With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 6/9/2011, 1:42pm PT  


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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!

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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'...

'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 8) .

    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."