The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Rich fossil fuel fans funded Bjorn Lomborg’s Crentrev for Inaction on Climate Change

The Millions Behind Bjorn Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Center US Think TankDeSmogBlog  By Graham Readfearn • Tuesday, June 24, 2014 “………..The only income for the CCC in its first year in the US came in the form of a $120,000 grant from the New York-based Randolph Foundation. The foundation, seeded by money from the Richardson family’s sale of the Vick Chemical Company in 1985, gave CCCanother $50,000 in 2012.

The main trustee at Randolph is Heather Higgins, the president and CEO of Independent Women’s Voice and the chairman of its sister organisation Independent Women’s Forum. Higgins is the daughter of R. Randolph Richardson, a member of the family that sold Vick Chemical Company to Procter & Gamble for $1.2 billion.

Staff writers of both organisations regularly express scepticism about the science of human-caused climate change and cite Lomborg’s views approvingly.

Lomborg, Bjorn

A recent article from IWF senior fellow Vicki Alger claimed “a majority of scientists believe that global warming is largely nature-made” — ignoring several studies that show the vast majority of research from scientists studying climate change believe exactly the opposite.

IWF funders include the Claude R. Lambe Foundation, controlled by Charles Koch, and Donors Trust, a fund for conservative philanthropists that has pushed millions into organisations promoting climate science denial and fighting laws to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Higgins is also board member at the Philanthropy Roundtable, another route for conservative philanthropy which shares two members of personnel with Donors Trust or its partner organisation Donors Capital Fund. Also on the board of trustees at Randolph is Polly Freiss, the daughter-in-law of conservative Christian businessman Foster Freiss.

Foster Freiss put more than $2 million into Republican Senator Rick Santorum’s 2012 run for his party’s nomination for the presidency. Freiss also bankrolled conservative news outlet The Daily Caller, which regularly publishes articles supporting the views of climate science denialists.

On his personal web page, Freiss promotes climate science denial sources including Climate Depot and The Heartland Institute. Friess’s website has also promoted Lomborg’s views.Foster Freiss and his daughter Polly attended the Koch brother’s secretive 2010 strategy meeting in Aspen, along with Heather Higgins and a host of other conservative activists.

The tax records of the Kansas-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation indicate it has given the CCC two $150,000 grants — one in 2011 and another in 2012……..

DeSmog’s analysis of the tax records of not-for-profit groups and foundations donating to CCC accounts for only $520,000 of the total $4.3 million income of the CCC since it was launched in the US. The center’s new website makes no mention of its funding.

When so little is known about the funding for CCC, it is hard for anyone to know if Lomborg’s hope to find “unassailable” donors has come true……

May 23, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Lack of clarity on finances of Bjorn Lomborg’s Climate Action Delaying Centre

Lomborg, BjornIt is unclear that Lomborg himself is a legitimate charity anywhere, but most of the money seems under his control.  One might also wonder where income taxes are paid.

Perhaps with his new $4 million Australia Consensus Center (covered herehere, here) Bjorn Lomborg may pick a better site than a US shipping storefront, since he’ll receive much more taxpayer money, directly, courtesy of the Australian government.  That does seem simpler

Bjorn Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Center – Real Charity Or “Foreign Conduit”? DeSmogBlog  BJohn Mashey • Sunday, April 26, 2015 Bjørn Lomborg is founder and president of the  Copenhagen Consensus CenterUSA (CCC)), a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) “public charity” whose US physical presence is shown in the image: 262 Middlesex St, Lowell MA. Lomborg and the Copenhagen Consensus Center are known to DeSmog readers for efforts to downplay the importance of addressing climate change, a subset of climate science denialism that has infected the public debate across the English-speaking world.

Despite the name, it has not been based in Copenhagen since 2011. Deputy Director Roland Mathiasson remains there, but Lomborg moved to Prague in 2012.  Workers seem mostly in Hungary, with a few in the US. The Board is Lomborg, Mathiasson, Scott Calahan (Ft Lauderdale) and Loretta Michaels (Washington, DC). Although some money is used for fundraising and PR in the US, much goes abroad to Mathiasson and Lomborg, who is said to travel 200 days a year.

The “real location” of CCC is unclear, and the Internal Revenue Service often cares about this with charities.

Copenhagen Consensus Center is a textbook example of what the IRS calls a “foreign conduit” and it frowns strongly on such things. It may also frown on governance and money flows like this, perhaps “inurement”:

From attached Form 990 summary, more than 60% went directly to Lomborg, travel and $853K promotion of his movie. According to Wikipedia it grossed $63K and the movie poster shows a picture of Lomborg, a light bulb and heading:


Even in a simple US charity, poor governance and obvious conflicts of interest are troublesome, but the foreign element invokes stringent extra rules. Legitimate US charities can send money to foreign charities, but from personal experience, even clearly reasonable cases like foreign universities require careful handling.  It is unclear that Lomborg himself is a legitimate charity anywhere, but most of the money seems under his control.  One might also wonder where income taxes are paid.

A foreign group’s creation of a US “shell” charity to gather US funds and funnel them abroad is the most obvious of “foreign conduits” in IRS parlance,  #1 on its list of no-no’s. IRS revocation of 501(c)(3) status not only eliminates tax breaks for ordinary donors, but eliminates entirely crucial major gifts from private foundations like the Randolph Foundation, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Paul E. Singer Foundation.

CCC seems to break many rules. Foreign citizen Lomborg is simultaneously CCC founder, president, and highest-paid employee. Most people are a little more subtle when trying to create conduits, as in this example, where the IRS determined someone was not eligible for 501(c)(3) status, despite various stratagems to obscure the relationships.

Perhaps with his new $4 million Australia Consensus Center (covered herehere, here) Bjorn Lomborg may pick a better site than a US shipping storefront, since he’ll receive much more taxpayer money, directly, courtesy of the Australian government.  That does seem simpler…….

May 23, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, climate change, USA | Leave a comment

‘Stable’ Antarctic ice sheet no longer stable

ice-sheets-melting‘Stable’ Antarctic ice sheet may have started collapsing, scientists say, Guardian, , 22 May 15 Southern Antarctic Peninsula ice sheet losing ice 8,500 times the mass of the Great Pyramid of Giza every year, satellite data shows A vast slab of Antarctic ice that was previously stable may have started to collapse, according to new analysis of satellite data.

Research published in the journal Science on Thursday found the Southern Antarctic Peninsula (SAP) ice sheet is losing ice into the ocean at a rate of 56 gigatons each year – about 8,500 times the mass of the Great Pyramid of Giza. This adds around 0.16mm per year to the global sea level.

The sheet’s thickness has remained stable since satellite observations began in 1992. But Professor Jonathan Bamber of Bristol university, who co-authored the study, said that around 2009 it very suddenly began to thin by an average of 42cm each year. Some areas had fallen by up to 4m.

“It hasn’t been going up, it hasn’t been going down – until 2009. Then it just seemed to pass some kind of critical threshold and went over a cliff and it’s been losing mass at a pretty much constant, rather large, rate,” said Bamber……

May 22, 2015 Posted by | ANTARCTICA, climate change | Leave a comment

Good news about the ozone layer hole

New NASA satellite data confirms what other research has shown, namely that the hole in the ozone layer appears to be getting smaller. Steve Williams, Care2,  May 18, 2015 07:14 AM

The Ozone hole is shrinking The ozone is crucial for us here on Earth because it shields us from some of the Sun’s most damaging radiation. In the 1980s it was confirmed that a host of chemicals like CFCs that we had been using in manufacturing and, in particular in aerosols, had been breaking down that ozone layer, creating several holes including a worryingly large hole over the Arctic. In the long term our CFC use threatened to destroy this vital shield completely if we did not act.

Fortunately, and in a move that might seem rather rare today, politicians did listen to scientists and in 1989 the Montreal Protocol was brought into force as an international agreement to dramatically cut down on CFCs and begin phasing them out entirely. The Montreal Protocol wasn’t and isn’t a perfect solution, as we’ve detailed previously here, but it was at least a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to gauge the impact of our ozone saving efforts–that is, until now.

A new report based on data gained via NASA’s AURA satellite shows a long term trend that, barring unforeseen hiccups, should see the hole over the Arctic shrink to less than 8 million square miles within the next thirty years. At the moment the hole is about 12 million square smiles, so that represents a rapid rate of repair. What’s more, the rate of repair suggests that the hole could be entirely gone by the end of the 21st century.

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

Dubious reliability of Canada’s Paris Climate Pledge

Paris 2015: Canada aims to cut emissions by 30 per cent by 2030, SMH May 16, 2015 Josh Wingrove Canada pledged to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by about a third by 2030 in a move quickly dismissed by environmentalists and energy analysts as lacking detail and unrealistic without major policy changes.

Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq announced the new target Friday in Winnipeg, ahead of a UN climate summit in December. In effect, Canada pledged to reduce its emissions to an estimated 515 metric megatons by 2030, partly by introducing new regulations on its oil and gas sector. The country isn’t on pace to meet its previous goal, and predicts emissions will grow — not shrink — over the next five years.

Emissions were 726 megatons in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, and government figures show emissions are set to grow leading up to 2020. Canada now plans to cut emissions by 29 per cent between 2013 and 2030, based on Bloomberg calculations using public data.

To meet the new target, Canada “intends to develop” regulations to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, in tandem with US regulations, Aglukkaq said. Canada will also introduce regulations on emissions from natural gas electrical plants, her department said in a news release without specifying what the rules would include.

The government offered no projections of what reduction in emissions the new measures would produce, or how soon the new initiatives would be introduced.

Australia is yet to reveal its post-2020 emissions plans with the Abbott government expect to reveal its goals next month.

Copenhagen pledge

Under the 2009 Copenhagen Accord, Canada pledged to cut emissions by 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020, or to 611 megatons, but is on pace to fall well short of its goal. Environment Canada figures show Canada’s emissions are projected to increase between 2015 and 2020, when they are projected to reach 727 megatons.

That means Canada’s Copenhagen pledge was to reduce emissions by 125 megatons between 2005 and 2020, whereas Canada is only on pace to cut them by nine megatons……

The US has pledged to cut emissions by at least 26 per cent from 2005 levels by 2025 — a lower target with a more aggressive timeframe. Mexico has pledged to cut emissions by 25 per cent by 2030, though its per-capita emissions are already 74 per cent lower than Canada’s, according to World Bank emissions data.

May 18, 2015 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Moving your investments way from banks that invest in fossil fuels



But can you be sure that your new banks don’t invest in uranium and nuclear power?

How to divest your bank account of fossil fuels, Guardian Patrick Collinson, 16 May 15
The big five UK banks are among the world’s biggest lenders to the coal, oil and gas industries. If you don’t want to help them support climate change, there are viable alternatives

Is your current account with one of the big five banks: Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC, RBS/NatWest or Santander? If so, you are helping to support the more than £66bn they have lent to companies around the world engaged in oil and gas extraction. But individuals- who are concerned about climate change can move their money to banks and financial institutions that offer fossil-free alternatives.

The scale of support provided by mainstream banks across the world for the coal, oil and gas industry is breathtaking – and it is British banks that are among the biggest lenders. An analysis of Europe’s 20 largest banks in 2014 found that Barclays had the highest volume of “high carbon” loans, as a proportion of its total lending, of any of the banks, while Lloyds had the highest amount invested in high-carbon equities.

“The five biggest banks in the UK are also the five biggest investors in climate change,” says campaign group

It also analysed how much the major banks are financing controversial fracking operations. HSBC provides services to Cuadrilla; Barclays handles banking for IGas Energy, the company with the most oil and gas exploration licences in the UK; while Lloyds loaned £10m to Alkane Energy.

But what can individuals concerned about climate change do? Are there fossil fuel-free alternatives? The good news is that switching is now easier than ever – and high-quality accounts are easily accessible.

MoveYourMoney has prepared an action plan. …….

May 18, 2015 Posted by | climate change | Leave a comment

Paris Climate Talks will be the focus of the global nuclear lobby’s strategy

Christina Macpherson's websites & blogs

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

The global nuclear lobby is getting a bit desperate, especially with nuclear’s ever-escalating costs and delays, and renewable energy’s rapidly declining costs, and speed of set-up.

This extract from an investment advisor shows us just what strategy the nuclear lobby is now adopting – a hypocritical story about nuclear power being “renewable” “clean” and the “answer to climate change”

Uranium’s Glow Still Smothered by Safety Concerns Wall Street Daily,  Fri, May 15, 2015  |  , Commodity Strategist 

“……..If you’re in the uranium market, it’s best to be short and nimble.
spin-media-nuclearThe first thing to do is stay focused on the United Nations Climate talks later this year in Paris.While France will likely insist that nuclear reactors are the preferred, low-carbon source, the more important issue is whether or not they can demonstrate that modern nuclear power plants can be built on time, on budget, and convincingly address the issue of radioactive waste. As it stands now, the deck is stacked against them….

This is a tug-of-war between fossil fuels and clean energy. If clean proves to be a winner, it’ll then be a battle between the more traditional solar and wind power and nuclear……“

MY COMMENT on that strategy

All very well – except that nuclear energy is NOT clean.

For one thing – the total nuclear chain from uranium mining to the burial of dead reactors – emits large amounts of CO2 – and that’s without mentioning all the transport involved.

For another thing – while coal and other mining do emit radioactive isotopes, no industry other than nuclear  produces virtually eternal highly carcinogenic radioactive wastes.

No other industry runs the risk, however small, of catastrophic accidents that make large areas of land unlivable for decades.

It’s not merely a joke to call nuclear energy “clean’. It’s a lie

May 16, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, spinbuster | 2 Comments

Trans Pacific Partnership Versus The Environment

The TPP would expand this harmful system of corporate privilege, offering broad new rights to thousands of corporations, including major polluters, when we should be reigning in the power of the fossil fuel industry to combat the climate crisis.
Does this sound like a progressive trade deal? Hardly. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is shaping up to be all risk and no reward for our families, our economy, and our planet. It’s time to create a new model of trade that puts communities and the environment above corporate profits.
Far From a ‘Progressive’ Trade Deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Would Harm our Environment Huffington Post,  05/15/2015  Proponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have called the deal “the most progressive trade bill in history.” But given the history of U.S. trade deals, that bar is set exceedingly low. Our past trade deals have led to the offshoring of hundreds of thousands of American jobs, have allowed corporations to challenge policies designed to protect our air and water in private trade courts, and have degraded our environment. If you dig in even a little bit to what we know about the TPP and the history of past trade deals, it’s clear: The TPP would harm our air, water and climate.

Here’s why. Continue reading

May 16, 2015 Posted by | business and costs, climate change, environment, politics | Leave a comment

Australia’s right wing think tank uses tax breaks to promote climate change denialism

logo-IPA-wolfIPA uses Australian tax breaks to help fund U.S. climate skeptic’s libel defence Independent Australia  DeSmog Blog 16 May 2015 Environment charities like the ACF face having their Deductible Gift Recipient status stripped by the Abbott government, yet corporate mouthpiece, IPA, keep theirs to help fund U.S. climate skeptic Mark Steyn’s libel suit. Graham Readfearn fromDeSmogBlog reports.

WHEN THE facts on climate change become inconvenient or they start to rub your ideology or vested interest up the wrong way, then there are really only two options available.

Option one is to change your mind. Option two is to try and change, distort, misrepresent or just outright ignore the flood of scientific studies over decades showing the serious impacts of loading the biosphere with fossil fuel emissions.

Mark Steyn is a prominent conservative polemicist and writer in the United States and Canada who has chosen option two.

Australian “free market” think-tank The Institute of Public Affairs chose option two in the late 1980s and has stuck with it since.

Now a climate misinformation book produced by the IPA and paid for with the help of tax breaks in Australia is seemingly helping to finance Steyn in a high profile libel case.

So there are two stories to tell here – one about the libel case and the other about the book. The two meet up at the end…….. Continue reading

May 16, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change, politics international, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

As Australia cuts back on Renewable Energy, its chief advisor attacks UN Climate officer Christiana Figueres

Abbott-destroys-renewablesGovernment’s RET compromise guarantees uncertainty for renewables, Michelle Grattan, The Conversation 8 May 15  As the Abbott government prepares Australia’s post-2020 emissions targets for this year’s Paris conference, the chairman of the Prime Minister’s business advisory council has make an extraordinary intervention in the climate debate.

Maurice Newman, writing in the Australian, maintains it’s all a United Nations conspiracy – a power grab of massive proportions.

“This is not about facts or logic. It’s about a new world order under the control of the UN. It is opposed to capitalism and freedom and has made environmental catastrophism a household topic to achieve its objective.”

Newman claims that 95% of the climate models that we’re told prove the link between human emissions and global warming “have been found … to be in error”.

Newman,-Maurice-ideasIn his article he targets Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the UN’s Framework on Climate Change, who has been visiting Australia. Newman writes that “there is a real chance Figueres and those who share her centralised power ambitions will succeed.

“As the UN’s December climate change conference in Paris approaches, Australia will be pressed to sign even more futile job-destroying climate change treaties.”…………..

The government was urged by a number of its own backbenchers with renewable energy enterprises in their electorates to get the issue sorted. Earlier this week business groups issued a joint statement calling for a deal at 33,000 GWh. The government had been stuck on 32,000, saying that was its last offer.

The industry was anxious the Coalition did a deal with Labor rather than the crossbench for a new RET because bipartisanship is needed to restore some confidence.

But the two-yearly review of the target would ensure that doubt remained in investors’ minds. The Clean Energy Council, representing a substantial part of the sector, said on Friday night that the issue was not worth resolving if the reviews continued every two years.

Labor promises that if it wins the 2016 election, it would revise the target up. But if the Coalition wins, would the target be cut again?

The government hopes the in-principle deal holds so it can see another barnacle scraped of the hull of the Abbott ship.

This has been a saga that, like so many other issues under this government, has been grossly mismanaged.

Listen to the latest politics with Michelle Grattan with guest, Greens co-deputy leader Larissa Waters

May 9, 2015 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change | 2 Comments

Record CO2 in atmosphere – greatest in a million years

climate-changeGlobal CO2 in atmosphere highest in a million years, NOAA says  May 7, 2015 Ehren Goossens The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere averaged more than 400 parts per million globally for the first time ever in March, according to US government measurements.

The recording was based on air samples taken from 40 sites around the world, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a statement Wednesday. It’s the highest level of the gas in at least a million years.

Increasing CO2 emissions are blamed for global climate change that causes stronger storms, melting Arctic ice and rising sea levels, according to scientists. This is the first time the emissions have reached that level on a global basis — sites in the Arctic and Hawaii recorded CO2 concentrations over 400 ppm in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

“This marks the fact that humans burning fossil fuels have caused global carbon dioxide concentrations to rise more than 120 parts per million since pre-industrial times,” Pieter Tans, lead scientist for the agency’s Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network, said in the statement. Half of that rise has occurred since 1980, he said.

Concentrations of CO2 are rising at about 2 to 3 ppm a year. The United Nations has said that greenhouse gases should peak at no more than 450 ppm this century to maximise the chance of limiting the global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).


May 8, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

As climate changes, flood danger to nuclear sites could bring meltdowns

climate-changeFlood risk to nuclear sites raises meltdown fears.  Sea level rise, storm surges and bursting dams all pose an increasing danger to nuclear power stations as the climate changes. By Paul Brown  Climate News Network  LONDON – Safety checks following the Fukushima disaster in Japan in March 2011, when a 10 metre-high sea wall was overtopped by a tsunami, have shown that nuclear plants are at greater risk of catastrophic flooding as a result of climate change.

 All nuclear plants need large quantities of water for cooling so all must be built close to the sea, large rivers or lakes. This makes them vulnerable to sea level rise, storm surges and to the possible collapse of large dams upstream from poor construction, floodwater or seismic activity.
Since nuclear plants are designed to operate for as long as 60 years and need around a further century to decommission, accelerating sea level rise and more intense rainfall may present serious problems.

Continue reading

May 6, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Why nuclear power will have no effect in combatting climate chnage

The arguments that nuclear power offers the solution to climate change are dead wrong for several reasons:  [outlined further down in this article]

Even if we decided to replace all fossil-fuel plants with nuclear reactors – leaving cost issues aside – it would not be technically possible to build them quickly enough to meet even the modest targets of the Kyoto Protocol. In the U.S., up to 1,000 new reactors (nearly 10 times the current base) would be required at a cost of about $1.5 trillion to $2.0 trillion, based on industry estimates of $1,500-$2,000/KW for new nuclear plant construction.  In fact, Alvin M. Weinberg, former director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory argues that, in order to make a serious dent in carbon emissions, it would take perhaps four times as many reactors as suggested by the MIT study, or up to 4,000 reactors .

globalnukeNONuclear Power: Totally Unqualified to Combat Climate Change BY  , WORDL BUSINESS ACADEMY  SEPTEMBER 14, 2014 

An Open Letter from the World Business Academy to leading climatologist Dr. James Hansen regarding his advocacy of nuclear power as a solution to global warming.

My colleagues and I at the World Business Academy have followed climate activism for many years and its on-going campaign to restrain the coal and oil industries. Research, congressional testimony, and activism by numerous climatologists to address climate change has brought this very real global threat into the public consciousness and set the stage to develop a strategy for preserving human civilization as we know it. …….

With regard to nuclear energy, the IPCC made the following finding: “Nuclear energy is a mature low-GHG emission source of baseload power, but its share of global electricity generation has been declining (since 1993). Nuclear energy could make an increasing contribution to low carbon energy supply, but a variety of barriers and risks exist (robust evidence, high agreement). Those include: operational risks, and the associated concerns, uranium mining risks, financial and regulatory risks, unresolved waste management issues, nuclear weapon proliferation concerns, and adverse public opinion (robust evidence, high agreement).”[4]……..

The World Business Academy agrees with the substantive findings from these reports and is firmly committed to implementing the most expeditious path towards (i) eliminating or mitigating all sources of carbon and methane emissions and (ii) remediating ambient CO2 levels back to pre-industrial levels……….

Given the urgency of climate-related issues, we were nonetheless deeply vexed with the proposal by Dr. James E. Hansen and other climatologists to embrace nuclear power as a viable component in mitigatiing climate change. As delineated in a joint letter published on November 3rd by Dr. Hansen, Kenneth Caldeira, Kerry Emanuel, and Tom Wigley,[6] it appears that these climate experts may not be as fully informed about nuclear fission as they are about climate change.

A letter dated January 6, 2014 has already been sent to this group by The Civil Society Institute and Nuclear Information and Resource Service which was co-signed by over 300 organizations world-wide, rebutting the assumptions set forth in the November 3rd letter and presenting arguments against the use of nuclear power to mitigate climate change.[7] The World Business Academy was a contributing signatory to the CSI/NIRS letter and proposes in this communication to expand on those arguments and provide additional reference materials in support of our assertions………

the Academy has maintained a permanent research effort on virtually every aspect of nuclear power, has published very frequently on the subject, and has continuously sought solutions for society to mitigate the most harmful side effects of nuclear fission.  We are hopeful that further elaboration of the challenges associated with nuclear power will persuade misguided climate activists to embrace more economic, more readily available, and more certain renewable energy technologies which will surpass the nuclear industry’s alleged ability to assist in mitigating climate change without any harmful side effects.  Continue reading

May 2, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | 2 Comments

Christian crusade for action on climate change

climate-changeBeliever among the skeptics: A Canadian’s crusade to convert Christians to climate change belief, National Post William Marsden | April 24, 2015 WASHINGTON — Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, a cheerful, Toronto-born evangelical Christian, has become the hottest ticket in the highly polarized U.S. debate over climate change.

Named in 2014 by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in America, she is sought out by Hollywood stars, applauded by environmentalists and fellow scientists, and a huge draw on the Christian speaking circuit because she has opened the door, if only a crack, to the largest and single most stubborn community of climate skeptics in America — evangelicals.

She has essentially become a missionary among her own people. And in doing so she has single-handedly raised hopes of a potential breakthrough in U.S. climate politics. The reasoning is simple. If you can convince evangelicals of the reality of man-made climate change, the rest of the country will follow………

“So I realize that, sure, most of these people, if you polled them, they would say climate change isn’t real. But if you actually take the time and talk to them, only about 10 per cent of people are hardcore”……..

Climate science was not the issue, she said. The debate was over faith. She faced a wall of Christians who believed that God’s absolute power eclipsed anything that mankind could do to the planet.

Hayhoe countered with scripture stating that while God created the Earth, he gave mankind dominion over it and Christians have to play an active role as its protector and not just its exploiter. Add a pinch of basic climate science and that’s essentially her message.

“I had to be a whole person not just a scientist and I had to share with them why I cared about climate change,” she said. “And for me my faith was a big part of that and for people here their faith is a big part of that.”

The word got out and before long Hayhoe had to meet increasing demands to talk to evangelical and other Christian communities…….

“I see my responsibility not as changing people’s minds but as offering them the information they need to change their minds.”

April 27, 2015 Posted by | climate change, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Sudden conversion of climate denialist US Senator as he jumps on pro nuclear bandwagon


The chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has an Earth Day (!) op-ed arguing we should embrace carbon-free nuclear power because of the threat posed by global warming. You remember Inhofe, the guy who called global warming a hoax, the guy who for over a decade has trashed climate scientists, such as James Hansen, whom he called in 2006 a “NASA scientist and alarmist.”

Apparently, however, Inhofe no longer sees Hansen as radioactive. He writes, without a trace of irony:

 James Hansen, the former head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in 2013 that ‘continued opposition to nuclear power threatens humanity’s ability to avoid dangerous climate change.’

How cool is it that Inhofe is now apparently on board with top climatologist Hansen on the urgent need “to avoid dangerous climate change” by accelerated deployment of zero-carbon technologies? Presumably he’ll soon be on board with Hansen’s call for a high and rising carbon dioxide fee (returned to the public as a dividend), and a World War II scale effort to return CO2 levels back to 350 parts per million from their current level of 400 ppm (and rising 2+ ppm a year).

As an aside, what’s holding nuclear power back is its exorbitant price. Indeed, just this week a panel of experts unanimously agreed that nukes have all but priced themselves out of the market. Perhaps Inhofe should have supported the climate bill that came out of the House of Representatives in 2009, since its carbon pricing mechanism would have been nuclear power’s best chance at a resurgence.

As for Inhofe’s bromancing of Hansen, I suspect it is unrequited, but then they say politics does make for strange bedfellows. Or at least for new definitions of chutzpah.

April 25, 2015 Posted by | climate change, politics, USA | Leave a comment


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