Clean Start: January 13, 2012

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?

Wandering albatrosses have altered their foraging due to climate change in the southern hemisphere during the last decades. [Science Daily]

The White House said on Thursday that finding an alternate route for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline from Canada to Texas would take time and any effort to circumvent the approval process would be “counterproductive.” [Reuters]

Forest firefighters are enraged by a GOP betting pool on the extent of each year’s wildfire destruction. [Washington Post]

At a time when California is struggling to come up with funding for fire prevention, drought-like conditions are setting the stage for what some officials believe could be one of the worst wildfire seasons yet. [NBC Los Angeles]

Wyoming, with its growing oil, gas and mining industries, is one of the most dangerous places in the United States to work, because proper safety procedures were not followed in the vast majority of cases when someone was killed on the job. [NY Times]

Warmer summers in the far Northern Hemisphere are disrupting weather patterns and triggering more severe winter weather in the United States and Europe, a team of scientists say, in a finding that could improve long-range weather forecasts. [Reuters]

Vestas Wind Systems A/S’s threat to fire 1,600 workers in the U.S. undermines President Barack Obama’s goal of creating green jobs and adds to pressure on Congress to extend a tax credit that the industry relies on. [Business Week]

Rice University‘s campus received 4.98 inches of rain Monday, flooding roads and parking lots in and around the university. [Rice Thresher]

The year’s first confirmed tornado formed in Texas as severe weather, including another reported twister and ping-pong-size hail, caused damage near Galveston, Houston and other cities in the southeastern portion of the state. [OurAmazingPlanet]

The California Energy Commission on a 3-0 vote Thursday approved first-in-the-nation efficiency standards targeting about 170 million so-called vampire charging systems that waste as much as 60% of the electricity they suck from outlets. [LA Times]

Several big airlines are taking advantage of European carbon law by snapping up emission allowances at bargain prices, tuning out an outcry against the scheme by many non-EU airlines and shoring up demand in a market that saw prices cut in half last year. [Reuters]

Royal Dutch Shell’s quest to drill exploratory wells in Arctic waters has received a boost with the affirmation that its federal air permits for the Chukchi Sea were properly granted. [ABC News]

Conservation groups said they would campaign to put a North Dakota constitutional amendment on the ballot that would reserve tens of millions of dollars of state oil tax collections for water, wildlife and conservation projects. [FuelFix]

China has ordered seven provinces and cities to set caps on greenhouse gas emissions in preparation for the launch of local pilot carbon markets, according to a notice issued by the country’s state planning agency on Friday. [Reuters]

Prominent M.I.T. researcher Kerry Emanuel has been receiving an unprecedented “frenzy of hate” after a video featuring an interview with him was published last week by Climate Desk. [Mother Jones]

Institutional investors with a collective $26 trillion under management opened a new front on Thursday in the fight against climate change, urging the private sector to mobilize, follow the money and find new technologies to cut greenhouse gas emissions. [Reuters]

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