A small, conservative movement is growing in Ontario to “reset...
Since the tragic Bakken oil train accident that extinguished 47 lives in Lac-Megantic, Quebec in July 2013, seven more Bakken oil trains have derailed, resulting in accidents involving large fires and explosions. We now know that oil produced in North Dakota's Bakken Shale formation is extremely volatile due to its high natural gas liquid content — resulting in the “bomb train” phenomenon.
DeSmog’s new investigative video, written and produced by Justin Mikulka, details a coordinated effort by the oil industry, members of the U.S. Congress, regulators and the Department of Energy to challenge the known science of crude oil characteristics with the goal of delaying or avoiding any regulatory changes requiring Bakken crude oil stabilization, a safety measure that would protect the millions of people currently living in bomb train blast zones.
Here we go. Shell's Polar Pioneer drilling rig is making its way through Puget Sound and will arrive later this afternoon at Terminal 5 in the Port of Seattle. You can watch the journey in real time if you want to follow along.
With the news of Willie Soon's fossil-fuel-funded career featured on the front page of The New York Times on Sunday, there's no time like the present to take a look at all of Soon's friends in the anti-science climate denial echo chamber.
Where to begin? Well, the climate denial think tank Heartland Institute graciously created a poster of 58 “experts” who reject the 97% consensus on climate change science. Heartland's poster — which Sen. James Inhofe (R-Denial) used as a prop in a recent Senate floor speech attacking climate change as a “hoax” again — features the “58 Experts” the climate deniers love to promote.
So, DeSmog remixed the Heartland 58 poster with more accurate bios of the 58 so the public can judge whether to believe the fossil-fuel-funded Heartland Institute or the overwhelming scientific consensus.
For the full details, visit our page on the Heartland 58 poster. And download a PDF of the remixed poster by clicking on the attachment below.
It was a year of highs and lows as far as climate change and energy issues. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the lows got a lot of the attention, which is why the top 10 posts on DeSmog this year are mostly of the outrageous, infuriating or depressing variety.
We’ve already collected the top clean energy revolution stories of the year, so if this post gets too heavy for you, you can always pop over there and have some of your hope for the future restored.
But for those of you who can't look away, here are the top ten stories we posted on DeSmog this year, as measured by the amount of traffic each received:
Several news outlets and the Twittersphere are abuzz with the news that New York State is set to ban fracking in 2015. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's administration announced the forthcoming ban — making permanent the existing moratorium — during a year-end cabinet meeting.
The primary reason cited by the Cuomo administration is health concerns related to the extremely controversial, water- and chemical-intensive fracking process. According to The New York Times, the acting state health commissioner Howard Zucker, said, “I cannot support high volume hydraulic fracturing in the great state of New York.”
Zucker then made a simple argument in support of the decision.
“Would I live in a community with [fracking] based on the facts that I have now? Would I let my child play in a school field nearby? After looking at the plethora of reports behind me … my answer is no.”
The commissioner of the NY Department of Environmental Conservation also made the point that the current restrictions on the ban on fracking in the New York City watershed as well as fracking bans enacted by local municipalities mean “the prospects for [hydrofracking] development in New York State are uncertain at best.”
The potential impacts of fracking on water, air, land resources, community and local services are significant. @NYSDEC— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) December 17, 2014
NYGovCuomo) December 17, 2014
State residents and environmentalists have spent several years rallying for a ban on fracking, and they are celebrating this breaking news.
Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, the Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering Emeritus and Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow at Cornell University, told DeSmogBlog:
“I never lost confidence in Gov. Cuomo. Add a chapter to 'Profiles in Courage' for him. And I never lost confidence that the prowess of my health professional and science colleagues would reveal shale gas development for what it would have been: a big net loss for the people of New York State. If shale gas extraction in a populated place like New York can't 'make it in there' maybe it can't make it 'anywhere'.”
This is a breaking news story and will be updated regularly throughout the day. Co-reported by Justin Mikulka, Steve Horn and Brendan DeMelle.
“What happens if the climate skeptics are wrong? Catastrophe.”
Those were the words of Secretary of State John Kerry here in Lima today as he addressed the COP 20 climate talks on the need to foster global action to address climate change.
Secretary Kerry also emphasized the 97 percent scientific consensus on manmade global warming, calling it “a dramatic statement of fact that no one of good conscience or faith should ignore.”
Kerry spoke firmly about the climate-related costs of fossil fuels, saying that “oil and coal are largely responsible” for manmade global warming, and cautioned against any further expansion of fossil fuel use.
“If developing nations choose the energy choices of the past rather than the energy choices of the future,” they would further endanger the planet and miss out on “one of the greatest economic opportunities of all time” to build economies based on clean energy technology, Kerry said.
“Coal and oil may be cheap ways to power an economy today, in the near term, but I urge nations around the world, the vast majority of whom are represented here at this conference, look further down the road,” Kerry said. “I urge you to consider the real, actual, far-reaching costs that come along with what some think is the cheaper alternative. It's not cheaper.”
An estimated 15,000 people marched through the streets of Lima yesterday in the People’s Climate March, demanding a shift to 100 percent clean energy by 2050. Earlier in the day, a group of 100 children delivered a petition signed by 2.2 million people to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Peruvian President Ollanta Humala and COP President Manuel Pulgar Vidal in Lima.
The people’s message couldn’t be any clearer — leave the fossil fuels in the ground and build a just, fair and equitable future using clean technology — as the momentum continues to build following the People’s Climate March in New York City in September which drew over 400,000 citizens calling for climate action.
This week's episode of DeSmogCAST covers the Edelman TransCanada dirty PR campaign, DeSmogBlog's new report on the gas industry revolving door lobbying push for LNG exports, and the outcome of the BC elections.
Hosted by DeSmogBlog contributor Farron Cousins, the DeSmogCAST guests this week are Emma Gilchrist, Brendan DeMelle and Steve Horn.
Documents obtained by Greenpeace detail a desperate astroturf PR strategy designed by Edelman for TransCanada to win public support for its Energy East tar sands export pipeline. TransCanada has failed for years to win approval of the controversial border-crossing Keystone XL pipeline, so apparently the company has decided to “win ugly or lose pretty” with an aggressive public relations attack on its opponents.
The Edelman strategy documents and work proposals outline a “grassroots advocacy” campaign plan to build support for TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline as well as to undermine public opposition to oil and pipelines generally.
The documents should cause well-deserved embarrassment for Edelman, the largest PR company in the world, as well as TransCanada.
But this is not just a temporary black eye for a PR firm and its corporate client. The Edelman documents reveal a broader industry campaign to undermine the public interest and attack the oil industry’s critics across the board.