With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
Veteran's Day Edition!
By Desi Doyen on 11/11/2010, 1:23pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Limbaugh continues to hoax America; Vets get Senate help for chemical exposure; Cholera spreads in Haiti; Halliburton in the fracking hot seat (again); Mother Jones wins for BP Oil Spill reporting... PLUS: Sexy, sexy energy efficiency with Joe Biden ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Arctic oil spill clean-up plans are 'thoroughly inadequate'; EPA to push efficiency on big carbon emitters; House Republican: "God will save us from climate change"; Election poll shows voters still want clean economy; Recognizing and rejecting junk climate science; Testimony: Poor cementing at BP well symptom of wider problem; Scientists see alarming rise in beak deformities; Fast-food wrappers leach chemicals into food; IEA: last year's inaction on climate goals cost us $1 trillion; ...PLUS: Europe's military leaders differ with U.S. Republicans over urgency of global warming security threats ...

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

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

  • Arctic oil spill clean-up plans are 'thoroughly inadequate', industry warned: Report from US environment group warns that ice, freezing temperatures and high seas would overwhelm any clean-up attempts (Guardian UK)
  • EPA to Push Efficiency on Big Carbon Emitters (Reuters):
    U.S. environmental regulators said on Wed. they will not force coal plants to adopt technologies to cut GHGs output, but will push them to become more energy efficient.
  • God will save us from climate change: U.S. Representative (Toronto Star):
    U.S. Representative John Shimkus, possible future chairman of the Congressional committee that deals with energy and its attendant environmental concerns, believes that climate change should not concern us since God has already promised not to destroy the Earth.

    Shimkus, an evangelical Christian and a Republican member of the House from Illinois, on Tuesday signalled his desire to become chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

  • Election Poll Shows Voters Still Want Clean Economy (Solve Climate)
  • China Still Bans Rare Earth to Japan (NY Times):
    The Chinese government is continuing to block shipments of crucial strategic minerals to Japan, according to industry executives, analysts and a Japanese official.
    ...
    Rare earths are essential for a wide variety of products, including wind turbines and smartphones, gasoline-electric hybrid cars, oil refining and the tiny electric motors that control the guidance fins on missiles and smart bombs.
  • Six public guidelines for recognizing and rejecting junk climate science and disinformation (Climate Science Watch):
    "Unfortunately, the world needs to take firm action about the threat of man­made climate change within the next decade," says climate scientist Richard C. J. Somerville. "Realistically, there may be no chance to educate the general public in depth about the science so quickly. Meanwhile, a well-funded and effective professional disinformation campaign has been successful in sowing confusion…Thus, the more urgent task for us scientists may well be to give the public guidelines for recognizing and rejecting junk science and disinformation."
  • Testimony: Poor cementing at BP well symptom of wider problem (McClatchy News):
    Drilling engineers and government officials are almost lackadaisical in their approach to the critical steps of closing down an offshore oil drilling rig and sealing it, two days of testimony before a presidential commission investigating last spring's explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig indicate.
  • Scientists: Bird Beak deformities increase in Northwest (AP) [emphasis added]:
    Scientists have observed the highest rate of beak abnormalities ever recorded in wild bird populations in Alaska and the Northwest, a study by two federal scientists said. The U.S. Geological Survey study on beak deformities in northwestern crows in Alaska, Washington and British Columbia follows a trend found earlier in Alaska's black-capped chickadees.

    "The prevalence of these strange deformities is more than 10 times what is normally expected in a wild bird population," said research biologist Colleen Handel.

  • Fast Food Wrappers and Popcorn Bags Leach Fire-Fighting Chemical into Food (Treehugger):
    [T]he packaging also leaches its own worrisome problems directly into the food wrapped inside them.

    A new study has found that perfluoroalkyls, synthetic chemicals that repel oil and are used on paper packaging like food wrappers and popcorn bags to prevent grease from leaking through them, can migrate directly into food-and then into human blood, where these chemicals have already been found.

  • IEA: last year's inaction on climate goals cost us $1 trillion (Ars Technica):
    Each year, the International Energy Agency produces a report in which it considers trends in energy use and makes projections for the future. Usually, these reports simply take recent trends and project them forward, but this year's is somewhat different: its author uses a mixture of current trends and the projected impact of countries' pledges for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and subsidies for fossil fuels. This results in some eye-popping figures. Globally, we're subsidizing fossil fuel use to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, at a rate of over five times the subsidies going to renewable energy. And our inaction on climate goals has tacked $1 trillion onto the cost of reaching them-in 2009 alone.
  • Europe's Military Leaders Differ With U.S. Republicans Over Urgency of Global Warming Problems (Climatewire):
    "Climate change will happen, and that will affect all of us," Bech said. Already, she said, "climate change is having a big effect on the Arctic region."

    Beyond the challenges for countries like Denmark, Canada and others in the Arctic, she noted that increasingly governments need to think strategically about how they help already-fragile countries facing environmental catastrophes like Pakistan. More than 20 million people were displaced by floods there in July.
    ...
    [C]limate change is widely recognized as a threat multiplier. That is, the changes in the hydrologic cycle that will lead to droughts, floods and more severe storms will hit especially hard in areas already suffering from food insecurity, poor infrastructure and unstable regimes.