Sunday, May 21, 2017 - 13:30 • Steve Horn
Rover pipeline about to be laid underground next to a home in Ohio

After taking heat last fall for destroying sacred sites of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the owner of the Dakota Access pipeline finds itself embattled anew over the preservation of historic sites, this time in Ohio.

Documents filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) show that Energy Transfer Partners is in the midst of a dispute with the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office over a $1.5 million annual payment owed to the state agency as part of a five-year agreement signed in February.

Energy Transfer Partners was set to pay the preservation office in exchange for bulldozing the Stoneman House, a historic home built in 1843 in Dennison, Ohio, whose razing occurred duing construction of the Rover pipeline. Rover is set to carry natural gas obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) from the Utica Shale and Marcellus Shale — up to 14 percent of it — through the state of Ohio. The pipeline owner initially bulldozed the historic home, located near a compressor station, without notifying FERC, as the law requires.

Saturday, April 29, 2017 - 10:52 • David Suzuki
Grizzly bear trophy hunt
Grizzly bear trophy hunt

Grizzly bears venturing from dens in search of food this spring will face landscapes dominated by mines, roads, pipelines, clearcuts and ever-expanding towns and cities. As in years past, they’ll also face the possibility of painful death at the hands of trophy hunters.

British Columbia’s spring bear hunt just opened. Hunters are fanning across the province’s mountains, grasslands, forests and coastline, armed with high-powered rifles and the desire to bag a grizzly bear, just to put its head on a wall or its pelt on the floor as a “trophy.”

According to B.C. government statistics, they will kill about 300 of these majestic animals by the end of the spring and fall hunts. If this year follows previous patterns, about 30 per cent of the slaughter will be females — the reproductive engines of grizzly populations.

Friday, April 28, 2017 - 14:54 • Sharon Kelly
Center, former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg
Center, former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg

At a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) summit in New York City this week, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg was blunt about the prospects for so-called “clean coal.”

“Carbon capture is total bullshit,” he told the crowd of several hundred top energy industry executives and financiers. “This is a figment of imagination.”

Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 16:59 • Graham Readfearn

A New York Times defense of its hiring of a climate science denialist as a leading columnist is pushing high-profile climate scientists to cancel their subscriptions.

Professor Stefan Rahmstorf, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research in Germany, is the latest scientist to write publicly to the New York Times detailing his reasons for cancelling his subscription. 

The NYT has hired former Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens as a writer and deputy editorial page editor.

Stephens wrote several columns while at the WSJ disparaging climate science and climate scientists, which he has collectively described as a “religion” while claiming rising temperatures may be natural.

Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 15:11 • Sharon Kelly
Myron Ebell talks to moderator at Bloomberg Future of Energy Summit
Myron Ebell talks to moderator at Bloomberg Future of Energy Summit

Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and a prominent denier of climate science, found himself on the receiving end of pronounced skepticism at a Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) Summit on Monday as he denounced a broad array of targets.

“My views on climate science are that I have a very profound respect for science, so I don't have much respect for a lot of what passes as climate science,” Ebell said, prompting murmurs from a room packed with several hundred energy financiers and industry executives.

Ebell, who rocketed to national prominence when he was tapped to run Trump's Environmental Protection Agency transition team, faced laughter and some quiet jeering as he conveyed his ideas about climate change and the economy to investors gathered at the BNEF Future of Energy Summit.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 13:45 • Guest
Mash-up of Reddit user posts about why they changed their minds about climate change
Mash-up of Reddit user posts about why they changed their minds about climate change

This is a guest post by Karin Kirk, crossposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.

The political environment in America is gripped by deep polarization. No news flash there.

Throughout the Presidential campaign and in the initial months of the Trump presidency, the public and their national politicians dig themselves ever deeper into entrenched positions, leaving little hope for compromise or reconciliation.

But sometimes people do the unimaginable: they change their minds.

An AskReddit discussion poses a tantalizing question, “Former climate deniers, what changed your mind?” 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 12:02 • James Hoggan
Trump protest in London
Trump protest in London

Political propaganda employs the ideals of liberal democracy to undermine those very ideals, the dangers of which, not even its architects fully understand.

In the early years of DeSmog’s research into anti science propaganda, I thought of energy industry PR campaigns such as “junk science,” “clean coal,” and “ethical oil” as misinformation strategies designed to dupe the public.

Although that’s obviously true, I now understand that propaganda is far more complex and problematic than merely lying about the evidence. Certainly propaganda is designed to deceive, but not in a way you might think. What’s more, the consequences are far worse than most people who produce and consume it realize.

My deeper understanding evolved after I interviewed Jason Stanley and read his important book How Propaganda Works. The American philosopher and Yale University professor will speak about the history and dangers of demagogic propaganda at UBC’s Point Grey Campus in Vancouver on April 27 (7 p.m. Buchanan A210, 1866 Main Mall).

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 11:02 • Carol Linnitt
Methane pollution B.C.
Methane pollution B.C.

New, groundbreaking research from a group of scientists shows B.C.’s estimates of methane pollution from oil and gas activity in the province’s Peace region are wildly underestimated.

Using infrared cameras and gas detection instruments at over a thousand oil and gas sites during a three-year period, scientists from the David Suzuki Foundation in partnership with St. Francis Xavier University recorded fugitive methane emissions being released from facilities directly into the atmosphere on a perpetual basis.

The study estimates methane pollution from industry in B.C. is at least 2.5 times higher than the B.C. government reports. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with the warming potential 84 times that of carbon dioxide over a 20 year period.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 14:42 • Graham Readfearn
New York Times office by night
New York Times office by night

The New York Times has been defending the paper’s hiring of a climate science denier, fighting off its critics with what it claims is a standard fashioned from hardened “intellectual honesty.”

The controversial hire in question is that of Bret Stephens, formerly of the Wall Street Journal, who has joined the NYT as a columnist and deputy editorial page editor.

While at the WSJ, Stephens consistently undermined and disparaged climate change, one time describing it as an “imaginary enemy” and another comparing it to religion with a “doomsaying prophecy and faith in things unseen.”

Stephens' new boss, editorial page editor James Bennett, told the paper’s public editor Liz Spayd: “The crux of the question is whether his work belongs inside our boundaries for intelligent debate, and I have no doubt that it does. I have no doubt he crosses our bar for intellectual honesty and fairness.”

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 12:46 • Itai Vardi
Monongahela National Forest sign
Monongahela National Forest sign

The U.S. Forest Service recently published an assessment of the proposed Atlantic Coast pipeline, calling the report “independent.”

DeSmog has learned, however, that in reality the assessment was performed and written by none other than a contractor working for the pipeline company. The contractor was hired by the Forest Service to conduct the assessment.

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