IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: While We Were Out: Shell Oil crashed in Alaska; Catastrophic heatwave, wildfires in Australia; Deep smog in China; EPA Administrator resigns; NYTimes shuts enviro desk; PLUS: It's official: 2012 hottest year on record for continental U.S. ... All that and much more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Deadly fungus poisons corn, causes cancer; UN: rising mercury emissions increase risk to humans; Warmest year on record gets cool climate coverage; Fox News blunders on climate stats; Black carbon 2nd biggest human cause of global warming; NY gov announces $1B Green Bank; Big Oil lobbyist denies oil's tax breaks ... PLUS: Could Geo-Engineering Spawn Rogue Planet Hackers? ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- 2012: Hottest on Record for US; 10th for World:
- NOAA: 2012 Was Officially The Warmest Year On Record For The U.S., Second Most Extreme (Climate Progress)
- 2012, the hottest year in U.S. history, was one of the coldest years this century globally (Grist)
- 2012 Shatters the US Temperature Record. Fox, Watts, and Spencer Respond by Denying Reality (Skeptical Science)
- Blunt Warning on Future U.S. Warming:
- Climate assessment delivers a grim overview: A draft version of a national report details the accelerated effects of climate change across the U.S., describing battered coastlines, devastating rainfall and drought. (LA Times)
- An Alarm in the Offing on Climate Change (NYT Green)
- 5 Must-See Charts From Major New U.S. Climate Report (Climate Central)
- End Climate Silence Now: Draft Climate Assessment Warns Of Devastating 9°-15°F Warming Over Most Of U.S. (Climate Progress)
- PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD NOW OPEN: Federal Advisory Committee Draft Climate Assessment Report Released for Public Review (GlobalChange.gov)
- Climate Change: Risky & Expensive:
- U.S. hit with 90% of the world's disaster costs in 2012 (ClimateWire)
- Risk experts see climate change as one of the world's biggest business threats (ClimateWire)
- Emissions Limits Could Cut Climate Damage by Two-Thirds, Study Finds: he world could avoid much of the damaging effects of climate change this century if greenhouse gas emissions are curbed more sharply, research showed on Sunday. (Reuters)
- Climate Change Faster Than Predicted: Earth's atmosphere may be more sensitive to carbon dioxide than previously thought, which means that extreme weather events could become more frequent.
- Devastating Wildfires, Record Heat in Australia:
- Australian heat wave sears new colors onto maps (Reuters)
- Roads Melt, Gas Evaporates In Australia's Unprecedented Heat Wave (NPR)
- Australia heatwave part of global trend: IPCC chief (Channel News Asia)
- Australian family shelters in water as fire rages - video (Guardian UK)
- Beijing smog continues as Chinese state media urge more action:
Unusually frank discussions of pollution come as Beijing implements new emergency response plan in response to smog (Guardian UK)
- Shell rig grounds off Kodiak (Dutch Harbor Fisherman):
A Shell spokesman last week confirmed an Unalaska elected official's claim that the Dec. 21 departure of the Kulluk from Unalaska/Dutch Harbor involved taxation. City councilor David Gregory said Shell would pay between $6 and $7 million in state taxes if the Kulluk was still in Alaska on Jan. 1.
- Amidst Drilling Boom, Average Price For U.S. Gasoline Hit Record High In 2012 (Climate Progress)
- Overfishing causes Pacific bluefin tuna numbers to drop 96%: Conservationists also warned that the vast majority caught were juveniles and had never reproduced (Guardian UK)
- NYT closes its environment desk, reassigns journalists (Poynter.org)
- Ant Study Deepens Concern About Plastic Additives (NYT Green)
- EPA head calls climate-change shift a proud milestone (USA Today)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Could GeoEngineering Spawn Rogue Planet Hackers? (Climate Crock of the Week):
What if climate change begins to slip out of control? What if some misguided group, or even wealthy individual decides climate is out of control, and sets out to do something about it? ... A new report details the emerging debate.
- Fortified by Global Warming, Deadly Fungus Poisons Corn Crops, Causes Cancer: A carcinogenic mold, its growth exacerbated by the warming climate, reached record highs in 2012 (Reuters)
- Mercury Rising: UN says rising mercury emissions increase risk to humans (BBC)
- STUDY: Warmest Year On Record Received Cool Climate Coverage (Media Matters)
- Fox News Questions Whether Government Faked Hottest Year On Record: Quotes "Skeptic" Blogger Suggesting Scientists Should Go To Jail (Media Matters)
- Black carbon ranks as second-biggest human cause of global warming (Washington Post)
- NY Gov Announces $1 Billion Green Bank And $1.5 Billion Solar Program (Climate Progress):
Cuomo outlined plans for a new billion-dollar “green bank” to leverage private funds for deploying clean energy technologies, announced a 10-year expansion of the state’s solar program by increasing funds $150 million per year, and named a new cleantech czar to oversee the efforts.
- Filabot Turns Scrap Plastic into Filament for 3D Printers (Treehugger) [emphasis added]:
[T]he Filabot, a desktop system that recycles your old plastic waste into filament for 3D printers, is being called a game changer. The system lets you turn scrap plastic into useful raw material right in your home...This also means that 3D printed projects gone wrong can also be fed into the Filabot to be made again, giving more room for trial and error without the fear of creating lots of plastic waste.
- VA Democrat Wants To Roll Back Key Environmental Rules: ‘I’m Not Going To Be Here’ To Suffer Consequences (Climate Progress)
- House Science Chairman Lamar Smith puts climate change assessment on agenda (Dallas Morning News)
- Big Oil Lobby Claims The Industry ‘Gets No Subsidies, Zero, Nothing’ (Climate Progress)
- The 2,500 Mile Monarch Butterfly Migration: The journey is so long, it takes four generations to make the whole trip! (Treehugger)
- To the Moon!: Plants Grow Fine Without Gravity: New finding boosts the prospect of growing crops in space or on other planets. (National Geographic)
- 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.
- CO2 Emissions Rises Mean Dangerous Climate Change Now Almost Certain (Guardian)
- 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 3 to 5 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.
- Thawing of permafrost to be 'major factor' in global warming, warns UN report (UN News Centre)
- 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.
- Skeptical Science: Get the FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Arguments
- Report: Humans near tipping point that could dramatically change Earth (CS Monitor) [emphasis added]:
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)
- 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)
- 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... "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)
- The Real Global Warming Signal (Tamino)
- No, global warming hasn't stopped (New Scientist)
- 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?