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Enviro News Wrap: Fox News and Hot Wind; Rising Price of Natural Gas; Heartland Institute’s Intellectual Dishonesty, and more…

The Latest Environmental News HeadlinesGlobalWarmingisReal contributor Anders Hellum-Alexander wraps-up and comments on the climate and environmental news headlines for the past week:

  • Oil prices fell about 8 percent and the media is going nuts. According to MarketWatch it is now clear that Israel will not attack Iran, thus increasing confidence in a future with consistent oil flow, this brings down the price, but only so far. Remember, countries like Saudi Arabia and Russia base the balance sheets of their country on oil staying in a certain price range, and the price of oil will not deviate from that range.
  • The price of natural gas is finally increasing as worries about oversupply wane. Natural gas prices have been artificially low due to a warm winter in America causing people to use less energy to heat their homes.
  • FoxNews touts a small, preliminary study showing that wind turbines can increase nighttime temperature in their immediate vicinity. Not surprisingly, the “news” organization is using it to claim that the entire industry is faltering and needs to rethink its direction. FoxNews also connected this claim to the drought in Texas and introduced the idea that farmers could be hit even worse be the evil wind turbines. Could FoxNews ever cover the real reason why there is such a bad drought in Texas and would could be done about it? We doubt it.
  • FoxNews has an article devoted to making people think that the weather is less extreme in the US than it was 100 years ago. Recently a study showed that if a skeptic of science thinks that the weather has been really crazy lately then they will be more likely to believe in global warming. FoxNews now knows how to manipulate their audience.
  • Mother Jones covers crazy weather in the opposite way than FoxNews, and also reports that 70% of American believe in global warming.
  • NPR does a bit called Gauging Public Opinion, they did an interesting piece on how American’s think about climate change. Instead of there being two parties, believers and non believers, there are actually several groups.
  • Wind turbines that harvest water. I want one!
  • Don’t let anyone say that renewable energy is a bad  idea because it receives financial incentives from the US government – all energy sources do.
  • Here’s a cool map that shows how much renewable energy is used in each state.
  • Climate change skeptics are now saying that even if global warming is happening clouds are going to adapt to stabilize our temperature.
  • A new billboard campaign by the Heartland Institute associates climate change believers to terrorists. Free speech doesn’t always make coherent speech. Some Heartland sponsors have fled in disgust.
  • As the US Presidential election picks up speed the Koch brothers are gearing up for a dirty battle to take down Obama. With their record on anti-climate change propaganda and  Obama’s announcement that climate change will be a big issue during this election. Prepare yourself for a big battle over the minds and beliefs of Americans. It will be Science vs Doubt, Environmentalism vs Dirty Industry, Citizens vs Corporations, and a couple of rich billionaires vs the US Government. Notice that nowhere in there did I mention Romney vs Obama, Romney has gone the way of John McCain and lost all ability to speak his mind, he is just along for the ride, as Tolstoy says of Napoleon in War and Peace – “the leader does not make history, he just acts it out”.
  • Apple is still struggling with their environmental and human rights record. Their data centers do not use much renewable energy. If Apple wants to be a company of the future they need to step up their game.
  • Mass die-offs of Pelicans in Peru.
  • Global warming is terrible, but if you are ever discussing it with a dissenter just change the game on them and talk about the “end of the world as we know it.” With global top soil loss, deforestation, species extinction and human suffering in poor oil exporting countries we can talk about  the need to change how we produce and use energy without ever talking about global warming.
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