IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Will major tar sands pipeline spill in AR doom Keystone XL?; How about the spills in WI, MN, UT?; NASA's Dr. James Hansen steps down to step up activism; SCOTUS smacks down Big Oil lawsuit; PLUS: Score one for breathers: EPA's new rules cut deadly air pollution - but Republicans are against it ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): How U.S. could blow the energy boom; Air pollution kills 1.2m Chinese, 3.2m worldwide; China's losing battle against state-backed polluters; Japan: Nuclear plant operator cites 'poor preparation'; Lake Erie doomed to future of massive toxic algae blooms?; US drought season off to a bad start; Dominion Energy: $14m fine for air pollution violations; Invention of the day: A bladeless wind turbine; Booming oil supplies haven't lowered price at the pump; Sugar industry adopts tobacco industry tactics; What is the 'Monsanto Protection Bill'? ... PLUS: Germany's solar-power success: Too much of a good thing? ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- NASA Scientist Dr. James Hansen To Focus On Climate Activism:
- Climate Maverick to Quit NASA (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
“As a government employee, you can’t testify against the government,” he said in an interview.
- VIDEO: James Hansen: Why I must speak out about climate change (TED Talks) [emphasis added]:
How did I get dragged deeper and deeper into an attempt to communicate, giving talks in 10 countries, getting arrested, burning up the vacation time that I had accumulated over 30 years? More grandchildren helped me along. Jake is a super-positive, enthusiastic boy. Here at age two and a half years, he thinks he can protect his two and a half-day-old little sister. It would be immoral to leave these young people with a climate system spiraling out of control. Now the tragedy about climate change is that we can solve it with a simple, honest approach...
- AR: Major Tar Sands Pipeline Oil Spill:
- Exxon Confirms Ruptured Pipeline in Ark. Carried Canadian Dilbit: The pipeline, called the Pegasus, leaked for about 45 minutes, according to local sources. Exxon has recovered 185,000 gallons of oil and water at site. (InsideClimate News)
- New spill reveals how horrible Keystone could be: Unsure what to think of Keystone pipeline? Check out this video of a shorter pipeline leaking oil all over a street
- Exxon Developing Excavation Plan for Pegasus Oil Pipeline Spill (Bloomberg)
- Minnesota Oil Spill: Canadian Train Derails, Spilling 30,000 Gallons Of Crude In U.S. (Huffington Post Green)
- Will Exxon's AR Pipeline Spill Doom Keystone XL? [Not likely]:
- Exxon oil spill cleanup ongoing in Arkansas, pipeline shut (Reuters) [emphasis added]:
Exxon...was fined in 2010 for not inspecting another portion of the Pegasus line with sufficient frequency...
- Arkansas, Minnesota Tar Sands Oil Spills: Slipping on Keystone XL Pipeline Reality (The BRAD BLOG)
- VIDEO: Arkansas oil pipeline rupture foreshadows devastating environmental impact (Chris Hayes' All In)
- VIDEO: Keystone pipeline leaves politics, environment muddied (Chris Hayes' All In)
- Keystone Komics: The incredible, illustrated history of the Keystone XL oil pipeline (Grist)
- GOP Slams EPA's New Fuel Standards to Cut Air Pollution, Save Lives:
- Obama pitches big anti-smog effort in environmental push (Reuters):
Reducing sulfur in fuel helps car engines burn cleaner and reduces emissions of tiny particles, volatile organic compounds, and nitrogen oxides that can cause lung and heart illnesses.
- Opponents attack EPA proposal requiring cleaner fuel, cars in the U.S. (Washington Post):
But oil industry officials and their congressional allies said it would hurt American fuel refiners and could cause gas prices to rise by an average of 2 cents a gallon, or as much as 9 cents a gallon in some areas.
By 2030, the agency estimates, they will deliver up to $23 billion in health benefits, helping avoid up to 2,400 premature deaths per year and 23,000 cases of respiratory ailments in children.
- VIDEO: A History Lesson On Cries Of Overregulation: EPA Regularly Overestimates Regulatory Costs: Like other clean air rules, the proposed sulfur rule will have more benefits than costs. (Media Matters)
- US Supreme Court Smacks Down Big Oil's EPA Lawsuit:
- Supreme Court Rejects API's Challenge To EPA Air Pollution Rules, Everyone Benefits (Climate Progress)
- Justices reject challenge to EPA air pollution rule (Reuters):
Various industry groups, including the American Petroleum Institute, originally challenged the 2010 regulation, which set a tighter Clean Air Act standard for short-term spikes in nitrogen dioxide pollution near roads... The agency said the new rule was justified due to scientific data that showed the health risks, particularly to those suffering from asthma.
- Deadly Pollution Is Subsidized by YOU:
- IMF: Want to fight climate change? Get rid of $1.9 trillion in energy subsidies. (Washington Post)
- POLL: Over 70% of Americans Support Renewables Over Fossil Fuels: (The Hill's e2 Wire)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- Germany's solar-power success: Too much of a good thing? (Grist):
[T]he energy surplus has driven prices for traditional coal and nuclear power down, even as renewables are still guaranteed more-than-competitive rates. As power companies try to pass the costs to consumers in the form of higher bills, that just encourages more people to put solar panels on their roofs.
- Air Pollution Linked to 1.2 Million Premature Deaths in China (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
What the researchers called "ambient particulate matter pollution" was the fourth-leading risk factor for deaths in China in 2010, behind dietary risks, high blood pressure and smoking. Air pollution ranked seventh on the worldwide list of risk factors, contributing to 3.2 million deaths in 2010.
- DUH: Japan: Nuclear Plant’s Operator Cites Poor Preparation (NY Times)
- Drought Season Off to Bad Starts: Scientists Predict Another Bleak Year (InsideClimate News):
Current climate-induced drought is slipping into a trend that scientists say resembles some of the worst droughts in U.S. history, like the Dust Bowl.
- Dominion Energy Must Pay $14m For Air Pollution: (Environment News Servcie):
Dominion Energy has agreed to pay a $3.4 million civil penalty and spend $9.75 million on environmental mitigation projects to resolve Clean Air Act violations at coal-fired power plants in three states.
- Invention of the day: A bladeless wind turbine (Grist):
The technology, developed by the Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science faculty at Delft, uses the movement of electrically charged water droplets to generate power. How does this work? A handy video explains...
- Lake Erie’s Record-Breaking Algae Bloom May Become the Norm (Discover News) [emphasis added]:
At its peak in October, the mat of green scum on the lake’s surface was nearly four inches thick and covered an area of almost 2,000 square miles. That’s three times larger than any other bloom in the lake, ever. Plus it was toxic. Now research shows that such an event may become increasingly common.
- China's losing battle against state-backed polluters (Reuters) [emphasis added]:
"The problem is that they still chase profit," said one resident outside a store near Zijin's Shanghang headquarters who did not want to give his name. "Protecting the environment is like taking medicine, and they don't want that."
- Monsanto Provision Tucked in Spending Bill Draws Critics (Bloomberg):
Why has Obama approved a law giving immunity to the production and sale of genetically modified food in the US?
- Sugar industry's secret documents echo tobacco tactics: Sugar Association's intent to use science to defeat critics uncovered by dentist (Canadian Broadcasting Co.)
- Fighting global warming with nanotechnology (GMA News)
- How We Could Blow the Energy Boom (Washinton Monthly):
America’s vast new surplus of natural gas could lead to great prosperity and a cleaner environment. But if we don’t fix our decrepit, blackout -prone electric grid, we could wind up sitting in the dark.
- Poll: Nearly half say government too lax on environment (The Hill's e2 Wire):
Nearly half of Americans believe the government is too lax when it comes to protecting the environment, according to a new poll.
- Pesticide makers propose plan to help bees: Syngenta and Bayer have proposed a plan to support bee health to try to forestall a European Union ban on the products (Guardian UK)
- Why Abundant Oil Hasn't Cut Gasoline Prices (BusinessWeek)
- Photos of Home: The Home Planet Seen from 100 Million Miles Away (Discover Magazine)
- You Can Have More Fossil Fuel. Or You Can Have Water. Your Choice.: Part 1. (Climate Crocks):
- Manufacturer of d-CON rat poison fights EPA ban (McClatchy DC):
The manufacturer of d-CON, a widely sold and popular brand of rat poison, is taking the rare step of challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's decision to prohibit the over-the-counter sale of one of the nastiest and most effective of the poisons sold to consumers. Most of the 30 manufactures that make such products agreed to the ban...
- In Hot Water: Global Warming Has Accelerated In Past 15 Years, New Study Of Oceans Confirms (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
Completely contrary to the popular contrarian myth, global warming has accelerated, with more overall global warming in the past 15 years than the prior 15 years. This is because about 90% of overall global warming goes into heating the oceans, and the oceans have been warming dramatically. As suspected, much of the 'missing heat' Kevin Trenberth previously talked about has been found in the deep oceans.
- COVER STORY: It's Global Warming, Stupid (Businessweek):
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.
- 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.
- Skeptical Science: Get the FULL DEBUNKING of ALL Climate Science Denier Arguments
- 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. ...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 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)