With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 12/14/2010, 1:11pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Sorry, Rush. You're a liar: November 2010 the hottest on record; Visit sunny, glowing Chernobyl; Midwest blizzard now threatens Florida's crops; PLUS: A New and Improved climate agreement! Now with more U.S. and China! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): US Southwest could see 60-year drought; Switching to LED Christmas lights saves one family $71,600; Obama's tax deal: will renewable energy get extended?; Court says EPA can move on carbon pollution standards; FDA: 29 million pounds of antibiotics used in factory farming each year; Feds dismiss need to recall lead drinking glasses; EPA allowed bee-toxic pesticide despite own scientists' red flags; NY governor vetoes "fracking" bill; New payment option for BP oil spill claims fund; Super-toxic rat poison endangers 10k US children each year; Forged foreman's license used for inspections before WV mine disaster ... PLUS: National security: Why we might fight, 2011 Edition ....

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

  • LISTEN: (Liar) Limbaugh: "This is the second or third winter" that has disproved the global warming "fraud" (Media Matters):

  • NASA, NOAA, WMO: November 2010 Hottest Ever:
  • Visit Sunny, Glowing Chernobyl!:
    • Chernobyl: now open to tourists (Guardian UK):
      • Ukraine announces official tours of 1986 nuclear disaster site
      • 2015 completion date of new sarcophagus for leaking reactor
  • Snowpocalypse in Midwest, Now Threatening Crops in Florida
    • Helicopters used to save Fla. crop from rare chill: The choppers hover low over green bean and sweet corn fields, moving back and forth in the early morning hours to push warmer air closer to the plants - and, the farmers hope, save the plants from a deadly frost.(AP)
  • COP16: UN Climate Summit Ends with The Cancun Agreement:
    • Cancun decisions at a glance (AP)
    • Cancun Climate Breakthrough (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones):
      It's not perfect, and it's not binding, but international climate negotiators have struck a deal.
      ...
      It was after 3 a.m. when the parties adopted the two agreements-one that delays a decision on the future of the Kyoto Protocol and another laying out in more detail a new agreement on climate that includes major emitters like the US and China. Of the 194 countries represented in Cancun, 193 backed the text-which, while it falls short on many fronts, represented "a new era in international cooperation on climate change," said Patricia Espinosa, the minister of foreign affairs for Mexico and president of the summit. Much of what is included in the 32-page agreement for a new climate agreement [pdf] is based on the spare Copenhagen Accord, formalizing it within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
    • Cancún climate change summit: The final day as it happened: All the developments from Friday at the UN talks, as 193 countries tried to make progress on a deal to tackle global warming (Guardian UK)
    • The Cancun Compacts: Nations Of World Choose Hope In Face Of Climate Crisis (Wonk Room):
      "Confidence is back," announced Mexico's President Felipe Calderon at the conclusion of climate talks in Cancun at 3 am. "Hope has returned."
      ...
      The Cancun compacts are the first real step toward building an international system that involves all global warming pollution - not just that produced by the rich nations governed by the Kyoto Protocol. With one agreement that allows for the future development of the Kyoto Protocol system, the other establishes an international Green Climate Fund to be managed by the World Bank, and enacts mechanisms to fight deforestation and deploy clean technology in the developing world. Unfortunately, the review of the adequacy of these agreements with respect to the scientific threat is set to conclude in 2015 - even though the current targets were set in 2007 and are already out of date.
    • Small climate deals forged outside int'l talks (AP):
      Walmart is going green in its Chinese factories. George Soros is exploring investments in the restoration of drained peatlands in Indonesia. Denmark is joining South Korea in a new fund to transform developing economies.

      As delegates to the latest U.N. climate talks struggled to come up with a modest pair of global warming accords, governments, businesses and individuals working behind the scenes forged ahead with their own projects to cut emissions.

    • New Climate Battle Looms in South Africa in 2011 (Reuters)
    • Deal in Cancun Restores Faith in UN Climate Process But Many Questions Remain (Greenwire)
    • ANALYSIS: On climate, the elephant that's ignored (AP):
      If they step too far, however, they're going to bump into an elephant in the room.

      That would be the U.S. Republican Party, and nobody at the Cancun meetings wanted to talk about the impending Republican takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives. It essentially rules out any new, legally binding pact requiring the U.S. and other major emitters of global warming gases to reduce their emissions.

    • UN climate meeting OKs Green Fund in new accord (AP)
    • Analysis: Climate Talks: 18 Years, Too Little Action? (Reuters)
    • Poor Countries Join the Rich in Agreeing To Monitor Emissions (McClatchy)
    • Britain Proposes Energy Overhaul (Wall St. Journal)
    • By The Numbers: True Cost of Inaction on Clean Energy and Climate Change (Wonk Room):
      -The U.S. Is Already Paying Billions for International and Domestic Climate Change-related Disasters...
      -Inaction Is More Expensive, Meanwhile Business Opportunities Are Lost
      ...
      -Businesses Are Urging U.S. to Lead on Climate Fund
      ...
      -U.S. Investment in Climate Finance is of Vital National Interest
      ...
      -Yet Those Opposed Are Those Most Bankrolled By Big Polluters...
    • REPORT: Global Clean Power: A $2.3 Trillion Opportunity (Pew Environment Group)
  • Watch COP16: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico:
    • The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; Watch the Proceedings Live HERE Via Streaming Video (UNFCCC):
      The United Nations Climate Change Conference is taking place in Cancun, Mexico, from 29 November to 10 December 2010. It encompasses the sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP) and the sixth Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP), as well as the thirty-third sessions of both the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), and the fifteenth session of the AWG-KP and thirteenth session of the AWG-LCA.
    • LIVE BLOGGING the Cancún climate summit:
      Follow live updates from the Cancún climate change conference as thousands of officials, campaigners and activists join world leaders for the start of two weeks of crucial talks (Guardian UK)

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

  • Switching to LED Christmas Lights Could Save One Family $71,600 During December (Treehugger):
    The Faucher family in Deleware has an affinity for holiday lighting, or rather, an obsession. The family decorates their house with a whopping one million lights. If your jaw dropped open, we're right there with you. The total cost of their energy bill at the end of the month is an estimated $82,300. That's the cost of running the whole show for four hours a night through the month of December. But by switching to LED lights, they could save the majority of that money.
  • Jobs argument is potent in tax debate, but some say it's off point (Greenwire):
    Renewable energy industry leaders argue that failure to renew a key tax benefit threatens tens of thousands of jobs and blocks the creation of at least 65,000 more.

    It's a powerful political assertion at a time of high unemployment. It's also flawed, analysts said.

  • Court gives green light to EPA carbon pollution standards (Grist):
    Big news today from the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, which just gave the green light to implementing the EPA's first carbon pollution standards next January. The court flatly rejected the efforts by America's biggest carbon polluters and the state of Texas to block all of the EPA's efforts to begin curbing the dangerous pollution that causes global warming under the nation's clean air laws.
  • FDA says 29 million pounds of antibiotics used in food animals last year (Marion Nestle, Food Politics):
    Because this is the first time the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine has produced such a count, it is not possible to say whether the numbers are going up or down. But the agency is now requiring meat producers to report on antibiotic use so we now have a baseline for measuring progress.

    The FDA has been concerned about the use and misuse of animal antibiotics for some time now, so much so that in June it issued guidance on The Judicious Use of Medically Important Antimicrobial Drugs in Food-Producing Animals.

  • Feds dismiss need to recall lead drinking glasses (AP):
    A federal agency reversed itself Friday and said lead-laced Wizard of Oz and superhero drinking glasses are, in fact, for adults - not children's products subject to a previously announced recall.

    The stunning about-face came after the Consumer Product Safety Commission said last month the glasses were children's products and thus subject to strict federal lead limits.

    Lab testing by The Associated Press found lead in the colored decorations up to 1,000 times the federal maximum for children's products. The CPSC has no limits on lead content on the outside of adult drinking glasses.

  • Leaked document shows EPA allowed bee-toxic pesticide despite own scientists' red flags (Grist):
    It's not just the State and Defense departments that are reeling this month from leaked documents. The Environmental Protection Agency now has some explaining to do, too. In place of dodgy dealings with foreign leaders, this case involves the German agrichemical giant Bayer; a pesticide with an unpronounceable name, clothianidin; and an insect species crucial to food production (as well as a food producer itself), the honeybee. And in lieu of a memo leaked to a globetrotting Australian, this one features a document delivered to a long-time Colorado beekeeper.

    All of that, plus my favorite crop to fixate on: industrial corn, which blankets 88 million acres of farmland nationwide and produces a bounty of protein-rich pollen on which honeybees love to feast.

  • U.S. southwest could see a 60-year drought like that of 12th century — only hotter — this century (Climate Progress):
    In October, a National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) study warned, “The United States and many other heavily populated countries face a growing threat of severe and prolonged drought in coming decades … possibly reaching a scale in some regions by the end of the century that has rarely, if ever, been observed in modern times.”

    Now a new Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study, “A 1,200-year perspective of 21st century drought in southwestern North America” looks at the paleoclimate record to see the kind of drought the southwest — and other regions — might experience.

  • NY Governor Vetoes Fracking Bill (NYT Green):
    Gov. David A. Paterson of New York on Saturday vetoed legislation intended to curtail natural gas development using the technique called hydraulic fracturing until a closer review of its effects can be undertaken.
  • Ken Feingberg Offers Third Option For Gulf Oil Spill Claims Payments (NOLA.com):
    Gulf oil spill claims czar Kenneth Feinberg introduced a new option Monday to the 170,000 claimants who have already received an emergency payment, offering 'quick' payments of $5,000 to individuals and $25,000 to businesses who are willing to sign away their rights to sue.
  • Super-toxic Rat Poison Kills Wildlife, Endangers 10k US Children Every Year (Environmental Health News):
    Owls are dying under gruesome circumstances, bleeding to death from stomach hemorrhages in an agonizing and days-long decline. The
    culprit: An extra-potent class of rodenticides that has flooded the market in recent decades.
  • Upper Big Branch Worker Used Forged Foreman's License to Inspect Mines (Charleston Gazette):
    Why We Might Fight, 2011 Edition (NY Times):
    Rare minerals. Food and water. Arable soil. Air-cleansing forests. In the intellectual heart of the American military and policy-making world, these are emerging not just as environmental issues, but as the potential stuff of conflict in the 21st century.