IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: March roars in like a lion, bringing an early tornado season; Good news for breathers: Chicago coal plants to shut down; Americans belief in global warming rises with the temperature; Controversial Keystone XL pipeline would raise US gas prices; PLUS: Obama says no more free taxpayer money for Big Oil ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 'Hockey-stick' author's counterstrike in the climate wars; FEMA Admin: ‘We need to forcefully communicate the risk we face’; Billionaire Koch's accuse Obama campaign of intimidation; Arctic ice cap melting faster; $5 a gallon gas?; Shell's pre-emptive strike against enviro groups ... PLUS: How to feed 7 billion of us without ruining the planet ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Analysis: Keystone XL Pipeline Will Raise Gas Prices:
- Keystone Oil Pipeline Seen Raising Gas Prices in Midwest (Bloomberg) [emphasis added]:
TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone XL oil pipeline, a project backers including Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum say will create cheaper U.S. gasoline, instead risks raising prices as much as 20 cents a gallon in the Midwest, Great Plains and Rocky Mountains.
“The Canadian plan was to use their market power to raise prices in the United States (UNG) and get more money from consumers,” Philip Verleger, founder of Colorado-based energy consulting firm PK Verleger LLC, said in an interview. Prices may gain 10 to 20 cents in central states, he said.
- Keystone XL Would Raise Gas Prices, Not Lower Them: Similarly, gas prices would not decrease if Keystone was built—they’d likely go up in many areas of the country. (The Nation)
- Keystone: the pipeline to higher gas prices (Bill McKibben of 350.org, The Hill)
- Rising gas prices due to 'commodity gamblers' (Sen. Jeff Merkely, D-OR, The Hill)
- Key Facts on Keystone XL: Tar Sands will not Reduce Dependence on Foreign Oil (Tar Sands Action.org)
- President Obama Calls for Vote to Repeal Oil Industry Subsidies:
- Obama asks Congress to vote down oil industry tax breaks (The Hill's E2 Wire)
- Oil Lobby Says Obama’s Call To End Big Oil Handouts Is ‘Discriminatory’ (Think Progress Green):
Calling it “discriminatory,” Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, said the administration’s outline was more of a “Swiss cheese approach that we’re trying to get rid of in this country.”
- Gas Spike Takes $5 Billion From The 99 Percent And Gives It To Big Oil (Think Progress Green)
- Roaring March Brings Early, Deadly Tornado Season:
- VIDEO: Tornadoes Kill at Least 12 in Midwest (ABC News)
- Massive storm system claims at least 12 (CNN)
- Rare, night tornadoes hit Harrisburg, Branson, and other Midwest towns (AP):
Harrisburg, Ill, was hit by a rare, massive night-time tornado with 170 mph winds. At least 12 people were killed by 16 tornadoes in three states. Friday could see a similar storm system, say meteorologists.
- 4 out of 5 Americans Affected by Weather Disasters:
- 4 out of 5 Americans Affected by Weather-Related Disasters Since 2006, Study Finds (Jeff Masters of Weather Underground, via Climate Progress):
Since 2006 , federally declared weather-related disasters in the United States have affected counties housing 242 million people–or roughly four out of five Americans. That’s the remarkable finding of Environment America, who last week released a detailed report on extreme weather events in the U.S.
- Americans Belief in Global Warming Rises With Temperature:
- Poll: US belief in warming rises with thermometer (AP):
Americans' belief in global warming is on the rise, along with temperatures and surprising weather changes, according to a new university poll.
Nearly half the people who say they believe in global warming base that on personal observations of the weather. Climate researchers say that's reaching the correct conclusion for reasons that aren't quite right.
- Poll: Belief in global warming rebounds after period of decline (Ford School of Public Policy at the Univ. of Michigan)
- Poll: Americans’ Understanding of Climate Change Increasing With More Extreme Weather, Warmer Temperatures (Climate Progress)
- Victory for Breathers: Chicago Coal Plants to Close:
- Chicago's Coal Plants To Close: Mayor's Ultimatum Leads To Environmentalists' Win (VIDEO) (Huffington Post Chicago)
- Chicago's 2 coal-fired plants to close (WLS-TV Chicago)
- VIDEO: Two Chicago coal plants closing:
Agreement shuts down controversial plants over three years (WGN-TV Chicago)
- Coal plants dominate list of Chicago's biggest polluters: 2 plants in Pilsen, Little Village constitute the largest source of local greenhouse gas emissions, U.S. says (Chicago Tribune)
- Emanuel brokers deal to shut two polluting coal fire plants (Chicago Sun-Times)
- Utilities Blowing Smoke on Coal-Plant Retirements (Climate Progress)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Michael Mann's counterstrike in the climate wars (Op-ed, LA Times)
To the denial set, these groups and individual scientists are part of a global liberal cabal that is scheming to impose its radical environmentalist agenda on the entire planet via government programs to cut carbon emissions; as proof, denialists point to their own research and studies --- typically funded by fossil fuel interests, performed by non-climatologists and published in non-peer-reviewed journals --- that pick away at the scientific consensus. You wouldn't think such an anti-intellectual and grossly irresponsible movement would have much success in the court of public opinion. You would be horrifyingly wrong....
- FEMA Administrator On Climate Change: ‘We Need To Forcefully Communicate The Risk We Face’ (Think Progress Green):
"When I talk about climate resilience, I’m talking about how we need to forcefully communicate the risk we face in not building resilience to climate change at the local level, which might not have been in anyone’s experience previously."
The administrator stressed the importance of recognizing “total cost of ownership” in decision making that affects our nation’s and our communities’ futures.
- Koch brothers accuse Obama campaign of intimidation tactics (The Hill's E2 Wire):
The billionaire activists said Obama’s campaign wants their donor list so it can engage in a smear campaign.
- VIDEO: Sea Ice Decline – Winter Weather Wild Card (Climate Crock of the Week)
- Thickest Parts of Arctic Ice Cap Melting Faster (Science Daily):
A new NASA study revealed that the oldest and thickest Arctic sea ice is disappearing at a faster rate than the younger and thinner ice at the edges of the Arctic Ocean's floating ice cap.
- Tensions Raise Specter of Gas at $5 a Gallon (NY Times):
With no clear end to tensions with Iran and Syria and rising demand from countries like China, gas prices are already at record highs for the winter months — averaging $4.32 in California and $3.73 a gallon nationally on Wednesday, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. As summer approaches, demand for gasoline rises, typically pushing prices up around 20 cents a gallon. And gas prices could rise another 50 cents a gallon or more, analysts say, if the diplomatic and economic standoff over Iran’s nuclear ambitions escalates into military conflict or there is some other major supply disruption.
- 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.
- Arctic Ocean drilling: Shell launches preemptive legal strike (LA Times):
Royal Dutch Shell launched an extraordinary preemptive legal strike Wednesday against opponents of offshore oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean, filing suit against more than a dozen environmental organizations likely to challenge its plan for drilling exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea this summer.
In a petition for declaratory relief filed in U.S. District Court in Anchorage, the oil giant seeks to have the court rule that the U.S. government complied with federal law when it approved Shell’s oil spill response plan for upcoming exploratory well-drilling in the Arctic.
- Ten Dirty, Ancient Coal Plants In Midwest Being Shuttered (Washington Post)
- Canada Makes Billions From Tar Sands, Can’t Find $1.5 Million to Fund Key Arctic Climate Research Station (Climate Progress)
- How to feed 7 billion of us without ruining the planet (Grist)
- 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.
- 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)
- How to Buy Time in the Fight against Climate Change: Mobilize to Stop Soot and Methane: A short list of relatively simple actions taken to reduce greenhouse gases other than CO2 could help put the brakes on global warming--if implemented globally (Scientific American)
- 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."
- VIDEO: Behold: The World's First 24/7 Solar Plant is Up and Running (Treehugger)
- 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."