Moreno, the first Latina to lead the department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in November 2009.
Her tenure spanned one of the worst disasters in U.S. history, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in April 2010. Eleven men died in that firestorm.
The Justice Department extracted a record $1 billion civil penalty from Transocean, the rig owner, earlier this year. And a civil trial continues in New Orleans over other environmental damages.
“To date, we have already achieved significant resolutions for liability in the Gulf,” Moreno said in an exit interview with NPR. “We are focused on holding those responsible accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
The unit also successfully defended Obama administration regulations of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, winning a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit last year.
But veterans of the environmental unit worried it had lost some prestige by ceding ground in the massive Gulf oil spill case to the Justice Department’s criminal division, which led a federal task force and prosecuted giant BP and several individual employees in connection with the disaster.
Posts tagged npr.
Cool project to revisit news stories that made a big splash back in the day. First up: a giant floating barge of garbage from 1987.
-Jody, BL Show-
Imagine revisiting a big scandal from the past in video form. That (seems) to be what Retro Report is all about. Fantastic! Want more!
The original on Flickr is fantastic! Alas, the suburbs still kinda suck…
I took these images from my rooftop after my wife and I saw this storm coming up. I could see that the cloud was beginning to twist into a tornado with a rainbow underneath it….how weird is that?! It was 8pm with the sun setting which made the color of everything on the yellow/orange side.
It was sunny all day until we heard thunder. This storm was moving away from me otherwise my wife might have yelled me down from the roof. The neighbours were out watching too. It was quite the spectacle. The result of this storm is that it faded away into cloud patterns but not before dumping golf-ball sized hail on farms 3 miles out of town. There was major damage to cars, trucks, roofs with a few horses being spooked!
We have a situation where no significant reform can be enacted in our congress without getting approval from the special interests first.
Gore is plugging his new book, The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change. Much talk about China’s new carbon tax and carbon trading pilot programs. Worth listening to.
Why do most TV Meteorologists deny climate change? Surprisingly, most are not trained in climatology. NPR dives in to explore how some meteorologists are working to change that problem. (Side note, I worked with Ed Maibach on a few projects last year. He runs George Masons’ Center for Climate Change Communication. Interesting guy.).
Forecasting Climate With A Chance Of Backlash
When it comes to climate change, Americans place great trust in their local TV weathercaster, which has led climate experts to see huge potential for public education.
The only problem? Polls show most weather presenters don’t know much about climate science, and many who do are fearful of talking about something so polarizing.
In fact, if you have heard a weathercaster speak on climate change, it’s likely been to deny it. John Coleman in San Diego and Anthony Watts of Watts Up With That? are among a group of vocal die-hards, cranking out blog posts and videos countering climate science. But even many meteorologists who don’t think it’s all a hoax still profoundly distrust climate models.
“They get reminded each and every day anytime their models don’t prove to be correct,” says Ed Maibach, who directs the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University, and has carried out several surveys of TV weathercasters. “For them, the whole notion of projecting what the climate will be 30, 50, a hundred years from now, they’ve got a fairly high degree of skepticism.”
And yet, Maibach has found that many meteorologists would like to learn more and would like to educate their viewers. A few years back, he hatched a plan and found a willing partner in an unlikely place.
Prepared For Backlash
“I loved it. That’s exactly what I wanted to do,” says Jim Gandy, chief meteorologist at WLTX in Columbia, S.C.
Gandy had actually begun reading up on climate change several years earlier, when — to his surprise — a couple of geology professors at a party asked whether he thought global warming was real. Gandy was disturbed by what he learned and was game to go on air with it, even in what he calls a “dark red” state with a lot of “resistance” to the idea of climate change.
“We talked about it at length,” he says, “and we were prepared for a backlash.” Via
It’s Climate Science Communications Week at Climate Adaptation! For the entire week of Feb. 18 - 23, I’ll cover how climate change is discussed by the media, scientists, researchers, academics, and politicians. If you have sources or ideas on communicating climate change, send to: http://climateadaptation.tumblr.com/submit
How To Save A Public Library: Make It A Seed Bank. A small town library is ‘saved’ with a clever, resident run seed bank. NPR presents this as a clever solution to the problem of one shrinking library.
There about 120,000 libraries in the US. I agree that diversifying services (to an extent) is always good for any system (diversity is the essence of adaptation). What really needs to happen is for libraries to analyze who they serve and consolidate or close systems where necessary.
Still, it’s a nice little story that warms hearts on a cold winters day.
Here’s how it works: A library card gets you a packet of seeds. You then grow the fruits and vegetables, harvest the new seeds from the biggest and best, and return those seeds so the library can lend them out to others.
Syson says tending a garden in Western Colorado can be frustrating. The dry climate, alkaline soils and short growing season keep many novices from starting. She’ll take seeds from the plants that withstand pests and persevere through drought.
“If you save seed from those plants, already, in one generation, you will now be able to grow a plant that has those traits,” Syson says.
The seed packets are a novelty within the library’s more mainstream collection of books, CDs and DVDs.
The library’s director, Barbara Milnor, says in the age of digital, downloadable books and magazines, the tangible seed packets are another way to draw people in.
“It’s a lake, yes. But it’s also a bomb. Those pale blue blobs, stacked like floating pancakes down at the bottom of this photograph? They’re astonishingly beautiful, yes, but they can be dangerous.
They are gas bubbles, little hiccups of methane that look magical when they’re trapped in winter ice, but come the spring, those bubbles will loosen, get free, and like an armada of deep-water flying saucers, they will make their way to the surface. When the ice breaks they will pop and fizz into the air — and disappear.
Except they don’t really disappear. Once they hit air, methane bubbles make trouble. How much trouble depends on how many bubbles get released all over the planet. In this one lake, there are thousands, tens of thousands of them, as you can see. But in the oceans, they are bigger — much bigger.”
Melting roads, evaporating gasoline(!), and huge wildfires in Australia. Four minutes with Melissa Block of NPR and Dr. Karl Braganza, manager of climate monitoring at the Bureau of Meteorology’s National Climate Centre in Australia. Via NPR
The delay in billions of dollars in Sandy disaster aid is hurting the finances of scores of municipalities throughout the region and adding uncertainty for tens of thousands of small businesses in those towns. MORE
America’s commitment to science was never partisan.
Adam Frank, Politics Without Science
Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, was the president who created the National Academy of Sciences in 1863 so that science could guide the public good. Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, expanded those efforts by creating the National Research Council in 1916. Eisenhower, a Republican, created NASA. Kennedy, a Democrat launched it on an epic quest to the moon. And it was Republican, Richard Nixon, who created one of our principal resources for understanding climate, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
These leaders understood and acted on a national commitment to science that I can see firsthand when talking with non-scientists across the country. Americans remain inspired by the vision science provides. They remain thrilled by its promise of understanding and advancement. It is that promise that we must not abandon.
Politics is, of course, a battle over values, policies and the national interest. That is how it should be. But if politics erode how the nation values science then the interests being served can’t possibly be our own.
Now listening. It’s shorter than I hoped, but so far so good!
Given the higher sea levels in the future, even if storms remain exactly the same, we’re going to get more frequent flooding events, maybe three times as many coastal flood events by the end of the century, just by virtue of having average sea levels be higher.