With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 4/5/2012, 2:24pm PT  


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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Obama pushes back on Republicans... as his USDA cuts back on food safety inspections; Water Wars: Frackers vs. Farmers in CO; Warmest March on record for half of U.S.; PLUS: Another major study smacks down climate change deniers ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Japan nuke plant worse off than previously indicated; OH River #1 in pollution; Mine union boss says 'Coal industry could suffer same fate as bin Laden'; Military sees threats and worry in climate change; Power source of the future: Snails!; Another warning on overfishing; Bat-killing fungus spreads; How China will force Americans to drive electric cars ... PLUS: The Brighter Side of Air Pollution ... 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)...

  • Japan Nuclear Plant May Be Worse Off Than Thought (NY Times):
    [N]ew tests suggest that the plant — which was ravaged last March when a powerful earthquake and tsunami hit the area — might not be as stable as the government or the operator of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, had hoped.
    ...
    The company announced this week that an examination of one reactor, No. 2, showed that the water level in an outer containment vessel was far lower than estimated, which could indicate that the already badly damaged uranium fuel might not be completely submerged and, therefore, is in danger of heating up.
  • Power source of the future: Snails (Grist)
  • Killing the "Job-Killing Regulation" Meme (Bloomberg News):
    [A] new report suggests we ought to take claims of regulatory-related unemployment with a grain of salt. The Institute for Political Integrity, a nonpartisan think tank associated with the New York University School of Law, finds many of the studies purporting to show mass job losses --- or gains --- from environmental rules use poorly executed economic models that do not accurately measure true costs and benefits.
  • Interior Dept: New process to expedite drilling on public lands (Business Week):
    The Obama administration on Tuesday unveiled new procedures to speed up drilling on public lands, an area where Republicans and the oil industry have pressed the administration to do more to boost oil production and help drive down gasoline prices.
  • How China will force Americans to drive electric cars (Grist)
  • EPA Orders Oil Companies to Pay for Contamination of Montana Town's Water Supply (Treehugger):
    The EPA announced last week it has ordered Murphy Exploration, Pioneer Natural Resources, and Samson Hydrocarbons to pay the city $320,000 to reimburse costs related to water infrastructure and relocating water wells. They will also have to monitor the city's public water supply and provide treatment, or an alternate drinking source, if the water becomes contaminated to the point where it's an official public health risk.
  • Mine union boss: Coal industry could suffer same fate as bin Laden (The Hill's E2 Wire):
    The coal industry will suffer the same fate as Osama bin Laden under new climate regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, the head of the United Mine Workers of America said this week.
  • Too Many Small Fish Are Caught, Report Says (NY Times):
    An international group of marine scientists is calling for cuts in commercial fishing for sardines, herring and other so-called forage fish whose use as food for fish farms is soaring. The catch should be cut in half for some fisheries, the scientists say, to protect populations of both the fish and the natural predators that depend on them.
  • Bat-Killing Fungus Continues Deadly Spread; Death Toll Now at 7 Million (Scientific American)
  • Idaho Wolf Shooting Triggers Call for Firing of Forest Service Employee: (Environment News Service):
    It takes a lot to shock and sicken seasoned wildlife advocates, but the deliberate torture and shooting of a trapped wolf in northern Idaho by an employee of the U.S. Forest Service has. The incident in mid-March has triggered calls for both federal and state investigations leading to dismissal of the employee involved.
  • OH River Tops Nation in Pollution Discharges: (Louisville Courier-Journal_:
    The Ohio River again leads the nation in the amount of toxic chemicals dumped into it by industries, according to a new report by a Washington, D.C.- based environmental group.
  • The Brighter Side of Air Pollution (Climate Central):
    According to Ben Booth, of the Met Office Hadley Centre in the U.K., along with four colleagues, something called the Multidecadal Atlantic Oscillation (MDO), which has sent North Atlantic sea-surface temperatures up and down over the 20th century, isn’t a natural cycle at all, as many have thought. Instead, it’s mostly a function of how much pollution humans have been spewing into the air. “Our findings,” write the authors, “suggest that anthropogenic aerosol emissions influenced a range of societally important historical climate events such as peaks in hurricane activity and Sahel drought.”
  • Interactive: how would a rise in sea-level affect US cities? (Guardian UK)
  • 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.
  • 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.'
  • 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.
  • Essential Climate Science Findings: