IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: An anxious Gulf Coast awaits Hurricane Isaac; Tampa GOP prays the storm away (rejoices when it veers towards Louisiana!); Massive refinery fire in Venezuela; More MPG for American cars, but Romney's against it; PLUS: Melting ice in the Arctic hits a new record low ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): OH: Coal miners lose day's pay to attend mandatory Romney rally; Greenpeace activists occupy Arctic oil rig; Food companies fight GMO labeling in CA; Cyanide spill at Alaska mine; Australia & EU to merge carbon markets; China to spend $300+ billion in 3 years on energy efficiency ... PLUS: Onion: RNC Builds Levee Out Of Poor People To Protect Convention Site ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Which is it?: Rush Limbaugh's RNC-Obama-Isaac Conspiracy, or FL GOP Prays the Storm Away?:
- Pat Robertson’s CBN suggests God moved hurricane to protect Republicans (Raw Story)
- AUDIO: Limbaugh Suggests Obama Admin Manipulated Hurricane Forecasts To Harm GOP Convention (Media Matters)
- 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)
- Hurricane Isaac: Bullseye on the Gulf Coast:
- Isaac hits hurricane strength as it nears New Orleans (BBC):
Shortly after Isaac reached hurricane status, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal called for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) to make a full emergency declaration for the state.
- VIDEO: Isaac officially reaches hurricane strength (CBS News)
- VIDEO: Obama on Tropical Storm Isaac: 'Now is Not the Time to Tempt Fate' (ABC News)
- VIDEO: Tropical Storm Isaac: Is New Orleans Ready? (ABC News)
- 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.
- Isaac death toll rises to 24 in Haiti (Miami Herald):
The death toll from Tropical Storm Isaac rose Tuesday to 24 in Haiti where disaster officials warned the number could increase, and donors continued efforts to assess damage to crops and homes.
- Approach of Isaac Doesn't Worry the Corps of Engineers (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
- RECORD Arctic Sea Ice Loss:
- Why The Arctic Sea Ice Death Spiral Matters (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
[W]hat happens in the Arctic, doesn’t stay in the Arctic. The rapid disappearance of sea ice cover can have consequences that are felt all over the Northern Hemisphere, due to the effects it has on atmospheric patterns.
- Sea Ice in Arctic Measured at Record Low (NYT Green) [emphasis added]:
The amount of sea ice in the Arctic has fallen to the lowest level on record, a confirmation of the drastic warming in the region and a likely harbinger of larger changes to come.
“It’s an example of how uncertainty is not our friend when it comes to climate-change risk,” said Michael E. Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University. “In this case, the models were almost certainly too conservative in the changes they were projecting, probably because of important missing physics.”
- Arctic sea ice hits record low, scientists say; a historic retreat that scientists said is a stark signal of how climate change is transforming the global landscape. (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
[Walt Meier] said that “parts of the Arctic have become like a giant slushy” that can melt much more easily than the 10-foot-thick ice that used to compose 20 to 25 percent of the surface of the water. “The Arctic Ocean is really a very different place than it used to be.”
“It is very troubling, because the refrigerator of the Northern Hemisphere has been unplugged, so we will keep warming,” he said.
[Meier disputed climate skeptics, saying] that the two poles have different climate systems. Antarctica is land surrounded by ice, while the Arctic is an ice-covered ocean surrounded by land. He said an overall number for global sea ice has little meaning. “It’s like having flooding in New York City and drought in Texas, and saying it’s an average rainfall year,” he said.
- VIDEO: Arctic sea ice reaches record low, NASA says (BBC):
Scientists involved in the calculations say it is part of a fundamental change....Opinions vary on the date of the demise of summer sea ice, but the latest announcement will give support to those who err on the pessimistic side.
- Arctic Warming is Altering Weather Patterns, Study Shows (Climate Central) [emphasis added]:
The study shows that by changing the temperature balance between the Arctic and mid-latitudes, rapid Arctic warming is altering the course of the jet stream, which steers weather systems from west to east around the hemisphere. The Arctic has been warming about twice as fast as the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, due to a combination of human emissions of greenhouse gases and unique feedbacks built into the Arctic climate system.
- Scientist Sees Arctic Ice Loss Firsthand (Science Daily) [emphasis added]
- VIDEO: Univ Delaware scientist sees Arctic ice loss firsthand (UnivDelaware YouTube channel):
- Massive Venezuela Refinery Blast Kills 48
- VIDEO: Venezuela Refinery Blast Kills 41: (BBC):
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has ordered an urgent investigation to find the cause of a huge explosion at the country's biggest oil refinery.
- Survivors: strong gas odor before Venezuela blast (AP):
"The first thing I saw was that the apartment didn't have windows or doors or walls, just a floor and a roof," Gonzalez said. "I don't know how we survived."
- Obama EPA Releases New, Upgraded Fuel Efficiency Rules:
- Autos must average 54.5 mpg by 2025: EPA (Washington Post):
The new rules, which expand on existing standards requiring American-made cars and light trucks to average 34.5 mpg by 2016, will significantly cut U.S. oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by the time they are fully implemented, the Environmental Protection Agency says. Unlike many energy policies enacted under President Obama, the vehicle standards are a relatively uncontroversial move embraced by industry and environmentalists alike.
- Romney Opposes Fuel Efficiency Standards Actually Moving U.S. Toward Energy Independence (Think Progress)
- RNC Builds Levee Out Of Poor People To Protect Convention Site (The Onion) [emphasis added]:
“We brought in several truckloads of low-income residents and welfare recipients from the Tampa area, and we have dozens of volunteers laying them down flat and packing them real close together to create a watertight barrier,” said Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, noting that there were “more than enough” impoverished families devastated by foreclosures to fashion a sufficient levee around the entire 20,000-seat structure.
- AUDIO: Miners’ mandatory attendance at Romney rally cost them a day’s pay (Grist):
[Murray Energy CFO Rob] Moore told Blomquist that managers “communicated to our workforce that the attendance at the Romney event was mandatory, but no one was forced to attend.” He said the company did not penalize no-shows.
- VIDEO: Greenpeace Activists Scale Arctic Oil Rig (Treehugger):
The activists, including Greenpeace's global chief Kumi Naidoo, climbed the Gazprom platform off Russia's north coast after reaching it in inflatable speedboats at about 4 a.m.
- Which 'Natural' Food Companies Are Fighting the Effort to Label GMOs? (Huffington Post Green):
[P]olls show that as many as 90% of us want genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) labeled. More than 40 other nations, including the entire European Union, already require disclosure. But Monsanto and its allies are dedicated to keeping consumers in the dark and are pouring tens of millions of dollars into a disinformation campaign intended to defeat Prop 37.
- Alaska: Cyanide water spill at Fairbanks gold mine (Sacramento Bee):
Alaska officials say about 45,000 gallons of cyanide water solution spilled at the Fort Knox Gold Mine near Fairbanks after a bulldozer damaged a buried pipeline.
- Australian and EU carbon markets to be linked (Guardian UK):
Deal connecting two international markets from 2015 will create the world's biggest emissions trading system
- Fracking: Methane Appearing in PA Water Supplies: (NPR):
The gas drilling industry says fracking hasn't been linked to water contamination. But it has.
- 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.
- Climate change: self-imposed pain and suffering (Bloomington Alternative) [emphasis added]:
I'd have to advise the Logan County cattle farmer featured in the piece to look in the mirror. He's a victim of manmade climate change. And as a Kentuckian, he bears as much or more responsibility for his fate as anyone in the world. He and his bluegrass neighors, along with all the rest of us, brought the climate-induced 2012 tragedies of drought and wildfires upon ourselves. Payback is indeed a bitch. And we've only begun to pay.
- China to Spend $372 Billion on Cutting Energy Use, Pollution (Scientific American) [emphasis added]:
China will plough $372 billion into energy conservation projects and anti-pollution measures over the next 3 years, part of a drive to cut energy consumption by 300 million tonnes of standard coal, the country's cabinet said Tuesday.
- 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.
- 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."
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
READER COMMENTS ON
"'Green News Report' - August 28, 2012"
(2 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
... ccokz said on 8/29/2012 @ 1:37 am PT...
Limbaugh hopes to drown poor voters by ‘shoring up levees’ with ‘bags of money’
The 2012 Republican platform states:
The environment is getting cleaner and healthier. The nation’s air and waterways, as a whole, are much healthier than they were just a few decades ago. Efforts to reduce pollution, encourage recycling, educate the public, and avoid ecological degradation have been a success.
(The Right Is Wrong - 3). Anyone know what planet they are talking about?