IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Limbaugh and Santorum, positively frothy in their propaganda jihad against climate science; Unfair & Unbalanced coverage of the Environmental Protection Agency; Crunch time at the UN on the Kyoto climate treaty; Feds shut down an oil pipeline; PLUS: Scientists are screaming that global warming is accelerating, but our media is obsessed with Weiner --- Anthony Weiner ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Breakthroughs, launches, and warnings on World Oceans Day; Pollution worsens kids' asthma, but Congress split on action; 'Dramatic' solar flare could disrupt earth communications; UN's Food & Agriculture Organization sees stubbornly high food prices; Food demand eating into tropical forests; Judge upholds environmentalist lawsuit against Exxon; Hundreds protest Marcellus Shale drilling in PA; Utility groups trade blows on new EPA emissions rules; Autism experts urge reform of U.S. chemicals law; Decontamination trial planned at Japanese nuclear plant; After Japan, where's the next nuclear weak link?; Federal regulators: Nuclear accident plans are lacking; Oil falls after Saudis face opposition to OPEC quota increase; FDA: some chicken may contain arsenic ... PLUS: Planet Earth doesn't know how to make it any clearer It wants everyone to leave ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- UNfair & UNbalanced Coverage of the EPA:
- REPORT: Opponents Of EPA Climate Action Dominate TV News Airwaves (Media Matters.org)
- Report: EPA's Critics Get Quadruple the TV Time of Defenders (NYT Green)
- Still Wondering Why the Public is Ill-Informed on Climate? (Mother Jones)
- Feds Shut Down TransCanada Oil Pipeline (Temporarily):
- Due to Spills, TransCanada Keystone Pipeline Shuts Down … for a Day (Mother Earth News)
- DOT Shuts Down Tar Sands Pipeline (Mother Jones) [emphasis added]:
TransCanada has grand dreams of building a gigantic pipeline that would traverse the United States and ship oil from Canada's tar sands to Texas refineries. But the branch of the Keystone pipeline that the company is already operating in the US has created a considerable problem—causing a dozen spills in just its first year of operation.
In an order issued to the company on Friday, associate administrator for pipeline safety at the Department of Transportation Jeffrey Wiese wrote:
"I find that a failure to issue this Order expeditiously to require immediate corrective action would result in likely serious harm to life, property, and the environment."
- Feds OK Keystone Pipeline Restart (The Hill)
- U.S. to hold public meetings in heartland over controversial TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline (Reuters):
As a proposed $7 billion pipeline to bring Canadian oil sands petroleum to refiners in Texas faces local opposition, the State Department will hold public meetings in five states the line would travel through before it decides whether the project can go forward. (MT, SD, NE, OK, TX)
"These meetings will give the public an opportunity to voice their views on economic, energy security, environmental and safety issues, in addition to any other issues the public thinks should be taken into account in determining whether granting or denying the Presidential Permit would be in the national interest," the State Department said in a release.
The Department was forced to issue a supplemental review of the 700,000 barrels per day pipeline in April after the Environmental Protection Agency complained an initial report did not adequately assess risks to water tables, output of greenhouse gases from production of oil sands petroleum, and alternative routes.
- EPA Seeks Expanded Review of Proposed Oil Sands Pipeline (Greenwire):
U.S. EPA raised significant concerns today with the environmental effects of a controversial $7 billion pipeline proposal, emboldening the plan's critics and upping the ante for political clashes over Canadian oil sands crude that risk derailing the project for good.
- EPA: State Department review of proposed pipeline is 'insufficient' (The Hill)
- WATCH: TransCanada CEO on Expanding the Keystone Pipeline (Fox Business)
- Crunch Time at UN Negotiations Over Expiring Kyoto Protocols:
- WATCH: Conference Programme | UN Climate Change Conference June 2011 (United Nations)
- U.N. says climate talks will miss Kyoto deadline (Reuters)
- Climate Talks Face Time Crunch as Kyoto Deadline Looms (Environmental News Service):
Delegates from 183 countries got down to business at a United Nations preparatory climate change conference in Bonn today. For the next 11 days they will work towards a draft agreement on limiting greenhouse gas emissions that can serve as the basis of negotiations at the annual UN Climate Summit set to start November 28 in Durban, South Africa.
As new data showing another rise in atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions emerged, the UN's top climate change official called on governments to make progress in the fight against global warming, building on the commitments they made last year at Cancun, Mexico.
- 'Bad news' on warming should spur UN talks: climate chief (AFP)
- Canada Confirms It Will Reject New Kyoto Protocol (Reuters):
Canada confirmed on Wednesday that it would not support an extended Kyoto Protocol after 2012, joining Japan and Russia in rejecting a new round of the climate emissions pact.
- Island states hint at climate talks compromise (Reuters)
- OP-ED: Kyoto Protocol Extension in Doubt (Financial Post)
- Kyoto Successor Looks Bleak at Bonn Climate Talks (Deutsche Welle)
- Bonn Talks Off To Slow Start as Kyoto Stand-Off Continues (Business Green)
- Scientists Are Screaming Global Warming Is Accelerating (But Our Media Is Obsessed with Weiner):
- Melting of the Arctic 'will accelerate climate change within 20 years' (The Independent U):
A study into the speed at which the permafrost is melting suggests that the tipping point will occur between 2020 and 2030 and will mark the point at which the Arctic turns from being a net "sink" for carbon dioxide into an overall source that will accelerate global warming, they said.
The study is the first global investigation of what will happen in a warmer world to the huge amounts of frozen plant matter that has remained un-degraded in the soil since it was incorporated into the permafrost about 30,000 years ago.
"Our research shows that the release of carbon from permafrost will result in an irreversible climate tipping point in only 20 years... Once the frozen carbon thaws out and decays, there is no way to put it back into the permafrost," [Dr. Kevin Schaefer of the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Boulder, Colorado] said.
- Carbon levels hit new peak, research shows: Preliminary data from the US government shows that carbon dioxide levels peaked last week at the highest levels on record (Guardian UK)
- Global warming: Bleaker and bleaker (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
New figures show we are still hurtling towards dangerous climate change - at a time when policymakers are running out of ideas
As chief economist of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol is not given to overstatement - so his comment in our paper today that the latest figures on greenhouse gas emissions are "the worst news" should be taken seriously.
- Study: Carbon release to atmosphere 10 times faster now than 56 million years ago, the PETM, a time of 10°F warming and mass extinction (Climate Progress)
- Stanford climate scientists forecast permanently hotter summers beginning in 20 years (Stanford Univ.):
Large areas of the globe are likely to warm up so quickly that by the middle of this century even the coolest summers will be hotter than the hottest summers of the past 50 years.
In the study, the Stanford team concluded that many tropical regions in Africa, Asia and South America could see "the permanent emergence of unprecedented summer heat" in the next two decades. Middle latitudes of Europe, China and North America – including the United States – are likely to undergo extreme summer temperature shifts within 60 years, the researchers found.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Breakthroughs, Launches, and Warnings on World Oceans Day (Environmental News Service):
The spectrum of actions marking the UN's annual World Oceans Day ranges from the celebratory to the cautionary as ocean health is assaulted by challenges that include climate change, oil spills, pollution and overfishing.
- Pollution Worsens Kids' Asthma, But Efforts To Cut It Split Congress (McClatchy News Service):
Summer air pollution could trigger more asthma attacks for children who live in industrial cities, and the Environmental Protection Agency would like stricter rules to cut smog.
- 'Dramatic' Solar Flare Could Disrupt Earth Communications (AFP):
An unusual solar flare observed by a NASA space observatory on Tuesday could cause some disruptions to satellite communications and power on Earth over the next day or so, officials said.
- UN's Food & Agriculture Organization Sees Stubbornly High Food Prices (NYT Green):
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is out with a new report this week on the world food outlook.
- Food demand eating into tropical forests: report (Reuters):
Slowing deforestation and greater awareness of the value of standing trees may come too late to save the world's biggest rainforests, according to a global assessment of tropical forests published Tuesday.
Tropical forests are threatened by pressures to clear land to produce food and biofuels and to plant fast-growing trees for timber, wood fuel and paper.
- Judge upholds environmentalist lawsuit against Exxon (Reuters):
A federal judge on Tuesday said two environmental groups' could sue for enforcement of federal pollution standards at Exxon Mobil Corp's Baytown, Texas, refinery, the nation's largest.
"Congress specifically allowed for citizen enforcement suits because sometimes government agencies fall down on the job, and this case is a perfect example of that," said Luke Metzger, executive director of Environment Texas.
- Hundreds protest Marcellus Shale drilling in Harrisburg (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) [emphasis added]:
Speakers representing various environmental groups took to the microphone shortly after Senate Democrats, standing in the same spot, called for gas drillers to pay a severance tax in order "to be part of the solution and not part of our budget problem."
But most of those rallying the crowd focused on the perceived dangers to public health and drinking water, rather than arguing for a levy to reimburse citizens for use of a natural resource.
- Utility Groups Trade Blows on New EPA Emissions Rules (Greenwire) [emphasis added]:
Coal-heavy power companies and their cleaner cousins are continuing to spar over new air pollution regulations from U.S. EPA, releasing competing analyses this week on the effects of a pair of rules that would make coal plants spend billions of dollars to control toxic chemicals and emissions that lead to soot and smog.
- Autism Experts Urge Reform of U.S. Chemicals Law (Environment News Service):
Environmental health and autism experts Tuesday called for reform of the outdated U.S. law regulating chemicals, the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976.
They warned that the recent sharp rise in autism is likely due, in part, to the cocktail of toxic chemicals that pregnant women, fetuses, babies and young children encounter.
- Decontamination Trial Planned at Japanese Nuclear Plant (Global Security Newswire):
The operator of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant is set on Friday to start a trial run of a recently deployed mechanism intended to remove radioactive contaminants from water flooding large portions of the facility, the Japanese government said on Thursday (see GSN, June .
The upcoming decontamination test --- intended to precede full use of the system starting later this month --- would involve cycling less significantly contaminated water through the mechanism for about one week with the goal of filtering out radioactive cesium, salt and other materials, Kyodo News reported.
- After Japan, where's the next nuclear weak link? (Reuters):
Imagine a country where corruption is rampant, infrastructure is very poor, or the quality of security is in question. Now what if that country built a nuclear power plant?
- Federal regulators: Nuclear accident plans are lacking (The Hill):
Many of the country’s nuclear power plants have not adequately updated guidelines aimed at protecting reactors from severe accidents, federal regulators found as part of a wide-ranging review undertaken in the aftermath of Japan’s nuclear crisis this year.
- Saudis Face Opposition to OPEC Quota Increase (Bloomberg)
- Mmmm... arsenic: FDA: Some Chicken May Have Small Amount of Arsenic (AP):
The FDA said Wednesday that a new study developed by the agency shows that an ingredient in chicken feed that contains arsenic, called Roxarsone, may make its way into parts of the bird that are eaten. Previous studies have indicated that the arsenic was eliminated with chicken waste.
Pfizer Inc., which makes the feed ingredient, said Wednesday that it will pull it off the market in the United States. Had the company not stopped sales, the FDA could have eventually banned the product since it contains a known carcinogen.
- Planet Earth Doesn't Know How To Make It Any Clearer It Wants Everyone To Leave (The Onion) [emphasis added]:
According to a statement released to the press Tuesday, the planet Earth has "just about run out of ways" to let its roughly 6.9 billion human inhabitants know it wants them all to leave.
Following a recent series of disastrous floods along the Mississippi River and destructive tornadoes across much of the United States—as well as a year of even deadlier natural catastrophes all over the world—the Earth said its options for strongly implying that it no longer wants human beings living on it have basically been exhausted.
"At this point, I think I've stated my wishes quite loudly and clearly," the Earth's statement to all of humanity read in part. "I haven't exactly been subtle about it, you realize. I have literally tried to drown you, crush you, starve you, dehydrate you, pump you full of diseases, and suck your homes and families into swirling vortices of death. Honestly, what more is it going to take for you people to get the message?"
"Do I have to spell it out for you?" the statement continued. "Get the fuck out of here. I want you to leave now."