IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Flooding, evacuations and levee breaching as Tropical Storm Isaac moves inland; Isaac's rain is too little too late for drought-stricken Midwest farmers, as House Republicans cut weather monitoring agencies; Hip-deep rhetoric at the RNC in Tampa; PLUS: President Obama uses the "C" word ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 'Vast reservoir' of methane beneath Antarctic ice sheet poses climate danger; American Meteorological Society: climate change is happening; MSHA: review miners' 'mandatory' attendance at Romney rally; BPA may affect multiple generations; Anti-nuke sentiment baffles Japan govt; 7 arrested at Keystone XL blockade; Yoko Ono fights fracking; Australians invent solar-powered air conditioner ... PLUS: 9 energy innovations that make the future brighter ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaac:
- New Orleans Times-Picayune Hurricane Portal (NOLA.com)
- Isaac wades inland, pushes thousands from homes, pushes dams to the limit (CNN)
- U.S. Gulf Power Outages From Hurricane Isaac Rise (Reuters)
- Isaac Moves North After Drenching U.S. Gulf, New Orleans (Reuters)
- Isaac Shuts U.S. Grain Exports From Gulf Coast (Reuters)
- Hurricane Isaac: Flooding Outside The Federal Levee System [INFOGRAPHIC] (Huffington Post Green)
- Dam collapse feared due to Isaac; thousands evacuating (MSNBC)
- 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.
- Rain from Isaac may not help corn growers (AP):
Some farmers in the Midwest who've endured the nation's worst drought in two generations are worried that the approaching remnants of Hurricane Isaac may be too much of a good thing.... But that kind of drenching may be too little too late for corn growers. And it could actually work against them by making fields too muddy for the harvesting equipment.
- BP will donate $1 million for Isaac relief (AP)
- VIDEO: Isaac Threatens Record Harvest in Louisiana (The Weather Channel)
- House Republicans Cut Weather Monitoring Agencies:
- GOP Budget Cuts Would Devastate Hurricane And Weather Forecasting (Climate Progress)
- GOP Rheotric at RNC in Tampa:
- READ the GOP 2012 Party Platform (via Washington Post)
- GOP Platform’s Sharp Turn to Right Has Conservatives Cheering (NY Times)
- FACT CHECK: Ryan takes factual shortcuts in speech (AP)
- Op-Ed: How the Republicans Built It (NY Times):
It was a day late, but the Republicans’ parade of truth-twisting, distortions and plain falsehoods arrived on the podium of their national convention on Tuesday. Following in the footsteps of Mitt Romney’s campaign, rarely have so many convention speeches been based on such shaky foundations.
- GOP platform highlights the party’s abrupt shift on energy, climate (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
Over the past four years, the Republican Party has undergone a major shift in its approach to energy and environmental issues. Global warming has disappeared entirely from the party’s list of concerns. Clean energy has become an afterthought. Fossil fuels loom larger than ever. And one way to track this shift is to compare the party’s 2008 and 2012 platforms.
- The Romney Plan: Drill, Baby, Drill --- Again: (Time Eco-Centric blog)
- GOP platform slams military's focus on climate change (The Hill's E2Wire)
- GOP platform: Block carbon regulations, expand offshore drilling (The HIll's E2Wire)
- Bush Administration Praised Closure Of Auto Plant That Ryan Now Blames On Obama (Think Progress)
- 6 Worst Lies In Paul Ryan’s Speech (Think Progress)
- Cleantech Experts On Romney’s Energy Plan: ‘A Political Document Not Worth Serious Analysis’ (Climate Progress)
- New GOP platform to the right of Reagan (NewsDay)
- The 5 Weirdest Bits in the 2012 GOP Platform (Mother Jones)
- The GOP Platform & the Environment (Legal Planet)
- Romney’s Energy Plan will Increase Fossil Fuel Dependence at the Expense of Renewables (EcoWatch)
- EPA Pollution Regulations Create More Jobs Than Are Lost:
- Even Electric Company CEOs Will Tell You That EPA Regulations CREATE Jobs (Clean Technica)
- EPA Rule Shows Regulations That Kill Jobs Can Create New Ones (Bloomberg News)
- EPI STUDY: Contrary To GOP Claims, EPA Regulations Create Jobs (Think Progress):
"Even with multiplier effects, these estimates translate into job gains of roughly 117,000 to 135,000 in 2015, depending on whether one or both offsets to the job-depressing effects of price increases are used. … But what this reassessment does make clear is that it is near-inconceivable that adoption of the rule will cost any jobs at all in the near term. The effect will be unambiguously positive."
- EPA Regulations Create Jobs. Wait. What? (Mike Rowe Works)
- VIDEO: PERI Study Says EPA Standards Will Create Cleaner Air, More Jobs (The Real News)
- CERES study shows exactly where EPA regulations create jobs (NRDC Switchboard)
- President Obama Says the "C" Word:
- VIDEO: President Obama in Ames, Iowa - Iowa State University (Obama 2012 Youtube channel)
- Transcript: President Obama's Remarks at Iowa State University: (Ames Tribume) [emphasis added]:
[T]he truth is you’ve got more at stake in this election than just about anybody. When you step into that voting booth, the choice you make in that one instant is going to shape your country and your world for decades to come.
And I know that’s a pretty heavy idea to lay on you on a Tuesday. (Laughter.) But it’s true. The decisions we make as a country on big issues like the economy and jobs and taxes and education and energy and war and climate change — all these decisions will directly affect your life in very personal ways. And I’ve got to say, this is something I’m acutely aware of when I make these decisions, because they’re decisions that are going to affect Malia and Sasha, my daughters, as well.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- 'Vast reservoir' of methane locked beneath Antarctic ice sheet (Guardian UK):
Scientists say as much as 4bn tonnes of the potent greenhouse gas could be released into the atmosphere if ice melts
- What Do Methane Deposits In The Antarctic And Arctic Mean For The Climate? (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
Two new research papers published today improve our understanding of the planet’s methane emissions, and might raise worries about the role of the gas in warming the planet. The first suggests that there may be extensive methane deposits under the Antarctic ice sheets. Meanwhile, the second concludes that emissions of the gas from Arctic permafrost have been underestimated.
- 19 dead in China mine blast, 28 trapped (Sydney Morning Herald)
- Union seeks review of Romney event at Ohio mine (Akron Beacon-Journal):
A union asked Ohio and federal labor officials on Wednesday to investigate whether a company violated federal wage and hour laws when it shuttered its coal mine to host a campaign event for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney....A Secret Service spokesman on Wednesday said it did not request the mine’s closure during Romney’s visit.
- Republican Platform Opposes Agenda 21 (NYT Green):
The G.O.P. platform approved Tuesday in Florida included tough language on many expected issues like abortion, but also takes a stand on an issue that has historically been out of the party’s mainstream: Agenda 21.
- Keeping it in the family: BPA’s effects might last in our bodies for generations (Grist)
- 7 Arrested While Blocking Construction of Keystone XL in Texas (Treehugger)
- ANALYSIS: Support for nuke-free Japan defies government calculations (Asahi Foundation)
- Big Moves In Industrial Efficiency: White House Directive Could Stimulate $40 Billion In New Manufacturing Investments (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
Obama signed an Executive Order that sets a national goal of 40,000 MW of new combined heat and power (CHP) installations in the next 10 years, while directing various departments to initiate policies and technical assistance programs to help implement projects. According to the White House, achieving these targets could bring between $40 billion and $80 billion in new capital investments to the manufacturing sector over the next decade.
- More Efficient Solar Powered Air Conditioner Developed in Australia (Treehugger):
The solar powered air conditioner is a holy grail, an answer to so many problems. ... That's why I was so excited to see headlines in Physorg like Queensland University of Technology engineer develops electricity-free home cooling system.
- Yoko Ono & Sean Lennon Organize Artists Against Fracking: (NYT Green)
- Fracking: Methane Appearing in PA Water Supplies: (NPR):
The gas drilling industry says fracking hasn't been linked to water contamination. But it has.
- CA: Solar legislation opposed by utilities (SF Gate):
California legislators are poised to vote this week on a pair of bills that would help renters and low-income communities go solar. But the bills have encountered stiff resistance from some utility companies, which call them unnecessary and expensive.
- Global warming: American Meteorological Society says there’s no room for doubt on climate change (Summit County Voice)
- 9 Energy Innovations that Make the Future Brighter (Treehugger):
Robots installing solar panels! Liquid metal batteries! Computer-controlled wind farms! Turns out there are lots of exciting energy innovations that make the future look brighter.
- 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.
- 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."