IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Baby, it's HOT outside: the hottest 12 months on record; "Corn growers in Hell," melting runways, and more impacts of extreme weather; Better late than never: More Americans believe in science again (But not ABC's George Will!); PLUS: ExxonMobil CEO admits climate change --- but, conveniently, he's not concerned about it ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Conservation groups sue over Arctic spill plans; BP Gulf Oil Spill has lasting impact; Building costs rise at US nuclear sites; Canada's scientists revolting; UK: Freak storms, flash floods, record rain; GA lawmakers overturn fracking veto by 1 accidental vote; Ocean acidity major threat to coral reefs; Copper pollution hurts salmon ... PLUS: What happens when we can't stop 10 degree warming? ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Must-See Video Compilation Of Extreme Weather: ‘Welcome To The Rest Of Our Lives’ (Peter Sinclair, Climate Crock of the Week):
- George Will Mocks Deadly Record Heat Wave:
- VIDEO: Heat Wave Brings Blast Of Hot Air From George Will And Other Climate Change Deniers (Burnt Orange Report)
- Why George Will Is Wrong About Weather And Climate (Media Matters.org):
"Weather is not climate" is a bad mantra, for the same reason that "Did climate change cause the heat wave?" is a bad question. In reality, weather is the data that, over time, reveal the climate. When someone asks if climate change caused a weather event, they are wrongly implying that the climate is an agent acting on a separate subject. But there are no weather events that are taking place outside the context of a changing climate, and as German climatologists Dim Coumou and Stefan Rahmstorf have said, "Attribution is not a 'yes or no' issue as the media might prefer. It's an issue of probability."
- Baby It's HOT Outside: Hottest 12 Months on Record for U.S.:
- U.S. heat over the past 13 months: a one in 1.6 million event (Dr. Jeff Masters, Weather Underground):
Each of the 13 months from June 2011 through June 2012 ranked among the warmest third of their historical distribution for the first time in the 1895 - present record. According to NCDC, the odds of this occurring randomly during any particular month are 1 in 1,594,323. Thus, we should only see one more 13-month period so warm between now and 124,652 AD...
[Updated:] It has been pointed out to me that the calculation of a 1 in 1.6 million chance of occurrence (based on taking the number 1/3 and raising it to the 13th power) would be true only if each month had no correlation to the next month. Since weather patterns tend to persist, they are not truly random from one month to the next. Thus, the odds of such an event occurring are greater than 1 in 1.6 million--but are still very rare. I appreciate hearing from those of you who wrote to point out a correction was needed.
- U.S. Sees Hottest 12 Months And Hottest Half Year On Record: NOAA Calls Record Heat A One-In-1.6-Million Event (Climate Progress)
- El Nino May Be On the Way, Altering Weather Patterns (Climate Central)
- U.S. heat over the past 13 months: a one in 1.6 million event (Dr. Jeff Masters, Weather Underground):
- Connecting the Dots of Climate Change, Extreme Weather: Americans Get It, Most of US Media Ignores It:
- VIDEO: Dr. Kevin Trenberth: What's Causing Unusually Hot Temperatures in U.S.? (PBS NewsHour):
- VIDEO: MSNBC's Hayes: Peddling "A Lot Of Wrong Information Seems To Be The Business Model Of A Lot Of Conservative Media" (Media Matters)
- Weird weather adds to ranks of global warming believers (USA Today):
As the economy slumped, Americans decided climate change wasn't actually happening — and even if it was, it wasn't our fault. And now, after a flurry of wild weather — deadly tornados, floods, droughts, an uncommonly mild winter and recent heat waves — U.S. residents are back to believing that global warming is real. But we're still hesitant to take the blame.
- STUDY: Media Avoid Climate Context In Wildfire Coverage (Media Matters.org):
Only 3 Percent Of Wildfire Coverage Mentioned Long-Term Climate Change Or Global Warming. The major television and print outlets largely ignored climate change in their coverage of wildfires in Colorado, New Mexico and other Western states. All together, only 3 percent of the reports mentioned climate change, including 1.6 percent of television segments and 6 percent of text articles.
- VIDEO: NBC Meteorologist On Record Heat Wave: ‘If We Did Not Have Global Warming, We Wouldn’t See This’ (Climate Progress)
- Corn Growers in Hell, Melting Runways: IMPACTS of Extreme Record Heat Wave:
- U.S. Corn Growers Farming in Hell as Heat Spreads: Commodities (Bloomberg News):
The worst U.S. drought since Ronald Reagan was president is withering the world’s largest corn crop, and the speed of the damage may spur the government to make a record cut in its July estimate for domestic inventories.
- VIDEO: Heat Wave Threatens Corn Crop, Prices (ABC News)
- HEAT WAVE 2012: Road buckling continues, victim cautions drivers (WEAU-TV, Wisconsin)
- US Airways plane gets stuck in ‘soft spot’ on pavement at Reagan National (Washington Post)
- Metro says heat probable cause of Green Line derailment (Washington Post)
- Intense Storms Called a "Derecho" Slam 700 Miles of the US (AccuWeather)
- Midwestern Drought Intensifies: 'I Don't Remember Anytime It Was This Dry, This Early' (Climate Progress)
- Planes, Trains & Automobiles: How Global Warming Could Derail Your Commute (Climate Progress)
- Biologist On The Midwestern Drought: ‘It’s Like Farming In Hell’ (Climate Progress)
- ExxonMobil CEO Acknowledges Climate Change, Doesn't Care:
- Exxon CEO calls climate change engineering problem (Reuters) [emphasis added]:
Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday that efforts to address climate change should focus on engineering methods to adapt to shifting weather patterns and rising sea levels rather than trying to eliminate use of fossil fuels.
- Inside The Mind Of Rex Tillerson (Forbes)
- VIDEO: ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, "The New North American Energy Paradigm: Reshaping the Future" (Council on Foreign Relations)
- TRANSCRIPT: ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, "The New North American Energy Paradigm: Reshaping the Future" (Council on Foreign Relations) [emphasis added]:
[B]ecause we have a society that by and large is illiterate in these areas, science, math and engineering, what we do is a mystery to them and they find it scary. And because of that, it creates easy opportunities for opponents of development, activist organizations, to manufacture fear.
So our approach is we do look at the range of the outcomes and try and understand the consequences of that, and clearly there's going to be an impact. So I'm not disputing that increasing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere is going to have an impact. It'll have a warming impact. The --- how large it is is what is very hard for anyone to predict. And depending on how large it is, then projects how dire the consequences are.
We have spent our entire existence adapting, OK? So we will adapt to this. Changes to weather patterns that move crop production areas around --- we'll adapt to that. It's an engineering problem, and it has engineering solutions. And so I don't --- the fear factor that people want to throw out there to say we just have to stop this, I do not accept.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Conservation groups sue over Arctic spill plans (AP):
In a statement ahead of the lawsuit's filing, the groups said the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement "rubber-stamped" oil spill response plans "that rely on unbelievable assumptions, include equipment that has never been tested in Arctic conditions, and ignore the very real possibility that a spill could continue through the winter."
- Gulf oil spill had dramatic impact on microscopic life, study suggests (Mobile, AL Press-Register):
New research by an Auburn University professor and other scientists, though, suggests that significant changes had taken place in creatures too small to be seen by the naked eye. Those changes, professor Ken Halanych said, bear further study and could have big impacts that might not become apparent for years.
- AP IMPACT: Building costs rise at US nuclear sites (AP):
Licensing delay charges, soaring construction expenses and installation glitches as mundane as misshapen metal bars have driven up the costs of three plants in Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina, from hundreds of millions to as much as $2 billion, according to an Associated Press analysis of public records and regulatory filings.
- Canada's PM Stephen Harper faces revolt by scientists: Scientists to march through Ottawa in white lab coats in protest at cuts to research and environmental damage (Guardian UK)
- As Mine Protections Fail, Black Lung Cases Surge (NPR):
A joint investigation by NPR and the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) has found that ... Incidence of [black lung] disease that steals the breath of coal miners doubled in the last decade, according to data analyzed by epidemiologist Scott Laney at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
- UK: Freak storms, flash floods, record rain – and there's more to come (Guardian UK):
Britain's miserable summer likely to continue for at least 10 days as forecasters put blame on the jet stream.
- Lawmaker Hits Wrong Button, Approves N.C. Fracking; GOP Refuses Do-Over (Wall St. Journal)
- Apple Walks Away from Green Certification (Treehugger):
By leaving the program, the Apple computers and monitors can no longer be purchased by the federal government and its agencies, which require that 95 percent of the electronics purchased be EPEAT certified.
"They said their design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements,” Robert Frisbee, CEO of EPEAT said.
- Scientist: Ocean acidity major threat to coral reefs (USA Today) [emphasis added]:
The speed by which the oceans' acid levels has risen caught scientists off-guard, with the problem now considered to be climate change's "equally evil twin," National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco told the Associated Press.
- Copper Makes Salmon An Easy Meal For Predators: Study (International Business News):
Copper leaching into a salmon's habitat makes the fish more vulnerable to predators, according to new research from Washington State University.
- Cooling a Warming Planet: A Global Air Conditioning Surge (Yale 360)
- We’re Already Topping Dust Bowl Temperatures — Imagine What’ll Happen If We Fail To Stop 10°F Warming (Climate Progress):
Why is this bad news? Because the Earth has warmed only a bit more than 1°F since the catastrophic Dust Bowl — and we are poised to warm an astounding 9-11°F this century if we stay anywhere near our current greenhouse gas emissions path.
- Goodbye to Mountain Forests? (NYT Green) [emphasis added]:
- 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)
- Thinking Big: NREL Study Shows 80 Percent Renewables Possible By 2050 (Climate Progress)
- 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."