With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
Election Day 2010 (Almost) NO-POLITICS Edition!
By Desi Doyen on 11/2/2010, 12:55pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Steppin' awaaay from the politics and midterm madness (almost...and just for today): Historic UN agreement on biodiversity; Establishing a price for "natural capital"; Halliburton's bad cement job; Last call for Discovery ... PLUS: Van Jones - The most positive man in America on the fight for clean energy ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Rising seas and the groundwater equation; Militants blow up oil pipeline in southern Yemen; Why did FDA withhold info that GE Salmon pose a critical threat to marine environments?; Tea Party scoffs at role of green jobs in economic recovery; Alarm over "pig MRSA" - but not in the US; Bush-era OMB chief Nussle named president of ethanol trade group; Disney receives award for saving water; Judge suspends Navajo mining permit; Experts Foresee Bumpy Transition from Fossil Fuels, Even with Promising Energy Alternatives...PLUS: The RFK Jr. Interview: 'A coup d'etat against the carbon cronies' ...

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

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

  • Rising Seas and the Groundwater Equation (NYT Green):
    Worldwide overpumping of groundwater, particularly in northern India, Iran, Mexico, northeastern China and the American West, more than doubled between 1960 and 2000 and is responsible for about 25 percent of the current rise in sea level, according to estimates in a new study by a team of Dutch researchers published in Geophysical Review Letters.
  • Newly Disclosed Government Documents Conclude GE Salmon Pose A Critical Threat To Marine Environments: Expert fisheries agencies prohibit growing engineered salmon in open-water net pens under the Endangered Species Act. FDA Declined to Disclose Evidence During September Hearings on Aquabounty Salmon (Center for Food Safety):
    "This adds further evidence that in fact GE salmon pose a serious threat to marine environments and is another compelling reason for the FDA not to approve the fish for commercial use," said Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety. "While the FDA applauded the company's choice of land-based containment as responsible, it never revealed that it is illegal in the U.S. to grow genetically engineered salmon in open-water net pens."

    The Biological Opinion and supplemental information, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, challenge claims by AquaBounty Technologies, the developer of the GE salmon, that the transgenic fish pose no threat to marine environments.

  • Tea Party scoffs at role of green jobs in economic recovery:
    Part of the montage was this unmistakable visual message: "Green Jobs: SCAM" - a full-screen shot that displayed the words in white against a dark green background, with the word "SCAM" appearing most prominently in the center of the screen.

    With that, Angle's espousing a line lifted straight from the Tea Party playbook: that investing in green energy has created no jobs, and should be stopped.

    That could possibly be construed a reasonable argument but for one thing: in Nevada, it's palpably untrue.

  • Alarm over "pig MRSA" - but not in the US (Wired):
    [S]ome new news out - along with a fair amount of public reaction - regarding "pig MRSA" or, to use the technical term, MRSA ST398, the "third epidemic" strain that emerged in pigs in the Netherlands in 2004 and has since appeared, in animals, retail meat, and humans, across the European Union, in Canada, and in the United States.
    ...
    It is important to note that there is no clear evidence that MRSA ST398 in animals is causing human cases in Denmark (though such cases have been recorded in numerous other countries).
    ...
    This burst of news and reaction from Denmark makes it clear - as though it weren't already - that there are places in the world which take the emergence of MRSA in farm animals, as a result of farm antibiotic use, to be a very serious issue. Surely it's time for the US to take this seriously as well.
  • Nussle Hustle: Bush-era OMB chief Nussle named president of ethanol trade group (The Hill):
    "While representing the 1st district of Iowa for 16 years, I witnessed the positive impact that ethanol production had on rural America," Nussle said. "Over the past few years as a Director at Growth Energy, I've seen the benefits of ethanol to the entire country. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to work full-time on behalf of America's ethanol supporters, so that our nation can benefit even more from this clean, green, renewable fuel."
  • Disney receives award for saving water (Orange Co. Register):
    The resort created a program to cut down on the amount of water dumped into storm drains and the ocean.

    Disney is recognized mostly for using a type of porous asphalt that allows rainwater to seep into the water table, instead of going into the ocean.

    The concrete surfaces have spaces and holes, almost like a sponge, which allow water to seep into the ground, said Jill Bicknell, awards committee chair. That prevents the water from running off, picking up pollutants and carrying them into the ocean.

  • Militants blow up oil pipeline in southern Yemen; unclear whether al-Qaida offshoot to blame (Canadian Business Online):
    It was not clear whether al-Qaida's local offshoot was behind the attack, a Yemeni official said. Other anti-government militants are also active in southern Yemen.
  • Judge Suspends Navajo Mining Permit (NYT Green):
    In a significant legal victory for Navajo campaigners, a federal judge has voided a permit for the expansion of one of two operating mines on the Navajo reservation, calling for a more thorough review of the project's impact on the environment and on cultural sites.
  • Experts Foresee Bumpy Transition from Fossil Fuels, Even with Promising Energy Alternatives (American Association for the Advancement of Science) [emphasis added]:
    As the discussion-the first in a series on "Science and Society: Global Challenges"-made clear, there are economic, geopolitical and environmental factors that greatly complicate the world's energy outlook.
    ...
    Parker of ExxonMobil said there is no "silver bullet" in our energy future. He said the better phrase is "silver buckshot," a suite of approaches for improved production and consumption of energy. There has been a renewed interest in natural gas as a fuel for power plants, Parker said, since they emit only about half as much heat-trapping carbon dioxide as coal-fired plants.
  • 'A coup d'etat against the carbon cronies': chatting with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (David Roberts, Grist):
    I caught up with him at the Fort Mason Center, where we chatted about ... well, mostly about how things are going to hell. But also other stuff!

    Q. Given there's no prospect of a comprehensive climate/energy bill for two, four, who knows how many years, what should climate and energy folks be doing? Where should their energies and attentions be focused?

    A. There are a lot of things that the federal government can do without going through Congress.