IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: It's official: July 2012 hottest month ever recorded in the US; Romney running against the wind (energy industry); Deadly monsoons in Asia; Major plastics spill in Hong Kong; PLUS: Bill Clinton offers good news on the path to clean energy at the National Clean Energy Summit ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): NRC freezes nuke licensing decisions over waste storage problems; World's groundwater supplies over-exploited; Geothermal energy industry stalls in CA; Dr. Michael Mann debunks Richard Muller (again!); Chevron refinery damage may take months to repair; OR teens take global warming to OR Supreme Court; Forest Service changes policy on wildfires; Arctic sea ice impacting Shell's drilling plans ... PLUS: Cold War post-nuke apocalypse?: The 1980s-era Soviet plan to wage germ warfare on the US ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- It's Official: July 2012 Breaking Records All Over:
- July: Hottest. Month. Ever. (AP):
Average temperature breaks a mark set in 1936
“It’s a pretty significant increase over the last record,” said climate scientist Jake Crouch of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C.
Beating Dust Bowl heat: In the past, skeptics of global warming have pointed to the Dust Bowl to argue that recent heat isn’t unprecedented. But Crouch said this shows that the current year “is out and beyond those Dust Bowl years. We’re rivaling and beating them consistently from month to month.”
- U.S. Busts Heat Record from Dust Bowl Days (Reuters)
- New study links current events to climate change (AP):
"This is not some scientific theory. We are now experiencing scientific fact," Hansen told The Associated Press in an interview.
- Global Warming: An Exclusive Look at James Hansen's Scary New Math (TIME):
A new analysis by the NASA climatologist for the first time ties specific weather events to human-induced climate change.
- State of the Climate (NOAA)
- Advocates See Recent Extreme Weather as a 'Teachable Moment (Greenwire)
- Extreme Hot Spells Rising (Science News)
- Deadly Monsoons in Asia, the Philippines:
- More rains add to Philippines flood woes (CNN)
- What's behind major flood disasters throughout Asia? (CNN)
- Flooding brings chaos to Philippine capital (CNN)
- Philippine floods a man-made disaster—experts (AFP)
- VIDEO: Rare Video of Flooding in North Korea (CNN)
- Torrential rains kill at least 19 people in southern Japan (CNN)
- PLASTICS Spill Killing Fish In Hong Kong:
- VIDEO: Hong Kong scrambles to collect spilled 'toxic' pellets (BBC)
- Sinopec pledges help to clear Hong Kong plastic spill (Reuters):
The six containers fell off a freighter on July 23 during Hong Kong's worst typhoon in 13 years, spilling 150-tonnes of pellets into the sea. One container is missing. The Hong Kong government has assured citizens that the white, polypropylene beads are inert and non-toxic in themselves but environmentalists say they can absorb pollutants and poison the food chain.
Volunteers are trying to clear up the beads, which are used in making plastic, from beaches but only a fraction of them has been collected.
Lu said Sinopec would deploy industrial vacuum cleaners to hasten the clean-up.
- Hong Kong government criticized over plastic spill on beaches (Reuters)
- Romney Against Wind Energy, But Doesn't Tell Iowans:
- VIDEO: Obama: Romney 'wants to end' wind tax credits (AP):
- Iowa’s GOP Governor Blasts Romney Campaign On Wind Tax Credits: They Need To ‘Come Out Here To The Real World’ (Climate Progress):
“We think it needs to be continued, not forever, but it does need to be continued for a while and the result is it’s been a very good thing for Iowa in terms of 20% of our energy is now generated by wind. We now have a lot of farmers that receive rent from having wind turbines on their property and we have a lot of jobs associated with it so we think he needs to be educated as to how important this is and I’m hopeful that we can see.. they’re lumping the two together and they need to understand there is a differential… And Senator Grassley is working really hard to get this extended.”
- 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.
- This Is What 37,000 Layoffs In The Wind Industry Looks Like (Climate Progress)
- Romney, Obama digging in on wind credit (The Hill's E2 Wire)
- Obama aide calls wind-tax credit fight ‘huge’ in Colorado (The Hill's E2 Wire)
- Bill Clinton, et al, Promote the Clean Energy Economy at the National Clean Energy Summit:
- National Clean Energy Summit 5.0: The Power of Choice (Clean Energy Project)
- Bill Clinton On Clean Energy Policy: ‘Every Place People Do Things, The Power Of Example Changes Consciousness’ (Climate Progress)
- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar On Renewables: ‘We Can’t Afford To Turn The Clock Of Progress Back To The Past’ (Climate Progress)
- Green energy, politics lead agenda at Vegas summit (AP):
The politics of renewable energy headed the agenda in battleground Nevada on Tuesday, as Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar opened a fifth annual green energy conference with the announcement that a 12-square-mile wind energy farm in rural White Pine County will begin producing electricity.
- Senator Harry Reid Opens Clean Energy Summit With A Bold Speech On Climate Change: ‘We Must Act Today’ (Climate Progress):
In a speech opening up this year’s 5th National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gave one of the most powerful public speeches on climate that any national policymaker has made in years.
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory: Solar Has The Most Potential Of Any Renewable Energy Source (Climate Progress):
A recently released study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, estimates that the technical potential of photovoltaic cells and concentrated solar power (CSP) in the United States is as much as 200,000 Gigawatts, enough to generate about 400,000 TWh of energy annually.
- Defense Dept., Interior seek to speed renewables on military lands (The Hill's E2 Wire)
- ‘Clean Energy Victory Bonds’ Would Spur Alt Energy (DomesticFuel.com)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- NRC Freezes Licensing Decisions To Consider Waste Options (Columbia Univ. Climate Law Blog):
[T]he Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued an official memorandum and order to suspend final licensing decisions on new licenses and on license renewals for nuclear power plants.
- Here's Where Farms Are Sucking The Planet Dry (NPR):
This map is disturbing, once you understand it. It's a new attempt to visualize an old problem — the shrinking of underground water reserves, in most cases because farmers are pumping out water to irrigate their crops.
- Geothermal energy industry stalls in California, officials tell Sacramento summit (Sacramento Bee):
The core of the U.S. geothermal energy industry came to Sacramento this week with a message: California is not paying enough attention to this underground power source.
- Dr. Michael Mann: Fresh Falsehoods from Rich Muller: (Dr. Michael Mann, Penn State Univ.):
THE REALITY: [Muller's] claim is flatly wrong and betrays a disturbing lack of awareness of the published literature (not just the technical literature, but high profile paper in e.g. Nature) for a self-styled 'climate expert'.
- Refinery Damage May Take Months To Repair (SF Chronicle) [emphasis added]:
The damage caused by a fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond will take months to repair and will hobble one of the West Coast's biggest sources of fuel, industry experts said Wednesday. And while panic buying appears to have prompted a jump in wholesale gasoline prices after Monday night's fire, analysts say, the longer-term effect on California drivers may not be as dire as initially feared.
- Forest Service Gets More Aggressive on Small Fires (AP)
- You're Fired: CA Wildlife Commissioner Who Killed Mountain Lion: (Reuters):
The President of the California Fish and Game Commission, who sparked the ire of animal rights groups when he hunted and killed a mountain lion in Idaho in an act prohibited in his home state, was unanimously voted out of his position on Wednesday.
- VIDEO: Oregon teens take global warming to Oregon Supreme Court (KVAL Eugene, OR)
- Sea Ice Choking Off Shell Oil Exploration?: (E & E News):
As Royal Dutch Shell PLC seeks to explore for oil this summer in Alaska's northern waters, the Arctic sea ice is melting at a record pace, breaking the record low-ice levels set in 2007, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The one big exception, however, is the Chukchi Sea, where Shell is hoping to explore for oil this summer.
- Cold War Apocalypse: The Soviet Plan to Wage Germ Warfare on US: (Washington Post):
In the Soviet playbook for all-out war with the United States, the wasting of U.S. cities by nuclear bombs was to be followed by something equally horrifying: waves of plagues to kill any survivors. Soviet scientists spent decades preparing for the second attack, concocting new kinds of biological weapons more lethal than any ever invented.
- IEA Bombshell: Global Warming May Lead To 'Miami Beach In Boston' Situation Unless Urgent Action Is Taken (Climate Progress):
Ambassador Richard H. Jones warned that if energy policies do not adapt, enough carbon dioxide will be being emitted to reach 1,000 parts per million in the atmosphere. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that equates to 6º Celsius increase in temperature by the end of this century. "That's basically Miami Beach in Boston," he said.
- 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."