john vidal

Wed, 2012-04-25 13:58Steve Horn
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2008 Shell Nigeria Oil Spill 60 Times Larger Than Originally Claimed

Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) dropped a bombshell early this week, unveiling documents pertaining to the Royal Dutch Shell Oil 2008 Bodo oil pipeline spill.

The documents indicate that the Shell spill released 60 times the amount of oil Shell had originally reported in the ravaged Niger Delta coastal town with a population of 60,000 people.

In a press release, Amnesty explained its findings:

The previously unpublished assessment, carried out by US firm Accufacts, found that between 1,440 and 4,320 barrels of oil were flooding the Bodo area each day following the leak. The Nigerian regulators have confirmed that the spill lasted for 72 days.

Shell’s official investigation report claims only 1,640 barrels of oil were spilt in total. But based on the independent assessment the total amount of oil spilt over the 72 day period is between 103,000 barrels and 311,000 barrels.

Adding insult to injury, Shell has yet to begin to clean up what it has destroyed. “More than three years after the Bodo oil spill, Shell has yet to conduct a proper clean up or to pay any official compensation to the affected communities,” wrote Amnesty.

Mon, 2011-01-24 15:53TJ Scolnick
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British Government Continues Greenwashing Effort, Ignores Ecological Decline In UK

A recent Guardian article by John Vidal examines the misleading spin attempting to paint Britain’s leadership as the “greenest government ever.” 

With 2010 drawing to a close, UK Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman announced triumphantly:
“Over 95 per cent of England’s finest wildlife and geological sites, covering more than one million hectares of countryside, are now in favourable or recovering condition.”

Spelman’s overly rosy interpretation of the current state of Britain’s environment is at odds with an independent report from Professor Sir John Lawton and a team of leading conservationists who are much less enthusiastic about Britain’s environmental record. Measured according to the scale SSSI (Sites of Special Scientific Interest), Sir Lawton’s team found that just 30% of these sites were in favourable condition, with the rest in a mode of “unfavourable recovering.”

Indeed, most at-risk wildlife species have shown no improvement between 1999 and 2008, and 125 of 289 species are in decline. Birds, in particular, are struggling.

Thu, 2009-12-10 06:02Richard Littlemore
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Best Dissection Yet of CopenDeniers Conference

Guardian environment editor John Vidal gives the DenierChaps convening in Copenhagen the kind of attention they deserve in his piece today.

He had the temerity to stand up in the room and ask:

“I would like to know whether you or anyone in this room has been to the Himalayas, or to the Sunderbans, or to the villages that are now drowning near Chittagong in Bangladesh, where temperatures are being recorded 4C above normal, where respected scientists are finding significant sea level rises, where cyclones are more frequent and intense? Have any of you tried to find out for yourself what is going on there?”

Through the whistling and abuse that followed, you could only conclude that the answer was no.

Fri, 2008-07-11 14:05Kevin Grandia
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UK Guardian Video: Canada Oilsands the 'bottom of the barrel'

“…the country famed for its wilderness and clean living finds itself caught between fuelling the world's oil-hungry economy and the ecological devastation and soaring greenhouse gas emissions that exploiting the tar sands produce.”

The UK Guardian has just posted a comprehensive report on Canada's oilsands operations called, Oil Sands: Canada's dirty secret.

There's also a great 4-minute video by Guardian environment editor John Vidal.

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