IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar steps down; Crop Killer: freeze hits CA citrus; 2012 tenth hottest year globally; EPA squashes fracking drinking water study; TX sues for OK's water; PLUS: No, it's not your imagination --- Spring is springing earlier than ever ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Coal exports to Asia: new battle against global warming; Court finds Bush EPA weakened soot regulations; Exploring environmental links to autism; Coal-ash dump leaking into WV neighborhood; Killer bat disease spreads to KY ... PLUS: Why the 'Idle No More' Movement Is Our Best Chance for Clean Land and Water ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Fox News Very Confused By Climate Science:
- VIDEO: Conservatives Once Again Cite Extreme Cold To Deny Climate Change (MediaMatters.org):
- 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)
- Crop Killer: Extreme Swings In Weather:
- Extreme jet stream causing record warmth in the east, record cold in the west (Dr. Jeff Masters, Weather Underground):
We've been seeing an increasing number of situations in fall and in winter in recent years where the jet stream has taken on the sort of extreme configuration that we are seeing today. Dr. Jennifer Francis of Rutgers has published research showing that Arctic sea ice loss may significantly affect the upper-level atmospheric circulation, slowing its winds and increasing its tendency to make contorted high-amplitude loops.
- VIDEO: Crop Killer Freeze for CA Citrus: (CBS News)
- Weird weather: Temperatures extreme from coast to coast (CNN):
Southern California, Arizona see freezing temps while East enjoys warmth: The weird weekend weather had temperatures as much as 30 degrees below normal in parts of the West and 30 degrees above normal in the East, said CNN meteorologist Jenny Harrison.
- Crop Killer: Taxpayers Hit With Record Crop Insurance Losses:
- Record Taxpayer Cost Is Seen for Crop Insurance (NY Times):
The worst drought in 50 years could leave taxpayers with a record bill of nearly $16 billion in crop insurance costs because of poor yields.
- U.S. hit with 90% of the world's disaster costs in 2012 (ClimateWire)
- Spring Springing Earlier Than Ever in U.S.:
- In Thoreau's Flower Journal, Clues for Climatologists: (NYT Green)
- Spring Springing Earlier Than Ever: (Live Science):
The findings, published online today (Jan. 16) in the journal PLoS ONE, show just how much climate change has altered ecosystems throughout the temperate areas of the United States. The study used 161-year-old data on flowering times from Henry David Thoreau's notebooks, as well as nearly 80-year-old data from the famous naturalist Aldo Leopold.
- Water Wars: Texas Sues OK, NM over Water:
- Supreme Court to Hear Oklahoma/Texas Water Case (State Impact):
At the core of the case is the 1980 Red River Compact, an agreement signed by Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas that gives each state an “equitable apportionment” of water from the river and its tributaries.
- Texas takes water feud with NM to US Supreme Court (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram):
The [Texas Commission on Environmental Quality] says New Mexico is violating the 1938 Rio Grande Compact that governs how water is shared by Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. TCEQ accuses New Mexico of allowing illegal diversions of surface and underground water.
- As Texas Bakes in a Long Drought, Water Becomes a Focus for Legislators (NY Times)
- 2012: Hottest on Record for US; 10th for World:
- 2012 Was 10th-Hottest Year Worldwide, Climate Data Shows (Intl Business Times) [emphasis added]:
With the exception of 1998, the nine warmest years in 132 years of climate record-keeping have all occurred since 2000, according to NASA. 2012 was also the 36th year in a row that had a global temperature above the 20th-century average. The last time the world saw colder-than-average temperatures across the globe was 1976.
- 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)
- NOAA: 2012 Was Officially The Warmest Year On Record For The U.S., Second Most Extreme (Climate Progress)
- NOAA And NASA: 2012 Warmest ‘La Niña Year’ On Record, Sustaining Long-Term Climate Warming Trend (Climate Progress)
- 2012 Was 10th-Hottest Year Worldwide, Climate Data Shows (Intl Business Times) [emphasis added]:
- WTF?: EPA Squashes Fracking Water Contamination Study:
- AP Exclusive: EPA reversed course on tainted Texas water wells after gas company protested (Washington Post) [emphasis added]:
Regulators set aside an analysis that concluded the drilling could have been to blame for the contamination.
- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar To Step Down:
- Ken Salazar leaves contested legacy as Obama's interior secretary (Guardian UK):
As interior secretary, Salazar had a complicated relationship with environmentalists. As the executor of Obama's all-encompassing energy strategy, Salazar angered activists by approving coal and oil projects on public lands in the west, and allowing Shell to being drilling in Arctic waters.
- VIDEO: Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar speech at the Conserving the Future Conference (America's Wildlife YouTube channel)
- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar To Leave Post In March—A Look Back At His Legacy (Climate Progress)
- Mixed Environmental Record for Ken Salazar (Wikipedia) [emphasis added]:
According to Project Vote Smart ... Salazar has an 81% lifetime rating from the League of Conservation Voters, including a 100% rating for the year 2008.
- Salazar's resignation spurs assessments of his tenure, talk about replacements (Greenwire)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Why the 'Idle No More' Movement Is Our Best Chance for Clean Land and Water (Alternet):
As Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence enters her fourth week of a hunger strike outside the Canadian parliament building, thousands of protesters voice their support in Los Angeles, London, Minneapolis, and New York City. Spence and the protesters of the Idle No More movement are drawing attention to deplorable conditions in native communities and the recent passage of Bill C-45, which sidesteps most Canadian environmental laws.
- Coal to Asia Emerges as New Front in Battle against Global Warming: Experts and environmentalists question whether shipping U.S. coal to China can be reconciled with the need to combat climate change (Reuters)
- Court faults EPA for Bush-era soot regulations (AP):
An appeals court is siding with environmental groups that had challenged Environmental Protection Agency regulations on soot as too weak. The three-judge panel ruled Friday that the EPA regulated soot of a certain size under weaker cleanup requirements than it should have.
- Path-blazing researcher explores environmental links to autism (Greenwire):
University of California, Davis, epidemiologist Irva Hertz-Picciotto has been pursuing another angle: Does the environment around a pregnant woman play a role in determining whether her child develops autism?
- Battle Lines Form As Coal-Ash Dump Leaks Into WV Neighborhood: (Greenwire):
The ground here is leaking. Several neighbors have moved away to escape seeps coming out of the hillside. They say the leaks have dampened their backyards and infested their homes with mold.
- Bat With White Nose Syndrome Found In Mammoth Cave National Park (AP):
Mammoth Cave National Park says tests have confirmed that a bat from one of the park’s caves had white-nose syndrome, a disease that has killed millions of bats in eastern North America.
- 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)
- Black carbon ranks as second-biggest human cause of global warming (Washington Post)
- 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?