IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Biden slams GOP attacks on American-made clean energy; Trying to save the disappearing Maldives from global warming; Obama's FDA says OK to BPA; Pesticides implicated in disappearance of the bees; PLUS: Fox 'News' debunks itself! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Nuclear industry dreams dashed by current economic reality; CA moves to promote energy efficiency building retrofits; Not good: USDA proposed radical overhaul of poultry slaughterhouse inspections; Interactive: how would a rise in sea-level affect US cities?; Radioactive iodine from Fukushima found in CA kelp... PLUS: Cool calculator: How much does using coal really cost? ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- It's Official: March Heat Wave 'UNMATCHED In Recorded History':
- Warm weather records smashed, more than 90 cities with warmest March on record (Washington Post)
- March Heat Records Crush Cold Records by Over 35 To 1, Scientists Say Global Warming Loaded The Dice (Climate Progress):
The final data is in for the unprecedented March heat wave that was “unmatched in recorded history” for the U.S. (and Canada). New heat records swamped cold records by the stunning ratio of 35.3 to 1.
- VP Biden Slams GOP Attacks on American-made Clean Energy:
- VIDEO: Biden slams Republicans for blocking programs for renewable energy (Climate Progress):
“They’re emasculating all the efforts to deal with renewable energy,” Vice President Joe Biden said Sunday in a prerecorded interview on CBS‘ “Face the Nation.”
“They have no policy,” he said of Republicans, including the GOP presidential hopefuls who increasingly are making more U.S. oil and gas drilling a major campaign theme.
- Conservatives' Trust in Science Has Declines Sharply: (LA Times)
- GM Again #1 in World: Fuel Efficienct GM Cars 40% of New Sales:
- GM Is No. 1 In The World Again In Auto Sales (Forbes)
- Fuel efficiency drives car sales (CNN Money):
GM (GM, Fortune 500) said that demand rose for all of its 12 models that get 30 mpg on the highway. Those high-mileage cars will make up between 40% and 45% of the company's U.S. sales, up from only 16% four years ago, when gas prices first spiked to $4 a gallon.
- Fox News Debunks ITSELF On Chevy Volt:
- VIDEO: Fox News Debunks Right-Wing Lies About Chevy Volt: It’s ‘An Anti-Terrorist Weapon’ And ‘The Safest Car On The Road’ (Climate Progress):
I love Fox news, and I feel like I’m kind of attacking my own family here. I love O’Reilly, I love Neil Cavuto, I love Eric Bolling, but like a lot of my fellow conservative, they seem to have kind of a fetish for demonizing the Volt.
They are perpetuating the myth that the Volt was some kind of Obama administration green energy fantasy that as you say was forced on General Motors during the bailout.
It’d been in development two years before Obama was elected. And it was championed by … Bob Lutz, who is a conservative and a climate change skeptic. So you know it’s a myth.
- VIDEO: Conservative Media Recklessly Distort Chevy Volt Safety (Media Matters)
- Chevrolet Volt Is "Political Punching Bag," Says GM CEO in Congressional Hearing (Edmunds' InsideLine)
- Motor Trend Editor On Limbaugh’s Chevy Volt Attacks: ‘Just Remember: Driving And Oxycontin Don’t Mix’ (MSNBC)
- NRDC's Beinecke and Former GM's Lutz: "Petty politics are killing our spirit of innovation" (NRDC Switchboard)
- FDA Says OK to BPA [for now]:
- FDA Rejects Ban on BPA in Food Packaging (NRDC's On Earth Magazine):
BPA is here to stay. This afternoon, federal regulators rejected a request to remove the hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol-A from all food and drink packaging, including can linings and plastic bottles.
Officials say there’s not enough scientific evidence to justify taking action, despite the widespread health concerns of doctors and public health advocates who supported a ban. ("Ludicrous," "bogus," "illogical," were some of the responses from scientists and health authorities to the decision.)
- FDA Continues to Study BPA (FDA.gov)
- Bee Disappearance Linked to Pesticide:
- 3 New Studies Link Bee Decline to Bayer Pesticide (Tom Philpott, Mother Jones):
In the past months, three separate studies—two of them just out in the prestigious journal Science—have added to a substantial body of literature linking widespread use of neonicotinoids to CCD. The latest research will renew pressure on the EPA to reconsider its registration of Bayer's products. The EPA green-lighted Bayer's products based largely on a study funded by the chemical giant itself—which was later discredited by the EPA's own scientists, as this leaked memo shows.
- Trying to Save The Maldives From Global Warming, Rising Seas:
- Plan Now For Climate-Related Disasters: UN Report (Reuters)
- Global warming close to becoming irreversible-scientists (Reuters) [emphasis added]:
The world is close to reaching tipping points that will make it irreversibly hotter, making this decade critical in efforts to contain global warming, scientists warned on Monday.
As emissions grow, scientists say the world is close to reaching thresholds beyond which the effects on the global climate will be irreversible, such as the melting of polar ice sheets and loss of rainforests.
- 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.
- VIDEO: Exclusive - Mohamed Nasheed Extended Interview Pt. 2 (The Daily Show):
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c Exclusive - Mohamed Nasheed Extended Interview Pt. 2 Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Nuclear industry dreams dashed by current economic reality (Guardian UK):
The news that nuclear giants RWE and E.ON are dropping plans to build any new UK reactors has sent a toxic cloud not only over Wales, but over the nuclear industry itself.
- California’s Next Step In Energy Efficiency Legislation: Building Retrofits (Climate Progress):
Our existing building stock must be addressed in order to significantly impact overall energy consumption. Buildings are energy hogs, consuming 42 percent of the nation’s primary energy, 72 percent of it is electricity, and 34 percent of it is directly used natural gas. California uses more energy than any country except China and the United States as a whole.
The California legislation will provide a financing method for private owners to pay for energy efficiency investments in existing buildings.
- Interactive: how would a rise in sea-level affect US cities? (Guardian UK)
- Calculator: How Much Does Using Coal Really Cost? (Mother Jones)
- How ecosystems will be affected by global warming (Times of India):
Global warming increases the risk for species extinction, especially in bio diverse ecosystems, because extreme weather conditions like hurricanes, draughts and torrential downpours become more frequent. Human impact means that flora and fauna become extinct at a rate 100-1000 times higher than normal. Climate change has been deemed as one of the main causes of species depletion.
- What's Even Grosser Than Pink Slime? (Tom Philpott, Mother Jones) [emphasis added]:
[The USDA] is proposing a radical overhaul to the way poultry slaughterhouses are inspected—one that will significantly benefit the industry while potentially increasing the risk to consumers from antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
- EPA Drops Water Pollution Charges against Natural Gas Drillers in Texas (Reuters)
- Fertilizer use responsible for increase in nitrous oxide in atmosphere (UC Berkeley):
University of California, Berkeley, chemists have found a smoking gun proving that increased fertilizer use over the past 50 years is responsible for a dramatic rise in atmospheric nitrous oxide, which is a major greenhouse gas contributing to global climate change.
- Radioactive Iodine from Fukushima Found in California Kelp (Reuters):
Kelp off Southern California was contaminated with short-lived radioisotopes a month after Japan’s Fukushima accident, a sign that the spilled radiation reached the state’s urban coastline, according to a new scientific study.
- More power for women means less climate pollution, study suggests (Grist)
- Military sees threats, worry in climate change (The Daily Climate):
Climate policy may be a minefield in U.S. politics, but the Pentagon sees liabilities of a different kind and is forging ahead with plans to reduce the military's carbon footprint and prepare for climate impacts. 'It's about returning more of our brave sailors and Marines.'
- Damaged Japan Reactor Has High Radiation, No Water, Stability Doubts (Washington Post):
One of Japan's crippled nuclear reactors still has fatally high radiation levels and hardly any water to cool it, according to an internal examination Tuesday that renews doubts about the plant's stability.
- The $22 Trillion Carbon Bubble (Think Progress Green) [links, emphasis in original]:
The global economy is riding on a financial bubble that dwarfs the subprime crisis - a $22 trillion carbon bubble. On our present pathway, humanity is expected to burn through proven fossil fuel reserves by 2050, making global warming greater than 5°C (9°F) likely and civilizationally catastrophic effects irreversible. To have an 80 percent chance of keeping warming below 2°C, 80 percent of proven reserves [pdf] need to stay unburned. The present estimated value of these civilization-threatening reserves is approximately $22 trillion. [click through for graphic].
- 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.
- 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."