With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 9/18/2012, 3:53pm PT  

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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Japan to phase out nuclear power --- sort of; US nuke whistleblower warns of new risks; Shell gives up on Arctic drilling --- for now; PLUS: It's official: August 2012 was hot --- really hot ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

Listen online here, or Download MP3 (6 mins)...


Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Fox Stumbles Over The Truth On Gas Prices; Ruptured pipe at Chevron refinery fire 'thin as a penny'; Crop insurance losses begin to mount amid drought; National Guard aids Halliburton in search for missing radioactive rod; Alaskans to get $878 in yearly oil wealth payout (socialism!); Wind industry cuts jobs while Congress dawdles; Africa elephant slaughter funds conflicts; Freaked-out climate scientists urge other freaked-out climate scientists to speak up ... PLUS: Victory: Judge rules scientist Michael Mann's emails off-limits ... and much, MUCH more! ...


  • VIDEO: Climate Denier Rick Santorum: “We Will Never Have Smart People on Our Side” (Climate Crock of the Week)
  • It's Official - August 2012 Third Hottest August On Record:
  • Record Arctic Ice Melt Leading to More Extreme Storms:
    • Arctic expert predicts final collapse of sea ice within four years (Guradian UK):
      In what he calls a "global disaster" now unfolding in northern latitudes as the sea area that freezes and melts each year shrinks to its lowest extent ever recorded, Prof Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University calls for "urgent" consideration of new ideas to reduce global temperatures.

      In an email to the Guardian he says: "Climate change is no longer something we can aim to do something about in a few decades' time, and that we must not only urgently reduce CO2 emissions but must urgently examine other ways of slowing global warming, such as the various geoengineering ideas that have been put forward."

    • VIDEO: Powerful Video of 2012 Record Arctic Sea Ice Melt (Climate Central):

    • VIDEO: Arctic ice melt 'like adding 20 years of CO2 emissions' (BBC):
      White ice reflects more sunlight than open water, acting like a parasol. Melting of white Arctic ice, currently at its lowest level in recent history, is causing more absorption. Prof Wadhams calculates this absorption of the sun's rays is having an effect "the equivalent of about 20 years of additional CO2 being added by man".
  • Shell Abandons Arctic Drilling --- For Now:
    • Damaged container dome makes Shell limit Chukchi Sea drilling (Oil & Gas Journal):
      Officials from environmental organizations immediately said the containment dome’s damage revealed design defects... Niel Lawrence, a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said, “Shell is proving it is the gang that can’t drill straight. Its spill response barge had hundreds of problems; its drill ship broke anchor and nearly drifted aground while still in harbor; and a day after Shell said it was safe to drill, it had to pull out and run from a 30-mile-wide iceberg.”
    • Shell Postpones Arctic Offshore Drilling For The Year Due To Technical Problems And Rough Ice Conditions (Climate Progress):
      As detailed in the Center for American Progress report, Putting a Freeze on Arctic Ocean Drilling: America’s Inability to Respond to an Oil Spill in the Arctic, the dearth of supporting infrastructure throughout Alaska’s North Slope — including ports, roads, railroads, and permanent Coast Guard facilities — coupled with the lack of sound science and extremely volatile conditions make offshore operations extremely difficult and hazardous. The remote location, harsh and unpredictable conditions, and absence of proven clean-up technologies designed for Arctic conditions would make large-scale response efforts nearly impossible.
    • Ice Floes Freeze Arctic Drilling (Oceana):
      While oil spills occur nearly every day in the Gulf of Mexico, high winds, waves, fog and unpredictable ice floes promise to make drilling in the Arctic even more fraught with hazard.

  • Japan to Phase Out Nuclear Power (Maybe):
    • Japan to Zero Out Nuclear Power by 2030s (Environment News Service):
      There will be a 40-year limit on the lifespan of nuclear power plants, no new plant construction and no expansion of existing nuclear power facilities.
    • VIDEO: Japan to Phase Out Nuclear Power (CBS News)
    • VIDEO: Japan decides to phase out nuclear power (NHK News)
    • Cabinet panel wants Japan to end nuclear power use (AP):
      A Cabinet panel on Friday called for Japan to phase out nuclear power over the next three decades in what would be a major shift of national energy policy prompted by the Fukushima meltdowns.

      Reversing Japan's decades-long advocacy of nuclear power is popular with the public, though it faces opposition from powerful business interests. The new policy calls for greater reliance on renewable energy, more conservation and sustainable use of fossil fuels and would see Japan joining Germany in turning its back on nuclear energy.

    • Addressing a Gap in Nuclear Regulation (NYT Green):
      The question of a gap in regulations was first raised early this year by Gregory B. Jaczko, the commission’s previous chairman, who advanced the idea that the commission’s goals were so flawed that what transpired at Fukushima could have been judged to meet the agency’s safety standards.
    • Japanese opposition to nuclear power builds as Government restarts reactors (NZ Herald):
      Protests in front of Noda's official residence have now become a weekly Friday event in Tokyo and sometimes draw crowds of up to 20,000 people.

  • US Nuclear Whistleblower Warns of New Risk:

'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

  • U.Va. wins key ruling in Prince William global warming-FOIA case involving Michael Mann (Washington Post):
    The battle over global warming in Prince William County Circuit Court, focused on renowned climate scientist Michael E. Mann, was either an assault on science or a search for the truth, depending on whose briefs you were reading. But after reading all the briefs, a judge ruled Monday that Mann’s e-mail correspondence was exempt from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act and did not have to be provided to the American Tradition Institute, which was trying to delve into the discussions and data behind Mann’s conclusions that humans are causing the Earth to grow hotter.
  • VIDEO: Fox Stumbles Over The Truth On Gas Prices (Media Matters):
    Fox's Stuart Varney complained today that "the establishment media blames the Middle East" for rising gas prices, rather than "President Obama's energy policy." But an hour later, Fox News became part of the "establishment media," correctly noting that gas prices are up due to tension in the Middle East, not Obama's policies.
  • Chevron Refinery Fire: Investigators say pipe walls in refinery fire thin as penny (Fuel Fix):
    A corroded pipe that failed and triggered a leak and massive fire at one of California’s largest refineries had walls as thin as a penny in some areas, federal investigators said. U.S. Chemical Safety Board officials said late Tuesday that a key part of their probe into the fire at the plant in Richmond, Calif., is why Chevron Corp. didn’t replace the pipe during a routine inspection a year ago.
  • Crop insurance losses begin to mount amid drought (AP):
    Thousands of farmers are filing insurance claims this year after drought and triple-digit temperatures burned up crops across the nation's Corn Belt, and some experts are predicting record insurance losses — exacerbated by changes that reduced some growers' premiums.
  • National Guard aids Halliburton in search for missing radioactive rod (CS Monitor):
    Halliburton Co. has reached out to the National Guard for help in the search for a seven-inch radioactive rod used in the drilling of natural gas wells, according to Oilprice.com. Workers lost the device earlier this week in southwestern Texas.
  • Socialism!: Alaskans to get $878 in yearly oil wealth payout (AP):
    Alaska has no state income tax, but residents must pay federal taxes on the bounty. Still, it's free money for every eligible man, woman and child. Don't expect anyone to balk at it.
  • Wind Layoffs: Siemens to lay off 615 in Iowa, Kansas, Florida (CBS):
    Wind energy equipment manufacturer Siemens Energy Inc. will lay off 615 workers in Iowa, Kansas, and Florida in part because Congress has not renewed a tax credit for wind energy, the company said Tuesday.
  • Brutal Elephant Slaughter Funds African Conflicts (Der Spiegel):
    Rebels and militias across Africa have discovered the illegal trade in elephant ivory. Coveted in Asia, their tusks bring in handsome sums that are funding wars across the continent. Many game wardens hardly stand a chance against the slaughter.
  • Freaked-out climate scientists urge other freaked-out climate scientists to speak up, fight Man (Grist) [emphasis added]:
    Can we make the radical changes necessary to meet that challenge? No, say climate scientists Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows in a recent commentary in Nature Climate Change, not “within orthodox political and economic constraints.”
    In other words: We either give up economic growth voluntarily for a little while or suffer a climate that will reverse economic growth long-term.
  • >A first for America: Ocean energy project now delivering clean electricity to U.S. electric utility grid (TG Daily):
    For the first time, power from the ocean is making its way onto a U.S. grid.
    Ocean Renewable Power Company said Thursday that Bangor Hydro Electric Company had confirmed that electricity was flowing from ORPC's Cobscook Bay Tidal Project in Maine.
  • Republican Meteorologist to Mitt Romney: My Top Ten Reasons for Republicans to Accept Reality on the Climate (Huffington Post Green)
  • Essential Climate Science Findings: