IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Texas is roasting! (and Rick Perry is still denying); 2011 disasters are getting expensive; Climate science is vindicated --- again; PLUS: Obama calls for infrastructure jobs - again - but undercuts clean air rules ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Regulator says Murdoch oil shale company must fix faulty wells; Bachmann dodges question on whether God uses weather to send messages; China challenges U.S. supremacy in shale gas; Oil exploration under Arctic ice could cause 'uncontrollable' natural disaster; If you eat strawberries, you should know about Methyl Iodide; Iran’s 1st nuclear power plant goes into operation; New microbe can clean up uranium; Solar power innovator Solyndra files for bankruptcy; NSFW: Don Cheadle is Captain Planet; Fukushima’s long link to a dark nuclear past ... PLUS: Scientist: “The Murdoch media empire has cost humanity perhaps one or two decades in battle against climate change ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Texas is Roasting: 85 New Wildfires in 3 days:
- All Fire Coverage Portal (American-Statesman Front Page) (Austin-American Statesman)
- Texas wildfires: More than 1,000 homes lost, thousands evacuated (LA Times)
- 'Mother Nature Has The Upper Hand' In Wildfire Fight (NPR):
A tinderbox landscape and unusually windy conditions have caused more than 60 wildfires to explode across Central and East Texas - creating a hellish Labor Day for thousands of Texans. Two people have been killed so far.
Driven by a relentless north wind, the blaze has jumped a broad, four-lane highway and the Colorado River - twice -as it keeps getting bigger.
- Economic Impact Of Texas Drought Could Be Greater Than Cost From Irene (Think Progress Green):
[T]he cost of the Texas drought, which climate change pushed to extremes, may be greater economic disaster. Earlier this month, Texas Agrilife Extension Service estimated losses to be at $5.2 billion - already greater than the $4.1 billion of losses from the 2006 drought. "This drought is just strangling our agricultural economy," professor Travis Miller, of Texas A&M University's Department of Soil and Crop Sciences. Losses, told TIME Magazine.
- 2011's Natural Disasters Are Expensive:
- Hurricane Cost Seen as Ranking Among Top Ten (NY Times):
While insurers have typically covered about half of the total losses in past storms, they might end up covering less than 40 percent of the costs associated with Hurricane Irene, according to an analysis by the Kinetic Analysis Corporation. That is partly because so much damage was caused by flooding, and it is unclear how many damaged homes have flood insurance, and partly because deductibles have risen steeply in coastal areas in recent years, requiring some homeowners to cover $4,000 worth of damages or more before insurers pick up the loss.
- Gee, Ya Think?!?: In the World's Breadbasket, Climate Change Feeds Some Worry (Reuters):
The United States, the breadbasket and supplier of last resort for a hungry world, has been such an amazing food producer in the last half-century that most Americans take for granted annual bounteous harvests of grain, meat, dairy, fruits, vegetables and other crops.
... But climate change fears are sounding some warning bells.
- On Warming and US Hurricane Strikes (NYT Dot Earth):
Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University told ThinkProgress that “climate change is present in every single meteorological event.”
This is as uncontroversial as saying the sky is blue, in the sense that the atmosphere’s behavior is implicitly shaped differently than it was before the industrial revolution raised the concentration of carbon dioxide by more than a third.
But the important question for society is how much climate events that matter to people are being meaningfully shaped by that rise in greenhouse gases. In the case of American hurricane risk, the science says there’s a negative trend in storm number, while storm energy and rainfall probably are rising.
- 'Overhyped' Hurricane Irene Likely To Be One Of The 10 Costliest Disasters Ever (Think Progress Green)
- Atmospheric Forces Conspire to Make 2011 a Wild Year (Live Science)
- Climate realities: Global warming is a fact, and it's evident right here in the streets of Pittsburgh (Union of Concerned Scientists)
- Politifact: Do scientists disagree about global warming? [No.] (Politifact)
- 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.
- Obama Calls for Infrastructure Jobs --- Again:
- For Obama, a Familiar Labor Day Theme (NY Times)
- Carl Pope: Drawing the Wrong Lessons --- As Usual --- On Labor Day (Huffington Post Green):
So one of the Department of Energy's big clean-energy bets --- Solyndra --- didn't make it. But this city is wrangling over which wrong conclusion to draw. The Tea Party Republicans, of course, see this as proof that America can't expect to compete --- and that clean-tech advocates and environmentalists were silly for thinking we could. The Republican National Committee turned Solyndra's bankruptcy into an example of the one modern innovation for which America's preeminence is unchallenged --- the campaign attack ad.
Mainstream media, like the New York Times, pointed out that Solyndra failed not because it wasn't able to make electricity --- this was no "cold fusion" chimera --- but because cheap Chinese solar panels that use more conventional technologies beat its price point. How did the Chinese get so cheap? Not through innovation --- they lag behind the U.S. in solar tech. Not through labor costs, which are insignificant in making solar panels. No, the Chinese got cheaper loans, faster permits and more support from their government for their exports.
- The Link Between Infrastructure And Growth (Think Progress)
- How The 'Hack Gap' Will Kill Obama's Jobs Speech (Think Progress)
- The Democratic Jobs Debate As Mass Denial (The New Republic)
- Conservative Media Declare That Solar Power "Doesn't Work" (Media Matters.org)
- Surprising Areas See Growth in Green Jobs (NPR):
When you think about Green Energy and its jobs, Albany, N.Y., probably wouldn't be the first city that pops into your head. But according to a report, the upstate New York region has the highest concentration of green jobs in the country. Another surprising area in the top 10: Cleveland and northeast Ohio.
- Big Business Cheers As Obama Undercuts EPA's New Smog Rules:
- Obama to Breathers: Sorry, Wait Until 2013 (Mother Jones)
- Obama requests EPA withdraw ozone draft law (MarketWatch)
- Rick Perry: The EPA ‘Won’t Know What Hit ‘Em’ (Think Progress)
- John Stossel Tells EPA To Pack Up Shop (DeSmogBlog)
- Climate Science Vindicated --- Again:
- Science Stunner: Editor of Journal that Published Flawed Denier Bunk Apologizes, Resigns, Slams Spencer for Exaggerations (Climate Progress)
- Journal Editor Resigns After Publishing Flawed Climate Study Touted By Forbes, Fox: Conservative Media Ran With A Study Which They Claimed "Throws The Entire Global Warming Theory Into Question" (Media Matters.org)
- Scientist Calls Out The Australian's Climate Misinformation (Media Matters.org)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- EXCLUSIVE: Regulator Says Murdoch Oil Shale Company Must Fix Faulty Wells (Media Matters.org)
- Total Arctic Sea Ice at Record Low in 2010: study (Reuters):
500 MILES FROM THE NORTH POLE --- The minimum summertime volume of Arctic sea ice fell to a record low last year, researchers said in a study to be published shortly, suggesting that thinning of the ice had outweighed a recovery in area.
- VIDEO: Bachmann Dodges Question on Whether God Uses Weather To Send Messages (Talking Points Memo)
- China Challenges U.S. Supremacy in Shale Gas (NY Times)
- Oil exploration under Arctic ice could cause 'uncontrollable' natural disaster (Independent UK):
Any serious oil spill in the ice of the Arctic, the "new frontier" for oil exploration, is likely to be an uncontrollable environmental disaster despoiling vast areas of the world's most untouched ecosystem, one of the world's leading polar scientists has told The Independent.
Oil from an undersea leak will not only be very hard to deal with in Arctic conditions, it will interact with the surface sea ice and become absorbed in it, and will be transported by it for as much as 1,000 miles across the ocean, according to Peter Wadhams, Professor of ocean physics at the University of Cambridge.
- Methyl Iodide: A Nasty Pesticide Explained: The bad science behind the stuff sprayed on strawberry crops and its impact on the people who pick them. (Mother Jones)
- Iran’s First Nuclear Power Plant Goes Into Operation (NY Times)
- Microbes can cleanup uranium
- In The Future, The Only Jobs Left Will Be Green (Climate Progress):
The inevitable transition to a low carbon, low-fossil-fuel, water- and resource-efficient economy is apparently lost on many in the media. We expect confusion and misinformation on this point from the right wing media (see Conservative Media Inanely Declare Solar Power ‘Doesn’t Work’). It is surprising, though, when even NPR runs the headline, “Is Obama’s Bet On Green Jobs Risky?”
In fact, the only “risky” move is failing to aggressively pursue clean energy, failing to quickly reduce dependence on petroleum before peak oil forces us too, and failing to embrace a sustainable economy before the global Ponzi scheme collapses.
- Solar Power Innovator Solyndra Files For Bankruptcy (Treehugger)
- Attack of the Monsanto Superinsects (Mother Jones)
- VIDEO: Don Cheadle is Captain Planet (Funny Or Die):
Don Cheadle is obviously the best person to play Captain Planet in the movie version of the popular cartoon, hopefully they make his character a nicer guy.
- Fukushima’s Long Link to a Dark Nuclear Past (NY Times):
“We had no idea what we were doing here, in our bare feet, digging out radioactive uranium,” Mr. Ariga said, standing between cedar saplings as spindly as his aging legs. “Now, 66 years later, we are exposed to radiation again.”
- Scientist: “The Murdoch Media Empire Has Cost Humanity Perhaps One or Two Decades in Battle Against Climate Change.” (Climate Progress)