IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Romney's Veep Ryan no friend of clean energy; Obama announces emergency assistance for drought-stricken farmers; New drilling plans for Alaska's Nat'l Petroleum Reserve - now with Improved Environmental Protection!; PLUS: Shell Oil crashes into the Iceberg of Irony in the Arctic... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Climate change will bring more severe US droughts; Methane leaks from fracking worse than thought; As coal sinks, renewables soar; CA gov smacks down climate deniers with new website; Drought looms in India ... PLUS: Mutant butterflies found in Fukushima ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VP Candidate Ryan's Record on Clean Energy, Environment:
- VIDEO: OOPS: Romney Accidentally Introduces Ryan As ‘The Next President Of The United States’ (Think Progress):
- Meet Paul Ryan: Climate Denier, Conspiracy Theorist, Koch Acolyte (Climate Progress):
Paul Ryan Promoted Unfounded Conspiracy Theories About Climate Scientists...Voted To Eliminate EPA Limits On Greenhouse Pollution...Voted To Eliminate ARPA-E...Paul Ryan Budget Kept Big Oil Subsidies And Slashed Clean Energy Investment...[and more]
- Candidates split over extending tax credit for wind energy producers (Washington Post)
- While Calling Stimulus ‘Wasteful,’ Paul Ryan Secured Millions Of Dollars In Grants For Clean Energy (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
According to documents obtained by the Boston Globe, Rep. Ryan (R-WI) lobbied the Department of Energy for tens of millions of dollars in stimulus grants for Wisconsin energy initiatives at least four times — even while calling the stimulus a “wasteful spending spree.”
- Flashback: Paul Ryan’s Big Oil Budget Halts Clean Energy Innovation (Climate Progress)
- 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)
- Obama Announces Drought Relief for US Farmers:
- Obama Announces Meat Purchase to Help Farmers Through Drought (Bloomberg News):
The purchase of as much as $100 million of pork, $50 million of chicken, and $10 million each of lamb and catfish come on top of $30 million in assistance announced last week. Farmers and ranchers are struggling with the worst combination of heat and dryness since the 1950s, the administration said.
"We'll freeze it for later --- but we've got a lot of freezers," Obama told supporters in Council Bluffs as he kicked off a three-day visit to Iowa, a swing state that is also the country's leading producer of pork, soybeans, corn and ethanol. "That will help ranchers, you know, who are going through tough times right now."
- VIDEO: Pres. Obama: Immediate Drought Aid for Farmers (C-SPAN.org):
- July: Hottest. Month. Ever. (AP):
"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.
- U.S. Busts Heat Record from Dust Bowl Days (Reuters)
- House GOP Blocks Farm Bill, Drought Relief:
- Enduring Drought, Farmers Draw the Line at Congress (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
While the House Agriculture Committee signed off on a measure, its substantial cuts to food programs alienated too many Democrats. And its cuts to those programs, as well as to some forms of farm aid, were not enough to appease the chamber’s most conservative members.
Republican leaders were unable to muster enough support for even a one-year extension of the law and instead passed a short-term drought-relief measure, the first time the House has failed to bring its own farm bill to the floor. The Senate, which had passed its own version by a healthy bipartisan margin, declined to take up the short-term House bill, and Congress left town in a stalemate.
- New Drilling Plan for Alaska's Nat'l Petroleum Reserve:
- DOI: Salazar Outlines Proposed Plan for Additional Development, Wildlife Protection in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (DOI press release):
After receiving more than 400,000 public comments and following two days of meetings and visits with North Slope leaders, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today outlined a proposed plan that will allow for additional access for oil and gas development in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A) while also protecting world-class caribou herds, migratory bird habitat, uplands, and sensitive coastal resources that are central to the culture and subsistence lifestyle of Alaska Natives and our nation’s conservation heritage.
- Dept. of Interior proposes new development, protections in Arctic (Reuters):
The Department of Interior on Monday proposed a mixture of new oil and gas development and environmental protections in a vast swathe of Arctic land.
It also allows for a pipeline to cross the reserve - even in designated protected areas - should commercial quantities of oil be discovered in offshore areas of the Chukchi Sea, Salazar said. Oil from the Chukchi would have to be transported overland to the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, he said. No pipeline route is selected, and details about a pipeline would be subject to future analysis, he said.
- Sen. Murkowski criticizes petroleum reserve plan (AP):
Republican Lisa Murkowski said the Obama administration picked the most restrictive management plan possible for the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, an area created by President Warren Harding in 1923 that covers 23 million acres, roughly the size of Indiana.
Salazar said the proposal balances wildlife protection, villagers' subsistence requirements and the nation's need for additional petroleum.
- VIDEO: Salazar Proposes Equal NPR-A Split for Development, Wilderness (KTUU Anchorage, AK)
- CBO Report: GOP Drilling Plan Will Generate Far Less Revenue Than Repealing Oil Tax Breaks (Think Progress)
- Shell Oil's Arctic Adventure Crashes the Iceberg of Irony:
- Troubled Arctic Challenger cited for small illegal discharges (LA Times):
[T]he discharges signal Shell Exploration’s continuing problems with the vessel, the Arctic Challenger, whose trouble-plagued retrofit in Bellingham, Wash., has delayed the launch of the first major offshore oil drilling in the U.S. Arctic in 20 years.
- Salazar lays Arctic drilling delay at Shell’s feet (The Hill's E2 Wire)
- 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.
- Caution Vs. Recklessness In The Arctic: What We Can Learn From The Fishing Industry (Climate Progress):
As Big Oil prepares to exploit the emerging resources and access, the fishing industry has chosen to take a very different approach—one the oil companies should heed. In August 2009 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration formally approved a proposal by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to ban all fishing activity in the U.S. Arctic except subsistence fishing by Alaska Natives.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Climate models that predict more droughts win further scientific support (Washington Post):
The United States will suffer a series of severe droughts in the next two decades, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. Moreover, global warming will play an increasingly important role in their abundance and severity, claims Aiguo Dai, the study’s author.
- Mutant Butterflies: 'Severe abnormalities' found in Fukushima butterflies (BBC):
Exposure to radioactive material released into the environment has caused mutations in butterflies found in Japan, a study suggests.
- Methane's profile on the rise as gas raises global warming worries (NJ Star-Ledger):
Yet methane hasn’t gotten anywhere near the same attention as carbon dioxide from governments and businesses aiming to stop climate change without hindering economies. That is changing now as methane makes headlines because of new numbers showing more leakage than previously thought from natural gas wells and pipelines. Some critics say natural gas is a worse climate-change polluter than coal. That’s hotly disputed by energy companies.
- As Coal Sinks, Renewables Soar: Emissions Report Shows Start Of Clean Energy Transition (Think Progress) [emphasis added]:
For the electric power industry, the signs of change are in the air. Power plants are emitting less pollution than in prior years, and renewable power is a bigger part of the energy mix than ever before. ... The industry is in the midst of a real transition, and a new Ceres report shows that it’s happening even faster than experts predicted.
- CA: Gov. Jerry Brown Takes Aim at Climate Change Deniers (KCET Los Angeles) [emphasis added]:
[T]oday at the Tahoe Summit California Governor Jerry Brown unveiled a new website ... that takes on climate denialists in no uncertain terms.
"[A]fter decades of pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, humanity is getting dangerously close to the point of no return," said Governor Brown. "Those who still deny global warming's existence should wake up and honestly face the facts."
- As drought looms in India, fear for its cattle (Reuters):
Armed with the latest monsoon rainfall data, weather experts finally conceded this month that India is facing a drought, confirming what millions of livestock farmers around the country had known for weeks.
...Just over halfway through this season, the rains are 17 percent below normal, and the weather office has forecast that the El Nino weather pattern will bring more disappointment in the few weeks that remain.
- 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'.
- 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)
- 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)
- 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."