With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 3/20/2012, 12:51pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Obama mocks GOP clean energy obstructionists; Romney gets Edison and the lightbulb wrong; It's officially Spring, but already summer in the U.S. --- meaning more sex for pine beetles!; Electric Highway opens in Oregon; PLUS: Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oil) reveals real rea$on he's a climate change denier... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Global sea levels could rise as much as 70 ft; Louisiana to elevate Gulf Coast highways; Solar micro-spheres collect 360 sunshine; Antibiotic-resistant superbugs could mean 'end of modern medicine'; ‘Pink slime’ is the tip of the iceberg; Chinese foodies have a solution for Asian carp invasion; CA farm country's water is dangerously polluted; Spring sprung too soon means death blow to butterfly; Speed record on the power grid ... PLUS: O.E.C.D. warns of ever-higher greenhouse gas emissions ... 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)...

  • Global Sea Level Likely to Rise as Much as 70 Feet for Future Generations (Science Daily):
    Even if humankind manages to limit global warming to 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F), as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommends, future generations will have to deal with sea levels 12 to 22 meters (40 to 70 feet) higher than at present, according to research published in the journal Geology.
  • As climate changes, Louisiana seeks to lift a highway (Washington Post):
    Highway 1, unprotected by levees, connects critical oil and gas resources in booming Port Fourchon to the rest of the nation.
    ...
    The dilemma facing this important lowland road is one shared by communities across the country as climate change begins to transform the nation’s landscape. By 2030, many areas in the United States are likely to see storm surges combining with rising sea levels to bring waters at least four feet above the local high-tide line, according to a report released last Wednesday by Climate Central, a nonprofit research group. Nearly 2.6 million homes are on land that would be inundated.
  • Solar Micro-Spheres Catch 360° of Sunlight (Treehugger)
  • Why a sore throat could soon be fatal: Bugs are becoming more resistant to antibiotics, warn health chiefs: 'A post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it,' warns WHO chief (Daily Mail)
  • ‘Pink slime’ is the tip of the iceberg: Look what else is in industrial meat (Grist)
  • Chinese foodies have a solution for our Asian carp woes (Washington Post):
    The dominant thread in the ongoing discussion is this: The Chinese people, and their voracious appetites, are the solution to America’s carp woes. This can be expressed comically, as Accidental VIP, the handle for a Beijing media executive, tweeted: “Chinese ‘foodies’ must join battle and rescue the Americans! The Obama Administration will reimburse you for eating steamed fish head with chopped peppers.” It can also be expressed simply, as in this enthusiastic tweet from Shanghai: “Eat eat. Eat all of it. Immediately resolved.”
  • Tapped out: Water in California’s farm country is dangerously polluted (Grist):
    What’s especially problematic is the fact that nitrate pollution in the Central Valley is likely to get worse before it improves. “For more than half a century, nitrates from fertilizer and animal waste have infiltrated into aquifers,” the report’s executive summary reads. “Most nitrate in drinking water wells today was applied to the surface decades ago.”
    ...
    The fact is, for as long as industrial-scale farmers can get away with externalizing the cost of the damage this excess nitrogen causes, they probably will.
  • Big Oil Wants Even More Tax Cuts From Alaska: (Anchorage Daily News):
    BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. and Conoco Phillips Alaska told the Senate Resources Committee there are projects the companies could do on Alaska's North Slope to increase oil production, but those projects will have trouble attracting capital investment because of high state taxes.
  • A Spring Sprung Too Soon Is a Death Blow to Butterfly (NYT Green)
  • Rep. Cummings Attacks Issa Over Energy Investigations (TPM):
    So far, neither the Oversight Committee nor the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which launched a separate investigation specifically into Solyndra, have uncovered any evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the Energy Department for that or other clean energy projects.
  • A Speed Record on the Power Grid: electric company technicians and researchers may have set a speed record in replacing a transformer as part of a drill to determine how the power grid could recover from an attack or a natural disaster. (NYT Green)
  • O.E.C.D. Warns of Ever-Higher Greenhouse Gas Emissions (NY Times):
    Because of such dependence on fossil fuels, carbon dioxide emissions from energy use are expected to grow by 70 percent, the O.E.C.D. said, which will help drive up the global average temperature by 3 to 6 degrees Celsius by 2100 — exceeding the warming limit of within 2 degrees agreed to by international bodies.
    ...
    Human costs would also be high as premature deaths from pollution exposure could double to 3.6 million a year, the O.E.C.D. said. Demand for water could rise by 55 percent, increasing competition for supplies and resulting in 40 percent of the global population living in water-stressed areas...
  • Obama energy chief disavows 2008 remark in favor of raising gas prices (The Hill's E2 Wire)
  • Rising Sea Levels Seen as Threat to Coastal U.S. (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
    About 3.7 million Americans live within a few feet of high tide and risk being hit by more frequent coastal flooding in coming decades because of the sea level rise caused by global warming, according to new research.
    ...
    By far the most vulnerable state is Florida, the new analysis found, with roughly half of the nation’s at-risk population living near the coast on the porous, low-lying limestone shelf that constitutes much of that state. But Louisiana, California, New York and New Jersey are also particularly vulnerable, researchers found, and virtually the entire American coastline is at some degree of risk.

    “Sea level rise is like an invisible tsunami, building force while we do almost nothing,” said Benjamin H. Strauss, an author, with other scientists, of two new papers outlining the research. “We have a closing window of time to prevent the worst by preparing for higher seas.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Essential Climate Science Findings: