With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 11/10/2011, 1:38pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Perry can't remember the name of the Dept. of Energy --- but wants to shut it down; BREAKING: State Dept. may re-route controversial Keystone XL pipeline; Australia passes world's first carbon tax; More wacky extreme weather in weird places; PLUS: IEA: 5 years to avoid the worst consequences of climate change ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Oil Executive: use military-style 'Psy Ops' to fight opposition "insurgency"; Video: 'The Story of Broke'; U.S.-China trade war in solar taking shape; Studies link auto pollution to autism; 1st commerical plane flight using biofuel; Oil Lobbyist likes oil industry subsidies: 'There Are No Loopholes ... PLUS: Current global warming unprecedented compared to last 20k years ... and much, MUCH more! ...

STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

  • Oil Executive: Military-Style 'Psy Ops' Experience Applied: (CNBC):
    It was a gathering of professionals to discuss "media and stakeholder relations" in the hydraulic fracturing industry - companies using the often-controversial oil and gas extraction technique known as "fracking."

    But things took an unexpected twist.

    CNBC has obtained audiotapes of the event, on which one presenter can be heard recommending that his colleagues download a copy of the Army and Marine Corps counterinsurgency manual. [AUDIO at link] That's because, he said, the opposition facing the industry is an "insurgency."

  • VIDEO: The Story of Broke (Nation of Change):
    The United States isn't broke; we're the rich­est coun­try on the planet and a coun­try in which the rich­est among us are doing ex­cep­tion­ally well. But the truth is, our econ­omy is bro­ken, pro­duc­ing more pol­lu­tion, green­house gasses and garbage than any other coun­try. In these and so many other ways, it just isn't work­ing. But rather than in­vest in some­thing bet­ter, we con­tinue to keep this 'di­nosaur econ­omy' on life sup­port with hun­dreds of bil­lions of dol­lars of our tax money. The Story of Broke calls for a shift in gov­ern­ment spend­ing to­ward in­vest­ments in clean, green so­lu­tions-re­new­able en­ergy, safer chem­i­cals and ma­te­ri­als, zero waste and more-that can de­liver jobs AND a health­ier en­vi­ron­ment. It's time to re­build the Amer­i­can Dream; but this time, let's build it bet­ter.
  • U.S.-China Trade War in Solar Takes Shape (NY Times):
    The Commerce Department in Washington on Wednesday opened an investigation sought by American manufacturers who accuse the Chinese of "dumping" solar panels into the United States at prices, aided by government subsidies, lower than the cost of making and distributing them.

    Anticipating that move, the government-controlled Chinese solar industry has been unusually vitriolic this week. A trade group accused the White House of turning the commercial complaint into "a political farce, which is very likely a publicity show initiated by the Obama administration for the coming election."

  • Bosco Verticale: the world's first vertical forest (Gizmag):
    Italian architecture firm Stefano Boeri Architetti hopes to merge vegetation and urban architecture, with its Bosco Verticale (Vertical Forest) project. The Milan-based firm has designed a model that could see the "reforestation and naturalization" of metropolitan cities, by growing forests sky-ways. "Bosco Verticale [is a] device for the environmental survival of contemporary European cities," says Stefano Boeri.
  • 2012 Zero S Electric Motorcycle Gets 100 Miles+ on a Single Change (Gizmag):
    When we first took the Zero S electric motorcycle for a spin our verdict was that while great fun to ride, impending advances in battery technology will mean that this - and other electric bikes - will only to get better from here ... and they are. Zero Motorcycles has announced a complete overhaul of every model in its 2012 range of electric two-wheelers with new powertrains and upgraded power packs that promise greater longevity, speeds of up to 88 mph (142 km/h) and a significantly improved range in excess of 100 miles (160 km) for the street-oriented models.
  • VIDEO: Solar Leaf: While Tea Party Slimes Energy Progress, Innovators Build the Future (Climate Denial Crock of the Week)
    It isn't green and it doesn't grow, but the wafer sitting in a beaker of water in Dan Nocera's laboratory is remarkably like a leaf.

    Using a silicon solar cell coated with cheap and abundant catalysts, the device uses sunlight to rip apart molecules of water, just like a photosynthesizing leaf. This produces hydrogen and oxygen gases, which bubble up on either side of the wafer (see video). The details are published today in Science.

  • Studies Link Auto Pollution to Austism and Stunted Brain Development (Climate Progress)
  • China Aims to Dominate U.S. in Smart Grid Investments Just As It Has With Renewables (Think Progress Green):
    There is no way to get around this fact-China aims to modernize its energy infrastructure at home and dominate clean energy technology markets abroad. At the 2011 Smart Grid World Forum in Beijing late last month, China's State Grid Corporation announced plans to invest $250 billion in electric power infrastructure upgrades over the next five years, of which $45 billion is earmarked for smart grid technologies. According to its three-stage plan, China will invest another $240 billion between 2016 and 2020 (including another $45 billion toward smart grid technologies) to complete the build-out of a "stronger, smarter" Chinese power grid.
  • VIDEO: Oil Lobbyist on Oil Industry Subsidies, On CNN: 'There Are No Loopholes' (Think Progress Green):
    Appearing on CNN's State of the Union, American Petroleum Institute lobbyist Marty Durbin claimed "there are no loopholes" for the massively profitable oil industry. CNN's Candy Crowley asked the lobbyist, after showing one of API's ads that claim that removing oil subsidies would kill jobs, how the industry can tell Americans to suffer massive cuts while the top five oil companies have already made $100 billion in profits this year on high gas prices.
  • Here Comes the Sun: Solar Energy Rising (OP-ED, Paul Krugman, NY Times):
    We are, or at least we should be, on the cusp of an energy transformation, driven by the rapidly falling cost of solar power. That's right, solar power.

    If that surprises you, if you still think of solar power as some kind of hippie fantasy, blame our fossilized political system, in which fossil fuel producers have both powerful political allies and a powerful propaganda machine that denigrates alternatives.

  • Nation's First Cooking Oil-Fueled Commercial Flight Takes Off from Seattle (Treehugger)
  • Parks Chief Blocked Plan for Grand Canyon Bottle Ban (NY Times)
  • Medicinal Tree Used in Chemotherapy Drug Faces Extinction (Guardian UK)
  • Yellowstone Oil Spill Debris Torched By Montana Officials (AP)
  • Current Global Warming Is Unprecedented Compared to Climate of the Last 20,000 years, Study Finds (Climate Progress):
    A common argument against global warming is that the climate has always varied. Temperatures rise sometimes and this is perfectly natural is the usual line.

    However, Svante Björck, a climate researcher at Lund University in Sweden, has now shown that global warming, i.e. simultaneous warming events in the northern and southern hemispheres, have not occurred in the past 20,000 years, which is as far back as it is possible to analyse with sufficient precision to compare with modern developments. Svante Björck's study thus goes 14,000 years further back in time than previous studies have done. "What is happening today is unique from a historical geological perspective," he says.