Wed, 2014-10-15 23:10Mike G
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Fracking Boom Has Had Devastating Consequences For Motorists

A joint investigation by the Houston Chronicle and Houston Public Media shines a light on one of the fracking boom's lesser known impacts: traffic deaths.

With several shale fields in play—including Eagle Ford and Permian Basin, which together are pumping out over 3.2 million barrels per day—Texas has contributed heavily to the fracked oil boom. Apparently, motorists have paid a heavy price for that oil.

Since the state's fracking boom began in 2008, Texas has bucked the national trend and seen its traffic fatality numbers going up, leading the country in motor vehicle deaths every year.

The police don't note in accident reports whether or not a particular vehicle involved in a crash belonged to an oil company or who the driver at fault worked for, so it's nearly impossible to actually quantify the oil industry's responsibility for traffic deaths.

But the joint investigation finds that the shocking 51% increase in accidents involving commercial vehicles correlates closely to counties where fracking operations are concentrated:

Wed, 2014-10-15 18:28Graham Readfearn
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Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey Latest Minister To Tout Coal Industry "Energy Poverty" Spin

Australia's Treasurer Joe Hockey barely missed a beat when challenged to justify the country's massive fossil fuel export industry and bottom-dwelling record for domestic greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are exporting coal so that nations can lift their people out of poverty,” the Liberal Treasurer told the journalist Stephen Sackur on the BBC's HARDTalk interview program.

Hockey's argument should be recognised for what it is - a line straight out of the coal industry's newest campaign playbook.

As I wrote earlier this week on The Guardian, the coal industry is attempting to hijack the issue of “energy poverty” by claiming the only way that the world's poorest can prosper is by purchasing and then burning more of their product.

The United Nations Environment Programme wouldn't agree. In a summary report of climate change impacts, UNEP says: “In Africa and other developing regions of the world, climate change is a threat to economic growth (due to changes in natural systems and resources), long-term prosperity, as well as the survival of already vulnerable populations.”
 
The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on the impacts of climate change found climate change would “exacerbate multidimensional poverty” in most developing countries and create “new poverty pockets” in both rich and poor countries.
Wed, 2014-10-15 04:41Brendan Montague
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10 Reasons To Remain Skeptical About Lawson’s Climate Advocacy

Lord Lawson (pictured) and his charity the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) will provide a platform from which the sacked environment minister Owen Paterson will launch a scathing attack on David Cameron, the Prime Minister and leader of their Tory party, on the issue of climate change. 

Paterson used the front page of the Sunday Telegraph to call for Britain to scrap the Climate Change Act in what appeared to some as a right-wing challenge to the party leadership amid panic the Conservatives are losing support to climate deniers UKIP.

Here we present 10 reasons why everyone - including neoliberal Conservatives - should be skeptical about the climate denial being advocated by Lord Lawson and his educational charity. 

Wed, 2014-10-15 02:00Chris Rose
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Europe Poised to Press Ahead on Drastic Greenhouse Gas Reductions As Other Nations Lag Behind

Solar farm

Pressure continues to grow for European politicians to agree to further reductions of greenhouse gas emissions between now and 2030.

The European Union’s 2020 climate and energy package, which is binding legislation, calls for emissions to be cut by 20 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020. In addition, the plan calls for energy efficiency savings of 20 per cent and a 20 per cent increase in renewable energy technologies.

While the European Union seems largely on track to meet those targets, later this month politicians are going to vote on even greater emissions reductions, energy savings and growth in renewables by 2030.

In January, the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, published the 2030 policy framework for climate and energy.

Despite six years of economic uncertainty, the plan includes targets to reduce EU domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent below the 1990 level by 2030, which would ensure that Europe would meet its objective of cutting emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050.

Tue, 2014-10-14 23:50Brendan Montague
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How Margaret Thatcher Came to Sound the Climate Alarm

Margaret Thatcher's contribution to the climate debate while British Prime Minister would cause her free market fellows considerable difficulty in the coming decades. 

They would spark speculation that the Prime Minister, in her prime, was taken in by environmentalists. 

Lord Lawson, then her chancellor, preferred to believe that Thatcher was engaged in a Machiavellian deception of the British public in order to justify her use of newly discovered North Sea gas to shut down most of the country's mining industry, with the loss of 100,000 jobs.

Sir Crispin Tickell went to the same school as Lawson, and both men then went on to Oxford, with Tickell eventually becoming a career diplomat. He is widely acknowledged as the man who persuaded Thatcher to adopt the climate cause, and was responsible for drafting much of her speech to the Royal Society.  

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