Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 04:58 • Sharon Kelly

Shale oil, which the Energy Information Administration projects will represent a rising proportion of American oil supplies in the coming decades, has a surprising Achilles heel: its low octane levels, which make it a poor fit for the high-efficiency car engines of the future.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 13:09 • Ben Jervey

On Tuesday, April 3, surrounded by representatives of the auto industry and conservative climate deniers, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt formally announced his decision to rewrite greenhouse gas emission standards for cars and light duty trucks, undercutting one of the Obama administration’s most effective climate programs.

From the last-minute, controversial venue change to the hypocritical messaging of its attendees, the announcement reflected the new normal in Trump's Washington: the placement of industry influence and climate science denial front and center.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 03:56 • Mat Hope

Campaigners are threatening to take oil company Shell to court in the Netherlands unless it takes major climate action.

Friends of the Earth Netherlands sent a formal letter (see below) to the company today, outlining the steps the campaigners believe Shell must take to bring its business plan in line with the global climate goals as set out in the Paris Agreement.

The legal action was started after Shell announced it planned to continue to put around 95 percent of its investments into extracting more oil and gas. It expects to invest only around five percent in sustainable energy.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 01:02 • Chloe Farand

The UN has been called out for acting as a mouthpiece for oil giant Shell in a tweet campaigners have slammed as evidence of the conflict of interest inside the international organisation overseeing global climate policy.

UN Climate, previously known as the UNFCCC, was accused of “greenwashing” after it promoted the oil giant’s vision for how the world can move away from fossil fuels and oil.

In its latest “Sky” scenario, Shell set out its vision on how to limit the global temperature rise to “well below two degrees” compared with 1990 level.

In a series of tweets, UN Climate secretariat, which facilitates global climate negotiations between countries, directly linked and quoted from Shell’s report.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 15:55 • Guest
By Greg Dotson, University of Oregon

The Trump administration on Monday, April 2, took steps to ease pollution and efficiency rules for new passenger cars and trucks, giving automakers a reprieve from more stringent Obama-era standards. But in the process, the move could yield global leadership in the auto sector to the Chinese.

Monday, April 2, 2018 - 12:21 • Ben Jervey

The Trump administration officially announced Monday that it will scrap fuel economy and emissions targets for cars and light-duty trucks sold in the United States and set new weaker standards, effectively undermining one of the federal government’s most effective policies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

As the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times anticipated late last week, the two agencies responsible for auto standards — the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — both claimed that their internal reviews have found the Obama-era standards to be too strict, and that the agencies would go back to the drawing board to revise standards for model years 2022-2025. 

The weaker standards, expected to be revealed in coming months and reported to be well below the current targets of 54.5 miles per gallon (or roughly 35 miles per gallon in real-world driving conditions), will be celebrated as a victory for the automakers, which have been lobbying the Trump administration since the day after the presidential election and which used a major trade group to peddle climate science denial in support of the rollback.

Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 08:15 • Jimmy Thomson

In the mid-1970s, a young lawyer named Ian Waddell took a helicopter ride across the Crow Flats, in northern Yukon. He was accompanying Justice Thomas Berger on his visits to community after community — the so-called Berger Inquiry — to gain their input into a proposed gas pipeline from the Beaufort Sea to Alberta.

When they landed, Berger turned to him and, as Waddell recounts it, said, “You know, Ian, do you realize the magnificence of what we saw yesterday? It’s the last of North America — the eighth wonder of the world.”

That landscape the judge so admired is home to the Porcupine caribou herd, around 200,000 strong, which roam on the world’s longest land-mammal migration between Alaska, Yukon and the Northwest Territories. On the Canadian side of the border, two national parks, Ivvavik and Vuntut, protect much of the herd’s habitat.

But on the Alaska side of the border, the land and the herd that depends upon it have come under threat from oil and gas drilling after President Trump opened up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in his recent tax bill.

Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 07:30 • Mat Hope

Revelations continue to emerge about Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy that has found itself embroiled in a scandal around data privacy and electoral manipulation.

Three whistleblowers have gone public in the Guardian and Observer to outline how Cambridge Analytica used Facebook data to influence the outcomes of the US presidential election and Brexit referendum.

DeSmog UK has previously mapped how the company ties to climate science denial through its Brexit and Trump connections. Now, Nafeez Ahmed over at Motherboard has outlined how Cambridge Analytica has ties to the fossil fuel industry.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 15:46 • Jimmy Thomson

Oil companies have become some of the wealthiest organizations in history by producing a product that we now know is endangering the future of humanity.

Many of these companies have known about the effects of carbon dioxide for decades, yet while they adapted their own businesses to survive climate change, they actively undermined efforts to understand it.

Should Canadians be able to sue oil companies for that?

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 14:36 • Graham Readfearn

Climate science deniers and conservative media have found themselves a new “free speech” hero — an academic who is suing his own university and thinks the multiple human threats to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef are overblown.

Professor Peter Ridd might be a new name to some, but the marine geophysicist has a long association with groups pushing denial of the well-established links between human activity and dangerous climate change.

Outlets including Breitbart and Fox News have joined a steady flow of columns and interviews across Australia’s conservative media landscape covering Ridd’s case, sometimes handing over space to him in their column pages.

Each time, Ridd, of Australia's James Cook University, has been painted as a bastion of truth pushing back against the establishment. But how does that image hold up to scrutiny?

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