IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Republicans wave the white flag, surrender to China; Obama doesn't, as clean energy jobs are the fastest growing sector in the U.S.; Gov. Rick Perry's political appointees censor climate change from a scientific environmental report; PLUS: This week's historic floods now arriving in Bangkok, in a year of record flooding across the globe ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Arctic Ozone Hole: Inaction Risks “Future Nasty Climate Change Surprises Far More Serious”; Solar is getting cheap fast; Radioactivity found in plankton near Fukushima; Coal: for every $1 in cheap electricity, coal causes $2 in damages; Interior to allow BP into Gulf lease sale; U.S. sanctions BP, contractors for Gulf oil spill; Canadian pipeline company threatens U.S. landowners with eminent domain; Judge strikes down Bush-era ruling on polar bears; EPA Tries To Put To Rest 'Myth' of Farm Dust Rules; Herman Cain's long tes to Koch Brothers; Scientists nderplay Climate Impacts; Climate Change Poses Immediate Threat To Health; Salmon-Killing Virus Seen for 1st Time in Wild; Bringing a 'dead' TN river back to life; House Republicans Score Another Symbolic Defeat for EPA; Where Did Global Warming Go?; Climate Change is Shrinking Species, Research Suggests...PLUS: 'Occupy the Tundra': One woman's lonely vigil in bush Alaska ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- This Week's Historic Flooding, Now Arriving in Bangkok
- Bangkok's Governor Calls for Sandbags as Floods Besiege Thailand's Capitol (Bloomberg):
Bangkok Governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra appealed for more than a million sandbags to prevent flooding in the Thai capital as a “huge amount” of water from northern dams threatens to deluge inner parts of the city.
“Every minute is critical from now on,” he told a televised press briefing late yesterday in which he asked for 1.2 million sandbags.
- Bangkok May Face New Eastern Flood Front (ABC News)
- Thai PM warns Bangkok faces flood disaster: Bangkok is facing unprecedented flooding, Thailand's prime minister warned the country, as the death toll from monsoon rains rose to 250. (CBC News)
- Heavy Rains Wreak Havoc Through Central America (NYT Green)
- VIDEO: Epic dust storm descends on West Texas (LA Times)
- TX Gov. Rick Perry's Political Appointees Censor Climate Change from Scientific Report on Rising Sea Levels:
- Perry Officials Censored Climate Change Report: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality doesn't want you to know that climate change is causing sea level rise in Galveston Bay. (Mother Jones):
Top environmental officials under Perry have gutted a recent report on sea level rise in Galveston Bay, removing all mentions of climate change. For the past decade, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which is run by Perry political appointees, including famed global warming denier Bryan Shaw, has contracted with the Houston Advanced Research Center to produce regular reports on the state of the Bay. But when HARC submitted its most recent State of the Bay publication to the commission earlier this year, officials decided they couldn't accept a report that said climate change is caused by human activity and is causing the sea level to rise. Top officials at the commission proceeded to edit the paper to censor its references to human-induced climate change or future projections on how much the bay will rise.
John Anderson, the oceanographer at Rice University who wrote the chapter, provided Mother Jones with a copy of the edited document, complete with tracked changes from top TCEQ officials.
- Rick Perry Officials Spark Revolt After Doctoring Environment Report (Guardian UK):
Officials in Rick Perry's home state of Texas have set off a scientists' revolt after purging mentions of climate change and sea-level rise from what was supposed to be a landmark environmental report. The scientists said they were disowning the report on the state of Galveston Bay because of political interference and censorship from Perry appointees at the state's environmental agency.
- Gulf Algae Bloom Affects Much of Texas Gulf Coast (AP)
- Perry Sharpens Rhetoric on Climate Science, Charges Data 'Manipulated' for Money (Texas Climate News)
- A Texas-Sized Scientific Revolt (Mother Jones)
- Professor Says State Agency Censored Article (Houston Chronicle)
- Top 10 Giveaways To Big Oil In Rick Perry’s ‘Jobs’ Plans (Think Progress Green)
- Republicans Wave the White Flag, Surrender to China:
- After Solyndra, Other Energy Loans Draw Scrutiny (NPR):
Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), who chairs an energy and commerce subcommittee on oversight and investigations, originally supported the program when Congress created it. Now he says, "I think the administration is putting taxpayers' money at risk in areas that are not creating jobs."
"We can't compete with China to make solar panels and wind turbines," Stearns says. He says he doesn't believe in any type of subsidy for industry. And, he says, where solar is concerned, it makes more sense to invest in research and development on a technology where the U.S. still has a chance of winning.
- Obama Rips GOP Defeatism: ‘I’m Not Going To Surrender To Other Countries’ (Think Progress Green):
I heard there was a Republican member of Congress who is engaging in oversight on this. And despite the fact that all of them in the past have been supportive of this loan guarantee program, he concluded, “You know what? We can’t compete against China when it comes to solar energy.”
I don’t buy that. I’m not going to surrender to other countries the technological leads that can end up determining whether we’re building that in this country. So we’re going to have to keep on pushing hard to make sure the manufacturing is located here, new businesses are located here and new technologies are developed here. And there are going to be times when it doesn’t work out, but I’m not going to cave to the competition when they are heavily subsidizing all these industries.
- Renewable Energy Fosters a Boom in Depressed German State (NYT Green)
- Clean Energy Jobs Surge in U.S.: CA Nets 1 in 4 Solar Jobs
- California has 1 in 4 U.S. solar energy jobs: study (LA Times):
The National Solar Jobs Census 2011 says job growth in the industry grew 6.8% in the one-year period ended in August, and a survey of solar employers suggests employment will rise by 24%, creating 24,000 jobs, during the next year.
Growth is expected to accelerate 24%, creating 24,000 jobs, over the next year, based on a survey of solar employers.
- Green Jobs Make Up 35% of Design and Construction Industry: “People Will Never Go Back to Building Inefficient Buildings” (Climate Progress)
- Debunking Another Green Jobs Attack by Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal (Climate Progress)
- The Washington Post’s boneheaded conventional wisdom on Solyndra (Grist)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Masters on “Unprecedented” Arctic Ozone Hole: Inaction Risks “Future Nasty Climate Change Surprises Far More Serious” (Climate Progress) [emphasis in original]:
Dr. Jeff Masters: An unprecedented ozone hole opened in the Arctic during 2011, researchers reported this week in the journal Nature…. We know that an 11% increase in UV-B light can cause a 24% decrease in winter wheat yield (Zheng et al., 2003), so this year’s Arctic ozone hole may have caused noticeable reductions in Europe’s winter wheat crop….
It is highly probable that we will see future nasty climate change surprises far more serious than the Arctic ozone hole if we continue on our present business-as-usual approach of emitting huge quantities of greenhouse gases. Humans would be wise to act forcefully to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, as the cost of inaction is highly likely to be far greater than the cost of action.
- Solar is getting cheap fast—pay attention, Very Serious People (Grist):
[Kees Van Der Leun] argues that PV will be the cheapest source of electricity for most of the world some time around 2018, and for the rest of the world soon after. That could be off by a few years in either direction. It depends on whether the cost curve for silicon solar cells continues as it has the past and, as Alan says in his comment, whether the cost curve for "balance of system" costs (steel, glass, installation, etc.) declines as well.
- Radioactivity to move up food chain from plankton near Fukushima
- Coal is the enemy of the human race, mainstream economics edition (David Roberts, Grist):
[S]pread this around. Coal's net economic effects on the U.S. are poorly understood, to say the least, and this paper's findings are stunning.
Once you strip away the econ jargon, the paper finds that electricity from coal imposes more damages on the U.S. economy than the electricity is worth. That's right: Coal-fired power is a net value-subtracting industry. A parasite, you might say. A gigantic, blood-sucking parasite that's enriching a few executives and shareholders at the public's expense.
- Interior rebuffs call to bar BP from lease sale (The Hill) [emphasis added]:
A top Interior Department offshore drilling regulator said Thursday that officials considered blocking BP from bidding in the upcoming December Gulf of Mexico oil-and-gas lease sale but decided against it.
“We are not going to suspend or de-bar BP from that lease sale. We have considered and thought about this issue quite a lot and we don’t think it is appropriate in these circumstances,” said Michael Bromwich, head of Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, at a House hearing on the BP oil spill.
- U.S. sanctions BP, contractors for Gulf oil spill (Reuters:
The U.S. offshore drilling regulator on Wednesday formally issued sanctions against BP and the major contractors involved in the 2010 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 workers and spewed more than 4 million barrels of oil in to the Gulf of Mexico.
- Keystone XL Pipeline: Eminent Domain Fight Has a Canadian Twist (NYT Green)
- Judge Orders Review of Bush-Era Ruling on Polar Bears (AP):
A federal judge has thrown out a key section of an Interior Department rule that declared global warming is threatening the survival of the polar bear.
- EPA Tries To Put To Rest 'Myth' of Farm Dust Rules (AP)
- Long Ties to Koch Brothers Key to Cain's Campaign (AP):
AFP tapped Cain as the public face of its "Prosperity Expansion Project," and he traveled the country in 2005 and 2006 speaking to activists who were starting state-based AFP chapters from Wisconsin to Virginia. Through his AFP work he met Mark Block, a longtime Wisconsin Republican operative hired to lead that state's AFP chapter in 2005 as he rebounded from an earlier campaign scandal that derailed his career.
- Evidence Builds That Scientists nderplay Climate Impacts (Daily Climate):
Far from being 'alarmist,' predictions from climate scientists in many cases are proving to be more conservative than observed climate-induced impacts.
- Climate Change Poses Immediate Threat To Health: Experts (Raw Story)
- Salmon-Killing Virus Seen for 1st Time in Wild on Pacific Coast (NY Times):
A lethal and highly contagious marine virus has been detected for the first time in wild salmon in the Pacific Northwest, researchers in British Columbia said on Monday, stirring concern that it could spread there, as it has in Chile, Scotland and elsewhere.
- House Republicans Score Another Symbolic Defeat for EPA --- This Time Over Toxic Coal Ash (iWatch News)
- TN: 10 Years of Cleanup Bring Ocoee River Back to Life: (Chattanooga Times Free Press):
A decade ago, the Ocoee River was dead --- devoid of any insect or fish life that normally signals clean water.
The river bore the legacy of more than a hundred years of acid runoff from the massive copper mine that gave Copperhill its name. Now, after 10 years of environmental cleanup that included building two massive water treatment plants on tributaries of the Ocoee, the river that gained fame as an Olympic whitewater course not only is meeting most water quality standards, but also is alive again.
- News Analysis: Where Did Global Warming Go? (NY Times):
In 2008, both the Democratic and Republican candidates for president, Barack Obama and John McCain, warned about man-made global warming and supported legislation to curb emissions. After he was elected, President Obama promised 'a new chapter in America's leadership on climate change,' and arrived cavalry-like at the 2009 United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen to broker a global pact. But two years later, now that nearly every other nation accepts climate change as a pressing problem, America has turned agnostic on the issue.
- Climate Change is Shrinking Species, Research Suggests (NYT Green):
Climate change's laundry list of impacts --- melting glaciers and rising sea levels, shifts in timing for bird migration and flower budding, a poleward shift of species --- just got a new addition:
- 'Occupy the Tundra': One woman's lonely vigil in bush Alaska (LA Times):
The foreclosure crisis may not have hit bush Alaska in a huge way, but people in Bethel are paying $6.87 a gallon for gasoline, she said. Stove oil prices for heating homes are equally unaffordable. Cuts in social services to rural villages are pending.
"And right now, they're proposing here the largest gold mine in human history, the Pebble Mine, that's going to do catastrophic damage to the environment and the native community, in the premier wild salmon habitat in the world," she said. "So I'm not well-versed on the larger economic system, but I can relate to the idea of corporate wealth being lopsidedly in the hands of so few, when so many are struggling."