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!
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'...
- Edison Expert Mocks Mitt Romney's Edison Lies
- Thomas Edison expert pans Romney’s use of Edison to bash Obama (Greg Sargeant, Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
Putting aside Romney’s joke, which is premised on a falsehood, this raises a question: Is it possible to evaluate Romney’s overall claim that the heavy hand of Obama-era government regulation would squelch Edison’s creative genius if he stepped off a time-machine?
As it happens, when it comes to Edison’s principle contribution to American life, government regulation functioned as something of an incentive to innovation on his part.
- Romney Decries ‘Assault’ On Economic Freedom, Stays Specifics-Free (TPM)
- Romney Repeats Favorite Obama Conspiracy Theories (Mother Jones)
- Natural Born Drillers (Paul Krugman, NYT) [emphasis added]:
If there were any truth to drill-here-drill-now, this boom should have yielded substantially lower gasoline prices and lots of new jobs. Predictably, however, it has done neither.
Why, then, are Republicans pretending otherwise? Part of the answer is that the party is rewarding its benefactors: the oil and gas industry doesn’t create many jobs, but it does spend a lot of money on lobbying and campaign contributions. The rest of the answer is simply the fact that conservatives have no other job-creation ideas to offer.
- Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal and Koch-Fueled Cato Agree: “It’s Not Obama’s Fault That Crude Oil Prices Have Increased” (Climate Progress)
- President Obama Mocks GOP Obstructionism On Clean Energy:
- Obama: GOP Candidates ‘Would Have Been Founding Members Of The Flat Earth Society’ (Think Progress Green):
- Putting a price on carbon will benefit environment and cut deficit by raising money, Henry Waxman argues (Guardian UK)
- Obama mocks drill, baby, drill: ‘The American people aren’t stupid’ (Grist)
- Electric Highway Opens in Oregon:
- First big piece of 'Electric Highway' gets juice (Seattle Post-Intelligencer):
Following a trail blazed by Indians and pioneers in covered wagons, electric car drivers hit the road Friday to inaugurate the first major section of a West Coast "Electric Highway" dotted with stations where they can charge up in 20 minutes.
- New EV charging stations installed along I-5 in southern Oregon (KPTV Oregon)
- It's Spring Equinox, But Summer in the U.S.:
- Preliminary Data Lift March Heat Records to Nearly 19 Times Cold Records (Capital Climate Blog)
- Torrential rains in Oklahoma; Summer in March continues for Midwest (Dr. Jeff Masters, Weather Underground)
- Mutant Heat Wave Shattering Records: It is extraordinarily rare for climate locations with 100+ year long periods of records to break records day after day after day. (Mother Jones)
- Freak heat wave makes Obama and Oprah ‘nervous’ about climate (Grist)
- Unprecedented early-year heat smashes all-time records in Midwest (Dr. Jeff Masters, Weather Underground)
- Spring Arrives with Equinox Tuesday, Earliest in More Than a Century: Spring is arriving early in a meteorological sense in the Eastern U.S., and in an astronomical sense, making its earliest arrival since 1896
- Warmer Winters: More Sex For Pine Beetles!:
- Double Trouble From Mountain Pine Beetles?: Researchers document two generations in a single summer season (NYT Green)
- VIDEO: Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oil) Reveals REAL Reason He's a Climate Change Denier:
- Inhofe On The 97% Of Scientists Who Agree Global Warming Is Real: ‘That Doesn’t Mean Anything’ (The Rachel Maddow Show, via Think Progress Green):
'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.
- 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."