IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: A Green News Special Report: Mitt Romney's Energy Agenda - oil, oil and even more oil; PLUS: A hurricane of irony threatens the Republican National Convention in Tampa ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below):
Bill Nye: Media must ask candidates about climate change; GOP Rep: mentioning climate change would 'divide America'; India boosts community solar projects; KY coal plant cancels pollution upgrades; TX judge rules Transcanada can seize property for Keystone XL pipeline; Arctic and Antarctic both show rapid ice melt; Corporations spending millions to defeat GMO labeling ... PLUS: UK Science advisor warns climate target 'out the window ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- AUDIO: Limbaugh: Obama Is "Hopeful" Hurricane Will Hit Tampa During GOP Convention : Rush Says Obama Might Send In FEMA To "Make It Look Like A Disaster Area" Before Storm Hits (Media Matters.org)
- Mitt Romney's Energy Plan: Oil Above All:
- VIDEO: Mitt Romney Unveils Energy Plan in Hobbs, NM (C-SPAN.org)
- READ: Mitt Romney Energy Policy 'White Paper' [PDF] (MittRomney.com)
- Romney: "North American Energy independence by 2020" (CNN)
- Romney’s energy plan: How many times can you say ‘oil’? (Grist):
Oil = 154. Climate Change: 0.
- Romney’s energy plan dissected: Putting government to work for Big Oil (Grist) [emphasis added]:
Romney pledges energy independence by 2020. It’s important to note, though, that he doesn’t pledge American (Amercian) energy independence by that date; rather, he proposes North American independence.
There’s a reason that the federal government has a legitimate role in monitoring extraction and resource development: Pollution and impacts don’t stop at state lines. It’s why the EPA is trying to figure out how to regulate cross-state air pollution. Air doesn’t care about borders.
Empower states to control onshore energy development...
Open offshore areas for energy development...
Pursue a North American Energy Partnership...
Ensure accurate assessment of energy resources...
Restore transparency and fairness to permitting and regulation...."Implement measured reforms of environmental statutes and regulations to strengthen environmental protection without destroying jobs, paralyzing industry, or barring the use of resources like coal."
Facilitate private-sector-led development of new energy technologies...
- VIDEO: White House Responds to Romney Energy Plan (White House Press Briefing, C-SPAN.org)
- Analysis: Romney Energy Plan:
- Romney calls for more and speedier oil drilling: Here’s the reaction (Denver Post) [emphasis added]:
“Romney’s plan for big oil doesn’t add up,” said Peter Maysmith, executive director of Colorado Conservation Voters. “Instead of moving Colorado forward to a cleaner energy future, Romney/Ryan plan will yank us back into the beginning of the last century."
- 5 things to know about Mitt Romney’s energy plan (Washington Post):
It’s easy enough to summarize: He wants North America to achieve energy independence by 2020. “North America is the fastest-growing oil and gas producing region in the world,” the plan notes. And Romney wants it to grow even faster.
1) The United States is already shrinking its imports of oil and gas. It’s unclear how much Romney’s plan would accelerate the process...
2) Energy independence will require more than just drilling — it will also depend on fuel-economy standards that Romney has opposed...
2) Energy independence will require more than just drilling — it will also depend on fuel-economy standards that Romney has opposed....
3) Energy independence can’t protect the United States from high oil prices....
4) More drilling could create jobs — though Romney’s claims may be oversold....
5) Romney’s plan gives short shrift to other concerns, particularly global warming....
- Big Oil Buys Gusher: 5 Pro-Oil Planks In Romney Energy Plan (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
1. The Romney-Ryan plan gives the big five oil companies a $2.3 billion tax cut above and beyond existing tax loopholes
- Romney’s Opposition To Wind Tax Credit May Become A Political Liability In Iowa: ‘This Is A Very Big Deal For Us’ (Climate Progress)
- Colorado senators pin layoffs on wind energy tax credit uncertainty (The Hill's E2 Wire)
- VIDEO: T. Boone Pickens Blasts Romney’s Energy Plan: ‘All They Talk About Is Oil’ (Climate Progress)
- Hurricane Irony Tropical Storm Isaac Threatens RNC:
- Tampa "Nightmare Scenario?": Growing risk "Hurricane" Isaac targets Florida (MN Public Radio) [emphasis added]
“If major evacuations are called for, Tampa’s geography makes it almost impossible to get everybody out of town to safer locations. In fact, possible last hour variations in the eventual track of Isaac may make it impossible to tell residents where to evacuate to.”
- GOP Climate Deniers Hold Convention In Tampa, But Mayor Warns He’s ‘Prepared To Call It Off’ If Hurricane Isaac Hits (Climate Progress):
[T]he subject is inevitably going to come up if — as the anniversary of Katrina approaches — we have a hurricane bearing down on a party that in just four years has flipped from running on climate action to running away from climate science,
- Isaac remains disorganized (Dr. Jeff Masters' Wunderblog)
- Latest forecast: Hurricane Isaac 2012 path to menace Florida, Gulf Coast early next week (Clarion Ledger):
Odds are now high that the Hurricane Isaac 2012 path will make a direct hit or a close-brush menace on Florida, before troubling other states along the U.S. Gulf Coast region.
- The Tampa Bay area and climate change: Better pay attention (Tampa Bay Online)
- Tampa "Nightmare Scenario?": Growing risk "Hurricane" Isaac targets Florida (MN Public Radio) [emphasis added]
- Global Warming and Hurricanes:
- Explainer: Hurricanes and Climate Change (Union of Concerned Scientists):
Recent scientific evidence suggests a link between the destructive power (or intensity) of hurricanes and higher ocean temperatures, driven in large part by global warming. With rapid population growth in coastal regions placing many more people and structures in the path of these tropical cyclones there is a much greater risk of casualties, property damage, and financial hardship when these storms make landfall.
- Trenberth: Relating Climate Extremes to Climate Change (Climate Progress):
All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be….
- Study: Can Hurricanes Cause Climate Change? (TIME, 2/24/2010):
Back in the Pliocene era, between 5 million and 3 million years ago, the average global temperature was about 7°F warmer than it is today, yet atmospheric carbon dioxide levels were about the same. If carbon dioxide were the sole factor in warming, that wouldn't make any sense. It isn't, of course... So what accounted for the higher global temperature?
- Analysis: Evidence for climate extremes, costs, gets more local (Reuters):
Scientists are finding evidence that man-made climate change has raised the risks of individual weather events, such as floods or heatwaves, marking a big step towards pinpointing local costs and ways to adapt to freak conditions.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- VIDEO: Bill Nye Encourages Media To "Ask Pointed Questions" About Candidates' Climate Change Policies (Media Matters.org):
- GOP Rep Won’t Acknowledge Human-Caused Climate Change Because It Would ‘Divide America’ (Climate Progress):
Man-made climate change may be helping to devastate the western half of the country with droughts and wildfires, but acknowledging its existence is problematic because it would “divide America,” according to a leading Tea Party congressman.
- India: Forget The Centralized Grid, Community Power Is Here (Climate Progress)
- Which 'Natural' Food Companies Are Fighting the Effort to Label GMOs? (Huffington Post Green)
- KY Coal Plant Cancels New Pollution Upgrades After Court Strikes EPA Limits (Louisville. KY Courier-Journal)
- Texas judge rules that TransCanada can seize land from a family farm (Grist):
The [foreign] owner of a pipeline in Texas can exercise eminent domain, condemning and seizing your property to transport its fuel. That’s the law.
- Arctic sea ice levels to reach record low within days (Guardian UK):
The dramatic melt expected over the next week signals that global warming is having a major impact on the polar region/
- Report: Most Antarctic Peninsula Warming Human-Caused (Climate Central) [empahsis added]:
Scientists are intrigued with this corner of the world because it’s warming faster than anyplace else on Earth. The planet as a whole has heated up by about 1.3°F since 1900, but on the peninsula, it has shot up by a whopping 5° in just 50 years, forcing massive ice shelves to disintegrate and penguin colonies to collapse.
- UK Science advisor warns climate target 'out the window' (BBC):
Professor Sir Robert Watson said that the hope of restricting the average temperature rise to 2C was "out the window".
He said that the rise could be as high as 5C - with dire conseqences.
- U.S. Appeals Court Strikes Down Public Health Safeguards That Would Have Saved 34,000 Premature Deaths Each Year (Climate Progress):
[T]he U.S. Court of Appeals struck down the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), blocking limits to harmful air pollution. The measure would have limited sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide pollution, the main ingredients of acid rain and smog.
Each year, these regulations would prevent up to 34,000 premature deaths and hundreds of thousands of cases of aggravated asthma (see Table 1). It was estimated to provide up to $280 billion in annual economic benefits through health and environmental improvements alone.
- 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."