IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: One month after Japan's quake & tsunami at Fukushima, the nuclear threat level is revised --- for the worse; Deep cuts for science & the environment revealed in the federal budget "compromise"; Freeway pollution causes brain damage; PLUS: Wildfires in Texas, "Dust Bowl" in Oklahoma, as drought deepens in the Southwest ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Shale natural gas worse than coal?; CA passes nation's strongest Renewable Energy Standard; US falls to 3rd in clean energy; Smartgrid boost for Pacific NW; Solar panels are 'contagious'; Community 'solar gardens' for CO; Penguins decline as Antarctic warms; Google invests $168 mil in solar plant; Coast Guard 'unprepared' for BP spill; Ranking your seafood retailers; Changing public opinion on climate change; TX may repeal natural gas tax breaks; How the Koch Bros. fund the climate change denial industry; GOP House "off the rails" on climate change; Renewables produce as much US energy as nuclear: EIA; The oil economy stains most remote civilization on earth; Natural gas worse than coal? ... PLUS: The 12 industries responsible for 75% of N. American pollution ....
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- WATCH: Mike Pence's (R-IN) Freudian Slip is Showing: "Victory for Republican Party": (ThinkProgress)
- Wildfires in Texas, 'Dust Bowl' in Oklahoma, as Deep Southwest Drought Continues:
- Crews battle wildfires amid severe Texas drought (AP)
- Official: Texas wildfire conditions akin to 2006 disaster (USA Today)
- Storms not enough to help Texas' worsening drought (AP):
The area considered in an extreme drought has tripled in the past month, and weather forecasters expect the drought to continue or get worse through June in most of the state. That means the danger of fire will remain extremely high, National Weather Service meteorologist Victor Murphy said.
"This could end up being one of the more devastating droughts, agriculturally speaking and for wildfires, if we don't start getting normal to above normal rainfall before June," Murphy said. "The odds of seeing that are likely below normal."
- Oklahoma Facing Drought Comparable to Dust Bowl Days (NPR)
- Oklahoma farmers, ranchers facing severe drought (Ag Week):
In most years, the dark clouds over western Oklahoma in spring would be bringing rain. This year, they’re more likely to be smoke from wildfires that have burned thousands of acres as the state and its farmers struggle with a severe drought.
Oklahoma was drier in the four months after Thanksgiving than it has been in any similar period since 1921. That’s saying a lot in the state known for the 1930s Dust Bowl, when drought and high winds generated severe dust storms that stripped the land of its topsoil.
Neighboring states are in similar shape as the drought stretches from the Louisiana Gulf coast to Colorado, and conditions are getting worse, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The area in Texas covered by an extreme drought has tripled in the past month to 40 percent, and in Oklahoma it nearly doubled in one week to 16 percent, according to the monitor’s most recent update.
- Drought Starts Affecting Okla. Water Supply: Utilities Official: 'We're Not In Crisis Yet, But We're Keeping An Eye On It' (KOCO-TV, Oklahoma City)
- Deep Cuts for Science and the Environment in the Budget in the Federal Budget "Compromise":
- Transcript: Remarks by the President on the Budget (White House.gov)
- FY2011 CR eliminates funding for "climate czar" and NOAA's Climate Service. (Slate)
- Poll: Plurality Of Voters Displeased With GOP House Majority, View Party As 'Extremist' (Talking Points Memo)
- Bill cuts $49M in funds for #climate change programs compared to FY2010, includes NOAA climate service (The Hill)
- Rep. Paul Ryan's budget is both radical and wrong
- Budget deal blocks Obama's wilderness policy (Huffington Post Green)
- Research survives in shutdown-avoiding agreement after earlier scare (New Fuelist)
- Congress will lift wolf protections (Huffington Post Green)
- Budget resolution includes rider to reinstate Bush's wilderness drilling policy (Climate Progress)
- Details on budget cuts: $1B from EPA, hi-speed rail wiped out, $438M from DOE EERE, loan guarantee (Wall St. Journal)
- ONGOING COVERAGE: Japan's Ongoing Triple Disaster & Nuclear Nightmare:
- How to Help: Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (NY Times)
- UPDATED Coverage of Japan's Nuclear Disaster at BRAD BLOG.COM (BradBlog.com)
- Updated: Japan's Nuclear Emergency Explained (Mother Jones)
- Updated Full Coverage: JAPAN NUCLEAR CRISIS (Kyodo News)
- Updated Full Coverage Page at Reuters (Reuters)
- IAEA Update on Japan Earthquake (International Atomic Energy Agency)
- Facts: Nuclear Power Safety (Union of Concerned Scientists)
- LATEST DEVELOPMENTS: JAPAN'S ONGOING NUCLEAR CRISIS:
- Japan Rates Disaster as Chernobyl-Scale (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
Japanese officials struggled through the day on Tuesday to explain why it had taken them a month to disclose large-scale releases of radioactive material in mid-March at a crippled nuclear power plant, as the government and an electric utility disagreed on the extent of continuing problems there.
Officials said that the reactor had released one-tenth as much radioactive material as the Chernobyl accident in 1986, but still qualified as a 7 according to a complex formula devised by the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Japan’s new assessment was based largely on computer models showing very heavy emissions of radioactive iodine and cesium from March 14 to 16, just after the earthquake and tsunami rendered the plant’s emergency cooling system inoperative.
- How Fukushima is and isn't like Chernobyl (Nature)
- Japan raises nuclear crisis severity to highest level (Reuters):
Japan raised the severity of its nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant to a level7 from 5, putting it on par with the Chernobyl nuclear disasterin 1986.
- WATCH: Japan's PM: Fukushima radiation declining (Guardian UK)
- Tepco Delayed Upgrading Nuclear Crisis: Japanese worried about false information (Telegraph UK)
- Summary of Prime Minister Kan's Press Conference on April 12
- Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Upgraded to INES Level 7, Like Chernobyl (Kyodo News Service)
- Background and Impact on the U.S. Nuclear Policy & Industry:
- In Earthquake-Prone Calif, Extension Sought for Reactors Poses Major Test for Nation's Atomic-Power Industry (Wall St. Journal)
- What are the odds? US nuke plants ranked by quake risk (MSNBC):
So much for San Andreas: Reactors in East, Midwest, South have highest chance of damage.
- VIDEO: Before Japan disaster, GOP mocked concerns about nuclear safety (MediaMatters.org)
- Taxpayer Meltdown?: Taxpayers, Not Utilities, Liable for Most of the Bill (National Journal)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Emissions from shale gas exceed those from coal long-term, Cornell researchers say
- California continues to leave other states in the shade with Renewable Energy Standard
- Clean Energy Investment Is Up, but US Lags. 2010: China $54b. Germany $41b. US $34b, up from $24b
- Northwest smart grid industry gets a boost in Itron-BC Hydro deal. (Sustainable Industries)
- New study finds solarpanels are 'contagious' (GOOD)
- Solar gardens to bring small-d democratic solar power to Colorado (Grist)
- No winners among penguins as Antarctic warms
- Google invests $168 million in solar plant (Huffington Post Green)
- Coast Guard unprepared for BP oilspill response (NOLA.com)
- GreenpeaceUSA releases new seafood retailer ranking [pdf] (Greenpeace)
- Compared: Public Opinion on Climate Change in the United States and Canada (Climate Central)
- Texas lawmakers eye repeal of natural gas tax break (Texas Tribune)
- How the KochBrothers Fund the Climate Change Denial Machine
- GOP House "disturbingly... off the rails" about climate science (Washington Post)
- Natural Gas: Worse Than Coal? (Mother Jones)
- EIA: Renewable resources delivers 11% of U.S. energy production, just like nuclear power (Climate Progress)
- The oil economy stains the most remote civilization on earth (Climate Progress)
- NAFTA report: 12 industries responsible for 75% of N. American pollution. Oil sands at top of list.