IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Midwest digs out and Australia dries out --- just two of this week's 'Storms of the Century'; Oh, look! Glenn Beck misrepresents climate science (again)!; GOP's solution to Egypt's unrest: more offshore drilling! ... PLUS: Obama talks sexy, sexy energy efficiency ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Judge: Gulf Claims Czar not "independent" of BP; 85% of oyster reef ecosystems lost; Green Jobs: Laid-off coal miners now installing solar panels; EPA to restrict pesticide testing on humans; Huge profits & huge taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil; FedEx CEO calls for end to oil; EPA plans new limits on toxic chemicals in drinking water; EPA proposes no changes to carbon monoxide limits; China to spend trillions on new nuclear power, high-speed rail; UK's forest sell-off will cost more than it saves; US unlikely to meet electric car goals by 2015 ... PLUS: A vision of the future: the path to 100% renewable energy by 2050....
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Oh look: Right Wingers Misrepresent Climate Science, brought to you by Media Matters:
- Beck Cites Winter Snow To Question Climate Change (Media Matters.org)
- Fox News science columnist seeks sources to mock climate science — even if they know it is accurate (Climate Progress):
Gawker reports that Fox News anti-science columnist Gene Koprowski is “seeking sources to to explain the ‘ridiculousness’ of the idea of global warming causing snow.” Koprowski “posted this request to Profnet, the service that brings together desperate journalists and publicity-hungry sources”.
- Fox News Has Repeatedly Promoted The Manufactures "Climategate" Scandal, Claimed Warming "Doesn't Exist," And Asserted That The Earth Is Actually "Cooling" (Media Matters.org)
- Rolling Stone: At Fox News, "Manufacturing Doubt About Global Warming Remains Official Policy" (Media Matters.org)
- Fox News' Top 10 Lies About Climate Science (Media Matters.org)
- Fox Hosts Yet Another Climate Skeptic To Cast Doubt On Global Warming (Media Matters.org)
- Extreme Weather, As Predicted, Is Expensive!: Midwest Digs Out, Australia Dries Out From This Week's 'Storm of the Century':
- Queensland, Australia slammed by cyclone (Washington Post)
- Australian flood loss could total $20 billion (Reuters)
- Mammoth Storm Leaves Bitter Cold, Destruction: (AP)
- 2011 is looking a lot like 2012 the movie: Crazy storms highlight the crazy climate mess we’re in (Grist)
- Cyclone May Be Tipping Point in Australia Climate Policy Debate (Reuters):
Australia has endured two of its deadliest summers on record, blamed in part on global warming, but record fires, floods and cyclones have not persuaded it to take strong action on climate change. But some experts hope that Wednesday's arrival of giant Cyclone Yasi on the coast of Queensland, already hit by massive floods last month, will help bring more of a sense of urgency to the political debate over climate policy.
- Why Seattle Will Stay Dry When Your City Floods (Mother Jones)
- Winter from hell: Don’t panic about having enough food, panic about all the crap we throw out (Grist)
- Bummer, man: Costs of inaction: the economics of high-end warming: Will climate change cause the world to "collapse," or just suffer "reductions in the rate of growth"? (Grist)
- GOP's "Solutions", Just More of the Same: More Offshore Drilling, Block the EPA:
- Top Republicans Exploit Egyptian Uprising To Shill For More Domestic Oil Drilling (Think Progress) [emphasis added]:
In the past few days, a number of high-profile Republican legislators have responded to the protests not by commenting on the need to support the movement, but by exploiting the uprising to shill for more domestic oil drilling here in the United States. These right-wing figures have argued that the demonstrations are likely to lead to a rise in oil prices and/or result in a government that restricts trade in the Suez canal, therefore the United States should expand its domestic oil drilling here at home...
- Obama Talks Sexy, Sexy Energy Efficiency:
- Rebuilding America: President Obama sets commercial building energy efficiency targets (Climate Progress):
President Obama’s unveiling today of an array of ambitious and achievable energy efficiency savings incentives and targets for our nation’s commercial-building owners could not be better timed. This new administration program, announced in the president’s speech today at Penn State University will result in thousands of new jobs for construction workers hard hit by the Great Recession and housing market travails, $40 billion a year in energy savings for U.S. commercial-building owners, and substantially less greenhouse gases escaping into the atmosphere to warm our planet.
- Chamber Calls Obama's Clean Energy Plan "Ridiculously Premature" (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones) [emphasis added]:
A week after President Obama called for setting a goal of drawing 80 percent of electricity from "clean" energy sources by 2035, the US Chamber of Commerce sent a message back in his direction: fat chance.
The Chamber has been a major opponent of efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, but the group signaled Tuesday that it is also going to fight Obama's much scaled-back version of an energy plan as well.
"It's ridiculously premature to even have a CES [Clean Energy Standard] conversation," said Christopher Guith, vice president for policy at the Institute.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Judge Rules Gulf Claims Czar Not "Independent" (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones):
The Obama administration tapped Feinberg to determine how the money BP agreed to put in the fund would be dolled out to those affected by the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But the fact that BP is paying Feinberg for his services (and paying him pretty well, I might add) has prompted a good deal of criticism. US District Judge Carl Barbier ruled on Wednesday that Feinberg must fully disclose his ties to BP in his conversations with Gulf coast residents seeking money from the Gulf Coast Claims Facility. "A full disclosure of the relationship between Mr. Feinberg, the GCCF, and BP will at least make transparent that it is BP's interests" Feinberg is representing, the judge wrote.
- The Jobs Project: Unemployed Coal Miners Install Solar Panels In West Virginia (AP):
A group devoted to creating alternative energy jobs in Central Appalachia is building a first for West Virginia's southern coalfields region this week – a set of rooftop solar panels, assembled by unemployed and underemployed coal miners and contractors.
- EPA Moves to Curb Pesticide Tests on HUMAN Subjects: (FairWarning.org);
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed tight restrictions on using people as test subjects - or, as critics have put it, guinea pigs - in pesticide research.
- Markey Report: Big Five Oil Companies Approach $1 Trillion in Profits for the Decade, Yet Still Rely on 100 Year-Old Subsidies to Sell $100 Oil (U.S. House Cmte. on Natural Resources):
Nearly $1 trillion – that’s the total profit earned by the top five multi-national oil companies over the first decade of the new millennium. $36.5 billion – that’s the total in tax subsidies the American public will provide to the oil industry over the next decade. $53 billion – that’s the value that oil companies could receive from not paying royalties on some Gulf of Mexico production over the next 25 years. And 1916 – the oldest tax subsidy the oil companies still utilize.
- Oil and Gas Group Urges Oscar Judges to Steer Clear of 'Gasland' (Greenwire):
An industry group sent a letter today to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, saying that a litany of errors in the anti-drilling film should render it ineligible for best documentary feature.
EID is an industry group formed to fight federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing, a process portrayed in the film as a central danger of oil and gas drilling. The group is closely affiliated with the Independent Petroleum Association of America, where Fuller is vice president of government affairs.
- FedEx CEO Calls For End To Oil (Think Progress):
Oil spikes bring about recessions, and “petroleum was responsible for 43% of U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions in 2009,” Smith, a huge financial supporter of George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain, explained. However, Smith agreed with the president that America can power away from petroleum:
"We cannot continue down this path. There is, however, a solution that may become economically attractive sooner than most think: cars and trucks powered by electricity. Electricity is generated by a diverse, domestic, stable, fundamentally scalable portfolio of fuels that is almost entirely free of oil."
- 85% of oyster reef ecosystems have been lost (PhysOrg News)
- E.P.A. Plans New Limits on Toxic Chemicals in Drinking Water (NYT Green):
The Obama administration said Wednesday that it would impose limits on permissible levels of a new set of toxic chemicals in drinking water, including the first standards for perchlorate, a dangerous compound found in rocket fuel and fireworks that has contaminated water supplies in 26 states.
Studies have found that hundreds of industrial and agricultural chemicals, including several known carcinogens, are present in municipal water systems around the country. The nation’s laws and enforcement programs have not kept pace with spreading contamination, posing significant health risks to millions.
- EPA proposes no changes to carbon monoxide limits (Greenwire):
The current air quality standards for carbon monoxide (CO) are strong enough to protect public health, U.S. EPA said today as the agency issued a proposal to keep the existing limits.
Carbon monoxide is best known for its ability to reach dangerously high levels in homes, but the poisonous gas is also regulated under the Clean Air Act because elevated levels outdoors can lead to health problems. It is released mainly from the tailpipes of cars and other pieces of equipment that use combustion engines.
- China Plans To Spend Big On Nuclear Power, High-Speed Rail (Planet Ark)
- Eff-ing Electromagnetism, how does that work?: Snappy answers to stupid questions about smart meters (Grist)
- Study: Reducing Emissions From Beef Production (Union of Concerned Scientists)
- Official: England's Forest Sell-Off Will Cost More Tan It Saves (UK Independent):
Selling off England's public forests could cost the nation more than it would save, according to an official government document that emerged last night.
- U.S. unlikely to reach goal of 1 million electrics on the road by 2015, report says (Washington Post):
President Obama's goal of putting 1 million plug-in electric cars on the road within four years is unlikely to be met because automakers are not planning to make enough cars due to uncertain consumer demand, auto industry leaders concluded in a report being released Wednesday.
The finding is based on the manufacturers' announced production numbers and an analysis of consumer demand.
- The Energy Report: 100% Renewable Energy by 2050 (World Wildlife Fund):
2 years in preparation, The Energy Report is a provocative vision of a world run entirely on renewable energy by 2050.
By 2050, we could get all the energy we need from renewable sources.
This will solve most of the problems of climate change and dwindling fossil fuel resources.
Paramount will be the substantive increase in measures to conserve energy in all sectors.
We can show that such a transition is not only possible but also cost-effective, providing energy that is affordable for all and producing it in ways that can be sustained by the global economy and the planet.