April 8 Bad News Bears: Giant Crabs, Oyster Herpes And Poisoned Manatees

EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy's Senate confirmation hearing is this Thursday.

Energy and climate policy will be in the spotlight in Washington DC this week, with confirmation hearings and the release of the Presdent’s budget. [The Hill]

This week is jam-packed on the energy front in Washington, D.C. It will bring public grilling of President Obama’s choices to run the Energy Department and the Environmental Protection Agency, battles over the Keystone XL pipeline, and more.

Ernest Moniz, Obama’s choice to replace outgoing Energy Secretary Steven Chu, will face the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday…. Look for a more contentious affair Thursday, when EPA nominee Gina McCarthy appears before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. …

Beyond the confirmation fights, this week brings release of the delayed White House fiscal 2014 budget proposal. Obama, with Wednesday’s proposal, will likely revive his fight with Republicans, and Democrats from oil-producing areas, over petroleum industry tax policy. His previous budget plans have called for stripping billions of dollars worth of tax incentives from oil-and-gas producers, but Congress has not gone along.

Ocean acidification may slow down oysters, but they make crabs grow huge — throwing off the balance of ecosystems like Chesapeake Bay. [Washington Post]

Oysters have discovered that warmer ocean temperatures can give them herpes, and they are dying in large numbers off the British coast. [SoNuB]

A toxic red algae bloom is killing manatees in Florida. [New York Times]

Arizona installed 148 MW of solar power last year, and is set to double that amount this year. [Earth Techling]

George Schultz and Gary Becker make the conservative case for a revenue-neutral carbon tax in the Wall Street Journal. [WSJ]

A coalition called “All Risk, No Reward” aired ads opposing the Keystone pipeline yesterday and will soon be targeting Democratic donors and youth. [The Hill]

The House GOP is expected to release a new effort on fossil fuel-based energy (featuring Keystone approval) before Memorial Day, like they do every year. [National Journal]

New teaching standards set to be released this week should allow students in 40 states to learn about climate science, while British curricula may eliminate the topic from existing lesson plans. [New York Times]

The ALEC-sponsored bill to repeal North Carolina’s RES still has to get through three more committees and be signed by the governor. [News & Observer]

Hybrid sports car maker Fisker Automotive let go most of its work force in order to stave off bankruptcy. [Guardian]

Solar energy stocks had a recent bump but at the end of this quarter, many had fallen again. [New York Times]

A new study was able to confirm land temperature rise without using surface thermometers which have become controversial to some. [Skeptical Science]

More are catching on to the fact that the oceans have been absorbing the heat from global warming. [Yahoo News]

13 Responses to April 8 Bad News Bears: Giant Crabs, Oyster Herpes And Poisoned Manatees

  1. Joan Savage says:

    The item with the Yahoo News link turned out to be a Reuters report that says nothing about public opinion catching on. It does something very important, though.

    It’s Alister Doyle’s lucid and non-technical review, “Oceans may explain slowdown in climate change: study”

    Which includes the very quotable:

    Guemas’s study, twinning observations and computer models, showed that natural La Nina weather events in the Pacific around the year 2000 brought cool waters to the surface that absorbed more heat from the air. In another set of natural variations, the Atlantic also soaked up more heat.

    “Global warming is continuing but it’s being manifested in somewhat different ways,” said Kevin Trenberth, of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research. Warming can go, for instance, to the air, water, land or to melting ice and snow.

  2. Mike Roddy says:

    Let’s see… Oil poodle Moniz for Interior is expected to sail right through the confirmation process, while McCarthy, the EPA nominee, is controversial because she apparently plans to do her job.

    Meanwhile, Democrats outside of California and Massachusetts are cowed by the oil companies, and get bulldozed by the Right every time. We’d better fix this.

  3. Zimzone says:

    Republicans are quick to claim the EPA hurts business.
    They rarely, if ever, mention the inconvenient fact that the EPA was set up to protect people FROM business.

  4. Sasparilla says:

    “Is the Keystone XL pipeline fight the Stonewall of climate change?”

    Great article by Bill McKibben focusing on the political conundrum we find ourselves in here in the U.S. on climate change. Great quote from the article:

    “California hedge fund manager and big-time Democratic donor Tom Steyer announced that he was not only going to go after Lynch” (Dem Senator who voted for the XL)”, but any politician of any party who didn’t take climate change seriously. “The goal here is not to win. The goal here is to destroy these people,” he said, demonstrating precisely the level of rhetoric (and spending) that might actually start to shake things up.”

  5. Sasparilla says:

    Perhaps there is room here for a focused PAC (Political Action Committee), or something, that the public could donate to & give Tom Steyer & those wanting to make voting against climate change politically radioactive even more firepower…

  6. I guess we need big money to fight big money; thanks, Tom Steyer!

  7. rollin says:

    When the giant crabs attack Washington and start eating senators, then some climate action will occur.

  8. Robert in New Orleans says:

    Only when the crabs and oysters with herpes attack in tandem.

  9. Sasparilla says:

    Such a great point Zim.

  10. Paul Magnus says:

    Hansen, Weaver…. our scientist going full out to tackle man made climate change….

  11. Merrelyn Emery says:

    I can feel a movie coming on, ME

  12. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    They aren’t ‘cowed’. They are willingly collaborators in serving the money power. Any angst is feigned, for the Hope Fiends.

  13. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Herpes in Washington? Coals to Newcastle. It’s when it gets into your brain that the real damage is done.