With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 2/28/2012, 2:55pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Fox 'News' freaks out over The Lorax; Transcanada moves forward on Keystone XL pipeline, and moves against property owners; BP Oil Spill trial on hold; Using the courts to halt air pollution rules; PLUS: Game-changing battery breakthrough for electric cars ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Internal reports show Japan leaders feared "devil's chain reaction", Tokyo evacuation; Monsanto prevails in suit brought by organic growers; Record number of sea otter deaths; Wind Harvester breaks from traditional turbine design; Alliance seeks vast marine reserves in Antarctic; New study maps best/worst places for US renewables ... PLUS: The smoking gun connecting livestock antibiotics and the rise of 'superbugs' ... 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)...

  • Versatile Wind Harvester breaks from traditional turbine design (Gizmag)
  • Study Maps Siting Issues for Renewable Energy: Location, Location, Location, 700 Million Times (NYT Green):
    [T]he study [from the Energy Department’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory] could prove useful in national strategic planning, including decisions on how much adapt the power system to achieve environmental goals like cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The findings could also help planners make “prudent use of natural resources, particularly water,” he said.
  • Chevron: Pa. Pipe leak worse than first thought: Leak of underground pipe at Pennsylvania well worse than initially thought (AP)
  • Alliance Seeks Vast Marine Reserves in Antarctic (NYT Green):
    Many fisheries scientists argue that such reserves offer the best hope for restoring ecosystems stressed by overfishing, pollution and global warming. United Nations members meeting in Nagoya, Japan agreed in October 2010 to set aside 10 percent of the world’s oceans as reserves by 2020 under the Convention on Biological Diversity, a target that all agree remains distant.
  • Supreme Court Rejects Emergency Carp Measures (AP)
  • Fukushima: Internal Reports Show Japan leaders feared "devil's chain reaction" (Reuters) [emphasis added]:
    Japan's prime minister ordered workers to remain at the tsunami-crippled Fukushima nuclear plant last March as fears mounted of a "devil's chain reaction" that would force tens of millions of people to flee Tokyo, a new investigative report shows.
    ...
    Yukio Edano, then Japan's top government spokesman, told the panel that at the height of tension he feared a "devil's chain reaction" in which the Fukushima Daiichi plant and the nearby Fukushima Daini facility, as well as the Tokai nuclear plant, spiraled out of control, putting the capital at risk.
  • 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.

  • AEI Economist Zycher Makes Head-Exploding Claims About Cost of Renewables (Climate Progress)
  • Bird Flu, Pig Flu, Now Bat Flu? Human Risk Unclear
  • Utilities Blowing Smoke on Coal-Plant Retirements (Climate Progress)
  • Electricity Democratization and Decentralization (Triple Pundit):
    Energy supply is slowly moving from centralized utility-scale power plants to small distributed renewable sources, a large number of which are privately owned. This trend has been dubbed the Democratization of Energy. Jeremy Rifkin calls it “lateral power”.
  • VIDEO: George Will rips Gas-Price Gas-Bags (Climate Denial Crock of the Week):
    So it’s great when conservative icons like George Will have a moment of insight and agree with me on a current issue.
  • 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.

  • Monsanto settles U.S. chemical pollution lawsuits (Reuters)
  • Monsanto prevails in suit brought by organic growers (Reuters):
    A federal judge has ruled in favor of global seed giant Monsanto Co, dismissing a lawsuit brought by a consortium of U.S. organic farmers and seed dealers who said their industry is at risk from Monsanto's growing market strength.
  • Record number of sea otter deaths recorded (LA Times)
  • 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.

  • 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."
  • Military's alt energy programs draw Republicans' ire (Greenwire):
    Suspicion is growing among Republican lawmakers that the Defense Department's efforts to move to renewable energy are more about politics than they are about saving lives and boosting security, as officials claim.
    ...
    [T]he Pentagon's top energy officials say they are baffled by the sudden controversy. "We were building the policy case and the cost-benefit analysis [for our renewable energy projects] well before anyone in America knew what Solyndra was," said Richard Kidd, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for energy, who is overseeing plans for a major build-out of renewable energy projects on Army bases. "I'm not following any political agenda."
  • One Million Lights trades kerosene for solar in developing countries (Grist)
  • Japan Weighed Evacuating Tokyo in Nuclear Crisis: (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
    In the darkest moments of last year’s nuclear accident, Japanese leaders did not know the actual extent of damage at the plant and secretly considered the possibility of evacuating Tokyo, even as they tried to play down the risks in public, an independent investigation into the accident disclosed on Monday.
    ...
    The report quotes the chief cabinet secretary at the time, Yukio Edano, as having warned that such a “demonic chain reaction” of plant meltdowns could result in the evacuation of Tokyo, 150 miles to the south.
  • Finally, a smoking gun connecting livestock antibiotics and superbugs (Grist):
    The message [from industry] is clear. Until scientists trace a particular bug from animals to humans and show precisely how it achieved resistance and moved from farm to consumer, there’s no smoking gun. Thus industry leaders’ heads can remain firmly buried in the sand.

    Ladies and gentlemen, we now have a smoking gun!

  • Essential Climate Science Findings: