IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Climate change already hitting Rocky Mtn ski resorts; House Dems slam Republicans for obstruction of climate action; Shell Oil calls it quits in the Arctic --- for now; Fox 'News' makes a stunning admission; Drought in the West, Flooding in Europe PLUS: Finally, some good news for kids in Detroit ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Sequestration would be bad news for clean energy and a clean environment; You may be eating toxic chemicals, even if you eat organic, avoid plastic; High court throws out $1B fraud verdict in Exxon leak case; US nuclear dump is leaking toxic waste; USDA warns farmers of accelerating climate change; Loss of wild bees serious threat to crop yields; Weather extremes provoked by trapping of giant waves in atmosphere ... PLUS: The New Abolitionists: Global Warming Is The Great Moral Crisis Of Our Time ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- FoxNews.com: 'CO2 Is A Pollutant' (The BRAD BLOG)
- UPDATE: BP on Trial for Gulf Oil Spill:
- BP Spill Trial Main Page: New Orleans Times-Picayune (NOLA.com)
- Former BP executives offer conflicting safety accounts as Gulf oil spill trial continues (NOLA.com)
- BP left out critical details in spill report, attorneys allege (Fuel Fix)
- Coast Guard Responds to Oil Spill Off Louisiana Shore (ABC News)
- Shell Quits the Arctic --- For Now:
- Swift reaction as Shell suspends 2013 Arctic Alaska offshore drilling (Alaska Dispatch) [emphasis added]:
“Alaska remains an area with high potential for Shell over the long term, and the company is committed to drill there again in the future,” the company said.
He added that discussions with the Department of Interior indicated that a review ordered by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar of the 2012 drilling season would not be performed with the goal of making some ultimate decision on Arctic development and whether or not to continue drilling.
- Shell drillship may have legal troubles on horizon (Alaska Dispatch)
- Shell Pause in Arctic Drilling Spurs Call for U.S. Review (Bloomberg)
- House Dems' "Safe Climate Caucus" Slams GOP For Obstruction:
- VIDEO: Democratic Members Launch Climate Change Floor Initiative (Office of Rep. Henry Waxman, California):
Following President Obama’s recent call to action on climate change in his State of the Union address, today nearly two dozen Democratic members of the House of Representatives announced the formation of the Safe Climate Caucus. The Caucus members have made a commitment to talk every day on the House Floor about the urgent need to address climate change.
- VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) On Hawaii Drought, Natural Disaster (House Democrats Energy & Commerce Cmte YouTube Channel)
- Climate-caucus redux: New group isn’t the first (Washington Post)
- Northern California: Driest Jan.-Feb. On Record:
- Snow survey confirms driest January, February on record (Santa Rosa Press-Democrat)
- Following driest January and February ever recorded, Sierra snowpack at 66 percent of normal: But the news isn't all bad: Heavier-than-normal rain and snowfall in November and December left many of the state's major reservoirs at or above normal levels now. (San Jose Mercury News)
- GRAPH: California starts year with record dry conditions (Sacramento Bee)
- PBS NewsHour: Shrinking Snow Means Steep Slide for Ski Industry (PBS):
Winter sports like skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling all rely on long, snowy winters for a profitable season. But climate change is creating uncertain conditions for winter sports and the industries that surround them.
- Extreme Weather: Britain, Greece, Italy Suffer Torrential Rain:
- VIDEO: Greece Rains Flood Athens' Streets, Inundates Basements (Huffington POst)
- British farming in crisis as crop losses from 'relentless' floods pile up woes: Many farmers are quitting an industry hit by rain, disease and cheap imports – just as food security becomes a worldwide issue (Guardian UK)
- Rain in U.K. Said by Union to Cost Farmers $2.1 Billion in 2012 (Bloomberg News)
- Wettest year on record for England... and still more rain and wind to come: England has suffered its wettest year on record after the winter deluge pushed rainfall figures to historic levels, the Met Office has confirmed. (UK Telegraph)
- Good news for Detroit: Lead poisoning of kids drops 70 percent since 2004 (Environmental Health News):
Not too long before the CDC adopted a more stringent threshold, the agency severely cut its lead prevention funding, which Detroit and other cities have heavily relied on. In this fiscal year, it was slashed from $30 million to $2 million. Thompson of Wayne State University said the lack of money has “halted lead services in their tracks” in Detroit....Schottenfels said almost all of the money in Detroit to fight lead – about $1 million annually – came from the CDC. “With current funding, the effort to stop this problem is in dire straits," she said.
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- The New Abolitionists: Global Warming Is The Great Moral Crisis Of Our Time (Climate Progress):
The Guardian has a good piece by Andrew Winston accompanying the gallery,”The campaign to abolish slavery has many parallels with the work of today’s climate change activists: it takes bravery and determination to try and make the world a better place.”
- Sequestration would be bad news for clean energy and a clean environment (Grist)
- You’re Eating Toxic Chemicals, Even If You Eat Organic And Avoid Plastic (Fast Company):
A new study found remarkable levels of endocrine disruptors in even carefully catered diets.
The authors conclude in their study: "It may be that our findings reflect an isolated rare contamination event because of unusual processing or a packaging abnormality. It also could be the case that the food supply is systematically contaminated with high phthalate concentrations, which are difficult to identify."
- High court throws out $1B fraud verdict in Exxon leak case (Baltimore Sun):
The rulings reverse court victories secured by residents and businesses. The court rejected $1 billion in punitive damages from a $1.5 billion verdict handed down in 2011 after a six-month jury trial. The court also rejected some claims from a 2009 case in which a jury awarded $150 million to a smaller number of plaintiffs and ordered some returned to Baltimore County Circuit Court for trial.
- US nuclear dump is leaking toxic waste (New Scientist)
- USDA: Farmers must both recognize climate change & become a part of the solution (NRDC Switchboard)
- BEES: Loss of wild pollinators serious threat to crop yields, study finds: Wild bees and other insects twice as effective as honeybees in producing seeds and fruit on crops (Guardian UK)
- Los Angeles Will Be Off Coal by 2025, Says Mayor (KCET)
- Weather extremes provoked by trapping of giant waves in atmosphere: study (Phys.org) [emphasis added]:
"An important part of the global air motion in the mid-latitudes of the Earth normally takes the form of waves wandering around the planet, oscillating between the tropical and the Arctic regions. ..."What we found is that during several recent extreme weather events these planetary waves almost freeze in their tracks for weeks".
- Dept of Defense Launches Attack On Climate Change (Clean Technica):
Last week, DoD released the new Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap [PDF], its blueprint for addressing the effects of climate change in a national security context. That includes global impacts such as geopolitical consequences, conflict acceleration and competition for food, water and other life-sustaining resources, as well as increasing demands on DoD resources for humanitarian relief.
- 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.
- 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?