Graham Readfearn

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Graham Readfearn is an independent journalist based in Queensland, Australia, with 20 years experience as a reporter and writer on newspapers, magazines, radio and online.

In Australia, Graham's features, stories and commentary on climate change and sustainability issues have been published on The Guardian, G Magazine, ABC Environment, The Drum and Crikey.

In his native UK, Graham worked on daily regional newspapers for five years at The Gazette in Blackpool and The Yorkshire Post in Leeds. His campaigns highlighted major malpractices at a chemical reprocessing factory and helped secure better payments for war pensioners.

A long-running campaign to increase the levels of physical education in UK schools was quoted in British Parliament and won him the regional sports writer of the year award from Britain’s Sports Writers’ Association.

He moved to London and the BBC’s national 24-hour news and sport radio network FiveLive to work as a broadcast journalist, script writer and producer.

During two years there, he was part of the team producing the live rolling coverage of the New York September 11 attacks and was studio producer as news broke of an IRA bomb in London’s Ealing suburb. In the wake of British race riots, he conceived and co-produced a live three-hour programme on multicultural issues from Europe's largest Indian curry restaurant.

After a career-break to travel the world he returned to the UK as a freelance feature writer covering social affairs, youth issues, regeneration, social enterprise and sustainability for national magazines and newspapers.

After moving to Australia in 2005, he was a feature writer for Queensland's main daily newspaper, The Courier-Mail, where he launched his first environment blog, GreenBlog, writing more than 650 posts and moderating in excess of 14,000 comments.

He likes chickens (he's got six), his kids (he's got two), his wife (just the one), coffee and other things - although not necessarily in that order.

Graham writes the Planet Oz blog on The Guardian and occasionally blogs at www.readfearn.com

Climate Science Denialist Matt Ridley Criticised By Same Scientist He Sourced On Greening Planet Claims

Matt Ridley

A scientist whose research has been used by prominent climate science denialists Lord Matt Ridley and Rupert Murdoch to claim carbon dioxide is good for the planet has hit back at the “selective presentation” of his work.

Professor Ranga Myneni, of Boston University, has been researching satellite data showing how the extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels is contributing to increased plant growth across the planet.

Report: How Coal and Gas Industry Get Their Way In Fossil Fuel Rich Queensland

abbot point, queensland

Where and how should the public expect negotiations between fossil fuel industries and governments be carried out?

What kind of relationships should exist between fossil fuel corporations and the politicians and public servants who are part of the decision-making process that those corporations seek to influence?

Should reasonable details of those negotiations be recorded and take place in government offices, during office hours? Should lobbying by industry and companies be available for public scrutiny?

When a government awards a licence to dig up and sell fossil fuels, those decisions represent the transfer of assets from public to private hands worth billions of dollars.

With that in mind, you might expect the answers to all those questions to reflect the highest levels of accountability and transparency.

But in Queensland, Australia’s biggest exporter of coal, this accountability and transparency appears to be lacking.

The Australia Institute has published a report – Too close for comfort: How the coal and gas industry get their way in Queensland - detailing the complex interactions between the coal and gas industries in Queensland and the state’s previous governments.

The report, researched and written by me and paid for by the institute, explores some of the close relationships between lobbyists, politicians, public servants and fossil fuel industry executives.

Climate Science Denier Lawson Bader Named CEO At Conservative Funding Arm Donors Trust

Lawson Bader

An organisation that has funneled millions of dollars into groups promoting climate science denial has appointed a new CEO who signed a declaration dismissing the overwhelming evidence that human activities are causing climate change.

Lawson Bader, currently the CEO at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, will join Donors Trust in November.

Donors Trust (DT), together with its sister organisation Donors Capital Fund (DCF), is a key funding arm of the climate science denial movement in the United States.

Will Australia's New Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull Be A Climate Hawk?

Australia’s new Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, is probably the nearest the country’s conservative ranks have to a climate hawk.

During his short ten years in public office as a member of the Liberal Party, Turnbull has been a staunch defender of climate change science and an advocate for tackling rising greenhouse gas emissions as a “risk management” issue for the planet. 

Late Monday, Turnbull challenged Tony Abbott for the leadership of the Liberal Party and within half a day, had been voted the new leader, 54 to 45.

Scientists Not Surprised Climate Denialist Lawyer Christopher Horner Has Financial Ties to Alpha Coal Company

christopher c horner

A lawyer who has used intimidating legal requests to try to gain access to the records and emails of climate scientists has a financial relationship with a major coal company, it has been revealed.

Christopher Horner, who works with two groups to pursue scientists and environmental regulators, is listed in the bankruptcy papers filed by lawyers on behalf of Alpha Natural Resources and its 150 subsidiary companies in the coal industry.

The Heartland Institute, a “free market think tank” and major promoter of fringe views that greenhouse gases are not a problem for the planet, is also named in the papers, as are other key groups.

Investigative journalist Lee Fang, of news website The Intercept founded by lawyer and journalist Glenn Greenwald, first reported the links in two stories.

Scientists who have been targeted by Horner said they are not surprised to hear a coal company has helped to finance the attacks against them.

This Veteran Climate Scientist Advised Three Australian Prime Ministers. What Would He Say To Tony Abbott?

Scientist Dr Graeme Pearman knows more than most about the responsibilities and the perils that come with communicating climate change to the highest authorities.

As one of Australia’s highest ranking government scientists, he was asked into the offices of three consecutive Australian Prime Ministers to brief them on climate change.

In the late 1980s, it was Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke. Then in the 1990s, it was Hawke’s Labor successor Paul Keating. As the decade wore on, it was the conservative Liberal Prime Minister John Howard on the other side of the briefing table.

Australian Psychological Society "Disturbed" By Climate Denialist Group's "Misleading" Newspaper Advert

Australia’s peak body representing psychologists has attacked a climate science denial group for a prominent advert taken out in a major national newspaper.

The Australian Psychological Society (APS) says the advert from a little-known group “misuses psychology-based arguments” to “mislead the public” on the science of climate change.

In a stinging letter to The Australian newspaper, which ran the half-page advert, the APS said the authors had shown “cognitive biases” in ignoring a “huge body of scientific evidence” on climate change.

The advertisers identified themselves only as “The Climate Study Group” in the page five advert that appeared on 7 August under the title “Psychology and the New Climate Alarm”.

DeSmog has found the group members have links to mining, finance, agriculture and free market “think tank” the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA).

Climate Professor Peter Wadhams Says He Does Not Think Colleagues Were Murdered

Does UK climate scientist and sea ice researcher Professor Peter Wadhams think three of his peers were assassinated?

If you’ve read the story as it quickly spread across the conservative media in recent days, then your answer to this question would be a resounding “yes”.

But DeSmog asked Wadhams last night if he believed the deaths of scientists Seymour Laxon, Katherine Giles and Tim Boyd were anything other than tragic accidents.

Wadhams told us: “No, they were clearly accidents.”

Australia’s War on Wind Energy is Shortsighted and Ideological, says Global Industry Group

Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott isn’t much of a fan of wind power.

In an interview with Alan Jones, the country’s most popular radio shock jock, Abbott said he thought wind farms were “visually awful” and they “make a lot of noise.”

You know, like coal mines?

But the Abbott Government’s opposition to wind farms goes much further than dissing them for their looks.

Australia's IPA Think Tank Adds Coal Lobbying To Its Climate Science Denial

The Institute of Pubic Affairs holds the unofficial and dubious title of being Australia’s leading climate science denial organisation.

The so-called “think tank”, based in Melbourne, promotes fringe views on climate science from non-experts while attacking renewable energy.

Now if you were a coal company, you’d be concerned how for many decades scientists have linked the burning of your product to climate change. 

You might be worried too that investment in renewable energy is going through the roof while the cost of power from aforementioned renewables is going in the opposite direction.

A short-sighted coal company might decide to start launching critiques of the science of climate change and start having a crack at renewables while at the same time selling its product as some sort of silver bullet that can solve global poverty with a single well-aimed shot.

This brings us back to the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) and its latest report, titled: “The life saving potential of coal: How Australian coal could help 82 million Indians access electricity”. It could have been written by the coal industry.

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