nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Murky story of the funding of climate denialist Willie Soon

Was Climate Science Denialist Willie Soon Funded To Do Science Or Was It Just PR Cash From The Fossil Fuel Industry? DeSmogBlog, Graham Readfearn, 1 Mar 15 So one of the climate science denial industry’s most celebrated scientists has been caught describing his research work as “deliverables” to his fossil fuel funders.

Dr Willie Soon, the aeronautics engineer who dabbles in public health, atmospheric science, solar physics and sea level rise, describes himself as an “independent scientist”.

More often though over the years, he is described by others as an “astrophysicist” at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, lending him credibility which most serious climate scientists would argue Soon’s science doesn’t deserve…….

In recent days, the Smithsonian has pointed out that even though Soon is employed as a “part time researcher at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Laboratory” they don’t actually pay him. “Dr. Soon pursues external sources to fund his research activity,” a statement said.

Soon has solicited more than $1.5 million since 2001 from fossil fuel companies and conservative foundations.

Coal electricity generator Southern Company, Exxon, Donors Trust, the Charles G. Koch Foundation and the American Petroleum Institute have been among his key funders.

While it’s been known for several years that Soon was being funded heavily by the fossil fuel industry, the current outcry centres on the disclosure of that funding to the journals who have run his research.

InsideClimate News has a summary of the 11 scientific papers where Soon had described his studies as “deliverables” to his funders – in those cases coal utility Southern Company and conservative funding arm Donors Trust. On most occasions, the fossil fuel funding was not disclosed.

Three Senators have extended this to a request to 100 fossil fuel companies and organisations to ask if they are funding research on climate change.

There is an obvious conflict of interest element to this story.  Are journals and legislators doing enough to ensure that potential conflicts of interests are disclosed when research is submitted and statements are made?  This should extend to media representations too.

But a key reason why the Soon story is so important is not that his work has been repeatedly funded by fossil fuel interests, but that this funding has come during and after many scientists have dismissed Soon’s findings as flawed and irrelevant, and shown it to be so…….

Soon is also most often cited as a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (HSCfA). Rarely are his ties to fossil fuel funded and ideologically-driven think tanks mentioned.

This is strange, because a copy of Soon’s own CV from 2005 lists these associations……..

There is also evidence available that in 2003 Soon had sought to undermine an assessment of climate science by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In emails uncovered by Greenpeace, Soon wrote to like-minded sceptics that “I hope we can start discussing among ourselves to see what we can do to weaken the fourth assessment report”. ……

As science historian Professor Naomi Oreskes, author of Merchants of Doubt (and who actually is employed by Harvard), told the New York Times: “The whole doubt-mongering strategy relies on creating the impression of scientific debate. Willie Soon is playing a role in a certain kind of political theater.”…..http://www.desmogblog.com/2015/03/01/was-climate-science-denialist-willie-soon-funded-do-science-or-was-it-just-pr-cash-fossil-fuel-industry

March 4, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Paris climate change pledge: Switzerland the first country to sign up

Switzerland becomes first country to submit Paris climate deal pledge, Guardian, Ed King, 27 Feb 15 Swiss government says it will cut greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030 as part of a UN deal on global warming later this yearreports RTCC   Switzerland has become the first country to formally communicate its contribution to a UN climate change deal: 50% greenhouse gas cuts on 1990 levels by 2030.

Released on Friday, the Swiss government says 30% of those cuts will be achieved within the country, with the remaining 20% through carbon markets or other forms of offsets.

“This objective of a 50% reduction in emissions reflects Switzerland’s responsibility for climate warming and the potential cost of emissions reduction measures in Switzerland and abroad over the 2020-2030 period,” says the Swiss communication.

“Switzerland, which is responsible for 0.1% of today’s global greenhouse gas emissions and, based on the structure of its economy, has a low level of emissions (6.4 tonnes per capita per year), will use emissions reduction measures abroad to reduce the cost of emissions reduction measures during the period 2020-2030.”……..

All major economies have been asked to submit their ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contributions’ before 1 October this year, after which the UN will assess whether the world is on course to avoid dangerous levels of warming. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/27/switzerland-becomes-first-country-to-submit-paris-climate-deal-pledge

February 28, 2015 Posted by | climate change, Switzerland | 1 Comment

Giant craters appearing in Siberia – result of thawing permafrost, due to global warming?

climate-changeThe Siberian crater saga is more widespread — and scarier — than anyone thought WP, By Terrence McCoy February 26 In the middle of last summer came news of a bizarre occurrence no one could explain. Seemingly out of nowhere, a massive crater appeared in one of the planet’s most inhospitable lands. Early estimates said the crater, nestled in a land called “the ends of the Earth” where temperatures can sink far below zero, yawned nearly 100 feet in diameter.

The saga deepened. The Siberian crater wasn’t alone. There were two more, ratcheting up the tension in a drama that hit its climax as a probable explanation surfaced. Global warming had thawed the permafrost, which had caused methane trapped inside the icy ground to explode. “Gas pressure increased until it was high enough to push away the overlaying layers in a powerful injection, forming the crater,” one German scientist said at the time.

[Scientists may have cracked the giant Siberian crater mystery — and the news isn’t good]

Now, however, researchers fear there are more craters than anyone knew — and the repercussions could be huge. Russian scientists have now spotted a total of seven craters, five of which are in the Yamal Peninsula. Two of those holes have since turned into lakes. And one giant crater is rimmed by a ring of at least 20 mini-craters, the Siberian Times reported. Dozens more Siberian craters are likely still out there, said Moscow scientist Vasily Bogoyavlensky of the Oil and Gas Research Institute, calling for an “urgent” investigation.

He fears that if temperatures continue to rise — and they were five degrees higher than average in 2012 and 2013 — more craters will emerge in an area awash in gas fields vital to the national economy. “It is important not to scare people, but to understand that it is a very serious problem and we must research this,” he told the Siberian Times. “… We must research this phenomenon urgently, to prevent possible disasters.”……..http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/02/26/the-siberian-crater-problem-is-more-widespread-and-scarier-than-anyone-thought/?tid=hpModule_9d3add6c-8a79-11e2-98d9-3012c1cd8d1e&hpid=z16

February 27, 2015 Posted by | climate change, Russia | Leave a comment

USA’s climate change denial machine investigate by Democrats

Flag-USADemocrats Target Climate-Deniers-for-Hire , http://www.newrepublic.com/article/121131/democrats-demand-fossil-fuel-disclosure-climate-denier-studies by Rebecca Leber, Over the weekend, The New York Times and The Guardian reported that the fossil fuel industry paid astrophysicist Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon $1.25 million in grants in exchange for 11 scientific papers that cast doubt on the role humans play in climate change. Soon never disclosed the grants from the Charles G. Koch Foundation, ExxonMobil, Southern Company, and American Petroleum Institute, while publishing research that blamed climate change on anything but pollution (Soon faulted the sun) and spun the impact as a net benefit for the environment (helping trees and polar bears thrive, according to Soon).

hired-gun

By itself, the revelation isn’t likely to slow Soon’s lucrative romp through GOP talking points. When the Boston Globe reported in 2013 that the same companies had contributed more than a million dollars to Soon’s climate research, Republicans continued to cite his work and his double-barrelled affiliation with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Which is why two Democrats are launching investigations into the climate-change denial machine. Continue reading

February 27, 2015 Posted by | climate change, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

USA and China urged to join Europe in global climate agreement

Hear-This-wayAUDIO: EU pressures US and China to join global climate agreement ABC Radio, The World Today ,David Mark reported this story on Thursday, February 26, 2015 ELEANOR HALL: The European Union (EU) has ratcheted up pressure on the United States and China to join a global climate agreement.

flag-EUOvernight the EU released its target for greenhouse gas reductions ahead of a meeting later this year in Paris.
It’s committing to reducing emissions by at least 40 per cent over 1990 levels by 2030 as David Mark reports.

DAVID MARK: The US and China made some commitments to greenhouse gas reduction targets at the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) meeting in Brisbane last year.

climate-changeNow the EU has announced specific targets – its member countries will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 over 1990 levels.

ELEANOR HALL: The European Union (EU) has ratcheted up pressure on the United States and China to join a global climate agreement.Overnight the EU released its target for greenhouse gas reductions ahead of a meeting later this year in Paris. It’s committing to reducing emissions by at least 40 per cent over 1990 levels by 2030 as David Mark reports.

DAVID MARK: The US and China made some commitments to greenhouse gas reduction targets at the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) meeting in Brisbane last year.

Now the EU has announced specific targets – its member countries will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 over 1990 levels……

DAVID MARK: The EU has also thrown down the gauntlet to big emitters – China, the US and the G20, which includes Australia – to make known their targets for Paris early, and once there, commit to a new protocol to cut emissions.ERWIN JACKSON: Well, I think the momentum is towards having a core agreement in Paris which is legally binding, which does ensure that countries come forward and have national targets………

DAVID MARK: The Australian Government has said it will announce its targets for greenhouse emissions in the lead up to the Paris meeting which is being held in December. http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2015/s4187401.htm

February 27, 2015 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Draft Energy and Climate Change Strategy revealed by European Commission

climate-changeflag-EUEuropean Commission Unveils Draft Energy Strategy, Renewable Energy World,  David Appleyard, Contributing Editor  February 25, 2015 LONDON — The European Commission has unveiled “A Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy,” which is a key plank in the development of its plans for Europe’s energy sector through 2030.

The Framework Strategy broadly sets out five interrelated policies, and the steps to achieve its policy goals, including new legislation to redesign and overhaul the electricity market, substantially developing regional cooperation and an integrated market, and with a stronger regulated framework.

Among the measures designed to engender a unified, clean and sustainable European energy sector, the Commission has revealed that it will propose a new Renewable Energy Package in 2016-2017 to include a new policy for sustainable biomass and biofuels, as well as legislation to ensure that the 2030EU target of at least 27 percent of EU energy to come from renewables is met cost-effectively.

In a Communication to the European Parliament, the European Council, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the European Investment Bank, the Commission noted that the European Union is committed to becoming the world leader in renewable energy.

However, the document also concedes that to achieve the 27 percent target new challenges must be addressed including developing appropriate energy markets and transmission and distribution infrastructure.

“Existing legislation and new market rules need to be fully implemented, enabling the roll-out of new technologies smart grids and demand response for an efficient energy transition,” the Commission says, adding that renewable production needs to be supported through market-based schemes that address market failures, ensure cost effectiveness and avoid over-compensation or distortion………

Summing up, Richard Black, director of the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), observed that the EU’s draft Energy Union document shows the intention to switch the EU’s electricity supply system to a “flexible, smart low-carbon grid.”

Black says: “The EU’s draft international climate pledge doesn’t contain any surprises — essentially it is taking what EU governments decided to do back in October and putting that package of measures and targets forward into the UN climate convention.

“The Energy Union proposals are a bit more interesting and show that in principle the EU doesn’t want to continue with an electricity system dominated by fossil fuels, but switch to the kind of flexible smart low-carbon grid being pioneered in Germany, which should lead to a cheaper and more secure system that’s less dependent on Russia.” http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2015/02/european-commission-unveils-draft-energy-strategy

February 27, 2015 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Prince Charles on the sickness of Planet Earth due to climate change

Planet Earth is a sick patient due to climate change, says Prince Charles, Guardian, 26 Feb 15 Speaking at Royal Society event on health and climate change, prince says that failure to act on global warming would be ‘death sentence’ for the planet The Prince of Wales has compared the planet to a “sick patient,” warning it could face its “death certificate” at the hands of climate change……..

The prince was speaking to health professionals, health ministers and senior civil servants about “putting health at the centre of the climate change debate”.

He said climate change was a challenge of “astonishing complexity” and urged health practitioners to be bolder about highlighting its effects on well-being.

He said: “I hardly need to tell you we are faced, I fear, as far as the problem of human-induced climate change is concerned, with a challenge of astonishing complexity.

“The fact of climate change is now accepted by every major scientific body in the whole world.

“The gravity and immediacy of the threat it poses to us and our children and grandchildren is also accepted by constituencies that can scarcely be accused of being part of some half-baked conspiracy dreamt up by extreme environmentalists intent on undermining capitalism.

“These constituencies include the UN, the World Bank; The Pentagon and the UK Ministry of Defence, the CIA, NSA. … and, I’m happy to say, nurses and doctors.”

The prince added: “Your message isn’t just of alarm, but of hope.

“Actions which are good for the planet are also good for human health……….. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/26/planet-earth-is-a-sick-patient-due-to-climate-change-says-prince-charles

February 27, 2015 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

Changing jet stream due to global warming?

 A melting Arctic and weird weather: the plot thickens  , The Conversation, 18 Feb 15  Jennifer Francis Research Professor at Rutgers University  “……..Slowing, drunken path  The jet stream is a dastardly complex creature, and figuring out what makes it tick has challenged atmospheric scientists since it was discovered about 75 years ago. Even more elusive is figuring out how climate change will affect it.

Jet streams exist because of differences in air temperature. In the case of the polar jet stream, which is responsible for most of the weather we experience around the middle-latitudes of the northern hemisphere, it’s the cold Arctic butting against warmer areas to the south that drives it. (A more in-depth explanation can be found here.) Anything that affects that temperature difference will affect the jet stream.

This is where climate change comes in: the Arctic is warming much faster than elsewhere. That Arctic/mid-latitude temperature difference, consequently, is getting smaller. And the smaller differential in temperatures is causing the west-to-east winds in the jet to weaken.

Strong jets tend to blow straight west to east; weaker jets tend to wander more in a drunken north/south path, increasing the likelihood of wavy patterns like the one we’ve seen almost non-stop since last winter.

When the jet stream’s waves grow larger, they tend to move eastward more slowly, which means the weather they generate also moves more slowly, creating more persistent weather patterns.

NASA Jet Stream Animation

At least, that’s the theory. Proving it is not easy because other changes are happening in the climate system simultaneously. Some are natural fluctuations, such as El Niño, and others are related to increasing greenhouse gases.

We do know, however, that the Arctic is changing in a wholesale way and at a pace that makes even Arctic scientists queasy. Take sea ice, for example. In only 30 years, its volume has declined by about 60%, which is causing ripple effects throughout the ocean, atmosphere, and ecosystem, both within the Arctic and beyond. I’ve been studying the Arctic atmosphere and sea ice my entire career and I never imagined I’d see the region change so much and so fast……..

Several groups around the globe, including my colleagues and me, are trying to understand the linkages between rapid Arctic warming and changes in weather patterns.

A number of recent studies have found what appears to be a solid connection between sea-ice loss in an area north of western Russia during the fall and a rash of abnormally cold winters in central Asia. The loss of sea ice favors a northward bulge in the jet stream, which strengthens surface high pressure to the east. That shift pumps cold Arctic air southward into central Asia.

Other studies suggest that Arctic warming in summer leads to a split jet stream – or two separated rivers of wind – which tends to trap the waves. Those stationary waves cause weather conditions to remain “stuck” for long periods, increasing the likelihood of extreme heat waves, droughts and flooding events in Eurasia and North America……..https://theconversation.com/a-melting-arctic-and-weird-weather-the-plot-thickens-37314

February 20, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Nuclear Power and Saving the Climate-fraudulent claims

globalnukeNOflag-UK NuClear news, February 2015 Keith Barnham Emeritus Professor of Physics at Imperial College says claims that nuclear power is a ‘low carbon’ energy source fall apart under scrutiny.
Far from coming in at six grams of CO2 per unit of electricity for Hinkley C, as the Climate Change Committee believes, the true figure is probably well above 50 grams – breaching the CCC’s recommended limit for new sources of power generation beyond 2030.
He says given the difficulties it is entirely possible that the planned Hinkley C reactor will not be completed until 2030 or beyond. It will then be subsidised for the first 35 years of its projected 60 year lifetime – taking us through until 2090.
In a recent paper in Energy Policy, Daniel Nugent and Benjamin Sovacool critically reviewed the published Life Cycle Analyses of renewable electricity generators. All the renewable technologies came in below the 50gCO2/kWh limit. The lowest was large-scale hydropower with a carbon footprint one fifth of the CCC limit (10 gCO2/kWh). A close second was biogas electricity from anaerobic digestion (11 gCO2/kWh). The mean figure for wind energy is 34 gCO2/kWh, and solar PV comes in a shade under the 50g limit, at 49.9 gCO2/kWh. Bear in mind that rapidly evolving PV technology means that this last figure is constantly falling.
There have been nearly three hundred papers on the carbon footprint of nuclear power in scientific journals and reports in recent years. Two peer-reviewed papers have critically assessed the literature in the way Nugent and Sovacool compared renewable LCAs. The first was by Benjamin Sovacool himself. He reviewed 103 published LCA studies and filtered them down to 19, which had an acceptably rigorous scientific approach. The carbon footprints ranged from 3 to 200gCO2/kWh. The average carbon footprint was 66gCO2/kWh, which is above the CCC limit. Barnham says his conclusion from looking at the eight most rigorous LCAs is that it is as likely that the carbon footprint of nuclear is above 50 gCO2/kWh as it is below.
 The evidence so far in the scientific literature cannot clarify whether the carbon footprint of nuclear power is below the limit which all electricity generation should respect by 2030 according to the CCC. The variation in the nuclear carbon footprint seems to result from assumptions about the greenhouse emissions of the energy mix used to produce the nuclear fuel. And the carbon footprint of nuclear power depends strongly on the concentration of the uranium in the ore. The inescapable fact is that the lower the concentration of uranium in the ore, the higher the fossil fuel energy required to extract uranium.
Barnham’s survey of the scientific literature suggests that it is quite possible that the carbon footprint of Hinkley Point C could be as high as that of electricity generation from natural gas before it closes in 2090. Meanwhile, Steve Kidd, an independent nuclear consultant who used to work for the World Nuclear Association says the climate change argument may not be the best argument to use to promote the nuclear industry. The other benefits of nuclear power such as reliability and security of supply deserve more emphasis. He says nuclear advocates have failed to make much progress with gaining public acceptance over the past few years. He wants to abandon climate change as a prime argument for supporting a much higher use of nuclear power. (2) http://www.no2nuclearpower.org.uk/nuclearnews/NuClearNewsNo71.pdf

February 18, 2015 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

Britain’s main political parties combine in effort to battle climate change

UK to phase out coal as Australia phases out renewable energy, Business Spectator TRISTAN EDIS  16 FEB,  The leaders of the UK’s three main political parties – Tories, Labour and the Liberal Democrats – have chosen to put efforts to address climate change above politics.

Prime Minister David Cameron from the Tories, Labour leader Ed Miliband and the Deputy PM and leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg have put out a joint statement – which echoes comments by US President Barack Obama – declaring that climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world. According to the statement they argue climate change is not only a threat to the environment but, also, “national and global security, to poverty eradication and economic prosperity”.

The agreement is a major step forward because, while it might be vague on policy detail, it sets out some long-term principles that are critical to support investor confidence in low carbon energy infrastructure involving billion-dollar price tags and with lifetimes of several decades. It makes a stark contrast with Australia where investors (other than mums and dads buying solar systems) have abandoned power generation as a result of Tony Abbott tearing up the political consensus that had been achieved on pricing carbon and the Renewable Energy Target.

The agreement sets out that, irrespective of who wins the UK election in May, all three parties agree to:

  1. Phase out the use of coal in power generation (unless emissions are captured and stored) while accelerating the development of an energy efficient, low carbon economy;
  2. Continue the practice as set out under the UK’s Climate Change Act of having an independent institution (the Climate Change Committee) plan out carbon pollution budget constraints between now and 2050 with the aim of achieving an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050 compared to 1990 levels.
  3. Seek a legally binding international agreement to limit temperature rise below 2 degrees………..Follow @TristanEdis    https://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2015/2/16/policy-politics/uk-phase-out-coal-australia-phases-out-renewable-energy

February 18, 2015 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

Vulture Capitalist Paul Singer funds climate denialism

Bjorn Lomborg Think Tank Funder Revealed As Billionaire Republican ‘Vulture Capitalist’ Paul Singer DESMOGBLOG, GRAHAM READFEARN, 9 FEB 15, A billionaire “vulture capitalist” and major backer of the US Republican Party is a major funder of the think tank of Danish climate science contrarian and fossil fuels advocateBjørn Lomborg, DeSmogBlog has found.

New York-based hedge fund manager Paul Singer’s charitable foundation gave $200,000 to Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Center (CCC) in 2013, latest US tax disclosures reveal.

The grant to Lomborg’s think tank is revealed in the tax form of the Paul E. Singer Foundation covering that foundation’s activities between December 2012 and November 2013.

Singer, described as a “passionate defender of the 1%”, has emerged as a major force in the Republican party in recent years and was a key backer and influencer during Mitt Romney’s failed tilt at the Presidency.

The $200,000 grant represented almost one third of the $621,057 in donations declared by the Copenhagen Consensus Center in 2013……..

Lomborg, a Danish political scientist, is often cited on lists of the world’s most influential people.

He writes extensively on climate change and energy issues with his columns appearing in many of the world’s biggest news outlets.

The CCC think tank produces reports that consistently argue that cutting greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the roll-out of current renewable energy technologies should be low priorities for policy makers.

Most recently, Lomborg wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal arguing climate change was not the urgent problem that many thought.

He wrote that “the narrative that the world’s climate is changing from bad to worse is unhelpful alarmism”.

Lomborg argues the poorest countries need fossil fuels to lift themselves out of poverty – a position that gained support from the world’s richest man, Bill Gates.

At a G20 side event in Brisbane last year, Lomborg appeared at an event sponsored by the world’s largest private coal company, Peabody Energy, where he again argued that the world’s poor needed fossil fuels.

The CCC’s keystone project is the Post 2015 Consensus that is trying to influence the formulation of the next set of global development goals being discussed by the United Nations. Those goals will replace the millennium development goals.

Lomborg’s CCC think tank was registered as a not-for-profit in the US in 2008 and has attracted almost $5 million in donations since then. In 2013, the CCCpaid Lomborg, its founder and president, $200,484 for his work. The previous year Lomborg was paid $775,000……

he discovery of support from Paul Singer comes after a DeSmogBlog investigation last year found that CCC’s early funders included conservative think tanks with links to the network of organisations funded by the Koch brothers, who have pushed millions into organisations denying climate science and blocking action to cut fossil fuel emissions.

In the 2014 US political spending cycle, data presented by OpenSecrets shows Singer spent $9.4 million influencing Republicans – the biggest disclosed individual spender on the conservative side of US politics.

Singer, whose Elliott Management hedge fund manages about $25 billion in assets, has been branded a “vulture capitalist” enterprise due to investment strategies employed by his firm that targets foreign economies in trouble……

As well as the generosity shown to Bjorn Lomborg’s think tank, Singer’s foundation gave $500,000 to the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, where Singer is chairman of the board of trustees.

The Manhattan Institute is also known for downplaying the impacts of climate change while promoting fossil fuels.

In October 2014, Manhattan senior fellow Robert Bryce wrote a report Not Beyond Coal arguing that the future for the coal industry was bright and the fossil fuel was “essential” for addressing poverty in developing countries — a position identical to that pushed by Lomborg.

Bryce also attacks the wind industry claiming it cannot cut emissions, describing wind turbines as “climate change scarecrows”. In testimony to theUS Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in February 2014, Bryce said wind turbines were “slaughtering wildlife” ………http://www.desmogblog.com/2015/02/09/exclusive-bjorn-lomborg-think-tank-funder-revealed-billionaire-republican-vulture-capitalist-paul-singer

February 16, 2015 Posted by | climate change, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Climate Crocks exposes paid climate denialist “Big Green Radicals’

– Climate Denial Crock of the Week, Climate Crocks,  with Peter Sinclair Thanks Dr. Evil! Fossil Fuel Propaganda Misfire Goes Viral

February 12, 2015 Every once in a while we can pull back the curtain and get a good look at the evil elves and Madison Avenue Orcs deployed by the fossil fuel barons. Look hard, climate deniers. This is the man pulling your strings.

Posted by a front group called the “Environmental Policy Alliance”, this corporate forged “viral” video popped up a couple days ago. Had to check and make sure this wasn’t a joke, but it’s real. …..

Big Green Radicals is a front group operated by the PR firm Berman & Co. Berman & Co. operates a network of dozens of front groups, attack-dog web sites, and alleged think tanks that work to counteract minimum wage campaigns, keep wages low for restaurant workers, and to block legislation on food safety, secondhand cigarette smoke, drunk driving, and more.

Big Green Radicals describes itself as “a project of the Environmental Policy Alliance (EPA), which exists to educate the public about the real agenda of well-funded environmental activist groups” according its website. “The EPA receives support from individuals, businesses, and foundations.”

Richard Berman is the type of corporate hit man that Aaron Eckhart played in “Thank You For Smoking” – amoral, vicious, and dishonest.  PR guys like him usually don’t make the headlines, preferring to remain the man behind the curtain – but a few months ago he showed up in the New York Times, because recommendations he made in a  presentation were so vile and offensive that even members of the oil industry audience were disgusted.

NYTimes:

 If the oil and gas industry wants to prevent its opponents from slowing its efforts to drill in more places, it must be prepared to employ tactics like digging up embarrassing tidbits about environmentalists and liberal celebrities, a veteran Washington political consultant told a room full of industry executives in a speech that was secretly recorded.

The blunt advice from the consultant, Richard Berman, the founder and chief executive of the Washington-based Berman & Company consulting firm, came as Mr. Berman solicited up to $3 million from oil and gas industry executives to finance an advertising and public relations campaign called Big Green Radicals.

The company executives, Mr. Berman said in his speech, must be willing to exploit emotions like fear, greed and anger and turn them against the environmental groups. And major corporations secretly financing such a campaign should not worry about offending the general public because “you can either win ugly or lose pretty,” he said.

“Think of this as an endless war,” Mr. Berman told the crowd at the June event in Colorado Springs, sponsored by the Western Energy Alliance, a group whose members include Devon Energy, Halliburton and Anadarko Petroleum, which specialize in extracting oil and gas through hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. “And you have to budget for it.”

What Mr. Berman did not know — and what could now complicate his task of marginalizing environmental groups that want to impose limits on fracking — is that one of the energy industry executives recorded his remarks and was offended by them.

“That you have to play dirty to win,” said the executive, who provided a copy of the recording and the meeting agenda to The New York Times under the condition that his identity not be revealed. “It just left a bad taste in my mouth.”

Pdf of Berman’s presentation here.

Speaking of bad taste, “60 Minutes” profiled Berman as an attack dog for the purveyors of poisonous junk food, and he was proud enough of that to post it on his own Youtube channel,

Berman was paid well by Philip Morris (PM)….  has worked for companies that privatize the profits and socialize the costs. He attacked fine scientists like Steve Schneider (Stanford) and Stan Glantz (UCSF)……….

http://climatecrocks.com/2015/02/12/thanks-dr-evil-fossil-fuel-propaganda-misfire-goes-viral/

February 16, 2015 Posted by | climate change, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Climate change and war: twin threats that exacerbate each other

In the military…. Armed forces have to respond swiftly and cannot wait until the proof is all there, which is why climate is now a risk factor in their planning.

The Pentagon agrees. “Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels, and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty and conflict,”

text-relevantIs climate change fuelling war?, Japan Times,  AFP-JIJI FEB 11, 2015 PARIS – For years, scientists and security analysts have warned that global warming looms as a potential source of war and unrest. Storms, droughts, floods and spells of extreme heat or exceptional cold — all can destroy wealth, ravage harvests, force people off land, exacerbate ancient rivalries and unleash a fight for resources, they say. These factors are predicted to become more severe as carbon emissions interfere with Earth’s climate system.

Some argue there is evidence that man-made warming is already a driver in some conflicts. Continue reading

February 13, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Fossil fuel lobby rattled by the rapid rise of the divestment movement

the long-term prospects for the fossil fuel industry look uncertain at the very least. But don’t take my word for it, thepresident of the World Bank and the governor of the Bank of England have among others warned of the risk posed to fossil fuel assets by climate change action.

The divestment movement does not seek to financially bankrupt the vastly wealthy fossil fuel industry. Instead, the campaign is aiming for moral bankruptcy and is supported by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who testifies to the power of divestment in helping defeat apartheid in South Africa.

With their opponents now taking the threat of divestment seriously, the campaigners will be hoping to they are another step closer to the final stage of Ghandi’s analysis: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

fossil-fuel-fightback-1Fossil fuel lobby goes on the attack against divestment movement Guardian,   12 Feb 15 The speed at which the fossil fuel divestment campaign is growing seems to have rattled its opponents in the coal and oil lobbies “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you,” said Mahatma Gandhi. The climate change campaign to divest from fossil fuels seems to be moving through those stages at express speed, with a sudden barrage of attacks from the coal and oil lobbies ahead of its global divestment day on Valentine’s day.

The speed is appropriate given that the campaign, which argues the fossil fuel industry is a danger to both the climate and investors’ capital, is the fastest growing divestment campaign yet seen, moving quicker than those against tobacco and apartheid. It’s moving fast in the financial world too, with one finance executive calling it “one of the fastest-moving debates I think I’ve seen in my 30 years in markets”. Continue reading

February 13, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Refuting the climate denialists’ conspiracy theories on global warming

climate-changeFiddling with global warming conspiracy theories while Rome burns  The latest global warming conspiracy theory of ‘fiddling with the data’ is nonsense. Guardian, , 12 Feb 15 It shouldn’t need to be said, but the Earth really is warming. Air and oceantemperatures are rising fast, ice is melting across the planet, ecosystems are shiftingsea levels are rising, and so on.

The latest zombie climate myth to rise from the dead involves the oldest form of global warming denial. It’s a conspiracy theory that the Earth isn’t really warming; rather, fraudulent climate scientists are “fiddling” with the data to introduce a false warming trend…..

In reality climate scientists process the raw temperature data for very good reasons. Sometimes temperature monitoring station locations move. Sometimes the time of day at which they’re read changes. Sometimes changes are made to the instruments themselves. In each case, if adjustments aren’t made, then biases will be included in the data that don’t reflect actual changes in temperatures.

Richard Muller at UC Berkeley was skeptical that climate scientists were doing all these adjustments correctly, so he assembled the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) team to check the data for themselves. The biggest initial financial contribution to the project came from the Koch brothers.

As Muller discusses in the video below [see original article] , his team confirmed that the Earth’s surface temperatures are warming. In fact, BEST finds that NASA, NOAA, and the UK Met Office have slightly underestimated the warming over the past 15 years…..

This particular conspiracy theory is an old one, but it’s easy to understand its origins. Certain groups have an ideological opposition to the government policies that would solve the global warming problem. If the problem doesn’t exist because scientists are fudging the data, then voilà, those distasteful policies aren’t necessary.

Global warming denial can usually be traced back to this sort of ideological bias. That’s why contrarian attempts at scientific arguments like Booker’s are so poor,contradictory, and transparently wrong. These myths are just a means to an end; that end being the opposition to climate policies. Any argument that seems to justify that climate opposition will suffice, no matter how flimsy.

Unfortunately, the problem we face is a real one. Scientists only make adjustments to the data where they’re scientifically justified. The accuracy of those adjustments has been confirmed over and over and over again. And the adjustments slightly reduce the long-term global warming trend. Moreover, even if you distrust it, “fiddling” with data doesn’t make ice melt or sea levels rise. Nature’s thermometers register global warming too…….

As a society we’ve usually been smart enough to acknowledge the dangers we face and take action to mitigate them, even with environmental threats. When people resort to conspiracy theories and slip into denial, it’s time to stop listening to them and instead look for serious voices who are trying to find palatable solutions to the problemhttp://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2015/feb/11/fiddling-with-global-warming-conspiracies-while-rome-burns

Climate change is the one massive and unrelentlingly growing threat to life on this planet. However the threat from nuclear war and nuclear accidents is an equal threat, and could even bring rapid climate change.

Some new converts to the idea of climate change are the proponents of the nuclear industry, who claim, (quite incorrectly) to have the cure for climate change. In fact, to go down the “nuclear power cure” route, is to give the fossil fuel industries more time, while we all wait for this spurious cure 

February 13, 2015 Posted by | climate change, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 941 other followers