Brendan DeMelle's blog

Special Thanks to DeSmog's Steve Horn for 6.5 Years of Courageous Journalism

Steve Horn

The entire DeSmog team wishes to thank Steve Horn for his incredible effort and commitment, and wish him the best as he embarks on a new career path covering criminal justice issues for Criminal Legal News and Prison Legal News.

Steve joined DeSmog in August 2011 as our first Research Fellow, and covered just about every beat for us, from fracking to coal ash, fossil fuel subsidies and lobbying scandals, ALEC, SPN, and even the obscure IOGCC.

To say that Steve was prolific would be an understatement. He wrote 480 articles during his 6.5 years working for DeSmog, or an average of about 73-74 articles per year.

Here are our Top 15 hits from Steve, although the truth is that every piece he wrote was a hit, so dive further into his archive of articles if possible. And follow him on Twitter if you don't already.

Thank you, Steve! 

In the Shadow of Honest Journalism: GateHouse Media Publishes Atrocious Anti-Wind Article Devoid of Scientific Evidence

This week, Gatehouse Media published a long-form investigative report called “In the Shadow of Wind Farms” claiming that wind energy has caused negative health effects for residents living near wind turbines — a claim that flies in the face of actual science.

GateHouse Media’s anti-wind article leans almost entirely on anecdotal evidence compiled during its six-month long project that included interviews with dozens of people who claim negative outcomes from living near wind farms.

Meanwhile, in the realm of scientific facts, the American Wind Energy Association, the main trade group representing the wind power industry, points to 25 scientific reviews that document the safety of wind farms for human health and the environment. One health researcher has told DeSmog the GateHouse article was “simply irresponsible journalism” and actually had “potential to exacerbate the experience of anxiety and related health effects.” 

Heartland Institute 'Red Team' Climate Lists Revealed, And Science Deniers Are Upset With Pruitt

The Heartland Institute has been pushing a “red team” agenda on climate for at least eight years, and claim the roots of the idea started at a meeting in Milan in 2003 organized by Fred Singer and his Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP). And the infamous den of denial has enjoyed the Trump administration's rhetoric attacking climate science. 

But now they are complaining that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt isn't committed enough to the “red team” concept. Heartland's CEO and former president Joe Bast is particularly peeved, leaked emails recently revealed.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's proposal for a Red Team-Blue Team exercise is vague, probably would not be effective, and is unlikely to come about,” Bast wrote in an internal Heartland email first reported on by Niina Heikkinen and Robin Bravender of E&E News earlier this week.

Watch Leonardo DiCaprio's Climate Film 'Before The Flood' FREE Right Now

Don't wait, watch Before the Flood right now.

It's free through Sunday November 6th [Update: You can watch it for $2.99 now on YouTube below, or FREE on Hulu]. And it's kinda the most important documentary you'll ever see. Spread the word!

Make some popcorn, grab a beverage, and click play below. It's this simple:

Before the Flood: A Must-See Film By Leonardo DiCaprio Explores Climate Change Risks and Solutions

Before the Flood, Leonardo DiCaprio’s new feature length climate documentary, premieres on the National Geographic Channel on October 30th at 9pm EST.

So first things first, go to your DVR or cable app and set a recording. Since it’s airing in 171 countries in 45 languages, and also streaming on Netflix and Hulu and elsewhere, you really can’t — and shouldn’t — miss it.

Smoke and Fumes: Six Decades of Oil-Tobacco Nexus of Deception and Attacks on Science

The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) today expanded its website, featuring a new video and more internal industry documents dating back to the 1950s that reveal the nexus between the oil and tobacco industries’ shared campaigns to undermine science to delay accountability and political action to curtail their deadly products.

CIEL has uncovered new evidence showing that it was the work performed for the oil industry by PR firms (particularly Hill & Knowlton) that attracted the tobacco industry to follow suit — in contrast to the prevailing narrative that Big Oil deployed the Tobacco Playbook to ward off responsibility for climate change resulting from its fossil fuel pollution.

Again and again we found both the PR firms and the researchers worked first for oil, then for tobacco,” said CIEL President Carroll Muffett in a statement. “It was a pedigree the tobacco companies recognized and sought out.”


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