IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Time's running for UN climate talks (and for the planet); Record winter heat blasts the Midwest (again); NY, NJ press for billions in Sandy disaster recovery; PLUS: Cannibal lobsters ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Air pollution regulations increase life expectancy in US; Mississippi River near record lows, threatens 20k jobs; Typhoon Bopha kills 40 in the Phillipines; Costs double for new French nuke plant; Bye, CFLs?: Cheap lighting breakthrough; 44 hazardous pollutants near gas drilling sites ... PLUS: 4 Reasons to hope we can still avert the worst impacts of climate change ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- UN COP18: Next Phase of Climate Negotiations in Doha, Qatar:
- UNFCC Main Page: Video and Text (United Nations)
- VIDEO: UN COP18 Webcast Main Page: (United Nations)
- UN News Centre (United Nations)
- UNCOP18: Climate Conference Update:
- VIDEO: UN Sec. General Ban Ki-Moon Warns 'Window Is Closing': (UNFCCC)
- Calls to Stop Funding Climate Problem with Fossil Fuel Subsidies: (AP):
[R]ich nations in 2011 gave more than $58 billion in tax breaks and other production subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. The U.S. figure was $13 billion.
The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has calculated that removing fossil fuel subsidies could reduce carbon emissions by more than 10 percent by 2050.
- New finance models to address climate change (NewKerala.com)
- Doha climate conference diary: Qatar's generosity keeps us guessing (Guardian UK) [emphasis added]:
US oil baron billionaires Charles and David Koch were accused at a meeting today of helping to paralyse the talks with their undue lobbying influence over the US government... "As the top spenders to stop climate policy… the brothers from Wichita hold hostage any progress in Washington, and hence any meaningful global deal in Doha," said IFG director Victor Menotti.
- U.S. Says Climate Plan on Track, EU Wants More (Reuters)
- Pledges To Fight Global Warming Inadequate, U.S. Off Track: Study (Reuters)
- Geo-Engineering Wins Scant Enthusiasm At U.N. Climate Talks (Reuters)
- Rich Nations Alone Can't Halt Global Warming: Report (AFP)
- Canada Ranked as Worst Performer in the Developed World on Climate Change (Vancouver Observer)
- US Envoy Hits China's Stand In UN Climate Talks (AP)
- Lord Stern: Developing Countries Must Make Deeper Emissions Cuts (Guardian)
- CO2 Emissions Rises Mean Dangerous Climate Change Now Almost Certain (Guardian)
- International Climate World Not Wowed as Obama Enters Second Term (Greenwire)
- Time's Up: World on Track for Climate Disaster:
- Greenland and Antarctica 'have lost four trillion tonnes of ice' in 20 years (Guardian UK):
Landmark study by global team of scientists published, finds melting polar ice has led to 11mm rise in sea level. Greenland losing ice five times faster than early 1990s
- Despite weak economy, CO2 emissions to grow 2.6 percent in 2012: study (Reuters) [emphasis added]:
Carbon dioxide emissions from industry rose an estimated 2.6 percent in a weak global economy this year, a study released on Monday showed, powered by rapid emissions growth in China and India, which may add urgency to U.N. climate talks in Doha.
- With Carbon Dioxide Emissions at Record High, Worries on How to Slow Warming (NY Times):
Global emissions of carbon dioxide were at a record high in 2011 and are likely to take a similar jump in 2012, scientists reported Sunday — the latest indication that efforts to limit such emissions are failing.
- Arctic sea ice larger than US melts, UN reports; climate change happening ‘before our eyes’ (Washington Post)
- US coastal cities in danger as sea levels rise faster than expected, study warns: Satellite measurements show flooding from storms like Sandy will put low-lying population centres at risk sooner than projected
- 2012 expected to be 9th warmest year on record (Guardian UK)
- Study: Sea Levels Rising 60% Faster Than Projected, Planet Keeps Warming As Expected (Climate Progress)
- Ocean Acidification: Animals are already dissolving in Southern Ocean (New Scientist)
- Global warming targets further out of reach, UN says (Phys.org):
Based on current pledges, global average temperatures could rise by three to five degrees Celsius (5.4 to 9.0 degrees Fahrenheit) this century-way above the two degrees Celsius being targeted, said a UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report.
- Climate Change Report Warns of Dramatically Warmer World This Century (The World Bank)
- Thawing of permafrost to be 'major factor' in global warming, warns UN report (UN News Centre)
- NY Gov. Cuomo Requests $80B in Superstorm Sandy Aid:
- Cuomo Takes Request for Federal Aid to White House, Capitol Hill (Bloomberg):
“We need help on this. These are very big numbers, even for New York.”
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo voices optimism on federal hurricane assistance (AP)
- Poll: Superstorm Sandy Linked To Climate Change By 69% Of New Yorkers, Including 73% Of Independents (Climate Progress)
- NY Times Warns On Climate Change: 'Fear Death By Water', Rising Seas Likely To Swallow Up City If We Don't Act Soon (Climate Progress)
- Hurricane Sandy Damage in NY: By The Numbers: (Huffington Post Green)
- Warm Winter Weather AGAIN Breaks US Records:
- Attack of the CANNIBAL LOBSTERS:
- Maine scientist discovers lobster-eat-lobster world: Cannibal lobsters? They're real, and a local scientist caught them on video. (Portland Press-Herald)
- Lobster cannibals caused by warm seasons: Cannibalism has been found in lobsters, something never recorded in the wild before (Global Post)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Declining Air Pollution Levels Continue to Improve Life Expectancy in U.S. (Science Daily) [emphasis added] [emphasis added]:
"Since the 1970s, enactment of increasingly stringent air quality controls has led to improvements in ambient air quality in the United States ... [T]he extent to which more recent regulatory actions have benefited public health remains in question. This study provides strong and compelling evidence that continuing to reduce ambient levels of PM2.5 prolongs life."
- Low Mississippi’s Ripple Effect Imperils 20,000 U.S. Jobs (Bloomberg):
“Given the number of jobs at stake if commerce on the Mississippi is crippled, and especially given the ripple effect on local economies up and down the river, the administration cannot afford to remain silent on this critical issue,” said Tom Allegretti, president of American Waterways Operators.
The Army Corps says navigation will be impaired by Dec. 11 and a record low-water mark will be set on Dec. 22.
- Typhoon Bopha hits the Philippines at Cat 5 strength; at least 40 killed (Dr. Jeff Masters, Weather Underground):
Bopha is the third Category 5 typhoon to affect the Western Pacific this year, and the strongest typhoon ever recorded to hit Mindanao, which rarely sees strong typhoons due to its position close to the Equator.
- Costs of New French Nuclear Reactor Doubles:: French utility EDF has raised the cost of the construction of its next-generation nuclear reactor by more than 2 billion euros on Monday, the latest in a series of overruns for the first EPR reactor built in France.
- 4 Reasons To Hope We Can Still Avert the Worst Impacts of Climate Change (Guardian)
- New Plastic LED Lighting Save Energy: Goodbye, CFLs?:
Scientists have designed an energy-efficient light of plastic packed with nanomaterials that glow. The shatterproof FIPEL technology can be molded into almost any shape, but still needs to prove it's commercially viable.
- Study Finds 44 Hazardous Air Pollutants at Gas Drilling Sites: (InsideClimate News):
For years, the controversy over natural gas drilling has focused on the water and air quality problems linked to hydraulic fracturing, the process where chemicals are blasted deep underground to release tightly bound natural gas deposits.
- Judge Tosses Asian Carp Suit (AP):
A federal judge Monday threw out a lawsuit filed by five states that want barriers placed in Chicago-area waterways to prevent Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes, but said he would consider new arguments if the case were filed again.
- COVER STORY: It's Global Warming, Stupid (Businessweek):
Yes, yes, it's unsophisticated to blame any given storm on climate change. Men and women in white lab coats tell us-and they're right-that many factors contribute to each severe weather episode. Climate deniers exploit scientific complexity to avoid any discussion at all.
If all that doesn't impress, forget the scientists ostensibly devoted to advancing knowledge and saving lives. Listen instead to corporate insurers committed to compiling statistics for profit.
- 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."