Brendan DeMelle's blog

Wed, 2010-01-20 12:51Brendan DeMelle
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Climate Denial Industry Blowing Hot Air On Himalayan Glaciers

The climate denial industry is once again trying to make a huge to-do about a tiny error by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 

With the Climategate Swifthack episode fading from the limelight, after a thorough debunking of far-fetched accusations that scientists made up global warming, the climate science attack machine now wants the world to focus on one paragraph out of a 938-page, three-year-old report.

The contrarians are questioning a single reference to Himalayan glaciers included in a 2007 IPCC report that does not meet the IPCC’s well-established evidentiary standards.

Here is their alleged smoking gun: The second of three 2007 reports from the IPCC included a statement that the likelihood of Himalayan glaciers disappearing “by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high.”

But the reference to Himalayan glaciers melting at that early date didn’t originate from a peer-reviewed study, meaning it should not have appeared in the IPCC report. 

Sure, that’s slightly embarrassing.  But it isn’t grounds to declare the entire library of climate science a fraud. The IPCC’s findings have been validated and substantiated by assessments conducted by leading scientific institutions the world over. 

The real news here is that a single ‘error’ was discovered in just one of the IPCC’s reports, collectively reams of paper thick, and the ‘error’ isn’t an error at all.  The Himalayan glaciers are melting.  There is no debate about that in the scientific community.

Tue, 2010-01-12 13:49Brendan DeMelle
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Tucker Carlson’s 'Daily Caller' Website Bankrolled by Climate Change Denier

The primary funder of Tucker Carlson’s new website ‘The Daily Caller’ is climate change denier and GOP bankroller Foster Friess, and Carlson has reportedly lined up sponsorship from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Mining Association and Southern Company, all major opponents of meaningful action to curb climate change.

Friess donated $3 million to Carlson’s site, which is run out of an office a “stone’s throw from the White House” by a 21-person staff.  ‘The Daily Caller’ is the brainchild (if you can call it that) of Carlson and his college roommate Neil Patel, a former Dick Cheney aide.  The site’s opinion editor is former RNC press secretary Moira Bagley, immediately calling into question Carlson’s insistence that ‘The Daily Caller’ won’t cater to the right-wing crowd.

Mon, 2010-01-11 15:16Brendan DeMelle
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Murkowski Amendment To Protect Polluters Was Written By Dirty Polluter Lobbyists

Sen Lisa Murkowski (Photo credit: Brian Wallace / Juneau Empire)

The Washington Post is reporting that Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s amendment to gut EPA authority to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act was written by two Washington lobbyists known for representing some of the worst polluters in the nation.

Surprise, surprise!

Juliet Eilperin writes on the Post Carbon blog:
 “The Washington Post has confirmed that two Washington lobbyists, Jeffrey R. Holmstead and Roger R. Martella, Jr., helped craft the original amendment Murkowski planned to offer on the floor last fall. Both Holmstead, who heads the Environmental Strategies Group and Bracewell & Guiliani, and Martella, a partner at Sidley Austin LLP, held senior posts at EPA under the Bush administration and represents multiple clients with an interest in climate legislation pending before Congress.”

The Post notes that Sen. Murkowski is now likely to postpone offering the amendment next week when Congress returns to tackle the subject of climate change anew. 

 “This Mukowski rider should be called the Protect Dirty Polluters amendment, especially since we now know that it was written by polluter lobbyists,” Kert Davies, Director of the new PolluterWatch project at Greenpeace, told me today.

“If this amendment passed, it would be a get out of jail free card for the worst polluters from Big Oil and Big Coal,” Davies said.

Mon, 2010-01-11 11:07Brendan DeMelle
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Climate Denier Rod Liddle Considered For Editor Position at The Independent

Rod Liddle

The Independent, one of the only progressive papers in the UK, especially when it comes to climate change coverage, is considering appointing a climate denier as its new editor. 

The Independent’s likely new owner, Russian businessman Alexander Lebedev, is apparently considering whether to make outspoken columnist Rod Liddle the new editor of the paper. 

Reader backlash against this decision is growing, and for good reason.

A Facebook group set up by outraged Independent readers, entitled ‘If Rod Liddle becomes editor of The Independent, I will not buy it again,’ has accumulated over 2,100 followers in just a few days.

The group page lists some of Liddle’s recent atrocious behavior on his blog at ‘The Spectator’:

Liddle has lately been using his blog at ‘The Spectator’ to indulge in the use of yawn-inducing, attention-seeking derogatory terms to insult ethnic minorities including decrying “Muslim Savages” here.

…and falsely accusing black men of being behind the majority of crimes in London while mocking the entire Black British community for contributing nothing but “rap music” and “goat curry”.

And just this weekend, Liddle had these choice words in his Spectator column: “F*** off back to where you’re from, then, you Muslims.

Liddle’s penchant for racist and sexist remarks isn’t the only reason for concern though. 

He’s also a climate change denier.

Fri, 2010-01-08 11:48Brendan DeMelle
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BBC Trots Out Skeptic Benny Peiser To Question Global Warming In A Snow Storm

The BBC used Britain’s recent snowy cold snap to trot out the climate skepticism of Dr. Benny Peiser, a social anthropologist at Liverpool’s John Moores University with absolutely zero scientific expertise in climate change. 

In a segment titled “How the big freeze fits theories of global warming,” exploring “how one of the longest cold snaps for a generation fits in with theories of a warming planet and global climate change,” the BBC oddly shoehorns Peiser’s climate change denialism into an otherwise decent piece explaining the difference between weather and climate and why the existence of snow and cold weather does not in any way negate the realities of climate change.

So what could Dr. Peiser - whose greatest achievement in science is getting an asteroid named after him – have to offer on the subject of climate change?

Thu, 2010-01-07 15:38Brendan DeMelle
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Scientists Call for Moratorium on Mountaintop Removal Mining

A group of the nation’s leading environmental scientists is calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to stop issuing new mountaintop mining permits, arguing that the ecological and human health costs of the controversial mining practice are “pervasive and irreversible.” 

The group of scientists published the first comprehensive assessment of the ecological and health impacts of mountaintop removal mining today in the journal Science, describing how the impacts of current and former mountaintop removal operations will be felt for centuries, with major implications for water quality, biodiversity, and human health.  Shockingly, there’s never been a comprehensive assessment of MTR impacts until now.

Published only a few days after the Obama EPA misguidedly approved the expansion of Hobet 45, part of the largest mountaintop removal coal mine in West Virginia, the paper concludes that mountaintop removal’s impacts are much too steep to justify.  The authors’ analysis of peer-reviewed research unequivocally confirms irreversible environmental impacts from mountaintop removal, a practice that also exposes local residents to a greater risk of serious health problems.

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