With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 11/18/2010, 1:21pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: BP made 'poor decisions' in the Gulf, says the National Obvious Commission; GM is back, baby!; Lame ducks and Lame Dems: No food safety bill for you, but BPA stays in your food supply...PLUS: A Republican blasts --- blasts --- Republican climate change deniers ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Tea Party: Smart development is really a global conspiracy; EPA: Major US cities violate lead standards; UN, World Bank say act now on climate change or pay much more later; Illinois Spending $2M to Ship Asian Carp Back to China; Climate Change Set to Cause Migrant Surge; Exxon to Pay $25 Million to Settle Brooklyn Spill Suit; Four Ways to Harvest Solar Energy from Roads ... PLUS: Which has a bigger footprint, a coal plant or a solar farm?...

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

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

  • The Tea Party Targets... Sustainable Development?: If you believe conservative activists, smart growth is really a global conspiracy to herd Americans into "human habitation zones." (Mother Jones):
    First, they took on the political establishment in Congress. Now, tea partiers have trained their sights on a new and insidious target: local planning and zoning commissions, which activists believe are carrying out a global conspiracy to trample American liberties and force citizens into Orwellian "human habitation zones."

    At the root of this plot is the admittedly sinister-sounding Agenda 21, an 18-year-old UN plan to encourage countries to consider the environmental impacts of human development. Tea partiers see Agenda 21 behind everything from a septic tank inspection law in Florida to a plan in Maine to reduce traffic on Route 1. The issue even flared up briefly during the midterms, when Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes accused his Democratic opponent of using a bike-sharing program to convert Denver into a "United Nations Community."

  • Major U.S. Cities Violate New EPA Lead Standards: Los Angeles, Cleveland, Muncie, and 13 other U.S. areas violate new lead standard, EPA says (Scientific American):
    Sixteen areas, including Los Angeles, Tampa and Cleveland, have unhealthful amounts of lead in the air that violate national standards, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday.
    ...
    Lead, at low levels, can damage children's developing brains, reducing their IQs and causing learning disabilities or behavioral problems. It also has been linked to high blood cancer in adults and is a probably human carcinogen.
    ...
    A national health standard for lead originally was set in 1978, but research in recent years has shown that children are susceptible to neurological damage at lower levels, prompting the EPA in 2008 to strengthen the standard by tenfold.
  • Illinois Spending $2M to Ship Asian Carp Back to China (Treehugger):
    Big River Fish, which already processes fresh and dried fish, plans to ship 30 million pounds of Asian carp to China, under a contract with Beijing Zhuochen Animal Husbandry Co. Ltd. Apparently, the Chinese will jump at the chance to eat wild, river-raised Asian carp, which coincidentally are known for jumping out of the water and smacking Illinois anglers in the head. Rivers in China are too polluted to grow good-tasting jumpers.
  • Climate Change Set to Cause Migrant Surge (CNN):
    The devastating effects of climate change and conflicts fought over ever-scarcer resources such as water could cause a surge in migration that experts fear the world is totally unprepared for.
  • Exxon to Pay $25 Million to Settle Brooklyn Spill Suit (Bloomber):
    Exxon Mobil Corp. agreed to pay $25 million to settle a lawsuit over a decades-old oil spill and related environmental contamination in Brooklyn, New York, state Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo said.
  • The Myth of "Concentrated Energy": Which has a bigger footprint, a coal plant or a solar farm? (grist):
    [It] sense if you're just comparing the land footprint of a coal plant to the land footprint of a solar thermal plant. California's proposed Blythe plant will require a whopping 7,000 acres of Mohave Desert in order to deliver 2,100 GWh per year. The area of a coal plant producing the same output will typically be one square mile (640 acres) or less.

    But is that really a fair comparison? What about the land required to mine the coal? Shouldn't that be part in the equation?

    Unlike sunlight, coal does not fall from the sky. It has to be dug out of the ground, at the expense of substantial areas of forests, mountains, and prairies...

  • Four Ways to Harvest Solar Energy from Roads (EcoGeek):
    Knowing what we know now about climate change, it's clear that the tangled web of black asphalt roads that outlines our country is working against us. Asphalt can absorbs tons of heat, often reaching temperatures of up to 140 degrees in the summer and the process by which it's made isn't environmentally friendly either, but there may be a way to turn that pavement into an energy resource.

    Researchers at the University of Rhode Island have come up with four ways to harness the solar energy absorbed by pavement and put it to good use and they're working on ways to implement them now...