Thu, 2014-10-02 23:58Brendan Montague
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Exclusive: Oil and Tobacco Explain Funding of Neoliberalism

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) helped Thatcher's rise to power and when she became prime minister she followed their programme. This success allowed the IEA to fundraise from industry giantsincluding oil and tobacco.

Friedrich von Hayek, the architect of a Thatcherism defined by its the privatisation, tax breaks and strike breaking, would be officially recognised in December 1984. He had already received the Nobel Prize for Economics—but this was the real highlight.  

Hayek was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour by the Queen, on the prime minister's recommendation, for “services to the study of economics”.

The audience with the Queen was followed by a jubilant dinner with family and friends at the Institute of Economic Affairs. “I've just had the happiest day of my life,” Hayek said.

Margaret Thatcher in turn thanked Fisher, Harris, and her sponsors at the IEA during its 30th anniversary dinner at Grosvenor House in April 1987.

Thu, 2014-10-02 17:59Justin Mikulka
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Oil and Rail Industries Still Fighting Oil Train Safety Measures 23 Years and Counting

Oil train

On the final day of the public comment period for the new proposed oil-by-rail regulations, the oil industry came out swinging. At a press conference held by American Petroleum Institute (API) president Jack Gerard, Gerard said: “Overreacting creates more challenges than safety.” 

One of the main “overreactions” Gerard and the API want to avoid is the discontinuation of the DOT-111 tank cars for transporting dangerous products like Bakken crude oil.

Based on that, you might think that banning DOT-111s is some kind of reactionary new idea, not something that’s been on the books for more than two decades.

Take this line from a 1991 National Transportation Safety Board document: “The inadequacy of the protection provided by DOT-111A tank cars for certain dangerous products has been evident for many years in accidents investigated by the Safety Board.” 

Yet, here’s the American Petroleum Institute, 23 years later arguing that halting the shipment of explosive Bakken crude oil in DOT-111 tank cars is “overreacting.”

Thu, 2014-10-02 13:00Farron Cousins
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Science Is Clear: Reducing Carbon Emissions Will Save Lives

While governments all over the globe continue to squabble about how to address greenhouse gas pollution – or, in some instances, whether or not to even address the issue – a new report delivers some much needed good news: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions will save lives.

The report, titled Health Co-Benefits of Carbon Standards for Existing Power Plants, breaks the regulatory debate being waged in the United States in its simplest form. Researchers from Harvard University, Boston University, and Syracuse University state in the report that the Environmental Protection Agency’s stricter standards for existing power plants will save an estimated 9 American lives per day.

As the report lays out, the EPA’s emission reduction standards – the first effort ever by the agency to reduce power plant emissions – would reduce the amount of emissions by 30% below 2005 standards by the year 2030. These power plants account for nearly 40% of the total carbon emissions for the United States.

The 30% drop in emissions will save an estimated 3,500 American lives every year. But that is just the tip of the iceberg, according to the report. An additional 1,000 hospital stays could also be avoided, along with reduced levels of sulfur dioxide, toxic mercury, and fine particulates in the air that we breathe.

Thu, 2014-10-02 09:34Ben Jervey
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Disrupt Denial: After Leaving ALEC, Google Still Funding Evil

Last week, one tech giant after the next cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), creating a mass exodus from the anti-government front group that routinely drafts legislation to bolster the fossil fuel industry and inhibit climate action and clean energy development.

While the withdrawal of Google, Yahoo, Facebook and others from ALEC’s vast pool of corporate funders was widely celebrated by climate campaigners, a recent report released by Forecast the Facts and SumOfUS shows how Google – and many others who claim to do good by climate – are still funding climate denial in politics. 

The report, called Disrupt Denial: How big business is funding climate change denial in the 113th Congress, reveals how companies like Google, Ford, Microsoft, UPS, and eBay continue to support Senators and Representatives in the House who deny the very science of climate change.

Take Google. Though the company’s Chairman Eric Schmidt made great waves with his claim on the Diane Rehm show that ALEC are “literally lying” about climate change, and that Google “should not be aligned with such people,” the Disrupt Denial report shows that Google has contributed $699,195 to climate deniers in Congress from 2008 to 2014.

Thu, 2014-10-02 00:56Brendan Montague
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Time to Teach Lord Leach About Climate Science!

DeSmoggers asked to teach Lord Leach the errors of climate denial scientists S Fred Singer and Richard Lindzen and help stem the funding to the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Libertarian banker Lord Leach is a stalwart ‘spiritual’ supporter of Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation who has been influenced by climate deniers S Fred Singer and Richard Lindzen.

In a long and sprawling speech in the House of Lords the GWPF backer sets out his doubts about the established science of climate change. He echoes some of the economic arguments developed by the Institute of Economic Affairs and Lord Lawson against climate change mitigation.

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