IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Ernie Moniz, Obama's nominee for Energy Secretary, heads to easy confirmation in Senate; Former NRC chair says US nukes should be replaced; Fukushima is drowning in a sea of radioactive water; Exxon gets a medal for safety?!? PLUS: Conservative icon Margaret Thatcher believed in SCIENCE, and ACTION on climate change... All that and more in today's Green News Report!
IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Frackers Losing $1.5b Yearly to Leaks; Australia's Coal Industry Headed For Failure; Judge denies BP's attempt to reduce oil spill payouts; Worst wildlife disease in N. America just got worse; Toxic chemicals in Great Lakes plastic pollution; Cost of air pollution scourge underestimated; Billionaire Koch Brother's bizarre self-delusion on climate science; When You Account For The Oceans, Global Warming Continues Apace... PLUS: How Far Can Climate Change Go? ... and much, MUCH more! ...
STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...
- Leftie Commie Pinko Treehugger Margaret Thatcher Called For Action on Climate Change: (The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, MSNBC)
- How Margaret Thatcher led the way on climate change (Australian Broadcasting Company)
- How Thatcher Made the Conservative Case for Climate Action: (Mother Jones):
The year: 1990. The venue: Palais des Nations, Geneva. The star:
Margaret Thatcher, conservative icon in the final month of her prime ministership. The topic: global warming. Thatcher went to the Second World Climate Conference to heap praise on the then-infant Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and to sound, again, the alarm over global warming.
- How North Sea Oil Helped Margaret Thatcher (Christian Science Monitor)
- Ex-NRC Chief Warns U.S. Reactors Have Major Safety Flaw:
- NRC Ex-Regulator Says U.S. Reactors Are Flawed (NY Times) [emphasis added]:
Shutting them all down at once is not practical, he said, but he supports phasing them out rather than trying to extend their lives....Dr. Jaczko cited a well-known characteristic of nuclear reactor fuel to continue to generate copious amounts of heat after a chain reaction is shut down. That "decay heat" is what led to the Fukushima meltdowns.
- The Long, Tragic Trail of Failed General Electric Nuclear Plants: (Cascadia Times):
Newly found court documents from long ago are raising fresh questions about the safety of nuclear reactors made by General Electric.
- Fukushima: Drowning in a Sea of Radioactive Water:
- Damaged Nuclear Plant in Japan Leaks Toxic Water (NY Times):
The leak highlights the daunting challenge of what to do with the huge amounts of contaminated water created by makeshift cooling systems at the plant, after a huge earthquake and tsunami knocked out its regular cooling systems two years ago in the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. Since then, Tepco has essentially been pouring water onto the damaged reactor cores and storage ponds to keep them from overheating.
- Japan's TEPCO May Run Out of Space for Radioactive Water: (Reuters):
Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Co said on Monday it does not have enough tank space should it need to move contaminated water from storage pits that started leaking over the weekend at its wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
- TEPCO Finds Second Pit Leaking in Fukushima (Japan Times)
- EXXON Receives Safety Award After AR Pipeline Spill:
- Exxon Receives Safety Medal From National Safety Council Days After Arkansas Oil Spill (Huffington Post Green) [emphasis added]:
The Green Cross for Safety medal, presented at the council's annual fundraising dinner in Houston on Tuesday, honored ExxonMobil for its leadership and "comprehensive commitment to safety excellence.... It is evident that ExxonMobil is committed to excellence in safety, security, health and environmental performance," said NSC president Janet Froetscher, who presented the award to ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson.
- Exxon Works To Cut Out Pipeline Section After Arkansas Spill (Reuters)
- ExxonMobil Pipeline Spill Triggers Lawsuit (AP): The $5 million class-action suit charges the pipeline spill has permanently diminished property value.
- Amazing Aerial Footage of Arkansas Tar Sands Oil Spill (via Comedian Lee Camp's Youtube Channel)
- Exxon's Duck-Killing Pipeline Won't Pay Taxes To Oil Spill Cleanup Fund (Climate Progress)
- 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
- Energy Nominee Moniz: We Need Carbon Price To Double Or Triple Cost Of Dirty Energy: Moniz is exceedingly knowledgeable about carbon issues. Just last year told the Switch Energy Project he supports a carbon price that would substantially increase electricity costs. (Climate Progress):
- DOE nominee mum on carbon tax (The Hill's e2 Wire)
- DOE nominee open to reviewing natural-gas export study (The Hill's e2 Wire)
'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...
- How Far Can Climate Change Go?: (Scientific American) [emphasis added]:
How far can we push the planet?
What are the ultimate limits of the change that we are causing? The best historical example comes from the 100-million-year-old climate of the Cretaceous period, when moist, hot air enveloped dinosaurs' leathery skin, crocodilelike creatures swam in the Arctic and teeming plant life flourished in the CO2-rich air. The greenhouse that is forming now will have consequences that last for hundreds of thousands of years or more. But first, it will profoundly affect much of life on the planet—especially us.
- Look who's talking: Cape Wind proponent and William Koch, the project's biggest opponent, have been negotiating privately for more than a decade (Commonwealth Magazine):
But what about Cape Wind’s potential to slow the march of global warming? Where does the coal billionaire stand on what many consider the environmental issue of our time? Koch pauses for awhile, and then launches into a long analysis that essentially acknowledges climate change is rapidly occurring but rejects offshore wind turbines as the answer.
- Frackers Losing $1.5b Yearly to Leaks: (Climate Desk): Leaky pipes are the 'super low-hanging fruit' of climate change.
- Australia's Coal Industry Headed For Failure: (RenewEconomy.com):
Australian based analysts at Citigroup says fossil fuel reserves in Australia face significant value destruction in a carbon constrained world, with the value of thermal coal reserves likely to be slashed dramatically if governments get serious about climate action. It says fossil fuel asset owners could be best advised to dig the resource up as quickly as they can.
- Judge: BP Payouts Are Upheld; An Appeal Is Likely (Reuters)
- The Worst Wildlife Disease Outbreak Ever in North America Just Got Way Worse (Mother Jones): A fungus tied to a disease devastating hibernating bats in the United States has been found in an Alabama cave system critical to the survival of endangered gray bats.
- High-Altitude Ice Reveals A Climate on the Rocks: (Daily Climate):
Ohio State scientist Lonnie Thompson tests the limits of science --- and his health --- to unlock climate secrets frozen at the top of the world's highest mountain ranges.
- Toxic Chemicals Turn Up In Great Lakes Plastic Pollution: (Great Lakes Echo):
Toxic chemicals clinging to plastics could cause health problems for fish and other organisms in the Great Lakes.
- Air Pollution Scourge Underestimated, Green Energy Can Help (Scientific American): Air pollution is an underestimated scourge that kills far more people than AIDS and malaria and a shift to cleaner energy could easily halve the toll by 2030, U.N.
- Study: When You Account For The Oceans, Global Warming Continues Apace (Climate Progress) [emphasis added]:
"Most of this excess energy was absorbed in the top 700 meters (2,300 ft) of the ocean at the onset of the warming pause, 65 percent of it in the tropical Pacific and Atlantic oceans," they wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change.
- Getting Serious About a Texas-Size Drought (Op-ed, NY Times):
"Texas does not and will not have enough water" in a bad drought, the state's water plan warned last year. More than two dozen communities could run out of water in 180 days, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Looking ahead, the already-dry western half of the state is expected to be hit particularly hard by climate change. State leaders generally accept such projections, even as they question the scientific consensus that humans are a major cause of climate change.
- Yum! Brands announces 'greener' paper policy (MongaBay.com):
After a prolonged campaign by environmental activists, the world's largest fast food company has announced a new sourcing policy that will shift it toward greener packaging materials.
- Third major oil spill in a week: Shell pipeline breaks in Texas (Russia Today):
By Monday, Shell spokespeople said inspectors found “no evidence” of an oil leak, but days later it was revealed that a breach did occur. Representatives with the US Coast Guard confirmed to Dow Jones on Thursday that roughly 50 barrels of oil spilled from a pipe near Houston, Texas and entered a waterway that connects to the Gulf of Mexico.
- 'Tsunami fish' story: Flooded boat. A 4,500 mile trip.: 5 live Japanese beakfish wash up in Washington State after a cross-Pacific ride from Japan in a tsunami-wrecked boat. The Japanese beakfish survived in a flooded bait box. [Then they killed them.]
- For Scientists, An Exploding World of Pseudo-Academia: (NY Times):
Those scientists had stumbled into a parallel world of pseudo-academia, complete with prestigiously titled conferences and journals that sponsor them. Many of the journals and meetings have names that are nearly identical to those of established, well-known publications and events.
- Land Surface Warming Confirmed Independently Without Land Station Data (Skeptical Science):
[A new paper published in Geophysical Research Letters, Independent confirmation of global land warming without the use of station temperatures by Compo et al. (2013)] seeks to bypass all criticisms of the thermometers themselves by creating a surface temperature record that does not include land thermometer station data.
- First California Fracking Challenge Is Defeat for U.S (Bloomberg):
U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal in San Jose, California, said the BLM violated the National Environmental Policy Act by relying on outdated reviews, conducted before the extraction process known as fracking spurred massive development of energy deposits, when the U.S. sold four leases in 2011 for 2,700 acres of federal land in Monterey and Fresno counties.
- VIDEO: Nanowires have the power to revolutionize solar energy (PhysOrg):
Imagine a solar panel more efficient than today's best solar panels, but using 10 000 times less material. This is what EPFL researchers expect given recent findings on these tiny filaments called nanowires.
- National Review heralds the 'wonderland' of tar sands with a photo of a blighted hellscape (Grist)
- You Can Have More Fossil Fuel. Or You Can Have Water. Your Choice. (Climate Crocks):
- New Research: World on Track for Climate Disaster:
- 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.
- Essential Climate Science Background:
- 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)