IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Romney mocks climate change, while Obama doesn't, as the Democratic National Convention gets underway; Energy company CEO pushes for a price on carbon(!); Midwest drought now coming for your popcorn; PLUS: Speaking of 'popping' - Hurricane Isaac recovery, now with dead rats! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Summer of Fire 2012: new fires prompt evacuations in NE, CA; Organics no healthier than conventional foods - if you don't count pesticides and antibiotic-resistant superbugs; Israel solar industry struggling; Arctic ice melt: 1st sailboat in the Arctic Ocean; Shell gets a pass, clears another hurdle to Arctic drilling; Methane now contaminating PA water supplies; Study: humanity set to blow past 2 degrees Celisus warming ... PLUS: Labor Day 2040: Endless Summer ... 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)
- Hurricane Isaac Caps Off America’s Summer of Extreme Weather (Climate Progress)
- VIDEO: President Obama visits Louisiana, pledges support after Isaac (CBS News):
"How y'all doing?" he asked.
"Better now," one man shouted back.
- After Isaac, Louisiana and Mississippi residents face dangerous heat conditions (CNN)
- VIDEO: Thousands of Dead Rats Wash Ashore in Mississippi (CNN):
- Explainer: Hurricanes and Climate Change (Union of Concerned Scientists) [emphasis added]:
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.
- Hurricane Isaac storm surge reversed flow of Mississippi River
- Photos: Oil Washing Up On The Gulf Coast After Hurricane Isaac (Climate Progress)
- Movie HORROR: Midwest Drought's Popcorn Shortage:
- Bad news for movie fans, U.S. drought hits popcorn crop (Reuters)
- The era of cheap food may be over: A spike in prices caused by poor harvests and rising demand is an apt moment for the west to reassess the wisdom of biofuels (Guardian)
- Democrats vs. Republicans: Clean Energy, Climate
- Obama and Romney on climate change science (Washington Post)
- VIDEO: Team Obama Labels Romney’s Mockery Of Climate Action ‘Terrifying’ (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
This is both a shameful and shameless attack. It’s shameful because global warming is the gravest preventable threat to our children’s health and well-being — and because Romney said it in Tampa, which is among the U.S. cities most threatened by global warming and sea level rise.
- 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)
- Timeline: Obama could not have saved Janesville GM plant. It closed before he took office.
- Romney Opposes Fuel Efficiency Standards Actually Moving U.S. Toward Energy Independence (Think Progress)
- Romney treats climate as a punchline (Grist):
What Romney argues is a classic false choice: the idea that we must either choose to save the environment or put people to work. It’s the sort of argument that lets polluters squat in poor communities, insisting that they be allowed to do as they wish or they’ll take their jobs elsewhere. It’s a choice that need not be made, as demonstrated by green jobs and the burgeoning industries built around renewables and efficiency and sustainability.
But that’s not actually what Romney was arguing. He was arguing that Obama is a weirdo who cares more about dolphins than Americans.
- Democratic National Committee Platform: More Clean Energy, UN Climate Deal:
- Dems back global climate deal in platform (The Hill's E2 Wire):
The Democrats’ official platform expected to be approved at the party's national convention on Tuesday calls for an international deal to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
The platform says Democrats will pursue efforts to combat climate change through regulations and market solutions, setting up a continued battle with Republicans who argue such steps could hold back the economy.
- Dems work to go green in Charlotte (The Hill)
- READ the Democratic Party's National Platform [PDF]:
We know that global climate change is one of the biggest threats of this generation – an economic, environmental, and national security catastrophe in the making. We affirm the science of climate change, commit to significantly reducing the pollution that causes climate change, and know we have to meet this challenge by driving smart policies that lead to greater growth in clean energy generation and result in a range of economic and social benefits.
- READ The Republican Party's National Platform [PDF] (Republican National Committee)
- Shift in Strategy?: Obama Slams GOP Climate Change Denial:
- Is Obama Rolling Out a Climate Campaign? (Climate Crock of the Week) [emphasis added]:
It’s going to be pretty hard for the GOP to walk back from the unbelievably stupid and regressive position the Romney campaign has taken on climate. As the news from the Arctic gets more shocking by the day, there is a rumor that Romney will try to soften that line in coming weeks, but he’s repeated the “Obama promised to make the seas recede” line now on the campaign trail – and we do have video technology.
The question a lot of folks have been asking is whether Obama will seize this opening to further cast the Republicans as the anti-science party. From here, it looks like we’re not going to see a major change in tone before the election.
- 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... 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.
Denying climate change won't make it stop.
- Duke Energy CEO Supports Price On Carbon:
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Labor Day 2040: Endless Summer (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
In the not-too-distant future, people are going to be amazed that anybody ever thought Labor Day signified the unofficial end of summer.
“According to our projections, large areas of the globe are likely to warm up so quickly that, by the middle of this century, even the coolest summers will be hotter than the hottest summers of the past 50 years,” said the study’s lead author, Noah Diffenbaugh.
And this could happen even sooner since, “actual GHG emissions over the early 21st century have exceeded those projected in the SRES scenario used here, suggesting that our results could provide a conservative projection of the timing of permanent emergence of an unprecedented heat regime.”
- Firefighters Making Headway Against Nebraska Fires (KRIS-TV Nebraska)
- Forest fire near Los Angeles could burn for a week (AP):
It could be a week before firefighters can contain a 3,600-acre blaze in the Angeles National Forest because of high temperatures and rugged terrain in thick brush that hasn't burned in a couple of decades.
- Stanford Scientists Cast Doubt on Advantages of Organic Meat and Produce (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
Conventional fruits and vegetables did have more pesticide residue, but the levels were almost always under the allowed safety limits, the scientists said.... Similarly, organic meat contained considerably lower levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria than conventionally raised animals did, but bacteria, antibiotic-resistant or otherwise, would be killed during cooking.
- Israel’s solar power struggles against government (AP):
Israel has developed some of the world’s most advanced solar energy equipment and enjoys a nearly endless supply of sunshine, but when it comes to deploying large-scale solar technology at home, the country remains in the dark ages.
- Climate change breaks the ice: 3-man sailboat makes record voyage (LA Times):
Warming global temperatures and melting polar ice caps have helped a trio of explorers go where few men have gone before...through the M’Clure Strait in northern Canada, a decreasingly ice-packed route through the famed Northwest Passage.
The international three-man crew — an American, Canadian and Swede — claim to have piloted the first sailboat to do so.
- 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.
- Shell Arctic Drill Ship Gets Pass on Air Emissions Limits: (McClatchy News):
The Obama administration has cleared another hurdle for Shell to drill in Alaska's Arctic waters --- the second in as many days --- changing the company's air pollution limits so its drill ship can operate in the Chukchi Sea.
- Global Warming May Double UN Goal Without More Carbon Pledges (BusinessWeek):
Without further action to lower emissions of heat-trapping gases, the planet is set to warm by 2.6 to 4.1 degrees Celsius, the project, run by three European research groups, said today in a report released in Bangkok, where the UN is holding a week of informal discussions. That level of warming exceeds the 2-degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) ceiling that UN envoys have set as a global goal.
- Fracking: Methane Appearing in PA Water Supplies: (NPR):
The gas drilling industry says fracking hasn't been linked to water contamination. But it has.
- Global warming: American Meteorological Society says there’s no room for doubt on climate change (Summit County Voice)
- 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."