With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 5/8/2012, 2:27pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Billionaire codger cage match: T. Boone Pickens picks on the Billionaire Koch Brothers; U.S. military prepares for climate change; Japan: nuke-free, but not worry free; Dino-Farts! PLUS: Billboard blowback - funders flee from Heartland Institute's Unabomber billboard blunder .... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Flipping the Switch on Solar Plant on Public Lands; Common Pesticide “Disturbs” the Brains of Children; Data Shows Spring Advancing Faster Than Experiments Suggest; Keystone pipeline is baaack; Carmakers standardize 15-min faster charging system for electric vehicles ... PLUS: What is going on with Peru's dolphins and pelicans?... 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)...

  • Flipping the Switch: First Solar Plant on Public Lands Now Delivering Power: (SF Gate):
    The first commercial solar array approved and built on federal public land began producing electricity Monday from a sun-baked site in the Mojave Desert south of Las Vegas near the Nevada-California state line.
  • Common Pesticide “Disturbs” the Brains of Children (Scientific American):
    Banned for indoor use since 2001, the effects of the common insecticide known as chlorpyrifos can still be found in the brains of young children now approaching puberty.
  • Decades Of Data Show Spring Advancing Faster Than Experiments Suggest (Climate Progress):
    "This suggests that predicted ecosystem changes - including continuing advances in the start of spring across much of the globe - may be far greater than current estimates based on data from warming experiments."
  • Arabic Records Allow Past Climate to Be Reconstructed (Science Daily):
    Corals, trees and marine sediments, among others, are direct evidence of the climate of the past, but they are not the only indicators. A team led by Spanish scientists has interpreted records written in Iraq by Arabic historians for the first time and has made a chronology of climatic events from the year 816 to 1009, when cold waves and snow were normal.
  • How the U.S. could influence China’s coal habits — with exports (Washington Post)
  • Increasing speed of Greenland glaciers gives new insight for rising sea level (PhysOrg):
    Changes in the speed that ice travels in more than 200 outlet glaciers indicates that Greenland's contribution to rising sea level in the 21st century might be significantly less than the upper limits some scientists thought possible, a new study shows.
  • Environmental group sues to halt killing practices of federal wildlife agency (Sacramento Bee):
    The federal government's wildlife damage control program is based on outdated science and indiscriminate tools that kill many non-target animals, including protected species, according to a lawsuit filed Monday by WildEarth Guardians, a Colorado-based environmental group.
  • Clean Energy At Airports Could Find Space Around Runways, Study Says (Huffington Post Green)
  • It's Baaack: Keystone pipeline in focus as highway talks begin (The Hill's E2 Wire)
  • Lights Out for Research Satellites? (NY Times):
    Earth-observing systems operated by the United States have entered a steep decline, imperiling the nation's monitoring of weather, natural disasters and climate change, a report from the National Research Council warned on Wednesday.
  • Carmakers standardize 15-min faster charging system for electric vehicles: (Environment News Service):
    Eight U.S. and German automakers have agreed to utilize a fast-charging technology that recharges EV batteries in just
    15 to 20 minutes. Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Porsche and Volkswagen have agreed to support a harmonized single-port fast charging approach - called DC Fast Charging with a Combined Charging System - for use on electric vehicles in Europe and the United States.
  • What is going on with Peru's dolphins and pelicans? (Mother Jones):
    Something awful is happening in the waters off Peru's northern coast, where some 3,000 dolphins have died and washed ashore since January."
    Necropsies of dead animals by veterinarians point tentatively to the possibility of ear injuries (which might be caused by seismic testing by oil and gas companies) and infectious outbreaks for the dolphins, and possible starvation caused by lack of anchovies (a result of changing ocean conditions) for the birds. No clear conclusions have been drawn.
  • Studies Raise Questions About Pavement Sealers (Environmental Health News):
    Airborne emissions and stray dust from coal tar-based sealers, one of the two main types of products used to coat certain asphalt pavements, may be a more significant human health threat than previously thought, according to three new studies and a review published by U.S. government and university researchers.
  • EPA Moves To Regulate Logging-Road Runoff as Supreme Court Eyes Case (Greenwire):
    At issue, EPA said, is a controversial 2010 ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that tossed out the agency's 35-year-old policy of allowing loggers to use best management practices instead of pollution-discharge permits. Trying to soothe its critics, EPA said in a statement that it is considering "flexible" options --- including some that would require no permit --- in recognition of some land-management practices in use to minimize the water pollution from forest roads.
  • Midwest Generation To Close 2 Chicago Coal Plants Early (Chicago Tribune):
    Chicago is the only major U.S. city with coal plants operating within its borders. For years, environmental and community groups have blamed Fisk and Crawford for high asthma rates and other health problems in their predominantly Latino, low-income neighborhoods. A 2010 report by the National Research Council estimated that pollution from the coal plants costs surrounding areas $127 million a year in hidden health costs.
  • Rising Coal Exports Have Montana Rail Communities Braced for Worst (Daily Climate)
  • American Enterprise Institute And Brookings Must-Read: 'The Republicans Are The Problem' (Climate Progress):
    Two leading political scholars - representing the conservative American Enterprise Institute and the centrist Brookings Institution - have published a must-read article, "Let's just say it: The Republicans are the problem."
  • Plant Study Flags Dangers Of Warming World (Reuters):
    "Increased carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels can affect how plants produce oxygen, while higher temperatures and variable rainfall patterns can change their behavior.
  • Well, MEOW: VIDEO: T. Boone Pickens: 'The Biggest Deterrent To An Energy Plan In America Is Koch Industries' (Climate Progress):
    The biggest deterrent to an energy plan in America is Koch Industries," the BP Capital founder tells Yahoo's Aaron Task. "They do not want an energy plan for America because they have the cheapest natural gas price they've ever had, and they're in the fertilizer business and they're in the chemical business. So their margins are huge. And they do not want you to have an energy plan, because if you had a plan, then natural gas prices would come up.
  • US solar subsidies consistent with coal, oil: report (Reuters):
    U.S. government support for solar energy is no different from its support for traditional energy sources, despite critics' complaints that the renewable energy source has gotten special incentives, a new solar-industry backed report found.
  • Coal business update: 'Severe weakness' cited in U.S. markets (Coal Tattoo)
  • Coal's Future Is Rocky at Best (BusinessWeek):
    Coal is in a struggle with a perfect adversary: ultracheap natural gas.
  • Analysis: Dow's new GMO corn: "time bomb" or farmers' dream? (Reuters):
    Opponents include some specialty crop farmers who fear 2,4-D herbicide use could cause widespread damage to crops that are not engineered with a tolerance to it. It is so potent that its use is tightly restricted in some areas and at certain times of the year in some U.S. states.
  • Nuclear Safety Advocates Accuse Industry And Regulators Of Foot-Dragging On Basic Safety Measures (Huffington Post Green):
    [W]hat if the Pilgrim plant experienced a meltdown like the one that unfolded just over a year ago in Fukushima, Japan?

    "I live just six miles from that plant across open water," says Lampert, a staunch advocate for tougher oversight of the nuclear power industry. "It always comes down to public safety versus the cost to industry of implementing something."

  • Climate Change Has Intensified the Global Water Cycle (Climate Central):
    Based on measurements gathered around the world from 1950-2000, a team of researchers from Australia and the U.S. has concluded that the hydrologic cycle is indeed changing. Wet areas are getting wetter and dry areas are getting drier. But it's happening about twice as fast as anyone thought, and that could mean big trouble for places like Australia, which has already been experiencing crushing drought in recent years.
  • IBM R&D Working to Give Electric Cars 500 Miles of Range With Lithium-Air Batteries (Treehugger)
  • Plastic pollution in ocean likely underestimated, researchers say (California Watch):
    [R]esearchers from the Universities of Washington and Delaware and the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Mass., say the [Pacific Garbage Patch] is much bigger, and scarier, than that. They say scientists have only skimmed the surface on the devastating pollution caused by plastic debris in the ocean, and the research community is likely underestimating the amount of plastic in the ocean.
  • LA opens rooftops for solar energy installations (Gimag):
    The recent approval of a Feed-in-Tarriff (FiT) rooftop solar program known as CLEAN LA Solar by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power opens up over 12,000 acres of potential rooftop space for solar development.
  • Shocker: The Killing Agency: USDA's Wildlife Services' Brutal Methods Leave A Trail of Death (Sacramento Bee):
    [A] Bee investigation has found the agency's practices to be indiscriminate, at odds with science, inhumane and sometimes illegal.
  • Clouds' Effect on Climate Change Is Last Bastion for Dissenters (NY Times):
    His idea has drawn withering criticism from other scientists, who cite errors in his papers and say proof is lacking. Enough evidence is already in hand, they say, to rule out the powerful cooling effect from clouds that would be needed to offset the increase of greenhouse gases.
  • Warm Ocean Currents Eroding Antarctic Ice Shelves (Environment News Service):
    Warm ocean currents flowing beneath ice shelves are the main cause of recent ice loss from Antarctica, concludes a study by an international research team published today. The finding brings scientists closer to providing reliable projections of future sea level rise. Using measurements from NASA's Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite, ICESat, in combination with computer models, the researchers were able to distinguish between warm ocean currents thawing the ice sheets from below and warm air melting them from above.
  • Essential Climate Science Findings: