IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Australia is drowning... so is China... so is Brazil; EPA smackdown on Mountaintop Removal coal mining; Still more on the BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf ... PLUS: It's official: 2010 was the hottest year on record .... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): The Great Food Crisis of 2011; China's energy efficiency Increases 20% in 5 Years; Undercover cops infiltrated environmental groups in UK; Italy and other counties fined for illegal fishing; Why don’t larger solar power markets have lower prices?; Court strikes down TX suit against EPA air regs; 7 Must-Read Green Books for Your E-Reader; U.S. forest decline tied to spread of deadly virus; Supreme Court declines to hear case on climate change and Hurricane Katrina; Vertical farming: can it work? ... PLUS: Do Space Heaters Save Money and Energy? .....
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- It's Official: 2010 Tied for Hottest Year on Record:
- NASA Research Finds 2010 Tied for Warmest Year on Record (NASA.gov):
In 2010, global temperatures continued to rise. A new analysis from the Goddard Institute for Space Studies shows that 2010 tied with 2005 as the warmest year on record, and was part of the warmest decade on record.
- Breaking: Both NOAA and NASA data show 2010 tied with 2005 for hottest year on record: 2010 was also the wettest year on record (Climate Progress):
These records are also especially impressive because we’ve been in “the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century.” It’s just hard to stop the march of manmade global warming, other than by sharply reducing greenhouse gas emissions, that is.
- NOAA: 2010 Tied For Warmest Year on Record (NOAA.gov)
- A Photo Finish for Warmest Year on Record: It might come as something of a shock to hear this just now, with snow on the ground in 49 of the 50 states, but a new report shows that 2010 tied 2005 as the warmest year in the historical record. (NYT Green)
- Australia is drowing... so is China... and so is Brazil:
- Warming of oceans driving flooding/drought extremes in Australia (Climate Signals):
Climate change has likely intensified the monsoon rains that have triggered record floods in Australia’s Queensland state, scientists said on Wednesday, with several months of heavy rain and storms still to come.
The rains have been blamed on one of the strongest La Nina patterns ever recorded. La Nina is a cooling of ocean temperatures in the east and central Pacific, which usually leads to more rain over much of Australia, Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia.
“We’ve always had El Ninos and we’ve had natural variability but the background which is now operating is different,” said David Jones, head of climate monitoring and prediction at the Australia Bureau of Meteorology in Melbourne.
- Record sea temperatures drive record rains for Australia (Climate Signals)
- Australia floods: 'The house has gone, the car's gone – everything apart from the clothes we had on our backs': Residents tell tales of survival and sorrow after the devastating floods (Guardian UK)
- Australian floods: rebuilding task will reach 'post-war proportions': Queensland premier Anna Bligh said the crisis was the worst natural disaster the state had experienced (Guardian UK)
- Floods pour into Brisbane; 20,000 homes in danger (AP)
- Floods and landslides sweep hundreds to their deaths: Rescuers battle against the devastating effects of heavy rains to save lives in Brazil, Australia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines (Guardian UK)
- 355 die in Brazil slides, survivors relate horrors (AP)
- Australia floods: Kindness of strangers – and brothers – as flood hits peak: News of 13-year-old hero spreads around the world as thousands flee Brisbane (Guardian UK)
- UN agencies are aiding flood relief in Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka News)
- VIDEO: Australia Floods Send Cars Down River
- EPA Smackdown on Mountaintop Removal Strip Mining:
- Breaking news: EPA vetoes Spruce Mine permit (Coal Tattoo)
- The EPA's Discontents: Enviros and local activists are cheering the Environmental Protection Agency's decision to veto a permit for the Spruce mine in West Virginia, but the coal industry—and a number of coal-friendly legislators—aren't pleased. (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones)
- EPA vetoes major mountaintop removal mining project (The Hill):
“The proposed Spruce No. 1 Mine would use destructive and unsustainable mining practices that jeopardize the health of Appalachian communities and clean water on which they depend,” Peter Silva, EPA assistant administrator for water, said in a statement.
It’s the first time that EPA has used its veto authority under the Clean Water Act to stop a project that has already been approved. The project was approved in 2007 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, but has been caught up in litigation for years. It's also the latest move by the Obama administration to turn a critical eye toward mountaintop removal mining.
- BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf: MORE on the National Oil Spill Commission Report:
- READ the Report and SEE the Multi-media Presentation: The National Commision on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill And Offshore Drilling's Final Report (OilSpillCommission.gov)
- Offshore oil industry needs sweeping overhaul – White House commission (Guardian UK)
- WATCH the Press Conference: The National Oil Spill Commission Final Report (C-SPAN)
- Primer: Everything you need to know about the oil spill commission's report (The Hill)
- Panel Calls For Tough Regulation After BP Spill (Reuters)
- After release of spill commission report, oil industry plays defense (The Hill)
- Oil still washing up on Louisiana coast (UPI)
- The Great Food Crisis of 2011: It's real, and it's not going away anytime soon. (Foreign Policy Magazine):
But whereas in years past, it's been weather that has caused a spike in commodities prices, now it's trends on both sides of the food supply/demand equation that are driving up prices. On the demand side, the culprits are population growth, rising affluence, and the use of grain to fuel cars. On the supply side: soil erosion, aquifer depletion, the loss of cropland to nonfarm uses, the diversion of irrigation water to cities, the plateauing of crop yields in agriculturally advanced countries, and --- due to climate change --- crop-withering heat waves and melting mountain glaciers and ice sheets. These climate-related trends seem destined to take a far greater toll in the future.
- China's Energy Efficiency Increases 20% in 5 Years (Treehugger)
- Second police officer to infiltrate environmental activists unmasked: 'Officer A', who played key role in climate camp, has been accused of betraying friends worried by her disappearance (Guradian UK)
- Italy and Others Cited for Illegal Fishing (NYT):
Vessels from six nations, including Italy, engaged in illegal fishing on the high seas in 2009 and 2010, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported to Congress on Wednesday.
The report details the widespread use of illegal driftnets, overfishing of stocks protected by international quotas and the unlawful use of spotting planes to catch increasingly rare bluefin tuna, among other violations. Also cited for violations were vessels from Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Portugal and Venezuela.
- Why don’t larger solar power markets have lower prices? (Grist)
- Court Denies Texas Request to Halt Greenhouse Gas Permitting (Texas Tribune):
A federal court has denied Texas' request to halt a federal takeover of greenhouse gas regulations in the state.
Texas — which has refused to implement federal greenhouse gas rules that came into effect on Jan. 2 — had asked for a stay of Environmental Protection Agency plans to directly issue greenhouse gas permits to affected companies in the state.
- 7 Must-Read Green Books for Your E-Reader (Treehugger)
- Spread of Deadly Virus Tied to Forest Decline (NYT Green)
- U.S. Supreme Court declines case blaming energy companies, global warming for Hurricane Katrina damage (Treehugger)
- Vertical Farming: Does it really stack up?: Growing crops in vertical farms in the heart of cities is said to be a greener way to produce food. But the idea is still unproven (The Economist)
- Do Space Heaters Save Money and Energy? (Mother Jones)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...