With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 2/23/2012, 2:24pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: GOP presidential crazy train stops in Fantasy Land on gas prices; Big Oil fights to keep its taxpayer subsidies; Mine official charged in WV mine disaster; Canadian government 'suppressing science'; PLUS: Mutant two-headed trout ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): GOP Not Listening to Its Own Scientists on Climate Change; What Cleantech Bust?; Utilities Blowing Smoke on Coal-Plant Retirements; World's Oceans Get an Acid Bath; Canada's Tar Sands So Destructive It Makes Its Well-Paid Workers Want to Quit; Army Corps brings back streamlined strip-mine permits; Radiation detected 400 miles off Japanese coast... PLUS: Analyst: Recycle All You Want, The Planet Won't Notice ... 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)...

  • GOP Not Listening to Its Own Scientists on Climate Change (InsideClimate News):
    GOP scientists say their attempts to talk about climate dangers with their party's politicians and their aides have largely fallen on deaf ears.

    A number of prominent U.S. climate scientists who identify themselves as Republican say their attempts in recent years to educate the GOP leadership on the scientific evidence of man-made climate change have been futile. Now, many have given up trying and the few who continue notice very little change after speaking with politicians and their aides.

  • What Cleantech Bust? (Clean Techies):
    Suffice it to say up front that Pike Research does not see a bust taking down the cleantech industries. Our January 10 webinar, “The Year Ahead in Cleantech,” included a forecast for combined revenue across the industries and technologies covered in our smart energy practice – biopower, energy storage services, distributed solar, wind energy, geothermal, etc. – at nearly $300 billion. By way of comparison, the global automotive industry, which has been in business for about 120 years, generated $1.7 trillion in revenue in 2010 – less than six times the smart energy industries, which are less than 40 years old.
  • Utilities Blowing Smoke on Coal-Plant Retirements (Climate Progress)
  • World's Oceans Get an Acid Bath (Inside Science):
    Among the repercussions of global climate change, the effect of ocean acidification on marine life is one of the least-understood variables.

    The oceans have already absorbed about one-third of the 500 billion tons of carbon dioxide that human activity has added to the atmosphere since the industrial revolution. Absorbing carbon dioxide reduces the pH of seawater, indicating an increase in its acidity.

  • Increasing acidity in the world’s oceans could pose a greater threat to marine life than warming waters.

  • VIDEO: Canada's Tar Sands: So Destructive It Makes Its Well-Paid Workers Want to Quit (Treehugger):
    Amidst all the political wrangling over the Keystone XL pipeline, some may lose sight of what the fight is ultimately about. And that, of course, is one of the most environmentally devastating projects ever undertaken: the tar sands mining operation in Alberta, Canada. Today, a Reddit user who says he was until recently a well-paid tar sands worker, shared the following video—along with why he quit his job over moral objections to the destruction his work was helping to cause.
  • Corps brings back streamlined strip-mine permits (Coal Tattoo)
  • Transplants offer hope for decaying reefs (Miami Herald):
    Researchers at Nova Southeastern University will monitor lab-raised corals to see how they survive on a once vibrant reef off Fort Lauderdale.
  • Study: Market factors, not the EPA drive coal-fired power plant closures (State Journal):
    study released Thursday points primarily to market factors, not environmental regulation as the driving force behind coal plant closures.

    While environmental regulations have received the bulk of attention when it comes time to close a coal-fired plant, closure are generally known to be a result of multiple factors. A new study conducted by Susan Tierney managing principal at the Analysis group, an economic, financial and strategy consultant group, finds market factors, not the Environmental Protection Agency, have driven coal plant closures.

  • Judge’s Ruling Complicates Hydrofracking Issue in New York (NY Times):
    A state judge’s decision this week supporting the rights of individual towns to determine whether to allow hydraulic fracturing has added a new wrinkle to the fight over the natural gas drilling process in New York.
  • US Leads New Coalition to Curb 'Short-Lived Climate Pollution (Environment News Service):
    Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Thursday announced a new global initiative to reduce short-lived climate pollutants. Working together as the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, Bangladesh, Canada,
    Ghana, Mexico, Sweden, and the United States will conduct what Secretary Clinton described as 'a targeted, practical, and highly energetic global campaign to spread solutions to the short-lived pollutants worldwide.' The initiative targets three pollutants that together account for more than one-third of current global warming - black carbon, or soot; methane; and hydrofluorocarbons, which are gases used in air conditioning, refrigeration, solvents, foam blowing agents and aerosols.
  • New Regs Needed To Deal With Shale --- Report (E & E News):
    Antiquated regulations originally designed for conventional oil and gas operations need to be redesigned for the newer era of unconventional shale, according to a report released today by the University of Texas, Austin.
  • Radiation detected 400 miles off Japanese coast (CBS News):
    Radioactive contamination from the Fukushima power plant disaster has been detected as far as almost 400 miles off Japan in the Pacific Ocean, with water showing readings of up to 1,000 times more than prior levels, scientists reported Tuesday.

    But those results for the substance cesium-137 are far below the levels that are generally considered harmful, either to marine animals or people who eat seafood, said Ken Buesseler of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.

  • 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."
  • Recycle All You Want, The Planet Won't Notice - A Video Interview with Gernot Wagner (Treehugger):
    Gernot Wagner, an Austrian economist at the Environmental Defense Fund, is a staunch advocate for living green. He takes public transit, recycles, and totes a reusable shopping bag to Whole Foods. But he's well aware that his deeds aren't even beginning to have a serious impact on the health of the planet. And neither are yours.

    His new book, But Will the Planet Notice?, argues that it won't. For the planet to notice our efforts, he says, we're going to have to enact policies that provide the proper economic incentives for far-reaching change.

  • Essential Climate Science Findings: