IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Obama fires back at GOP over rising gas prices; Incredible rightwing hypocrisy on pain at the pump; Newt's hypocrisy on algae biofuels (Thanks, videotape from 2008!); PLUS: Abandoning Kiribati: the world's first climate change refugees ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): James Hansen: Why I must speak out about climate change (video); Iceland to turn CO2 into rock; Euro Car of the Year: Chevy Volt; Iowa outlaws undercover journalism; US pollution also Made in China; Spiders invading flood-stricken Australia; Alien species invading Antarctica; Carbon emissions threaten world's oceans ... PLUS: What if the Fukushima nuclear fallout crisis had happened in the US? ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- German solar incentive cut to be delayed: sources (Reuters) [emphasis added]:
The [German] government wants to cut the expansion of solar power after Germany added a record 7,500 megawatts capacity in 2011 to bring its total to 25,000 MW, nearly as much as the rest of the world combined.
So-called feed-in tariffs (FIT) have helped Germany's solar industry blossom over the past decade, leading to a myriad of listings and creating about 150,000 jobs.
- Obama Fires Back at GOP Over Rising Gas Prices:
- VIDEO: Obama speaks on energy in N.C. (Washington Post)
- Barack Obama pushes for $1bn green tax credits (Guardian UK):
President pushes energy-efficient auto agenda in North Carolina truck factory – his third speech on cars in three weeks
Obama is also asking Congress to expand the tax credit for advanced vehicles to $10,000 from $7,500, and to all fuels – including natural gas, which is not covered under the programme.
- Obama returns fire at Republicans over gas prices (Reuters) [emphasis added]:
President Barack Obama, under Republican attack for high gas prices that could harm his re-election bid, urged Americans on Wednesday to have faith in alternative fuels and accused rivals of not telling the truth about the rising cost of energy.
The president's proposals, which he discussed after touring the factory near Charlotte, would set aside $1 billion for a national "challenge" to encourage the use by communities of advanced vehicles.
He also wants to expand tax incentives for electric cars and alternative-fuel trucks to $10,000 from the current $7,500 and fund research into vehicle and battery technology. Much of the proposed policy was previewed in the president's 2013 budget and would require approval from a Congress mired in gridlock.
- VIDEO: President Mocks Fox News Reporter’s Question About Gas Prices (TPMDC)
- Remarks by the President on Energy --- Mount Holly, NC (White House) [emphasis added]:
[W]e've got 2 percent of the world oil reserves; we use 20 percent. What that means is, as much as we're doing to increase oil production, we're not going to be able to just drill our way out of the problem of high gas prices. Anybody who tells you otherwise either doesn’t know what they’re talking about or they aren’t telling you the truth.
Here is the truth. If we are going to control our energy future, then we’ve got to have an all-of-the-above strategy. We’ve got to develop every source of American energy --- not just oil and gas, but wind power and solar power, nuclear power, biofuels. We need to invest in the technology that will help us use less oil in our cars and our trucks, in our buildings, in our factories. That’s the only solution to the challenge. Because as we start using less, that lowers the demand, prices come down. It's pretty straightforward. That’s the only solution to this challenge.
- What Makes Gasoline Prices Go Up? (NYT Green)
- U.S. Was Net Oil-Product Exporter for First Time Since 1949 (Bloomberg News)
- Obama to AIPAC: 'Loose Talk of War' Inflating Gas Prices (Raw Story)
- Energy Experts Debunk Right-Wing Defense Of Oil Subsidies (Media Matters.org)
- Oil Companies Earn Billions While Americans Pay More (Climate Progress):
As American Families Pay 25 Cents More for a Gallon of Gas, Big Oil Earns $5 Billion More in Profits.
- Newt Gingrich: Higher Oil Prices Good for Big Oil & GOP (CNN State of the Union)
- Rightwing Hypocrisy on Pain at the Pump:
- VIDEO: FLASHBACK: Fox News On Gas Prices In 2008 (Media Matters):
- CARTOON: The trouble with right-wing bitching about gas prices, in one handy cartoon (Ed Stein, via Grist)
- O'Reilly's Alternative Fuel Flip (Media Matters.org)
- Limbaugh And The Right-Wing Nervous Breakdown (Media Matters.org)
- Rightwing Terrified Over Clean Energy:
- Obama: 'Oil is a fuel of the past' (Think Progress Green)
- Big Oil Trade Group Flooding Airways With Pro-Industry Propaganda Ads (Think Progress Green)
- Loving the state: (Digby's Hullabaloo):
Once again, here's Corey Robin to explain Mark Steyn:
Conservatism, then, is not a commitment to limited government and liberty — or a wariness of change, a belief in evolutionary reform, or a politics of virtue. These may be the byproducts of conservatism, one or more of its historically specific and ever-changing modes of expression. But they are not its animating purpose. Neither is conservatism a makeshift fusion of capitalists, Christians, and warriors, for that fusion is impelled by a more elemental force — the opposition to the liberation of men and women from the fetters of their superiors, particularly in the private sphere.
- "Drill baby drill" isn't an energy policy, it's cultural resentment (The Wildlife News)
- Romney’s Latest Clean Energy Attack: ‘You Can’t Drive A Car With A Windmill On It’ (Think Progress Green)
- Newt's Hypocrisy on Algae, Biofuels:
- VIDEO: Newt Gingrich praises Biofuels in 2008 (YouTube)
- Newt makes false claim about Obama on gas prices (TPM)
- VIDEO: Newt Gingrich Wins Georgia Primary (C-SPAN):
- Transcript of Gingrich's remarks upon winning Georgia Republican primary: (History Musings):
The president said, we have to be practical; drilling won’t solve it. And then he offered his practical solution. Anybody here remember what it was? Algae. (LAUGHTER) Algae. I mean, I think this summer, as gas prices keep going up, one of our campaign techniques should be have people go to gas stations with a jar of algae…(LAUGHTER) … and say to people, would you rather have the Gingrich solution of drilling and having more oil? Or would you like to try to put this in your gas tank?
- Newt Gingrich Jumps the Shark (Biofuels Digest) [emphasis added]:
On the surface, it sounds like a cartoonist’s dream, Obama stuffing pond scum into a gas tank while Gingrich rides off to the White House in a car that actually runs. It may be good cartoon material, but it’s not going to pass Mythbusters muster.
Any day you like, put crude oil into your diesel tank, or gasoline tank if you like. You won’t get a hundred yards down the road before you kill your engine, if in fact you could start the engine at all.
Well, one other question that both White House reporters, and the Speaker’s staff might ask – is where exactly did all that oil and gas actually come from?
Algae. Yep, it’s all made from algae.
- World's First Climate Change Refugees: Relocating Kiribati:
- Entire nation of Kiribati to be relocated over rising sea level threat: The low-lying Pacific nation of Kiribati is negotiating to buy land in Fiji so it can relocate islanders under threat from rising sea levels. (Telegraph UK):
In what could be the world's first climate-induced migration of modern times, Anote Tong, the Kiribati president, said he was in talks with Fiji's military government to buy up to 5,000 acres of freehold land on which his countrymen could be housed.
"This is the last resort, there's no way out of this one," Mr Tong said. "Our people will have to move as the tides have reached our homes and villages."
- Island Nation of Kiribati Makes the Ultimate Sacrifice to Save Oceans (Change.org)
- The Rising Tide: Kiribati: A short documentary about the effects of global warming on Kiribati, a nation of 33 coral atolls in the central Pacific. (YouTube):
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- VIDEO: James Hansen: Why I must speak out about climate change (TED Talks):
Top climate scientist James Hansen tells the story of his involvement in the science of and debate over global climate change. In doing so he outlines the overwhelming evidence that change is happening and why that makes him deeply worried about the future.
- Iceland: New Storage Projects Turns CO2 into Stone (Scientific American):
Iceland is experimenting with pumping carbon dioxide underground and converting it into rock
- Poisoned Weather: Global Warming Helped Fuel Killer Tornadoes (Think Progress Green):
Meteorologist Jeff Masters explained to USA Today that the warm, humid air that fed the tornadoes comes from an unusually hot Gulf of Mexico...
- Euro car of the year: The Chevy Volt (Forbes)
- Insight: Papua New Guinea mountain disaster questions Exxon (Reuters):
A deadly landslide in the mountains of Papua New Guinea, near where U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil is building a $15.7 billion gas project, is raising fresh questions about the global energy industry's scramble for ever harder-to-reach resources.
The landslide tore through a quarry used by Exxon in January, killing at least 25 people in the poor South Pacific country, but it has stirred little international publicity, even though an expert report had questioned the safety of the excavations.
- Iowa Approves Nation's First 'Ag-Gag' Law (Food Safety News):
Four years ago, undercover video recorded workers on forklifts forcing "downer" cows into slaughter at the Hallmark and Westland meat plant in Chino, CA, which at the time was a top supplier to the National School Lunch program.
If the Iowa law had been in effect in California in 2008, Hallmark and Westland would have been able to go to court claiming status as victims of "animal facility tampering" for an "amount equaling three times all the actual and consequential damages" against "the person causing the damages."
- Alien Species Invading Antarctica via Tourists, Scientists
- Record rain and flooding in Australia prompt massive spider migration (!), farms covered in spider webs (ABC Australia)
- US Pollution: Made in China
- Alaska's Orange Goo Mystery Solved
- MAP: What if the Fukushima nuclear fallout crisis had happened here? (NRDC):
There are 104 nuclear reactors in the United States. If one of them lost both primary and backup power for even a matter of hours, it could lead to a meltdown and an airborne radioactive plume. See what could have happened if a reactor in your area had a severe nuclear accident on March 11, 2011.
- 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.
- Ohio Gov. Kasich says planning wellhead tax on oil, gas (Fuel Fix)
- The threat of carbon emissions on the world’s oceans (Op-ed, Washington Post):
Emitting massive amounts of carbon dioxide doesn’t just change the chemistry of the atmosphere; it makes the oceans more acidic. Predicting the impact on ocean ecosystems involves educated speculation, which often involves applying evidence of what has happened before. In the latest edition of the journal Science, a team of researchers reckons that today’s human-emitted CO2 is increasing ocean acidity far faster than previous, naturally occurring episodes scientists have studied, which themselves appear to have had very alarming results.
- Must-Read: Economist William Nordhaus Slams Global Warming Deniers, Explains Cost of Delay is $4 Trillion (Climate Progress):
Yale economist William Nordhaus has eviscerated the 16 scientists who wrote a disinformation-filled Wall Street Journal piece in late January.
...Nordhaus’s blunt piece — “Why the Global Warming Skeptics Are Wrong” – is worth reading because he is no climate hawk.
"The skeptics’ summary is based on poor analysis and on an incorrect reading of the results."
- The Big Fracking Bubble: The Scam Behind the Gas Boom:: Is the boom in natural gas a bubble that will go bust as the price of gas itself continues a dizzying fall? (Rolling Stone)
- Science: Ocean Acidifying So Fast It Threatens Humanity’s Ability to Feed Itself (Climate Progress) [emphasis in original]:
The world’s oceans may be turning acidic faster today from human carbon emissions than they did during four major extinctions in the last 300 million years, when natural pulses of carbon sent global temperatures soaring, says a new study in Science. The study is the first of its kind to survey the geologic record for evidence of ocean acidification over this vast time period.
“What we’re doing today really stands out,” said lead author Bärbel Hönisch, a paleoceanographer at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. “We know that life during past ocean acidification events was not wiped out—new species evolved to replace those that died off. But if industrial carbon emissions continue at the current pace, we may lose organisms we care about—coral reefs, oysters, salmon.”
- 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."