IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Good news and bad --- mostly bad --- from the Rio+20 Earth Summit; Deluged in Duluth - record storm, record floods; Awkward!: 3 new oil spills complicate Canada's Keystone XL pipeline dreams; PLUS: Greenpeace billboard rejected --- you'll never guess their offensive slogan (no, really!)... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Outdoor recreation jobs outnumber oil jobs 3 to 1; CA leads the way on GMO labeling; US Dems demand stronger fracking rules; Senate rejects block to new mercury rules; L.A. to get much hotter (we ain't talking bikinis); AZ mining company wants pollution fines reversed; Not-so-bad farm bill passes Senate; Canada's new budget 'buts' environmental protections ... PLUS: 'It's madness' that waste isn't a bigger international priority ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Water From the Moon?: NASA Investigates Lunar Ice:
- VIDEO: NASA scientists investigate ice in huge, perpetually dark Moon crater (CS Monitor):
The interiors of polar craters on the moon are in nearly perpetual darkness, making them cold traps that researchers have long suspected might be home to vast amounts of frozen water and thus key candidates for human exploration.
- Record Deluge in Duluth:
- Duluth area assesses major damage as it begins to dry out (Minneapolis Star-Tribune):
Roiling waters fueled by torrential rains made history across northeastern Minnesota Wednesday, buckling roads, displacing residents, drowning zoo animals and destroying property on a stretch of Lake Superior's North Shore.
- PHOTOS: Duluth experiences one of worst floods on record (Washington Post)
- Flooding rips up Duluth, drowns zoo animals (MSNBC)
- Study: Extreme Rain Storms In Midwest Have Doubled In Last 50 Years (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
Devastating extreme rain events are part of a growing trend in the Midwest, according to a new report looking at 50 years of storm data.
- AWKWARD: 3 New Oil Spills Complicate Canada's Keystone XL Pipeline Dreams:
- Spate of oil spills pushes Alberta to look harder at pipeline safety (Globe & Mail) [emphasis added]:
For Alberta, part of the trouble is that pressing for greater scrutiny is an acknowledgment that all is not as it should be.
- Enbridge pipeline spill adds to worry of First Nations group (Edmonton Journal)
- Searching for answers after Red Deer’s pipeline spill (Globe & Mail)
- Shell Canada pleads guilty to environmental charge, pays $225,000 (Calgary Herald)
- Saskatchewan doesn't do enough to police the pipeline industry, auditor says (Winnipeg Free Press)
- Greenpeace Canada's Offensive Billboard: 'Solar Spill' Rejected:
- Greenpeace denied Edmonton billboard space for oil spill ad (Globe & Mail):
- Greenpeace's solar ad gets cloudy response from billboard company (Brandon Sun) [emphasis added]:
When there is a huge solar energy spill it's just called a nice day. Green jobs, not more oil spills."
"Pattison's official statement is no comment," Donaldson said. "No comment, period."
- Greenpeace Clean Energy Billboard Rejected by Pattison (DeSmogBlog)
- RIO+20: Good News, and Bad News:
- Guardian UK Rio+20 Live Blog and Special Coverage (Guardian UK):
Rolling coverage of the UN Sustainable Development Conference where world leaders have arrived to agree how to tackle the world's ecological and social problems
- Big UN environmental summit opens in Rio (CBS News) [emphasis added]:
a sober, unambitious mood prevailed as negotiators produced what critics called a watered-down document that makes few advances on protecting the environment.
"Twenty years ago, the Earth Summit put sustainable development on the global agenda. Yet let me be frank: our efforts have not lived up to the measure of the challenge," he told delegates. "For too long, we have behaved as though we could . indefinitely . burn and consume our way to prosperity. Today, we recognize that we can no longer do so."
- Rio+20: Draft Agreement Sparks ‘Alarm And Concern’ (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
[T]he new text gives countries plenty of room to wiggle out of any commitments... Compare that to the old working text from June 2nd, which created a road map for a multilateral process to actually realize the program’s goals...
- Why The Rio+20 Earth Summit Is Another Step, Not An End Goal In Itself (Climate Progress):
[T]he definition of a successful meeting is largely determined by where one sits on this spectrum.
- Diplomats agree on "weak" text for Rio+20 green summit (Reuters)
- Rio+20: Then and Now (Lateline, Australian Broadcasting Co.)
- Time not on our side, UN chief Ban Ki-moon warns Rio+20 summit (The Australian)
- Rio+20: A Defining Choice: How can we create an economy that serves the health and well-being of both people and the planet? Follow the Earth’s lead. (Yes! Magazine)
- Rio 20 years later: Pollution up, forests down (AP)
- Rio meeting can still produce a key climate outcome (The Hill)
- UN Envoys Plan Sustainability Goals Without Impact in Draft (Bloomberg)
- RIO+20: Some Good News:
- Rio meeting can still produce a key climate outcome (The Hill)
- AUS PM Julia Gillard Announces World Indigenous Rangers Conference (Australia Broadcasting Company)
- Global network for organic farming research announced at Rio+20 (SciDevNet)
- Development Banks Pledge $175 Billion for Transport at Rio+20 (Bloomberg)
- Rio+20: Aruba to go 100% Renewable Energy (Sustainable Business)
- World’s mayors vaunt progress against climate change (AP)
- Mayors' Route to Rio+20 goes through Belo Horizonte: WMCCC will host a number of high-level events to present their cities' success stories and experiences at ICLEI's World Congress (World Mayors' Council)
- Rio+20: Maldives to create world's biggest marine reserve (Economic Times)
- Development Banks Announce `Game Changer` for Sustainable Transport at Rio+20 ( Environmental Expert)
- WATCH: Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development:
- WATCH the Conference via LIVE STREAMING and ARCHIVES: United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (United Nations)
- WATCH: US RIO+20 Featured U.S. Center Events (US State Dept. Ustream Channel)
- Factbox: The Rio+20 Development Conference (Reuters):
The conference aims to secure fresh political commitment from world leaders for "sustainable development" that takes into account economic growth, social development and environmental protection.
- VIDEO: 12-year-old whose awesome speech floored 1992 Rio Summit returns to Rio+20 as a mom (Grist)
- Earth may be near tipping point, scientists warn: A group of scientists warns that population growth, climate change and environmental damage are pushing Earth toward calamitous and irreversible changes. (LA Times): [emphasis added]
A group of international scientists is sounding a global alarm, warning that population growth, climate change and environmental destruction are pushing Earth toward calamitous — and irreversible — biological changes.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Outdoor Recreation Industry Jobs Outnumber Those In Oil And Gas Nearly Three to One (Climate Progress)
- Vanguard state: California might just lead the way on GMO labeling (Grist.org):
[A] GMO labeling proposition called "The Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act” has officially qualified for the November ballot in California.
[F]or the first time, voters and not politicians will be the ones to decide. And this has the food industry worried.
- U.S. Interior Needs To Strengthen Fracking Rules: Lawmakers (Reuters):
U.S. Democrats in the House of Representatives urged the Obama administration on Wednesday to expand proposed regulations for fracking for natural gas, saying companies should be required to reveal the chemicals to be used in the process prior to drilling.
- Senate Move to Reverse Mercury Rule Fails (NYT Green)
- CA: Study Predicts More Hot Spells in Southern California (LA Times)
- AZ: Asarco, Citing DOJ Probe of EPA, Wants Settlement Voided (Reuters):
An Arizona mining company has asked a federal court to void a $220 million settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency, saying it found the Justice Department was conducting an criminal investigation of the agency over the case.
- The farm bill passes the Senate — and it’s not all bad news (Grist.org):
The version that passed the Senate today nearly two-to-one is a mixed bag — with a few bright spots. It leaves sugar subsidies in place, while revamping assistance to farmers in a way that benefits Big Ag. Food stamps (now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) took a hit, but it could have been worse.
- Canada's New Budget 'Guts' Environmental Protections (Environmental News Service)
- Louisiana Community Challeges EPA Over Weak Protections, Injustice (Huffington Post Green)
- Waste Expert: ‘It’s Madness’ That Waste Isn’t A Bigger International Priority (Climate Progress):
The World Bank issued a report on urban waste in March, finding that waste is cities around the world would grow by 100 percent by 2025. However, developing countries would face the greatest burden — with five-fold cost increases expected.
- The Great German Energy Experiment (MIT Technology Review):
Germany has decided to pursue ambitious greenhouse-gas reductions—while closing down its nuclear plants. Can a heavily industrialized country power its economy with wind turbines and solar panels? [Yes.]
- Researchers say Earthquakes Would Let Stored CO2 Escape: A study by Stanford researchers says seismic risks could undermine large-scale carbon capture. (MIT Technology Review):
Zoback says the risks associated with such quakes can be managed through careful site selection, but large-scale CCS could be more problematic. "You have to be far more restrictive" when choosing a carbon dioxide repository, he explains, since the task is to "keep a buoyant fluid in place for hundreds to thousands of years."
- Global warming's evil twin threatens West Coast fishing grounds (CS Monitor):
Within the next few decades, ocean acidification – an effect of global warming – could leave sea creatures along the West Coast unable to maintain their protective shells, according to a new study.
- Essential Climate Science Findings:
- Skeptical Science: Get the FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Arguments
- Report: Humans near tipping point that could dramatically change Earth (CS Monitor):
Human activity is affecting Earth in many ways, but a new study suggests that continued population growth and its impact on climate and ecology could trigger a more profound chain reaction of effects within little more than a decade.
- 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.
- 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."
- Greenpeace's solar ad gets cloudy response from billboard company (Brandon Sun) [emphasis added]:
READER COMMENTS ON
"'Green News Report' - June 21, 2012"
(3 Responses so far...)
Hey guys, some good news if used properly.
The NREL (National Renewable Energy Lab) just finished a study sponsored by the Department of Energy which says:
Renewable electricity generation from technologies that are commercially available today, in combination with a more flexible electric system, is more than adequate to supply 80% of total U.S. electricity generation in 2050 while meeting electricity demand on an hourly basis in every region of the country.
(A Methanol Economy Way, under "UPDATE"). If we go beyond the "tipping point" it is not because there are no other ways.
We can do this!
Thanks, Dredd! Yes, I saw that and meant to include it on today's Green News Extra...
So thanks for doing it for me!
Another good decision concerning regulation of greenhouse gases. The Federal Court of Appeals For The District of Columbia has upheld the EPA regulations on carbon dioxide emissions (COALITION FOR RESPONSIBLE REGULATION, INC. v. EPA).