IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: HURRICANE SANDY SPECIAL REPORT: The storm, the aftermath, and the impacts of climate change; PLUS: A reminder of one Presidential candidate's position on federal disaster relief --- Mitt Romney has called for privatizing it ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Chevron: $2.5 Million To GOP Super PAC. Single Largest Corporate Donation; BP Oil Spill: Researchers Take a Deep Look at Gulf Seafood Safety; BP returns to profitability; WY coal art dispute rages on; There Is No 'Simple Fix' for Commodity Farming; Protests Against Expansion of China Chemical Plant Turn Violent; Sand Mine Riches Are Tough to Refuse ... PLUS: Hurricane Sandy: Haiti in emergency aid plea as disaster piles upon disaster ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Hurricane Sandy: Record Storm, Record Damage:
There has always been flooding in the tunnels, which collect storm water constantly, even in the lightest of rains. But authorities said there has never been anything like the damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy.
- Hurricane puts spotlight on Romney's FEMA remarks (USA Today)
- VIDEO: Mitt Romney: Federal Disaster Relief For Tornado And Flood Victims Is ‘Immoral,’ ‘Makes No Sense At All’ (Climate Progress):
Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better. [...] We cannot — we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.
- The GOP disaster privatization plan was spelled out years ago (Digby's Hullabaloo):
I was just thinking about what it would be like if Romney were to realize his dream of privatizing disaster relief. And I remembered that after Katrina Bush first put his political henchman Karl Rove in charge of reconstruction efforts. Does everyone recall what they specifically had in mind?
- Paul Ryan’s Budget And GOP Sequestration Plan Would Slash Hurricane Prediction Capabilities (Climate Progress)
- VIDEO: Sandy and Climate: Right or Wrong, Media Now Going There (Climate Crock of the Week)
- Television News Outlets Ignore Climate Change During Sandy Coverage. Should We Really Be Surprised? (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
Yesterday, while Superstorm Sandy passed over Washington, I hunkered down in front of my television and watched coverage of the storm. As I flipped between cable and network news shows, I was subjected to the same endless parade of reporters swaying in the wind, wading through flooded streets, and talking about projected catastrophic damage. But throughout it all, there were no mentions of the dramatic increases in extreme weather and no mentions of the influence of a warming planet on extreme storms like Sandy.
- Did Climate Change Supersize Hurricane Sandy? (Mother Jones) [emphasis added]:
But how, precisely, can we say that Hurricane Sandy, and the extensive damage it will soon cause, are related to climate change? You have to be careful, given that a Category 1 hurricane in October is not itself unusual—and what’s really unique about Sandy is its collision with another, extratropical or winter storm system. Still, there is much that can be said here, even though scientists are careful to emphasize the remaining uncertainties...
- NASA Warned New York About Hurricane Danger Six Years Ago (Mother Jones) [emphasis added]:
Scientists told us a storm like Sandy would be catastrophic. When will we listen?
[I]t’s not just about what we knew—it’s also what we know going forward. We know that if you think this is bad, well, global warming will make it still worse in the future.
- Climate Change and Sandy: Why We Need to Prepare for a Warmer World (TIME EcoCentric):
But the possible effect of warming on hurricanes is one of the less perfectly understood aspects of climate science, and there’s still a lot of natural variability at work that makes it difficult to fingerprint the human influence of a major storm.
Climate change is just one more factor contributing to the growing danger from extreme weather. That’s why we need to build societies—and infrastructure—that can be resilient in the face of a natural disaster, or an unnatural one.
We don’t demand absolute certainty before we take action in foreign policy, the economy or health. We’d be fools to wait until there’s perfect scientific consensus on the role that global warming may be playing in tropical storms before we take action to prepare for both. “Anyone who says there’s hasn’t been a dramatic change in weather patterns has been denying reality,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters today. “We need to make sure that if there is weather like this we are more prepared and protected than we have been before.” As 8 million struggle without power in Sandy’s wake, that much should be painfully obvious.
- Was Hurricane Sandy supersized by climate change? (Guardian UK):
Hurricane Sandy cannot be attributed directly to climate change, but warming does mean there is more moisture in the atmosphere
- Did Climate Change Cause Hurricane Sandy? (Scientific American):
The hedge expressed by journalists is that many variables go into creating a big storm, so the size of Hurricane Sandy, or any specific storm, cannot be attributed to climate change. That’s true, and it’s based on good science. However, that statement does not mean that we cannot say that climate change is making storms bigger. It is doing just that—a statement also based on good science, and one that the insurance industry is embracing, by the way.
- In Hurricane Sandy's Fury, The Fingerprint Of Climate Change (Huffington Post Green):
"The irony is that the two presidential candidates decided not to speak about climate change, and now they are seeing the climate speak to them," said Tidwell. "That's really what's happening here. The climate is now speaking to them --- and to everyone else."
- VIDEO: Bill McKibben on Hurricane Sandy and Climate Change: "If There Was Ever a Wake-up Call, This Is It" (Democracy Now!)
- 5 Things Hurricane Sandy Reveals About Global Warming (Popular Science):
It's tempting to link the nature of this week's "Frankenstorm" to human-caused climate change, but the scientific realities are nuanced. Here are five surprising takeaways.
- Extreme hurricanes hitting U.S. more frequently, study says (LA Times) [emphasis added]:
On Monday, a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences, or PNAS, concluded that large Katrina-sized hurricanes were twice as likely to form off the United States' southeast coast in hotter years than they were in colder years.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Hurricane Sandy: Haiti in emergency aid plea as disaster piles upon disaster (Guardian UK):
Haiti reeling from impact of Hurricane Sandy, as latest disaster leaves 54 people dead and more than 200,000 homeless
- Chevron Donates $2.5 Million To GOP Super PAC In Single Largest Corporate Donation Post-Citizens United (Climate Progress)
- BP Oil Spill: Researchers Take a Deep Look at Gulf Seafood Safety (Houston Chronicle):
The Macondo well blowout on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico lays bare just how little scientists know about that great expanse of saltwater and its creatures, but in fishing communities from Florida to Louisiana, some people have vital questions of their own.
- Art That Irked Coal Execs is Gone, But Wyoming Dispute Whirls On: (NY Times):
The idea behind the sculpture that appeared on the University of Wyoming campus about 16 months ago was simple but provocative: a swirl of dead wood and lumps of coal, intended to show the link between global warming and the pine beetle infestation that has ravaged forests across the Rockies.
- Corn Maze: There Is No 'Simple Fix' for Commodity Farming (Grist)
- BP Returns to Profitability and Raises Dividend: (NY Times)
- Protests Against Expansion of China Chemical Plant Turn Violent: (NY Times):
A week of protests against the planned expansion of a petrochemical plant in the port city of Ningbo turned violent on Friday and Saturday when demonstrators attacked police cars and tossed bricks and water bottles at officers, according to accounts from participants posted on the Internet.
- Runoff from Iowa Farms Growing Concern in Gulf: (Des Moines Register):
Generations of shrimpers, crabbers and oystermen have set out from this bayou village to net their catch. They share an emotional bond with Iowa's farmers: Both harvest nature's bounty to earn a livelihood. These fishermen depend on the sea, just as the nation's top corn growers rely on the rich Midwest soil.
- For Regulators, Sand Mine Riches Are Tough to Refuse: (Minneapolis Star-Tribune_:
As the sand rush intensifies, county regulators are being hired away by the industry, creating backlogs of work and fears of conflicts of interest.
- FRONTLINE: Did the climate deniers win? (Mother Jones):
The hour-long report on the fossil-industry and right-wing climate science denial movement broadcast on PBS Frontline Wednesday night raises a key issue. Did deniers win their fight to stop action on global warming by killing it in Congress and keeping it out of the presidential campaign?
- Essential Climate Science Findings:
- 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."
- Climate Change and Sandy: Why We Need to Prepare for a Warmer World (TIME EcoCentric):
READER COMMENTS ON
"'Green News Report' - October 30, 2012"
(2 Responses so far...)
RE: The Influence of Climate Change on Sandy
Dr. George Lakoff made a good point when he said we need to consider this question not in the context of direct causation, but rather in the context of systemic causation, lest we experience disaster a la the Groundhog Day movie.
Yes, the system of global warming induced climate change is affecting all weather worldwide, including Hurricane-Superstorm Sandy, now that we have entered The Anthropocene Epoch, a.k.a. The Sixth Mass Extinction.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
... molly said on 10/31/2012 @ 8:41 am PT...
Preparing for climate change = protect the environment.