IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Obama plays the infrastructure card; Perry jumps in; Huntsman refers to EPA as 'terrorists', while all of the GOP candidates positions on science and global warming are difficult to swallow; the Summer of Records continues; PLUS: Arctic ice melting 4 times faster than predicted ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): DoE panel calls for more study on natural gas fracking; After North Sea oil spill, Shell to drill in Arctic; New GMO corn for gas, not food; Battle over new coal depot in WA; China to double solar capacity by year end; Coast Guard: Arctic oil spill response capability lacking; Record-breaking electric car gets 1000 miles on one charge; CNN FAIL on Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining; Coping With Change: can humans adapt again?; "The (Polar) Bear Facts," checked; Massive protest shuts down Chinese chemical plant; Federal judge throws out Obama drilling rules ... PLUS: Monsanto's Roundup herbicide research shows plant, soil problems ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Obama Calls for Infrastructure Investment:
- VIDEO: President Obama Call for Infrastructure Spending at Town Hall in Iowa (WhiteHouse.gov)
- VIDEO: President Obama's Town Hall in Minnesota (WhiteHouse.gov)
- TX Gov. Perry Jumps In, As Republicans in Iowa Bash Obama & the EPA:
- Politifact: Do scientists disagree about global warming? [No.] (Politifact)
- Rick Perry to run for president; climate deniers cheer (Grist) [emphasis added]:
Perry's state is getting absolutely hammered by heat and the worst one-year drought in its recorded history.
In the face of these crises --- which are just what you'd expect in a climate-changed world --- Perry proposes neither adaptation nor mitigation but rather supplication. He's been praying for rain and calling on other Texans to do the same. So far no luck.
Perry also prays for a rollback of EPA regulations: ".... I wish this president would turn back the health-care law that's been passed, ask that his EPA back down all these regulations that are causing businesses to hesitate to spend money."
- Barack Obama is 'greatest threat to US', says Rick Perry: Rick Perry has denounced President Barack Obama as "the greatest threat to our country" and called for him to be replaced by a new commander-in-chief "who is passionate about America". (Telegraph UK)
- Rick Perry's environmental record (Washington Post)
- PolitiFact counters GOP claim, says ‘little dispute’ on science of climate change (The Hill)
- Rick Perry Was Al Gore’s Texas Campaign Chairman in 1988 (EnviroKnow)
- Rick Perry thinks Texas climate scientists are in a ‘secular carbon cult’ (Think Progress Green)
- Perry's Anti-Environment Record: Another Texan Running for President (National Review, Jan. 2011)
- Rick Perry backed an already-climate-crusading Al Gore in '88 (Politico)
- A Christian Plot for Domination? (Daily Beast):
Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry aren't just devout—both have deep ties to a fringe fundamentalist movement known as Dominionism, which says Christians should rule the world.
- After Praying for Rain, Texas Governor Rick Perry Prays for the EPA to Stop Environmental Regulations (Climate Progress)
- Conservative, white men most 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.
- Summer of Records Continues: After Record Heat, Record Rain in the NE:
- Record rains nearly drown pair trapped in N.Y. elevator (AP)
- Record rainfall inundates NYC (UPI)
- Record-Breaking Rain In New York City Causes Traffic Mess, Power Outages, Near Elevator Drowning (Huffington Post Green)
- NCDC July 2011 monthly state of the climate report — supplemental figures and information (NOAA):
July was 317th consecutive month w/ global temp above 20th century average and the 122nd consecutive month with below-average sea ice extent.
- Record Heat Causes Nation’s Water Pipes to ‘Burst Like Geysers’ (Think Progress Green)
- Another La Nina On the Way?: Flash Drought (Mother Jones)
- Farmers: Record Rain Ruined Crops in the Northeast (AP)
- Heat and drought across U.S. may lead to price spikes for pasta, meat, vegetable oil (Climate Reality)
- Freak Winter Storm Socks New Zealand (UPI)
- 90 Degree River Shuts Tennessee Nuclear Plant for Second Time (Clean Technica):
"When the river's ambient temperature reaches 90 degrees, we can't add any heat to it," TVA's nuclear spokesman Ray Golden told the Times Free Press.
- Gee, Why Are Climate Scientists So Perturbed? (NYT Green)
- MIT: Arctic Ice Melting 4x Faster Than Predicted:
- Thinning Arctic Sea Ice Poised for Record Decline in August (Climate Progress):
After comparing IPCC models with actual data, [lead author Pierre] Rampal and his collaborators concluded that the forecasts were significantly off: Arctic sea ice is thinning, on average, four times faster than the models say, and it’s drifting twice as quickly.
- READ THE REPORT: On thin ice: The most recent global climate report fails to capture the reality of the changing Arctic seascape, according to MIT researchers. (Mass. Institute of Technology):
Yet the Arctic sea ice is changing dramatically, and its presence shouldn’t be taken for granted, even over the course of our lifetimes.
- Sorry Deniers, the Oceans are Still Warming as Predicted (Skeptical Science)
- New study blames human beings for half of Arctic ice melt (McClatchy DC):
About half the recent record loss of Arctic sea ice can be blamed on global warming caused by human activity, according to a new study by scientists from the nation's leading climate research center.
The peer-reviewed study, funded by the National Science Foundation is the first to attribute a specific proportion of the ice melt to greenhouse gases and particulates from pollution.
- Polar Climate Change May Lead to Ecological Change (Science Daily):
Ice and frozen ground at the North and South Poles are affected by climate change induced warming, but the consequences of thawing at each pole differ due to the geography and geology, according to a Penn State hydrologist.
"The polar regions, particularly the Arctic, are warming faster than the rest of the world," Michael N. Gooseff, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, told attendees August 11 at the 96th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Austin, Texas. "As a consequence, polar ecosystems respond directly to changes in the Earth systems at the poles."
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- DoE Energy Panel Calls for More Study on Life-Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Natural Gas Fracking (Climate Progress):
A panel convened by the Department of Energy weighed in on the matter....The seven-member panel released a report of environmental guidelines for the natural gas industry, with one of the main recommendations being more study of the “cradle-to-grave” emissions profile of natural gas...
- After North Sea Oil Spill, Shell Prepares to Drill in U.S. Arctic, Where There is ‘No Infrastructure’ for Clean-Up (Climate Progress)
- Battle over coal for China highlights global economic change (McClatchy DC):
When a Seattle-based shipping company announced plans last year for a deepwater cargo port that it promised would create hundreds of jobs, it looked like good news.
But Pike's attitude changed when he learned what cargo the company had in mind: coal, and potentially 48 million tons of it a year. That coal would end up in China, where it would fuel the blistering growth of America's biggest competitor.
- China to double solar capacity by year end: report (Reuters)
- Shell’s North Sea oil spill draws U.S. attention (The Hill):
Something to watch as Royal Dutch Shell seeks approval to drill off Alaska’s coast: The company is reporting an oil leak from a U.K. platform in the North Sea.
- Coast Guard: Arctic oil spill response capability lacking (AP):
The commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard said Friday the nation must decide what level of pollution cleanup response capability the agency should have along the Arctic coast as an oil company prepares to begin drilling there.
"You never know the full spectrum of things that can go wrong," Papp said. "And if the Coast Guard has no resources, we have no backup, we have no way to execute a plan. So we've got to have some infrastructure up there."
- New GM corn no-one can eat - but you can put it in your gas tank (Guardian UK)
- Record-breaking electric car gets 1000 miles to the charge (Grist)
- CNN Tries, Fails to Cover Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining (Mother Jones):
The headline on the web piece is your first sign that the piece needs some help: "Steady job or healthy environment: What would you choose?"
Once you remove the coal, there are no more jobs there. The headline reference to a "steady job" must be some kind of dark humor, given the decline in coal jobs in this country.
Then, once you have created a monoeconomy based on coal, the disappearance of those jobs devastates the surrounding community—especially now that you've destroyed the mountains and polluted the surrounding areas, ruining property values and any potential for tourism. And then there's the health factor…
- Coping With Change: Human history is a record of adapting to environmental and climate change. Can we do it again? (Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media)
- "The (Polar) Bear Facts," Checked (Media Matters):
The Post editorial also falsely suggested that a recent study raises doubt about the basic fact that "carbon-dioxide emissions trap heat in the atmosphere" and falsely claimed that "climategate" showed scientists "fudg[ing] the facts."
- Massive Protest Shuts Down Chinese Chemical Plant (EnviroKnow)
- Federal judge throws out Obama drilling rules (AP):
A judge on Friday threw out Obama administration rules that sought to slow down expedited environmental review of oil and gas drilling on federal land.
U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal ruled in favor of a petroleum industry group, the Western Energy Alliance, in its lawsuit against the federal government, including Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
The ruling reinstates Bush-era expedited oil and gas drilling under provisions called categorical exclusions on federal lands nationwide, Freudenthal said.
- Monsanto's Roundup herbicide research shows plant, soil problems (Reuters):
The heavy use of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide appears to be causing harmful changes in soil and potentially hindering yields of the genetically modified crops that farmers are cultivating, a government scientist said on Friday.
Repeated use of the chemical glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup herbicide, impacts the root structure of plants, and 15 years of research indicates that the chemical could be causing fungal root disease, said Bob Kremer, a microbiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service.