The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

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

Massive governmental and media effort to cover up the truth about Fukushima

media-propagandaStudy: Conspiracy of Fukushima Cover up Between Government and Media Proven, Your News Wire, 14 Apr 15  by  Royce Christyn A groundbreaking study by American University sociology Prof. Celine Marie Pascale has proven there is a continuing and massive effort by varying world governments and major mainstream media outlets to cover up the horrifying truth of Fukushima.

According to the press release made public by the University and Pascale, the media and government (regarding the Fukushima cover up) “largely minimized health risks to the general population”.

Natural News reports: Just how bad was the radiation fallout from the near-complete destruction of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima power station following a massive earthquake-generated tsunami in March 2011? The answer is, most people simply don’t know – because the media coverage of the damage and fallout, at the time of the accident and in the four years since, has been grossly inadequate, according to a new study –

As noted by American University sociology Prof. Celine Marie Pascale, there has especially been a dearth of U.S. media coverage, the disaster long disappearing from the headlines of domestic newspapers and cable news networks, despite the fact that the crippled plant dumps three hundred tons of radioactive water into the ocean daily, and the region surrounding the plant remains uninhabitable – probably forever.

Further, her new analysis found that U.S. news media coverage of Fukushima “largely minimized health risks to the general population,” says a press release from the university.

The release further states:

Pascale analyzed more than 2,000 news articles from four major U.S. outlets following the disaster’s occurrence March 11, 2011 through the second anniversary on March 11, 2013. Only 6 percent of the coverage – 129 articles – focused on health risks to the public in Japan or elsewhere. Human risks were framed, instead, in terms of workers in the disabled nuclear plant.

‘Articles discuss instead how dangerous cosmic radiation is’

“It’s shocking to see how few articles discussed risk to the general population, and when they did, they typically characterized risk as low,” said Pascale, who studies the social construction of risk and meanings of risk in the current century.

“We see articles in prestigious news outlets claiming that radioactivity from cosmic rays and rocks is more dangerous than the radiation emanating from the collapsing Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant,” she added.

The sociology prof examined news articles, editorials and letters from two major U.S. papers – The New York Times and The Washington Post – and two additional, prominent online news sites – Politico and The Huffington Post. The four outlets are not only among the largest, most influential in the U.S., they are also the most-cited by television news and talk shows, as well as other newspapers and blogs. Also, they are talked up in social media often, says Pascale. So, in that sense, she says, seeing how risk is presented in national prominent media can provide data on how the issue is framed nationally, in public conversations.
The press release further discussed Pascale’s analytical method and variables: – See more at:

April 17, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Agressive pro nuclear propaganda in Turkey (a taste of what’s to come, globally?)

nuke-spruikersSmflag-TurkeyNuclear energy: An unpopular product on sale  JOOST LAGENDIJK

I first noticed the advertisements on a tram I boarded in İstanbul last week. Later I saw huge billboards along major roads and a TV commercial trying to promote the same product: nuclear energy. For one moment I hesitated: Did I miss something and was Turkey already able to provide electricity from nuclear reactors? A quick check taught me it wasn’t at all far: Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, at Akkuyu, near Mersin, is still in the first phase of construction and will most probably only start producing electricity in 2023. So why then spend so much money on marketing a product that is not for sale in the foreseeable future?

For decades Turkey has tried to acquire its own nuclear power plants. For all kind of political and financial reasons, Ankara never managed to strike a deal with a foreign company to build one until in 2010 the Russian state-owned nuclear energy company Rosatom came up with an offer that Turkey could not refuse. The Russians will build, own and operate the $20-billion Akkuyu nuclear power plant while the Turkish state will guarantee the purchase of most of the electricity produced there against a fixed price. Three years later, in 2013, Turkey signed a second deal with a Japanese/French consortium that will build and operate another nuclear plant in Sinop but that will only start delivering after 2023. For the moment, all attention is focused on Akkuyu.

You can be sure last week’s publicity offensive is only the first phase of a long campaign to convince the Turkish population of the benefits of nuclear energy. The Turkish government knows very well that for now, most Turks are either opposed to nuclear energy or at the very least very skeptical about the presumptive advantages. Nuclear energy is an unpopular product that will need massive marketing to get it accepted by the time it becomes available.

In the months and years to come we will witness a very professional public relations campaign with only one aim: To try to take away the doubts about nuclear energy and highlight the positives. The arguments in favor will be a combination of the general ones always promoted by the nuclear industry and some specific Turkish ones. Belonging to the first category are the following catchwords: Improved safety, low costs, cleaner than coal, major contribution to fighting climate change. On top of that will come several presumed national bonuses: It will decrease Turkey’s energy dependency and current account deficit and will increase the country’s status and prestige.
All these justifications will be challenged by a motley collection of environmentalists, academics and local activists from Akkuyu and Sinop who don’t want their towns to be the places where this controversial experiment is located.

All these justifications will be challenged by a motley collection of environmentalists, academics and local activists from Akkuyu and Sinop who don’t want their towns to be the places where this controversial experiment is located.

The arguments against nuclear power are well-known as well: The unresolved waste issue, the lethal impact of possible accidents, the brighter future of renewable alternatives such as sun and wind power, and, in the case of Turkey, the danger of earthquakes and the growing dependency on Russia.

In a timely, recently published book on Turkey’s nuclear future, edited by George Perkovich and Sinan Ülgen, another potential risk is stressed and that is the need for an independent regulatory nuclear agency that will give Turks and the international community confidence that safety will be an overriding imperative. Whether or not such an agency can be effective and, if need be, go against the government, depends according to the authors on the evolution of the Turkish state. Will independent institutions still be allowed to operate freely in a country where power is increasingly concentrated in a de facto presidential system with few checks and balances left intact?

These and all the classical questions on nuclear energy will hopefully be part of the debate we should have in Turkey in the upcoming years. My advice: Be critical of the slick and polished pro-nuclear advertising campaigns that will be launched to prepare the ground. Take your time to listen to the arguments of the opponents who, I admit, convinced me some time ago that going nuclear is an old-fashioned, 20th-century solution at a time when better, safer and cheaper alternatives are available.

April 11, 2015 Posted by | EUROPE, marketing of nuclear, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Muzzling scientists: UK follows Canada’s lead

flag-UKflag-canadaFollowing Canada’s Bad Example, Now UK Wants To Muzzle Scientists And Their Inconvenient Truths
from the non-appliance-of-science dept Free Speech by Glyn MoodyWed, Apr 1st 2015

Techdirt has been following for a while Canada’s moves to stop scientists from speaking out about areas where the facts of the situation don’t sit well with the Canadian government’s dogma-based policies. Sadly, it looks like the UK is taking the same route. It concerns a new code for the country’s civil servants, which will also apply to thousands of publicly-funded scientists. As the Guardian reports:

Under the new code, scientists and engineers employed at government expense must get ministerial approval before they can talk to the media about any of their research, whether it involves GM crops, flu vaccines, the impact of pesticides on bees, or the famously obscure Higgs boson.


The fear — quite naturally — is that ministers could take days before replying to requests, by which time news outlets will probably have lost interest. As a result of this change, science organizations have sent a letter to the UK government, expressing their “deep concern” about the code. A well-known British neurobiologist, Sir Colin Blakemore, told the Guardian:

“The real losers here are the public and the government. The public lose access to what they consider to be an important source of scientific evidence, and the government loses the trust of the public,” Blakemore said.

Not only that, by following Canada’s example, the British government also makes it more likely that other countries will do the same, which will weaken science’s ability to participate in policy discussions around the world — just when we need to hear its voice most.

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April 10, 2015 Posted by | Canada, media, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

USA’s Nuclear Regulatory Commission gambles with safety, using legalistic jargon

HYPOCRISY-NRC-US NRC Playing Brazen Legalese Games with Safety (Reactor Pressure Vessel Embrittlement) at Palisades Nuclear Power Station and Elsewhere, Mining Awareness, 9 Apr 15  In the April 18, 2013 US NRC “Summary of the March 19, 2013 Public Meeting Webinar Regarding Palisades Nuclear Plant” one finds brazen legalese statements by the US NRC in order to defend one of Entergy’s aging reactors, Palisades (Note that the NRC also had lawyer(s) working on the corporate side pushing the judge to ignore current concerns at Davis Besse Nuclear Power Station too. Davis Besse and Palisades endanger the largest surface fresh water system on earth.) The NRC inadvertently points out that, most likely, no US nuclear reactor has the more resistant materials required for safety starting in 1977.

Someone asked the NRC:
Which are the other most embrittled plants in the U.S.? How many PWRs will reach their screening criteria in the next 10 years?
The NRC responded:
The NRC currently estimates that the following plants will exceed the PTS screening criteria of 10 CFR 50.61 during their 20-year period of operation beyond their original 40 year licenses. Updated fluence calculations, capacity factors changes, power uprate, new surveillance data, and improved material property information (i.e., the use of direct rather than correlative measurements of the vessel material’s resistance to fracture) can change these estimates…
1. Point Beach 2 (2017)
2. Palisades (2017)
3. Diablo Canyon 1 (2033)
4. Indian Point 3 (2025)
5. Beaver Valley 1 (2033)
(It’s not clear if these years are the license expiration dates, or when they are estimated as in most danger of reactor pressure vessel fractures, minus uprates etc, which increase stress and put them at risk more quickly. PTS is Pressurized Thermal Shock. Point Beach is also on the Great Lakes (Lake Michigan, as is Palisades)

According to the NRC, Entergy-Palisades didn’t violate standards because there weren’t any! “Palisades did not violate the NRC’s PTS safety standards in 1981 since the NRC did not have any regulations pertaining to PTS until June 26, 1984.

The NRC inadvertently explains that US Reactors are not up to even 1977 standards:
For new plants, the reactor vessel beltline materials should have the content of residual elements such as copper, phosphorus, sulfur, and vanadium controlled to low levels. The levels should be such that the predicted adjusted reference temperature at the ¼ T position in the vessel wall at end of life is less than 200 °F. [These] recommendations … will be issued in evaluating construction permits docketed on or after June 1, 1977.

There has been no ground-breaking on new nuclear plants in the United States since 1974. Up until 2013, there had also been no ground-breaking on new nuclear reactors at existing power plants since 1977.
Since permitting would normally come before ground-breaking this appears to mean that no nuclear reactors currently in operation are up to the 1977 standards for prevention of embrittlement. 1977 was 37-38 years ago. Jimmy Carter was President and the Cold War was far from over. Apple home computers weighed 11.5 pounds excluding the screen, which probably weighed almost as much. Apple Ipad air weighs less than one pound.

The NRC further states:
In conclusion, there was no violation of NRC requirements concerning PTS at Palisades. Had Palisades ever violated PTS requirements the NRC would have shut down the plant.

Regulatory Guides do not contain requirements, only recommendations.

So, since the “Regulatory Guides only contain recommendations”, anything goes? What’s the NRC for then? Making the US tax-payer pay for lawyers and staff to protect the interests of the nuclear power industry? Safety doesn’t matter? Regulations are supposed to be laws. Aren’t they?

Where did concern about the US budget go anyway? A good place to start cuts is the US NRC, which has long been called an instance of regulatory capture. ……..

April 10, 2015 Posted by | safety, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

The Nuclear Power Agenda to block climate action, stop renewable energy, and subsidize old reactors.

Nuclear Economics Nuclear Information and Resource Service….…….September 11, 2014. Killing the Competition. The Nuclear Power Agenda to block climate action, stop renewable energy, and subsidize old reactors. Major new report by NIRS’ Executive Director Tim Judson details how major utilities and nuclear power companies have begun a campaign to rig energy markets, climate regulations, and clean energy programs to prevent the advance of renewable energy.

text-Nuclear-MattersUsing a deceptive public relations campaign and heavily-funded front groups like Nuclear Matters, Third Way, and C2ES, corporations including Exelon and Entergy have tried to drum up fears of a national energy crisis stemming from the closure of several aging, uncompetitive nuclear plants and the advance of renewable energy. While touting the need to “preserve” nuclear power, nuclear interests have covered up the actual reforms they are seeking and their implications for the U.S.’s energy future. 

Audio recording (mp3 file) of press conference release of the report featuring Tim Judson, Dr. Mark Cooper, Vermont Law School, Institute for Energy and the Environment; Tyson Slocum, energy program director, Public Citizen; Deb Katz, executive director, Citizens Awareness Network (New England); David Kraft, executive director, Nuclear Energy Information Service (Illinois); Jessica Azulay, program director, Alliance for a Green Economy (New York).”…..

April 3, 2015 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby claims to be clean and green , wants government money

nuke-greenwashNation’s biggest nuclear firm makes a play for green money, Herald News By RAY HENRY –Saturday, March 28, 2015 1   The Associated Press The biggest player in the beleaguered nuclear power industry wants a place alongside solar, wind and hydroelectric power collecting extra money for producing carbon-free electricity.

 Exelon Corp., operator of the largest fleet of U.S. nuclear plants, says it could have to close three of them if Illinois rejects the company’s pitch to let it recoup more from consumers since the plants do not produce greenhouse gases.

Chicago-based Exelon essentially wants to change the rules of the state’s power market as the nuclear industry competes with historically low prices for natural gas. Dominion Resources Inc. recently closed the Kewaunee Power Station in Wisconsin for financial reasons, and Entergy Corp. likewise shuttered its Vermont Yankee plant.

Plans for a new wave of U.S. nuclear plants have been delayed or canceled, aside from three projects deep into construction at Plant Vogtle south of Augusta, Georgia; V.C. Summer Nuclear Station north of Columbia, South Carolina; and Watts Bar Nuclear Plant in eastern Tennessee. Electric utilities in those states do not face competition…….

Though it wants financial assistance, Exelon will not release detailed information about the cost of running the three Illinois plants in Quad Cities, Byron and Clinton that company officials say are most at-risk. An analysis by state agencies estimated the cost of producing power at those plants may exceed the payments they get, though they could not be certain.

Exelon and other around-the-clock plants sometimes take losses when wind turbines produce too much electricity for the system.

Exelon remained profitable overall, making $1.6 billion last year.

“If the question is, ‘Are they under economic threat?’ I don’t think there’s any question they are,” said Paul Patterson, a utility analyst for Glenrock Associates LLC, who referred to nuclear plant closures elsewhere as evidence. “Will they shut down? I think it depends at what plant you’re looking at.”

The Illinois proposal would reward nuclear plants. Under the system, electric suppliers would have to buy credits from carbon-free energy producers. Exelon says the plan would benefit nuclear plants, hydroelectric dams, and other solar and wind projects.

March 30, 2015 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Pattern of denial by nuclear industry set off after the Three Mile Island accident

News corporate disinformationThree Mile Island: Writing the Nuclear Meltdown Playbook, Fairewinds By Arnie Gundersen,March 25th, 2015

People today who are familiar with social media think that TMI means “Too Much Information”. But to me, and anyone listening to the news in 1979, TMI will always represent the disaster at Three Mile Island, when the public received too little information, not too much.

At the time of the nuclear disaster at TMI, there were plans to build more than 200 nuclear plants in the US, with some projections topping 1,000. Today, less than 100 nuclear plants are operating in the US. During the 1970’s, the total amount invested in those early plants easily exceeded one trillion dollars. If the public became fearful of nuclear power, then the nuclear industry, investors, and banks that had loaned money would face huge losses, so the nuclear industry and nuclear regulators tried desperately to minimize the significance of what was happening at the crippled reactor.

The pattern of denial created by the nuclear industry during the TMI meltdown had at least five steps in its playbook:

  1. Make it appear that “authorities” have the situation under control.
  2. Delay any evacuation orders for as long as possible.
  3. Claim radiation releases are much lower than they actually are.
  4. Claim radiation exposures are acceptable and that no one will die.
  5. And lastly, minimize conflicting information given to the press through paid off experts.


The formula for damage control at TMI was designed by the nuclear industry composed a one size fits all “playbook” the industry has followed for all nuclear catastrophes since TMI. Comments made during the triple meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi by utility owner Tokyo Electric could easily mimic those made at Chernobyl and TMI! When Maggie and I saw these old tricks being played again at Fukushima Daiichi, we dedicated ourselves to ensuring that the public has an accessible resource on which to rely that provides accurate information, and thus the Fairewinds videos were born.

In this video posted to commemorate the TMI disaster, I discuss the pattern of denial regarding nuclear power plant failures and meltdowns, not just for TMI but also for Chernobyl and Fukushima Daiichi as well. We at Fairewinds Energy Education hope you will watch it and think about sharing the true facts with others.

March 28, 2015 Posted by | media, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear Regulatory Commission trickery on radiation rules favours the nuclear industry, not the public interest

The NRC needs to recall that its name is the Nuclear Regulatory Agency and so its job is to regulate the industry, rather than to work for the nuclear industry. Its job is to help the EPA keep a high safety standard for water, air, soil. They both appear to have forgotten or be oblivious to their purpose, which is to protect the people and environment from radionuclides from the nuclear industry.

Nuclear Facilities also are allowed to emit so many radionuclides, that it takes 50 pages to list them, including plutonium 239 to the air, along with the water. But, like the water, to talk about concentrations in the air – as opposed to amounts – is really meaningless for anything but the shortest-lived radionuclides.


US NRC Radioactive Dilute and Deceive Scam – Comment Deadline June 22nd (Extended) Mining Awareness Plus, 18 Mar 15 US NRC Comment Deadline extended to 22 June 2015:!documentDetail;D=NRC-2009-0279-0098   “………..The disgusting truth is that research on ionizing radiation has been ongoing since 1895. At the beginning of the nuclear age, focus was on how dangerous radiation was. Many animal and even human experiments have been done. The human experiments were both official experiments and unofficial making the population at large act as guinea pigs. They have known from the beginning the dangers. Somewhere along the way they seem to have switched from doing experiments to see how dangerous it was to doing endless experiments in an attempt at proving that it is safe. Despite their efforts to prove the contrary, they have only succeeded in proving that ionizing radiation is even more dangerous than their early results showed. As the National Academy of Science has stated endlessly in their BEIR reports, there is no safe dose of ionizing radiation. Increased dose is increased risk. This is even more true for high-LET internal alpha radiation and high LET neutrons.

The US EPA has a “clean water” water “standard” for drinking water, though it has none for water emissions from nuclear facilities – which makes no sense. Who, if anyone, pays to clean up the difference between radionuclides emitted by nuclear facilities and that allowed in drinking water?

Furthermore, the “Clean Water” drinking water standard appears to be inadequately protective, as well. It allows 740 Bq/liter of tritium in drinking water. The Canadian nuclear lobby was reportedly satisfied with a 20 Bq/liter standard for tritium in drinking water, recommended by the Ontario Water Advisory Commission (OWAC), even though Canadian CANDU reactors produce more tritium than other reactors. OWAC started with the idea that “the target derived risk level should be 1 in a million or 10-6 (meaning 1 new excess cancer occurrence over existing background cancer rates in 1,000,000 people); the target derived risk level should be over a lifetime of exposure of 70 years, and based on cancer incidences above background (occurrences) rather than mortality (deaths);” This led to models ranging from 7 Bq/L to 109 Bq/L.
Notice the number was chosen based on cancer morbidity (illness), not just mortality (death). (Unfortunately, if there are cooling towers they could send the balance of tritium out into the air.) Contrary to what TEPCO, AREVA, and EnergySolutions want everyone to believe, there are several ways to filter tritium………

Yes, they need water standards but they need real standards and strict standards, which account for all radionuclides emitted in air and water and per facility. The actual quantities of the radionuclides must be measured and not the concentration! Continue reading

March 21, 2015 Posted by | radiation, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

The industry of “doubt” promoted against climate science

spin-corporate.Doubt over climate science is a product with an industry behind it With its roots in the tobacco industry, climate science denial talking points can be seen as manufactured doubt Guardian,   5 Mar 15 It’s a product that you can find in newspaper columns and TV talk shows and in conversations over drinks, at barbecues, in taxi rides and in political speeches.

You can find this product in bookstores, on sponsored speaking tours, in the letters pages of local newspapers and even at United Nations climate change talks.

This product is doubt – doubt about the causes and impacts of climate change, the impartiality of climate scientists, the world’s temperature records, the height of the oceans and basic atmospheric physics. Continue reading

March 7, 2015 Posted by | climate change, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Examining 3 shaky arguments for nuclear energy

nuke-bubbleNuclear Energy Is Dirty, Unsafe And Uneconomic: Environmental Scientis  by Dr Dr Mark Diesendorf , Associate Professor and Deputy Director within the Institute of Environmental Studies at the University of NSW………there seem to be three shaky legs upon which proponents attempt to stand their campaign to expand nuclear energy:

1. Nuclear energy has allegedly no or low greenhouse gas emissions.
2. New nuclear reactor technologies are allegedly safer than the present generation of reactors.
3. New and existing reactors are allegedly cheaper than other low-carbon technologies, notably renewable energy.

Let’s examine these claims.

1. Green House Gas emissions

Neither nuclear energy nor most renewable technologies emit carbon dioxide during operation. However, to do a meaningful comparison, we must compare the whole life-cycles from mining the raw materials to managing the wastes. In a peer-reviewed journal paper published in 2008, nuclear physicist and nuclear energy supporter Manfred Lenzen compared life-cycle emissions from nuclear, wind and natural gas power stations.

For nuclear energy based on mining high-grade uranium ore, he found average emissions of 60 grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour (g/kWh) of electricity generation, for wind 10–20 g/kWh and for gas 500–600 g/kWh. Now comes the part that most nuclear proponents try to ignore or misrepresent.

The world has only a few decades of high-grade uranium ore reserves left. As the ore-grade inevitably declines, the fossil fuel used to mine and mill uranium increases and so do the resulting greenhouse gas emissions.

Lenzen calculates the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions when low-grade uranium ore is used to be 131 g/kWh. This is unacceptable in terms of climate science, especially taking into account that Lenzen’s analysis favoured nuclear energy by assuming that mountains of radioactive uranium mine waste are left to blow in the wind for thousands of years.

2. New reactor technologies Continue reading

February 23, 2015 Posted by | 2 WORLD, spinbuster | 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” ………

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.


 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)……….

February 16, 2015 Posted by | climate change, spinbuster | 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 problem

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

A field guide to “nuclear environmentalists”

globalnukeNOFormer Nuclear Regulatory Commissioner and state regulator Peter Bradford sees the finance issue as the nuclear industry’s Kryptonite.

“Trying to solve climate change with nuclear is like trying to solve world hunger with caviar,” he said Peter Dykstra, 9 Feb 15  “…In recent years, some major science and environmental players have come forward to endorse nuclear power. Former EPA administrator and Obama climate czar Carol Browner is one of the glitziest.

Browner signed up for the newest and shiniest effort to sell nuke plants, the year-old Nuclear Matters, founded by electric giant Exelon in 2014.

Nuclear Matters is run by public relations agency Sloane & Associates. Critics call it a nuclear front group, but Sloane prefers to bill it as “starting a national conversation on nuclear power,” and adds that other utilities, nuke builders and suppliers have joined Exelon as sponsors.

The group recruited several other bipartisan political heavyweights as paid spokespeople but none that are catnip for the environmental community, where opposition to nuclear power is the rule, not the exception.

So when Nuclear Matters hauled in Browner as a spokesperson of its Leadership Council last year, she was a big catch.

Browner said she typically devotes a few hours a week to Nuclear Matters and is compensated for her time, but neither she nor Nuclear Matters will discuss her fee. Continue reading

February 11, 2015 Posted by | Reference, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment


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