Thursday, February 13, 2014

  • Meteorologist Jeff Masters: Climate Change Affecting Weather Patterns Regardless of Season

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    Governors have declared states of emergencies from Louisiana to New Jersey due to a massive snow and ice storm. A National Weather Service memo calls the storm "an event of historical proportions," identifying it as "catastrophic ... crippling ... paralyzing ... choose your adjective." The storm has already caused at least 13 deaths and left 550,000 without power. We speak to Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground.

  • "This Should Not Come as a Surprise": Bill McKibben on Global Extreme Weather from U.S. to Sochi

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    While governors have declared states of emergency from Louisiana to New Jersey due to the massive snow and ice storm, other examples of extreme weather are being seen across the globe. California is facing possibly its worst drought in 500 years. In Russia temperatures have topped 60 degrees Fahrenheit at the Winter Olympic in Sochi. Meanwhile in Britain, gusts of more than 100 miles per hour lashed western England and Wales overnight, and in London the Thames has risen to its highest level in decades. "This is the kind of crazy weather that scientists said will mark the advent of climate change in its early stages," says 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben. "And it should be the warning that we need to actually do something, but so far our leaders haven’t taken up that challenge."

  • Bill McKibben on Fight Against Keystone XL, Fossil Fuel Divestment and Obama’s Failures on Climate

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    Hundreds of college students are expected to risk arrest on March 2 outside the White House to pressure President Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline project. Organizers of "XL Dissent" say they hope to stage one of the largest acts of civil disobedience against the pipeline to date. The Keystone XL would carry 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada to the Gulf Coast. In January, a long-awaited environmental impact statement from the State Department found the Keystone XL would do little to slow the expansion of Canada’s vast oil sands, and would not significantly exacerbate the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. The Washington Post later revealed the review was run by a dues-paying member of the American Petroleum Institute with close ties to the company behind the pipeline, TransCanada. As we enter the final steps in the Keystone XL decision, we are joined by Bill McKibben, co-founder and director of 350.org.

    McKibben describes how the effort to confront global warming is growing worldwide. "The one place where we’ve really been able to go on the offense is this divestment movement. It has now spread around the world. Oxford University published a study in October saying it was the fastest-growing such corporate campaign in history. Universities, colleges, churches, city and state governments, pension funds — all now starting with an exhilarating pace to cut their ties with fossil fuel industries. It is one place where there is some real hope."

  • N.C. Governor No Longer Works for Duke Energy, But After Coal Spill, Is He Doing Their Bidding?

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    In one of the worst coal ash spills in U.S. history, up to 27 million gallons of contaminated water and 82,000 tons of coal ash spilled into North Carolina’s Dan River after a pipe burst underneath a waste pond. That is enough toxic sludge to fill more than 70 Olympic swimming pools. The river has turned grey for miles, and environmentalists say they have found arsenic levels 35 times higher than the maximum set by federal regulators. Did state regulators intentionally block lawsuits against Duke Energy in order to shield the company where Republican Gov. Pat McCrory worked for 28 years? We speak to Amy Adams, who recently resigned from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources in protest of changes at the agency last year. She now works with the organization Appalachian Voices.