IN TODAY'S SPECIAL RADIO REPORT: (Rebroadcast from 2/15/11) All-out Info War: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's largest & most powerful corporate lobbying firm, caught plotting a $12 million disinformation campaign against progressive U.S. organizations, journalists and citizens, including yours truly...
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): "Peak coffee"?; Polar ice sheets melting faster than predicted; Honeybee declines go global; House hearing on climate change science; Buying insurance on climate destabilization; No boom for cellulosic ethanol; NYC bike lanes will determine the future of urban planning; Pee power!; China unveils green targets; Eco-farming doubles yields in Africa; TransCanada pipeline deal benefits Koch Bros.; Zero-energy transparent TV debuts; 4 energy breakthroughs from ARPA-e; NYT fails to report out objective scientific facts; Quebec brakes on fracking while PA gov hands over fracking authority to energy CEO; BP shirks responsibility for Gulf spill ... PLUS: Farewell to Discovery... and much, much more! ....
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- A Green News Report SPECIAL REPORT: All-Out Info War: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Secret Smear Campaign Against Progressive Journalists, Advocacy Groups:
- Late Updates on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Plot to Target, Discredit, Defraud Political Enemies (BRAD BLOG)
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce Thugs Used 'Terror Tools' for Disinfo Scheme Targeting Me, My Family, Other Progressive U.S. Citizens, Groups, And why they are likely to get away with it... (BRAD BLOG)
- Hacked Emails Show U.S. Chamber of Commerce Targeted VelvetRevolution.US, Other Progressive Groups With Massive Disinfo Campaign; 'Brad Friedman' and family personally targeted as well... (BRAD BLOG)
- US Chamber's Lobbyists Solicited Hackers To Sabotage Unions, Smear Chamber's Political Opponents (Think Progress)
- Executive Who Worked On ChamberLeaks Project Previously Complained About Personal Privacy Invasion (Think Progress)
- Bombshell: Chamber of Commerce lobbyists solicited firm to investigate opponents' families, children (Climate Progress)
- Energy group targets Oscar-nominated 'Gasland': An association representing oil and natural gas producers contends the film should be ineligible for best documentary feature due to its 'many errors, inconsistencies and outright falsehoods.' (LA Times)
- MUST-READ: How One Man Tracked Down Anonymous - And Paid a Heavy Price (Wired)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Democrats roll out climate change big guns, Republicans remain immune: Climate hearing appears to fail to sway Republicans before Thursday's vote on curbing Obama's green ambitions (Suzanne Goldberg, Guardian UK):
Henry Waxman, the California Democrat who wrote the separate 2009 climate bill, called the new bill "breathtakingly irresponsible".
"If my doctor told me I had cancer, I wouldn't scour the country to find someone to tell me that I don't need to worry about it," Henry Waxman, told the hearing of the energy and commerce committee.
"Most of us don't substitute our own judgment for that of experts when it comes to medicine, nuclear engineering, building bridges or designing computer security."
- Sandia Labs study: “It is the uncertainty associated with climate change that validates the need to act protectively and proactively.”: Rainfall uncertainty imperils $1 trillion in U.S. GDP and 7 million American jobs by 2050 alone (Climate Progress):
contrary to popular rhetoric, greater uncertainty about the impacts of climate change means greater economic risk, not less. Specifically, within an envelope covering 98% of the climate uncertainty as it pertains to rainfall alone, the U.S. economy is at risk of losing between $600 billion and $2.0 trillion and between 4 million and 13 million U.S. jobs over the next 40 years. Let’s examine how the study arrives at these estimates.
- The cellulosic ethanol boom that never happened (Stateline.org, PEW Center on the States)
- How one New York bike lane could affect the future of cycling worldwide: A much more significant story than the future of one bike lane in Brooklyn, a great deal hangs on the lawsuit filed against the city (Guardian UK)
- Pee power could fuel hydrogen cars: Scientists develop technology to turn urine into hydrogen fuel (Guardian UK)
- Polar Ice Sheets Melting Faster Than Predicted (Climatewire) [emphasis added]:
In its last major report, released in 2007, the IPCC predicted seas would rise between 7 and 23 inches by 2100 --- but couched that estimate with a giant caveat. The IPCC cautioned that an additional rise could come from rapid and unpredictable melting in Greenland and Antarctica, which it didn't attempt to estimate.
Since that report was released, scientists have worked hard to improve their understanding of ice sheet behavior and improve estimates of future sea level rise. Many researchers now believe the sea could rise an average of 3 to 6 feet by the end of the century, with the more likely amount at the low end of that range.
- China Unveils Green Targets: Premier vows to improve energy efficiency and curb pollution and carbon emissions. (Nature):
To meet its targets, China will scrutinize its entire energy-production chain, from suppliers to transmission and end users, and will inspect industries sector by sector, looking for ways to increase efficiency. The country also aims to raise the proportion of its energy coming from non-fossil fuels --- notably, wind energy, hydropower and nuclear power --- to 11.4% by 2015. The government hopes that plans to increase spending on research and development to 2.2% of GDP --- significantly higher than today --- will yield breakthroughs in clean energy.
- Eco-farming can double food output by poor: U.N.: Many farmers in developing nations can double food production within a decade by shifting to ecological agriculture from use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides (Reuters)
- Space shuttle Discovery lands in Florida, capping its 39th and final mission (Scientific American)
- Rep. Fred Upton’s Upcoming Pipeline Safety Legislation Is Next Favor To Koch Brothers (DeSmog Blog) [emphasis added]:
In reality, [Upton's] just solidifying his support of the proposed TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline, a boondoggle for the Koch brothers who control nearly 25% of the dirty tar sands oil already entering the U.S. from Canada. Koch Industries is poised to grab an even bigger share of that figure if the Keystone XL pipeline is built, sending more dirty tar sands to Gulf Coast refineries – if it doesn’t leak out along the way, that is.
- 4 Intriguing Inventions from the ARPA-E Innovation Summit (Reuters)
- Meet the zero-energy transparent TV (Grist)
- People said stuff, reports New York Times’ John Broder (Grist):
For paragraph after paragraph, Broder dutifully transcribes who said what, this side's scientists and that side's scientists, this guy's zinger and that guy's zinger. At no point in the story is there a hint that there might be facts of the matter behind the dueling quotes, that one set of assertions might be supported by more evidence than the other, that one set of scientists might have more credibility than the other. At no point in the story is there a fact about the world --- the only facts are that people said stuff.
- Quebec government puts brakes on shale-gas drilling (Financial Post)
- PA Governor Gives Energy Exec Supremacy Over Environmental Permitting (Pro Publica)
- Decline of Honey Bees Now A Global Phenomenon, Says United Nations (UK Independent)
- As Ozone Decision Looms, EPA Finds Stronger Science (Greenwire)
- Groups Say TX Power Plant Broke Clean Air Law 'Thousands of Times' (Environmental News Service)
- Arctic Sea Ice Ties Another Low (Climate Central)
- Millions of Dead Fish Pile Up in Redondo Beach Harbor (LA Times)
- Wyoming Plagued By Big-City Problem: Smog (AP)
- Chevron Wins Halt to $18 Billion Judgment in Ecuador Pollution Case (Environment News Service)
- Could Cornstarch Have Plugged BP's Oil Well? (NPR):
As a kids' plaything, it's called oobleck --- a cornstarch suspension that flows at slow speeds but freezes into a solid when you try to move it fast. Washington University scientist Jonathan Katz has just published an article saying it might have succeeded in a "top kill" of the Deepwater Horizon Gulf well where ordinary drilling mud failed.
- Wall St. Journal Did Not Publish EPA's Letter Correcting False Claim (MediaMatters.org)
- Wal-Mart Bypasses Fed Regulators to Ban Controversial Flame Retardant (Washington Post)
- Lead Poisoning Kills 400 More Nigerian Children (Reuters)
- BP tries to wriggle off the hook: While collecting windfall profits, oil giant backs away from its commitments to restore the Gulf Coast (Climate Progress)
- Debunking the stubborn myth that only industrial ag can ‘feed the world’ (Tom Philpott, Grist)
- Climate researchers: Russian heat wave was natural (AP) [emphasis added]:
The cause in this case, they said, was a strong and long-lived blocking pattern that prevented movement of weather systems. Blocking patterns occur when the high-level jet stream directing the movement of weather develops a sharp wave pattern. This forces storms to move around an area while conditions there stagnate.
"Similar atmospheric patterns have occurred with prior heat waves in this region," although those have been less severe, Dole and Hoerling said.
"To be sure, it was a rare event. But rare events happen and rarity alone doesn't imply cause," Dole said at a briefing.
It's important to study the causes of events such as this heat wave because they have global economic impacts, Hoerling said. The heat wave reduced Russian grain yields about 40 percent, resulting in a decline in the world's grain supply.
- Peak Coffee?: Heat Damages Colombia Coffee, Raising Prices (NY Times):
[I]n the last few years, coffee yields have plummeted here and in many of Latin America’s other premier coffee regions as a result of rising temperatures and more intense and unpredictable rains, phenomena that many scientists link partly to global warming.
- EPA’s Jackson lays out five ‘fictions’ about the agency's agenda (The Hill)