IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Summer of Floods, Summer of Fires continues to continue --- now with Extra Nuclear Flavor! Today's unlucky town: Los Alamos, NM and their nuclear labs; Nebraska nuke plants remain dry, sort of, hopefully...so stop worrying!; PLUS: Another climate science denier enters the 2012 Presidential race ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): US military spends more on desert tent air conditioning than NASA's entire annual budget; The Spam factory's dirty secret; Middle East has huge climate vulnerability; Bike & pedestrian infrastructure projects create more jobs than car projects; Top 10 Greenest Airlines; DoD plans large-scale integration of electric vehicles; Antarctica ice melt accelerating; Arctic sea ice headed for another major melt this year; EPA warns GOP House bill would 'overturn' Clean Water law; Insiders doubt future of natural gas in US; Insiders warn shale gas may be a Ponzi scheme; New foe for US solar energy: railroad companies; Fox News' Wallace encourages viewers to remain misinformed on climate change; Caribou herd in Canada threatened by tar sands; College grads flocking to green jobs; Alternative nuclear reactor design seeks country willing to fund & build prototype ... PLUS: Meet The ‘Friendly Fracosaurus’: Natural Gas Industry's
propaganda special coloring books for children ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- WATCH: Santorum: ‘There’s No Such Thing As Global Warming’ (Think Progress Green):
In an interview with the lame-duck Fox News host Glenn Beck, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum claimed global warming is a hoax. Beck grinned as Santorum called for a “drill everywhere” policy and claimed that there is “no such thing as global warming.
- Summer of Fires: Los Alamos, NM:
- Live Updates: Las Conchas Fire Burns Near Los Alamos: The 43,624-acre Las Conchas Fire is burning 12 miles southwest of Los Alamos. (KOAT-NM)
- Thousands flee as fire nears town, Los Alamos nuke lab: Mandatory evacuations ordered; first atomic bomb was built at complex (MSNBC)
- Wildfire Triggers Evacuation For Los Alamos Laboratory (MSNBC):
Thousands of residents calmly fled Monday from the mesa-top town that's home to the Los Alamos nuclear laboratory, ahead of an approaching wildfire that sent up towering plumes of smoke, rained down ash and sparked a spot fire on lab property where scientists 50 years ago conducted underground tests of radioactive explosives.
- Fire Crews Control Blaze at Los Alamos National Lab (Environment News Service)
- Summer of Floods: NE Nuke Plants Remain Dry:
- Global Boiling: Midwest Climate Disaster Predicted in 2000 (Think Progress Green, June 2008)
- NE nuke utilities say safety prevails amid flood (Bloomberg)
- Populations Around US Nuke Plants Soar (Reuters):
As America's nuclear power plants have aged, the once-rural areas around them have become far more crowded and much more difficult to evacuate. Yet government and industry have paid little heed, even as plants are running at higher power and posing more danger in the event of an accident, an Associated Press investigation has found.
- US Nuclear Plant Safety Rules Inadequate, Group Says (NY Times)
- What would happen in NE in a worst-case scenario? Not much of an answer: Rumors Swirl ARound Nebraska's Two Nuclear Plants
- AP Special Report: US nuke regulators weaken safety rules (AP) [emphasis added]:
Federal regulators have been working closely with the nuclear power industry to keep the nation's aging reactors operating within safety standards by repeatedly weakening those standards, or simply failing to enforce them, an investigation by The Associated Press has found.
Time after time, officials at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission have decided that original regulations were too strict, arguing that safety margins could be eased without peril, according to records and interviews.
Failed cables. Busted seals. Broken nozzles, clogged screens, cracked concrete, dented containers, corroded metals and rusty underground pipes - all of these and thousands of other problems linked to aging were uncovered in the AP's yearlong investigation. And all of them could escalate dangers in the event of an accident.
- Flood Facts and Information (June 2011) (Nebraska Public Power District)
- Climate-Denier & Republican Rep. Steve King (R-IA) Is Surprised by Record Floods, Predicted by Climate Scientists:
- Climate Denier Steve King: ‘Unprecedented’ Flood Of Missouri River ‘Couldn’t Have Been Anticipated’ (Think Progress Green) [emphasis added]:
The Missouri River basin flood is not a “natural disaster,” as King describes, but a human-made one. Man-made climate change, land-use change, and engineering the river have combined to create this unprecedented disaster.
Scientists have warned for decades that the carbon pollution in our atmosphere would increase extreme precipitation events and flooding, and extreme precipitation events have significantly increased in the Midwest over the past several decades. In 2000, a federal scientific report specifically warned of greater flooding in the Midwest. Scientific projections are that precipitation intensity will continue to increase as carbon pollution builds up in the future.
“Because climate change will significantly modify many aspects of the water cycle, the assumption of an unchanging climate is no longer appropriate for many aspects of water planning,” the U.S. Global Change Research Program warned in 2009. The report cautioned that flood-management practices by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “based on historical flood data” would need to be changed.
- President Obama signs Iowa Disaster Declaration (KTIV Sioux City, IA) [emphasis added]:
President Obama approved the declaration for Woodbury, Monona, Harrison, Pottawattamie, Mills and Fremont county.
This will allow the federal government to pick up roughly 80 percent of the costs of damage to State and eligible local governments and certain nonprofit organizations on a cost sharing basis.
- Iowa Ag: The Agricultural Science Community Is Waking To The Climate Crisis (Think Progress Green) [emphasis added]:
I worked for a farm magazine that claimed global climate change, if real, would actually be good for agriculture since rising carbon dioxide levels would act as some sort of mega plant growth promoter.
Guess what: drowning crops have a hard time breathing in CO2.
- Another Climate Science Denier Enters the 2012 Presidential Race:
- Michele Bachmann for president --- off, but running (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
- Michele Bachmann's environmental record (Mother Nature Network)
- Michele Bachmann Declares Intent to Run for President (Secaucus News)
- Michele Bachmann: Creationist Science Class For Congress (ProseBeforeHos Blog)
- Republican Pres. Candidate Herman Cain Energy Plan: Put Oil And Coal CEOs In Charge Of EPA Regulations
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Among the Costs of War: $20B in Air Conditioning (NPR) [emphasis added]:
The amount the U.S. military spends annually on air conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan: $20.2 billion.
That's more than NASA's budget. It's more than BP has paid so far for damage during the Gulf oil spill. It's what the G-8 has pledged to help foster new democracies in Egypt and Tunisia.
- The Spam Factory's Dirty Secret (Mother Jones):
First Hormel gutted the union. Then it sped up the line. And when the pig-brain machine made workers sick, they got canned.
- Middle East: A Region With Big Climate Vulnerability and Bigger Distractions (NY Times):
[B]efore long, experts say, the problems caused by rising global temperatures could disfigure the land they are fighting over.
From disappearing snow in Lebanon to rising seas threatening Bahrain to flooding in Tunisia and Egypt, climate change already is giving the Middle East and North Africa a good deal to worry about. And those who work in the region note that governments --- struggling to maintain power and in some cases engaging in all-out warfare with their citizens --- are losing valuable time needed to adapt.
- Bike & Pedestrian Infrastructure Projects create 46% More Jobs Than Road Projects For Cars (Treehugger)
- The Top 10 Greenest Airlines (Clean Techies)
- Department of Defense planning large-scale integration of electric vehicles (Huffington Post Green)
- Ocean Currents Speed Melting of Antarctic Ice, as “Seawater Appear[s] to Boil on the Surface Like a Kettle on the Stove” (Climate Progress):
The [Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf] is currently sliding into the sea at a clip of four kilometers (2.5 miles) a year, while its ice shelf is melting at about 80 cubic kilometers a year – 50 percent faster than it was in the early 1990s – the paper estimates.
One day, near the southern edge of Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf, the researchers directly observed the strength of the melting process as they watched frigid, seawater appear to boil on the surface like a kettle on the stove. To Jacobs, it suggested that deep water, buoyed by added fresh glacial melt, was rising to the surface in a process called upwelling. Jacobs had never witnessed upwelling first hand, but colleagues had described something similar in the fjords of Greenland, where summer runoff and melting glacier fronts can also drive buoyant plumes to the sea surface.
- Arctic sea ice headed for another major melt (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
We’re now well into the seasonal Arctic sea ice melt season, and so far, sea ice has been tracking near or below the record low extent reached in 2007, when both the famed Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea Route were open for a time.
The precipitous decline of Arctic sea ice during the past 30 years of the satellite record (and longer, when other data is taken into consideration) has been one of the most striking manifestations of global climate change, and it’s ushering in a new era of resource development, competition, and cooperation in the Far North.
Evidence also indicates that as the sea ice cover shrinks; weather patterns within and beyond the immediate Arctic Circle have been changing as well...
- EPA Warns House Bill Would 'Overturn' Clean Water Law (Greenwire):
EPA said the Mica-Rahall bill would "significantly undermine" the agency's role of overseeing states' establishment and enforcement of water pollution limits and permits. It said the measure would hinder EPA's ability to intervene on behalf of downstream states harmed by pollution coming from a state upstream. And it said the bill would prevent EPA from protecting local communities from ill-conceived mountaintop-removal and similar projects allowed to go forward under Army Corps of Engineers-issued permits.
- Behind Veneer, Doubt on Future of Natural Gas (NYT Green)
- Insiders Warn that Shale Gas May Be a Ponzi Scheme (Think Progress Green)
- New Foe for U.S. Solar Energy: The Railroads (Reuters):
Railroad company Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp has joined an unlikely coalition of environmentalists, American Indians and politicians who are opposing a massive solar energy project planned for California's Mojave Desert.
- Fox News' Wallace Encourages Fox Viewers To Remain Misinformed On Climate Change (Media Matters.org):
On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace criticized a University of Maryland study which indicated that Fox News viewers are more misinformed than the consumers of other news media.
The study actually asked, "Do you think that MOST SCIENTISTS believe that" 1) Climate change is occurring, 2) Views are evenly divided or 3) Climate change is not occurring. Noting that the correct answer is that most scientists believe that climate change is occurring, the study found that of those who said they watched Fox News "almost every day," 60 percent got it wrong --- significantly higher than the consumers of other news sources.
- Alberta Tar Sands: Greatest Threat to Caribou Herd in Canada Isn’t From Wolves (NY Times):
[T]he oil sands contain the second largest reserve of petroleum in the world, and so they face a heavy human presence as they are developed. And by looking at hormone levels in caribou scat, the scientists found that when humans were most active in an area, caribou nutrition was poorest and psychological stress highest. When oil crews left, the animals relaxed and nutrition improved.
- Green Jobs Attract Graduates (NY Times):
A growing number of recent graduates are passing on careers in traditional industries and media for work on sustainability, often in the nonprofit sector.
- Alternative U.S. Nuclear Reactor Design Seeks Country Willing to Build Prototype: The so-called "wave reactor" needs a pilot project to evaluate whether its components could stand radioactive bombardment (Scientific American)
- Meet The ‘Friendly Fracosaurus’: Natural Gas Industry Produces Propaganda For Children (Think Progress Green)