IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: We're back! ... As Obama calls for rebuilding America's roads, railways & runways, just in time for the election; BP's blowout preventer raised from the deep; Oil found in MS oyster beds; Prominent climate change skeptic reverses course ... PLUS: The "Kochtopus": Out-of-state billionaires try to kill CA's landmark global warming law with an Orwellian ballot initiative ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Arctic: Both fabled NW and NE passages now open; Antarctica: A climate warning from the deep; Chevron seeking exemption from state environmental laws in CA; A Green Mobile Home in a spiritual trailer park; Inquiry finds U.N. climate panel needs to ‘fundamentally reform’; Mafia cash in on lucrative EU wind farm handouts; Australian Greens seek 'fast, furious' climate steps; Fish fight: FDA to hear comments on GM salmon ...PLUS: Five Ways You Can Help Pakistan (and the Rest of Us) ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Update: BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf:
- Gulf Oil Blowout Preventer: Where Is It? (Huffington Post Green)
- BP blowout preventer brought aboard vessel: Investigation turns to why the 5-story device failed to stop spill (MSNBC)
- Did FBI Secrecy Cost Government Spill Probe Its Credibility? (The Daily Glob)
- Oil well capped, 'shrimp and petroleum' festival goes ahead: Eager to move past the devastating Gulf of Mexico oil spill and celebrate a local tradition, thousands of people flocked this weekend to Louisiana's annual Shrimp and Petroleum Festival. (AFP)
- BP spill: White House says oil has gone, but Gulf's fishermen are not so sure:
Counsellors and lawyers are busier than seafarers in Louisiana, as some experts warn that fishing industry will never recover (Guardian UK)
- Mississippi Shrimpers Find Oil Throughout Waters, Refuse To Trawl: They tied an absorbent rag to a weighted hook, dropped it overboard, then pulled it up to find it covered in a mix of BP's crude oil and toxic dispersants. (Alternet)
- More seafood testing needed, scientist says: Gina Solomon, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, is calling on federal officials to conduct a more rigorous testing regimen for Gulf of Mexico shrimp and seafood. (NOLA.com)
- The Government's Shrimpy Seafood Safety Test: The FDA also admitted that it doesn't have methodologies in place to check for a number of components of chemical dispersants in seafood yet (Mother Jones)
- Up to 90% of oysters dead in Mississippi reef sample
: Catches resulting in an abundance of empty oyster shells led some fishermen to doubt the viability of the season, which typically begins in September or October. (Miami Herald)
- Congressman: BP "Openly Blackmailing the American Government": If the oil giant can't keep drilling offshore, its promise to compensate victims of the Deepwater Horizon disaster might go unfulfilled—or so the company claims. (Mother Jones)
- BP gives $10 million to National Institutes of Health to study health effects of oil spill: Part of an ongoing pledge BP made in late May to provide up to $500 million for independent research into the spill's impact (NOLA.com)
- Louisianans affected by Gulf oil spill seek lessons in Alaska from Exxon Valdez. (Washington Post)
- Some see wetlands loss a threat greater than any oil spill. (Houston Chronicle)
- Uncertain future after Gulf oil spill has Buras fishing lodge owner on edge (Mobile Press-Register)
- Shoe company hopes 'oil spill collection' will raise money for cleanup (Mobile Press-Register)
- Investigation Into BP's Other Big Gulf Operation Still Not Done (Mother Jones)
- "Skeptical Environmentalist" Reverses Course: Lomborg Calls For Action on Climate Change:
- The Flexible Enviroskepticist: ‘Skeptical environmentalist’ Bjørn Lomborg reverses his climate skepticism: Danish statistician, self-styled "Skeptical Environmentalist," and shrewd self-promoter is updating his long-held position that climate change isn't much of a problem (Grist)
- Bjørn Lomborg: $100bn a year needed to fight climate change:
Exclusive 'Sceptical environmentalist' and critic of climate scientists to declare global warming a chief concern facing world (Guradian UK)
- Bjørn Lomborg: the dissenting climate change voice who changed his tune: With his new book, Danish scientist Bjørn Lomborg has become an unlikely advocate for huge investment in fighting global warming. But his answers are unlikely to satisfy all climate change campaigners (Guradian UK)
- Global warming science is still evolving — but not in the direction the disinformers think: Simon Lewis debunks another flawed Wall Street Journal editorial (Climate Progress)
- Obama Announces Plan to Rebuild America's Infrastructure (But Does Not Discuss Odds of Snowballs in Hell):
- WATCH: Obama Pitches New Jobs initiatives; Focuses on the Economy (C-SPAN)
- READ: Transcript: Obama's speech at Laborfest (On Milwaukee.com):
On the day I announced the end to our combat mission in Iraq, I spent some time, as I often do, with our soldiers and veterans. This new generation of troops coming home from Iraq has earned its place alongside that greatest generation. Like them, they have the skills and training and drive to move America's economy forward once more. And from the time I took office, we've been investing in new care, new opportunity, and a new commitment to their service that's worthy of their sacrifice. But they're coming home to an economy hit by recession deeper than any we've seen. And the question is, how do we create the same kind of middle class opportunity my grandparents' generation came home to? How do we build our economy on the same kind of strong, stable foundation for growth?
Well, anyone who thinks we can move this economy forward with a few doing well at the top, hoping it'll trickle down to working folks running faster and faster just to keep up - they just haven't studied our history.
- Obama looks at oil incentives to pay for infrastructure, industry takes exception (The Hill)
- Obama wants $50B to beef up infrastructure 'as soon as possible': President Obama on Monday called for an upfront investment of $50 billion to improve roads, railways and runways as part of a larger six-year strategy to update the nation’s aging infrastructure. (The Hill)
- Obama Offers a Transit Plan to Create Jobs (NY Times)
- Hit the breaks!: Obama: Rebuild America by slashing oil tax breaks (Grist)
- California's "Dirty Air" Prop 23 Funded By Millions From Oil Industry:
- Prop 23, So-Called 'California Jobs Initiative', an Orwellian-Labelled Scam That Would Destroy Jobs and Environment: Will lies of the oil industry's 'poison populism' be exposed in time to save humanity?... (The BRAD BLOG):
That 'Tea Party' backing Koch Industries, an oily conglomeration which is ranked as one of the nation's worst polluters, has joined with two other Texas-based oil industry polluters, Tesoro Corp. and Valero Energy Corp., aka the "Toxic Twins," comes as no surprise. After all, Koch has already been aptly described by Greenpeace as "the kingpins of climate science denial."
- Petrodollars: Koch brothers jump into Prop 23 fight (Grist)
- Federal, state, and local leaders unite against Prop 23 (Climate Progress)
- L.A. mayor, Latino activists take on oil companies over Proposition 23: They say the ballot initiative to suspend the state's climate change law would hurt low-income communities already suffering the most from pollution. (LA Times):
"Go home, Texas oil companies," Villaraigosa urged at a news conference aimed at encouraging voters to oppose Proposition 23, a November ballot initiative to suspend California's 2006 climate change law until the state's unemployment rate drops.
- Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine: Explore Koch's Web of Dirty Money and Influence (Greenpeace):
Billionaire oilman David Koch likes to joke that Koch Industries is "the biggest company you've never heard of." But the nearly $50 million that David Koch and his brother Charles have quietly funneled to climate-denial front groups that are working to delay policies and regulations aimed at stopping global warming is no joking matter.
- Koch firm donates $1 million to campaign to suspend climate change law (Sacramento Bee)
- Fiorina calls Prop. 23 'imperfect' but supports measure (Sacramento Bee):
Fiorina's critics were quick to denounce her position, saying it was at odds with many economists who warn that it would kill jobs in California and send them overseas.
- Senator Barbara Boxer --- Her Reelection --- Our New Climate Movement: We must help Senator Boxer's reelection campaign no matter where we live. She's a champion against offshore oil-and-gas development, while Carly Fiorina's sympathy is with the oil-and-coal companies. (Subhankar Banerjee, Huffington Post Green)
- Exposing the Billionaire Koch Brothers' Funding of Rightwing Anti-Environmental Organizations:
- 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.
- OP-ED: The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party (Frank Rich, NY Times):
ANOTHER weekend, another grass-roots demonstration starring Real Americans who are mad as hell and want to take back their country from you-know-who....
There’s just one element missing from these snapshots of America’s ostensibly spontaneous and leaderless populist uprising: the sugar daddies who are bankrolling it, and have been doing so since well before the “death panel” warm-up acts of last summer. Three heavy hitters rule. You’ve heard of one of them, Rupert Murdoch. The other two, the brothers David and Charles Koch, are even richer, with a combined wealth exceeded only by that of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett among Americans. But even those carrying the Kochs’ banner may not know who these brothers are.
Their self-interested and at times radical agendas, like Murdoch’s, go well beyond, and sometimes counter to, the interests of those who serve as spear carriers in the political pageants hawked on Fox News. The country will be in for quite a ride should these potentates gain power...
- PBS ombudsman Getler whitewashes the Koch-funded greenwashing episode of Nova that whitewashes the threat of human-caused climate change (Climate Progress)
- Pro-Environment Groups Outmatched, Outspent 7-to-1 in Battle Over Climate Change Legislation (Open Secrets.org):
ExxonMobil, the industry leader in 2009, spent $27.4 million in lobbying expenditures that year --- more than the entire pro-environment lobby.
And in July, congressional debate on global warming stopped cold.
In other words, Goliath whipped David.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Arctic: Northwest and Northeast Passages Now Open: Event marks the third time in recorded history that both the Northwest Passage and Northeast Passage have melted free. (Mother Jones)
- Chevron may be seeking exemption from state environmental laws for its refinery rebuilding project (San Jose Mercury News):
Now environmentalists and some legislators are sounding the alarm in Sacramento, saying Chevron's lobbyists in the Capitol have been quietly trying to craft a deal to give the company --- America's third largest, with $10.4 billion in profit last year --- an exemption from the state law that requires environmental studies of major projects.
Built in 1902 by Standard Oil, the refinery ranks as the third-largest source of toxic pollution in Northern California, having released 604,483 pounds of chemicals last year, including 392,038 pounds of air emissions such as benzene, lead, ammonia, zinc, acids and other chemicals through its smokestacks and other equipment, according to EPA records. The plant also is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in California, having put out 4.8 million metric tons in 2008, according to the state Air Resources Board.
- Ecomobile: A Green Mobile Home In A Spiritual Trailer Park (Treehugger):
It has become increasingly clear that you cannot separate the home from the context, and that what we really need is a sort of green trailer park, where people can own their unit but share common resources. It turns out that it exists, and has since 1962; Dr. Graham Meltzer just built his own home, the ecomobile, in the Park at Findhorn, a "growing eco-village and spiritual community." in North Scotland. Existing caravans (British for trailer) are being replaced with everything from yurts to eco-mobile homes.
- A climate warning from the deep: The dispersal of tiny sea creatures in Antarctica has alerted scientists to the vulnerability of Earth's ice sheets (Guardian UK)
- IPCC the light: U.N. climate panel needs to ‘fundamentally reform,’ review finds: A U.N.-ordered review said Monday that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) needed to "fundamentally reform" how it operates after embarrassing errors in a landmark report dented its credibility. (Grist)
- IPCC climate change panel needs transparency, review panel finds (Christian Science Monitor):
The IPCC climate change advisory panel, stung by criticism that it ignored dissenting views, underwent an independent review of its management. Observers have called the report 'remarkably hard-hitting.'
Seven investigations have been conducted into allegations of data fudging or other alleged scientific abuses stemming from the leaked emails. The investigations all concluded the science itself is sound.
- Fish fight: FDA to hear comments on GM salmon: The FDA has scheduled meetings September 19-21 to hear advice about whether the agency should approve GM (genetically modified) salmon. (Food Politics)
- Mafia cash in on lucrative EU wind farm handouts - especially in Sicily: An ill wind is blowing over Italy's green revolution, as the Mafia seek to capitalise on generous grants for renewable energy. (Telegraph UK)
- Green Party Assumes Pivotal Role in New Australian Government: Minority government must deliver on climate reform and carbon pricing in return for support from Greens (Solve Climate)
- Five Ways You Can Help Pakistan (and the Rest of Us) (YES! Magazine):
Some may hesitate to contribute to flood relief because we associate Pakistan with qualities we don’t admire—nuclear proliferation, religious fundamentalism, the oppression of women, and a corrupt and powerful military. But the people of Pakistan are more likely to be the victims than the perpetrators of these problems, and above all else, they are fellow human beings in dire need.
So how can we distance ourselves from the qualities we don’t like while offering solidarity to the people of Pakistan?