IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Massive protest at the White House against massive pipeline across the country; Oklahoma quakes rattle the heart of fracking country; Record spike in global emissions; 2011 breaks all records for record-breaking weather disasters; PLUS: Massive crack discovered in Antarctic glacier... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Australian parliament passes landmark tax on carbon emissions; BP wants US investigations barred from civil oil spill lawsuits; Protests at Koch Industries in KS; Current global warming unprecedented over last 20,000 years; Debunking the deniers on 'global cooling' --- again; Energy corporations received $24 billion from taxpayers... PLUS: EPA's secret 'Watch List' reveals fed failure to curb toxic air pollution... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Massive protest at the White House against massive Keystone XL pipeline across the country:
- Protesters Circle White House in Keystone XL Oil Pipeline Protest: (Reuters):
Thousands of protesters opposed to a new oil pipeline from Canada to the United States circled the White House grounds on Sunday to press President Barack Obama to reject the project for environmental reasons. Mounting pressure over Obama's pipeline decision, from environmentalists, young people who voted for him in 2008, labor unions, and the cash-gushing oil industry are putting the president in a political vice as the 2012 election nears.
- Obama Trapped in Politically Sticky Tar Sands Pipeline Decision (Environmental News Service)
- Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline ISN'T a Job Creator: (Brad Johnson, Think Progress Green):
The only independent analysis conducted of the American job-creation potential of the Keystone XL pipeline finds that between 500 and 1400 temporary construction jobs will be created, with a negative long-term economic impact as gas prices rise in the Midwest and environmental costs are borne.
“The operating costs for KXL are very minimal,” the Cornell Global Labor Institute report explains, “and based on the figures provided by TransCanada for the Canadian section of the pipeline, the new permanent US pipeline jobs in the US number as few as 50.[pdf]”
- Washington Post Admits Keystone XL Pipeline Jobs are a Pipe Dream: (Nation of Change):
With the job benefits up in smoke, pipeline opponents are confident that if the President sticks to his calculus, the only plausible option is to deny the pipeline permit.
- Thousands protest at White House over pipeline (AP):
At one point, the crowd linked hands to surround the White House, keeping up pressure on President Barack Obama as his administration decides whether to approve the massive Keystone XL project.
"It's putting a lot of time and effort into something that's pulling us into a wrong direction," [protesor Dan Quigley] said. "If we are going to do anything this large scale it has to be something that's proactive for helping the environment."
- Quick Facts on Dirty Oil Sands (DirtyOilSands.org)
- Fox News Turns A Blind Eye To Keystone XL Protest (Media Matters)
- State Dept. Inspector General to Investigate Keystone XL approval process:
- Keystone XL Pipeline Decision to be Investigated (NY Times):
'The State Department's inspector general will conduct a special investigation of the handling of the pending decision on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline in response to reports of improper pressure on policy makers and possible conflicts of interest, according to documents released on Monday.
- Inspector review may delay Canada-U.S. oil pipeline (Reuters)
- Keystone Pipeline Decision Could Be Delayed Until After Election (Los Angeles Times)
- FLASHBACK: US: Canadian oil pipeline hazardous to the environment (Christian Science Monitor, 6/4/2011):
A controversial oil-sands pipeline operated by a Canadian oil company was ordered shut down Friday on charges that its continued operation would be hazardous to lives and the environment.
- 2011 breaks all records for record-breaking weather disasters:
- Fourteen U.S. billion-dollar weather disasters in 2011: a new record (Dr. Jeff Masters, Weather Underground):
It’s time to add another billion-dollar weather disaster to the growing 2011 total of these costly disasters: the extraordinary early-season Northeast U.S. snowstorm of October 29, which dumped up to 32 inches of snow, brought winds gusts of 70 mph to the coast, and killed at least 22 people…. The damage estimate in Connecticut alone is $3 billion, far more than the damage Hurricane Irene did to the state. Hundreds of thousands still remain without power a week after the storm, with full electricity not expected to be restored until Monday.
The October 29 snow storm brings the 2011 tally of U.S. billion-dollar weather disasters to fourteen, thoroughly smashing the previous record of nine such disasters, set in 2008.
- A New Record: 14 U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather Disasters in 2011 (Climate Progress)
- Global warming worsens weather extremes, climate panel to say (Toronto Globe & Mail):
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.
- Biggest spike ever in global emissions:
- Biggest jump ever seen in global warming gases (Seth Borenstein, AP) [emphasis added]:
The new figures for 2010 mean that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago.
Even though global warming skeptics have attacked the climate change panel as being too alarmist, scientists have generally found their predictions too conservative, Reilly said. He said his university worked on emissions scenarios, their likelihood, and what would happen. The IPCC's worst case scenario was only about in the middle of what MIT calculated are likely scenarios.
"Really dismaying," Granger Morgan, head of the engineering and public policy department at Carnegie Mellon University, said of the new figures. "We are building up a horrible legacy for our children and grandchildren."
- Biggest Jump Ever in Global Warming Pollution in 2010, Chinese CO2 Emissions Now Exceed U.S.’s By 50% (Climate Progress):
"The new figures for 2010 mean that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago. [AP]
That means worse than the A1FI scenario (1000 ppm). It means 10F warming (this century) give or take — and multiple, simultaneous catastrophes.
Chinese emissions now exceed ours by a whopping 50%. They will be double ours by 2020 if they keep on their rapacious, immoral path of weekly coal-plant building — and we keep on our rapacious, immoral path of doing nothing.
- An Illustrated Guide to the Science of Global Warming Impacts: How We Know Inaction Is the Gravest Threat Humanity Faces (Climate Progress)
- Massive crack discovered in Antarctic glacier:
- Huge chunk of Antarctic ice sheet set to break free (Christian Science Monitor):
A 300-square-mile portion of the Pine Island Glacier is expected to break off in the next few months, creating a massive Antarctic iceberg. The glacier is contributing the sea-level rise.
If the chunk breaks off during the next few months, as expected, the ice shelf that forms the seaward end of the glacier will have retreated to its farthest point since researchers first began keeping track in the 1940s, NASA scientists say.
Glaciologists "are only starting to understand why the glacier is changing now," says Dr. Prichard in an e-mail exchange. The lead suspect is relatively warm ocean water – so-called circumpolar deep water – that is warm enough to melt the underside of the ice shelf.
- Oklahoma quakes rattle the heart of fracking country:
- VIDEO: OK Quakes Rattle Nerves, No Injuries Reported (AP)
- Oklahoma Earthquakes Stronger Than Fracking Tremors, Experts Say (AP)
- Shale Shocked: “Highly Probable” Fracking Caused U.K. Earthquakes, and It’s Linked to Oklahoma Temblors (Climate Progress)
- Oklahoma Earthquake Recharges Fracking Debate (KUT Austin)
- Fracking Firm Admits It Caused Earthquakes in England (Treehugger)
- UK firm says shale fracking caused earthquakes (Reuters):
Shale gas exploration triggered small earthquakes near Blackpool in northwest England earlier this year, UK firm Cuadrilla Resources said, adding to concerns about the safety of a technology that is transforming U.S. energy markets.
- USGS Report: Link Between Fracking and Oklahoma Earthquakes (Crooks & Liars)
- For a Weekend, Oklahoma is Earthquake Country (NY Times)
- Is fracking behind Oklahoma’s earthquakes? (Reuters Muniland blog):
Unfortunately the New York Times reporter either didn’t ask or didn’t know about a study that Mr. Holland published in August 2011 that explored the possible connection between hydraulic fracturing and increased seismic activity in a similar series of quakes that occurred south of Sparks. The report — “Examination of Possibly Induced Seismicity from Hydraulic Fracturing in the Eola Field, Garvin County, Oklahoma” — goes through the existing evidence linking fracking and earthquakes step-by-step.
- U.S. to require details of fracking on federal land (Reuters)
- U.S. Government Confirms Link Between Earthquakes and Hydraulic Fracturing (OilPrice.com)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Australian parliament passes landmark tax on carbon emissions (Yale 360)
- Debunking the Deniers on 'global Cooling': Going Down the Up Escalator, Part 1 (Skeptical Science):
In short, those arguing that global warming has stopped are missing the forest for the trees, focusing on short-term noise while ignoring the long-term global warming signal. Since the release of the BEST data which confirmed the global warming observed by all other global temperature measurements, climate "skeptics" have been scrambling for a way to continue denying that global warming is a problem, and focusing on the short-term noise has become their preferred go-to excuse.
- BP wants US probes barred from oil spill lawsuits (Las Vegas Sun) [emphasis added]:
The companies involved in the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history are trying to prevent government investigations blaming them for the disaster from being used against them by the people and businesses who are suing them.
Billions of dollars are potentially at stake in a trial scheduled for February to determine whether rig owner Transocean can limit what it pays those making claims under maritime law and to assign percentages of fault to Transocean and other companies involved.
BP, Transocean and cement contractor Halliburton filed motions late Monday in federal court in New Orleans seeking to keep certain government oil spill reports out of the civil case....
- Fox Scraping The Barrel For Attacks On UN Climate Panel (Media Matters):
Here are the facts Fox characteristically avoided: There were over 450 lead authors for the 2007 assessment report, plus 800 contributing authors and more than 2,500 reviewers. Fox identified only one graduate student who worked on the 2007 report. 1 out of over 1250 authors.
The IPCC does not conduct climate research, it reviews and summarizes scientists' studies of climate change. The assessment reports have three volumes consisting of 10-20 chapters. Each chapter has around 7-10 lead authors and 2 coordinating lead authors and goes through two rounds of scientific review. Four of the lead authors could have been chimpanzees and it wouldn't have made a dent in the scientific heft of these massive reports.
- Koch Industries target of weekend protests (Wichita, KS News-Observer) [emphasis added]:
About 100 protesters marched on Koch Industries' headquarters near 37th North and Oliver Saturday afternoon.
They chanted "Main Street, not Wall Street" and "Pay your share" as they marched.
They also carried signs that explained why they were marching:
"I Can't Afford to Buy My Own Politician. I'm part of the 99 percent," one sign said.
- Current Global Warming Is Unprecedented Compared to Climate of the Last 20,000 years, Study Finds (Climate Progress)
- Corporate Welfare For Energy Companies Means We Paid $24 Billion In Taxes To Them (Think Progress)
- Forests of the Future Reshaped by Climate, Diseases (Environment News Service)
- Floods Show What Lies Ahead for Sinking Bangkok (Pattaya Daily News)
- Independent Panel: EPA Underestimates Atrazine's Cancer Risk: (Mother Jones):
An independent EPA science panel has taken issue with EPA's longstanding conclusion that Atrazine, the second most widely used pesticide on US farms, is not likely to cause cancer.
- The Hidden Toll of Traffic Jams: Scientists Increasingly Link Vehicle Exhaust With Brain-Cell Damage, Higher Rates of Autism (Wall St. Journal)
- Solyndra Subpoena Rejected by Obama Administration (Huffington Post Green):
The White House Counsel's Office has formally rejected a congressional subpoena of documents relating to the $535 million loan guarantee that the administration shepherded for Solyndra, the now-defunct solar energy company.
- EPA's Secret Watch List Reveals Failure to Curb Toxic Air: (iWatch/NPR):
Pollution violations at more than 1,600 plants across the country were serious enough that the government believes they require urgent action, according to an analysis of EPA data by NPR and the Center for Public Integrity. Yet nearly 300 of those facilities have been considered 'high priority violators' of the Clean Air Act by the Environmental Protection Agency for at least a decade. About a quarter of those 1,600 violators are on an internal EPA 'watch list,' which the agency has kept secret until now.