IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Showdown over Big Oil subsidies; A new pipeline --- and a new pipeline spill --- in Canada; Open season on endangered wolves ... PLUS: Estimates for sea level rise may be wrong --- really wrong ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Another wake-up call to ignore: Ogallalla Aquifer’s depletion poses sweeping threat to US; Automakers promote hydrogen cars; Water Shortages Threaten Food Future in the Middle East; Last-minute tips for a greener Cinco de Mayo; The US evangelicals who believe environmentalism is a 'native evil'; Mercury levels are rising in Arctic animals; Plan to phase out the $5 billion in ag subsidies; Iowa soil washing away at rates far higher than expected; 400meter-wide rock will pass Earth in Nov.; Why one 16-year-old is suing the US government over climate change; The science of why we don't believe Science ... PLUS: How to profit from the coming ecopocalypse ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- INTERACTIVE: See What Sea Level Rise Will Do to Global Coastlines With New Inundation Maps [Thanks, Dredd!]:
- Will This Float Your Boat? (BlogDredd):
[Here's] an artist's concept [showing] what the U.S.A. will look like if all the polar ice caps were to melt.
That may not happen because civilization, the source of carbon dioxide and other green house gases, will be slowed down or broken down well before that (if the melt continues).
If both poles were to melt the oceans would rise 215 feet.
- INTERACTIVE Maps: The SEA LEVEL RISE EXPLORER (Global Warming Art Wiki)
- Estimates for sea level rise may be wrong --- really REALLY wrong:
- Arctic Assessment bombshell: “Global sea level is projected to rise by 0.9–1.6 meter by 2100? (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
Here are the “key findings” of this must-read warning to humanity:
1. The past six years (2005–2010 have been the warmest period ever recorded in the Arctic Higher surface air temperature are driving changes in the cryosphere.
5. Model projections reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007 underestimated the rates of change now observed in sea ice.
How do we know the findings are conservative — underestimates of what is likely to happen? Consider this line from the report:
"The climate models used for SWIPA do not include possible feedback effects within the cryosphere system that may release additional stores of greenhouse gases from Arctic environments."
- Record Arctic warming to boost sea level rise (AFP) [emphasis added]:
Record warming in the Arctic over the past six years will substantially contribute to a global sea level rise of up to 1.6 meters (2.95 to 5.25 feet) by 2100, according to a study published in Oslo Tuesday.
"Surface air temperatures in the Arctic since 2005 have been higher than for any five-year period since measurements began around 1880," the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) said.
The melting of polar region ice could have disastrous effects on low altitude coastal regions, including in faraway regions.
- Large methane releases could swamp Arctic's ability to absorb the gas, say researchers at the Berkeley Lab (Yale 360)
- Climate scientists told to 'stop speaking in code' (AP) [emphasis added]:
Scientists at a major conference on Arctic warming were told Wednesday to use plain language to explain the dramatic melt in the region to a world reluctant to take action against climate change.
Prominent U.S. climate scientist Robert Corell said researchers must try to reach out to all parts of society to spread awareness of the global implications of the Arctic melt. "Stop speaking in code. Rather than 'anthropogenic,' you could say 'human caused,'" Corell said.
- Can Catastrophe Galvanize Action on Global Warming? Probably Not. (Climate Central) [emphasis added]:
"[N]o significant progress toward reforming financial regulations or land-use policies to address the causes. If catastrophes can't spur reform in these areas, why would they induce progress on climate policy?"
"[W]e should be looking for politically feasible good-enough policies — ones that could pass quickly and which would produce some good, even if they're not enough to prevent catastrophe."
- Arctic Unravelling: Scientists Report on a Decade of Unprecedented Change in the Arctic
- Warren Buffett doesn’t believe CO2 is a real risk for Berkshire Hathaway: Buffett says he doesn't believe greenhouse gases represent a material risk for Berkshire's insurance operations. (Grist)
- The Arctic Meltdown Accelerates (TIME)
- READ THE REPORT: Snow, Water, Ice, Permafrost in the Arctic (SWIPA) (Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program)
- Open season on endangered wolves:
- Gray Wolves Lose Endangered Species Status
(AP):Conservationists have hailed the animal's recovery from near extinction last century as a landmark achievement — one that should be extended to the Pacific Northwest and New England.
But their return has stirred a backlash from agriculture and sporting groups angry over wolf attacks on livestock and big game herds.
- A new pipeline --- and a new pipeline spill --- in Canada:
- 4.5 million litres of crude oil spill from northern Alberta pipeline (Edmonton Journal)
- Alberta government addresses massive oil spill (Global Edmonton)
- Alberta pipeline spill: Rainbow Pipeline spill near Peace River (Global Winnipeg)
- Keystone pipeline XL comment period underway through June 6 (Cherokeean Herald)
- Keystone XL Pipeline project moves another step forward (KHAS-TV Nebraska)
- Keystone XL tar sands pipeline environmental review - strike two! (NRDC Switchboard blog)
- Alberta pipeline spill: Rainbow Pipeline spill near Peace River (Florida Times-Union)
- Urgent! Public comments needed on tar sands in US. (Daily Kos)
- Showdown in the House of Representatives over Big Oil Subsidies, Expansion of Offshore Drilling:
- House GOP rejects effort by Democrats to vote on repealing oil industry tax subsidy (The Hill)
- House Passes Offshore Drilling Bill (The Hill)
- Casting Oil Upon the Waters: The House Drilling Bills (NRDC Switchboard blog)
- Exxon Makes $30.5 Billion, So GOP Votes Unanimously To Give Them Tax Breaks (Think Progress)
- Big Oil to Obama: Hands off our tax breaks (CNN Money):
The oil industry launched another assault Tuesday in the battle to protect favorable tax rates for energy producers.
The industry's chief lobbyist in Washington, Jack Gerard, president and chief executive of the American Petroleum Institute, said raising taxes on the oil and gas companies would stifle job growth and do nothing to lower gasoline prices.
- Election 2012: Tim Pawlenty Defends Big Oil: Cutting Oil Subsidies is "Ludicrous" (Think Progress)
- Oil Above All: Members Of HEAT Task Force Have Received Over $4 Million From Big Oil (Wonk Room)
- Unions call for more transparency on worker safety at oil refineries. Companies resist
- Big Oil has their Cake and eats your tax dollars, too (Climate Progress)
- Profits of 500 Largest US Corporations Soar by 81%
- GRAPH: An Average CEO At America’s Big Corporations Earns 200 Times The Salary Of A Navy SEAL (Think Progress)
- Voters Want Clean Energy, Not Drilling, Poll Finds (Treehugger)
- Analysis: Green energy can wean off subsidies, gradually (Reuters GreenBiz)
- Latest Developments in Japan's Ongoing Nuclear Crisis, and the Impact on the US Nuclear Industry):
- Workers enter Japanese reactor for first time since quake
- Fukushima prepares for cold shutdown: Will it finally stabilize Unit 1?: At Fukushima Daiichi in Japan, nuclear reactor Unit 1 is being prepared for 'cold shutdown,' which requires flooding the reactor's containment structure with cold water to stop steam production. (Christian Science Monitor)
- 2nd Japanese nuclear plant a time bomb? (Terra Daily)
- Japan's nuclear energy debate: some see spur for a renewable revolution: Though Japan appears to be set on a short-term course that includes a significant role for nuclear power, the future is geared toward a revolution in renewables, say advocates. (Christian Science Monitor)
- Nuclear Waste Storage A Top Issue For NRC: Chairman (Reuters):
The U.S. nuclear safety regulator is studying whether to require plants to more quickly move radioactive waste out of pools as part of a review on safety in the wake of Japan's nuclear disaster, its chairman said on Monday.
Damage to a pool holding spent fuel at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March has elevated concerns in the United States about how best to store the millions of spent fuel rods now mainly stored in pools at the nation's 104 plants.
- Japan plans new tsunami wall at nuclear plant (AFP)
- In Nuclear Accident, Risks Extend Beyond Evacuation Zone (McClatchy)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Another Wake-up Call To Be Ignored: Aquifer’s Depletion Poses Sweeping Threat (NYT Green):
So the aquifer is dropping lower and lower, and some geologists fear it could dry up in as soon as 25 or 30 years. This is a major issue confronting not just those eight states but the entire country.
- >Automakers promote hydrogen cars; Obama administration remains skeptical (Washington Post):
Major foreign and domestic automakers that have invested billions in developing a hydrogen fuel cell car say the possibilities are near at hand and that by as early as 2015, the vehicles could begin appearing in showrooms.
One of the key differences between the two — hydrogen fuel cells and battery electrics — is that the latter can be recharged at homes or businesses. By contrast, with hydrogen, it’s unclear how an equivalent system of refueling stations might be financed, supplied and built.
- A 21st-century water forecast (NYT Green):
The broad-brush conclusion of a new federal report on the future impact of climate change on water in the West is a bit familiar. Throughout the West, there will be less snow, and what snow there is will melt faster. The dry Southwest is going to get drier, and the wet Northwest wetter.
- Water Shortages Threaten Food Future in the Middle East (Treehugger)
- Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Nab some last-minute tips to make your festivities just a little bit greener today http://bit.ly/kT6oBm (Huffington Post Green)
- Facing the dirty truth about 'recyclable' plastics (Yale 360)
- The US evangelicals who believe environmentalism is a 'native evil' (Guardian UK)
- Mercury levels are rising in Arctic animals (Huffington Post Green)
- Bad seeds: A plan to phase out the $5 billion in 'direct payment' agricultural subsidies
- Iowa soil washing away at rates far higher than expected. (NYTGreen)
- Clean energy poised for 20-fold growth by 2050; Gas prices rise, demand continues to drop (Climate Progress)
- Why one 16-year-old is suing the US government over climate change (Guardian UK)
- Start planning your asteroid party! 400meter-wide rock will pass Earth at only 325,000km on 11/8/2011 (Universe Today)
- The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science : How our brains fool us on climate, creationism, and the vaccine-autism link. (Mother Jones)
- How to profit from the coming ecopocalypse (Climate Progress):
"The world is using up its natural resources at an alarming rate, and this has caused a permanent shift in their value. We all need to adjust our behavior to this new environment. It would help if we did it quickly."
That’s the conclusion of an important analysis by uber-hedge fund manager Jeremy Grantham, a self-described “die hard contrarian.” He is one of the few leading financial figures who gets both peak oil and global warming...