Guest's blog

Dominion Buys Pipeline Support at Supreme Court Through GOP Attorneys General

Read time: 3 mins

By Kelly Roache, crossposted with permission from Energy and Policy Institute

With the US Supreme Court poised to decide this month whether it will review a ruling key to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline’s future, majority-owner of the project Dominion Energy has received support in its case from Republican state Attorneys General and the US Department of Justice. Both US Attorney General William Barr and the state Attorneys General have close financial ties to the utility – including through a GOP group that funneled millions to one key proponent.

Oil Companies Sued by Baltimore Face Discovery in State Court

Read time: 3 mins
Tropical Storm Isabel flooding in Maryland

By Karen Savage, Climate Liability News. Originally published on Climate Liability News.

A federal appellate judge ruled that Baltimore’s climate liability suit will proceed in state court, rejecting a motion by more than two dozen fossil fuel defendants to halt the suit while they try to convince the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that the case belongs in federal court.

California Polluters May Soon Buy Carbon 'Offsets' From the Amazon — Is That Ethical?

Read time: 6 mins
Tropical rainforest and oil refinery
By Maron Greenleaf, Dartmouth College

Fires in the Brazilian Amazon have outraged the world. But what can people living far from the world’s largest rainforest do to save it?

California thinks it has an answer.

On September 19, the California Air Resources Board endorsed the Tropical Forest Standard, which sets the groundwork for electric utilities, oil refineries and other California polluters to “offset” their greenhouse gas emissions by paying governments in tropical forest areas not to cut down trees.

Could Climate Change Fuel the Rise of Right-wing Nationalism?

Read time: 6 mins
Flaming fist
By Joshua Conrad Jackson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Michele Gelfand, University of Maryland

Two trends have defined the past decade and both have been on display at this year’s session of the United Nations General Assembly.

One has been the escalating effects of climate change, which were the focus of the United Nations’ Climate Action Summit. Forest fires, floods and hurricanes are all rising in their frequency and severity. Eight of the last 10 years have been the warmest on record. Marine biologists warned that coral reefs in the U.S. could disappear entirely by the 2040s.

The other trend has been the surge of right-wing nationalist politics across Western nations, which includes Donald Trump’s election in the U.S., and the rise of nationalist political parties around the world.

Q&A: Michael Mann on Coverage Since 'Climategate'

Read time: 9 mins
Michael Mann

By Brendan Fitzgerald, CJRThis story originally appeared in Columbia Journalism Review (CJR). It is republished here as part of DeSmog's partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

Michael Mann's work as a press critic began in earnest a decade ago. Ahead of the 2009 international climate-change summit in Copenhagen, hackers stole email correspondence between Mann and other climate scientists from a computer server at the University of East Anglia. Climate-change deniers used portions of the emails, freed from context, to attack the credibility of Mann, whose “hockey stick” graph charting the rapid rise of the Earth’s temperature since industrialization would become an emblem of the climate fight. Coverage of what news outlets called “Climategate” saved space for Mann’s critics; such choices emphasized conflict out of all proportion with the scientific consensus on a warming planet. In The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, his 2012 book, Mann called such false balance and sympathetic framing “a sweet victory for climate change deniers.” 

Fossil Fuel Companies Roll out a New Era of Spin

Read time: 4 mins
ExxonMobil Baton Rouge oil refinery

By , Grist. This story originally appeared in Grist. It is republished here as part of DeSmog's partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.

Forget “climate change” and “global warming”: Environmental advocates are increasingly using phrases that emphasize the urgency of our planetary pickle, such as “climate crisis,” “climate emergency,” and “existential threat.”

But do-gooders aren’t the only ones with savvy messaging techniques. Over the years, fossil fuel companies have poured millions into sowing doubt about climate science and burnishing their public image. Now, fossil fuel companies are reckoning with a different communications challenge: convincing their investors that the future of oil and gas companies is bright … or at least bright enough.

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