IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: 6 more weeks of winter? The Winter That Wasn't across the US; Extreme weather disasters leading to higher insurance rates; Wall St. Journal climate denier smackdown; Even Saudi Arabia believes in global warming(!); PLUS: House arrest for fracking filmmaker - House of Representatives, that is ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): House GOP throws kids under the bus; What liberal bias?: Heavy pro-Keystone XL pipeline coverage in corporate media; Glut of nat gas roils energy markets; Great Lakes Asian carp invasion: new canal for Chicago?; U.S. not prepared for oil spill off Cuba; TX: Fracking disclosure rule takes effect; Green Building sector to deliver trillions in savings by 2030 ... PLUS: Barrage of death threats intended to 'intimidate', says Texas climatologist ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Brad Pitt on Rethinking the Way Things Are Done, Internal Compustion Engine Edition: (The Daily Show):
- 'The Winter That Wasn't' Continues Across the U.S.:
- VIDEO: Punxsutawney Phil 'predicts' 6 more weeks of winter (AP)
- Where's the Snow? Not In Lower 48, But Elsewhere: (AP)
Snow seems to be missing in action this winter for much of the United States. This January was the third weakest month on record for snow covering the ground for the U.S. Lower 48, according to the Global Snow Lab at Rutgers University. Records go back to 1967.
- Warm Winter Creates Winners And Losers In U.S. Economy (Reuters)
- Global Warming Hates Groundhog Day: Punxsutawny Phil Sees A Year Without Winter (Think Progress Green)
- The great northern migration of US cattle, due to TX drought: (Texas Tribune)
- Extreme Weather Disasters in 2011 Lead to Higher Insurance Rates in 2012:
- VIDEO: Climate Disasters Jack Up Insurance Rates (Climate Denial Crock of the Week):
I believe in markets, and what they tell us. I believe in markets much more than the climate denialists who claim to revere the market system. If evil companies want to charge you more for nonexistent threats to your beach house - the market will soon bring us groups of equally smart actuarial experts who will come in and undercut those prices - and make billions by charging only for "real" risks - ignoring phony climate change - because it doesn't exist, right?
- 3 States to Require Insurers to Disclose Climate-Change Response Plans: (NY Times):
Insurance commissioners in California, New York and Washington State will require that companies disclose how they intend to respond to the risks their businesses and customers face from increasingly severe storms and wildfires, rising sea levels and other consequences of climate change, California's commissioner said Wednesday.
- Rising home insurance rates point to climate change (LA Times) [empahsis added]:
Insurance companies don't care if you believe in climate change or not: Your premiums are going up anyhow.
- Munich Re: "The only plausible explanation for the rise in weather-related catastrophes is climate change" (Climate Progress)
- Wall St. Journal Climate Denier Smackdown:
- Climate Scientists Rebuke Rupert Murdoch: WSJ Denier Op-Ed Like 'Dentists Practicing Cardiology' (Think Progress Green)
- WSJ Publishes Op-Ed From 16 Climate Deniers, Refused Letter From 255 Top Scientists (Think Progress Green)
- Daily Mail Slammed for Ignoring Scientific Truth We're Still Warming and Human Emissions Will Dwarf Any Solar Changes (Climate Progress)
- Full Debunking: Murdoch's Wall Street Journal Finds 16 Scientists to Push Pollutocrat Agenda With Long-Debunked Climate Lies (Climate Progress)
- The Wall Street 16 - Hapless Happer Leads Clueless Geriatrics in WSJ Fiasco (Climate Denial Crock of the Week)
- AMS Certified Meteorologist Mark Johnson Claims 'Earth Hasn't Warmed In 15 Years' (Think Progress Green)
- Authors of Wall St. Journal Climate Piece Downplay Industry Ties: (Daily Climate) [emphasis added]:
Half the authors of a controversial Wall Street Journal opinion piece denying the Earth's warming trend have ties to the oil and gas industry, a DailyClimate.org investigation finds.
- Even Saudi Arabia Believes in Global Warming:
- Saudi Oil Minister Calls Global Warming "Humanity's Most Pressing Concern" (Climate Progress):
"We know that pumping oil out of the ground does not create many jobs. It does not foster an entrepreneurial spirit, nor does it sharpen critical faculties."
- House Arrest for Fracking Documentary Filmmaker Josh Fox:
- GOP Handcuffs Filmmaker at Frack Hearing for 'Practicing Journalism' (Huffington Post Green):
In a stunning break with First Amendment policy, House Republicans directed Capitol Hill police to detain a highly regarded documentary crew that was attempting to film a Wednesday hearing on a controversial natural gas procurement practice.
- 'Gasland' Director Josh Fox's Statement On His Fracking Hearing Arrest (Think Progress Green)
- House Republicans Can't Handle The Truth On Fracking (Think Progress Green) [emphasis added]:
Because the EPA's draft report deals a serious if not fatal blow to those claims, the industry is fighting furiously to discredit the EPA's methods and conclusions in the Pavillion study.
Republican members of the science committee went even further. Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), chairman of the panel's energy and environment subcommittee, accused EPA of practicing "press release science" and "outcome-driven" regulation. Rep. Ralph M. Hall, chairman of the full committee, said the agency was "trying to build a case" for shutting down oil and gas production around the country.
But ranting and raving won't make the damage disappear.
- The real beneficiaries of energy subsidies: Don't buy the GOP's claims. Oil companies, not green alternatives, are making a killing from the government (Salon):
the United States is a big contributor to this global subsidy imbalance, "provid(ing) substantially larger subsidies to fossil fuels than to renewables." In practice, some of the biggest of those U.S. subsidies come in the form of special tax breaks for oil and gas development, and in direct taxpayer funding of multinational corporations' foreign mining projects (yes, you read that right - your tax dollars go to fund fossil fuel development overseas).
- Fossil fuel subsidies: a tour of the data: Fossil fuels are subsidised in much of the world, causing billions of tonnes of addition CO2 emissions (Guardian UK)
- GOP Tramples Free Speech: (The Ed Show, MSNBC):
- EPA Stands by 'Fracking' Study But Calls Reach Limited (The Hill's E2 Wire)
- EPA Official Defends Findings on Fracking (Houston Chronicle)
- 'GasLand' Filmmaker Arrested at House Hearing on 'Fracking (USA Today)
- 'Gasland' Director Responds To Arrest; Court Date Set (Reuters)
- U.S. Filmmaker Arrested at House Hearing on Shale Gas (Reuters)
- Panel Chaired by Harris Boots Filmmaker at Hearing (Baltimore Sun)
- Congressman Harris Targets Fracking Report (Delmarva Now)
- US House Hearing on Gas Fracking Halted by Dispute Over Film Maker (Platts)
- EPA Fracking Study Is 'Politics Trumping Policy,' Harris Says (Bloomberg Businessweek)
- Lawmakers Fault EPA in Fracking Hearing Delayed by Arrest (Bloomberg)
- 'Gasland' Director in Handcuffs (Slate)
- House Republicans Field Transportation Bill Favoring Oil & Gas: (NOLA Times-Picayune) [emphasis added]:
U.S. House Republican leaders proposed a $260 billion transportation spending bill Tuesday, but its prospects are slim because of controversy over provisions to allow heavier trucks and to pay for new projects with expanded oil and gas production. The bill is important for all 50 states, including Louisiana, because it sets spending parameters for transportation financing critical to repairing and upgrading roadways. The bill also is one of the federal government's biggest job-generators.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Republicans Want to Throw Kids Under the Bus. Literally. (Mother Jones)
- STUDY: The Press And The Pipeline: Heavily Pro-Keystone XL Pipeline Coverage in the Media: (Media Matters)
- Asian Carp Invasion: Report Says Great Lakes Divide Can Be Rebuilt (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
- Experts: U.S. Ill-Prepared for Oil Spill Off Cuba (AP):
The U.S. is not ready to handle an oil spill if drilling off the Cuban coast goes awry but can be better prepared with monitoring systems and other basic steps, experts told government officials Monday. The comments at a congressional subcommittee hearing in the Miami Beach suburb of Sunny Isles come more than a week after a huge oil rig arrived in Cuban waters to begin drilling a deepwater exploratory well.
- EPA Beach Pollution Rules Allow 1 in 28 to Get Sick (LA Times):
Proposed new beach pollution regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, meant to protect public health, instead would continue to allow lots of people to get sick, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, or NRDC.
- Landowners Fight Emininent Domain in PA Gas Field (AP):
The Central New York Oil & Gas Co. assured residents and regulators it would avoid using eminent domain to lay its pipeline in Pennsylvania's pristine Endless Mountains. But 2 days after FERC granted approval, the company went to court to condemn nearly half the properties along the route.
- Food Crisis As Drought & Cold Hit Mexico: (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
A drought that a government official called the most severe Mexico had ever faced has left two million people without access to water and, coupled with a cold snap, has devastated cropland in nearly half of the country. The government in the past week has authorized $2.63 billion in aid, including potable water, food and temporary jobs for the most affected areas, rural communities in 19 of Mexico's 31 states. But officials warned that no serious relief was expected for at least another five months, when the rainy season typically begins in earnest.
- TX Fracking Disclosure Rule Takes Effect Today: (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram) [emphasis added]:
A new Texas Railroad Commission rule requiring oil and natural gas operators to publicly disclose the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing of natural gas and oil wells takes effect Wednesday. The rule also requires that operators disclose how much water is used in fracking, a process that may require 1 million to 5 million gallons for a well drilled in North Texas' Barnett Shale.
- BP Must Pay Some Gulf Claims Filed Against Halliburton (NY Times)
- Cheap natural gas jumbles energy markets, stirs fears it could inhibit renewables (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
[T]he economic issue is disruptive, too. The rush to produce shale gas “is forcing all of us to seriously address what it means for us,” said Ralph Izzo, chief executive of Public Service Enterprise Group, a New Jersey-based utility that relies on nuclear for half of its power supply. Izzo said it would mean “the delay of the nuclear renaissance for years to come.”
- Texas Heat and Drought Caused by Global Warming, NASA's Hansen Says (Inside Climate News):
Temperature data shows the Texas heat wave wouldn't have occurred without warming, Hansen claims. Others aren't ready to draw such a definitive conclusion.
- Why inspectors might hesitate to shut down a [coal] mine (Coal Tattoo, Charleston Gazette)
- Texas Tech Scientist See Intimidation Effort Behind Hate Mail Barrage: (TX Climate News):
Hate mail in the inbox has been an occupational hazard for climate scientists in the public eye for some time now. Something about their endorsement and explanation of the mainstream scientific view that humans are heating up the earth's atmosphere elicits that sort of response from certain people who disagree very strongly. Lately, it has been Texas Tech University professor Katharine Hayhoe's turn to be on the receiving end of an avalanche of venomous emails.
- Greening of Building Sector on Track to Deliver Trillions in Savings by 2030 (InsideClimate News):
Report based on DOE's revised long-term projections of energy consumption in the building sector points to dramatic impact of energy efficiency.
The new projections mean Americans will save an additional $3.7 trillion on energy bills through 2030.
- Skeptical Science: Get the FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Arguments
- VIDEO ANIMATION: Time history of atmospheric CO2 (NOAA Carbon Tracker YouTube channel):
- VIDEO: Animation Charts Modern Global Warming (NYT Green)
- 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)
- World headed for irreversible climate change in five years, IEA warns: If fossil fuel infrastructure is not rapidly changed, the world will 'lose for ever' the chance to avoid dangerous climate change (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
The world is likely to build so many fossil-fuelled power stations, energy-guzzling factories and inefficient buildings in the next five years that it will become impossible to hold global warming to safe levels, and the last chance of combating dangerous climate change will be "lost for ever", according to the most thorough analysis yet of world energy infrastructure.
"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."
- Concise Overview: The IPCC report on extreme climate and weather events (Real Climate)
- READ the IPCC Report: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)
- The Real Global Warming Signal (Tamino)
- No, global warming hasn't stopped (New Scientist)
- Top UN Climate Official Blasts U.S. Climate Policy: Americans Must Realize "This Is Their Future They're Compromising" (Think Progress Green)
- VIDEO: Climate Scientists Michael Mann on "A Look Into Our Climate: Past To Present To Future" (TEDx, YouTube)
- Earth's Plant Growth Fell Because of Climate Change, Study Finds (NYT Green)
- 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."