IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Mitt Romney flip-flops again, this time on global warming; Fox 'News' --- ignorant and proud of it; U.S. Navy ignores Fox and Mitt by taking the lead on biofuel innovation; PLUS: It's not your imagination: weather disasters are becoming more frequent, and more expensive ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Northrop Grumman climate scientist says "radical changes" are needed; Radiation cleanup confounds Japan; Climate deniers still not happy with Koch-funded climate study; Will a 'secret farm bill' be passed this week?... PLUS: The actual uncertainties in climate science, explained ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Big Oil Profits Surge; GOP Attacks Clean Energy Loans While Asking for Nuclear Subsidies, Protecting Oil's Taxpayer Subsidies
- Big Oil’s Scary Haul: $100 Billion And Counting (Think Progress Green)
- After Calling Energy Subsidies ‘Wrong,’ Boehner Wants $2 Billion Loan Guarantee For Ohio Nuclear Plant (Think Progress):
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said that “for the federal government to be out there picking one company over another, one type of energy source over another, I think is wrong.” Evidently, though, his attitude toward energy subsidies does not extend to nuclear plants in his home state of Ohio.
As Bloomberg reported today, despite his professed view on energy subsidies, Boehner is backing a $2 billion loan guarantee for an enriching plant run by USEC Inc.
- Fox News Eric Bolling: Scientifically Ignorant and Proud Of It:
- VIDEO: Fox News' Eric Bolling: Ignorant And Proud (Media Matters):
But for conservatives like Fox host Eric Bolling, last week was actually a net positive in the fight to prove that climate change is a "scam." Why? Because it snowed in the northeastern United States. (Remember when climate scientists made a big deal about how it would never snow again because of climate change? Man, they must be so embarrassed right now.)
- Snoctober Part Of Terrifying Trend Of Unprecedented Storms In Northeast (Think Progress Green)
- Rare, Deadly October Storm Hangs On in Northeast (Reuters):
One of the darkest Halloweens ever loomed for about 3 million households left without power on Sunday by a rare October snowstorm in the Northeast that bedeviled transportation and killed at least eight people.
- After Pushing "Climategate," Fox Ignores Study Confirming Temp. Record
(Media Matters):A new study confirming the accuracy of existing global temperature records has been ignored by the all the major television news outlets, except for one mention in a CNN news brief. But the omission is most conspicuous at Fox News, which routinely casts doubt on the temperature data, accuses climate scientists of doctoring research to exaggerate global warming, and often just makes up its own temperature facts.
- Cleaning Up After Nature Plays a Trick (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
Robert Stavins, an economist at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, said a surprise winter storm no more disproved climate change than a hot day in August proved it.
But larger patterns of extreme storms and precipitation, even if accompanied by cold snaps, support the theory of global warming, he and several climate researchers said, because warming oceans are sending more moisture into the air.
- Straw Men And The Little Ice Age: The Heartland Institute's James Taylor is on the defensive after an independent study undermined critics of the temperature records establishing global warming. (Media Matters)
- Earth to CNN: It's Getting Warmer (Media Matters)
- Mitt Romney Flip-Flops on Global Warming:
- VIDEO: Romney Flips To Denial: ‘We Don’t Know What’s Causing Climate Change’ (Think Progress Green) [emphasis added]:
Speaking at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney reversed his earlier stance on climate change pollution and rejected man-made global warming. Because “we don’t know what’s causing climate change,” Romney said, the United States should not reduce carbon dioxide emissions:
"My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us."
- FLASHBACK: As Governor Of Massachusetts, Romney Pushed Carbon ‘Pollutant’ Regulations (Think Progress Green)
- Mitt Romney's Downward Spiral to Climate Denial Now Complete: It's official: Mitt Romney will now literally say anything he thinks the Tea Party wants to hear to prove that he's a real conservative. (Treehugger)
- Romney Seemingly Shifts On Climate Change (NPR)
- Mitt Romney Goes Climate Change Skeptic (Slate)
- Meet Another Romney Climate-Change Advisor: Douglas Foy (Hot Air)
- It's Not Your Imagination: Weather Disasters More Frequent, More Expensive:
- AP: Global warming worsens weather extremes, climate panel to say (AP) [emphasis added]:
Freakish weather disasters – from the sudden October snowstorm in the Northeast U.S. to the record floods in Thailand – are striking more often. And global warming is likely to spawn more similar weather extremes at a huge cost, says a draft summary of an international climate report obtained by The Associated Press.
The final draft of the report from a panel of the world’s top climate scientists paints a wild future for a world already weary of weather catastrophes costing billions of dollars. The report says costs will rise and perhaps some locations will become “increasingly marginal as places to live.”
- Catastrophic Drought in TX Causes Global Economic Ripples (NY Times):
The drought map created by University College London shows a number of worryingly dry areas around the globe, in places including East Africa, Canada, France and Britain.
- Asia, Africa Megacities Top Climate Change Risk Survey: (Reuters):
"Rapidly growing megacities in Africa and Asia face the highest risks from rising sea levels, floods and other climate change impacts, says a global survey aimed at guiding city planners and investors.
- Climate change making country's water problems worse: expert (Reuters):
Climate change and population growth in the United States will make having enough fresh water more challenging in the coming years, an expert on water shortages said on Wednesday.
"In 1985-1986 there were historical (water level) highs and now in less than 25 years we are at historical lows. Those sorts of swings are very scary," said Robert Glennon, speaking at the State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conference in Erie, Pennsylvania.
- Greenland Ice Sheet “Could Undergo a Self-Amplifying Cycle of Melting and Warming … Difficult to Halt,” Scientists Find (Climate Progress):
The Greenland ice sheet can experience extreme melting even when temperatures don’t hit record highs, according to a new analysis by Dr. Marco Tedesco, assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at The City College of New York. His findings suggest that glaciers could undergo a self-amplifying cycle of melting and warming that would be difficult to halt.
“We are finding that even if you don’t have record-breaking highs, as long as warm temperatures persist you can get record-breaking melting because of positive feedback mechanisms,” said Professor Tedesco, who directs CCNY’s Cryospheric Processes Laboratory….
- US Navy Leads on Biofuel Innovation:
- U.S. Navy Expands Algae Biofuel Testing At Sea And In The Air (Talking Points Memo):
Earlier this year, the Navy successfully tested a 50-50 algae aviation biofuel blend on a Seahawk helicopter in flight, and now an algae biodiesel blend has passed muster during tests on a 135-foot landing vessel.
As with the Seahawk helicopter algae biofuel demonstration, the LCU tests show that an algae biofuel blend can be used as a drop-in replacement for conventional fuel, without the need for any modifications to the engine, fuel tanks or exhaust system.
The LCU is among at least three new vessels undergoing biofuel tests this fall.
- Algae Biofuel Holds Great Promise, But Can Its Production Grow? (Talking Points Memo)
- U.S. Naval Landing Craft Gets Biofuel Boost (EarthTechling):
gine speeds,” in order to test if the biofuel blend would provide power similar to the standard diesel, and to gauge performance details such as fuel consumption, exhaust temperatures and engine-room temperatures. On all counts, the Navy said, the green fuel was a winner.
- US Navy takes algae fuel: The US Navy has taken delivery of its first shipment of 100% 'clean' algae based jet fuel (Guardian UK, 7/29/2010)
- U.S. Navy buys 20,000 gallons of algae fuel (CNET, 9/15/2010)
- Navy Debuts First Eco-Friendly Ship: A ‘Mean, Green Riverine Machine’ (Wired, 10/27/2010)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Northrop Grumman Climate Scientist: ‘Radical Changes’ Are Needed" (Think Progress Green):
Speaking at a federal sustainability conference, one of Northrop Grumman’s top climate scientists expressed grave concern about society’s resilience to global warming.
"I don’t think the the will is there yet anywhere to make rapid changes to put in place mitigation strategies to make a significant dent in the trends that we’re seeing. I have concerns and I don’t see the radical changes that I think are needed are happening fast enough."
- Fukushima: Fallout Forensics Hike Radiation Toll (Nature News):
The disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March released far more radiation than the Japanese government has claimed. So concludes a study that combines radioactivity data from across the globe to estimate the scale and fate of emissions from the shattered plant.
- Climate Deniers Still Not Happy With Koch-Funded Climate Study (Think Progress):
The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature team released a study showing that the earth’s surface has warmed 1 degree Centigrade (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) since 1950, with the hopes that the study would address the critiques of climate deniers who continue to insist that the earth is not warming.
Even Richard Muller, Berkeley Earth’s scientific director who was notorious for not believing the conventional wisdom about climate change, said this study confirms global warming.
- Solyndra: Failed Solar Company’s Auction Draws Bargain Hunters (NY Times)
- Salazar releases 'roadmap' for solar energy zones in 6 states, including Utah (Deseret News):
Utah's 17,700 acres of federally-proposed solar energy zones represent the nation's "sweet spots" where development of large scale utility projects will occur, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Thursday.
A supplemental draft environmental statement has been released with modifications made as the result of more than 80,000 public comments received on the plan to designate suitable solar energy zones in six western states. The zones, which are also in California, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona, include 285,000 acres of federal land, or 445 square miles.
- Concerns Are Raised About Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes (NY Times):
These mosquitoes are genetically engineered to kill — their own children.
But the research is arousing concern about possible unintended effects on public health and the environment, because once genetically modified insects are released, they cannot be recalled.
- ALASKA: Loss of coast zone program hurts state's beluga whale case: Suit seeks to overturn endangered listing, but program cited is expired. (Anchorage Daily News):
Back in February, the Parnell administration told a judge that Cook Inlet beluga whales didn't need the protection of the federal Endangered Species Act because the state was perfectly capable of protecting them itself, in part because of the Alaska Coastal Management Program. But in a notice belatedly filed in the case Friday, the Alaska attorney general's office acknowledged the state had lost that conservation and enforcement tool four months ago.
- Chicago airports announce plans to go green (WGN Radio):
Solar energy collectors will be installed on up to 60 acres at O'Hare International Airport and a service station selling alternative fuels for private and commercial vehicles will open near the airport, Chicago's aviation chief announced today.
- Beacon Power: Firm Feds Aided Files For Bankruptcy (Bloomberg):
Beacon Power Corp., an energy storage company that received $43 million in backing from the U.S. program that supported failed Fremont solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, filed for bankruptcy after struggling to raise private financing.
- Supreme Court Declines to Take Delta Smelt Case (Greenwire):
The Supreme Court decided --- for now --- not to get involved in ongoing litigation over California's endangered delta smelt.
- U.S. Extends Deepwater Drilling Leases (Houston Chronicle)
The Obama administration announced Monday that it has extended nearly 1,400 deep-water oil and gas drilling leases to make up for delays caused by last year's Gulf spill and a subsequent moratorium on some offshore exploration.
- Gold Rush Hurts River Life in NC:
Gold prospectors chasing $1,600-an-ounce flecks in river bottoms east of Charlotte also might be sucking life out of the streams, experts say. As the price of gold mounts, some weekend prospectors have turned to machines called suction dredges. The devices work like underwater vacuum cleaners, sucking gravel and dirt into sluice boxes that catch any gold and dump other material back into the river. That's a problem for anything living on the bottom, including mussels, fish eggs and aquatic insects, which can be killed by the machines or smothered in stirred-up sediment.
- Radiation Cleanup Confounds Japan (Wall St. Journal):
Nearly eight months after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident scattered radioactive material over surrounding communities, Japan still is struggling to figure out how to clean up the mess, exacerbating fears about health risks and fanning mistrust of the government.
- Will A 'Secret Farm Bill' Be Passed This Week? (Grist):
Congressional aides say there is a "likelihood that the $300 billion 2012 Farm Bill would take shape weeks before 2012 even begins, in the form of a dashed-off bill swept into the larger 'super committee'-driven deficit-cutting process.
- Reality: A Soaring Population. Reality Check: Food, Water, & Poverty (Globe & Mail):
Monday marks the birth of the world's seven billionth baby, according to the United Nations. In all likelihood, that child will probably take its first breaths in a city in a developing country, where projections say the majority of new children will be born.
- The REAL Controversies & Uncertainties in Climate Science, Explained (Greenwire):
"I was just updating my graph, and I noticed that, 'Hey, this is increasing,'" [atmospheric scientist John] Barnes said during a recent interview. It was unexpected. Where were these particles coming from, without a Pinatubo-style eruption? "No one had seen that before," he said.
Barnes had uncovered a piece of a puzzle that has provoked, frustrated and focused climate scientists over the past half decade. It is a mystery that has given cover to forces arrayed against the reality of human-driven global warming. And it is a question that can be easily stated: Why, despite steadily accumulating greenhouse gases, did the rise of the planet's temperature stall for the past decade?