IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Is Beck the missing link?; Anti-science candidates poised to take over U.S. Congress, governorships; U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants to teach your kids about energy regulations; the BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf, six months on ... PLUS: Save the birds --- paint your wind turbines purple ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Japan recycles minerals from used electronics; Recovery Act Saved 40,000 American Wind Industry Jobs; Turning old industrial plants into clean energy economic zones; Crumbling America has a $2.2 trillion repair bill; Hemp is the far bigger issue behind legal marijuana; Geoengineering: The Inescapable Truth of Getting to 350; Kokomo, Indiana, a town saved by stimulus; India to be first country to publish 'natural wealth' accounts; Monsanto’s losing bet on GM sugar beets ...PLUS: Lolcats punk Teh Yes Menz punking Chevron ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Anti-Science Crusaders and U.S. Student Rankings in Science and Math:
- Oh, Glenn Beck: Evolution Is 'Ridiculous --- I Haven't Seen A Half-Monkey, Half-Person Yet' (Talking Points Memo)
- Climate Change Doubt Is Tea Party Article of Faith (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
And 8 percent of Tea Party adherents volunteered that they did not believe global warming exists at all, while only 1 percent of other respondents agreed.
Those views in general align with those of the fossil fuel industries, which have for decades waged a concerted campaign to raise doubts about the science of global warming and to undermine policies devised to address it.
They have created and lavishly financed institutes to produce anti-global-warming studies, paid for rallies and Web sites to question the science, and generated scores of economic analyses that purport to show that policies to reduce emissions of climate-altering gases will have a devastating effect on jobs and the overall economy.
Their views are spread by a number of widely followed conservative opinion leaders, including Mr. Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, George Will and Sarah Palin, who oppose government programs to address climate change and who question the credibility and motives of the scientists who have raised alarms about it.
Groups that help support Tea Party candidates include climate change skepticism in their core message. Americans for Prosperity, a group founded and largely financed by oil industry interests, has sponsored what it calls a Regulation Reality Tour to stir up opposition to climate change legislation and federal regulation of carbon emissions.
- Obama: US students' performance in science, math is 'unacceptable' (The Hill)
- Anti-Science GOP Candidates Poised To Take Over Congress:
- CO Senate Race: Ken Buck: Inhofe Is Right, Global Warming Is A Huge Hoax (Talking Points Memo)
- Buck makes stop in Fort Collins, discusses statement making headlines this week (The Coloradoan)
- On Meet The Press, Ken Buck Compares Being Gay To Alcoholism (Talking Points Memo)
- Skeptacular, skeptacular: Lots of Republican candidates are denying climate science (Grist)
- PA Senate Race: Pat Toomey: Human activity might not be main cause of global warming (Washington Post)
- League of Conservation Voters Names Pat Toomey to 2010 Dirty Dozen, Launches Web Ad Targeting Big Oil Money & Drilling Support (LCV press release)
- GOP Senate Candidates Oppose Climate Science And Policy (Wonk Room)
- Toomey Blames Country's Economic Woes On Progressive Legislation That Hasn't Even Passed Yet (Think Progress)
- Like House And Senate GOP Candidates, Most Republican Gubernatorial Candidates Are Global Warming Deniers (Think Progress)
- The BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf, 6 Months On...:
- Six month anniversary of the BP oil disaster (Mobile Press-Reigster):
I've put off writing this article all day hoping that by the time I organized my thoughts about the past six months and all that we Alabamians have been through that the oil would actually be gone. But it's not. Volunteers continue to find oil - small, medium or large bits are still being found out there.
- Charity groups say oil spill victims still need food assistance, other help (NOLA.com)
- 3 environmental groups sue BP over gulf oil spill: The suit alleges that the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster caused an oil spill that harmed and killed both endangered and threatened species, which may continue to feel the effects long after the cleanup. (LA Times)
- Plaquemines Parish continues mopping up from BP oil spill in Gulf of Mexico (NOLA.com)
- BP begins deep-cleaning beaches with 'Sand Shark' (with photo gallery) (Mobile Press-Reigster)
- BP attorney suggests that the oil giant might seek to cap spill claims at $75 million (The Upshot)
- Gulf Oil Spill Crude Remains Beneath The Sand 6 Months Later (VIDEO) (Huffington Post Green)
- Offshore drilling inspection staff to grow by 200, agency director says: 'We are going to dramatically strengthen oversight' (NOLA.com)
- 6 months after oil spill, scientists say Gulf is sick but not dying (NOLA.com)
- BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf: Dead animals are Exhibit A in Gulf investigation (AP):
Scientists examining dead animals that were discovered along the Gulf Coast in the wake of the BP oil spill are observing strict laboratory protocols, knowing everything they touch could become evidence in what may prove to be the biggest environmental case in U.S. history.
Like detectives on a murder case, government scientists - and outside experts under contract to the government - are using CSI-style techniques to determine whether the oil is to blame for the wildlife deaths.
- Coastal bird populations look OK, Audubon Society experts say (AP)
- Big Oil Touts Siphon, $1 Billion Project, As Future Solution To Deepwater Spills At Clean Gulf Conference (AP via Huffington Post Green)
- Bluefin tuna hit hard by 'Deepwater Horizon' disaster: The Gulf of Mexico oil spill couldn't have occurred at a worse time for bluefin tuna: they had come to the area - a major spawning ground - to produce offspring. (European Space Agency)
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce Just Wants to Teach Your Kids About Energy:
- Chamber: Worry about energy regulations, kids (Politico):
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants middle school students to consider what would happen if government regulations shut down the coal industry or another domestic energy source.
The question is part of a teaching guide the group plans to distribute to roughly 100,000 classrooms across the country as part of its "Shedding Light on Energy" program with educational publisher Scholastic Inc.
- Paint Your Wind Turbine Purple (Birds Don't Like It):
- Wind turbines wrong colour for wildlife (BBC):
A study has revealed that a wind turbine's colour affects how many insects it attracts, shedding more light on why the turbines occasionally kill bats and birds.
Scientists say that turbines, most commonly painted white or grey, draw in insects. These then lure bats and birds - as they pursue their prey - into the path of the turbine blades.
"Our major conclusion from this work is that turbine paint colour could be having a significant impact on the attraction of insect species to the structure, both during the day and at night," Miss Long told the BBC.
The researchers also found that the ultraviolet and infrared components of paint colour, which humans cannot see but insects can, also had a significant impact, with higher levels of both attracting more insects.
- Color bind: Purple wind turbines would solve nearly all our problems (Grist)
- Wind Turbine Color Makes Difference in Bird & Bat Deaths (Treehugger)
- Cats More Lethal to Birds Than Wind Turbines (Treehugger)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Japan Recycles Minerals From Used Electronics (NY Times):
This town's hopes for a mining comeback lie not underground, but
in what Japan refers to as urban mining - recycling the valuable metals and minerals from the country's huge stockpiles of used electronics like cellphones and computers.
"We've literally discovered gold in cellphones," said Tetsuzo Fuyushiba, a former land minister and now opposition party member, who visited here recently to survey Kosaka's recycling plant.
- Recovery Act Saved 40,000 American Wind Industry Jobs (Think Progress):
At a time when the recession threatened at least 40,000 American wind construction, manufacturing and other jobs, the 1603 tax credit program restarted stalled projects and saved all 40,000 jobs at risk.
- Old is new again: Turning old industrial plants into clean energy economic zones in Shanghai, China (Grist)L
The site is one of 12 old industrial sites that China is planning to turn into clean energy development zones. NRDC's China Program will be working with this project to make it as energy-efficient as possible. This project is another powerful reminder of how focused China is on tapping into the clean energy economic opportunities that will come as China and the world move towards a low carbon economy. They are literally turning old industry into new industry.
- Rupert Cornwell: Crumbling America has a $2.2 trillion repair bill: Out of America: The US needs to update its roads, railways and airports – but recession and a shift to the right have put big infrastructure projects in jeopardy. (UK Independent)
- Hemp Is the Far Bigger Economic Issue Hiding Behind Legal Marijuana: Prop 19 will open up California to hemp, a multi-billion-dollar crop that has been a staple of human agriculture for thousands of years. (Alternet)
- Kokomo, IN: A town saved by stimulus (CNN.com):
Economists disagree over the real nationwide impact of the massive stimulus jolt orchestrated by President Obama. But here in Kokomo, the Recovery Act and Obama's auto bailout have jolted Kokomo back to life --- keeping big industry from fleeing and attracting newcomers as well.
"We wouldn't be standing here," said Brian Harlow, a 32-year Chrysler veteran who grew up in Kokomo and now is based at the company's headquarters outside Detroit. "It would have been a ghost town."
- Geoengineering: The Inescapable Truth of Getting to 350 (Solutions Journal):
To avert dangerous and poten-tially catastrophic climate change, it has been argued that society must set a goal of stabilizing the atmospheric CO2 concentration at 350 ppm by the end of the twenty-first century. The time window is relatively narrow for society to find workable solutions for achieving this ambitious goal.
- India set to be first country to publish 'natural wealth' accounts: Accounts of the nation's 'natural capital' meets key demand of the UN study of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) (Guardian UK)
- Monsanto’s losing bet on GM sugar beets has bitter repercussions (Grist):
This story isn't about a shortage of sweetener in the United States. Even if U.S. sugar production falls 20 percent next year, food processors will still have plenty of cheap sweetener available with which to churn out junk food.
The issue is a shortage of real diversity in the seed supply. As Phil Howard of Michigan State University has documented extensively --- illustrated by his chart below --- the last decade has seen massive consolidation in the seed industry.
- I can haz Chevronburger?: Lolcats punk Teh Yes Menz punking Chevron (Grist)