New Research Confirms Earthquake Swarms Caused by Oil and Gas Industry

The evidence establishing that the oil and gas industry is causing earthquakes grew much stronger last week, as two scientific papers clarified exactly how human activity is driving the swarm of quakes that has afflicted Oklahoma for the past six years.

For decades, earthquakes were rare in the central US. Since the 1970’s, two dozen quakes over magnitude 3.0 shook the region in an average year and larger quakes were even more rare.

But since 2009, right when the drilling industry’s wastewater production started spiking, the number of earthquakes has been skyrocketing, with 688 quakes that size hitting the region in 2014 — and 2015 is on track to be even more seismically active.

This means, Oklahoma has been hit by more quakes in the past year and a half than were felt in the entire 36 year-span from 1973 through 2008.

Matt Ridley Spins Conspiracy Theories and More in a Classic Denial of Science

This article has been cross-posted from HotWhopper.

Was it Pope Francis who pushed deniers over the edge? Is it the climate negotiations taking place this year?

Matt Ridley, a science denier from the UK who claims to be a “lukewarmer”, has written a Gish gallop worthy of Tim Ball. It’s as if he collected up all the worst conspiracy theories posted on climate denial blog Watts Up With That (WUWT) and rolled them into Quadrant.

Quadrant is a right wing outlet for the extremists. It publishes dumb articles from deniers fairly often. Last week Matt Ridley, a denier turned defamer has written an article (archived here). Anthony Watts has published bits of it on his WUWT blog, too (archived here).

Was the Climate Deniers' Hunt for Flaws in Michael Mann's Hockey Stick Successful?

We continue our DeSmog UK epic history series with the sceptics’ endless search for any evidence that Mann had manipulated science in producing his hockey stick graph.

The climate deniers' hunt for any shred of evidence that Michael Mann had manipulated science in producing his hockey stick graph went unabated, and in the mid-2000s started to interest the media.

Ross McKitrick, senior fellow at Vancouver-based libertarian think tank the Fraser Institute, his collaborator, Steve McIntyre, a mining executive and author of the sceptic blog Climate Audit, and a senator named Joe Barton were unrelenting in their pursuit.

Their strategy was to find any mathematical or methodological flaws in the hockey stick graph, despite the fact the main findings of the study had been replicated by independent scientists and Mann was moving on to other research.

Will These Five High Profile Catholics Head For Confession Over Pope's Climate Encyclical?

The Roman Catholic Church did some catching up last week with a clear and definitive statement calling for decisive action on global greenhouse gas emissions.

In Pope Francis’ “encyclical”, the head of the world’s one billion or so Catholics described climate change as “one of the principal challenges facing humanity”.

In Laudato Si’ – On Care For Our Common Home, the Pope set out the strong moral case for action. He wrote: “We know that technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels – especially coal, but also oil and, to a lesser degree, gas – needs to be progressively replaced without delay.”

Dirty Money vs. Clean Power: How the Fossil Fuel Industry Hopes to Kill EPA’s Climate Rule

This is a guest post by Patrick Parenteau, Professor of Law, Vermont Law School

The fossil fuel industry is pulling out all the stops in an effort to derail President Obama’s Clean Power Plan being developed by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Air Act.

The proposed plan, which aims to cut carbon emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, is due to be published as a final rule this summer. Launching a preemptive strike, the coal industry filed suit earlier this year seeking an “extraordinary writ” to stop the rulemaking in its tracks. This would be an unprecedented act of judicial intervention.

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