Wed, 2015-04-01 03:21Kyla Mandel
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Is This British University Becoming a 'Propaganda Machine' for the Fossil Fuel Industry?

Concerns over academic integrity have been raised following the appointment of John Constable, a well-known anti-wind farm campaigner, as the head of a new energy institute at the University of Buckingham.

Britain’s leading private university “risks becoming a propaganda machine for the fossil fuel industry” The Independent wrote yesterday, noting that the university has a history of aligning with the interests of dirty energy and climate denial.

The university is known for its ties to Lord Lawson’s climate sceptic charity, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). The Foundation’s director, Benny Peiser, occasionally lectures at the university, and it has awarded honorary degrees to both Lawson and Matt Ridley, GWPF academic adviser.

Wed, 2015-04-01 00:01Brendan Montague
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This is How the Energy Industry Reacted to the Kyoto Protocol

This DeSmog UK epic history post describes how an economic think tank became a beacon of light around which the industries most affected by the new Kyoto Protocol met to discuss strategies to deal with the international agreement.

The first time is tragedy – the second time is farce. Lord Lawson, the former chancellor, is today the chairman of the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

The member of the House of Lords claims that his registered charity, which attacks policy designed to prevent climate change, has no financial links to the oil industry. 

Twenty years ago, Lord Lawson was chairman of another charity. This one was specifically established to represent the oil industry, building bridges with senior politicians and civil servants.

Tue, 2015-03-31 11:39Carol Linnitt
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Pipeline Industry Promises to Review Disclosure Rules After Kinder Morgan Secrecy Scandal

pipeline spill Jimmy Jeong

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) is working hard to undo damage caused by pipeline company Kinder Morgan’s refusal to release oil spill response plans in British Columbia. The company's lack of disclosure angered the province of B.C., especially when it was revealed that Kinder Morgan released detailed spill response plans in Washington State for portions of the pipeline that extend across the border.

The pipeline association recently announced it would form a task force to address the issue, hoping to waylay growing public concerns by developing “guiding principles” for disclosure.

A number of our members have faced significant public pressure to disclose all information contained in emergency response plans. The CEPA task force will work to support that by establishing clear principles and guidelines that seek to find the right balance between the public’s right to know, the privacy of personal information and the security considerations also required for public safety,” Jim Donihee, chief operating officer with CEPA, said.

Tue, 2015-03-31 05:49Kyla Mandel
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Tim Yeo Just Called Out ‘Old, White, Male’ Tories For Not Accepting Climate Change

The UK Conservative party has a climate sceptic problem warns Tory MP Tim Yeo, current chair of the Commons’ Energy and Climate Change (ECC) committee.

There is a strong minority of open climate sceptics in the Conservative party, Yeo told Leo Hickman, editor of Carbon Brief. This is mainly due to the party’s age profile, he said, as it has a higher proportion of older MPs compared to the Lib Dems and Labour.  

There’s a very strong representation of older people, of, I have to say it, of older, white males, actually,” Yeo said. “That’s the group who seem to have the most difficulty in understanding the science and accepting the urgency of the case. So it’s just that that group is a bit more strongly represented.

But I think, I mean you know, to be brutal, they’re going to die off. Very few people under the age of 40 now, I think, seriously question the science, and that group is gradually taking over.”

Mon, 2015-03-30 04:58John Mashey
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Fred Singer Recalls Silly Attack On Consensus And Naomi Oreskes By Klaus-Martin Schulte, Lord Monckton's Endocrinologist Front Man

By the 1950s, smoking's cause of disease had risen to strong scientific consensus, but Big Tobacco needed an illusion of scientific controversy to keep the public in doubt. As seen in the new film Merchants of Doubt,  they developed superb marketing tactics copied by others, including the fossil fuel industry and allies.

The scientific consensus on human causation of climate change is just as strong as that on smoking, so the same tactics are used against it, plus Internet-amplified harassment of scientists. Fred Singer recently tried to revive a nearly-forgotten 2007 attack on climate consensus, one of the silliest and least competent, entangled with plagiarism and falsification. A revisit of this episode may be instructive, as consensus (not unanimity) is important enough that people keep challenging it.

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