IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Obama calls again for eliminating billions in oil subsidies; Coal mine owner Massey Energy kept two sets of books; U.S. Interstate Highway system proves federal infrastructure good for business; PLUS: Jellyfish attack a nuclear power plant --- no, really --- natural disasters and the Achilles heel of the U.S. nuclear industry ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 2010: Second warmest year on record; How rising temperatures change weather; CA delays nation's 1st cap-and-trade emissions auctions; AAAS decries intimidation, threats aimed at climate scientists; Undercover video links major retailers to barbaric handling of pigs; How the meat industry turned abuse into a business model; Dick Cheney's Big Fracking Mess; Google's plan for cleantech world dominance; More radioactive water leaks from Fukushima; "Our economic system must adapt to climate change"; A clean, green economy will arrive 'like a grenade in a glasshouse; How to make solar panels with paint; Environmentalists Speak Out Against Excessive Cheese Logging; Did ExxonMobil break its promise to stop funding climate deniers?; CA to delay its greenhouse gas emissions trading system; Sierra Club Can't Join U.S. Lawsuit Seeking BP Spill Damages ... PLUS: Republican governors AWOL during state emergencies to attend secret Billionaire Koch Brothers event ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: Pawlenty Denies Global Warming: 'The Science Is Bad' on Fox & Friends (Think Progress Green)
- Debunk ALL the Climate Denier Myths at Skeptical Science.com (Skeptical Science):
- Debunked: Ice Age Predicted in the 1970s
[A] greater number published contradicting studies. Their papers showed that the growing amount of greenhouse gasses that humans were putting into the atmosphere would cause much greater warming - warming that would a much greater influence on global temperature than any possible natural or human-caused cooling effects.
The fact is that around 1970 there were 6 times as many scientists predicting a warming rather than a cooling planet. Today, with 30+years more data to analyse, we've reached a clear scientific consensus: 97% of working climate scientists agree with the view that human beings are causing global warming.
- Obama Calls For Eliminating Billions in Taxpayer Subsidies for Big Oil:
- WATCH: President Obama News Conference, June 29, 2011 (White House.gov)
- TRANSCRIPT of President Obama's Press Conference (Wall St. Journal):
So the bottom line is this: Any agreement to reduce our deficit is going to require tough decisions and balanced solutions. And before we ask our seniors to pay more for health care, before we cut our children’s education, before we sacrifice our commitment to the research and innovation that will help create more jobs in the economy, I think it’s only fair to ask an oil company or a corporate jet owner that has done so well to give up a tax break that no other business enjoys. I don’t think that’s real radical. I think the majority of Americans agree with that.
- Coal Mine Owner Massey Energy Kept TWO Sets of Safety Logs
- W.Va. mine faked safety logs before fatal blast (AP):
Massey Energy pressured workers at a West Virginia coal mine where an explosion killed 29 men to omit safety problems from official reports for the government while the company kept another set of accurate books for itself, government regulators say.
The two sets of books were kept because the company wanted to avoid scrutiny from inspectors and keep coal production running smoothly, workers told Mine Safety and Health Administration investigators, according to agency official Kevin Stricklin.
- Mine Owners Misled Inspectors, Investigators Say (NY Times)
- MSHA to families: UBB mine kept 2 sets of books (Coal Tattoo):
MSHA's top lawyer, Patricia Smith, told the families that both MSHA and the U.S. Department of Justice were closely examining the two sets of books for potential violations of civil and criminal statutes that require accurate recording of hazards.
- MSHA: UBB disaster could have been prevented (Charleston Gazette)
- DOJ looking into inaction by Massey execs, board (Coal Tattoo)
- For Your 4th of July Festivities: Dirty, Dirty U.S. Beaches and Sexy, Sexy Infrastructure:
- Testing the Waters 2011 (Natural Resources Defense Council):
NRDC's annual survey of water quality and public notification at U.S. beaches finds that the number of beach closings and advisories in 2010 reached 24,091 - the second-highest level since NRDC began tracking these events 21 years ago, confirming that our nation's beaches continue to suffer from bacterial pollution that puts swimmers at risk.
- NRDC Ratings for a Selection of U. S. Popular Beaches (NRDC)
- Beaches to Avoid This July 4th (Mother Jones):
Southern California snagged the most spots on a list of "repeat offenders," where contamination-mostly from human and animal waste in storm runoff-exceeded national standards at least a quarter of the time over the last four years.
- When Jellyfish Attack: Natural Disasters and the Achilles Heel of the U.S. Nuclear Industry
- Jellyfish shut down nuclear plant (Huffington Post Green)
- Nebraska nuclear plant threatened by flooding is safe, scientists group finds (Kansas City Star):
No nuclear plant is without risks, and the flooding will complicate getting the Nebraska reactor back up and running. But "basically what we found was … good news," said David Lochbaum, director of the nuclear safety project for the scientists group, which is based in Washington.
- Flood Facts and Information (June 2011) (Nebraska Public Power District)
- Wildfire Continues to Burn Near Nuclear Facility in New Mexico (NY Times)
- Fire crews burn barrier to protect Los Alamos lab (USA Today)
- Live Updates: Las Conchas Fire Burns Near Los Alamos: The Las Conchas Fire is burning Near Los Alamos (KOAT-NM)
- Q&A: Is New Mexico's Los Alamos National Laboratory Really Safe? (TIME)
- Nuke Plant Inspections Find Flaws in Disaster Readiness: Problems with emergency equipment and disaster procedures are far more pervasive than publicly describe (Pro Publica)
- Evacuations Unlikely As Populations Skyrocket Near U.S. Nuclear Plants: (AP):
[S]ome estimates of evacuation times have not been updated in decades, even as the population has increased more than ever imagined. Emergency plans would direct residents to flee on antiquated, two-lane roads that clog hopelessly at rush hour.
And evacuation zones have remained frozen at a 10-mile radius from each plant since they were set in 1978 - despite all that has happened since, including the accidents at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima Dai-ichi in Japan.
Meanwhile, the dangers have increased.
- AP IMPACT: US nuke regulators weaken safety rules (AP)
- AP IMPACT: NRC and industry rewrite nuke history (AP)
- AP IMPACT: Tritium leaks found at many nuke sites (AP)
- Global Boiling: Midwest Climate Disaster Predicted in 2000 (Think Progress Green, June 2008)
- 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.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- NOAA & AMS: Globally, Year 2010 Ranked Second Warmest on Record (Environment News Service) [emphasis added]:
For the planet as a whole, 2010 was one of the two warmest years on record, according to three independent datasets detailed in the latest State of the Climate report, released today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the American Meteorological Society.
The year 2005 tops the list of warmest years since temperature recordkeeping began in 1880.
- Global Warming and the Science of Extreme Weather: How rising temperatures change weather and produce fiercer, more frequent storms (Scientific American):
Extreme floods, prolonged droughts, searing heat waves, massive rainstorms and the like don't just seem like they've become the new normal in the last few years-they have become more common, according to data collected by reinsurance company Munich Re (see Part 1 of this series).
- California Delays Nation's First Cap-and-Trade Emissions Auctions, Citing Potential Gaming (ClimateWire)
- AAAS board decries intimidation, threats aimed at climate scientists (NY Times)
- Most speakers at the 6th International Heartland Inst Conference on Climate Change misidentified as scientists (Scholars & Rogues)
- Animal Cruelty: New Undercover Video Links Major Retailers to Barbaric Handling of Pigs (TIME)
- How the meat industry turned abuse into a business model (Grist)
- Dick Cheney's Big Fracking Mess: How not to protect our drinking water: Prohibit the EPA from regulating new mining technologies (Salon.com)
- Google's plan for cleantech world dominance says government policy is essential (Grist)
- More radioactive water leaks from Fukushima (Grist)
- Sara Phillips: How will we react to the realisation our economic system must adapt to climate change? (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
- A clean, green economy will arrive 'like a grenade in a glasshouse' says Paul Gilding (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
- Scientist: How to make solar panels with paint (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
- Environmentalists Speak Out Against Excessive Cheese Logging (The Onion)
- Did ExxonMobil break its promise to stop funding climate deniers? [yes.] (Grist)
- CA to delay its greenhouse gas emissions trading system by 1 year (Climate Central)
- Judge Says Sierra Club Can't Join U.S. Lawsuit Seeking BP Spill Damages (Bloomberg)
- Sneaky: Govs. Rick Perry And Rick Scott Go AWOL During State Emergencies To Attend Secret Koch Event (Think Progress Green):
As Texas faced some of the worst wildfires in its history and a severe drought crisis that has caused the federal government to declare the entire state a disaster area, its governor was schmoozing with well-heeled conservative donors in Vail, Colorado at a retreat organized by the right-wing industrialist Koch brothers. Gov. Rick Perry (R) left his state without notifying constituents or the press and dodged inquiries into his whereabouts. The media had to resort to tracking the tail number of a private plane owned by one of Perry's major campaign donors. "This was an opportunity to talk about the economic success in Texas," a spokesperson said, denying that the trip had anything to do with a potential presidential run.
Meanwhile, in Florida, days after declaring a state of emergency for his state's own climate crisis, Gov. Rick Scott (R) disappeared over the weekend, failing to disclose his whereabouts in his public schedule and refusing to respond to numerous press inquiries. Yesterday, Scott finally admitted he left the state without informing his constituents to attend the Koch summit.