IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Sen. Inhofe puts God before science; GOP puts Keystone lies before U.S. oil and jobs; Fukushima 1 year later; Room for improvement in the US nuclear industry; Wacky warm winter leads to wacky wet early spring; Fracking caused Ohio earthquakes; PLUS: Rick Santorum: anti-science before anti-science was cool ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): World water supply increasingly at risk; Greenland ice melt seen at lower temperatures; 3D solar panels to replace roof shingles?; Breakthrough: Salt-tolerant wheat; Carbon emissions threaten world's oceans & food supply; Mine owner charged in Crandall Canyon Mine Disaster; Planet-saving ozone layer scientist dies ... PLUS: VIDEO: James Hansen: Why I must speak out about climate change ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Zombie Pipeline: Keystone XL:
- Zombie Pipeline: Senate Narrowly Defeats Keystone XL Riders: (Think Progress Green)
- Sen. Roberts' Amendment Is Just a Wish List for Big Oil (NRDC Switchboard)
- FLASHBACK: Fox News Supports Bush On High Gas Prices In 2008 (Media Matters):
- CARTOON: The trouble with right-wing bitching about gas prices, in one handy cartoon (Ed Stein, via Grist)
- Today's GOP: Anti-Science:
- Santorum: I Will Never Bow To This ‘Pseudo-Religion’ Of Climate Science (Think Progress Green)
- Inhofe: God Says Global Warming Is A Hoax (Think Progress Green) [emphasis added]:
"Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that “as long as the earth remains there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.” My point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous."
In the interview, Inhofe did not mention he has received $1,352,523 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry, including $90,950 from Koch Industries.
- Wacky Warm Winter Turns Into Wacky, Wet, Early Spring: Record Rains in La.
- The Winter That Wasn’t Checks In at 4th Warmest (Climate Central)
- Rains soak, flood southern Louisiana (CNN)
- Record Warm Week Ahead East of the Rockies (Climate Central) [emphasis added]:
Here's a breakdown of the unusual warmth, which is more typical of May than March....
- Rains soak, flood southern Louisiana (CNN)
- March 2 - 3 tornado outbreak: 10th largest in recorded history? (Dr. Jeff Masters, Weather Underground)
- Poisoned Weather: Global Warming Helped Fuel Killer Tornadoes (Think Progress Green):
Meteorologist Jeff Masters explained to USA Today that the warm, humid air that fed the tornadoes comes from an unusually hot Gulf of Mexico...
- Australia: Biblical Flooding 2nd Year in a Row:
- More evacuations as floods worsen across NSW (The Australian)
- Australia floods inundate almost 2,000 homes (AFP
- Record rain and flooding in Australia prompt massive spider migration (!), farms covered in spider webs (ABC Australia)
- From Australian Floods To English Drought (ABC Australia)
- Heavy rain causes flood in north Chile; army fears more landmines may have been washed loose (Washington Post)
- Great Lakes Ice Coverage Falls 71$ Over 40 Years, Researcher Says (MSNBC)
- Fracking Caused Ohio's Earthquakes:
- Fracking wastewater disposal induced a dozen earthquakes in Ohio (AP): The state's oil and gas regulators announced new regulations for drillers Friday
- Confirmed: Fracking Caused Ohio Earthquakes (Think Progress Green)
- Fukushima: One Year Later:
- Special Report: Fukushima (The Economist)
- LISTEN: Fukushima Anniversary: We Listen Back: Newly released audio from the first week of the nuclear meltdown crisis at Fukushima Daiichi (Scientific American)
- Nuclear Disaster In Japan Was Avoidable: Critics: (NY Times):
But some insiders from Japan's tightly knit nuclear industry have stepped forward to say that Tepco and regulators had for years ignored warnings of the possibility of a larger-than-expected tsunami in northeastern Japan, and thus failed to take adequate countermeasures, such as raising wave walls or placing backup generators on higher ground.
- Japan’s Nuclear Energy Industry Nears Shutdown, at Least for Now (NY Times)
- A Year After Japan's Triple Disaster, An Uncertain Recovery (Washington Post)
- Cancer Fears and Depression Plague Japanese Refugees (Der Spiegel)
- A Year After Tsunami, a Cloud of Distrust Hangs Over Japan (LA Times)
- One Year Later, Will Fukushima Evacuees Ever Return Home? (CTV)
- Thousands Protest Against Reopening Nuclear Plants in Japan (Daily Telegraph)
- Japan Tsunami: Sirens, Prayers And a Wave of Sorrow (Daily Telegraph)
- At Edge of Japan's Nuclear Zone, Residents Face an Uncertain Future (TIME)
- Activists File Lawsuit To Try To Stop Restart of Japanese Nuclear Plant (CNN)
- IAEA Says Nuclear Power Safer 1 Year After Fukushima (Reuters)
- 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.
- US Nuclear Industry: Room For Improvement:
- VIDEO: NRC Chair Gregory Jaczko (Platts Energy Week):
Throughout the world, the Fukushima disaster raises new questions about the safety of nuclear power. Gregory Jaczko, the chairman of the NRC, will discuss steps by his agency to make sure plants can respond well to natural disasters.
- U.S. Implements New Post-Fukushima Nuclear Safety Policies: (Reuters):
Regulators on Friday told the owners of the nation's nuclear reactors to implement new safety rules based on the lessons learned from the earthquake and tsunami that crippled Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant a year ago. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said it authorized its staff to issue three immediately effective orders implementing some of the more urgent recommendations.
- Post-Fukushima U.S. Nuclear Reactor Rules Questioned Over Cost, Adequacy (Bloomberg News)
- Asleep at the Controls (Opinion, NY Times)
- Are YOU in a Nuclear Risk Zone?: New Mapping Tool Shows How Severe Nuclear Accident Could Look in U.S., Flags Risk Factors for U.S. Reactors (NRDC)
- Mapping Nuclear Fallout After Fukushima (National Geographic)
- California San Onofre nuclear plant shut down over radioactive leaks (RT)
- DC quake turns off two nuclear reactors (RT)
- US tornadoes force shutdown of two nuclear reactors in Virginia (FourWinds.com)
- Danger Zone: Aging Nuclear Reactors: (Center for Investigative Reporting):
Is it safe to extend the life of the aging US fleet of nuclear power plants --- even those whose obsolete designs match those of the failed reactors at Fukushima?
- 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.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Climate, Food Pressures Require Rethink on Water: U.N.: (Reuters):
The world's water supply is being strained by climate change and the growing food, energy and sanitary needs of a fast-growing population, according to a United Nations study that calls for a radical rethink of policies to manage competing claims.
- Water Pollution From Farming Is Worsening, Costing Billions (Bloomberg News)
- World Breakthrough on Salt-Tolerant Wheat: (St. Petersburg Times):
A team of Australian scientists has bred salt tolerance into a variety of durum wheat that shows improved grain yield by 25% on salty soils. Using 'non-GM' crop breeding techniques, scientists from CSIRO Plant Industry have introduced a salt-tolerant gene into a commercial durum wheat, with spectacular results shown in field tests.
- Greenland Ice Melt Seen at Lower Temperatures: Study: (Reuters):
The complete melt of the Greenland ice sheet could occur at lower global temperatures than previously thought, a study in the journal Nature Climate Change showed on Sunday, increasing the threat and severity of a rise in sea level. Substantial melting of land ice could contribute to long-term sea level rise of several meters, potentially threatening the lives of millions of people.
- 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.
- Science: Ocean Acidifying So Fast It Threatens Humanity’s Ability to Feed Itself (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
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.”
- The Disaster Next Door: Potential Disasters Are Closer Than You Think: (Pocono Record):
It's a sunny morning in the Poconos. As residents prepare to head to work or school, some begin to feel dizzy or light-headed. Others have difficulty breathing or complain of itchy eyes. Few, if any, realize that sulfur dioxide, a colorless, odorless gas used as a bleaching agent and industrial solvent, has been accidentally released into their neighborhood.
- Would Energy Independence Change Our Lives? (National Geographic):
[T]he United States is still the world’s largest refiner of oil.
One thing is that it shows how one of the favorite promises of American politicians, “energy independence,” may not actually do us much good. It’s true that much of the world’s oil supply lies in the Middle East and other regions that are unstable, unfriendly to the United States, or both. That’s a risk not just to the United States but to the world economy. It’s no wonder many people argue that the less we import, the safer we’ll be as a nation.
- Solar3D Explores Plan to Integrate its Solar Cell into Roof Tiles: High Power Output and Wide-Angle Light Collection Features Make the Company's Solar Cell Ideal for Building Integrated Applications (Press release, CBS MarketWatch)
- Breaking: Mine operator charged with two criminal violations in Crandall Canyon Mine Disaster (Coal Tattoo):
[T]he federal criminal charges [were] filed a few minutes ago against Genwal Resources, the Murray Energy company that operated the Crandall Canyon Mine where six miners and three rescue workers died in that terrible disaster back in 2007.
- 9 miners die in flood, mine collapse in Colombia (Coal Tattoo)
- Ozone Layer Scientist Who Saved the World Dies: (AP):
F. Sherwood Rowland, the Nobel prize-winning chemist who sounded the alarm on the thinning of the Earth's ozone layer, has died at 84.
- 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.
- 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)
- Must-Read: Economist William Nordhaus Slams Global Warming Deniers, Explains Cost of Delay is $4 Trillion (Climate Progress):
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."
- 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."