IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Debating the future - contrasting the candidates on energy; Obama fast-tracks solar on public lands; Car battery maker goes bankrupt; PLUS: It's official: September 2012 was the hottest month ever. Ever, people! ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Corn Belt Shifts North With Climate as Kansas Crop Dies; TEPCO admits Fukushima was avoidable; New Study Ties Hurricane Strength To Global Warming; Keystone XL pipeline opponents turn to civil disobedience; Iraq to invest up to $1.6 bln in solar and wind ... PLUS: World's biggest geoengineering experiment 'violates' UN rules ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Worst Debate Drinking Game Ever: Climate Change:
- VIDEO: Tom Brokaw: Why Haven’t Presidential Debates Discussed Climate Change? (NWF.org) [emphasis added]:
Brokaw: "Here are some things that we have not we have not talked about. Not talked about immigration so far. There has been no discussion of global warming."
Unfortunately, moderator David Gregory immediately steered the panel discussion back to the format of the next debate – a topic of great interest to Washington insiders, but not exactly a critical issue on Main Street.
- 12 Green Questions I'd Ask If I Were Moderating a 2012 Presidential Debate (Treehugger)
- The Climate Silence Continues: Lehrer, Obama, And Romney Ignore Climate Change In First Debate (Climate Progress):
Apparently, neither of the candidates — particularly Obama — has been watching the polls showing that climate could be a major factor in how undecided and Independent voters cast their ballots.
- Compare & Contrast: Obama v. Romney on Energy:
- 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.
- Mitt Romney’s winners and losers (Grist):
Romney is right about one thing: The government does pick winners and losers in the energy sector. What Romney has not told the American people, however, is that the big winners of federal support are the already immensely profitable fossil fuel and nuclear industries, not sustainable energy.
- The Sounds Of Climate Silence: Mitt Mocks Carbon-Fueled Drought, Obama Calls It A Distant Threat (Climate Progress)
- VIDEO: President Obama Speaks on Expanding Our Energy Portfolio (3/21/12, WhiteHouse.gov) [emphasis added]:
When I took office I said, why not give these businesses some access to public lands that aren't otherwise being utilized? At the time, there wasn’t a single solar project in place on public lands --- not one.
Now, you’d think given this extraordinary site, given the fact that this is creating jobs, generating power, helping to keep our environment clean, making us more competitive globally, you’d think that everybody would be supportive of solar power. That’s what you’d think. And yet, if some politicians had their way, there won’t be any more public investment in solar energy. There won’t be as many new jobs and new businesses.
- Poll finds voters favor Obama energy policies over Romney platform (The Hill's E2 Wire)
- Fast-tracking Solar Projects on Public Lands:
- 10,000 MW of Renewable Energy on Public Lands Has Been Approved by Obama Administration (Treehugger):
President Obama challenged us in his State of the Union address to authorize 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy on our public lands by the end of the year—enough to meet the needs of more than 3 million homes—and today we are making good on that promise.
- Obama's 2012 Goal for Renewable Energy on Public Lands Met (Yahoo News)
- New Solar Energy Program Signals A Paradigm Shift In Our Approach To Energy Development On Public Lands (Climate Progress)
- Bankrupt A123 Car Battery Maker Snapped Up by Johnson Controls:
- A123 files for Chapter 11, Johnson Controls to buy auto assets (Detroit Free Press):
Johnson Controls, a major global auto supplier, battery maker and climate control systems, plans to acquire A123's automotive-related assets for $125 million. This includes plants in Livonia and Romulus, a cathode powder factory in China and A123's stake in Shanghai Advanced Traction Battery Systems, a joint venture with Shanghai Automotive....Johnson Controls offer was conditional on today’s bankruptcy filing.
- A123 Systems: An Opportunity For Obama To Stand Up For Clean Energy Investments (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
Today’s announcement, while certainly unfortunate for a once-promising American cleantech company, is neither a huge surprise, nor the loss of a taxpayer investment. In fact, the only taxpayer funds provided to A123 Systems were for domestic manufacturing facilities — plants that have now been purchased by Johnson Controls, a leading company in the advanced automobile sector (Already, journalists are reporting that A123 Systems received $249 million in grants. Actually, the company only took down $129 million in grants for building its manufacturing facilities).
What [Pete Hoekstra, R-MI] doesn’t mention is that he co-signed a letter in 2009 requesting funds for a Michigan-based manufacturing facility proposed by A123 Systems.
- Romney pounces as stimulus-backed auto battery-maker goes bankrupt (The Hill's E2 Wire)
- Update on Advanced Battery Manufacturing (DOE.gov):
Four years ago, virtually all advanced vehicle batteries were built overseas, and it looked like the United States might miss out on this enormously important, rapidly expanding market.
More than 30 of these plants are already in operation, employing thousands of American workers, and our grants were matched dollar for dollar (or more) by private investments.
- Clean Energy Has Highest Documented Rate of Return of Any Federal Program — When Will That Get Reported? (Climate Progress):
The ensuing report Energy Research at DOE: Was It Worth It? Energy Efficiency and Fossil Energy Research 1978 to 2000 was a stunning vindication...the report examines 17 R&D programs in energy efficiency and 22 programs in fossil energy funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). These programs yielded economic returns of an estimated $40 billion from an investment of $13 billion.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- World's biggest geoengineering experiment 'violates' UN rules: (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
Satellite images appear to confirm the claim by Californian Russ George that the iron has spawned an artificial plankton bloom as large as 10,000 square kilometres. The intention is for the plankton to absorb carbon dioxide and then sink to the ocean bed – a geoengineering technique known as ocean fertilisation that he hopes will net lucrative carbon credits.
“It is difficult if not impossible to detect and describe important effects that we know might occur months or years later,” said John Cullen , an oceanographer at Dalhousie University. “Some possible effects, such as deep-water oxygen depletion and alteration of distant food webs, should rule out ocean manipulation. History is full of examples of ecological manipulations that backfired.”
- Corn Belt Shifts North With Climate as Kansas Crop Dies (Bloomberg) [emphasis added]:
Shifts such as these reflect a view among food producers that this summer’s drought in the U.S. --- the worst in half a century -- isn’t a random disaster. It’s a glimpse of a future altered by climate change that will affect worldwide production.
- TEPCO admits Fukushima was avoidable (Sydney Morning Herald):
The company at the centre of Japan's worst nuclear crisis has acknowledged for the first time it could have avoided the disaster that crippled the Fukushima No.1 power plant. In a dramatic reversal of its insistence nothing could have protected the plant against the earthquake and tsunami that killed almost 20,000 people on March 11, 2011, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said it had known safety improvements were needed before the disaster, but had failed to implement them.
- Koch Industries Warns 45,000 Employees Of ‘Consequences’ If They Don’t Vote For Republicans (Climate Progress)
- New Study Ties Hurricane Strength To Global Warming (Climate Central):
But Alex Grinsted of the University of Copenhagen and his colleagues came at the problem in an entirely different way. They looked not at hurricanes themselves, but at the storm surges tropical storms drive before them as they come ashore, and surges have been reliably measured by devices known as tide gauges all the way back to the 1920's.
“Using surges as an indicator,” Grinsted said in an interview, “we see an increase in all magnitudes of storms when ocean temperatures are warmer.”
- Keystone XL pipeline opponents turn to civil disobedience (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
The blockade group said 10 people were arrested Monday after locking themselves to pieces of heavy equipment. Earlier in the month, Hannah joined east Texas landowner Eleanor Fairchild to protest TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. On Oct. 4, they were arrested on charges of criminal trespassing for standing in front of excavation equipment on Fairchild’s [own] property.
- Iraq plans to invest up to $1.6 bln in solar and wind energy (Reuters):
Iraq invites firms to build wind and solar energy stations, Aims to add 400 MW in three years:
Invitations have been sent to about 25 leading companies to manufacture and install solar and wind power plants, said Laith al-Mamury, the head of the planning and studies department at the ministry of electricity.
- 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."