Clean Start: October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween! Welcome to Clean Start, ThinkProgress Green’s morning round-up of the latest in climate and clean energy. Here is what we’re reading. What are you?

Heavy rain, snow and winds walloped the northeast this weekend, leaving 3.2 million people without power from Virginia to Maine, and killing at least five people. [LA Times]

The damage from the storm in Connecticut was “five times worse” than that delivered by Irene. [Connecticut Post]

Peak tides tested Bangkok’s flood defenses on Sunday as hope rose that the center of the Thai capital might escape the worst floods in decades, but that was little comfort for swamped suburbs and provinces where worry about disease is growing. [Reuters]

Thailand may lose a quarter of its main rice crop in the nation’s worst flooding in decades, the government estimates, which could boost prices of the staple and further squeeze shipments from the world’s top exporter. [Business Recorder]

Thousands of Thai companies with factories swamped by record floods are calling on the government to help ensure it never happens again as waters slowly recede north of Bangkok. [Bloomberg]

The cost of the spring floods to Montana alone is hard to estimate, but is well over $100 million. [Billings Gazette]

Traditional agriculture methods could help protect food supplies and make agriculture more resilient to the effects of climate change, a report by the UK-based International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) said on Monday. [Reuters]

NASA’s newest Earth-observing satellite soared into space early Oct. 28, 2011 aboard a Delta II rocket after liftoff at 5:48 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. [Science Daily]

Green groups said on Saturday they would give the Environmental Protection Agency more time to forge the first-ever plan to regulate carbon dioxide from power plants, the country’s single biggest source of greenhouse gases, withholding legal action until November 30. [Reuters]

Winter droughts have become increasingly common in the Mediterranean region, particularly over the past 20 years, and a new study finds that global warming has driven at least half of the change. [Christian Science Monitor]

Japanese officials in towns around the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant reacted guardedly to plans announced on Saturday to build facilities to store radioactive waste from the clean-up around the plant within three years. [Reuters]

The catastrophic drought in Texas has brought immense hardship to farmers and ranchers, and fed incessant wildfires, as well as an enormous dust storm that blew through the western Texas city of Lubbock in the past month. [New York Times]

Britain was joined by some Eastern European countries yesterday in backing Canada in its dirty fight to force the EU not to discriminate against the tar sands in the Fuel Quality Directive. [Price of Oil]

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