Meet the Climate Change Activists Inside Matt Ridley’s Conscience

They slipped into place under the cover of darkness. With bicycle D-locks around their necks chained to diggers in the middle of the UK’s largest open-cast coal mine, and arms sealed inside concrete-laden, red-sequined tubes at the site’s entrance, this was Matt Ridley’s Conscience calling for the end of coal – the dirtiest fossil fuel of them all.

By dawn, mine workers and lorry drivers, unable to enter the site, turned away. After eight and a half hours of peaceful protest and nine arrests, victory was declared Monday afternoon for having successfully closed operations for the day.

This is what happens when a group of concerned individuals come together to act on climate change. But who exactly are these individuals and why are they calling themselves ‘Matt Ridley’s Conscience’?

Is it the Beginning of the End for the Alberta Oilsands?

A new report from Oil Change International challenges industry’s common assumption that the continued production of oilsands crude is inevitable.

The report, Lockdown: The End of Growth in the Tar Sands, argues industry projections — to expand oilsands production from a current 2.1 million barrels per day to as much as 5.8 million barrels per day by 2035 — rely on high prices, public licence and a growing pipeline infrastructure, all of which are endangered in a carbon-constrained world.

As the report’s authors find, growing opposition to oil production — especially in the oilsands, which is among the most carbon intensive oil in the world — has significantly altered public perception of pipelines, a change amplified by the cross-continental battles against the Enbridge Northern Gateway, Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain, TransCanada Energy East and TransCanada Keystone XL pipelines.

According to the report’s authors, production growth in the oilsands hinges on the construction of these contentious pipelines because the existing pipeline system is currently at 89 per cent capacity.

Sunshine State Solar Industry Fighting Onslaught From Koch Brothers in Florida

With its nickname “The Sunshine State,” it would make sense for Florida to lead in solar energy in the United States. But industry opposition and a climate change-denying governor have allowed the state to fall dangerously behind when it comes to harnessing the power of the sun.

Today, solar energy only accounts for 2% of the total energy production in Florida, and industry analysts believe that the poor solar production is likely because the state’s average energy costs are about 30% below the national average, diminishing the demand for a cheaper, cleaner energy source.

But when you dig past the industry’s talking points and excuses, you’ll find something much more sinister at work.

Worries Build Among Investors Over Oil and Gas Industry’s Exposure to Water and Climate Risks

When it comes to financial risks surrounding water, there is one industry that, according to a new report, is both among the most exposed to these risks and the least transparent to investors about them: the oil and gas industry.

This year, 1,073 of the world’s largest publicly listed companies faced requests from institutional investors concerned about the companies’ vulnerability to water-related risks that they disclose their plans for adapting and responding to issues like drought or water shortages.

Climate Denier Matt Ridley Hit By Miner Disruption


Protesters locked themselves to a 500-tonne excavator and chained themselves together to blockade an open cast mine today on the family estate of Viscount Matt Ridley, a climate denier and prominent Tory peer.

More than a dozen climate change activists arrived before dawn at the Shotton coal mine, north of Newcastle upon Tyne, as part of what they called Operation Pixie, an audatious protest which was the product of weeks of clandestine planning. 

Four activists clambered down a steep bank at the centre of the mine and climbed on top of the excavator, attaching themselves with bicycle D-Locks around their necks. Another team blocked the entrance to the Shotton mine by locking their wrists into concrete-laden drainage pipes. 


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