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Scientists Call for Moratorium on Mountaintop Removal Mining

A group of the nation’s leading environmental scientists is calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to stop issuing new mountaintop mining permits, arguing that the ecological and human health costs of the controversial mining practice are “pervasive and irreversible.” 

The group of scientists published the first comprehensive assessment of the ecological and health impacts of mountaintop removal mining today in the journal Science, describing how the impacts of current and former mountaintop removal operations will be felt for centuries, with major implications for water quality, biodiversity, and human health.  Shockingly, there’s never been a comprehensive assessment of MTR impacts until now.

Published only a few days after the Obama EPA misguidedly approved the expansion of Hobet 45, part of the largest mountaintop removal coal mine in West Virginia, the paper concludes that mountaintop removal’s impacts are much too steep to justify.  The authors’ analysis of peer-reviewed research unequivocally confirms irreversible environmental impacts from mountaintop removal, a practice that also exposes local residents to a greater risk of serious health problems.

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey Also a Global Warming Denier

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey

Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey is not only delusional about healthcare, it turns out he’s also a first rate climate change denier.

Mackey upset many Whole Foods customers, employees and shareholders last summer with his Wall Street Journal op-ed trashing President Obama’s health care reform efforts.  Now he’s back with a new bone to pick – “hysteria about global warming,” will “raise taxes and increase regulation” and lead to “socialism.”  Boo!

Mackey, “a vocal libertarian, an orthodox free-marketer, an admirer of Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan, and Ayn Rand,” spoke candidly with The New Yorker’s Nick Paumgarten about his climate change denial.  Wacky Mackey reveals that one of the books on his nightstand is “Heaven and Earth: Global Warming—the Missing Science,” a skeptic screed authored by Australian climate denier (and director of three commercial mining companies) Ian Plimer


Inhofe Questioned About Manipulating Climate Polling Data

“Did Jim Inhofe Manipulate Poll Data On Climate Change Policy?” asks Eric Kleefeld today at Talking Points Memo.  Kleefeld questions whether Inhofe falsely represented polling data on American public opinion about climate policy. 

Following his bizarre trip to Copenhagen, Inhofe penned an op-ed in USA Today earlier this week arguing that “The bottom line is this: The American people have caught on to the significant flaws of cap-and-trade policy,” and citing a Washington Post poll which he alleged proved his point that “the American public is growing restless with policies that would put more Americans out of jobs and raise the cost of energy.”

But Kleefeld takes issue with Inhofe’s interpretation of the poll.  “The problem is this: The poll doesn’t say that people are against policies that would raise the cost of energy – in fact, it says quite the opposite,” he writes.

Breaking: LEAKED final draft of Copenhagen treaty declaration

[Update: I’ve added in analysis of the key text]

With only hours left in the Copenhagen climate treaty talks we have obtained an early version of the final agreement’ draft text.

President Obama’s speech wrapped up a few minutes ago with nothing new announced. But as long as this session continues there remains hope that world leaders can deliver a fair, ambitious and legally binding deal.

Things continue to evolve and according to the draft version of the agreement, the major issue of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions cuts by what year, remains unanswered.

As it stands, the text states:

Annex I Parties to the Convention commit to implement, individually or jointly, the quantified economy-wide emission targets for 2020 as listed yielding in aggregate reductions of greenhouse gas emissions of X per cent in 2020 compared to 1990 and Y per cent in 2020 compared to 2005…

Based on the best scientific research these numbers should be 25-40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and by 80-95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce declared a “Global Warming Crime Scene"

Hours before President Obama leaves for the Copenhagen climate summit, Greenpeace activists deployed an emergency response team to declare the U.S. Chamber of Commerce headquarters a “Climate Policy Hostage Area,” and a “Global Warming Crime Scene.” 

Monckton lies to AP, denies he called clean energy advocates “Hitler youth”

Despite video evidence, Christopher Monckton stated in an interview yesterday with Associated Press:

“It was not I who called them Hitler Youth. It was three Germans and a Dane in the audience.”

It would appear that a more appropriate title than “climate denier” for Monckton, might be “reality denier.” For Monckton to now deny what he has admitted repeatedly on tape as doing, shows just how willing he is to bend the truth.

Here’s the video (again) of Monckton calling young climate change campaigners the “Hitler youth”:

After lying to Associated Press about his Hitler youth comments, Monckton then proceeded to compare the climate activists to Adolf Hitler’s fascist army, saying the activists were attempting to stifle free speech, using tactics “last seen here when the Nazis occupied Denmark.”

Exec. Publisher of Science journal responds to Palin op-ed in Washington Post

Alan Leshner, the CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the executive publisher of the journal Science, responded to Sarah Palin’s op-ed in the Washington Post, calling her out for her denial of climate science and her lack of basic understanding of the difference between climate vs. weather. 

Climate Contrarian Monckton calls young climate activists “Hitler Youth” and "Nazis"

Fifty young U.S. clean energy activists stormed the stage today in Copenhagen during a live webcast organized by Americans for Prosperity and featuring climate denier Lord Christopher Monckton

When the youth group interrupted the webcast to deliver the message that real Americans want clean energy and a fair climate treaty, Monckton went ballistic, calling the students “crazed Hitler youth” and “Nazis.”

The incident was not likely the intended result Americans for Prosperity hoped for as it launched the COP15 version of its “Hot Air Tour” (a.k.a. denial-a-palooza). AFP sent its team to Copenhagen “to make sure that our side of the story is told.” But their live event today – complete with the student protest - was webcast to over forty climate denier rallies taking place in cities across the United States.

‘The Angry Mermaid Award’ - Vote On The Worst Industry Lobbyists Killing Climate Action

Citizens from around the world will convene in Copenhagen next week for the COP15 U.N. climate conference, ready to voice their frustration at the slow pace of global action to address climate change. Friends of the Earth International recently launched ‘The Angry Mermaid Award,’ inviting everyone to vote for the worst corporate lobbyists who are primarily responsible for obstructing progress toward a global agreement.

Copenhagen is home to The Little Mermaid statue, a Danish landmark honoring Hans Christian Andersen’s famous fairy tale character. In Andersen’s tale, the Little Mermaid saves the life of a shipwrecked prince and then risks her voice and tail to win his love. If the prince chooses another bride, she is destined to turn into sea foam and disappear forever.

The Angry Mermaid Award is designed to shine a spotlight on the worst industry lobbyists whose actions have done the most to cripple international action on climate change, a delay which now risks unleashing climate chaos. In this real life story, it won’t be a fictional mermaid who disappears beneath the sea forever - it will be low-lying island nations like the Maldives

Lobbyists for polluting industries have worked tirelessly to block effective action, while also seeking every possible way for their corporate clients to benefit from any agreement the nations of the world manage to reach eventually.

Cast your vote in the Angry Mermaid Award today and help decide which company or lobby group is doing the most to sabotage effective action on climate change.


CRU Director Phil Jones To Step Down Pending Investigation Into Hacked Emails

Phil Jones, the Director of the Climate Research Unit, announced today that he will step down from his position pending investigation into the matter of the emails stolen from the University of East Anglia servers.

Here’s the news release [h/t Andy Revkin]:

Professor Phil Jones has today announced that he will stand aside as Director of the Climatic Research Unit until the completion of an independent Review resulting from allegations following the hacking and publication of emails from the Unit.

Professor Jones said: “What is most important is that CRU continues its world leading research with as little interruption and diversion as possible.  After a good deal of consideration I have decided that the best way to achieve this is by stepping aside from the director’s role during the course of the independent review and am grateful to the university for agreeing to this. The review process will have my full support.”  

Vice-Chancellor Professor Edward Acton said: “I have accepted Professor Jones’s offer to stand aside during this period. It is an important step to ensure that CRU can continue to operate normally and the independent review can conduct its work into the allegations. We will announce details of the independent review, including its terms of reference, timescale and the chair, within days. I am delighted that Professor Peter Liss, FRS, CBE, will become acting director.”

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