IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Paul Ryan lies about the Keystone XL pipeline; Arctic scientist cleared, Fox forgot to tell you; The Monsanto Effect: GMO crops cause a rise in superbugs and superweeds; Carmageddon 2's silver lining; PLUS: America's wilderness to remain wild --- for now ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Fracking: casualties of Chesapeake's "land grab" across America; Fish May Shrink as Oceans Warm; Oregon: Return of White Salmon Marks River’s New Direction; The eco=footprint of bio-fuels: study; The 'true cost' of electricity: fossil fuels vs. wind & solar; EPA rules create $5 of good for each $1 they cost; Obama vs. Romney: A Stark Contrast on the Environment ... PLUS: Half of Great Barrier Reef lost in 3 decades... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Paul Ryan Lies About Keystone XL Pipeline:
- VIDEO: Paul Ryan in IA: 'On Day One We Say Yes to Keystone!' (Fox Nation)
- Pipeline Whistleblower Exposes TransCanada’s Shady Safety Record (EcoWatch):
A TransCanada pipeline engineer, the man responsible for ensuring that pipelines were constructed safely, has come forward with shocking information about TransCanada’s unscrupulous safety practices. Evan Vokes reveals that industry regulations are poorly enforced and lead to potentially dangerous incidents like the Enbridge oil spill.
- Keystone XL Pipeline and the Presidential Election (ENews ParkForest) [emphasis added]:
There are two reasons KXL wouldn’t reduce gas prices. The first is attributable to a surplus of oil in the Midwest. The pipeline would reduce that stress on refineries there and drive prices up--TransCanada itself admits that the pipeline would likely raise gas prices by 15 cents per gallon in the Midwest. The second reason is that the oil is earmarked for export. Some of the refineries in the Gulf have already entered into contracts to export the oil after it has been refined. The communities there would get the pollution, but not the oil.
- Five myths about the Keystone XL pipeline (Washington Post):
3. The pipeline would have created hundreds of thousands of American jobs.
5. If we don’t build the pipeline and buy their oil, the Canadians will sell it to China.
- Keystone’s Thousands of Jobs Fall to 20 When Pipeline Opens (Bloomberg)
- Keystone XL: Pipe Dreams (BusinessWeek)
- Keystone pipeline: Separating reality from rhetoric (CNN Money)
- Keystone XL pipeline may threaten aquifer that irrigates much of the central U.S. (Washington Post)
- Hey, Fox News!: Arctic Scientists Cleared:
- US Polar Bear Researcher Cleared of Scientific Misconduct: (Guardian UK):
The Obama administration has wound up its controversial investigation of a government polar bear researcher without finding any evidence of scientific wrongdoing, campaign groups said late Friday. ... Arctic researchers and environmental campaigns saw the investigation of Monnett as an attempt to discredit or sideline government scientists.
- Interior Department, Meet Keystone Kops (Mother Jones)
- "Polar Bear Fraud": How Fox News Smeared A Scientist (Media Matters)
- Scientist Cleared In Polar Bear Controversy (NPR)
- The Monsanto Effect: GMO Crops Cause Superbugs, Superweeds:
- Pesticide use ramping up as GMO crop technology backfires: study (Reuters) [emphasis added]:
Benbrook's paper --- published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Sciences Europe over the weekend and announced on Monday --- undermines the value of both herbicide-tolerant crops and insect-protected crops, which were aimed at making it easier for farmers to kill weeds in their fields and protect crops from harmful pests, said Benbrook.
[I]n recent years, more than two dozen weed species have become resistant to Roundup's chief ingredient glyphosate, causing farmers to use increasing amounts both of glyphosate and other weedkilling chemicals to try to control the so-called "superweeds."
- VIDEO: The World According To Monsanto (full film) (Youtube)
- America's Wilderness to Remain Wild --- For Now:
- AUDIO: Supreme Court Rejects ‘Roadless Rule’ Appeal (Oregon Public Broadcasting):
“Places where we still have really pristine backcountry areas that don’t have roads in them, that don’t have a long history of logging, or mining, or other heavy development are pretty rare,” Steve Pedery [of Oregon Wild] says.
- 'Roadless Rule' Upheld by Nation's Highest Court: (Deseret News):
Environmentalists are celebrating the Monday decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to let stand the federal 'roadless rule' that leaves protections in place for 45 million acres of national forest lands, including those in Utah.
- Timeline of the Roadless Rule (Earth Justice)
- Roadless Area Conservation Website (US Forest Service) [emphasis added]:
Although the inventoried roadless areas comprise only 2% of the land base in the continental United States, they are found within 661 of the over 2,000 major watersheds in the nation and provide many social and ecological benefits.
- Carmageddon Two's Silver Lining:
- 'Carmaheaven': Closure of 405 in 2011 improved air quality up to 83 percent (UCLA press release):
In study findings announced Sept. 28, UCLA researchers report that they measured air pollutants during last year's Carmageddon (July 15–17) and found that when 10 miles of the 405 closed, air quality near the shuttered portion improved within minutes, reaching levels 83 percent better than on comparable weekends.
- UCLA researchers say last year's Carmageddon improved air quality (LA Times):
Air quality near the closed 10-mile portion of the 405 Freeway reached levels 83% better than typical weekends, according to a team at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Special Report: The casualties of Chesapeake's "land grab" across America (Reuters):
[Ranjana Bhandari and her husband's] repeated refusals didn't stop Chesapeake, the second-largest natural gas producer in the United States. This June, after petitioning a Texas state agency for an exception to a 93-year-old statute, the company effectively secured the ability to drain the gas from beneath the Bhandari property anyway - without having to pay the couple a penny.
- Fish May Shrink as Oceans Warm (Live Science):
Based on a study of more than 600 species from around the globe, researchers from the University of British Columbia found that many fish won't be able to keep up their body weight as the water warms. The scientists projected that the average maximum body size for the world's fish could decline by up to 24 percent by 2050.
- White Salmon Homecoming Marks River’s New Direction (Oregon Public Broadcasting):
Washingtonians living near the White Salmon River gathered to celebrate their newly-granted access to the river. Pacific Power’s decision last year to breech the Condit Dam means areas flooded for almost one hundred years are now open.
- New study distills the eco footprint of biofuels (Gizmag):
The controversial debate over the sustainability of biofuels has been reignited by new research from Swiss-based research institute Empa. While the study maintains that biofuels can be sustainable depending on certain conditions and the technology involved, the findings suggest that only a few are more environmentally friendly than gasoline.
- The True Cost of Electricity Calculated (Clean Technica) [emphasis added]:
[R]esearchers from Green Budget Germany (GBG) took a closer look at these hidden costs, in order to get a better idea of electricity’s true cost. Their new research calculated the health and environmental expenses related to various currently-available energy sources. According to that research, the cheapest energy sources in the world currently are wind power and solar power.
- Half of Great Barrier Reef lost in past 3 decades (CBS News):
The reef's decline, detailed this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, can be chalked up to several factors, they found. The biggest factors are smashing from tropical cyclones, crown-of-thorns starfish that eat coral and are boosted by nutrient runoff from agriculture, and coral bleaching from high-temperatures, which are rising due to climate change. (Coral bleaching happens when ocean temperatures rise and cause the corals to expel their zooxanthellae --- the tiny photosynthetic algae that live in the coral's tissues.)
- EPA rules create $5 of good for each $1 they cost (Grist):
Research released yesterday by the (admittedly left-leaning) Economic Policy Institute argues that the economic impacts of the Obama administration’s (modest) efforts to reduce pollution uniformly produce much more economic benefit than cost. Specifically: for $26 billion in cost associated with pollution reduction, the country sees $144 billion in benefit — a return of $5.50 on every dollar spent.
- Obama vs. Romney: A StarkContrast on the Environment: (Yale 360):
As the U.S. presidential campaign enters its final phase, Yale Environment 360 compares the sharply divergent views of President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on the environment and energy.
- Freaked-out climate scientists urge other freaked-out climate scientists to speak up, fight Man (Grist) [emphasis added]:
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.
- Republican Meteorologist to Mitt Romney: My Top Ten Reasons for Republicans to Accept Reality on the Climate (Huffington Post Green)
- 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."