IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Tornado terror and devastation in Joplin, MO; Extreme weather and the costs of the 'new normal'; Iceland erupts again; PLUS: The EPA on the hot seat --- again ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Obama Admin to transition US fleet to alternative vehicles; TX drinking water pipes & plumbing radioactive; Farm runoff in MS fuels dead zone in Gulf; Teaching kids about recycling, one candy bribe at a time; Behavior changes could save 3 coal plants worth of power; Gulf disaster leads to safety gear innovations; Federal Arctic drilling impact statement falls short; Vitter blocks raise for DOI Secretary; Lawsuit against California’s climate law is misguided; Judge's ruling won't halt CA global warming law; Billionaire Koch Brothers to benefit from controversial Keystone XL pipeline?; TX files challenge to EPA "endangerment finding"; Lessons from the ‘Rapture’ that didn’t happen; Norway's billion-dollar clean energy initiative for the poor; Stink bug spread threatens crops ... PLUS: "The Battle for Patagonia Has Just Begun" in Chile ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Beck "Would Love To See" Devastated Town Tell FEMA Trucks "We Don't Need You" (MediaMatters.org):
- Tornado Terror and Devastation in Joplin, MO:
- Chilling First-Person Video of Joplin MO Tornado 5/22/11 (YouTube):
- Get Involved! Provide help & hope to those impacted by the tornadoes (Green For All)
- 118 dead in storm (CNN)
- Security cams show twister hit (CNN Video)
- Damage may total $3 billion (CNNMoney)
- Another Day, Another Deadly Tornado Strikes the US (Climate Central)
- 2011 Tornado Death Toll Is Worst Since 1953 (Our Amazing Planet blog)
- No link between tornadoes and climate change: US (AFP)
- OP-ED: Bill McKibben: A link between climate change and Joplin tornadoes? Never! (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
Caution: It is vitally important not to make connections. When you see pictures of rubble like this week’s shots from Joplin, Mo., you should not wonder...
Because if you asked yourself what it meant that the Amazon has just come through its second hundred-year drought in the past five years, or that the pine forests across the western part of this continent have been obliterated by a beetle in the past decade — well, you might have to ask other questions...
- Top Climate Scientist On The Monster Tornadoes: ‘It Is Irresponsible Not To Mention Climate Change’ (Think Progress)
- A Q-and-A on Tornadoes (NY Times)
- Tornado Outbreak Ingredients (The Weather Channel)
- Joplin: Another dangerous tornado outbreak expected today (Dr. Jeff Masters, Weather Underground)
- While Non-Believers Punked the Rapture, the West was Punked (High Country News)
- Extreme Weather and the Cost of the 'New Normal':
- Climate Change Is Getting Expensive For The Insurance Industry (Fast Company)
- Deadly Joplin, Mo., Twister Raises 'Tough,' Costly Questions, Weather Experts Say (ClimateWire) [emphasis added]:
Sunday's tornado also thrusts the insurance industry toward a potential record-breaking year for thunderstorm-related damage. Inland storm claims over the last three years have risen to about $30 billion altogether. That accounts for almost one-third of all the thunderstorm damage going back to 1990, amounting to $97.8 billion, according to the Insurance Information Institute. This year will add billions more onto that tally.
The number and ferocity of those storms have been rising for at least 25 years. It's unclear what's causing the rise, but many insurers are responding by raising rates and reducing policies. Factors behind the damage could include expanded development and rising property values.
But some insurers also believe climate change is playing a part...
- U.S. Weather Extremes Show "New Normal" Climate (Reuters) [emphasis added]:
Heavy rains, deep snowfalls, monster floods and killing droughts are signs of a "new normal" of extreme U.S. weather events fueled by climate change, scientists and government planners said on Wednesday.
"It's a new normal and I really do think that global weirding is the best way to describe what we're seeing," climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University told reporters.
- R.I.P. La Niña (Earth Institute)
- Another day, another deadly extreme weather event. What's up with this extreme Spring? (Climate Central)
- While Washington denies Climate Change, Chicago adapts (Climate Progress)
- VA Supreme Court to Rule on Insurance Coverage of Warming Claims (Greenwire)
- Iceland Erupts Again:
- When Republicans Attack: EPA, DOI On the Hot Seat --- Again:
- EPA's Lisa Jackson to Hill (The Hill)
- Regulating cow farts! Spilled milk! And other wacky EPA conspiracies the right wants you to believe (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones)
- Democrat scolds Republicans during testy Oversight hearing on gas prices (The Hill)
- Lisa Jackson: "Environmentalism is not spectator sport" (LA Times Greenspace)
- Cold shoulder for climate change (Politico)
- UPDATE on Japan's Nuclear Nightmare, and the Fallout in the U.S.:
- Company Believes Three Reactors Melted Down in Japan (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
In a belated acknowledgment of the severity of Japan's nuclear disaster, the Tokyo Electric Power Company said Tuesday that three of the stricken Fukushima plant's reactors likely suffered fuel meltdowns in the early days of the crisis. The plant's operator also said that it was possible that the pressure vessels in the three stricken reactors, which house the uranium fuel rods, had been breached as well.
- TEPCO says core meltdowns also occurred at No. 2, 3 reactors (Mainichi Daily News)
- Tanks for Radioactive Water Nearly Full at Fukushima Plant (Voice of America)
- Parents From Fukushima Protest Upper Limit for Children's Exposure To Radiation (Mainichi Daily News)
- UN team to probe Japan nuke plant; new info suggests 2 more units suffered partial meltdowns (AP)
- Authorities finally admit that all three reactors at Fukushima melted down (Grist)
- Regulators Find Flaws in NEW Reactor Designs, Too (NY Times)
- NRC Finds Many U.S. Nuclear Plants Ill-Prepared to Handle Simultaneous Threats (NY Times)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Obama calls on agencies to transition to alternative vehicles: President Obama issued a memorandum Tuesday calling on agencies to develop a plan for transitioning the entire federal fleet to alternative fuel vehicles by 2015. (The Hill)
- Texas Drinking Water Makes Pipes & Plumbing Radioactive (KHOU 11 News):
Radiation has contaminated the underground pipes, water tanks, and plumbing that provide drinking water for much of Central Texas and the famed Texas Hill Country, according to concerned city officials in the region who have tested the pipes with Geiger counters.
- Farm Runoff in MS River Flood Fuels Dead Zone in Gulf: A dead zone --- already the size of the state of New Jersey --- is growing in the Gulf of Mexico, fueled by nutrient runoff from the swollen Mississippi River. (PBS Newshour's The Rundown)
- Teaching kids about recycling, one candy bribe at a time (Treehugger)
- Behavioral nudges on electric bills could save three coal plants worth of power (Grist)
- Gulf Disaster Fuels New Safety Gear (Wall St. Journal)
- Critics: Federal Arctic drilling impact statement falls short... again (Huffington Post Green)
- Vitter to block Salazar’s salary increase (The Hill)
- Why the environmental justice lawsuit against California’s climate law is misguided (Grist)
- Most of Calif.'s Carbon Law Unaffected by Court Ruling; Trading Date Could Slip (ClimateWire)
- What do the infamous Koch brothers have to do with the controversial Keystone XL pipeline? (Mother Jones)
- TX files challenge to EPA "endangerment finding" (Texas Tribune)
- Apocalypse now? Lessons for the climate movement from the ‘Rapture’ that didn’t happen (Grist)
- Norway plans billion-dollar clean energy initiative for poor (Reuters GreenBiz)
- Stink bug spread worries growers across nation (AP)
- "The Battle for Patagonia Has Just Begun" in Chile (IPS News):
Tens of thousands of Chileans have joined in protests against a bill that will affect six national parks, 11 national reserves, 26 priority conservation sites, 16 wetlands and 32 private protected areas in Patagonia and seven other regions, according to its opponents.
On May 9, the Environmental Assessment Committee of the southern region of Aysén approved the HidroAysén megaproject, a Spanish-Italian-Chilean joint venture involving the construction of five hydroelectric plants in Patagonia. The 2,750 megawatts of electricity produced by the plants will be transmitted along power lines that will cut through eight regions.