Welcome aboard more new affiliates: Bob Kincaid's Head-On Radio Network joins the GNR team!
IN TODAY'S AUDIO REPORT: Florida homes stink!; FDA under fire (again); McDonald's may reduce pesticides in fries; the cardboard box that could save the world; and Utah college student indicted for saving public lands from destruction.
Download MP3 (6 mins), or listen online here...
IN "GREEN NEWS EXTRA" (links below): Alaskan volcano still threatens oil facility; are America's suburbs in danger of becoming the new slums?; the oil price shock of 2008 may have triggered the current economic downturn; and Robert Redford confronts the NIMBY problem in renewable energy sites. Links to stuff we talked about on today's episode, plus more green news:
- U.S. Food Safety No Longer Improving
- Consortium rejects FDA claim of BPA's safety; Scientists say 2 studies used by U.S. agency overlooked dangers
- Babies carry more BPA, scientists group agrees
- SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: Chemical Fallout: A Journal Sentinel Watchdog Report
Warning: Chemicals in the packaging, surfaces or contents of many products may cause long-term health effects, including cancers of the breast, brain and testicles; lowered sperm counts, early puberty and other reproductive system defects; diabetes; attention deficit disorder, asthma and autism. A decade ago, the government promised to test these chemicals. It still hasn't.
- AP IMPACT: Chinese drywall poses potential risks
- Chinese Drywall and the Cost of Truth-Telling
- McDonald"s aims for a low-pesticide potato for its french fries
- McDonald"s to take steps to cut potato pesticides
- UT Student Tim DeChristopher Indicted!
- Environmental activist indicted for making false bids
- Democracy Now!: Utah Student Who Prevented Bush Administration Sell-Off of Public Land Charged for Disrupting Auction
- Drilling Leases Scrapped in Utah
- Opinion: Oil lays waste to the West:
On election day, the Bureau of Land Management in Utah quietly announced its last round of oil and gas lease sales for the year. On Dec. 19, close to 400,000 acres of America's redrock wilderness -- much of it adjacent to Arches and Canyonlands national parks and Dinosaur National Monument -- were to be sold for drilling to the highest bidders.
Public outcry was fierce. The National Park Service had not been consulted, as it usually was, and much of the land listed for auction had long been proposed for wilderness protection.
- For more info and to donate, visit the Tim DeChristopher Legal Defense fund, via Paypal or snail mail.
"GREEN NEWS EXTRA": More green news not covered in today's audio report...
- NASA Photo Reveals Drift River Terminal in Jeopardy
- Suburbs - our new slums? The burbs are in decline as more poor move out from the cities and more suburbanites struggle to stay in the middle class [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]:
Mr. Nelson and others warn that suburbia's least desirable neighborhoods -- aging, middle-class tract-home developments far from city centers and mass transit lines -- are America's emerging slums, characterized by poverty, crime and other social ills. Treating those ills is complicated by the same qualities that once defined suburbia's appeal -- seclusion, homogeneity and low population density. "We built too much of the suburban dream, and now it's coming back to haunt us," Mr. Nelson said.
- Renewables Fever Sweeps State Legislatures
- More states want solar power to be option on new homes
- Should We Follow Germany's Lead On Renewables?
The basic idea is that utilities have to buy renewable power from anyone who produces it. Period. If I install a solar panel on my roof, I can sell that power into the grid, and the utility will offer me a 15- to 20-year contract at a fixed rate that will cover my costs and ensure a tidy profit. (The rate is set by regulators, and the utility spreads the extra cost among all ratepayers; in Germany, this has meant $4 more per household per month.) The result? Private investors stampede in. Germany, which gets less sun than Minnesota, now has half the world's installed solar capacity.
- Did the Oil Price Boom of 2008 Cause Crisis?
[T]here's the uncomfortable fact previous oil shocks, like the ones that came with the 1973 oil embargo, the 1979 Iranian revolution and the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, were also associated with recessions. And the 2001 recession, too, came on the heels of a run-up in oil prices.
In a paper presented at the Brookings Panel on Economic Activity Thursday, University of Calif.-San Diego economist James Hamilton crunched some numbers on how consumer spending responds to rising energy prices and came to a surprising result: Nearly all of last year's economic downturn could be attributed to the oil price shock.
- Robert Redford on Huffington Post Green: Balancing Renewable Energy Projects & Public Lands Stewardship
[I]f we don't handle this boom carefully, unspoiled wildlands will get trammeled in its wake.
That's why my friends at NRDC got together with Google Earth and started mapping out public lands where renewable development is not appropriate.
The state of California recently did a similar mapping process and found that when it removed all the environmentally sensitive lands, California still has renewable potential of about 500,000 MW--that's greater than the state's peak demand.
But we can't begin the new energy future by only saying where we can't build renewable projects. We also have to agree on where we can.