IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Another hurdle cleared for the Keystone XL pipeline; Obama names new environmental cabinet nominees; New York Times kills its Green blog; PLUS: Score one for endangered polar bears ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Pesticides are killing our sperm; "I am one of the Fukushima fifty"; L.A. aims to be coal-free by 2025; US scientists report big jump in heat-trapping CO2; Tar sands developers turn to railroads; Atmospheric warming altering ocean salinity, circulation; Drought, snow hit KS wildlife hard; Forest elephants near extinction due to ivory poachers; Offshore windpower vulnerable to wave power; Rising food prices triggered Arab Spring ... PLUS: 'Angry Summer': Australia's climate on steroids in record-breaking summer ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Keystone XL Moves Closer to Approval:
- VIDEO: Van Jones: Keystone XL would be ‘the Obama Pipeline’ (Grist):
"What happens if you’ve got the Obama Pipeline — now it’s the Obama Pipeline — and it leaks? His legacy could be the worst oil disaster in American farmland history. ...If after he gave that speech for his inauguration, the first thing he does is approve a pipeline bringing tar sands through America … the first thing that pipeline runs over is the credibility of the president on his climate policy. … The Obama Tar-Sands Pipeline should not the legacy of the president that gave that speech."
- State Dept. on Keystone XL: So not a big deal (Grist)
- Report May Ease Path for New Pipeline (NY Times)
- Keystone XL pipeline would have little impact on climate change, State Department analysis says (Washington Post)
- Keystone XL pipeline clears hurdle as State report downplays climate impact (The Hill's E2 Wire)
- NBC Overstates State Department's Keystone XL Jobs Estimate Tenfold (Media Matters)
- Arguments over climate impacts rage on in wake of State Dept. report (Greenwire)
- Will Canada’s Proposed Tar Sands Oil Pipeline Muck Up Its Pacific Coast?: Large cracks remain in the science assessing Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline Project (Scientific American)
- Everybody Likes New Energy, EPA Cabinet Nominees:
- VIDEO & Transcript: President Obama's Remarks on Personnel Nominations
- Cabinet Picks Could Take On Climate Policy (NY Times):
President Obama on Monday named two people to his cabinet who will be charged with making good on his threat to use the powers of the executive branch to tackle climate change and energy policy if Congress does not act quickly. Mr. Obama nominated Gina McCarthy, a tough-talking native of Boston and an experienced clean air regulator, to take charge at the Environmental Protection Agency, and Ernest J.
Moniz, a physicist and strong advocate of natural gas and nuclear power as cleaner alternatives to coal, to run the Department of Energy.
- Natural Gas Seen Gaining With Obama's Fracking-Friendly Nominees (Bloomberg)
- Do Obama Cabinet Picks Match His Greener Second-Term Talk? (CS Monitor)
- Ernest Moniz, Considered Fracking Shill By Some Environmentalists, Sparks Concern Amid Energy Department Nomination (Huffington Post)
- Gina McCarthy's Republican History Should Smooth Path to Head of EPA (Reuters):
After a long career in public service including work for two Republican governors, Gina McCarthy is expected to win confirmation as the next head of the Environmental Protection Agency, thanks to her reputation as a practical, fix-it regulator.
- Enviros Cheer Obama EPA Pick (Mother Jones)
- Meet the New Secretary of Energy Nominee: Ernie Moniz (Scientific American)
- Wyden would press rumored Energy pick Moniz on Hanford cleanup, gas exports (The Hill's E2 Wire)
- Top oil exec praises Obama’s energy pick (The Hill's E2 Wire)
- Sen. Murkowski maintains hold threat for Interior nominee (The Hill's E2 Wire)
- NYT Kills Green Blog:
- NYT cancels Green blog: No explanation from editors following surprise announcement (Columbia Journalism Review):
When the Times announced in January that it was dismantling its three-year-old environment pod and reassigning its editors and reporters to other desks, managing editor Dean Baquet insisted that the outlet remained as committed as ever to covering the environment. Obviously, that was an outright lie. The Green blog was a crucial platform for stories that didn’t fit into the print edition’s already shrunken news hole—which is a lot on the energy and environment beat—and it was a place where reporters could add valuable to context and information to pieces that did make the paper.
- For Times Environmental Reporting, Intentions May Be Good but the Signs Are Not (NYT Public Editor)
- A Farewell to Green (Dot Earth blog)
- Score One For the Polar Bears:
- Court ruling keeps polar bear as threatened species (The HIll's E2 Wire)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Australia's climate 'on steroids' after record-breaking summer (Telegraph UK):
Australia's weather went "on steroids" over a summer that saw an unprecedented heatwave, bushfires and floods, the head of the country's Climate Commission has said, warning that global warming would only make things worse.
- Pesticides are killing our sperm (Grist):
George Washington University researchers pored over 17 scientific studies that were published between 2007 and 2012 and reported in the journal Toxicology that 15 of them found “significant associations between exposure to pesticides and semen quality indicators.”
- 'I am one of the Fukushima fifty': One of the men who risked their lives to prevent a catastrophe shares his story (UK Independent):
They displayed a bravery few can comprehend, yet very little is known about the men who stayed behind to save Japan’s stricken nuclear plant. Meet Atsufumi Yoshizawa, who was at work on 11 March 2011 when disaster struck.
- Los Angeles Aims To Be Coal-Free In 12 Years (Climate Progress)
- US scientists report big jump in heat-trapping CO2 (AP)
- Railroads emerge as alternative to Keystone XL pipeline for moving oil sands from Canada (Washington Post):
Even if foes of the Keystone XL pipeline block it, companies seeking to get Canada’s oil sands to U.S. and world markets could travel the old-fashioned way: by rail. Rail shipments of Canadian crude oil sands are on track to quadruple this year.
- ExxonMobil Former Employee Defends Company In MTBE Water Pollution Case (AP):
Former Department of Environmental Services Commissioner Robert Varney testified earlier that he was shocked Exxon Mobil did not share Mickelson's findings with the state, but Mickelson said the information was widely available at the time. [But did she tell New Hampshire? - ed.].
- Atmospheric Warming Altering Ocean Salinity And The Water Cycle (Climate Progress):
A clear change in salinity has been detected in the world’s oceans, signaling shifts and acceleration in the global rainfall and evaporation cycle tied directly to climate change.
- Natural gas leaks come under scrutiny, raise questions on climate impact (Washington Post)
- Drought-Starved Habitat, Snow Hit Kansas Wildlife Hard (Wichita Eagle)
- Wheat Prices Slump as Rains Erode US Drought Fears (AgriMoney.com)
- 2/3 of Forest Elephants Killed by Ivory Poachers in Past Decade: (Guardian UK):
The threat of extinction is growing for African forest elephants, according to a study released at the Cites summit in Bangkok.
- NC to Reverse Fracking Waste Ban? (Raleigh News & Observer):
Forty years ago, when North Carolina banned using deep wells to permanently dump industrial waste, some thought the issue had been decided for good. Now state lawmakers who want to turn North Carolina into the nation's next fracking hotspot are reopening the case for injecting brines and toxins deep underground.
- Offshore Wind at Risk From Wave Power: Offshore wind turbines are vulnerable to sudden and catastrophic destruction in moderately stormy seas, according to new research. (Climate News Network)
- Climate Change and Rising Food Prices Heightened Arab Spring: (ClimateWire):
The effects of climate change on the food supply exacerbated the underlying tensions that have led to ongoing Middle East instability.
- 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?