With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 11/30/2010, 1:10pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: After failure in Copenhagen, the next climate summit begins in Cancun, Mexico; Bye-bye Bluefin Tuna (Sorry, Charlie!)... PLUS: The Earth, now in 3D ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Greenpeace Sues Chemical and PR Firms for "Unlawful" Spying; Study Warns GMO Salmon pose serious risks to society; For EPA regulations, benefits consistently exceed costs; Accusations of Plagiarism Mount Over GOP's 2006 Climate Skeptic "Wegman Report"; Pittsburgh Bans Natural Gas Drilling; States Diverting Money From Climate Initiative ... PLUS: 8 Electric-Car Myths Busted ....

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


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

  • Study Warns GMO Salmon pose serious risks to society (INN World report):
    A new study has warned genetically modified salmon, which the US Food and Drug administration is about to approve for human consumption, poses serious risks to society. If approved, the quick-growing salmon would be the first "Frankenfood" animal approved for consumption by the US public. The study by US and Norwegian researchers, published in the journal Science, contends "not enough is known about the wider impacts on society of bringing such foods on the market, including a potentially major shift in dietary habits, buying practices and environmental hazards."
  • Troubling Emails Reveal Federal Scientists Fear FDA Approval of Genetically Engineered Salmon (Food & Water Watch)
  • For EPA regulations, benefits consistently exceed costs (Climate Progress):
    Research shows that the benefits of environmental regulations consistently exceed costs, in part because they end up costing far less than both industry and the EPA predict.

    When EPA promulgates regulations, industry often expresses concern that the regulations will cause extreme economic hardship. Now this argument is being made regarding EPA regulation of carbon pollution using existing legal authorities like the Clean Air Act.

    In fact, there is extensive literature showing that the costs of environmental regulations are more than offset by a broad range of economic, public health and jobs-related benefits. Additionally, initial cost estimates are consistently found to be exaggerated. Economists and researchers who have compared actual costs with initial projections report that regulations generally end up costing far less than the dire predictions from industry and even, as an RFF study shows [pdf], below cost projections by the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Accusations of Plagiarism Mount Over GOP's 2006 Climate Skeptic "Wegman Report":
    • Experts claim 2006 climate report plagiarized: An influential 2006 congressional report that raised questions about the validity of global warming research was partly based on material copied from textbooks, Wikipedia and the writings of one of the scientists criticized in the report, plagiarism experts say. (USA Today)
    • Climate science critic responds to allegations: The author of a report critical of climate scientists defended himself against plagiarism charges Tuesday, and denied he was pressured by Republicans to tilt the report. Wegman was the lead author of a 2006 congressional climate science report that has become central in the debate over whether findings of global warming are warranted by scientific evidence. (USA Today)
    • Replication and due diligence, Wegman style (Deep Climate)
  • Greenpeace Sues Chemical and PR Firms for "Unlawful" Spying (Mother Jones)"
    In 2008, Mother Jones blew the lid off corporate black ops against environmental groups. Now one of the targets is fighting back.
    ...
    More than two years ago, Mother Jones exposed a private security firm run by former Secret Service agents that had spied on an array of environmental groups on behalf of corporate clients, in some cases infiltrating unsuspecting organizations with operatives posing as activists. Now, one of the targets of this corporate espionage is fighting back.

    On Monday, Greenpeace filed suit in federal district court in Washington, DC, against the Dow Chemical Company and Sasol North America, charging that the two multinational chemical manufacturers sought to thwart its environmental campaigns against genetically engineered foods and chemical pollution through elaborate undercover operations.

  • Pittsburgh Bans Natural Gas Drilling (YES! Magazine):
    In a historic vote, the City of Pittsburgh today adopted a first-in-the-nation ordinance banning corporations from natural gas drilling in the city.

    Faced with the potential for drilling - and the controversial new practice known as “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing - within city limits, the Pittsburgh City Council unanimously said “no.” Fracking means injecting water laced with sand and toxic chemicals underground to create deep ground explosions that release the gas.
    ..
    Fracking has been demonstrated to be a threat to surface and groundwater, and has been blamed for fatal explosions, the contamination of drinking water, rivers, and streams. Because it disturbs rock that’s laced not only with methane, but with carcinogens like benzene and radioactive ores like uranium, forcing the mix to the surface adds to the dangers.

  • States Diverting Money From Climate Initiative (NY Times):
    In New Hampshire, the state took $3.1 million from a similar environmental fund. And in New Jersey, the government diverted its whole share: $65 million.

    At least three financially troubled states have discovered in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade system, a convenient pool of money that can be drawn on to help balance state budgets.

    In just over two years, the initiative, known as RGGI, has generated more than $729 million for the 10 states that have participated.

  • 8 Electric-Car Myths Busted: Will plug-in cars fry the grid? Bust your budget? Leave you stranded in the sticks? (Mother Jones):
    The Volt can go 40 miles on battery power and another 310 thanks to an auxiliary gas engine, which kicked in smoothly as I floored it up a hill during a recent test drive. The Leaf is—even cooler—completely electric, with a range of about 100 miles. In 2011, Ford, Mitsubishi, and Mercedes-Benz plan to introduce their own tailpipe-free models. GE has ordered up thousands for its sales force, and the federal government has set a target for 1 million electric vehicles by 2015. (A good step, even considering the 246 million or so gas vehicles already on the road.) Are we finally ready after years of false starts? Despite widespread public jitters, the experts I polled said yes. Herewith, eight e-car worries not to spin your wheels over....