IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Gas prices hit record high on Iran-Israel tension; Shell one step closer to Arctic drilling; Update on 'DenialGate' - the fallout continues for the rightwing Heartland Institute; PLUS: Rick Santorum goes biblical on climate science ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Settlement talks pick up ahead of BP Oil Spill trial; WI: New mining bill proven to mislead the public; Record flooding in Chile dislodges landmines; EPA: Low doses of Dioxin risky but most people safe; Dow agrees to clean dioxin-tainted properties; Chromium-6 in CA wells more than 1,000x above goal; Land-based pathogens discovered in marine mammals; Fracking industry buys Congress ... PLUS: Climate Forecast: 70% of U.S. Could face risk of water shortages by 2050 ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Rick Santorum Goes Biblical on Climate Science:
- FULL AUDIO: Rick Santorum's Anti-Science, Anti-Environment Rant in Steubenville, OH:
- Santorum Takes Climate Change Denial To A Biblical Level (Talking Points Memo)
- VIDEO: Santorum: Climate Science Is Obama’s ‘Phony Theology’ (Think Progress Green)
- VIDEO: Santorum: 'I refer to global warming as not climate science, but political science' (Think Progress Green)
- VIDEO: Santorum In Steubenville: Global Warming Politics, Not Science: Republican Candidate Campaigns On Energy Jobs In Steubenville
[U]nlike the Earth, we're intelligent and can actually manage things. And leaving things for nature, as those on the radical environmental list would do --- don't touch anything, leave it alone, nature will take care of itself --- yes, it will, and it won't be pretty.
We can actually manage and husband things. You plant a garden and let the Earth take care of it, you're not going to get much out of it. You let the forest grow and let it take care of itself, and what you'll have is boom and bust and decay and destruction. But if you husband it, if you take care of it, you nurture it, use the intellect --- it's so funny, this party that criticizes the right for being anti-science, but when it comes to the management of the Earth, they are the anti-science ones. We are the ones who stand for science and technology and using the resources we have to be able to make sure that we have a quality of life in this country and maintain a good and stable environment."
- Study: 'The Greater the Coverage of Climate Change, the Greater the Public Concern' (Climate Progress):
Exclusive: "Exciting" Public Opinion Study Debunks Claim Al Gore Polarized the Climate Debate and Many Other Myths
"The greater the quantity of media coverage of climate change, the greater the level of public concern."
- AAAS Mtg: Science Is 'Under Siege':
- Anti-science threatens the world (AFP) [emphasis added]:
A stark theme emerged from an annual scientific get-together in Vancouver: the world must be helped to believe in science again or it could be too late to save our planet.
Science is "under siege," top academics and educators were warned repeatedly at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting as they were urged to better communicate their work to the public.
- A second Oklahoma bill attacks evolution and climate change (National Center for Science Education)
- Record High Gas Prices on Israel-Iran Tensions:
- Chairman Of The Joint Chiefs Of Staff: It’s ‘Not Prudent’ For Israel To Attack Iran Now (CNN)
- Israeli Attack on Iran Would Be Destabilizing, Joint Chiefs’ Dempsey Says (Bloomberg News)
- Idled refineries may contribute to rising gasoline prices (Philadelphia Inquirer):
AAA says the average price nationwide was $3.56 on Sunday, up five cents in a week, and the pain is expected to get worse in the next few months.
Sunoco, saying Marcus Hook was bleeding cash, shut down the plant in December, not long after the nearby ConocoPhillips in Trainer called it quits. Together, the two refineries produced about 20 percent of the gasoline used in the Northeast. Their owners are trying to sell the plants, without success.
- Rising Gas Prices Give GOP Issue to Attack Obama: (NY Times)
- BP Hits 12 Month High as Oil Price Rises on Iran Tensions (Guardian)
- Shell One Step Closer to Drilling in the Arctic:
- Shell Moves Closer to Arctic Drilling: (Reuters):
Royal Dutch Shell's bid to drill in the Arctic this summer took another step forward on Friday when the U.S. Interior Department approved its oil spill response plan for the Chukchi Sea.
- A Coast Guard Challenge: Arctic Drilling (NYT Green):
“We are trying to be there ahead of the issue, but there’s no infrastructure,” Captain Shaw said. “We have to develop the infrastructure so we can respond.”
“Hopefully nothing happens,” he said. “If something does, hopefully Shell takes care of it. But if it doesn’t, we’ve got to jump in there.”
- Nome Fuel Delivery Exposes Serious Concerns for Arctic Drilling (Climate Progress)
- Arctic Drilling Blowout on Alaska's North Slope (Anchorage Daily News):
NO INJURIES: Drilling mud and gas blasted from diverter; crew on way to regain control.
Drilling mud and methane gas shot from the well through a diverter pipe, but none of the 76 workers on the rig were injured, no oil was spilled and the gas didn't ignite, the officials said.
- House Passes Section Of Transportation Bill Consisting Only Of Earmarks To Big Oil (Think Progress Green)
- House transportation bill backs offshore drilling (SF Gate) [emphasis added]:
House Republicans, ruling out earmarks but desperate for revenue, have produced a fossil-fuel extravaganza that would require oil drilling off the California coast and along the entire continental shelf on the east and west coasts, including Florida.
- Arctic Village Is Torn by Plan for Oil Drilling (NYT Green)
- UPDATE on DENIALGATE: EXPOSED: Fallout Continues for Rightwing Heartland Institute's Disinfo & Propaganda:
- REVEALED: The Origin of the Heartland Documents (Huffington Post Green):
Given the need for reliance on facts in the public climate debate, I am issuing the following statement.
I attempted to confirm the accuracy of the information in this document. In an effort to do so, and in a serious lapse of my own and professional judgment and ethics, I solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else's name.
I can explicitly confirm, as can the Heartland Institute, that the documents they emailed to me are identical to the documents that have been made public. I made no changes or alterations of any kind to any of the Heartland Institute documents or to the original anonymous communication.
- Crossing the Line as Civilization Implodes: Heartland Institute, Peter Gleick and Andrew Revkin (Climate Progress)
- Heartland Demands DeSmogBlog Remove 'Climate Strategy' Document (DeSmogBlog)
- Climate Expert Peter Gleick Admits Deception in Obtaining Heartland Institute Papers (Time)
- Heartland Republicans: Investigate Heartland (Huffington Post Green)
- Heartland Institute Leak Exposes Strategies of Climate Attack Machine (Guardian)
- The Heartland Science Denial Documents and the Future of the Planet (Greg Laden, ScienceBlogs) [emphasis added]:
Peter is like the rest of us: He knows enough about the science, the politics, and the economics surrounding the issue of Anthropogenic Climate Change to have been very frustrated with the mindless zombie-like hate filled denialist movement, bought and paid for by the corporations and individuals with the most to gain from ignoring the science, to have risked falling on his sword for the benefit of the next generation. Thank you Peter. I don't know yet if I will ultimately wish you hadn't done this or not, but no matter what, there is a positive benefit to knowing the truth, and Heartland will never be seen quite the same way again in the future.
- CONFIRMED: Anti-Science Blogger Admits Heartland Institute’s ‘Special Project’ To Distort Temperature Data (Think Progress Green)
- EXPOSED: The 19 Public Corporations Funding The Climate Denier Think Tank Heartland Institute (Think Progress Green)
- Heartland Documents Reveal Fringe Denial Group Plans to Pursue Koch Money, Dupe Children and Ruin Their Future (Climate Progress)
- Fake science, fakexperts, funny finances, free of tax (DeSmogBlog)
- Leak exposes how Heartland Institute works to undermine climate science (Guardian UK):
Those documents – containing details on future projects such as a $100,000 campaign to "dissuade teachers from teaching science", as well as fundraising efforts – have been confirmed, in part, by Heartland itself, corporate donors such as Microsoft, and climate sceptic blogger Anthony Watts, who hoped to benefit from Heartland fundraising this year.
- Heartland Institute Exposed: Internal Documents Unmask Heart of Climate Denial Machine (DeSmogBlog):
“We will also pursue additional support from the Charles G. Koch Foundation. They returned as a Heartland donor in 2011 with a contribution of $200,000. We expect to push up their level of support in 2012 and gain access to their network of philanthropists, if our focus continues to align with their interests. Other contributions will be pursued for this work, especially from corporations whose interests are threatened by climate policies.”
- GM Defends Contributions To ‘Careful And Considerate’ Climate Denier Institute (Think Progress Green)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Settlement Talks Pick Up Ahead of BP Oil Spill Trial (NY Times):
Nearly two years after the oil rig explosion that killed 11 people and spilled millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the myriad plaintiffs suing BP and other companies over the disaster are about to get their day in court. Or not.
“We are ready to settle, if we can do so on fair and reasonable terms,” Robert Dudley, BP’s chief executive, said this month during a conference call about the company’s earnings. “But we are preparing vigorously for trial.”
- WI: Facade of “Responsible Mining” Crumbles; New Mining Bill Proven to Mislead the Public (WI Citizens Media Cooperative) [emphasis added]:
After months of being told that GTAC’s plans to dig a four-mile open pit iron ore mine in the Penokee Mountains can be done responsibly, two local scientists shatter that myth at a public hearing for Wisconsin’s new “ferrous mining bill.”
- Flood dislodges land mines, closing Chile highway (Sacramento Bee)
- Dioxins Report: EPA Says Low Doses Risky But Most People Safe: (Environmental Health News):
After 21 years of wrangling over health threats, uncertain science and industry pressure, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday released its assessment of dioxins defining how toxic they are. Lauded by environmental activists and criticized by industry, the report concluded that there are potentially serious effects at ultra-low levels of exposure.
- DOW Agrees to Clean Dioxin-Tainted Properties: (AP):
Michigan environmental regulators said Thursday that they reached a long-sought deal with Dow Chemical Co. to clean up to 1,400 residential properties in Midland, home of its corporate headquarters and a plant that polluted the area with dioxin for much of the past century.
- Chromium-6 in CA Wells More than 1k Times Above State Goal: (Palm Springs Desert Sun):
Hexavalent chromium, a potentially cancer-causing heavy metal made famous by activist Erin Brockovich, is found in drinking water supplies throughout most of the Coachella Valley at 150 to more than
1,000 times above California's public health goal, a Desert Sun review of local water agencies' well-testing results found.
- Scientists Find New Dangers in Tiny, Pervasive Air Pollution (NY Times):
Fine atmospheric particles - smaller than one-thirtieth of the diameter of a human hair - were identified more than 20 years ago as the most lethal of the widely dispersed air pollutants in the United States. Linked to both heart and lung disease, they kill an estimated
50,000 Americans each year. But more recently, scientists have been puzzled to learn that a subset of these particles, called secondary organic aerosols, has a greater total mass, and is thus more dangerous, than previously understood.
- Land-based Pathogens Discovered in Marine Mammals: (Vancouver Sun):
A slew of pathogens typically found in livestock and domestic animals is increasingly being found in marine mammals, including in the Strait of Georgia off Vancouver.
- US Won't Allow More Fungicide in Orange Juice: FDA (Reuters):
The U.S. health regulator on Thursday declined a request by orange juice producers to allow a higher tolerance of a banned fungicide in juice imports, a decision that will force Brazil to stop exporting concentrated orange juice to the United States.
- Fracking Industry Buys Congress: (Environment News Service):
The damage that the natural gas production method known as hydrofracturing ("fracking") can do to water wells and streams is hard to document because of a federal law prohibiting disclosure of chemicals drilling companies inject underground. There are almost no federal regulations protecting the public from fracking pollution.
"Why? The answer is money. The oil and gas industry has reaped billions in profits from fracking. And since 1990, they've pumped $238.7 million into gubernatorial and Congressional election campaigns to persuade lawmakers that fracking is safe, which has effectively blocked federal regulation.
- Attacks Paid For By Big Business Are 'Driving Science Into a Dark Era': (The Observer):
Most scientists, on achieving high office, keep their public remarks to the bland and reassuring. Last week Nina Fedoroff, the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), broke ranks in a spectacular manner. She confessed that she was now 'scared to death' by the anti-science movement that was spreading, uncontrolled, across the US and the rest of the western world.
- Texas: Drought Toll on Urban Forest: Up to 5.6 million trees: (TX Climate News):
About 5.6 million trees in cities and towns across Texas were killed by last year's record-setting drought, the Texas Forest Service has estimated after studying before-and-after satellite imagery.
- Climate Forecast: 70% of U.S. Counties Could Face Some Risk of Water Shortages by 2050 (OnEarth Magazine, via Climate Progress):
According to a new study, more than a third of U.S. counties may be at “extreme” or “high” risk of water shortages by 2050.
- 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)
- Climate Scientists Rebuke Rupert Murdoch: WSJ Denier Op-Ed Like 'Dentists Practicing Cardiology' (Think Progress Green)
- 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."
- 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."