IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Climate scientist Michael Mann sues Rightwing media for libel; NRC hides flood danger at US nuclear plants; Deadly earthquake caused by drilling; PLUS: The "C" Word: climate change a no-show in Presidential Debates for first time since 1988 ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): How stupid does Cato Institute think Congress is? [Oh, right]; Anchovy Poop Fights Global Warming; Committee advises halt to GMO trials; Bumblebee colonies at risk from pesticides; Fox Falls For Tabloid "Science" [again!]; Chinese protest new coal plant; Climate linked to violent conflict in East Africa: study; Wind turbine syndrome” is catching; Koch group aims to kill wind energy ... PLUS: Frontline exposes the Climate Change Denial Industry tonight on PBS ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Climate Science Fights Back:
- Climate scientist Michael Mann sues for defamation (Mother Nature Network):
The lawsuit, [Michael] Mann's lawyer said in a statement, was based upon their "false and defamatory statements" accusing him of academic fraud and comparing him to a convicted child molester, former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
- NRC Hiding Flood Danger at US Nuke Sites: Greenpeace:
- Leaked Report Suggests Long-Known Flood Threat To Nuclear Plants, Safety Advocates Say (Huffington Post):
An un-redacted version of a recently released Nuclear Regulatory Commission report highlights the threat that flooding poses to nuclear power plants located near large dams --- and suggests that the NRC has misled the public for years about the severity of the threat, according to engineers and nuclear safety advocates.
- Drilling Caused Deadly Spain Earthquake:
- Scientists link deep wells to deadly Spain quake (AP):
Farmers drilling ever deeper wells over decades to water their crops likely contributed to a deadly earthquake in southern Spain last year, a new study suggests. The findings may add to concerns about the effects of new energy extraction and waste disposal technologies.
- Deadly Spain Earthquake Triggered By Groundwater Removal (LiveScience.com):
Groundwater removal triggered the unusually shallow and deadly earthquake that hit Lorca, Spain, in 2011, according to a new study.
- North America: Weather Disasters Increasing Due to Climate Change:
- Seminal Study Finds ‘Climate-Change Footprint’ In North America, ‘Continent With The Largest Increases in Disasters’ (Climate Progress):
Munich Re: “Climate-driven changes are already evident over the last few decades for severe thunderstorms, for heavy precipitation and flash flooding, for hurricane activity, and for heatwave, drought and wild-fire dynamics in parts of North America.”
- 3rd Debate: Obama v. Romney Touch on Clean Energy:
- Transcript And Audio: 3rd Presidential Debate (NPR)
- 5 energy topics that won’t come up in tonight’s foreign policy debate — but should (Washington Post)
- 3 Warning Signs America is Losing the Global Clean Energy Race (Forbes) [emphasis added]:
Because America continues to underinvest in clean energy innovation and competing countries continue to make gains, we risk not only losing clean energy manufacturing, but the innovation as well....“since the late 1990’s especially, the United States has been losing out to other nations with respect to competitiveness and innovation, the result of too few resources going to wealth-creating investments like research and factories and too many resources going to a housing-market Ponzi scheme.”
- Obama vs. Romney: A Stark Contrast 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... the big winners of federal support are the already immensely profitable fossil fuel and nuclear industries, not sustainable energy.
- The "C" Word: Climate Change Goes Missing From 2012 Election:
- Presidential Candidates Avoid Climate For First Time In Nearly 25 Years: For the first time since 1988, presidential candidates did not mention the issue of climate change during debates. [9 mins] (Climate Progress)
- Quasi-Climate Quote: In Debate, Romney Says ‘We Have To Make Decisions Based Upon Uncertainty’ (Climate Progress)
- Why No One Said the C-Word in the Debates (ClimateDesk.org) [emphasis added]:
“I’ve talked to political operatives, and they think science is a boutique issue, like changing to the metric system or something,” says Shawn Otto, the CEO of the nonprofit group Science Debate, which focuses on trying to inject discussions of science-based issues into presidential and other campaigns. “They don’t see votes in it.”
- Climate Silence.org: The Presidential Candidates are Silent on the Essential Facts of Climate Change (ClimateSilence.org)
- The Issue that Dare Not Speak Its Name (NYT Green) [emphasis added]:
“No candidate has been able to portray climate change policy as a win-win,” Eugene M. Trisko, a lawyer and consultant for the United Mine Workers of America, said on Tuesday. “That’s because they understand that the root of climate change mitigation strategy is higher energy costs. It’s an energy tax, and that’s something you don’t want to talk about in a debate.”
- Bipartisanship, global warming and the 1% (Digby's Hullabaloo)
- Climate silence: It’s the right, stupid (Grist)
- Deficit hawk climate deniers don't care for future generations (Digby's Hullabaloo)
- Sec. of State Hillary Clinton: Climate Change "A Very Real Threat":
- Hillary Clinton On Energy And Foreign Policy: We Need To ‘Address The Very Real Threat Of Climate Change’ (Climate Progress):
We…have an interest in promoting new technologies and sources of energy – especially including renewables – to reduce pollution; to diversify the global energy supply; to create jobs; and to address the very real threat of climate change.
- VIDEO: Sec.Hillary Clinton - Energy Diplomacy and Climate Change (C-SPAN.org):
- TRANSCRIPT: Sec. Clintons' Remarks on Energy Diplomacy in the 21st Century (US State Dept.)
- Military Sharpens Focus on Climate Change (Washington Post, 4/15/2007) [emphasis added]:
It focuses on how climate change "can act as a threat multiplier for instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world," in part by causing water shortages and damaging food production.
- Report: National Security and the Threat of Climate Change [PDF] (CNA)
- Defense Secretary links environment, climate change, energy and national security in groundbreaking speech (E & E News)
- Who Decided To Ignore Climate? [Hint: White House, Corp. Media]:
- Belief in climate change climbs, including among conservatives (ClimateWire)
- Nobody Mentions Climate Change. But One Guy Did Something About It. (TIME's Swampland) [emphasis added]:
But while it’s absolutely fair to complain that Obama doesn’t talk about climate change anymore, except at rallies when he’s firing up his liberal base, it’s also worth noting that he’s probably done more to prevent climate change than anyone else on the planet.
- VIDEO: Is David Axelrod to Blame for Climate Change's Absence From the Election? [5 mins] (Climate Desk.org, via The Atlantic):
[F]ollowing the economic collapse of 2008, this was a more or less a conscious strategy. "By the spring of 2009, with the fiscal crisis, there was a decision made, and adopted, not to talk about climate change," she related. "That was adopted by the majority of the environmental groups, and by the White House. I was at that meeting. Bill McKibben stood up and said, 'This is a mistake --- it's going to come back and haunt us.'" Talking about clean-energy jobs was fine, she continued. But the "C-word" was a no-go.
- Silent Summer: Team Obama Defends Gag Order On Climate (Climate Progress):
Adam Fetcher, a spokesman for the Obama campaign, "defended the president's silence on climate change during Tuesday's debate" in an email to The Hill Wednesday.
- VIDEO: Chris Hayes: Climate Silence In The Debate Is 'Like Talking About Smoking And Not Talking About Cancer' (Climate Progress)
- Candy Crowley’s weird dismissal of climate change (Grist):
I had that question for all of you climate change people. We just, you know, again, we knew that the economy was still the main thing so you knew you kind of wanted to go with the economy.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Frontline: ‘Climate of Doubt’ (NYT Green):
- How Stupid Does Cato Institute think Congress Is? Oh, right…. (Climate Crock of the Week):
There is a reason why Cato is putting it out now. It is not so the average person will read it. It will be handed to Republican candidates who can tout the latest science in attacking the Administration’s efforts to address climate change; and it will be used by the Republicans in the lame duck session as justification for eviscerating funding for climate change.
- Anchovy Poop Fights Global Warming (Oceana) [emphasis added]:
[S]mall fish like anchovies, smelt and sardines are a major component of the so-called "biological pump" that takes carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and sequesters it in the deep, where it can no longer contribute to global warming. [It begins with] photosynthetic, carbon dioxide-absorbing, single-celled algae, like the wonderfully intricate diatoms and dinoflagellates, at the ocean surface. Anchovies then feed on the algae, digest it and release it as fecal pellets which sink to the ocean bottom.
- INDIA: Committee advises halt to GMO crop trials (SciDev):
A technical expert committee, appointed by the Supreme Court of India to advise upon open field trials for genetically modified (GM) crops, has recommended a ten-year moratorium on all Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) food crop trials.
- Pesticides put bumblebee colonies at risk of failure (Chicago Tribune):
British scientists said they exposed colonies of 40 bumblebees, which are bigger than the more common honeybee, to the pesticides neonicotinoid and pyrethroid over four weeks at levels similar to those in fields.... Exposure to a combination of the two pesticides "increases the propensity of colonies to fail", according to the researchers at Royal Holloway, University of London.
- Fox Falls For Tabloid "Science" (Media Matters.org):
Met Office: Daily Mail Article Is "Misleading" By Selecting A Short Time Period. According to the official news blog of the Met Office, the Daily Mail article "contains some misleading information." First, the article claimed that the Met Office "quietly released" a report, but the Met Office "has not issued a report" --- it simply updated its global temperature dataset. Second, as the Met explained to the Daily Mail reporter David Rose it is misleading to choose "a starting or end point on short-term scales".
- 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.
- More Than 1,000 Chinese Protesters Clash With Police Over Coal Plant (Guardian UK):
People protesting against the building of a coal-fired power plant in a southern Chinese town threw bricks at police who fired volleys of teargas and detained dozens in the country’s latest environmental dispute, residents say.
- Difference Engine: Cloudy with a chance of...[a weird El Nino?] (The Economist)
- NEB:Drought brings uncertainty to state's cattle industry (UK Independent):
Nebraska agriculture faces serious consequences going into the 2013 growing season if drought conditions persist through the winter.
- Climate linked to conflict in East Africa, study finds (LA Times):
A study relating climate to conflict in East African nations finds that increased rainfall dampens conflict while unusually hot periods can cause a flare-up, reinforcing the theory that climate change will cause increased scarcity in the region. The study was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
- "Nocebo" Doubt About It: “Wind Turbine Syndrome” Is Catching (Discover) [emphasis added]:
What Chapman is describing is a phenomenon akin to mass hysteria—an outbreak of apparent health problems that has a psychological rather than physical basis.
For a condition that seems to have no physical basis, Chapman says wind turbine syndrome has an impressive list of medical problems (“an astonishing 155”) attributed to it: “I have worked in public health on three continents since the mid-1970s. In all this time, I have never encountered anything in the history of disease that is said to cause even a fraction of the list of problems I have collected.”
- A Koch-allied group aims to make wind energy toxic (Grist) [emphasis added]:
The Koch brothers don’t like wind energy. This is because the wind is free, uncontainable, limitless. The Kochs prefer costly, contained, limited.
“Our goal is to make the [wind energy production tax credit] so toxic that it makes it impossible for John Boehner to sit at a table with Harry Reid and say, ‘Yeah, I can bend on this one,’” said Benjamin Cole, spokesman for the American Energy Alliance.
- 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."