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

Introducing America Rising Squared, U.S. Republicans' "Creepy" New Assault on Climate Action

In a video posted to Vine, respected author and climate change campaigner Bill McKibben turns for just a second or two to eyeball the person holding the camera, before turning his gaze back to the front of the room. There is no context to the video.  Nothing is said.

In another video taken in Australia, McKibben is shown speaking to an audience, but the context is again removed.  His words are replaced with music.

To most people chancing upon the videos, the two clips would seem incongruous and pointless.

But the Vine channel belongs to CoreNews.org — a website that is the public facing arm of a new politically-motivated attack on environmentalists and climate change campaigners operated by well connected political advisers and researchers.

Lasting only a few seconds, the videos were an attempt to put a shot across the bows of McKibben and his supporters, of which there are many. A promise made weeks earlier by Republican Party activists to follow him around with a video camera — wherever he might go — had apparently begun.

The videos were taken by so-called “trackers” working for America Rising Squared (AR2), an operation that has sprung from the new wave of attacks on climate activists that has become a mainstay of the US political machinery.

Richard Branson's Virgin Group Gives Platform to Climate Science Denier James Delingpole on Official Podcast

When is it OK to invite a known climate science denialist with extremist views onto your show – especially if that show happens to be part of the corporate outreach for one of the world’s most recognisable brands?

Well, firstly, you’d want to know something about climate change, or have an actual expert or two on hand.

If that person has a record of being wrong, then it might also be a good idea to point out to your listeners that most of the statements by your guest could be wrong, irrelevant or confused. 

Alternatively, get a proper expert on the show and ignore the pleas of the fringe calling for “balance”. Failure to do this could risk confusing your listeners and exposing them to misinformation.

Unfortunately, this is not a hypothetical situation. As I’ve written on The Guardian, this week global brand Virgin Group — home to some 60 companies with annual revenue of about $24 billion — released its latest Virgin podcast.

"You Have Been Fooled": AGU Reopens Exxon Sponsorship Review After Stinging Letter From Sen. Whitehouse and Rep. Lieu

The world’s biggest earth sciences organization has agreed to reconsider its decision to retain cash sponsorship ties to oil giant ExxonMobil after being told it had been “fooled” in a stinging letter from two members of Congress.

In the letter, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Representative Ted Lieu, both Democrats, told the American Geophysical Union (AGU): “You have been fooled.  Whatever position AGU chooses to take, you should not take it based on self-serving representations by ExxonMobil.”

Last month, AGU announced its board had voted to continue a relationship with ExxonMobil.  Now that decision is under review.

Marc Morano's Climate Hustle Movie "Amateurish" and "Not Very Watchable" Says Filmmaker

So here’s a few quotes Marc Morano likely won’t be including on posters to promote his climate science denying “documentary” Climate Hustle.
 
“It’s not in the same class as Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth.”
 
“This is a very amateurish film.”
 
“Not very watchable.”
 
“Not good film making.”
 
All these quotes come from Los Angeles-based filmmaker, author and communications consultant Randy Olson — one of the few people to have seen the film who doesn’t think climate change science is a global scam.

Bill Nye the Science Guy Takes On Climate Denialist Joe Bastardi the ‘Goebbels’ Guy

You might have heard that quote from outspoken American author Upton Sinclair, who once wrote: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
 
The quote is often used to illustrate how people’s allegiances can sometimes gum up their cognitive ability or just cause them to ignore truths inconvenient to their cause, or their customer’s cause.
 
TV presenter and science advocate Bill Nye “the Science Guy” dusted off Sinclair’s 1935 quote in a new video, in which he challenged climate science denialist and weatherman Joe Bastardi to two $10,000 bets. Nye bet Bastardi, a regular guest on conservative media, that 2016 would be one of the top ten hottest years on record. 
 
He also bet Bastardi that the current decade would the hottest on record (Nye was responding to this November 2015 from Bastardi, published in the Patriot Post).

Scientists Asked to Boycott Major Conference After AGU Votes to Retain ExxonMobil Ties

Scientists are being asked to boycott the next major meeting of the world’s biggest earth sciences organisation after it voted to retain relationships with ExxonMobil.
 
The American Geophysical Union last week rejected calls from members to break ties with ExxonMobil over the oil giant’s history of funding and supporting climate science misinformation.
 
AGU members have been voicing their dismay at the decision, which ignored the concerns of more than 200 scientists, many of them AGU members, calling for the relationship to end.
 
AGU’s board said it would accept sponsorship from ExxonMobil for a breakfast event at its Fall Meeting in December – an event the oil company had previously sponsored.
 
But Professor Charles Greene, of Cornell University, told DeSmog: “This is far from over. There can be little doubt that this will lead to the biggest shake up in AGU’s history. There is a lot more at stake here than $35,000 for a graduate student breakfast.”

BP’s Deep Sea Oil Exploration in South Australia Would Blow Huge Hole in Country’s Carbon Budget, Says Report

Plans by BP and other fossil fuel companies to drill for oil in the pristine waters off south Australia could take up a third of the country’s entire carbon budget if successful, a new report has estimated.
 
The Climate Analytics report, commissioned by conservation group The Wilderness Society, concluded that adding the oil from the Great Australian Bight (GAB) into the world’s energy system was “inconsistent with the global temperature and emission limits from the Paris agreement”.
 
Several fossil fuel firms, including Chevron and Santos, have plans to explore for oil in the GAB, but BP’s proposal to drill four exploration wells as much as 2,200 metres down on the ocean floor are the most advanced. 

Exclusive: Climate Hustle’s Marc Morano Turns Down $20k Global Warming Bets From Bill Nye The Science Guy

One of America’s most outspoken deniers of the link between fossil fuel burning and global warming has refused $20,000 in bets that the planet will keep getting hotter.
 
Offering the two bets to Marc Morano, of the conservative think tank the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), is popular television science presenter Bill Nye, “the science guy”.
 
Nye said he was willing to bet Morano that 2016 would be one of the ten hottest years on record. He also offered a bet the current decade would be the hottest on record.
 
Morano turned down both bets, telling DeSmog it was “silly” to take a bet when it was “obvious” the official records would show more global warming.
 
According to NASA measurements, 14 of the 16 hottest years on record have all happened since the year 2000.  Last year, 2015, was also the hottest on record.
 
Nye offered the bets during a yet-to-be-screened interview requested by Morano, who is busy promoting his new Climate Hustle film. Here is an excerpt of their exchange, including the bets offered by Nye to Morano:

Climate Science Denier Patrick Moore Under Attack From Fellow Nuclear Energy Advocates

Climate science denialist Patrick Moore is all about “consensus building.” We know this because it says so on his biography at the think tank Frontier Centre for Public Policy.
 
And so, fresh from delivering a coal-funded talk in Brussels where he told the audience to “celebrate CO2”, the Canadian has been out doing a bit of that “consensus building” in his own unique way.
 
In recent days, Moore has accused respected climate scientist Ken Caldeira of “fakery”, called him a “jerk” and then told a fellow nuclear power advocate to “GFY”.
 
The nuclear advocate in question was Australian energy and climate consultant Ben Heard, who had engaged Moore on social media. He’s written a blog about the exchange.
 
British environmentalist and author Mark Lynas, who is also pro-nuclear energy, weighed in too, describing Moore as “just a predictable right-wing anti-green contrarian”.
 
When DeSmog UK gave Moore the chance to respond to a story showing he had been paid by coal lobbyists to deliver a talk, his response was “bugger off”.

As The Great Barrier Reef Bleaches White, Queensland Government Approves Australia's Biggest Coal Mine

The Queensland government’s approach to protecting the Great Barrier Reef seems a bit like that of a hypocritical anti-drugs campaigner who preaches the evils of heroin and cocaine while running a meth lab and bong factory in their basement.
 
The state’s left-wing Labor Government has been simultaneously regretting the lack of global action to cut greenhouse gas emissions that damage the reef while granting approvals for the biggest coal mine in Australia’s history.
 

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