IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Climate change denial zombies claim another victim --- GOP Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman; EPA confirms fracking contaminated WY drinking water; Our Canadian friends to the North go South on Kyoto; PLUS: UN climate talks end with a mixed bag ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Shocker: Russian scientists find Arctic melt, methane release accelerating; State Dept: Congress cannot accelerate Keystone decision; Part of Japan's post-tsunami recovery fund goes to whaling industry; New concerns about Hanford Nuclear Waste Plant ... PLUS: VIDEO: Climate Scientists Michael Mann on "A Look Into Our Climate: Past To Present To Future" ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: Doocy, Johnson Claim Climate Change Is Not "Settled Science"; Johnson: "It's Deep, Deep In Dispute" (Media Matters)
- Climate Change Denial Zombies Claim Another Victim: GOP candidate Jon Huntsman:
- Huntsman waffles on global warming (Baltimore Sun)
- Jon Huntsman: Climate Change Science 'Not Enough' For US Action (Huffington Post Green)
- Huntsman clarifies climate comments (Politico)
- The GOP's Crackpot Agenda (Rolling Stone)
- Heads in the Sand: Warning: "Climate change is occurring … and poses significant risks to humans and the environment," reports the National Academy of Sciences. As climate-change science moves in one direction, Republicans in Congress are moving in another. Why?
(National Journal) [emphasis added]:Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, says there's no question that the influence of his group and others like it has been instrumental in the rise of Republican candidates who question or deny climate science. "If you look at where the situation was three years ago and where it is today, there's been a dramatic turnaround. Most of these candidates have figured out that the science has become political," he said.
Groups like Americans for Prosperity have done it."
- Australian Green Party Leader: U.S. Climate Denial Machine "Being Directed Straight into Australia" Via Murdoch's News Corp (Think Progress Green)
- Jon Huntsman: I'm Back On The Side Of Science [But We Shouldn't Do Anything About Catastrophic Global Warming] (Talking Points Memo)
- VIDEO: Gore Is 'Sorry' About Newt's Climate Betrayal, Says He's Been 'Bludgeoned' By Special Interests (Current TV, via Think Progress Green)
- VIDEO: Newt In 2008: We Should Lower Carbon Because It's Conservative To Avoid 'Stupid Risks' (Think Progress Green)
- EPA Confirms Fracking Contaminated WY Drinking Water:
- EPA says fracking likely polluted Wyoming water (Reuters):
Drilling fluids from a company employing a technique known as "fracking" likely polluted an aquifer in Wyoming, environmental regulators said in a draft report that could blow apart industry claims the process has never led to water contamination.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's investigation into the polluted aquifer could have wide implications on a booming industry that has promoted hydraulic fracturing as way to dramatically wean the United States off gas and oil imports.
- EPA pollution finding shakes up 'fracking' debate (The Hill's E2 Wire)
- Climate conference approves landmark deal (AP):
The 194-party conference agreed to start negotiations on a new accord that would put all countries under the same legal regime enforcing commitments to control greenhouse gases. It would take effect by 2020 at the latest.
The deal also set up the bodies that will collect, govern and distribute tens of billions of dollars a year for poor countries. Other documents in the package lay out rules for monitoring and verifying emissions reductions, protecting forests, transferring clean technologies to developing countries and scores of technical issues.
- Comprehensive Summary: A Durban Deal (Kate Sheppard, Mother Jones):
In the end, it came down to a single turn of phrase: changing "legal outcome" in the earlier draft to "an agreed outcome with legal force under the convention applicable to all parties." That was enough to win the consent of Indian negotiator Jayanthi Natarajan, who earlier had worried that her country was "being made the scapegoats" of the meeting for not consenting to the agreement. But she could not, she said, "sign away the rights of 1.2 billion people and many other people in the developing world" by agreeing to something that could limit their ability to grow their economy.
- Global Climate Talks In Durban Avert Failure, If Not Global Warming (Huffington Post Green)
- The top five takeaways from the Durban climate talks (David Roberts, Grist):
1. The world is still on course to 4 degrees C (7.2 degrees F) and higher, i.e., disaster.
2. The "remarkable" "landmark" agreement is less than meets the eye....
3. Nonetheless, there has been an important shift in climate geopolitics.
4. The boring stuff matters.
5. U.N. climate talks neither impel nor impede climate policy as much as hyped.
- NY Times Gets Blunt: Climate Action Requires “Fundamental Remaking of … The Sinews of Modern Life" (Climate Progress)
- U.N. Global-Warming Talks: Good for Diplomats, Indifferent for the Climate (TIME Eco-Centric)
- A Post-Pollution Path to Global Climate and Energy Progress (NYT Dot Earth)
- Durban climate change: the agreement explained: The world has just agreed an "historic" new climate change deal in Durban but what does it mean for you? (Telegraph UK)
- Mixed reactions to agreement reached at Durban climate negotiations (A Small A.Mount):
So, some progress, but it’s not fast enough. Unfortunately, you can’t cut deals with an ecosystem. The physical, chemical and biological processes at work on Earth – in and between the atmosphere, oceans, plants, rocks, ice – do not respond to political manoeuvring and fancy ways of wording the texts of international agreements.
- Summary of decisions from Durban climate conference (Green Car Congress)
- A Misplaced Climate Celebration In Durban (Council on Foreign Relations):
The precise dynamics that unfolded in the final days are still unclear. In the end, though, the talks came down to a simple choice. Europe insisted on language that would commit all countries “to launch a process to develop a protocol or another legal instrument under the Convention applicable to all Parties”. India strenuously insisted that “a legal outcome” be included as a third option. It is not clear exactly where China or United States, which were both fine with including “legal option” but otherwise largely sat out the final public fight, would have drawn the line if forced. Everyone ultimately compromised: an “outcome with legal force”, rather than a “legal outcome”, was added as the third option.
- The Durban climate deal failed to meet the needs of the developing world: The prospect of a delayed and potentially unjust global climate change pact is of no consolation to those already affected (Guardian UK)
- VIDEO: "Get It Done": Urging Climate Justice, Youth Delegate Anjali Appadurai Mic Checks U.N. Summit (Democracy Now!)
- VIDEO: Climate Activists: Durban Deal is "Very Weak" Agreement, Lacks "Ambition, Equity, Justice" (Democracy Now!)
- Durban talks: how Connie Hedegaard got countries to agree on climate deal: The EU climate chief held her nerve to make US, China and India accept a legally binding agreement to cut carbon emissions (Guardian UK)
- COP17 concludes with new negotiating process but signal to business and investors unclear (The Climate Group)
- Watch On-Demand VIDEO of the UN Climate Conference: (United Nations):
The United Nations Climate Change Conference, Durban 2011, will bring together representatives of the world's governments, international organizations and civil society. The discussions will seek to advance, in a balanced fashion, the implementation of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, as well as the Bali Action Plan, agreed at COP 13 in 2007, and the Cancun Agreements, reached at COP 16 last December.
- Canada pulls out of Kyoto Protocol (Canadian Broadcasting Co.):
The decision to do so will save the government an estimated $14 billion in penalties, Kent said. The Conservative government says it has no choice given the economic situation.
- What does Canada's withdrawal from Kyoto protocol mean?: Canada has shown that a legally binding deal does not guarantee countries won't walk away from their commitments (Guardian UK)
- Why is Canada withdrawing from Kyoto? Two words: Tar sands (Grist):
One of the reasons that Canada is not meeting its goals is because it has opted not to hobble oil-sands production --- in fact, the government has encouraged it. And although many sectors of its economy have drawn down emissions, the tar-sands industry has more than made up for those drops. So Canada was faced with a choice: money from tar sands or climate change. It's choosing climate change.
- Oil Sands to Raise Emissions, Canadian Report Says (NYT Green, 8/11/2011)
- Fomer Australian PM Howard launches 'anti-warmist manual' for kids (Australian Broadcasting Co.)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Shock as retreat of Arctic sea ice releases deadly greenhouse gas: Russian research team astonished after finding 'fountains' of methane bubbling to surface (Independent UK):
Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane – a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide – have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region.
One of the greatest fears is that with the disappearance of the Arctic sea-ice in summer, and rapidly rising temperatures across the entire region, which are already melting the Siberian permafrost, the trapped methane could be suddenly released into the atmosphere leading to rapid and severe climate change.
- Congress Cannot Accelerate Keystone Decision: State Department (Reuters)
- 2 U.S. Utilities Debunk Wall St Journal & Industry Lies about Clean Air & Reliability (Climate Progress)
- Dispute Between Nuclear Regulatory Commission Members About 'Organizational Issues,' White House Says (Washington Post)
- $29 million of Japan's post-tsunami recovery fund has been given to support the whaling industry (TIME)
- New Concerns About Hanford Nuclear Waste Plant (AP):
The federal government says a one-of-a-kind plant that will convert radioactive waste into a stable and storable substance that resembles glass will cost hundreds of millions of dollars more and may take longer to build, adding to a string of delays and skyrocketing price tag for the project. In addition, several workers at southeast Washington's Hanford nuclear reservation have raised concerns about the safety of the plant's design - and complained they've been retaliated against for voicing their issues.
- Revenue from Marcellus Shale income taxes less than half estimates (AP):
The report downsized its original estimate of $102.7 million to an actual figure of $46.2 million, a revision that Sharon Ward, director of the liberal-leaning Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, said ran against industry claims its tax contributions were sufficient.
- Hungary destroys 1,000 acres of Monsanto maize (Grist):
Genetically modified seeds are banned in Hungary. So when government regulators found that 1,000 acres of maize had been planted with genetically modified seeds, they just plowed the suckers under.
- Can a massive wall of trees stop the Sahara from spreading? (Grist)
- VIDEO: Climate Scientists Michael Mann on "A Look Into Our Climate: Past To Present To Future" (TEDx, YouTube)
- Essential Climate Science Findings:
- VIDEO ANIMATION: Time history of atmospheric CO2 (NOAA Carbon Tracker YouTube channel):
- Skeptical Science: Get the FULL DEBUNKING of All Climate Science Denier Arguments
- Part 1: The brutal logic of climate change (David Roberts, Grist) [emphasis added]:
It's simple: If there is to be any hope of avoiding civilization-threatening climate disruption, the U.S. and other nations must act immediately and aggressively on an unprecedented scale. That means moving to emergency footing. War footing. "Hitler is on the march and our survival is at stake" footing. That simply won't be possible unless a critical mass of people are on board. It's not the kind of thing you can sneak in incrementally.
It is unpleasant to talk like this. People don't want to hear it.
- Part 2: The brutal logic of climate change mitigation (David Roberts, Grist):
"The door is closing," Fatih Birol, chief economist at the International Energy Agency, said. "I am very worried - if we don't change direction now on how we use energy, we will end up beyond what scientists tell us is the minimum [for safety]. The door will be closed forever."