With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 6/14/2011, 2:00pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: It's official: record flooding on the Missouri River, record snowpack & record drought mean another record-breaking Spring in the US; Record drought in Europe too, bringing crop failure and blackouts this summer; Obama Administration boosts funding for the smart grid; PLUS: It's that time again: Get ready for a year and a half of Republican presidential campaigning ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 'Liquid battery" breakthrough?; Where's that green jobs revolution Obama promised?; Obama Pushes for More Cleantech, Green Jobs; Planet Earth Doesn't Know How To Make It Any Clearer It Wants Everyone To Leave; Oil to spike again before new recession; Japanese unite against nuclear power; NM Abandons Efforts to Restore Mexican Gray Wolves; New breed of wheat 'near immune' to devastating plague; Appeals Court Rules for Massey Over U.S; In Koch Country, KS gov begs federal government for climate disaster relief; High levels of Strontium Found at Fukushima Plant; EPA Delays Rule on Power Plant Emissions; New Rules For Offshore Fish Farms; 150 Chemicals No Longer Icognito; 2 Common Materials Pose Risk of Cancer; GAO finds most plants lack emissions controls; Do You Live Near One of the Top 25 Dirtiest Coal Plants?; Mining Company to Pay $263 Million settlement; Do we have a moral obligation to stop screwing up the planet? ... PLUS: "Humans ‘blissfully unaware’ of coming climate crisis"...

STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

  • Liquid Battery Breakthrough?: 'Cambridge crude' could let EVs refuel like gas-powered vehicles (Gizmag):
    With consumers used to the convenience of refueling their vehicle at the gas station in a few minutes, one of the biggest disadvantages of electric vehicles is the time it takes to recharge their batteries. Now, by separating the energy storage and energy discharging functions of the battery into separate physical structures, researchers at MIT have achieved a breakthrough that could allow EVs to be recharged in the same time it takes to refuel a conventional car. The technology could also provide an inexpensive alternative for energy storage for intermittent, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
  • Where's That Green Jobs Revolution Obama Promised? (Treehugger)
  • Obama Pushes for More Cleantech, Green Jobs and Training (GreenBiz.com):
    Facing heavy criticism for a sluggish economic recovery, U.S. President Barack Obama brought his talk about the importance of growing more green jobs to a thriving LED factory in North Carolina Monday.
  • Planet Earth Doesn't Know How To Make It Any Clearer It Wants Everyone To Leave (The Onion) [emphasis added]:
    [T]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."

  • Japanese unite against nuclear power (UK Morning Star):
    Tens of thousands of people marched through central Tokyo on Saturday to press the government to ditch nuclear power in light of the Fukushima Dai-ichi disaster.
    ...
    Demonstrations were also staged in Osaka, Hiroshima and Fukushima, where Tepco bosses have failed to stem radiation leaks from their reactors since the March 11 magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami that knocked out power and cooling systems.
  • New Mexico Abandons Efforts to Restore Mexican Gray Wolves (LA Times Greenspace):
    New Mexico's Game Commission on Thursday night voted to stop assisting the federal effort to restore Mexican gray wolves in the Southwest, the latest step by new Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration to reverse her state's green course.
    ...
    Ranching groups, who complained the predators damaged their cattle and threatened children, were cheered. “It shows support for the rural industries that are under siege right now," said Laura Schneberger, president of the Gila Livestock Growers Assn. “But I don’t know how it will affect us immediately.”

    Environmental groups were outraged. "New Mexico's governor sided with an intransigent, wolf-hating livestock industry," said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity.

  • Oil to spike again before new recession: analyst (Reuters)
  • Scientists Breed Wheat 'Near Immune' to Devastating Plague (NYT Green):
    A multinational group of scientists has developed farm-ready wheat resistant to a virulent and devastating plague that has slowly spread from Africa into the Middle East, carrying with it the threat of famine.
    ...
    A mutant strain of the fungus that causes stem rust appeared in Uganda a decade ago, tearing through previously resistant crops. Scientists found that the fungus, Ug99, could infect 90 percent of the world's wheat, causing a surge of concern from the United States to India. Wheat provides a fifth of the world's calories; a mass outbreak risked plunging many societies back into hunger, reversing agriculture's gains in the developing world.

    The outlook was grim....

  • Appeals Court Rules for Massey Over U.S. in Upper Big Branch Mining Probe (NY Times):
    A federal appeals court today ruled in favor of Massey Energy Co. --- now owned by Alpha Natural Resources Inc. --- over the federal government's handling of the investigation into the Upper Big Branch mine disaster in West Virginia.
  • In Koch Country, Kansas Governor Brownback Begs Federal Government For Climate Disaster Relief (Think Progress Green)
  • High Level of Strontium Found at Fukushima Plant (Japan Times):
    Radioactive strontium up to 240 times the legal concentration limit has been detected in seawater samples collected near an intake at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Sunday.
  • Japan Says Eight Nuclear Workers Over-Exposed To Radiation (Reuters)
  • Italians Vote to Abandon Nuclear Energy (Wall St. Journal):
    Italians voted to abandon nuclear power for the foreseeable future, turning out in droves to cast ballots in a packet of referenda whose outcome is a sign of growing popular discontent toward Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's conservative government.
  • EPA Delays Rule on Power Plant Emissions (NY Times):
    The Environmental Protection Agency, facing intense opposition from Congressional Republicans and industry over a broad range of new air quality regulations, said Monday that it was delaying by two months the release of a proposed rule on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other major pollution sources.
  • New Rules For Offshore Fish Farms in US ( Washington Post):
    The Obama administration released new guidelines that would make it easier to farm fish in federal waters, a move that could transform the nation's coasts and the food Americans will consume in years to come.
  • 150 Chemicals No Longer Icognito (NYT Green):
    This month the Environmental Protection Agency made public the names of 150 chemicals that were investigated in health and safety studies but whose identities were withheld as confidential business information.
  • Governement Says 2 Common Materials Pose Risk of Cancer:
    The government issued warnings on Friday about two materials used daily by millions of Americans, saying that one [formaldehyde] causes cancer and the other [styrene] might.
  • GAO Faults Tall Smokestacks at Coal Plants (Greenwire)
  • Tall smokestacks are one reason that emissions from coal-fired power plants are blown across state lines, making it more difficult for downwind states to clean up their air, a new Government Accountability Office study found.
  • GAO finds most plants lack emissions controls (Charleston Gazette):
    Dozens of coal-fired power plants across the country lack the most modern pollution controls to limit air emissions linked to respiratory diseases and premature deaths, according to a report issued Friday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
  • US Is Falling Behind in the Business of Green (NY Times):
    With Congress deeply divided over whether climate change is real or if the country should use less fossil fuel, efforts in the United States have paled in comparison [to enterprises in countries ranging from the U.K. to China aimed at reducing carbon emissions]. That slow start is ceding job growth and profits to companies overseas that now profitably export their goods and expertise to the United States.
  • Mining Company to Pay $263 Million to Settle Superfund Suit (AP):
    The largest mining company in Idaho's Silver Valley will pay $263.4 million plus interest to settle one of the nation's largest Superfund lawsuits --- one of the top 10 such settlements in history, the U.S.
    Environmental Protection Agency said Monday.
  • Do You Live Near One of the Top 25 Dirtiest Coal Plants?: There’s a good chance you do. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, twenty of the top 25 mercury-emitting coal plants are located within 50-100 miles of some of the America’s biggest cities. (Think Progress Green)
  • VIDEO: Protestors Fight to Defend Blair Mountain From Big Coal (Grist)
  • Do we have a moral obligation to stop screwing up the planet? (Grist):
    In Moral Ground the book, 80 bigwigs and big thinkers answer this question: Do we have a moral obligation to take action to protect the future of a planet in peril? Answers are split right down the middle --- 50 percent yes, 50 percent no. Oh, we kid --- 100 percent say yes, obviously. What's interesting is that everyone gives a different explanation as to why we have this moral obligation.
  • Father of LEED: Humans ‘blissfully unaware’ of coming climate crisis: "Whether we like it or not, S.S. Business-as-usual has already hit the iceberg," he said. "And we just don't quite know it yet." (SmartPlanet)