President Trump has been accused of deliberately obstructing research on global warming after it emerged that a critically important technique for investigating sea-ice cover at the poles faces being blocked. The row has erupted after a key polar satellite broke down a few days ago, leaving the US with only three ageing ones, each operating long past their shelf lives, to measure the Arctic’s dwindling ice cap. Scientists say there is no chance a new one can now be launched until 2023 or later. None of the current satellites will still be in operation then.
The Trump administration will promote coal, natural gas and nuclear energy as an answer to climate change at a presentation during a UN global warming conference this month. The US presentation will feature speakers from Peabody Energy, a coal company; NuScale Power, a nuclear engineering firm; and Tellurian, a liquefied natural gas exporter.
It became clear early in Donald Trump’s presidency that many of his top officials shared a common trait: They were climate deniers. Though “climate denial starts at the top,” the New York Times’ Coral Davenport wrote in March, it was trickling down into a variety of high-influence position: Vice President Mike Pence, who once called global warming a “myth” disproved by the fact that his home state once had a cold winter; then-senior advisor Steve Bannon, whose news site Breitbart remains one of the top destinations for climate misinformation; Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who believes carbon dioxide is not a “primary contributor” to global warming; and Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who believes the same myth, saying in June, “No, most likely the primary control knob is the ocean waters and this environment that we live in.”
The Environmental Protection Agency has instructed two of its scientists and one contractor not to speak as planned at a scientific conference in Providence, R.I., sparking criticism from some academics and congressional Democrats. EPA officials confirmed Sunday that its researchers would not present at the State of Narragansett Bay and Its Watershed program but did not offer an explanation for the decision.
The Trump administration avoided making any statement on the science of global warming as it moved to revoke the Clean Power Plan, but one of its most influential coal-industry allies made clear he is pushing outright rejection of the scientific consensus."We do not have a climate change problem," Murray Energy Chairman and CEO Robert Murray said, assering that "4,000 scientists" had told him that "mankind is not affecting climate change." This is a level of denial rarely seen and it flies in the face of the scientific consensus.
For well over twenty years, climate deniers have tried to stymie discussion of extreme weather events and climate change. Hurricane Harvey’s damage is breaking records. Who will pay, remains an unanswered question. What we do know is that a concerted campaign of climate denial, over the past three decades, has measurably slowed down society’s reaction to the climate crisis and has wasted valuable time and money.
Myron Ebell stood in bright sunlight as President Trump stepped into the Rose Garden and spoke. “In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens,” Trump said to rowdy applause, “the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord.”
Ebell was hot, sunburned and very pleased. He was witnessing history that he had helped make.
US diplomats should sidestep questions from foreign governments on what it would take for the Trump administration to re-engage in the global Paris climate agreement, according to a diplomatic cable seen by Reuters. The cable, sent by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to embassies, also said diplomats should make clear the United States wants to help other countries use fossil fuels.
Donald Trump launched an all-out assault on Barack Obama’s climate change legacy on Tuesday with a sweeping executive order that undermines America’s commitment to the Paris agreement. The president signed an order to trigger a review of the clean power plan, Obama’s flagship policy to curb carbon emissions, and rescind a moratorium on the sale of coalmining leases on federal lands.
In UC Berkeley, 200 adults had willingly sardined themselves into a fluorescent-lit room in the bowels of Doe Library to rescue federal climate data. Like similar groups across the country—in more than 20 cities—they believe that the Trump administration might want to disappear this data down a memory hole. So these hackers, scientists, and students are collecting it to save outside government servers. They’re keeping track of what’s already been removed—because the pruning has already begun.
Climate scientists worried that President-elect Donald Trump will slash their budgets and sideline their research are entering survival mode, trimming the words "climate change" from study proposals, emphasizing business applications of their work, and safeguarding data that shows global warming is real. The early reactions may foretell a broader shift in the U.S. climate science community, which could be isolated under a new administration skeptical of climate change and committed to expanding oil drilling and coal mining.
Alarmed that decades of crucial climate measurements could vanish under a hostile Trump administration, scientists have begun a feverish attempt to copy reams of government data onto independent servers in hopes of safeguarding it from any political interference. The efforts include a “guerrilla archiving” event in Toronto, where experts will copy irreplaceable public data, meetings at the University of Pennsylvania focused on how to download as much federal data as possible in the coming weeks, and a collaboration of scientists and database experts who are compiling an online site to harbor scientific information.
The heads of Donald Trump’s transition teams for Nasa, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of the Interior and the Department of Energy , as well as his nominees to lead the EPA and the Department of the Interior, all question the science of human-caused climate change, in a signal of the president-elect’s determination to embark upon an aggressively pro-fossil fuels agenda. Trump has assembled a transition team in which at least nine senior members deny basic scientific understanding that the planet is warming due to the burning of carbon and other human activity.
The Trump transition team has issued a list of 74 questions for the Energy Department, asking agency officials to identify which department employees and contractors have worked on forging an international climate pact as well as domestic efforts to cut the nation’s carbon output. The questionnaire requests a list of those individuals who have taken part in international climate talks over the past five years and “which programs within DOE are essential to meeting the goals of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.” One DOE official described the questionnaire as unusually “intrusive”.
President-elect Donald Trump picked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to run the EPA, putting one of the agency's most hostile critics and a skeptic of climate change science at its helm, sources close to the transition said. As attorney general for a state that is one the nation's biggest oil, natural gas and grain producers, Pruitt has been at the forefront of lawsuits challenging EPA regulations on carbon emissions and water pollution, and he is expected to lead the effort to erase much of President Barack Obama's environmental agenda. Pruitt has also faced accusations that he's unusually close to energy producers, including a 2014 New York Times story reporting that he and other Republican attorneys general had formed an “unprecedented, secretive alliance” with the industry.
Scientists and policy watchers have been sounding the alarm bell that NASA’s climate work could be in jeopardy ever since Donald Trump’s election last month. The alarm started ringing louder last week with the announcement that Chris Shank, the deputy chief of staff to Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), will be heading the transition at the agency. Shank will be in charge of helping lay out the priorities for the next NASA administrator and if his past is any indication, NASA’s $1.9 billion earth science budget will be square in the crosshairs.
Climate change is an issue conspiracy theorist Alex Jones covers regularly on his shows, where he has interviewed climate science deniers such as Christopher Monckton, Marc Morano and James Delingpole. While it’s easy to dismiss the conspiracy culture pushed by Jones as pseudoscientific rubbish, it is not so easy to dismiss the size of the audience he has been building. Jones’s website gets 57m page views per month – double where it was six months ago. The Alex Jones YouTube channel has 1.8m subscribers and just racked up its one billionth (that’s not a typo) video view. For comparison, the BBC News YouTube channel has 992,000 subscribers.
Jones’s site is part of an ecosystem of hyperpartisan media outlets that insist climate change is a hoax. Like Jones, that ecosystem is rapidly building a receptive online audience.
With Donald Trump’s election, the Institute for Energy Research, has moved suddenly from the fringe to the center of power. The group’s president, a former Koch Industries lobbyist, will head the transition of the Energy Department. For years, Thomas Pyle has led a coordinated national assault on renewable power. The Koch network gave Pyle’s groups $3 million in 2015. Pyle will shape the new direction of a federal agency that has been a crucial partner to states in their embrace of solar, wind and geothermal power.
Donald Trump has selected one of the best-known climate skeptics to lead his U.S. EPA transition team, according to two sources close to the campaign. Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, is spearheading Trump’s transition plans for EPA. Ebell is a well-known and polarizing figure in the energy and environment realm. His participation in the EPA transition signals that the Trump team is looking to drastically reshape the climate policies the agency has pursued under the Obama administration.
Millions of dollars have been pouring into conservative media outlets and student journalism projects from the same groups funding climate science denial, a DeSmog analysis has found. Analysis of IRS tax filings shows the funding groups, including some linked to the oil billionaire Koch brothers, are trying to combat a perceived left-wing bias in media with cash to ideologically-aligned projects. Many of the funded journalism projects also produce stories that claim human-caused climate change is either a liberal hoax or that policies to mitigate it, such as promotion of renewable energy, are an unnecessary drag on the economy.
Peabody Energy, America’s biggest coalmining company, has funded at least two dozen groups that cast doubt on manmade climate change and oppose environment regulations. The funding spanned trade associations, corporate lobby groups, and industry front groups as well as conservative thinktanks and was exposed in court filings.The coal company also gave to political organisations, funding twice as many Republican groups as Democratic ones.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, has subpoenaed scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and demanded that they turn over internal e-mails related to their research. Their findings contradicted earlier work showing that global warming had paused, and Smith, a climate change skeptic, has accused them of altering global temperature data and rushing to publish their research in the June issue of the journal Science.
BP is Europe’s fiercest corporate opponent of action on climate change, according to a ranking of companies by their efforts to obstruct carbon-cutting initiatives. Nearly half of the world’s top 100 global companies are trying to subvert climate policies by lobbying, advertising, and influence-peddling, said the UK-based non-profit, Influence Map. But while all the major fossil fuel firms rank close to the bottom of the group’s table, BP emerges as Europe’s strongest advocate of dirty energy, opposing even mild measures to raise carbon trading prices.
At a meeting in Exxon Corporation's headquarters, a senior company scientistdelivered a sobering message: carbon dioxide from the world's use of fossil fuels would warm the planet and could eventually endanger humanity. It was July 1977 when Exxon's leaders received this blunt assessment, well before most of the world had heard of the looming climate crisis.
Among climate activists, gloom is building. Jim Driscoll of the National Institute for Peer Support just finished a study of a group of longtime activists whose most frequently reported feeling was sadness, followed by fear and anger. Dr. Lise Van Susteren, a practicing psychiatrist and graduate of Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth slide-show training, calls this "pretraumatic" stress. "So many of us are exhibiting all the signs and symptoms of posttraumatic disorder—the anger, the panic, the obsessive intrusive thoughts."
Fossil fuel companies are benefitting from global subsidies of $5.3tn (£3.4tn) a year, equivalent to $10m a minute every day, according to a startling new estimate by the International Monetary Fund. The IMF calls the revelation “shocking” and says the figure is an “extremely robust” estimate of the true cost of fossil fuels. The $5.3tn subsidy estimated for 2015 is greater than the total health spending of all the world’s governments. The sum is largely due to polluters not paying the costs imposed on governments by burning carbon fuels -- including harm caused by air pollution as well as to people across the globe affected by the floods, droughts and storms being driven by climate change.
Royal Dutch Shell has been accused of pursuing a strategy that would lead to potentially catastrophic climate change after an internal document acknowledged a global temperature rise of 4C, twice the level considered safe for the planet. A paper used for guiding future business planning at the Anglo-Dutch multinational assumes that carbon dioxide emissions will fail to limit temperature increases to 2C, the internationally agreed threshold to prevent widespread flooding, famine and desertification. Instead, the n Shell planning document refers to a forecast by the independent International Energy Agency (IEA) that points to a temperature rise of up to 4C in the short term, rising later to 6C.
Files Based on a Guardian investigation, ExxonMobil, along with Shell and Marathon Petroleum have been receiving huge and rising subsidies from US taxpayers. The world’s biggest and most profitable fossil fuel companies are receiving huge and rising subsidies from US taxpayers, a practice slammed as absurd by a presidential candidate given the threat of climate change. A Guardian investigation of three specific projects, run by Shell, ExxonMobil and Marathon Petroleum, has revealed that the subsidises were all granted by politicians who received significant campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry.
The world’s biggest fossil fuel companies are taking a defiant stance against warnings that reserves of coal, oil and gas are already several times larger than can be burned if the world’s governments are to meet their pledge to tackle climate change. Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private coal company, said global warming was “an environmental crisis predicted by flawed computer models”. Another coal giant, Glencore Xstrata, said on Tuesday that governments would fail to implement measures to cut carbon emissions. Oil and gas major ExxonMobil said new reserves in the Arctic and Canadian tar sands must be exploited, moves scientists deem incompatibe with tackling global warming.
A global poll of more than 6.5 million people has placed climate change at the very bottom of a long list of priorities, with the finding being consistent across both genders, almost all age ranges, all education levels and in most regions of the world. Conversely,every single demographic placed “a good education” at the top. The poll, conducted by the United Nations, offers participants a choice of sixteen policy issues, which also include “a good education”, “Political freedoms”, “Protecting forests, rivers and oceans”, and “Equality between men and women”. Across almost every demographic, “Action taken on climate change” was rated 16 / 16.
Schemes to tackle climate change could prove disastrous for billions of people, but might be required for the good of the planet, scientists say. That is the conclusion of a new set of studies into what's become known as geo-engineering. This is the so far unproven science of intervening in the climate to bring down temperatures.These projects work by, for example, shading the Earth from the Sun or soaking up carbon dioxide. Ideas include aircraft spraying out sulphur particles at high altitude to mimic the cooling effect of volcanoes or using artificial "trees" to absorb CO2.
Freaky seasons and drastic weather anomalies do little to convince most people that climate change is real - political ideology does much more, according to a study published online Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change. The study found that people who saw the winter of 2012 as warmer than usual were right – it was, on any time scale. But that conclusion did not affect their views on the science behind climate change. The results further undermine a fundamental assumption that has driven science communication since a U.N. panel first announced, in 1990, that evidence pointed toward an increasingly warming Earth due to the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
A new survey from Carbon Tracker has revealed that while fossil fuel companies are well aware of the impacts of climate change and the effects carbon-cutting policies will have on fossil fuels reserves, only 7% integrate the risks into corporate project and capital expenditure assessments. The new report found out that while 99% of sampled firms recognise climate change poses risks to their business, only 7% of them properly provide investors with data on possible stressed scenarios and vulnerability of future reserves.
Texas has proposed re-writing school text books to incorporate passages denying the existence of climate change and promoting the discredited views of an ultra-conservative think tank. he proposed text books – which come up for public hearing at the Texas state board of education – were already attracting criticism when it emerged that the science section had been altered to reflect the doctrine of the Heartland Institute, which has been funded by the Koch oil billionaires. In the proposed 6th grade texts, students were introduced to global warming amid false claims that there was scientific disagreement about its causes.
Some of the world’s top PR companies have for the first time publicly ruled out working with climate change deniers, marking a fundamental shift in the multi-billion dollar industry that has grown up around the issue of global warming. Public relations firms have played a critical role over the years in framing the debate on climate change and its solutions – as well as the extensive disinformation campaigns launched to block those initiatives.
In Delaware, severe storms are eroding the shoreline and affecting homes and businesses up and down the coast - including the business of an oil refinery. The functioning of the Delaware City Refining Company property just south of New Castle, a division of PBF Energy, is threatened by increasing extreme weather. In other words, climate disruption is hitting the doorstep of its source. The refinery has tried to get help, submitting an application with the Coastal Zone Management Act seeking shoreline protections due to “tidal encroachment” -- which is one way of saying sea level rise.
An ever-growing mountain of facts and scientific studies to support man-made climate change—not to mention extreme weather incidents and changing seasonal patterns being experienced every day—wasn’t enough information to keep the United States from taking the top spot in climate change denial, according to a UK Global Trends poll reported last week in EcoWatch that included 16,000 people in 20 countries.
Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corporation, one of the world’s largest media conglomerates, said he thought climate change should be approached with great skepticism. Murdoch said that if temperatures rose under the worst case scenario 3C (5.4F) over the next 100 years ”at the very most one of those [degrees] would be manmade.” He did not explain this back-of-the-envelope calculation.
A new study, published in the journal Climate Change, found a strong correlation between Republicans’ abundance of wealth and dismissal of climate change. The study found that “increased income predicts a higher probability of dismissing climate dangers among Republican-leaning individuals when compared with Independents and Democrats.”
Oil giant Shell is back in the firing line this week as it is accused of “Orwellian doublethink” in its attitude to climate change and of failing to adequately addressing the “carbon bubble” and its threat to the company’s profits and shareholders. The carbon bubble concept is based on the idea that more than two-thirds of fossil fuels must be left in the ground to avoid dangerous climate change and how tighter emissions legislation and emerging clean technologies could result in stranded fossil fuels assets. Earlier this year, Shell dismissed a report from the Carbon Tracker Initiative (CTI)—the NGO that pioneered the carbon bubble hypothesis—labeling the concept as “alarmist.”
Earlier this week, the Heartland Institute convened its Ninth International Climate Change Conference in Las Vegas. A nonprofit, free-market think tank in Chicago with a $6 million annual budget, Heartland has been hosting conferences since 2008 for those dubious of the science confirming human-caused climate change. It is called the ICCC for short, the acronym an intentional echo of the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international body that has published the most comprehensive studies of global warming.
The BBC has been told by an independent review body set up by the network to uphold standards, that news bulletins give too much weight to those on the fringes of science, such as climate change deniers, to the detriment of the public’s better understanding. The BBC Trust, in a report four years in the making, said that the network pays so much attention to the appearance of impartiality that many of its broadcasts end up with a “false balance” — giving equal time and attention to often discredited ideas.
A new studyfinds that the divide over belief in evolution between more and less religious people is wider among people who otherwise show familiarity with math and science, which suggests that the problem isn’t a lack of information. The study suggests that more people know what scientists think about high-profile scientific controversies than polls suggest; they just aren’t willing to endorse the consensus when it contradicts their political or religious views. This finding helps us understand why factual and scientific evidence is often ineffective at reducing misperceptions and can even backfire on issues like weapons of mass destruction, health care reform and vaccines. With science as with politics, identity often trumps the facts.
Tom Steyer, the most influential environmentalist in American politics, has vowed to spend $100 million this year to defeat candidates who oppose policies to combat climate change. The billionaire former hedge fund manager emerged as the green-minded answer to Charles G. and David H. Koch, the patrons of conservative Republican politics, after vowing that he would sell off his investments in companies that generate fossil fuels like coal. But an examination of those investments shows that even after his highly public divestment, the coal-related projects his firm bankrolled will generate tens of millions of tons of carbon pollution for years, if not decades, to come.
While international teams of scientists agreed long ago that human activity is the primary cause of current warming, members of the public and some politicians have been slow to embrace the findings. “It is about the most politically controversial topic that we can take on right now,” said Paul Martin, senior vice president for science learning at the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul.
Some museums admit they’re reluctant to display the topic prominently. “We try to avoid saying things that are not necessary to be said,” said Carolyn Sumners, vice president for astronomy and the physical sciences at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
The museum doesn’t use the term “global warming” except in a historical context, such as the natural warming that took place during the time of the dinosaurs.
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is playing a leading role in raising the alarm — and scientific understanding — of the perils of climate change. But now the nonprofit institution, facing a severe budget crunch as federal research funding is slashed, has a very different sort of venture in the offing: helping oil and gas companies identify new sources of the very fossil fuels believed to be damaging the environment.
Climate change threatens the world;s food and beverage industry like few other sectors of business. It is a major risk to food supply chains, to consumer demands and, ultimately, to companies' future profitability. The Big 10 food and beverage companies -- Associated British Foods (ABF), Coca-Cola, Danone, General Mills, Kellogg, Mars, Mondelez International, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever -- are significant emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs) across their global operations.If together they were a single country, these 10 famous companies would be the 25th most polluting country in the world.
Sitting in the headquarters of the Wyoming Liberty Group, Susan Gore, founder of the conservative think tank, said new national science standards for schools were a form of “coercion,” adding, “I don’t think government should have anything to do with education.” She was speaking weeks after the Republican-controlled Legislature made Wyoming, where coal and oil are king, the first state to reject the standards, which include lessons on human impact on global warming. The pushback came despite a unanimous vote by a group of Wyoming science educators urging acceptance. Wyoming was the first state to say no, but likely not the last. A House committee in Oklahoma last week voted to reject the standards, also in part because of concerns about how climate change would be taught.
"Fox & Friends" decided to get its revenge on Scientific American editor Michael Moyer after Moyer tweeted that the show's producers had barred him from discussing climate change. Moyer said he had been explicitly told to "pick something else" when he said he thought climate change was an important "future trend" to talk about. His decision to air this behind-the-scenes chat, as well as his subsequent tweets mocking the politics and some of the staffers on the show, led Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade and guest co-host Anna Kooiman to spend nearly 5 minutes of their Thursday show getting back at Moye, dubbing hinm a "coward."
A new Gallup poll that coincides with Earth Day finds the number of Americans with mixed opinions about global warming has declined from 49 percent in 2001 to 36 percent today, but many have joined the ranks of the skeptics. Americans are becoming more divided in their opinion on impact of global warming and humanity’s role in the phenomenon, as the number of global warming skeptics has roughly doubled over the past 10 years to encompass one in four of the population.
In February 2013, the journal Frontiers on Psychology published a peer-reviewed paper which found that people who reject climate science are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories. Predictably enough, those people didn’t like it. Soon after Recursive Fury was published, threats of litigation started to roll in, and the journal took the paper down (it survives on the website of the University of Western Australia, where Lewandowsky carried out the study). A lengthy investigation ensued, which eventually found the paper to be scientifically and ethically sound. Yet on March 21 this year, Frontiers retracted the paper because of the legal threats.
The BBC has been accused of misleading the public about climate change, creating a “false balance” by allowing unqualified climate sceptics too much air time and giving opinion the same weight as fact. In a damning parliamentary report, the BBC is criticised for distorting the debate on man-made climate change – for which it says the scientific evidence is overwhelming – through its determination to put the other side of the argument across.
A recent study published in the journal Climatic Change finds that much of the millions of dollars that funds these groups comes from secret sources, and a good portion of the rest is from publicity-shy conservative foundations and wealthy donors. The groups, such as the American Enterprise Institute, Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation, and wealthy individual donors often espouse libertarian views that don't jibe well with giving the government more power to combat climate change. That there's still a debate about whether climate change exists is not an accident. Conservative think tanks over the last two decades have consistently warned about the costs of addressing climate change and raised doubts in the minds of the public about the accuracy of the science behind it.
The largest, most-consistent money fueling the climate denial movement are a number of well-funded conservative foundations built with so-called "dark money," or concealed donations. The study found that the amount of money flowing through third-party, pass-through foundations, whose funding cannot be traced, has risen dramatically over the past five years. In all, 140 foundations funneled $558 million to almost 100 climate denial organizations from 2003 to 2010.
Reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the planet's surface by geoengineering may not undo climate change after all. Two German researchers explained how Earth's water cycle responds differently to heating by sunlight than it does to warming due to a stronger atmospheric greenhouse effect. Further, they show that reflecting sunlight to reduce temperatures may have unwanted effects on Earth's rainfall patterns.
Willie Soon receives no taxpayer-funded salary; his compensation is dependent on outside grant money. He has proved adept at winning grants. Over the last dozen years, he has received research funding of more than a $1.2 million from sources such as ExxonMobil; Southern Company, a foundation run by the Koch brothers, conservative energy moguls; and industry trade group American Petroleum Institute. Some of Soon’s papers disclose the sources of his funding, others do not. Industry and conservative sources have been the sole source of his funding since 2006, according to the records.
Leading scientists will soon tell the world they're 95% certain that humans are driving global warming. Sceptics are busy trying to sow any doubt. Conservative groups at the forefront of global warming skepticism are doubling down on trying to discredit the next big report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In recent weeks, they've been cranking out a stream of op-eds, blogs and reports to sow doubt in the public's mind before the report is published, with no end in sight.
Rather than being a purely grassroots movement that spontaneously developed in 2009, the Tea Party has developed over time, in part through decades of work by the tobacco industry and other corporate interests. It is important for tobacco control advocates in the USA and internationally, to anticipate and counter Tea Party opposition to tobacco control policies and ensure that policymakers, the media and the public understand the longstanding connection between the tobacco industry, the Tea Party and its associated organisations.
Anonymous billionaires donated $120m to more than 100 anti-climate groups working to discredit climate change science
Conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120m (£77m) to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change. The funds, doled out between 2002 and 2010, helped build a vast network of thinktanks and activist groups working to a single purpose: to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a highly polarising "wedge issue" for hardcore conservatives.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — known by its critics as a "corporate bill mill" — has hit the ground running in 2013, pushing "models bills" mandating the teaching of climate change denial in public school systems. ALEC has already planted its "Environmental Literacy Improvement Act," which mandates a "balanced" teaching of climate science in K-12 classrooms, in the state legislatures of Oklahoma, Colorado, and Arizona so far this year. ALEC's major funders include Koch Industries and ExxonMobil.
A British newspaper claims to have discovered the convoluted way oil billionaires in the United States can funnel huge amounts of cash toward climate change-denial campaigns, while reaping tremendous tax advantages in the process. A shadowy group called the Donors Trust is largely funded by billionaire Charles Koch and his wife Liz. The trust indirectly receives millions of dollars in funding from a third-party group called the Knowledge and Progress Fund, which the Koch family operates, the paper claims.The IRS recognizes the Donors Trust as a charitable organization due to its status as a "donor-advised trust." These trusts "are individual accounts administered by tax-exempt organizations, such as community foundations and national charities," according to the Wall Street Journal.
An attempt by climate sceptics to hijack the latest UN report on global warming by selectively leaking claims that it is caused by sunspots rather than man-made emissions of carbon dioxide has backfired.
Twenty four of the 13,950 articles, 0.17% or 1 in 581, clearly reject global warming or endorse a cause other than CO2 emissions for observed warming. The 24 articles have been cited a total of 113 times over the nearly 21-year period, for an average of close to 5 citations each. That compares to an average of about 19 citations for articles answering to "global warming," for example. Four of the rejecting articles have never been cited; four have citations in the double-digits. The most-cited has 17.
The Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank skeptical of climate change science, has joined with the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council to write model legislation aimed at reversing state renewable energy mandates across the country. The Electricity Freedom Act, adopted by the council’s board of directors in October, would repeal state standards requiring utilities to get a portion of their electricity from renewable power, calling it “essentially a tax on consumers of electricity.” Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have binding renewable standards; in the absence of federal climate legislation, these initiatives have become the subject of intense political battles.
A new "addendum" to be released as soon as this week purports to update with the latest science a 2009 federal assessment on the impacts to the United States of climate change. But the new report comes from the conservative Washington, D.C.-based Cato Institute. And its findings – that science is questionable, the impacts negligible and the potential policy solutions ineffective – are more a rebuke than a revision of the original report and of accepted science both then and today.
According to a new analysis of data released last year, American newspapers are far more likely to publish uncontested claims from climate deniers, many of whom challenge whether the planet is warming at all and are "almost exclusively found" in the U.S. media. The study was published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The researchers were trying to answer three important questions: Is climate denial and disinformation as prevalent in the newspapers outside America? Is it mostly right-wing papers publishing these pieces? And what types of skeptics are being published in different countries? In all three categories, the U.S. emerged as a unique leader in promoting climate denial in the press.
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is calling on News Corporation to improve the representation of climate science on two of its prominent media holdings, Fox News Channel and the Wall Street Journal’s opinion section, after an analysis showed both heavily distort the facts on the issue. UCS examined representations of climate science from both Fox News Channel and the Wall Street Journal’s opinion section. In its analysis, UCS found: Over a recent six-month period, Fox News Channel representations of climate science were misleading 93 percent of the time (37 out of 40 citations). Over the past year, the Wall Street Journal opinion section’s representations of climate science were misleading 81 percent of the time (39 out of 48 citations).
Scientists have long warned of more frequent floods and droughts as the world’s climate changes. But for many farmers in the US global warming is bogus. Climate scepticism among farmers helps explain why carbon emissions are off the US legislative agenda despite the hottest temperatures on record.
When the United Nations wanted to help slow climate change, it established what seemed a sensible system. Greenhouse gases were rated based on their power to warm the atmosphere. The more dangerous the gas, the more that manufacturers in developing nations would be compensated as they reduced their emissions. But where the United Nations envisioned environmental reform, some manufacturers of gases used in air-conditioning and refrigeration saw a lucrative business opportunity. They quickly figured out that they could earn one carbon credit by eliminating one ton of carbon dioxide, but could earn more than 11,000 credits by simply destroying a ton of an obscure waste gas normally released in the manufacturing of a widely used coolant gas. That is because that byproduct has a huge global warming effect. The credits could be sold on international markets, earning tens of millions of dollars a year.
Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson said efforts to address climate change should focus on engineering methods to adapt to shifting weather patterns and rising sea levels rather than trying to eliminate use of fossil fuels. Tillerson said humans have long adapted to change, and governments should create policies to cope with the Earth's rising temperatures.
Large-scale engineering projects aimed at fighting global warming could radically reduce rainfall in Europe and North America, a team of scientists from four European countries have warned. Geoengineering projects are controversial, even though they are largely theoretical at this point. They range from mimicking the effects of large volcanic eruptions by releasing sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere, to deploying giant mirrors in space to deflect the sun's rays. Proponents say they could be a rapid response to rising global temperatures but environmentalists argue they are a distraction from the need to reduce man-made carbon emissions.
With virtually no debate, the state Senate Tuesday nixed global warming restrictions on the state’s coast. Lawmakers passed a bill that restricts local planning agencies’ abilities to use climate change science to predict sea-level rise in 20 coastal counties. The bill’s supporters said that relying on climate change forecasts would stifle economic development and depress property values in eastern North Carolina.
Heartland Institute was cut off by three more corporate donors, further isolating the ultra-conservative thinktank from the mainstream business world. The defections reinforce the sense of Heartland's isolation, ahead of its major climate contrarian conference in Chicago next week. A number of prominent speakers also pulled out of the conference after Heartland put up a billboard on a Chicago expressway suggesting believers in climate change were akin to serial killers. In statements to advocacy groups, pharmaceutical giant Eli Llily, BB&T bank and PepsiCo confirmed they would not fund Heartland in 2012 – dealing a blow to the thinktank's plans of building long-term relationships with major corporations.
A number of rightwing organisations, including Americans for Prosperity, which is funded by the billionaire Koch brothers, are attacking Obama for his support for solar and wind power. The American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), which also has financial links to the Kochs, has drafted bills to overturn state laws promoting wind energy. A confidential strategy memo seen by the Guardian advises using "subversion" to build a national movement of wind farm protesters.
General Motors, the world's largest carmaker, has confirmed that it is pulling funding from the Heartland Institute, an ultra-conservative thinktank known for its scepticism about climate change. In the past GM has itself been associated with efforts to discredit climate change science, but in recent years it has been investing heavily in green technologies and cars including the electric/petrol hybrid, the Chevy Volt. In a statement, GM said that it now runs its business "as if climate change is real and believe we have a role to play in developing new cars, trucks and technologies that can make a difference".
General Motors, a company that has made strides to lower the carbon footprint of driving, is taking heat from 10,000 of its customers for a donation its charitable foundation made to an institute that casts doubt on climate science. GM vehicle buyers have posted online comments objecting to the GM Foundation's gifts of $30,000 in the past two years to the Heartland Institute, a free-market advocacy organization that publicizes its disagreement with prevailing scientific views about evidence of climate change.
Peter Gleick's extraordinary contributions over the years have been invaluable. But no amount of righteous gloating over the disclosure of the Heartland documents should be allowed to obscure the indelible tainting of his legacy. My sorrow for Peter far outweighs my delight at the exposure of the scummy practices of the Heartland Institute. Given all his years of service, Peter's lapse in judgment has, ever so sadly, turned him into a truly tragic casualty of the climate war.
A prominent environmental activist admitted Monday night that he had deceitfully obtained and distributed confidential internal materials from the Heartland Institute, a libertarian group based in Chicago devoted in part to questioning the reality of global warming. Peter H. Gleick, founder and president of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security, wrote in a statement that he had posed as someone else to get the materials, which include fund-raising and strategy documents intended only for the board and top executives of the group. The documents' release, which lit up the Internet last week, was cast by some bloggers as the work of a whistle-blowing Heartland employee or ex-employee who had access to internal papers, when it was in fact orchestrated by Dr. Gleick, a Yale- and Berkeley-trained scientist and environmental activist who says that he was frustrated with Heartland’s anti-climate-change programs.
The carbon lobby sees "scientists like me who are trying to communicate the potential dangers of continued fossil fuel burning to the public as a threat. That means we are subject to attacks, some of them quite personal, some of them dishonest" said Michael Mann.
Internal documents have been leaked from the Heartland Institute, a Chicago nonprofit think tank, showing its funding of leading skeptics of global warming and a plan to teach climate change skepticism in schools. An anonymous person leaked the documents to several publications and activists supporting the science of climate change. "The heart of the climate denial machine relies on huge corporate and foundation funding from U.S. businesses, including Koch Industries, Altria (parent company of Philip Morris) RJR Tobacco and more," reports the DesmogBlog, which published the documents on Tuesday. The blog opposes what it calls the "climate denial machine."
The inner workings of a libertarian thinktank working to discredit the established science on climate change have been exposed by a leak of confidential documents detailing its strategy and fundraising networks. DeSmogBlog, which broke the story, said it had received the confidential documents from an "insider" at the Heartland Institute, which is based in Chicago. The blog monitors industry efforts to discredit climate science. The scheme includes spending $100,000 on commissioning an alternative curriculum for schoolchildren that will cast doubt on global warming. "It's a rare glimpse behind the wall of a key climate denial organisation," Kert Davies, director of research for Greenpeace, said in a telephone interview. "It's more than just a gotcha to have these documents. It shows there is a co-ordinated effort to have an alternative reality on the climate science in order to have an impact on the policy."
According to a blog post from Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, the environmentalist organization accepted millions of donated dollars from the natural gas industry to fight against coal-fired plants nationwide. Here are the details. Brune stated he became aware of the $26 million in donations from individuals and subsidiaries of Chesapeake Energy, one of the largest natural gas companies in the U.S., shortly after he became executive director in 2010. The funding began in 2007, he said.
Across the country, activists with ties to the Tea Party are railing against all sorts of local and state efforts to control sprawl and conserve energy. They brand government action for things like expanding public transportation routes and preserving open space as part of a United Nations-led conspiracy to deny property rights and herd citizens toward cities. In Maine, the Tea Party-backed Republican governor canceled a project to ease congestion along Route 1 after protesters complained it was part of the United Nations plot. Similar opposition helped doom a high-speed train line in Florida. And more than a dozen cities, towns and counties, under new pressure, have cut off financing for a program that offers expertise on how to measure and cut carbon emissions.
Half of the 16 scientists who penned a controversial Wall Street Journal opinion piece proclaiming there is "no need to panic" about global warming have ties to either the oil and gas industry or groups dedicated to debunking climate science, a DailyClimate.org investigation has found.
A flash point has emerged in American science education that echoes the battle over evolution, as scientists and educators report mounting resistance to the study of man-made climate change in middle and high schools. Although scientific evidence increasingly shows that fossil fuel consumption has caused the climate to change rapidly, the issue has grown so politicized that skepticism of the broad scientific consensus has seeped into classrooms. Texas and Louisiana have introduced education standards that require educators to teach climate change denial as a valid scientific position. South Dakota and Utah passed resolutions denying climate change. Tennessee and Oklahoma also have introduced legislation to give climate change skeptics a place in the classroom.
A handful of multinational corporations are "exerting undue influence" on the political process in Canada, the U.S. and other key nations to delay international action on climate change, a report released by Greenpeace International says. The report documents a series of alleged lobbying and marketing efforts led by major corporations and industry associations, representing oil and gas companies in Canada, the U.S., Europe and South Africa. Industry stakeholders are investing about $3.5 billion a year to lobby the U.S. government and finance American politicians who "deny" scientific evidence linking human activity to dangerous changes in the atmosphere
The university said the emails appeared to have been stolen two years ago and held back until now "to cause maximum disruption" to the imminent U.N. climate talks next week in Durban, South Africa. If that is confirmed, the timing and nature of the leak would follow the pattern set by the so-called "Climategate" emails. Those hostile to mainstream climate science claimed the exchanges proved that the threat of global warming was being hyped, and their publication helped destabilize the failed U.N. climate talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, which followed several weeks later.
The Kochs have poured millions into think tanks and academia to influence the battle over ideas. According to Kert Davies, the director of research for Greenpeace in the US, the Kochs have spent more than $50m since 1998 on "various front groups and think tanks who ... oppose the consensus view that climate change is real, urgent and we have to do something about it". As operators of oil pipelines and refineries, the Kochs have opposed all efforts to encourage alternative sources of energy by imposing a tax on fossil fuels.
A Rice University oceanographer says the state's environmental agency is refusing to publish his research article on a Texas bay unless he agrees to delete key references to rising sea levels and human involvement in climate change. Professor John Anderson has declined the proposed edits by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, calling the changes to a report on Galveston Bay "censorship" and an attempt to mislead the public. Consequently, the state agency said it will remove Anderson's article, which deals with long-term sea level rise and mentions manmade climate change, which commissioners have publicly questioned in the past.
The world's most high-profile climate change sceptic is set to have his funding scrapped. Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and bête noire of climate change activists around the world, has been told that the incoming Danish government will cut off his £1m a year funding. Lomborg, whose 2001 book suggested the planet should adapt to global warming rather than wasting resources trying to prevent it, has made his name by accusing scientists and others of exaggerating the extent and effects of climate change.
The editor-in-chief of a climate science journal has resigned in response to an academic controversy triggered by his publication of a paper co-authored by a leading climate sceptic. The editor of "Remote Sensing" said that he felt obliged to resign because it was now apparent to him that a paper by Roy Spenser and Danny Braswell, was "fundamentally flawed and therefore wrongly accepted by the journal".
Tim Pawlenty said in an interview this week that the science of global warming remains unclear and that Earth's shifting climate is more likely due to natural causes. The interview with the Miami Herald marked the most recent example of Pawlenty’s evolution on the issue. Once an advocate of cap-and-trade policies to reduce carbon admissions, the former Minnesota governor has since recanted his support for such proposals.
As the U.S. suffers through catastrophic tornadoes, heat waves, and other climate extremes - no doubt just a small taste of what the climate crisis will bring in the future - ALEC (a coalition of polluting industries) and the politicians that serve them wants to convince you that excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is actually a good thing. ALEC's campaign against any regulation of greenhouse gases began long ago, when the U.S. was in the midst of debating the Kyoto Protocol, an international effort to rein in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to control the climate crisis. In the spring of 1998, ALEC ratified a model resolution for states to pass calling on the U.S. to reject the Kyoto Protocol and banning states from regulating greenhouse gases in any way.
According to tax records and other materials acquired by Bloomberg News, Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil, and numerous other corporations paid tens of thousands of dollars to write legislation for lawmakers that would repeal carbon pollution reduction programs in various states around the U.S. These companies working to dismantle environmental programs are members of the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, which allows private-sector parties to “pay-to-play” – charging thousands of dollars to sit at the table with legislators and craft bills.
A group tied to conservative Kansas billionaires who fund campaigns to deny man-made climate change is pushing a lawsuit to kill New York's participation in a program to cut greenhouse gases.The lawsuit seeks to bounce New York out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a 10-state program applied to electric power plants in the Northeast. The suit's lead plaintiff is a Buffalo leader of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political action group supported by oilmen David and Charles Koch that is linked to the tea party movement. RGGI is the nation's first state-level greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program, in which power plants must buy enough state-issued permits to cover emissions of carbon dioxide, which an international scientific consensus blames as the cause of man-made climate change.
Willie Soon, a U.S. climate change skeptic who has also discounted the health risks of mercury emissions from coal, has received more than $1 million in funding in recent years from large energy companies and an oil industry group, according to Greenpeace. Soon, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has also gotten funding from scientific sources including NASA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But starting early in the last decade, Soon began receiving more funding from the energy companies, Greenpeace reported.
For Republican presidential contenders who once supported combatting global warming, the race is heating up. Faced with an activist right wing that questions the science linking pollution to changes in the Earth's climate and also disdains big government, most of the GOP contenders have stepped back from their previous positions on global warming. Some have apologized outright for past support of proposals to reduce heat-trapping pollution. And those who haven't fully recanted are under pressure to do so.
A provision ensuring that industrialized countries can wiggle out of the Kyoto Protocol after 2012 is hidden in plain view of a new climate change agreement established in Cancun, Mexico, last week. "It's kind of hidden in the document, but it's there," said Paul Bledsoe, a senior adviser at the Washington-based Bipartisan Policy Center. "It's a loophole for the parties not to have to enter the second commitment period."
Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon sent an e-mail to staff last December offering guidance on how to handle the climate debate, three weeks after the Climategate scandal broke and in the midst of the Copenhagen climate summit. “Given the controversy over the veracity of climate change data,” Sammon wrote, “we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question."
As climate change negotiations come to a close in Cancun, Birginia Suarez-Pinlac is seeing red. The environmental lawyer from the Philippines is worried that a plan for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) constitutes a land grab, transferring natural wealth from the poor to the rich under the auspices of saving the planet.
U.S. Representative John Shimkus, possible future chairman of the Congressional committee that deals with energy and its attendant environmental concerns, believes that climate change should not concern us since God has already promised not to destroy the Earth.
Some of the country's largest emitters of heat-trapping gases, including businesses that publicly support efforts to curb global warming, don't want the public knowing exactly how much they pollute. Oil producers and refiners, along with manufacturers of steel, aluminum and even home appliances, are fighting a proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency that would make the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that companies release — and the underlying data businesses use to calculate the amounts — available online.
BP and several other big European companies are funding the midterm election campaigns of Tea Party favourites who deny the existence of global warming or oppose Barack Obama's energy agenda, the Guardian has learned. An analysis of campaign finance by Climate Action Network Europe (Cane) found nearly 80% of campaign donations from a number of major European firms were directed towards senators who blocked action on climate change. These included incumbents who have been embraced by the Tea Party such as Jim DeMint, a Republican from South Carolina, and the notorious climate change denier James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma.
Skepticism and outright denial of global warming are among the articles of faith of the Tea Party movement. For some, it is a matter of religious conviction; for others, it is driven by distrust of those they call the elites. And for others still, efforts to address climate change are seen as a conspiracy to impose world government and a sweeping redistribution of wealth. But all are wary of the Obama administration’s plans to regulate carbon dioxide, a ubiquitous gas, which will require the expansion of government authority into nearly every corner of the economy.
All but one of the 48 Republican hopefuls for the Senate mid-term elections in November deny the existence of climate change or oppose action on global warming, according to a report released today. The strong Republican front against established science includes entrenched Senate leaders as well as the new wave of radical conservatives endorsed by the Tea Party activists, says a report by the Center for American Progress. As election season gets under way, Tea Party favourites such as Joe Miller, who caused the biggest upset of the primaries when he defeated the Republican incumbent Lisa Murkowski in Alaska last month, have been upfront about their doubts on climate science. "We haven't heard there's manmade global warming," Miller told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. But the challenge to science goes beyond Tea Party favourites to corporate titans such as Carly Fiorina, who was the chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, and is running for the Senate in California. Fiorina has said on repeated occasions that she is "not sure" climate change is real.
Clients in the oil and gas industry unleashed a fury of lobbying expenditures in 2009, spending $175 million -- easily an industry record -- and outpacing the pro-environmental groups by nearly eight-fold, according to a Center for Responsive Politics analysis.
A group with ties to the fossil fuel industry launched a new ad campaign today pushing the idea that carbon dioxide isn't an environmental pollutant. The organization "C02 is Green" funded a half-page advertisement in The Washington Post urging people to call their senators and seek a vote against "the president's cap-and-trade bill that will increase your cost of living and not change the climate. "The bill is based on the false premise that man-made CO2 is a major cause of climate change," the ad says. "Real, empirical evidence indicates it is not."
The climate scientist Michael Mann, who has been under relentless attack from sceptics since the exposure of emails at East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, was cleared of research misconduct by a university investigation yesterday.
The four-month internal investigation by Pennsylvania State University found no evidence for charges made by climate sceptics that Mann had violated university ethics. The committee cleared Mann of the much more serious charges of falsifying and manipulating data last February.
A survey in February by the BBC found that only 26 percent of Britons believed that “climate change is happening and is now established as largely manmade,” down from 41 percent in November 2009. A poll conducted for the German magazine Der Spiegel found that 42 percent of Germans feared global warming, down from 62 percent four years earlier.
We call for an end to McCarthy-like threats of criminal prosecution against our colleagues based on innuendo and guilt by association, the harassment of scientists by politicians seeking distractions to avoid taking action, and the outright lies being spread about them. Society has two choices: We can ignore the science and hide our heads in the sand and hope we are lucky, or we can act in the public interest to reduce the threat of global climate change quickly and substantively. The good news is that smart and effective actions are possible. But delay must not be an option.
Recently, Boston University issued a press release on a scientific study regarding the Amazon’s resilience to drought. The press release claimed that the study had debunked the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) theory that climate change could turn approximately 40 percent of the Amazon into savannah due to declining rainfall. The story was picked up by mass media, environmental news sites (including mongabay.com) and climate deniers’ blogs. However, nineteen of the world’s top Amazonian experts have issued a written response stating that the press release from Boston University was “misleading and inaccurate.”
The Koch brothers have undermined climate science and policy through their foundations, the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation. According to the report Axis of Ideology: Conservative Foundations and Public Policy, from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, "most of their contributions go to support organizations and groups advancing libertarian theory, privatization, entrepreneurship and free enterprise." Koch has out-spent ExxonMobil in funding climate-denial groups in recent years. From 2005 to 2008, ExxonMobil spent $8.9 million while the Koch Industries controlled foundations contributed $24.9 million in funding to organizations of the ‘climate denial machine’.
A dramatic reduction in Canadian media coverage of climate change science issues is the result of the Harper government introducing new rules in 2007 to control interviews by Environment Canada scientists with journalists, says a newly released federal document."Scientists have noticed a major reduction in the number of requests, particularly from high profile media, who often have same-day deadlines," said the Environment Canada document. "Media coverage of climate change science, our most high-profile issue, has been reduced by over 80 per cent."
Evidence from a respected scientific body to a parliamentary inquiry examining the behaviour of climate-change scientists, was drawn from an energy industry consultant who argues that global warming is a religion, the Guardian can reveal. The submission, from the Institute of Physics (IOP) suggested that scientists at the University of East Anglia had cherry-picked data to support conclusions and that key reconstructions of past temperature could not be relied upon.The evidence was given to the select committee on science and technology, which is investigating emails from climate experts at the University of East Anglia that were released online last year.
Critics of the teaching of evolution in the nation’s classrooms are gaining ground in some states by linking the issue to global warming, arguing that dissenting views on both scientific subjects should be taught in public schools. The linkage of evolution and global warming is partly a legal strategy: courts have found that singling out evolution for criticism in public schools is a violation of the separation of church and state. By insisting that global warming also be debated, deniers of evolution can argue that they are simply championing academic freedom in general. They are also capitalizing on rising public resistance in some quarters to accepting the science of global warming, particularly among political conservatives who oppose efforts to rein in emissions of greenhouse gases.
The US Congress's most ardent global warming sceptic is being accused of turning the row over climate science into a McCarthyite witch-hunt by calling for a criminal investigation of scientists. Climate scientists say Sen. James Inhofe’s call for a criminal investigation into American as well as British scientists who worked on the UN climate body's report or had communications with East Anglia's climate research unit represents an attempt to silence debate on the eve of new proposals for a climate change law.
Just over two years ago, Rajendra K. Pachauri seemed destined for a scientist’s version of sainthood. But Dr. Pachauri and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are now under intense scrutiny, facing accusations of scientific sloppiness and potential financial conflicts of interest from climate skeptics, right-leaning politicians and even some mainstream scientists.
There has been an increase in the number of British people who are sceptical about climate change, a poll commissioned by BBC News has suggested. It showed that 25% of those questioned did not think global warming was happening, an increase of 10% since a similar poll was conducted in November. The percentage of respondents who said climate change was a reality had fallen from 83% in November to 75%.
An orchestrated campaign is being waged against climate change science to undermine public acceptance of man-made global warming, environment experts claimed. The attack against scientists supportive of the idea of man-made climate change has grown in ferocity since the leak of thousands of documents on the subject from the University of East Anglia (UEA) on the eve of the Copenhagen climate summit last December. Free-market, anti-climate change think-tanks such as the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in the US and the International Policy Network in the UK have received grants totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds from the multinational energy company ExxonMobil. Both organisations have funded international seminars pulling together climate change deniers from across the globe.
Sneaky cyber-thieves have made millions by fraudulently obtaining European greenhouse gas emissions allowances and reselling them. The scam has hampered trading of the credits, which are seen as an important tool in curbing climate change, in several European countries.
A new national survey on public responses to climate change finds that public concern about global warming has dropped sharply since the fall of 2008. The percentage of Americans who think global warming is happening has declined 14 points, to 57 percent. The percentage of Americans who think global warming is caused mostly by human activities has dropped 10 points, to 47 percent. Only 50 percent of Americans now say they are “somewhat” or “very worried” about global warming, a 13-point decrease.
The computer hack, said a senior member of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, was not an amateur job, but a highly sophisticated, politically motivated operation. The guiding hand behind the leaks, according to allegations, was that of the Russian secret services. Much of Russia's vast oil and gas reserves lie in difficult-to-access areas of the far North. One school of thought is that Russia, unlike most countries, would have little to fear from global warming, because these deposits would suddenly become much easier and cheaper to access.
Yvo de Boer worried that e-mails pilfered from a British university would fuel skepticism among those who believe that scientists exaggerate global warming. "I think a lot of people are skeptical about this issue in any case," de Boer said. "And then when they have the feeling ... that scientists are manipulating information in a certain direction then of course it causes concern in a number of people to say 'you see I told you so, this is not a real issue.'"
The UN's official panel on climate change has hit back at sceptics' claims that the case for human influence on global warming has been exaggerated. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said it was "firmly" standing by findings that a rise in the use of greenhouse gases was a factor. Professor Thomas Stocker, co-chairman of the IPCC's working group 1, stated: "The warming in the climate system is unequivocal. [It] is based on measurements made by many independent institutions worldwide that demonstrate significant changes on land, in the atmosphere, the ocean and in the ice-covered areas of the Earth."
Stolen e-mails have revealed no scientific conspiracy.To the denialists, the scientists' scathing remarks about certain controversial palaeoclimate reconstructions qualify as the proverbial 'smoking gun': proof that mainstream climate researchers have systematically conspired to suppress evidence contradicting their doctrine that humans are warming the globe.This paranoid interpretation would be laughable were it not for the fact that obstructionist politicians in the US Senate will probably use it next year as an excuse to stiffen their opposition to the country's much needed climate bill.
Two Irish journalists released a documentary in which they gather evidence outlining the damage of global warming hysteria. In "Not Evil Just Wrong," they challenge the claims made in Al Gore's film and conclude that the film is not worth screening in schools because it is shown there as "an article of science, not faith."
Hackers broke into the electronic files of one of the world's foremost climate research centers this week and posted an array of e-mails in which prominent scientists engaged in a blunt discussion of global warming research and disparaged climate-change skeptics.
Global attempts to craft a pivotal new climate treaty in Copenhagen this December are being stymied by a far-reaching, multinational backlash led by fossil fuel industries and other heavy carbon emitters, according to The Global Climate Change Lobby, a new project by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). Employing thousands of lobbyists, millions in political contributions, and widespread fear tactics, entrenched interests worldwide are thwarting the steps that scientists say are needed to stave off a looming environmental calamity, the investigation found.
The survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds a sharp decline over the past year in the percentage of Americans who see solid evidence that global temperatures are rising. According to the survey, conducted between Sept. 30 and Oct. 4 among 1,500 adults reached on cell phones and landlines, fewer respondents also see global warming as a very serious problem; 35% say that today, down from 44% in April 2008.
The U.S. government delivered more than twice as many federal dollars to research initiatives, tax incentives and other programs benefiting fossil fuels than it supplied to renewable energy from 2002 to 2008.
The World Bank is spending billions of pounds subsidising new coal-fired power stations in developing countries while acknowledging that burning fossil fuels exposes the poor to catastrophic climate change.
Customs agents this week arrested nine people in the London area suspected of a multimillion dollar fraud in trading carbon permits, bringing attention to a rich new field for crime sprung from the fight against climate change.
The challenge faced by the Obama administration as it seeks to secure support for the Waxman-Markey Climate Change bill was again underlined when it emerged oil and gas industry lobbyists are planning a nationwide campaign designed to create the impression of widespread grassroots opposition to the legislation.
The world's largest oil company is continuing to fund lobby groups that question the reality of global warming, despite a public pledge to cut support for such climate change denial, a new analysis shows. Company records show that ExxonMobil handed over hundreds of thousands of pounds to such lobby groups in 2008.
Carbon fraud is the white-collar crime of the future - and it could cost taxpayers millions. As Australian companies prepare to trade in what is effectively thin air, climate criminals are cashing in on similar schemes overseas. Interpol has warned companies to beware of bogus "carbon credits" that fail to lower emissions.
Industry should play its part in the fight against climate change by persuading governments to aid carbon cuts rather than lobbying against them, the UN secretary-general told a business conference on Sunday.
The coal industry is spending some $45 million to ensure the federal government keeps coal as a major part of the nation's energy mix.
Morano Emerges as ExxonMobil's Newest Mouthpiece As a spokesman for Senator James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, Mark Morano was for years a ceaseless purveyor of the dissenting view on climate change, sending out a blizzard of e-mail to journalists covering the issue. Now, with Congress debating legislation to curb carbon dioxide emissions, Mr. Morano is hoping to have an even greater impact.
While the Obama administration wants to reduce oil consumption, increase renewable energy supplies and cut carbon dioxide emissions, the world's oil giants are staying on the sidelines, balking at investing in new technologies favored by the president, or even straying from commitments they had already made.
OPEC: Oil Plays No Role in Climate Change
OPEC said oil was not to blame for climate change, adding that consuming countries should pay to fight the threat. The group of oil producers opposes plans to reduce oil consumption and advocates adaptation to climate change.
A controversial experiment has "dampened hopes" that dumping hundreds of tonnes of dissolved iron in the Southern Ocean can lessen global warming. Scientists did not count on the phytoplankton, stimulated by the dumped iron, being eaten by tiny crustacean zooplankton.
With carbon cap-and-trade legislation now on Washington's agenda, companies and interest groups have been hiring lobbyists at a feverish pace. For every member of Congress, there are now four climate lobbyists, many of them hoping to derail or water down the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Royal Dutch Shell provoked a furious backlash from campaigners yesterday when it announced plans to scale back its renewable energy business and focus purely on oil, gas and biofuels. Jeroen van der Veer, the chief executive, said that Shell, the world's second-largest non-state-controlled oil company, was planning to drop all new investment in wind, solar and hydrogen energy.
The Environmental Protection Agency ruled that new power plants are not required to install technology to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, rejecting an argument from environmental groups.
Scientists Alarmed by Military Skepticism on Warming Causes
A new US military report has come under scrutiny for asserting that the scientific data on what is causing global warming is "contradictory" - a position one leading specialist said indicates the government still hasn't fully embraced the urgency of climate change.
A group of economists and anthropologists, is pushing the notion that global warming might not be an unmitigated disaster, especially for certain northerly regions, such as Canada, Russia and Scandinavia. Leading the charge is Robert Mendelsohn, an economics professor at YaleUniversity, who says the benefits of global warming for Canada - from a longer growing season to the opening up of shipping through the Northwest Passage - will outweigh the negative effects.
Skeptics Regroup to Fight Obama Climate Initiatives Climate change skeptics on Capitol Hill are quietly watching a growing accumulation of global cooling science and other findings that could signal that the science behind global warming may still be too shaky to warrant cap-and-trade legislation.
Maryland Climate Activists on State Police "Terrorist" List
A handful of professional environmental advocates were placed on a Maryland State Police list of suspected terrorists, activists charged. Three staffers for the Chesapeake Climate Action Network have learned they were on a list compiled by the state police, which also included nonviolent peace activists and anti-death penalty advocates.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin drew on the work of at least six climate skeptics, most funded by ExxonMobil, to try to stop polar bears being protected as an endangered species, the Guardian can disclose.
The NationalCenter for Atmospheric Research, an important hub for work on the causes and consequences of climate change, has shut down a program focused on strengthening poor countries' ability to forecast and withstand droughts, floods and other climate-related hazards.
Members of Vice President Cheney's staff censored congressional testimony by a top federal official about health threats posed by global warming, a former Environmental Protection Agency official said yesterday.
Exxon Mobil Corp is pulling contributions to several groups that have downplayed the risks that greenhouse gas-emissions could lead to global warming. The company will not fund nine groups in 2008 that it funded in 2007 because their positions on climate change "could divert attention from the important discussion on how the world will secure the energy required for economic growth in an environmentally responsible manner." Despite those cuts, Exxon continues to fund 28 other climate-denial groups, according to the public interest group, Exxon Secrets.
Is the World Bank Profiteering on Bogus Carbon Credits?
The Bank finances a fossil fuel project, involving oil, natural gas, or coal, in Poor Country A. Rich Country B asks the Bank to help arrange carbon credits so Country B can tell its carbon counters it's taking serious action on climate change. The World Bank kindly obliges, offering carbon credits for a price far lower than Country B would have to pay if Country B made those cuts at home. Country A gets a share of the cash to invest in equipment to make fossil fuel project slightly more efficient, the World Bank takes its 13% cut, and everyone is happy.
Bush's EPA Chief Shelves Agency's GHG Findings
EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson has shelved his agency's findings that greenhouse gases are a danger to the public, and told Congress that he will initiate a lengthy public comment period about whether such emissions are a risk before responding to a U.S. Supreme Court order. The move means there is virtually no chance the Bush administration will act to regulate greenhouse gases in response to the high court's decision in the time left in office.
Alaska Villagers Sue Coal, Oil Giants for "Conspiracy" to Mislead on Warming
Lawyers for the Alaska Native coastal village of Kivalina, which is being forced to relocate because of flooding caused by the changing Arctic climate, filed suit in federal court here Tuesday arguing that 5 oil companies, 14 electric utilities and the country's largest coal company were responsible for the village's woes. In an unusual move, the suit also accuses BP America, Chevron, Peabody Energy, Duke Energy,the Southern Company, Exxon Mobil, American Electric Power and the Conoco Phillips Company of conspiracy to mislead the public about global warming.
GM Exec: Global warming is a "Crock"
General Motors Corp Vice Chairman Bob Lutz has defended remarks he made dismissing global warming as a "total crock of shit," saying his views had no bearing on GM's commitment to build environmentally friendly vehicles.
When 10 of the largest U.S. corporations and four environmental groups joined forces last January to lobby for federal regulations to restrict greenhouse-gas emissions, it was seen as a watershed in corporate environmentalism. Behind the scenes, however, several companies that belong to USCAP are supporting efforts and organizations that oppose mandatory cuts in greenhouse gases.
Big Coal Mounts New Campaign To Head Off Climate Legislation
A group backed by the coal industry and its utility allies is waging a $35 million campaign in primary and caucus states to rally public support for coal-fired electricity and to fuel opposition to legislation that Congress is crafting to slow climate change
"[D]espite computer projections of temperature rises, there has been no net global warming since 1998. That current temperature plateau follows a late-20th century period of warming consistent with . . .natural multi-decadal or millenial climate warming."
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Administration concluded that the Bush Administration has engaged in a systematic effort to manipulate climate change science and mislead policymakers and the public about the dangers of global warming.
One Fifth of Carbon Credits Increase GHGs
One in five carbon credits issued by the United Nations are going to support clean energy projects that may in fact help to increase greenhouse gas emissions, environmental group WWF said.
An American power company with close financial links to President George Bush has been named as one of the world's top producers of global warming pollution. The enormous carbon footprint of Southern Company -- among the largest financiers of Republican Party politicians -- has raised eyebrows. Southern's employees handed George Bush $217,047 to help him get elected, and they and the company have contributed an extraordinary $6.2m to Republican campaigns since 1990.
Rex Tillerson, chairman and chief executive ofExxon Mobil, the biggest western oil company, has hit out at "isolationism" in energy policy, arguing that attempts to pursue energy independence are futile and counter-productive.
An internal investigation into a fake news conference staged by the Federal Emergency Management Agency during last month's California wildfires found that the agency's press secretary directed aides to pose as reporters, secretly coached them during the briefing and ended the event after a final, scripted question was asked, according to a senior FEMA official.
Peabody Energy, the world's largest private coal company, did not sway from its support (financial or otherwise) for the controversial ads it placed in Kansas newspapers that said Iraqi, Venezuelan, and Russian leaders were smiling because of the governor's recent rejection of two applications for coal-burning power plants.
The school governor who challenged the screening of Al Gore's climate change documentary in secondary schools was funded by a Scottish quarrying magnate who established a controversial lobbying group to attack environmentalists' claims about global warming.
White House Censored CDC Chief on Climate-Health Impacts
The White House significantly edited testimony prepared for a Senate hearing on the impact of climate change on health, deleting key portions citing diseases that could flourish in a warmer climate. A draft of the testimony submitted for White House review shows that six pages of details about specific disease and other health problems that might flourish if the Earth warms were not delivered at the hearing.
Michaels Out As Virginia State Climatologist
Pat Michaels, whose utility industry funding, private research and controversial views on global warming made him a lightning rod on climate change issues, left the office too politicized, according to officials at the University of Virgina. As a result, Michaels is not longer the state's climatologist.
Chevron's new advertising campaign represents the oil giant's latest attempt to stake out a spot in the debate over future energy supplies. Although it touches on a topic the oil industry once hated to discuss, the ads never use the terms global warming or climate change.
court documents show. Michaels told the court some funders gave him money on the condition that their identities remain secret -- and he is largely dependent for his livelihood on the money they give him.
Are We Outsourcing Our Own Devastation?
Residents of Turners Falls celebrated when workers began tearing down a shuttered coal-fired power plant this year. But the demolition is hardly a victory in the battle against manmade climate change.
Virtually every piece of the 2,600-ton plant is being shipped to Guatemala to be rebuilt. It could last continue to pollute for another 50 years.
A federal court today issued a harsh rebuke of the Bush administration for its failure to issue long-delayed reports assessing the impacts and consequences of global warming in the United States. The judge in the case set a spring deadline for administration officials to comply. Plaintiffs say the Bush administration has been suppressing two reports intended to serve as a unifying guide for Congress and federal agencies on global warming threats.
Wolfowitz Cut "Climate Change" From Bank Reports The Bush administration has consistently thwarted efforts by the World Bank to include global warming in its calculations, according to documents. On one occasion, the White House's pointman at the bank, the now disgraced Paul Wolfowitz, personally intervened to remove the words "climate change" from the title of a bank progress report and ordered changes to the text of the report to shift the focus away from global warming.
If you think those who have long challenged the mainstream scientific findings about global warming recognize that the game is over, think again. The denial machine is running at full throttleand continuing to shape both government policy and public opinion.
Rolling Stone Recaps Bush Administration's Denial Policies
A new investigation by Rolling Stone reveals that the Bush Administration's climate distortions were sanctioned at the highest levels of government, in a policy formulated by the vice president, implemented by the White House Council on Environmental Quality and enforced by Karl Rove.
Big Coal Fights Back
U.S. coal mining companies, which for years have been branded the bad guys of global warming, are fighting back. They are questioning not only the science but also the motives of some of the big-name corporations who have made well-publicized commitments to cleaning up their act.
Bush Tries to Sabotage California Clean Car Initiative
In a move denounced by state officials and others as improper lobbying on behalf of the auto industry, transportation officials in the Bush administration are making a pro-auto industry pitch to members of Congress, urging them to oppose California's efforts to enforce tough emissions standards on vehicles.
Contradicting chief NASA scientist James Hansen, the agency's administrator, Michael Griffinm is downplaying the need to combat global warming. In an interview, Griffin said: "I have no doubt that a trend of global warming exists," Griffin told Inskeep. "I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with."
Despite rising gas prices and a growing concern about climate change, the auto industry is going on the offensive to convince Americans to oppose dramatically higher fuel economy requirements. Led by Detroit's Big Three and Toyota Motor Corp., the industry is launching print and radio ads this weekend warning consumers that fuel regulations would lead to higher vehicle prices and smaller and less safe vehicles. The ads feature rural pickup owners and SUV-driving soccer moms to make the case that a Senate proposal would limit consumer choice and tie the hands of automakers.
ExxonMobil Continues to Fund Greenhouse Skeptics
Despite an earlier announcement that it was ceasing to fund the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Exxon Mobil Corp. gave over $2 million in 2006 to other global warming skeptics and institutions -- $23 million since 1998 -- even as the oil company campaigned to improve its climate-unfriendly image.
"The cycle of alarmist predictions is now well established. Not long before some new UN moot, a prominent fearmonger like James Hansen or Michael Mann will make a tremulous statement about the accelerating tempo of the warming crisis. The cry is headlined by the New York Times, with exactly the same lack of critical evaluation as that newspaper's recycling of the government's lies about Saddam's WMDs."
Dozens of climate scientists are trying to block the DVD release of a controversial Channel 4 programme that claimed global warming is nothing to do with human greenhouse gas emissions. Sir John Houghton, former head of the Met Office, and Bob May, former president of the Royal Society, are among 37 experts who have called for the DVD to be heavily edited or removed from sale. The film, the Great Global Warming Swindle, was criticised by scientists as distorted and misleading.
Skeptics Complain That Nobody's Listening
Skeptics of the seriousness of global warming complained of not being heard by the public or policy makers while warning governments to take a second look at the scientific consensus on climate change.
Vanity Fair's Long Look at Myron Ebell
Myron Ebell is one of that rare breed, an elegant nerd. On television, facing interrogation by moderators who clearly feel he should be tarred and feathered for his views, he stays cool and fires back with withering zingers. Ebell could easily star in Thank You for Warming.
The story in the rightwing press is that the IPCC, in collusion with governments, is conspiring to exaggerate the science. No one explains why governments should seek to amplify their own failures. In the wacky world of the climate conspiracists no explanations are required.
The president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market think tank based in Washington, has derided concern over global warming. But in February, when Fred Smith was called to testify before the Senate Committee on environment and public works, he sounded like a cornered man.
Congress Hears Of Administration Censorship of Scientists
A House committee released documents Monday that showed hundreds of instances in which a White House official who was previously an oil industry lobbyist edited government climate reports to play up uncertainty of a human role in global warming or play down evidence of such a role.
The federal government suppresses or manipulates information about the environment, prescription drugs and public safety, making it increasingly hard for members of the public to learn about matters that could affect their lives. That was the assessment of former government officials, librarians, scientists and others.
A major donor to Stanford University, who had already donated $22.5 million to the school,said he would give no morem citing prominent ads by ExxonMobil trumpeting its collaboration with the university.
Internal memorandums circulated in the Alaskan division of the Federal Fish and Wildlife Service appear to require government biologists or other employees traveling in countries around the Arctic not to discuss climate change, polar bears or sea ice if they are not designated to do so.
Vice President Dick Cheney today agreed the earth is warming but maintained there is debate over whether humans or natural cycles are the cause-- a position that puts the administration at odds with the vast majority of climate scientists.
With Democrats controlling the environmental agenda in Congress, a panel of international scientists saying there's a greater-than-90 percent chance that humans contribute to global warming, and former vice president Al Gore calling climate change a moral issue, many besieged global warming skeptics are starting to tone down their rhetoric.
A group of US investors with more than $200 billion in assets have accused 10 companies, including the oil giant ExxonMobil, the financial services group Wells Fargo and the utility TXU, of not doing enough to respond to global warming and climate change, in a sign of increasing shareholder activism on environmental issues.
When it comes to the issue of climate change, Exxon Mobil says it has been misunderstood. The world's largest publicly traded oil company now contends "the appropriate debate isn't on whether the climate is changing but rather should be on what we should be doing about it."
A survey of federal scientists that showed 46 percent felt pressure to eliminate the words "climate change," "global warming" or similar terms from communications about their work. They also reported 435 instances of political interference in their work over the past five years.
ExMo Aims Its Disinformation At Europe
ExxonMobil is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund European groups that cast doubt global warming because Europe is the driving force behind action on climate change.
In one of the strongest signs yet that U.S. industry anticipatesgovernment curbs on global-warming emissions, Exxon Mobil Corp., long a leading opponent of such rules, is starting to talk about how it would like them to be structured.
A federal climate scientist in Boulder says his boss told him never to utter the word Kyoto and tried to bar him from using the phrase "climate change at a conference". The allegations come as federal investigators probe whether Bush administration officials tried to block government scientists from speaking freely about global warming and attempted to censor their research.
The US Senate's most vocal global warming skeptic, James Inhofe, on Thursday dismissed a UN meeting on climate change as a "brainwashing" session, putting him at odds with Sen. John McCain who noted "there's great urgency ... and the scientific evidence continues to accumulate."
Weeks after Britain's Royal Society called on ExxonMobil to stop funding professional skeptics, two U.S. Senators, Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.VA) wrote the company asking it to stop funding disinformation about climate change.
The Bush administration has appointed former ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond and the National Petroleum Council to chart America's energy future. Raymond, chair of the NPC, is to provide the administration with policy recommendations for the long-term direction of the nation's energy policy. Raymond was granted the power to handpick the study's leadership.
An academic from a progressive Washingon, DC think tank is furious that Environment Minister Rona Ambrose used recent remarks by her to attack the Kyoto protocol on climate change. "I certainly don't want to see Canada pulling out, did not want to the U.S. pulling out." said the researcher, Daphne Wysham, who added: "We want to see Kyoto strengthened."
To Colorado State University meteorology professor emeritus William Gray, global warming is "a big scam." And the name of climate researcher Kevin Trenberth elicits a sputtered "opportunist." At the National Center for Atmospheric Research, where Trenberth works, Gray's name prompts dismay. "Bill Gray is completely unreasonable," Trenberth says. "He has a mind block on this."
Scientists at a world-renowned climate research lab in New Jersey say their discoveries are being hidden from public view because their conclusions on global warming differ from those in the Bush administration.
The campaign of dissuasion funded by Exxon and the tobacco company Philip Morris has been devastatingly effective. By insisting that man-made global warming is either a "myth" or not worth tackling, it has given the media and politicians the excuses for inaction they wanted. Partly as a result, in the US at least, these companies have helped to delay attempts to tackle the world's most important problem by a decade or more.
Exxon Mobil Corp., which has sparked criticism -- most recently from Britain's Royal Society -- for funding groups that challenge the scientific validity of concerns about global warming, is reviewing whether it will continue to fund some of those groups.
Commerce Department officials may have tried to stop a government scientist from speaking to reporters because of his views on global warming, a California congressman says. The officials "tried to suppress a federal scientist from discussing the link between global warming and hurricanes," according to a letter sent Tuesday from Rep. Henry Waxman to Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez.
Britain's national academy of science, the Royal Society, has accused US oil giant Exxon Mobil Corp. of misleading the public into thinking that the role of humans in climate change is still open to doubt. Royal Society spokesman Bob Ward described Exxon's assessment of mankind's contribution to global warming as inaccurate and misleading on Wednesday.
The governor's office has asked Virginia's climatologist to refrain from using his title when conducting non-state business because of fears his views on global warming will be perceived as an official state position.
The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, a tax-exempt, nonprofit, charitable organization established in 2001 to block development of the Cape Wind offshore power generating project six to eleven miles off Cape Cod, has created a new lobbying arm. One of its directors is fossil fuel magnate William I. Koch who was identified in a recent coal industry memo as a source of revenue for a new disinformation campaign to discredit efforts to combat global warming.
It may be an inconvenient truth for some that Patrick J. Michaels, Virginia's state climatologist, is not subject to gubernatorial appointment - or political removal from office. Michaels, whose industry funding, holds an honorary position and does not speak for the state or the governor, according to Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's office.
"I wonder whether Attorney-General Lockyer disclosed to the judge that Gelbspan is a rather dubious character -- for example, he misrepresented himself as a Pulitzer Prize winner on the jacket of The Heat Is On. Gelbspan never won a Pulitzer, nor was he ever even nominated." (Click here for a response to Milloy's slander.)
Frank Luntz, the Washington-based public relations expert who counseled President George W. Bush to "keep the public confused" about climate science, has become a convert. Luntz told the BBC he now believes in global warming. But, in the same interview, he abdicated all responsibility for his earlier actions, according to a report of the interview posted on Treehuggers.com.
Asked by an interviewer about the fact that the Bush Administration is continuing to follow his advice, Luntz responded: "That's up to the administration. I'm not the administration. What they want to do is their business. It has nothing to do with what I write. It has nothing to do with what I believe."
The field of global warming skeptics is thinning as rapidly as Greenland's glaciers, but it hasn't stopped them from rallying for a counterattack every now and then. The most recent target of their ire was an Associated Press report by Seth Borenstein, reprinted in the Washington Post among other outlets on June 27, entitled "Scientists
OK Gore's Movie for Accuracy." (By Jim Motavalli, editor of "E/the Environmental Magazine.")
Global warming accounted for around half of the extra hurricane-fueling warmth in the waters of the tropical North Atlantic in 2005, while natural cycles were only a minor factor, according to a new analysis from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
James Titus, an Environmental Protection Agency project manager for sea level rise, wrote an essay for a law review in which he argued that the nation needed to make decisions on whether or how wetlands and beaches should be allowed to migrate inland. Reached by telephone, Mr. Titus said he was no longer allowed to discuss such issues publicly and referred questions to the agency's press office, which would not allow him to speak about it on the record. Instead, requests for on-the-record information were referred to Bill Wehrum, the agency's acting assistant administrator for air and radiation.
Frank Luntz, the Republican message massager, recently enjoyed a fruitful meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper as well as with a group of Canadian conservatives, advising them how to win elections.
The visibility of climate impacts is part of the emerging, solidifying scientific consensus on global warming -- a consensus that raises the urgent political and economic issue of climate change. This isn't a theory anymore. This is happening now. But when you step into the realm of the skeptics, you find yourself on a parallel Earth. (An extensive article in the Washington Post Sunday Magazine, May 28, 2006)
ExxonMobil now admits global warming is real and poses risks but the company has not yet taken steps -- such as meaningful alternative energy investments -- that would demonstratethat ExxonMobil is managing the risks to its shareholders.
A senior scientist has condemned as a "deliberate effort to mislead" a series of television adverts produced by an oil industry-funded loyying group that seeks to portray concern over global warming as alarmism.
"I anticipate global temperature conditions will change as they have in the past. I expect to live to see the start of a global cooling pattern and the discrediting of most of the anthropogenic warming arguments. The world has more serious problems to worry about." -- hurricane forecaster William Gray.
"It is clear that a number of well-funded and well-orchestrated media campaigns were carried out by groups that are opposed to the Kyoto protocol and measures to restrict greenhouse gas emissions. There are signs that these groups are preparing similar media and political offensives ahead of the publication of the IPCC fourth assessment report in 2007." -- British Royal Society
"The scientific community did not complain when Al Gore tried to [start] a witch hunt to discredit anti-alarmist scientists. They were mum when subsequent articles and books by Ross Gelbspan libelously labeled [skeptical] scientists &as stooges of the fossil-fuel industry&.[and] when [a European skeptic] was tarred by Bert Bolin, first head of the IPCC, as a tool of the coal industry for questioning climate alarmism." -- Richard Lindzen
As accredited experts in climate and related scientific disciplines, we are writing to propose that balanced, comprehensive public-consultation sessions be held so as to examine the scientific foundation of the federal government's climate-change plans. This would be entirely consistent with your recent commitment to conduct a review of the Kyoto Protocol.
"Perhaps the 'problem' is not big oil or big coal, both of which have discovered there is big money to be made from tax breaks and other subsidies justified in the name of combating carbon. Perhaps the problem is big crusading journalism," George Will, April 2, 2006
Scientists doing climate research for the federal government say the Bush administration has made it hard for them to speak forthrightly to the public about global warming. The result, the researchers say, is a danger that Americans are not getting the full story on how the climate is changing.
MIT researcher Kerry Emanuel has charged the federal government's top science agency with ignoring the growing research linking global warming to stronger hurricanes. But instead of telling the public the truth, he said, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials are insisting that hurricanes are worse because of a natural cycle.
The president "avidly read" Michael Crichton's novel, "State of Fear," met the author after Karl Rove, his chief political adviser, arranged it. Bush and Crichton "talked for an hour and were in near-total agreement. The visit was not made public for fear of outraging environmentalists all the more."
Just days after President George W. Bushannounced the U.S. would invest more in R&D for renewable energy technologies, one of the world's largest investment firms, the Carlyle Group, said it would substantially boost its stake in renewables. Coincidentally, former President George H. W. Bush was a special consultant to the Carlyle Group for 10 years before his retirement two years ago.
While administrators at NASA and NOAA claim they are relaxing media restrictions for their scientists, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is requiring prior headquarters approval for all communications by its scientists with journalists, according to an agency e-mail released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).
A formerCSIRO senior scientist in Australia and internationally recognised expert on climate change claims he was reprimanded and encouraged to resign after he spoke out on global warming. Graeme Pearman said he believed there was increasing pressure in Australia on researchers whose work or professional opinions were not in line with the Federal Government's ideology.
George C. Deutsch, a Bush appointee to NASA who was involved in the alleged censorship of a leading climate scientist, resigned in the wake of disclosures he had falsified his resume and never, as claimed, graduated from a Texas university.
Seeking to resolve a scientific dispute that has taken on a rancorous political edge, the National Academy of Sciences said it had agreed to a request from Congress to assess how well researchers understand the history of temperatures on earth.
James E. Hansen, the NASA climate scientist who sparked an uproar last month by accusing the Bush administration of keeping scientific information from reaching the public, said Friday that officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are also muzzling researchers who study global warming.
Many respected climate scientists believe NOAA's official line on the link between global warming and hurricanes is wrong. In the broader scientific community, there is grumbling that NOAA's top officials have suppressed dissenting views on this subject--contributing to the Bush administration's attempt to downplay the danger of climate change.
The top climate scientist at NASA says the Bush administration has tried to stop him from speaking out since he gave a lecture last month calling for prompt reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming.
Environmentalists are unhappy with the job the lead U.S. climate negotiator, Harlan Watson, has been doing in the ongoing Montreal talks on how to combat global warming. Watson was hand-picked by ExxonMobil to represent the U.S. in the talks.
Two global-warming skeptics who questioned an influential climate study and prompted a congressional inquiry are now facing critics of their own. Two new research papers, appearing this month in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, find that while there is a statistical snafu in the hockey-stick math, it may not strongly affect the graph's accuracy.
"Scientists must be allowed to conduct their work unfettered by political or commercial pressures. . .When members of Congress recently began pressuring scientists who have offered evidence of global warming, they broke that crucial covenant."
Why do so many U.S business leaders and members of Congress doubt the scientific consensus on global warming? Consider the attack of Stephen McIntyre, a semiretired businessman, on the "hockey stick" a study which is cited to make the case for global warming. It plucked McIntyre from obscurity and got him featured on the front page of the February 14, 2005, Wall Street Journal.
One reason why Western governments have been slow to respond to the climate crisis is that they are under constant pressure from lobbying groups that defend the interests of eco-unfriendly industry. The Independent identifies a selection of the most influential groups.
Openly and unapologetically, ExxonMobil, the world's No. 1 oil company disputes the notion that fossil fuels are the main cause of global warming. Along with the Bush administration, Exxon opposes the Kyoto accord and the very idea of capping global-warming emissions.
"Global climate change is a problem with great potential consequences for society. This administration has acted to impede honest communication of the state of climate science and the implications for society of global climate change. Politicization by the White House has fed back directly into the science program in such a way as to undermine the credibility and integrity of the program in its relationship to the research community, to program managers, to policymakers, and to the public interest. The White House so successfully politicized the science program that I decided it was necessary to terminate my relationship with it."
Philip A. Cooney, the White House staff member who repeatedly revised government scientific reports on global warming, will go to work for ExxonMobil in the fall, the oil company said today.
Cooney Resigns After Altering Science Report Philip A. Cooney, chief of staff to President Bush's Council on Environmental Quality, has resigned, White House officials said. Mr. Cooney's resignation came two days after documents revealed that he had edited government climate reports in ways that cast doubt on the link between greenhouse-gas emissions and rising temperatures.
A White House official who once led the oil industry's fight against limits on greenhouse gases has repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming, according to internal documents.
President's George Bush's decision not to sign the United States up to the Kyoto global warming treaty was partly a result of pressure from ExxonMobil, the world's most powerful oil company, and other industries, according to US State Department papers.
New reconstructions over 1400-1980 are developed in both the indirect and direct analyses, which demonstrate that the Mann et al. reconstruction of 1998 is highly robust against the proxy-based criticisms addressed.
"Despite his scientific reputation, he makes all the mistakes that are possible." He had cited data that was simply false, he had failed to provide references, he had completely misunderstood the scientific context and neglected current scientific literature. The latest studies show unequivocally that most of the world's glaciers are retreating."
The U.S. government has enlisted an outspoken skeptic of global warming in a legal fight with environmental groups over U.S. funding for overseas energy projects. The move has angered several prominent climate researchers, however, who say the government's arguments fly in the face of scientific consensus about both the causes and possible consequences of global warming.
The Bush administration's program to study climate change lacks a major component required by law, according to Congressional investigators. The program fails to include periodic assessments of how rising temperatures may affect people and the environment.
A group of leading climate scientists has reaffirmed the "robust consensus view" emerging from the peer reviewed literature that the warmth experienced on at least a hemispheric scale in the late 20th century was an anomaly in the previous millennium and that human activity likely played an important role in causing it. In so doing, they refuted recent claims that the warmth of recent decades was not unprecedented in the context of the past thousand years.
The United States, which opposes the Kyoto protocol on global warming, is trying to remove references to climate change in UN talks aimed at setting up a disaster early warning system. The US has voiced objections to "multiple" references to climate change in drafting documents for the global conference in Kobe, Japan on disaster reduction.
For environmentalists, the issue of catastrophic global warming is not just a favored fundraising tool. In truth, it's more fundamental than that. Put simply, man-induced global warming is an article of religious faith.
Drawing support from the energy industry, the Presidential Inaugural Committee has raised almost $8 million since it began gathering money this month. ExxonMobil, the Occidental Petroleum Corporation, ChevronTexaco and the Southern Company were among more than 20 donors to give the maximum $250,000, which entitles executives to attend the ceremonies, black-tie balls and events with the president.
Climate change is 'a myth', sea levels are not rising and Britain's chief scientist is 'an embarrassment' for believing catastrophe is inevitable. These are the controversial views of a new London-based think-tank that will publish a report tomorrow attacking the apocalyptic view that man-made greenhouse gases will destroy the planet. The International Policy Network, funded by among others ExxonMobil, will publish its long-awaited study, claiming that the science warning of an environmental disaster caused by climate change is 'fatally flawed'.
A major argument used by sceptics of global warming is flawed, a UK Met Office study in Nature magazine says. This argument maintains that much recorded climate data is inherently unreliable because most weather instruments are in or near cities, which produce their own heat; so the rapid warming measured over the last century could be just a record of urbanisation. The Met Office believes its study shows this "urban heat island" idea is wrong.
An industry group that represents coal producers and suppliers has been carrying out an ambitious strategy for defeating or scaling back a host of ongoing congressional and state initiatives to limit greenhouse gases, mercury and other air pollutants, according to a recent internal letter obtained by the newsletter Inside EPA. The letter, sent between governing officers of the Center for Energy and Economic Development (CEED), boasts about the group's ties with Republican officials and provides an unusual window into CEED's strategy for opposing air pollution control initiatives, including behind-the-scenes efforts to defeat proposals by state groups like the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) and the National Governors' Association.
One of the pillars of the case for man-made global warming is a graph nicknamed the hockey stick. It's a reconstruction of temperatures over the past 1,000 years based on records captured in tree rings, corals and other markers. The stick's shaft shows temperatures oscillating slightly over the ages. Then comes the blade: The mercury swings sharply upward in the 20th century. The eye-catching image has had a big impact. Since it was published four years ago in a United Nations report, hundreds of environmentalists, scientists and policy makers have used the hockey stick in presentations and brochures to make the case that human activity in the industrial era is causing dangerous global warming.
The oil and gas industry has lavished more than $440 million over the past six years on politicians, political parties and lobbyists in order to protect its interests in Washington, according to a new report by the Center for Public Integrity.
Starting in the 1930s, the Soviets spurned genetics in favor of Lysenkoism, a fraudulent theory of heredity inspired by Communist ideology. Doing so crippled agriculture in the U.S.S.R. for decades. You would think that bad precedent would have taught President George W. Bush something. But perhaps he is no better at history than at science.
George W. Bush's campaign workers have hit on an age-old political tactic to deal with the tricky subject of global warming - deny, and deny aggressively. An e-mail sent to the press secretaries of all Republican congressmen advises them what to say when questioned on the environment in the run-up to November's election. The advice: tell them everything's rosy.
Sen. Jame Inhofe, the leading "denier" of climate change in the U.S. Senate and recipient of thousands in oil, coal and natural gas contibutions, cites "sound science" and "natural variability" to denounce human-induced climate change as a "hoax."
John H. Marburger III, the White House science adviser, is on the hot seat. Nearly 2 1/2 years after leaving the directorship of Brookhaven National Laboratory to take the policy job, Marburger finds himself defending the Bush administration against charges it has distorted and misused science.
The Union of Concerned Scientists accused the Bush administration of suppressing and distorting scientific findings on the environment, public health and safety that run counter to its own policies. The UCS report charged the administration with suppressing research on global warming, air quality, sexual health, cancer and other issues. It said there had been a wide-ranging effort to manipulate the government's supposedly independent scientific advisory system "to prevent the appearance of advice that might run counter to the administration's political agenda."
White House officials have undermined government scientists' research into climate change to play down the impact of global warming. E-mails and internal government documents show that officials have sought to edit or remove research warning that the problem is serious. They have enlisted the help of conservative lobby groups funded by the oil industry to attack the science.
Two Attorneys General charged that the Bush White House conspired with a private right-wing group to have it sue the government to withdraw a major, scientifically peer-reviewed document on climate impacts in the United States.
A conservative group sued the Bush administration in an effort to force the government to stop distributing a report on the dangers of climate change. The suit was filed in Federal Court by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, an industry-funded group that contends global warming poses no significant risks.
The editor of a science journal editor which recently published an article questioning whether industrial emissions are driving up the earth's temperature has resigned, saying he was not allowed to publish an editorial repudiating the article. The article was written by researchers with support from the petroleum industry. Two other editors of the journal resigned as well.
Some Senate Republicans say there is considerable doubt that the climate is warming and if it is, humans are not responsible. Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that the science shows natural variability, not human activity, is the "overwhelming factor" influencing climate change.
The Bush administration today released a 10 year research strategy for developing knowledge of climate change and its potential impacts on the environment and human lives. But critics say the comprehensive study should not replace action to curb U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases. And many scientists complain it focuses on natural causes of climate change.
The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to publish a draft report next week on the state of the environment, but after editing by the White House, a long section describing risks from rising global temperatures has been whittled to a few noncommittal paragraphs.
Nonprofit organizations with ties to energy interests are promoting a controversial climate study as proof that prevailing views of global warming are wrong. The scientists who authored the new study contend that the global warming of recent decades is not without precedent during the past 1,000 years, as other scientists have claimed. The paper has touched off a worldwide storm of e-mail among climate scientists, some of whom have proposed organizing a research boycott of two journals that published the study.
ExxonMobil now gives more than $1 million a year to organizations which oppose taking action against climate change -- including the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Frontiers of Freedom, the George C. Marshall Institute, the American Council for Capital Formation Center for Policy Research and the American Legislative Exchange Council.
A branch of the Danish Research Agency has concluded that Prof. Bjorn Lomborg, an author whose upbeat analysis of environmental trends has been embraced by conservatives, displayed "scientific dishonesty" in his popular book, "The Skeptical Environmentalist."
ExxonMobilhas finally acknowledged what has long been accepted by more than 2,000 scientists, some 160 nations and virtually every other oil company -- that humans are changing the climate. But despite its softening its long-standing campaign of disinformation, ExxonMobil continues to mislead the public.
The Bush administration this week moved to oust the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, who had been targeted by ExxonMobil in a confidential memo to the White House. Papers released by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reflects a brazen, behind-the-scenes effort by ExxonMobil and other energy giants to oust Dr. Robert Watson, head of the IPCC. The administration is opposing Watson's appointment to a second term as IPCC chair.
On February 11th, Center for Regulatory Effectiveness requested that the United States Global Change Research Program and the Office of Science and Technology withdraw the First National Assessment on Global Climate Change because it violates the objectivity, utility and reproducibility requirements of the Data Quality Act and OMB's guidelines implementing the Act. More specifically, the National Assessment violates the Act and OMB's guidelines.
ExxonMobil has become a major funder of the most visible "greenhouse skeptics", most of whom who have traditionally been funded by the coal industry -- including S. Fred Singer, Patrick Michaels, Robert Balling and Sherwood Idso. The company is using some of its $17 billion in annual profits to confuse the public discussion of global climate change. ExxonMobil is sabotaging the work of more than 2,000 scientists from 100 countries by funding the most visible "greenhouse skeptics" -- one of whom, S. Fred Singer, publicly denied receiving oil industry money as recently as February, 2001.
In March, 2001, Lindzen published what he calls "potentially [his] most important" paper. He concludes that warming would decrease tropical cloud cover -- which would produce a marked cooling effect overall and thus serve as a stabilizing negative feedback.But three research teams say Lindzen's paper is flawed.
An ExxonMobil ad on the Op-Ed Page of the The New York Times, March 23, 2000 titled "Unsettled Science" grossly distorts the January report of the National Research Council. Below are assertions by the ad (in italics)-- and responses from the science (in boldface).
Industry opponents of a treaty to fight global warming have drafted an ambitious proposal to spend millions of dollars to convince the public that the environmental accord is based on shaky science. The plan includes a campaign to recruit a cadre of scientists who share the industry's views of climate science and to train them in public relations so they can help convince the public that the risk of global warming is too uncertain to justify action.
The fossil fuel lobby's campaign to confuse the public and policy makers about climate change has made extensive use of a small number of "greenhouse skeptics" -- scientists who are skeptical about climate change. There are, perhaps, a dozen visible "skeptics" compared to more than 2,000 scientists reporting to the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The use of this tiny group of "skeptics" became clear in the spring of 1995 when they were forced to disclose for the first time under oath how much funding they had received from industry sources. The disclosures came during a utility hearing in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The year before the 1992 United Nations Conference on the Environment in Rio, a coalition of coal and utility companies launched a disinformation campaign designed by a public relations firm to create the Information Council on the Environment (ICE). The plan specified the use of three so-called "greenhouse skeptics" in broadcast appearances, op-ed articles and newspaper interviews in selected markets. The goal of the campaign was to "reposition global warming as theory rather than fact."
In early March, the Global Climate Coalition, the main industry lobby group against meaningful climate action, announced it was restructuring in the wake of wholesale defections by auto and oil interests.
In June, 1997, S. Fred Singer, arguably the most reckless of the U.S. "greenhouse skeptics", launched a blitz of news releases which declared that Dr. Bert Bolin, then-chair of the IPCC, was disavowing his previous statements about climate science. Bolin called Singer's misrepresentations "inaccurate and misleading."
When the coal and oil lobby could not disprove the findings by the IPCC that human-induced global warming is under way, it launched a second round of attacks -- this time on the reputations and integrity of Dr. Benjamin Santer and other unsuspecting scientists who have been blindsided by the personal nature of the assaults.
In 1991, the Western Fuels Association spent $250,000 to produce a propaganda video which was shown extensively in the George Bush White House as well as in the capitals of OPEC. The film, funded by the coal industry, promises a new age of agricultural abundance will result from the doubling of the atmosphere's concentration of carbon dioxide. It predicts increases of 30 to 60 percent in the yields of soybeans, cotton, wheat and other crops -- ignoring projections to the contrary from plant and agricultural scientists
COMPASS lists several former Secretaries of Defense and other National Security officials in their organization. But in its ads,the organization which lists its address as 1002 King St., Alexandria, Virginia -- the same address of the public relations firm Kelley Swofford Roy Helmke -- fails to identify the fossil fuel affiliation of its leading members.