IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Debt ceiling theatre is over --- for now --- with clean energy & environment the biggest losers; It's official: Record heat wave makes for a record July; Don doesn't do Dallas (Tropical Storm Don, that is); PLUS: The most anti-environment Congress ever... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Star Polar Bear Scientist in the Dog House; Conservative, white men more likely to be climate change sceptics: study; EPA delays smog rule for fourth time; CBO: Clean Energy Standards Are an Affordable Way to Cut Carbon Emissions; Protesters Continue To Block Mountaintop Removal At Coal River; More reasons to switch to LED light bulbs; Issa to investigate Obama's fuel economy deal; Not looking good: Climate Trends and Global Crop Production; GOP presidential campaign town halls become oil lobbyist theater; World is building low-carbon global economy without the United States; Beware these household energy-saving myths ... PLUS: Gee, why are climate scientists so perturbed? ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Tropical Storm Don a Dud for Texas' Record Drought:
- Tropical Storm Don making landfall in Texas (CNN):
Tropical Storm Don came ashore Friday evening, bringing a belt of much-needed rain but not enough to slake the thirst of parched Texas.
- TX: Mandatory water restrictions coming (Collin Co. Demsblog):
Lake Lewisville is down a foot in the past two weeks. Traffic advisory signs around the Metroplex now say "Extreme drought conditions...conserve water" as the drought becomes more serious with each scorching, rainless day that passes.
- Record Heat Wave Makes for Record July:
- Heat wave makes July the hottest on record in Ann Arbor (Think Progress)
- July heat in Washington was unprecedented (Washington Post)
- Austin TX: Austin's All-Time Hottest Month in 157-Year History (CapitalClimate)
- 40 Days and Counting: Oklahoma 100° Streak Continues (CapitalClimate)
- Hottest July Ever In Oklahoma, Center Of Climate Change Denial (Think Progress Green)
- 2011 Drought Sets More Records in US:
- Severe US drought sets another record; Costs soar past $1.5 billion Details (WaPo Capitol Weather Gang):
Far from receding during this sizzling, humid summer, the intense drought that has ensnared much of the southern tier of the nation during the past several months has only intensified, reaching a record extent during July
The National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) announced yesterday that the proportion of the Lower-48 states experiencing "exceptional" drought conditions - the most severe of five categories on the U.S. Drought Monitor - during July was the largest ever measured since such monitoring began 12 years ago.
- July Heat Shatters Records Across US (USA Today)
- The New Normal: Billion-Dollar Disasters (Mother Jones)
- Most Anti-Environment Congress Ever:
- Dems: ‘Toxic’ environmental spending bill will spread heat, death (The Hill)
- "The Worst" Enviro Budget Cuts in 35 Years (Mother Jones)
- LISTEN: GOP Congressman: If We Take The Senate And White House In 2012, The EPA Will Be ‘Discontinued’ (Think Progress Green)
- House Continues Assault on Key Health & Environmental Protections: Riders on an EPA spending bill will sacrifice thousands of lives, billions of dollars in savings (Earth Justice)
- The Most Anti-Environment House in History: How is Your Representative Voting? (Think Progress Green)
- The GOP's Hidden Debt-Deal Agenda: Gut the EPA
The good news for environmentalists is that with the Democrats still in charge of the Senate, those riders are unlikely to remain in the final EPA-Interior spending bill. Indeed, these demands were less about actual policy than about making a political point.
And that's exactly the problem. According to Markey and Waxman's rundown of 110 antienvironment votes made by the House so far this year, on average 97% of Republican members voted for the antigreen positions, while 84% of Democrats supported the progreen position.
- Debt Ceiling Theatre Bodes Ill: Doomsday for Clean Energy & Environment:
- Obama, Democrats Poised to Embrace Deal that May Slash Energy, Enviro Spending for Many, Many Years (Climate Progress)
- Debt deal would see sharp energy spending cuts: ex-Clinton energy advisor (Platts)
- VIDEO: Mitch McConnell Vows To Hold Debt Ceiling Hostage In The Future: 'We'll Be Doing It All Over' (Think Progress):
Republicans learned that "raw extortion works and carries no political cost," as the New York Times' Paul Krugman wrote today.
MCCONNELL: It set the template for the future. In the future, Neil, no president - in the near future, maybe in the distant future - is going to be able to get the debt ceiling increased without a re-ignition of the same discussion of how do we cut spending and get America headed in the right direction. I expect the next president, whoever that is, is going to be asking us to raise the debt ceiling again in 2013, so we'll be doing it all over.
- Energy programs prepare for debt deal pain (Politico):
"They've set up a structure in which the Republicans are going to have maximum incentive to blow up loopholes and credits because the other choice is to cut defense," [said McKenna]. "So this is where all the mayhem on energy tax credits is going to get done."
This, he said, could include wind, solar and other renewable energy production and investment tax incentives.
- Debt Be Not Proud: Lame Deal Cements Cement Shoes on Energy and Climate Investment for Foreseeable Future (Think Porgress Green)
- The Debt-Ceiling Deal: Winners & Losers (Washington Post)
- Debt Deal, Promising Energy Budget Cuts, Appears to Chill Hopes for a Carbon Tax (NYT Green)
- Amid Debt Crisis, Dirty Senators Defend Oil Subsidies (Think Progress)
- Will The Federal Gasoline Tax Be Grover Norquist's Next Hostage? (Think Progress Green)
- U.S. Gas Taxes About to Expire: Get Ready for Congress's Next Meltdown (Think Progress)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Star Polar Bear Scientist in the Dog House (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones):
The government mysteriously puts a lead Arctic biologist on administrative leave. Is it caving to oil interests? [sure looks like it - ed.]
At no point in the course of the interview, which lasted for two hours, did the agents state exactly what they were investigating. At one point, Jeff Ruch, the executive director of PEER (as well as an attorney and an observer of the investigation), asked about the allegations. May responded, "Well, the scientif--well, scientific misconduct, basically, uh, wrong numbers, uh, miscalculations, uh-."
- Conservative, white men more likely to be climate change sceptics, study shows (Guardian UK):
The demographic was more than twice as likely than other adults to say the media exaggerated seriousness of climate change.
- EPA delays smog rule for fourth time (Reuters)
- CBO: Clean Energy Standards Are an Affordable Way to Cut Carbon Emissions (Climate Progress)
- Protesters Continue To Block Mountaintop Removal At Coal River (Think Progress Green)
- More totally awesome reasons to switch incandescents for LED light bulbs (Grist)
- Politico compares Issa to John Belushi as Upton Disses His Investigation of Obama's Fuel Economy Deal (Politico)
- Not looking good: Climate Trends and Global Crop Production Since 1980 (Grist)
- VIDEO: GOP Presidential Campaign Town Halls Become Lobbyist Theater As Oil Industry Front Group Plants Questions (Think Progress)
- The world is building a low-carbon global economy --- with or without the United States
- The Less Thirsty Cars of the Future
(Green Car Congress)
- More Jobs Per Gallon: Making fuel-efficient cars will create hundreds of thousands of jobs (Grist)
- Beware These Household Energy-Saving Myths (The Consumerist)
- Gee, Why Are Climate Scientists So Perturbed? (NYT Green):
A recent report from the ClimateWorks Foundation in San Francisco does the best job I have seen of explaining, in layman’s terms, why scientists keep pressing the issue. In essence, society has put off the task of reducing carbon dioxide and other emissions for so long that it is on the verge of running out of time, the report argues. The document, written by Hal Harvey and Sonia Aggarwal, calculates that stabilizing the gases at a level low enough to avert severe damage to the planet will require that emissions peak by 2020 and then begin falling briskly — and no set of policies in place today is likely to cause that to happen.