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Remember When Lord Lawson Brought Climate Denial to the House of Lords?

Lord Lawson would command the admiration and gratitude of the sceptic cause when he raised the economics of climate change in the House of Lords. DeSmog UK’s epic history series continues.

Lord Nigel Lawson delivered the coup de grâce in June 2005 when he persuaded his fellow peers on the economic affairs committee of the House of Lords to examine the economics of climate change.

As a committee member, Lawson persuaded the House of Lords to launch a powerful and high profile Parliamentary inquiry examining allegations that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had based its analysis on poor statistics and economics.

That Time When a Koch-Funded Washington Lawyer Made a Secret Plan to Derail the Kyoto Protocol in Europe

This DeSmog UK epic history post recalls the transatlantic effort by the European sceptic Benny Peiser and Washington lawyer Chris Horner to bring down the Kyoto Protocol.

Prior to teaming up with Lord Lawson at the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Benny Peiser was working with Julian Morris at his free market think tank, the International Policy Network (IPN). But, at the same time, Peiser was an advisor of the IPN’s rival British sceptic organisation, the Scientific Alliance.

The Scientific Alliance worked closely with the Virginia-based George Marshall Institute, an ExxonMobil-funded free market think tank that can claim to be among the first to attack the science of climate change.

New York State Ban On Fracking Made Official

After years of exhaustive research and examination of the science and facts, prohibiting high-volume hydraulic fracturing is the only reasonable alternative.”

Those were the words many activists in New York never expected to hear from Joe Martens, head of the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, but they were included in a statement released today as New York made the state’s ban on fracking official.

EPA's New Fracking Study: A Close Look at the Numbers Buried in the Fine Print

When EPA’s long-awaited draft assessment on fracking and drinking water supplies was released, the oil and gas industry triumphantly focused on a headline-making sentence: “We did not find evidence of widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.”

But for fracking’s backers, a sense of victory may prove to be fleeting.

EPA’s draft assessment made one thing clear: fracking has repeatedly contaminated drinking water supplies (a fact that the industry has long aggressively denied).

How an Environmental Journalist Became an Apologist for the Fossil Fuel Industry

The DeSmog UK epic history series turns to Richard D North, an environmental journalist who later took money from ExxonMobil, placing blame on consumers rather than fossil fuels for causing climate change.

During the ‘90s and early 2000s, ExxonMobil money was being refined through the London-based offices of free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) before sloshing into the pockets of British journalists, including one admired environmental correspondent.

Richard D North was editor of the radical Vole magazine, the first environment editor hired by the left-liberal Independent newspaper, and “was one of the most respected environment correspondents in the 1980s.”

But then, inextricably, he had a change of heart and by 1995 had “become an apologist for industry”.

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.

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.

Pope "Mic Drop" Video Might Be Best Commentary On Climate Encyclical Yet

Rappin Pope Francis

We've already seen Pope Francis cast as an action hero in an epic movie trailer for his encyclical on climate justice, but this might be the best take yet: The Pope gets up on stage to drop a few rhymes — and the mic — at an otherwise dull open mic night.

“Cynical about my encyclical? I'm lovin it! /
No government can overcome our covenant.”

How an ExxonMobil-Funded Think Tank Took Over a Scientific Journal

This epic history series post reveals how the ExxonMobil-funded International Policy Network think tank took over a scientific publication as “guest editor”.

The real coup de grâce for Julian Morris came in 2005, when he persuaded his friend and fellow sceptic, Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, (pictured) to allow staff at his UK think tank, the International Policy Network (IPN) to “guest edit” her Energy and Environment journal.

This was startling: a free market think tank, funded by an oil company that was actively engaged in attacking climate science to protect its own financial interests, had taken over a scientific publication.

“There Could Be Trouble” As US Fracking Revolution Prepares to Go Global

A new report showing the U.S. overtaking Russia as the leading producer of oil and gas in the world should put to rest any doubt that the fracking revolution that has occurred in the U.S. is for real, or as BP’s chief economist put it, “profound.”

And now with the recent Environmental Protection Agency report on the impacts of fracking on drinking water being touted by the American Petroleum Institute as proof that fracking is safe, the industry’s insatiable greed got another boost. More recently,  the Harvard Business School has also joined in the discussion calling for the end of the ban on exporting U.S. crude oil and warning about the implications of missing the “opportunity” offered by fracking.

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