IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Snow-mageddon backlash in NJ; Flood-ageddon escalates in Australia; New year, new rules for big polluters; New GOP majority plans new assault on EPA ... PLUS: Gee, that's not apocalyptic at all: 1000s of birds, 1000s of fish drop dead in Arkansas .... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Oil stays above $91; China claims new nuclear technology; Massive drop in U.S. bumblebee population; EPA overstated "benefits" of toxic coal ash; BP oil disaster’s effects will ‘go global’: activist; Fate of BP's Gulf oil still largely unknown; How will cities adapt to climate change?; PA allows drillers to pollute drinking water supplies; Northern Ireland in water crisis; Feds recommend new inspections in response to San Bruno gas pipeline blast ... PLUS: Coal's burnout: No new construction of coal-fired power plants......
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Snow-mageddon (Blizz-ageddon?) Backlash in New Jersey:
- Blame the Locals: NJ Gov. Chris Christie Defends Florida Vacation During Blizzard: 'A Great Five Days' (Think Progress)
- OP-ED: Chris Christie commits political suicide (NJ Star-Ledger):
I expected him to apologize for his inexplicable decision to fly to Disney World Sunday morning as a blizzard was brewing.
Instead, he attacked the other elected officials who stayed and tried to do the job he should have been doing. He praised the state's efforts in his absence and placed blame on some of the locals for screwing up.
- Flood-ageddon Escalates in Australia: Military Evacuations, Aid Drops
- Australian city cut off by floods braces for more (AP)
- Australian military flies in flood relief supplies (Reuters)
- Thousands of Birds, Fish Drop Dead in Arkansas (Nah, that's not apocalyptic at all):
- For Arkansas Blackbirds, the New Year Never Came (NY Times)
- Dead birds fall from sky in Arkansas: US wildlife experts are trying to find out why thousands of dead birds fell from the sky over an Arkansas town (Guardian UK)
- Bizarre blackbird, fish deaths spread: 500 birds dead in Louisana; 100 tons of fish die in Brazil: (NY Daily News) [emphasis added]:
It isn't 2012, but a rash of animal deaths is making this year look like the End of Days.
Following on the heels of thousands of red-winged blackbirds dying in a small Arkansas town, several hundred more mysteriously died farther south in Louisiana.
Officials are trying to determine what killed an estimated 500 of the small birds, who littered Louisiana Highway 1 near Pointe Coupee Parish when they fell out of the sky, according to Baton Rouge's The Advocate.
- Thousands of dead birds and fish in Arkansas leave many scratching heads (Yahoo News)
- Massive fish kill blankets Arkansas River (CNN)
- New Year, New Rules for Big Polluters
- U.S. court rules Texas cannot delay EPA - mandated greenhouse gas rules (Environmental News Network)
- Texas files again to block EPA carbon rules in state (TPM)
- New Climate Regs, A Primer on the Federal Greenhouse Gas Regime: Part I (Science Magazine)
- Major Republican Flip-Floppery on Greenhouse Gas Emissions:
- The Next War on EPA Regulations: Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the incoming chair of the energy and commerce committee, has promised to put regulation of climate-changing emissions on the top of the docket—blocking it, that is. (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones)
- WATCH: Kate Sheppard Explains: Major Republicans Flip Flop on Climate Change (Countdown, MCNBC)
- Fred Upton's Climate Changeup (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones):
Does Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) have something to hide when it comes to his position on climate change?
In the past, Upton—the incoming chair of the House energy and commerce committee—has advocated taking action on global warming. "I strongly believe that everything must be on the table as we seek to reduce carbon emissions," he once stated on his website. But that statement recently vanished from his site—along with, it seems, his concern about global warming. Following a tea party-aided Republican takeover of the House and a heated fight for the chairmanship of the powerful committee...
- Incoming Energy Chair Rep. Fred Upton: 'I Don't Think We Have To Regulate Carbon' (Think Progress)
- Top Republican eyes Congressional Review Act challenge to EPA rules (The Hill)
- Remember When Cap and Trade Was a GOP Idea? (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones) [emphasis added]:
[T]he idea of capping emmissions and trading emission permits was originally a GOP idea introduced to deal with acid rain. On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency released a report celebrating the 15-year-old program to curb acid rain as an environmental (and economic) success.
- From a Theory to a Consensus on Emissions (NY Times, 3/9/2009) [emphasis added]:
How did cap and trade, hatched as an academic theory in obscure economic journals half a century ago, become the policy of choice in the debate over how to slow the heating of the planet? And how did it come to eclipse the idea of simply slapping a tax on energy consumption that befouls the public square or leaves the nation hostage to foreign oil producers?
- Anthropology of an Idea: Capping It Off --- A Timeline of Cap and Trade (Foreign Policy):
"Cap and trade" began not as a catchphrase, but as a simple concept: that the market could help curb pollution. Its roots date to the 1960s, when U.S. government scientists came up with a scheme for regulating sulfur dioxide emissions through setting a cap and then trading the right to emit over the limit.
- The Political History of Cap and Trade (Smithsonian Magazine):
How an unlikely mix of environmentalists and free-market conservatives hammered out the strategy known as cap-and-trade.
- OP-ED: Get Ready for a G.O.P. Rerun (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
You just can’t close the door on this crowd. The party that brought us the worst economy since the Great Depression, that led us into Iraq and the worst foreign policy disaster in American history, that would like to take a hammer to Social Security and a chisel to Medicare, is back in control of the House of Representatives with the expressed mission of undermining all things Obama.
It was ever thus. The fundamental mission of the G.O.P. is to shovel ever more money to those who are already rich. That’s why you got all that disgracefully phony rhetoric from Republicans about attacking budget deficits and embracing austerity while at the same time they were fighting like mad people to pile up the better part of a trillion dollars in new debt by extending the Bush tax cuts.
This is a party that has mastered the art of taking from the poor and the middle class and giving to the rich.
- OP-ED: Make the Big Green Buy: Republican gains in Congress don't have to mean the end of efforts to combat greenhouse gas emissions. Obama can use governmental buying power. (LA Times)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Oil stays above $91 as OPEC signals no output hike (AP)
- China claims new nuclear technology:
China state media claims scientists have mastered a key technique to reprocess spent uranium (Guardian UK)
- US sees massive drop in bumble bees: study (AFP)
- Environmentalists: EPA overstated coal ash benefits (Charleston Gazette)
- BP oil disaster’s effects will ‘go global,’ Gulf Coast activist warns (Raw Story)
- Fate of Gulf Oil Still Largely Unknown (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones)
- Predicting the Climate-Changed City of the Future: Hundreds of millions of people, mainly in the developing world, are moving to cities. Without guidelines, these cities could lock in a high-carbon infrastructure that makes fighting climate change far tougher (Scientific American)
- Pennsylvania allows gas drillers to dump pollution into drinking water supplies (Raw Story)
- Northern Ireland water crisis chief fights off calls for resignations:
Consensus among politicians broken as SDLP member claims Conor Murphy is not taking responsibility for interrupted supplies (Guardian UK)
- Federal regulators issue safety recommendations stemming from pipeline blast (LA Times):
Six of the seven recommendations by the National Transportation Safety Board are labeled urgent. They stem from the explosion of a natural gas pipeline that killed eight people and destroyed 37 homes in San Bruno last September.
- Coal's burnout: No new construction of coal-fired power plants in the United States for the second straight year. (Washington Post)