ecological services begins to exceed the renewable supply.
Also called Ecological Debt Day, the milestone has arrived this year (today, August 21) a full month earlier than last.
- Oh Yeah, That's Why the Climate Bill Failed (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones):
But all the green's green was no match for the fossil fuel lobby. ExxonMobil alone spent $27.4 million in 2009, more than all the environmental groups combined. Oil and gas interests spent a combined $175 million on lobbying.
The report comes as the Center for Responsive Politics launches a new project oil and gas spending in Congress, "Fueling Washington."
- Explosive Expose: Covert Operations: The billionaire Koch brothers who are waging a war against Obama. (Jane Mayer, New Yorker Magazine):
David H. Koch his brother Charles are lifelong libertarians and have quietly given more than a hundred million dollars to right-wing causes, all under the radar.
READER COMMENTS ON
"'Green News Report' - August 24, 2010"
(2 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
... Ghostof911 said on 8/25/2010 @ 8:21 am PT...
What is the net effect on total carbon emissions if vehicles migrate from gasoline to electric? Won't the increased demand for electricty to recharge the batteries result in conmeasurate emissions at coal-fired power plants? Except for the bottom line of lithium miners and battery makers, how is that a gain?
Great question. There are many studies on this but unfortunately I don't have time at the moment to find for you. But the quick upshot is that the emissions from electric cars using coal-fired power plants are still less than the overall emissions from burning fossil fuels in internal combustion engines across the transportation sector. And that's if we change nothing.
Converting all coal-fired power plants to natural gas, which generates roughly half the emissions of coal, would reduce emissions even further. (Which is why T. Boone Pickens plan, to convert the nation's trucks to natural gas, is a valid emissions-reduction strategy)
But coal is a finite resource (google "peak coal"), whereas solar and wind are not. So if we spend the same amount of time and money building out a renewable energy infrastructure as we have spent on building a fossil fuel-based infrastructure, and replace dirty energy generation with clean energy generation, the net effect over the long term will be a huge gain --- because power plants run on renewables have no emissions once they are up and running, unlike coal, the pollution gift that keeps on giving over the life of the power plant.
One more thing to consider: while there will always be environmental impacts from any human activity (the manufacture of solar panels and wind turbines generate toxic waste byproducts), if you compare the external costs of fossil fuels --- the life cycle from extraction of oil, gas and coal, to the pollution generated over the lifetime of the power plant/engine, and include the documented health costs and environmental degradation from that cumulative pollution, and the costs of long-term issues of storing waste by-products like coal ash --- compare that with the life cycle cost of solar & wind, etc., which generate no pollution or toxic waste by-products once operational.