IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Superstorm Sandy disaster aid finally passed by Congress; Transportation Secretary to step down; Catastrophic flooding in Australia, while drought worsens in US; Poll: climate action a winner with voters; PLUS: Who in New York is paying to protest wind farms in Scotland? ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): UK's Stern: ‘I got it wrong on climate change'; Judge OKs BP’s guilty plea in Gulf oil spill; Keystone XL work veers onto wrong land; Wind Energy Surpasses Nuclear in China; Message from Mexico: U.S. Is Polluting Water It May Someday Need to Drink; EU sets common standard for elec. car chargers; Rare earth mining boom raises toxic risks ... PLUS: Exposing the Kochs: Billionaire Koch Bros. get sweet tax breaks by secretly funding climate change deniers ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: Colbert: The Word - The New Abnormal
- Poll: Climate Action a Winner With Voters:
- The Political Benefits to Taking a Pro-Climate Stand in 2013 (Yale Project on Climate Change Communication):
Concern about the effects of climate change is high across political groups, with majorities of Democrats and Independents expressing concern about global warming and its potential harm for themselves and future generations.
Across party lines, there is support for taking action to reduce global warming, with pluralities of all groups favoring medium-scale efforts. Even among Republicans, a sizeable majority support making some effort to address global warming.
- Yale Poll Finds Climate Change Action Is A Political Winner (Climate Progress)
- 3 Months Later: Congress Passes Superstorm Sandy Aid:
- Congress Passes $50.5B Superstorm Sandy Aid Bill: (AP):
Three months after Superstorm Sandy ravaged coastal areas in much of the Northeast, Congress on Monday sent a $50.5 billion emergency relief measure for storm victims to President Barack Obama for his signature.
- Obama Says He'll Sign $50.5B Sandy Aid Bill Soon (AP)
- 3 Months Later, Sandy Losses Mount (AP)
- Flood Insurance Delay Paints Bleak Picture for Sandy Victims (Toms River Patch)
- VIDEO: Chris Christie Calls 'Disgusting' Boehner's Decision to Yank Sandy Funds (ABC News, Jan 2, 2013)
- Catastrophic Weather in U.S., Australia, Mozambique:
- In 2013, Drought Is Worsening In Midwest And Plains States, Despite U.S. Winter Weather: The government on Jan. 9 declared much of the central and southern U.S. Wheat Belt a natural disaster area. (Reuters)
- Australian troops called in to deal with floods (AFP)
- UN: Mozambique Floods Displace 150k, Leave 38 Dead (AP)
- Coffee farmers struggle to adjust to climate change: Ill-timed rains used to be rare, coming maybe once a decade. So did unusually long and hot dry spells, which now come regularly. (Seattle Times)
- Study: Cities' Waste Heat May Alter Wind Patterns:
- Study: Distant Rural Areas May Feel Cities' Heat: (AP):
Heat rising up from cities such as New York, Paris and Tokyo might be remotely warming up winters far away in some rural parts of Alaska, Canada, and Siberia, a surprising study theorizes.
- Waste Heat From Cities May Be Altering Weather Patterns (Climate Central)
- Big Cities' Heat Can Change Temperatures a Continent Away: Study (Reuters)
- Cue GOP Obstruction: Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood to Step Down:
- Transportation chief LaHood to step down (AP)
- VIDEO: On the Go with Ray LaHood (Dept. of Transportation YouTube channel)
- Who Is Paying New Yorkers to Protest Wind Farms in Scotland?:
- Trolling for Paid Wind Farm Protesters: "Earn Quick and Easy $20 for an hour or less of work" (NY Craisglist)
- Astroturf Gone Wrong: Fake Protesters Offered $20 To Stand At Anti-Wind Energy Rally (Climate Progress
- VIDEO: Trump demands Scotland scratch wind turbines near golf resort: Donald Trump, who built a golf resort along the coast of Scotland wants to stop a wind farm of turbines from being built off shore. ITN's Lewis Vaughan Jones reports.(MSNBC, 4/25/12))
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Nicholas Stern: ‘I Got It Wrong On Climate Change–It’s Far, Far Worse,’ An ‘Existential’ Threat For Many (Climate Progress)
- Exclusive: Billionaires secretly fund attacks on climate science (UK Independent) [emphasis added]:
Audit trail reveals that donors linked to fossil fuel industry are backing global warming sceptics
Donors [Trust] is being indirectly supported by the American billionaire Charles Koch...Millions of dollars has been paid to Donors through a third-party organisation, called the Knowledge and Progress Fund, with is operated by the Koch family but does not advertise its Koch connections... People who give money receive generous tax relief and can retain greater anonymity than if they had used their own charitable foundations because, technically, they do not control how Donors spends the cash.
- Judge OKs BP’s guilty plea to manslaughter, other charges, $4 billion in oil spill penalties (AP) [emphasis added]:
What the plea deal approved by U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance doesn’t resolve, though, is the federal government’s civil claims against BP. The company could pay billions more for environmental damage from its 2010 spill.
Keith Jones, whose 28-year-old son, Gordon, died in the rig explosion, said $4 billion isn’t adequate punishment.... “They were basically cremated alive and not at their choice.”
- Keystone XL work veers onto wrong land (Fuel Fix):
TransCanada contractors building the Keystone XL pipeline mistakenly planned their route and cleared several hundred feet of land through public property they had no right to work on...
- Wind Energy Surpasses Nuclear As China’s 3rd Largest Source Of Electrical Power (Clean Technica)
- Message from Mexico: U.S. Is Polluting Water It May Someday Need to Drink (Pro Publica):
Mexico City plans to draw drinking water from a mile-deep aquifer, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. The Mexican effort challenges a key tenet of U.S. clean water policy: that water far underground can be intentionally polluted because it will never be used.
- What holds energy tech back? The infernal battery (AP) [emphasis added]:
As 21st century technology strains to become ever faster, cleaner and cheaper, an invention from more than 200 years ago keeps holding it back. It's why electric cars aren't clogging the roads and why Boeing's new ultra-efficient 787 Dreamliners aren't flying high. And chances are you have this little invention next to you right now and probably have cursed it recently: the infernal battery.
- Europe Sets Common Standard for Electric Vehicle Chargers: (Environment News Service):
The 'Type 2 plug developed by the German company Mennekes will be the common standard for charging electrified vehicles across the European Union, the European Commission has announced.
- Boom in Mining Rare Earths Poses Mounting Toxic Risks: (Yale Environment 360):
The mining of rare earth metals, used in everything from smart phones to wind turbines, has long been dominated by China. But as mining of these key elements spreads to countries like Malaysia and Brazil, scientists warn of the dangers of the toxic and radioactive waste generated by the mines and processing plants.
- 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?