IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Food v. Fuel in fight over corn ethanol, as the nation's record drought continues; Massive power blackouts in India; Germany breaks another world solar record (we don't); PLUS: CLIMATE SCIENCE BOMBSHELL: Prominent, Koch Brothers-funded skeptic discovers global warming is real...and man-made ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Breaking: judge tosses new EPA mining rules; WV: Mountaintop removal coal mining has harmed 22% of streams; WI: New Enbridge pipeline spill complicates proposed pipeline; Drought woes impacting oil & gas industry; Romney wants wind energy tax credits to expire (but not oil subsidies!); Pacific Coral Triangle at risk; Study: US storms are bigger; Make way for more 'grolar' and 'pizzly' bears ... PLUS: Is this your new electric car?: GE announces electric motor breakthrough ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- INDIA's Massive Knockout Blackouts:
- VIDEO: India blackout leaves 300 million without power (Sydney Morning Herald)
- India hit by second, even larger power outage (CNN India):
Observers say the crisis has exposed the need for India to update its infrastructure to meet the power needs of businesses and the country's growing population.
- India: 2nd day of black-outs leaves nearly 10% of humanity without power (Grist):
This is not a repeat from yesterday. It is worse.
For the second day in a row, power consumption in India vastly exceeded available supply, due in part to high temperatures. The result: grid failure that first struck the northern part of the country — which had the same issue yesterday — then, the eastern.
- Germany: New World Renewable Record:
- German renewables output hits record high in H1 (Reuters):
Germany produced 67.9 billion kilowatt hours of renewable energy in the first half of 2012, a record high and an increase of 19.5 percent from the same period last year, industry figures showed on Thursday. Renewables now account for 25 percent of energy production, up from 21 percent last year, the country's energy industry association (BDEW) said in a statement that reinforced Germany's position as a leader in green technology.
- Interior Names Solar 'Hot Spots' Out West (NYT Green):
After more than two years of study and public comment, the Interior Department on Tuesday identified 17 sites on 285,000 acres of public land across six Southwestern states as prime spots for development of solar energy.
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Solar Has The Most Potential Of Any Renewable Energy Source (Climate Progress)
- NREL to issue report Friday examining 80% renewable generation by 2050 (Platts)
- Cattle vs. Cars in Corn Ethanol Battle:
- VIDEO: 'Colbert Report' explains how corn shortage will affect other foods (Mother Nature Network):
- US farmers urge Obama administration to suspend ethanol quota amid drought (Guardian UK):
EPA's requirements for corn ethanol will drive food prices even higher after an already distressed harvest, growers warn
In the latest move, the country's meat, dairy and poultry producers called on the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend this year's quotas for corn ethanol production.
- Livestock groups seek drought relief with ethanol waiver (Reuters)
- How The Drought Is Changing Business (USA Today)
- Researcher: Major Drought Means Smaller ‘Dead Zone’ of Oxygen-Depleted Water in Gulf of Mexico (AP)
- MAP: US Drought Monitor (US Drought Monitor)
- USDA Sec. Vilsack's Climate Self-Censorship Draws Outrage From American Farmers (Climate Progress)
- Severe Drought Seen as Driving Cost of Food Up (NY Times)
- The world is closer to a food crisis than most people realise (Guardian UK)
- UPDATE: Without Carbon Controls, We Face Many More Dust Bowls; 2002-2004 Western Drought Was Worst In 800 Years (Climate Progress)
- Climate Science BOMBSHELL: Prominent Skeptic Finds 'Global Warming is Real':
- VIDEO: Skeptical Scientist Says Climate Change is Real and Caused By Humans
(The Rachel Maddow Show):
- The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic (Dr. Richard Muller Op-ed, NY Times):
CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.
How definite is the attribution to humans? The carbon dioxide curve gives a better match than anything else we’ve tried. Its magnitude is consistent with the calculated greenhouse effect — extra warming from trapped heat radiation. These facts don’t prove causality and they shouldn’t end skepticism, but they raise the bar: to be considered seriously, an alternative explanation must match the data at least as well as carbon dioxide does.
- Bombshell: Koch-Funded Study Finds ‘Global Warming Is Real’, ‘On The High End’ And ‘Essentially All’ Due To Carbon Pollution (Climate Progress)
- 250 YEARS OF GLOBAL WARMING: Berkeley Earth Releases New Analysis [pdf] (Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature press release):
According to a new Berkeley Earth study released today, the average temperature of the Earth's land has risen by 1.5 degrees C over the past 250 years.
- Read it: Analysis of land-surface records going back 250 years (Berkeley Earth.org):
Berkeley Earth has just released analysis of land-surface temperature records going back 250 years, about 100 years further than previous studies. The analysis shows that global warming is real, and the best explanation of the temperature trend is a combination of volcanoes and CO2.
- Climate change study forces sceptical scientists to change minds: Earth's land shown to have warmed by 1.5C over past 250 years, with humans being almost entirely responsible (Guardian UK)
- Climate Change Denial Industry Turns on Former Skeptic (He's a SPY!):
- Richard Muller, covert agent for the climate conspiracy: the “sceptic” response to Muller’s BEST paper (Watching the Deniers Blog) [emphasis added]:
It's Muller vs. Watts!
Monckton has posted his own take on Muller’s research ... and sees the entire episode – surprise! – as a conspiracy:
He was posing, I said, as a skeptical scientist; his results would broadly confirm the pre-existing temperature series; when his research ended, he would declare himself to have been converted from scepticism to the belief that merely because the world had warmed the warming must be our fault; and publication of his results would be exploited as a triumphant and final confirmation of the “global warming” orthodoxy.
- Are climate sceptics more likely to be conspiracy theorists?: New research finds that sceptics also tend to support conspiracy theories such as the moon landing being faked (Guardian UK)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Breaking news: EPA mining guidance thrown out (Coal Tattoo, WV Gazette):
Just in from U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia: Judge Reggie B. Walton has thrown out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s water quality guidance for coal mining in Appalachia, a central part of the Obama administration’s crackdown on mountaintop removal.
- COAL; Mining May Have Harmed 22% Of Streams In Southern West Virginia (Chemical & Engineering News):
Decades of mountaintop-removal mining may have harmed aquatic life along more than 1,700 miles of streams in southern West Virginia, according to new research.
- Enbridge oil spill in Wisconsin raises new concerns about proposed pipeline (Vancouver Sun):
Critics of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline are pointing to a new Enbridge oil spill of roughly 1,200 barrels in Wisconsin as another sign that a new conduit for Albertan bitumen is too risky for British Columbia.
- 20 Arrested at Historic Shutdown of Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Site (EcoWatch)
- Water Woes Impacting Oil & Gas Production in US: (E & E Newswire):
"How much can we really afford to divert for this purpose in a year? That's a number I think state and regulatory agencies need to work hard to come up with," said Jason Bates, spokesman for Colorado-based Western Resource Advocates. "We're sort of flying blind here, and that's not safe for anyone."
- Romney campaign: Let wind energy credit die this year [but not oil subsidies!] (The Hill's E2 Wire):
Mitt Romney’s campaign said Monday that he wants longstanding tax credits that help finance wind energy projects to expire at year’s end, providing a stark political contrast with President Obama, who is pushing Congress to renew the incentive.
- Pacific Coral Triangle 'at risk of collapse' (SciDev.net):
The Coral Triangle, a roughly triangular marine zone in the Indo-Pacific region that is considered to have the world's richest concentration of marine biodiversity, is facing potential ecological collapse due to heavy pressure inflicted by human activities, according to a new report.
- Storms are bigger, wetter, and more frequent than 60 years ago (Grist):
According to a new analysis by [Environment America], extreme downpours (rain or snow) now occur 30 percent more often than they did in 1948.
- Does Climate Change Mean More Polar-Grizzly Bear Hybrids? (Mother Jones):
In the wild, climate change is erasing the distance between the two species, too. Brown bears are moving north into polar bear territory, and polar bears are being forced off melting ice to spend more time on land, where they're more likely to encounter brown bears.
- Electric Car Breakthrough: Is This Your Future Hybrid And Electric Car Motor? (Green Car Reports):
GE says the motor has twice the power density of existing designs, theoretically offering twice the acceleration capabilities. It's also 3-5 percent more efficient, an impressive feat considering the efficiency of electric motors is already very high.
- Rise in Weather Extremes Threatens Infrastructure: (NYT Green):
From highways in Texas to nuclear power plants in Illinois, the concrete, steel and sophisticated engineering that undergird the nation's infrastructure are being taxed to worrisome degrees by heat, drought and vicious storms.
- Bill McKibben: Global Warming's Terrifying New Math (Rolling Stone):
The fight, in the end, is about whether the industry will succeed in its fight to keep its special pollution break alive past the point of climate catastrophe, or whether, in the economists' parlance, we'll make them internalize those externalities.
- Must-See Videos: ABC Interviews Climatologist Michael Mann (Climate Progress)
- 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."