IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf, 2 years on: Bizarre mutations in the Gulf ecosystem; First criminal charges finally filed; BP's billion-dollar settlement on hold; PLUS: Never mind Earth Day --- Mitt Romney wants to double down on coal.... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Blight discovered on citrus tree in CA; CO2 Not all That Good for Plants; Senate Panel Unveils 2012 Farm Bill Overhaul; Fees and Anger Rise in CA Water War; Ban on Some Seafood Has Fishermen Fuming; EPA Battles Examined Through 'Documerica' Photos; 'Garbage' Chemical Threatens CA Valley Water; Mexico Reins in Oil Monopoly; Insurance Comapnies Face Increased Risks from Warming... PLUS: Top Donor Is Confident Romney Secretly Supports 'Climate-Change Controls' ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Lather, Rinse, Repeat: Fox News Demonizes Environmentalists & Earth Day
- VIDEO: Fox's Eric Bolling: For Environmentalists, Earth Day "Is About Undoing What Makes America Great" (Media Matters.org): It's 'Earth Day', Eric --- not "JERK" Day...
- Conservative Media Mark Earth Day By Demonizing Environmentalism (Media Matters.org)
- VIDEO: Up With Chris Hayes Cites Media Matters Study On Broadcast Networks' Lack Of Climate Coverage (Media Matters.org)
- BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf: First Criminal Charges Filed:
- DOJ files first criminal charges in connection with BP oil spill (The Hill's E2Wire):
[Kurt Mix, a former BP engineer] allegedly deleted 200 text messages in 2010 that, among other things, indicated that an initial method used by BP to stop the Macondo well from spewing oil was not working. The text messages also indicated that the well was leaking three times the amount that BP had publicly estimated.
- Former BP engineer charged in oil spill probe (USA Today)
- Interior Secretary Salazar calls on Congress to codify safety changes (NOLA.com):
Salazar said the real divide over energy in America was "between the real energy world and the imagined energy world where you hear cries of 'drill, drill, drill,' notwithstanding the fact that most of the (Outer Continental Shelf) resources are open for business, and two-thirds of the public lands that industry has leased are sitting idle."
- BP Oil Disaster Settlement: On Hold:
- Shrimp processors object to BP Oil Spill pact: (Reuters)
- BP oil spill medical claims settlement covers workers, some coastal residents (NOLA.com)
- Shrimp processors accuse BP of discrimination in oil spill settlement (BizJournal)
- Residents to get extra $64 million for spill claims (AP)
- BP Hit by Fresh Spill Claims Two Years After Gulf Disaster (Fox News Phoenix)
- BP Oil Disaster in the Gulf: Bizarre Mutations in the Ecosystem:
- VIDEO: Legacy of BP Spill : Gulf Seafood Deformities Alarm Scientists (Climate Crock of the Week)
- 2 Years After The Spill, BP Has A Secret: It's Booming (Forbes):
Two years after the Well From hell, Bob Dudley has steered BP to one of the great corporate survival stories in history. But he's not bragging about it--for good reason.
- 2 Years After BP Oil Spill, Offshore Drilling Still Poses Risks: (Washington Post):
Two years after a blowout on BP's Macondo well killed 11 men and triggered the largest oil spill in U.S. history, oil companies are again plying the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
- The Unlearned Lessons of the BP Disaster (Public Citizen)
- Two Years After BP Oil Spill: No Ecosystem Funding Yet (Food Safety News):
The Resource and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourism Opportunities and Revived Economy (RESTORE) of the Gulf Coast Act has been approved by both the House and Senate as an amendment to the mammoth transportation bills Congress takes up every five years or so.
But the RESTORE Act still is not law because the House and Senate have yet to reconcile differing versions of the main bills. And some of those transportation elements are red hot, like the future of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
- Restoring Louisiana coast a national priority, report says (NOLA.com):
Louisiana and the nation can't wait 50 years to restore economically and environmentally important coastal wetlands, a task that is likely to cost $50 billion or more, says a new report released Monday by a team of state and national environmental and social scientists and engineers. And the rest of the nation should shoulder part of the cost, the report says.
- Corporate Media Coverage of Climate Change Plummets:
- STUDY: Climate Coverage Plummets On Broadcast Networks (Media Matters.org): Time Devoted To Climate Change Has Fallen Sharply Since 2009
- Americans on Environment News: We Want More! (Mother Jones):
It may not come as much of a surprise that news on the environment drags far behind in popularity compared with, say, news on whether or not Lindsay Lohan wears a bra, but apparently Americans are beginning to realize there's a problem. According to results from a nationwide poll released Thursday, roughly 79 percent of Americans believe environmental news needs a drastic overhaul-both in terms of how much it's being covered and what's making up the conversation.
- White House Deletes Climate Change from Earth Day Proclamation:
- Obama Edits Climate Change From His Earth Day Proclamation (Climate Progress)
- Mitt Romney Doubles Down on Coal for Coal Company Donor:
- Romney Skips Earth Day, Goes Straight to Coal Day (Sierra Club Compass blog):
Mitt Romney had no public events or statements about Earth Day this year. But just one day after, the Republican candidate found time to campaign at one of the nation's largest coal companies - a company that also happens to be one of Romney's largest campaign donors.
- Romney rips Obama for imposing 'onslaught' of energy regulations (The Hill's E2 Wire)
- AP Fact Check: In 36 Years Of Data, Not A Shred Of Evidence That Drilling Reduces Gas Prices (Think Progress Green)
- Pro-Oil Outside Groups Spend More Than $16 Million On Energy Attack Ads Since January (Climate Progress)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Blight Threatens Citrus Trees in California: (NYT Green):
In a worrisome development for citrus growers in California, or anybody there who has a beloved lemon or orange tree in the yard, the citrus disease huanglongbing, or citrus greening, has been found in southeastern Los Angeles County, the California Department of Food and Agriculture reports.
It's the first time the disease, one of the most serious scourges of citrus, has been reported in the state.
- Top Donor Is Confident Romney Secretly Supports 'Climate-Change Controls' (Think Progress):
A spokesperson for the hedge-fund billionaire said that Robertson is confident Romney is lying to the public when he campaigns against climate action as the "Soros agenda," and will "do the right thing" if elected/
- VIDEO: Hey Deniers. Corn Called. CO2 Not all That Good for Plants. (Climate Crock of the Week)
- FARM BILL 2012: Senate Panel Unveils 2012 Farm Bill Overhaul (Gannett/Des Moines Register)
- Fees and Anger Rise in CA Water War: (NY Times):
There are accusations of conspiracies, illegal secret meetings and double-dealing. Embarrassing documents and e-mails have been posted on an official Web site emblazoned with the words 'Fact vs. Fiction.' Animosities have grown so deep that the players have resorted to exchanging lengthy, caustic letters, packed with charges of lying and distortion. And it is all about water.
- A Ban on Some Seafood Has Fishermen Fuming (NYork Times)
- EARTH DAY 2012 Marked by Calls for Political Action: (Environment News Service):
On this, the 42nd annual celebration of Earth Day, the Earth Day Network is urging Americans to contact the White House and Congress asking them to 'fully fund environmental education at the federal level.' To mark Earth Day, President Barack Obama issued a proclamation focused on his Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools recognition award 'to encourage more schools to pursue sustainability, foster health and wellness, and integrate environmental literacy into the curriculum,' launched last year. ...
President Obama's 2013 budget proposal to Congress recommends eliminating nearly $40 million for environmental education programs at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and at the National Science Foundation.
- SLIDESHOW: Earth Day: EPA Battles Examined Through 'Documerica' Photos (Huffington Post)
- 'Garbage' Chemical Threatens CA Valley Water: (Fresno Bee):
A 1974 memo from Dow Chemical describes several chemicals in a widely used farm fumigant as 'garbage.' Today, one of those useless chemicals threatens drinking water for more than 1 million people across the San Joaquin Valley. Now linked to cancer, the toxin was waste from a plastic-making process. Chemical companies often mix such leftovers to create other products to avoid the cost of disposal, says one long-time chemical engineer.
- In a Change, Mexico Reins in Its Oil Monopoly: (NY Times):
For seven decades, Pemex, Mexico's state-owned oil monopoly and a mainstay of the government's revenue, regulated itself --- which is a polite way of saying it could do pretty much as it pleased. ... But in the last few years, that has begun to change. The tiny National Hydrocarbons Commission, created by the Mexican Congress in 2008 to increase regulatory oversight of the company, is proving to be a surprisingly sharp thorn in Pemex's side.
- Insurance Comapnies Face Increased Risks from Warming: (Yale Environment 360):
Given that insurers are likely to be among the first companies affected by climate change, you might expect the industry to be better prepared than most. "But that is not how it appears to many analysts, regulators, and industry representatives, who say insurers are showing a lack of urgency on the twin threats of massive future damage claims from weather-related events, and the prospect of growing climate change-related litigation.
- Indonesia: Fisherman Destroy Asian Reefs with Explosives, Cyanide: (AP):
Coral gardens that were among Asia's most spectacular, teeming with colorful sea life just a few months ago, have been transformed into desolate gray moonscapes by illegal fishermen who use explosives or cyanide to kill or stun their prey.
- As ice cap melts, militaries vie for Arctic edge (AP):
To the world's military leaders, the debate over climate change is long over. They are preparing for a new kind of Cold War in the Arctic, anticipating that rising temperatures there will open up a treasure trove of resources, long-dreamed-of sea lanes and a slew of potential conflicts.
- 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.[click through for graphic].
- Damage to oceans could cost $2tr by 2100 (Business Green)
Damage to natural services provided by oceans could cost the world $2tr a year by the end of the century if steps to curtail climate change are not taken, a study by the respected Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) said today.
- 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."