IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Hot town, summer in the city --- and in the country, and in the mountains, and on the farms, and in the desert; GOP goes to bat for Monsanto; FDA bans BPA - sort of; Greenland calves new iceberg; PLUS: Australia's new carbon tax FAILS... to cause economic catastrophe ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): GOP Seeks to Kill Black Lung Reform; Tea Party Blocks Pact to Restore a West Coast River; Appeals Court Upholds EPA Air Quality Rule; White House Weakened EPA Soot Proposal; Geo-Engineering Experiment to Trap Carbon Deep in the Ocean; Climate scientists call for 'serious' Keystone XL review; Oil jumps on Mid-East worries; Climategate investigation closed; Smart meters bad for your health? ... PLUS: “You can’t run your SUV on cute. Let’s Go.” ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Hot Town, Summer in the City - and the mountains, on the farms, in the desert...:
- NOAA Scientist: 80 Percent Chance Recent Heat Records Due To Climate Change (Washington Post)
- Graph: 2012 Drought Rivals Dust Bowl (Weather Channel)
- Drought leads to declaration of natural disaster in 26 US states (Guardian UK)
- Most Americans Understand Climate Is Warming And Making Droughts Worse, 77% Say We Should Limit Carbon Pollution (Climate Progress)
- Amid unusually widespread drought, warnings on food prices (CS Monitor)
- It's Official: June 2012 the 4th Warmest June on Record:
- VIDEO: Tri-State Heat Relief After Severe Weather (WNBC New York)
- Severe Drought Reaches 21st-Century High (Weather Channel)
- Dr. Jeff Masters: Tropical update; 4th warmest June on record (Weather Underground)
- Fed agency: June fourth hottest on record worldwide (The Hill's E2 Wire)
- June 2012 global temps the 4th-warmest ever (Summit County Citizens Voice):
June was the 2nd consecutive month with record global land surface temperatures. The last time June temperatures were below average was in 1976.
In the Northern Hemisphere, it was the third month in a row with record-setting heat over land, with most areas seeing temperatures running well above average. Only northern and western Europe, and the northwestern United States were cooler than average.
- New Glacier Calves Off Melting Greenland:
- Greenland Glacier Loses Large Mass of Ice: (Washington Post):
A chunk of ice twice the size of Manhattan has parted from Greenland's Petermann glacier, a break researchers at the University of Delaware and Canadian Ice Service attributed to warmer ocean temperatures.
- Greenland's Petermann Glacier Calves ANOTHER Massive Iceberg (Climate Progress)
- GOP Goes to Bat for Monsanto:
- Stand-Off Looms Over US Plans To Cut GMO Crop Oversight (Reuters):
Efforts to write benefits for biotech seed companies into US legislation, including the new Farm Bill, are sparking a backlash from groups that say the multiple measures would severely limit US oversight of genetically modified crops.
- Heat Waves Complicate US Energy Generation:
- So, How Hot Was It? (NYT Green) [emphasis added]:
It was so hot last week, a twin-unit nuclear plant in northeastern Illinois had to get special permission to continue operating after the temperature of the water in its cooling pond rose to 102 degrees.
Asked whether he viewed Braidwood’s difficulties as a byproduct of global warming, Mr. Nesbit said: “I’m not a climatologist. But clearly the calculations when the plant was first operated in 1986 are not what is sufficient today, not all the time.”
- Heat and Drought Pose Risks for Nuclear Power Plants (Climate Central):
Compared to coal and natural gas, nuclear power plants offer a significant advantage when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions — they don't emit any. However, in an ironic twist, it seems that climate change is increasingly causing problems for operators of nuclear plants.
- Electricity Generation "Burning" Rivers of Drought-Scorched Southeast: New report reckons the water cost of electricity generation (Scientific American)
- FDA Bans BPA --- Sort Of:
- Bisphenol A Now Illegal In American Baby Bottles and Sippy Cups, No Thanks to FDA (Treehugger) [emphasis added]:
Secondly, the FDA didn't ban it because they don't like the stuff, but because the biggest supporters and defenders of BPA, the American Chemistry Council asked for it!
- FDA says the chemical BPA is no longer allowed in baby bottles (LA Times): [emphasis added]
The U.S. chemical industry's chief association, the American Chemistry Council, had asked the Food and Drug Administration to phase out rules allowing BPA in those products in October, after determining that all manufacturers of bottles and sippy cups had already abandoned the chemical because of safety concerns.
- FDA Bans BPA in Baby Bottles, Cups: (Science News) [emphasis added]:
From now on, U.S. manufacturers may no longer produce polycarbonate baby bottles and sippy cups (for toddlers) if the clear plastic had been manufactured from bisphenol A, a hormone-mimicking compound. Long-awaited, the announcement is anything but a bold gesture. The Obama administration decided to lock this barn door after the cow had died.
- Bisphenol A: How Wal-Mart Became the New FDA (Treehugger, 7/21/2008)
- Australia's New Carbon Tax FAILS...to Cause Economic Catastrophe:
- Controversial carbon tax takes effect (ABC Australia):
Both sides of politics have ramped up public pressure over the carbon tax as one of the most divisive pieces of government policy in recent times officially begins. From today, just under 300 businesses will be made to pay $23 for for every tonne of pollution they produce.
- Watchdog hit with 630 carbon tax complaints (ABC Australia)
- Brumby's boss quits over carbon tax letter (ABC Australia)
- Australia: Carbon Tax Facts:
- Factbox: Carbon taxes around the world (World News Australia)
- Australians warming to carbon tax: Gillard (The Australian)
- New Australian Carbon Tax Meets with Protests (Voice of America)
- Support for carbon tax dives as politicians brawl (ABC Australia)
- What impact has the carbon tax had on power prices? (Climate Spectator)
- Grocery prices unchanged under carbon tax (ABC Australia)
- VIDEO: Australian minister Craig Emerson sings praises of carbon tax (Guardian UK):
The trade minister, Labor's Craig Emerson, attempts to ridicule opposition claims that communities such as the South Australian mining town of Whyalla would be wiped off the map by the country's new carbon tax. A 30% tax on mining companies' profits was introduced on 1 July
View more videos at: http://nbcnewyork.com.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- GOP Seeks to Kill Black Lung Reform: (iWatch News, Ctr for Public Integrity):
House Republicans inserted language in a budget bill unveiled Tuesday that would kill a proposed rule to protect coal miners from dust that causes black lung.
- Tea Party Blocks Pact to Restore a West Coast River (NY Times):
In February 2010, after five years of confidential negotiation, an unlikely alliance of American Indian tribes, environmentalists, farmers, fishermen, governors and the federal government signed the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement.
The Tea Party Patriots became a local political force, eventually paralyzing the high-powered deal by defeating many of the local officials who supported it, including all three Klamath County commissioners, and sending a signal to Congress that it lacks enough grass-roots support.
- Must-See Videos: ABC Interviews Climatologist Michael Mann (Climate Progress)
- Appeals Court Upholds EPA Air Quality Rule: (Reuters):
A federal appeals court upheld a new Environmental Protection Agency rule to limit nitrogen dioxide emissions near major roadways, in a defeat for the oil industry, which said the rule went beyond what was necessary to protect public health.
- White House Weakened EPA Soot Proposal: (Washington Post):
The White House recently modified an Environmental Protection Agency proposal to limit soot emissions, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post, inviting public comment on a slightly weaker standard than the agency had originally sought.
- The Bicycle Revolution in Paris, Five Years Later (InterPress News Agency):
“Five years ago, I could not have imagined that Vélib’ would have such good results,” Delanoë told Tierramérica *. “My goal was to try out a different policy, to help Parisians recover their independence and freedom in transportation, and at the same time, to reduce air pollution.”
- Geo-Engineering: A Way to Trap Carbon Deep in the Ocean: (NY Times):
By adding iron to the ocean, the researchers induced a massive algal bloom. A significant portion died and sank to the ocean floor, carrying its sequestered carbon along with it to the depths. The finding contributes to science’s understanding of the global carbon cycle and has implications for potential ways of mitigating rising levels of carbon dioxide, which contributes to climate change.
- Climate scientists want ‘serious’ State Dept. review of oil sands emissions (The Hill's E2 Wire):
Ten widely cited climate scientists say the State Department’s review of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline should include a “serious” evaluation of how enabling Canadian oil sands development will affect the planet’s climate.
- Duke Pins CEO Swap on Closed Plant: Troubled Nuclear Site to in Defending Abrupt Ouster of Chief Executive (Wall St. Journal)
- Oil jumps on Middle East worries, economic hopes (Reuters)
- In North Dakota, the gritty side of an oil boom (Washington Post):
“I don’t like what it’s done to our communities and lifestyle,” he said. “We had a good life, and now it’s gone forever, or at least for my lifetime.”
Across this stretch of western North Dakota, an oil boom is in full swing, kicking up dust and controversy among longtime residents.
- Seasonal Firefighters Win Battle for Government Health Insurance: (LA Times):
For the first time, more than 8,000 temporary wilderness firefighters --- the men and women who battle some of the nation's most devastating fires --- will be eligible to receive federal health insurance, the White House said Tuesday.
- Climategate Investigation Closed--With No Closure (Mother Jones)
- Gulf Oil Spill Restoration Should Include Land Purchases: (AP):
More than two years after the catastrophic BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, environmental groups say billions of dollars the British oil giant is expected to spend on restoration should go toward buying tens of thousands of acres of coastal land for conservation, rebuilding Louisiana's eroding wetlands and creating nearly 200 miles of oyster reefs.
- US Reaches Settlement With Sierra Pacific Over CA Wildfire: (McClatchy Newspapers):
Predictably, the clash of the titans ended loudly Tuesday. With the U.S. attorney's office in Sacramento and lumber giant Sierra Pacific Industries Inc. trotting out competing versions of a settlement's meaning, their epic legal match over who started the Moonlight fire and who should pay for the damages is closed.
- Report: Smart Meters Bad For Your Health: (Orange Co. Register):
Does the radio frequency electromagnetic radiation emitted by utility company 'smart meters' cause health problems in some individuals? The answers may not be as clear as utilities often claim.
- Whose Side is the American Farm Bureau On? (The Nation):
The American Farm Bureau, with its 6 million 'member families' and carefully cultivated grassroots image, talks a good game. In the pitched battle over US farm policy--with agribusiness giants on one side, and small family farmers, organic and local food advocates and environmentalists on the other--the Farm Bureau positions itself as the voice of the farmer.
- Shell Parody Site: ArcticReady.com (ArcticReady.com):
That's why we at Shell are committed to not only recognize the challenges that climate change brings, but to take advantage of its tremendous opportunities. And what's the biggest opportunity we've got today? The melting Arctic.
- Fake Shell advertisements spreading on the web (Fuel Fix) [emphasis added]:
Greenpeace mounted a satirical billboard on the highway near Shell’s Houston headquarters this morning. The billboard shows polar bears and proclaims: “You can’t run your SUV on cute. Let’s Go.”
The spoof is one of a handful of fake “Let’s Go! Arctic” advertisements on the ArcticReady.com protest website that drilling foes launched earlier this year. The website, which is modeled to look like an authentic Shell site and created by Greenpeace and the Yes Lab, includes an iceberg-zapping game and more spoof ads.
- 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."