IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: 'Too pooped to pope': Pope Benedict's green legacy; Did global warming find Nemo?; State of the Union - Obama's next act on climate change; Wind power now cheaper than coal in some countries; PLUS: Fox 'News' surrenders to Germany (in the clean energy race) ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Koch-backed 'Tea Party' started in 2002 with Big Tobacco; Meet your newest national park; Shell's damaged Arctic drilling rigs go to Asia; Map of cities to avoid as sea levels rise; Keystone XL pipeline: Just Say No; National Journal covers rising costs of inaction on climate change; Bloomberg's clean energy investor factbook; Flame retardants linked to ADHD; Why the US drilling boom lowered gas prices ... PLUS: Energy Subsidies and the 'Free Market' Lie ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- VIDEO: Colbert Report on Winter Storm Nemo (Comedy Central)
- Elon Musk Slams NYT over Tesla Coverage:
- Tesla’s Elon Musk slams New York Times review (Washington Post):
The prominent entrepreneur, also known for founding SpaceX and PayPal, said that a Times reviewer did not follow instructions during his review of the Tesla Model S and did not include important portions of the trip in the resulting article — accusations the paper calls “flatly untrue.”
- NYT Review: Stalled Out on Tesla’s Electric Highway (NY Times)
- Factbox: Tesla CEO Elon Musk vs. New York Times Car Review (Yahoo News)
- VIDEO: Musk: Model S Works Well, NYT Article `Ridiculous' (Bloomberg)
- Nissan calls out 'Top Gear' over Leaf review: Nissan executive vice-president Andy Palmer asserts that Top Gear created its portrayal of the Nissan Leaf running out of electricity, rather than actually testing the car. (CNET, 8/3/2011)
- Wind Power Cheaper Than Coal:
- In Australia, Wind Power Is Already Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels, And Solar Is Right Behind (Climate Progress)
- Wind power is now cheaper than coal in some countries (New Scientist) [emphasis added]:
Wind is seen as a safer long-term investment, says Turner. "Investors are nervous about building a new coal plant." While renewable sources are increasingly favoured by governments, fossil fuels face an uncertain future as countries try to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
- Global Wind Capacity Increased Almost 20% In 2012 to 282 Gigawatts
- US Residential Solar Financing to Reach $5.7 Billion by 2016: Third-party financing of solar PV has become the predominant business model in some of the largest residential markets in the U.S. (GreenTech Media)
- Global Wind Capacity Increased Almost 20% In 2012 to 282 Gigawatts (Climate Progress)
- Clean Energy To Attract $1.9T Investment by 2018:
- REPORT: A Powerful Partnership: Public Sector Investment and Prive Sector Innovation (Pew Charitable Trusts) [emphasis added]:
Innovation Is An Economic Engine
Pew’s research concludes that nations whose policies promote a culture of innovation will be well positioned to reap the economic benefits. China, Germany, South Korea and other countries are focusing government investments and adopting policies to attract private investment, create jobs and businesses, and protect the environment. Whether the United States can maintain a leadership role in the expanding sector will be evident in its commitment to invest in innovation for clean energy technologies.
- REPORT: Policy Matters: The Future of U.S. Clean Energy: Where the U.S. can harness new opportunities in order to create a strong strategy for future energy policy. (Pew Charitable Trusts)
- Renewable-Power Plants to Attract $1.9 Trillion Through 2018, Pew Says (Bloomberg News) [emphasis added]:
Those figures may increase even more if governments establish national energy policies that include commitments for renewable power, Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Clean Energy Program in Washington, said yesterday in a telephone interview.
- Too Pooped to Pope: Pope Benedict XVI's Green Legacy:
- Text And Video Of Pope Benedict XVI's Resignation Announcement (NPR)
- What Did Pope Benedict Do, Anyway? (Think Progress) [emphasis added]:
Benedict was dubbed the “Green Pope” for his commitment to environmental concerns. He boosted “efforts to make Vatican City more environmentally efficient,” used “Roman Catholic doctrine to emphasize humanity’s responsibility to care for the planet,” and called on world leaders to “agree on a responsible, credible and supportive response to this worrisome and complex phenomenon, keeping in mind the needs of the poorest populations and of future generations.”
- Global Warming's Influence on Winter Storm Nemo:
- Global Warming Made Nemo Stronger; Also, Global Warming is Killing Nemo (Motherboard):
Nemo, well, Nemo's a different story. Climatologists say that there's evidence that global warming probably made Nemo somewhat stronger and snowier.
Orange clownfish, the species that served as a model for the hero from the Pixar film Finding Nemo, are currently going deaf because of global warming.
- Rich Moisture Feed Helped Blizzard Bury Northeast: Climate studies have shown that as the world has warmed, the atmosphere is carrying, on average, more moisture that can be wrung out by storms as rain or snow. (Climate Central)
- The whopper of a storm didn't rank high in history (AP):
wo National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration storm-rating measurements initially ranked Friday's snowstorm as 16th in Northeast history by one scale and 25th by another.
- SOTU: Obama's Next Act on Climate Change:
- In Short Run, Obama Can Bypass Congress on Climate (Climate Central):
The Obama administration needs to act, with or without congressional legislation, in order to meet its short-term goal of reducing emissions of planet warming gases by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020...which the country is currently not on track to meet, the report said.
- FDR’s 1938 State Of The Union Address Offers Obama Some Timeless Thoughts On Dust-Bowlification (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
The first great force, agriculture—and with it the production of timber, minerals and other natural resources—went forward feverishly and thoughtlessly until nature rebelled and we saw deserts encroach, floods destroy, trees disappear and soil exhausted….There are those well meaning theorists who harp on the inherent right of every free born American to do with his land what he wants–to cultivate it well—or badly;...That, I assert is not an inherent right of citizenship.
- Fox News Surrenders to Germany! ...In the Clean Energy Race:
- Fox 'News': Germany Leads World in Solar Because 'They Get a Lot More Sun Than We Do': And why 70% of Republicans are so unapologetically clueless (The BRAD BLOG)
- 10 Huge Lessons We’ve Learned From Solar Power Success In Germany (Clean Technica)
- VIDEO: Fox Cedes Solar Industry To Germany (Media Matters):
Unlike the U.S., Unlike the U.S., Germany has a national solar policy, a quick, inexpensive permitting process, and a national mandate that utilities sign up rooftop installations under what's known as a feed-in tariff--essentially a long-term contract whereby the utilities agree not just to allow the solar on their grids but also to buy the excess power from consumers.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Energy Subsidies and the 'Free Market' Lie (The BRAD BLOG) [emphasis added]:
All nuclear power plants would shut down immediately if their operators were required to have appropriate insurance coverage. All coal power plants would shut down immediately if people sick from dust emissions could sue the coal power plant operators appropriately for their failure to install proper emissions filters.
- Study Confirms Tea Party Was Created by Big Tobacco and Pollutocrat Kochs (DeSmogBlog) [emphasis added]:
Far from a genuine grassroots uprising, this astroturf effort was curated by wealthy industrialists years in advance. Many of the anti-science operatives who defended cigarettes are currently deploying their tobacco-inspired playbook internationally to evade accountability for the fossil fuel industry’s role in driving climate disruption.
- Shell Ships Alaska Drilling Rigs To Asia For Repairs (Forbes):
The string of problems that befell Shell in the Arctic last year would amount to a comedy of errors, if it weren’t so expensive.
- Ken Burns on Pinnacles National Park: 'Hallelujah' (Mother Nature News):
"This is just really a moment of just, hallelujah, celebration," Burns told KQED's Molly Samuel. "I can think of no greater accomplishment for a citizen than having helped the creation of the setting aside of land for everyone for all times."
- Don't Even Go There:New map pinpoints cities to avoid as sea levels rise (New Scientist):
SYDNEY, Tokyo and Buenos Aires watch out. These cities will experience some of the greatest sea level rises by 2100, according to one of the most comprehensive predictions to date.
- Is The Keystone XL Pipeline A Symbol Or A Piece Of A Puzzle? (Peter Gleick, via Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
But. But. But. Here’s my problem: when do we finally just say “no more?” When are we and our elected officials going to look at the complete picture created by our individual choices and decisions?...[O]ur choices are additive. Society’s decisions must no longer be divorced from the recognition of the threats of climate change.
- National Journal: The Scary Truth About How Much Climate Change Is Costing You (National Journal):
While policymakers fiddle, the threat of economic harm posed by rising sea levels, devastating storms, and drought is growing every day.
- Is Sustianable-Labeled Seafood Reallky Sustainable?: The labels meant to give consumers confidence in the sustainability of the seafood they buy may be deceptive. (NPR)
- The boom in U.S. oil drilling hasn’t lowered gas prices (Washington Post):
So why is that? The big thing to remember is that oil prices are a function of both supply and demand. If world demand for oil rises faster than producers can pump the stuff out, prices will go up. And that’s what is happening now.
- The New Sustainable Energy Factbook: A Strong Case for Consistent Policy (Bloomberg New Energy Finance, via Climate Progress.org):
The report provides a detailed account of the energy market for investors and policymakers making a strong case for the role of stable policies in leveling the playing field for clean energy technologies in the evolving energy landscape.
- Flame-retardants may affect a child's attention, IQ. (Environmental Health News) [emphasis added]:
Exposure to flame retardants during pregnancy or early childhood may lead to children with poorer attention, motor skills and IQ scores. ...Although most forms of these chemicals have been banned, many household items, including couch cushions, still contain them.
- USDA: Climate Change Set to Batter U.S. Agriculture, Forests (Climate Central):
Climate change is likely to transform U.S. agriculture by mid-century, reducing yields of many staple crops and the productivity of livestock operations, according to a new government analysis. Rising temperatures and shifting precipitation patterns will also harm the nation’s forests, increasing their vulnerability to fires, insect infestations and disease.
- GOP’s Future Still Stuck In The Past: Rubio Claims There’s ‘Reasonable Debate’ On Cause Of Climate Change (Climate Progress)
- VIDEO: Humans Have Already Set in Motion 69 Feet of Sea Level Rise (Mother Jones): Glaciologist Jason Box describes a post-warming world that you won't even be able to recognize.
- 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?