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

Future Historians Will Look Back in Horror at Koch Network's Attacks on Climate Policy, says Author Nancy MacLean

Nancy MacLean

For the first few weeks after publishing, all was going pretty well.

Nancy MacLean’s book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, was “deeply important” and a “feat of American intellectual and political history,” said a review in Publishers Weekly.

The New York Times said the book joined an emerging corpus of important work of scholars and journalists that was “documenting the systematic, organized effort to undermine democracy and change the rules.”

But it didn’t take long for the apparatus of the “radical right” to swing into action, with attacks coming from many of the same individuals and institutions that the Duke University history professor documents in her book.

A Response to 'Lunatic Farmer' Joel Salatin on His Climate Science Denial

Joel Salatin

So a couple of weeks ago I wrote a story for DeSmog reporting on self-described “lunatic farmer” Joel Salatin’s views about climate change and how he thought it might not be caused by humans.

There’s been quite a reaction to the story, mainly through Facebook discussions sparked by Salatin himself and by others who are part of what you might broadly describe as the sustainable farming movement (this is an entirely imperfect term though, given the diversity of thought among the great many people looking for alternative ways to grow healthy food in a way that has less impact on the environment).

I’ve been accused by one Australian figure, Tammi Jonas, the interim president of the Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance, of writing an “unproductive and divisive” article that was “pure click bait ‘gotcha’ rubbish.” More on that in a bit.

Salatin penned a long response on his Polyface farms Facebook page that was liked almost 3,000 times and shared 1,000 times more.

So I thought I should go over some of the responses and clear a few things up.

Notorious Climate Science Denier Marc Morano Flying to Australia With Misleading Climate Hustle Movie

Marc Morano — one of world’s most notorious climate science deniers — is heading to Australia to push his discredited documentary Climate Hustle.

Morano is the communications director at the mistitled Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) – one among a suite of US-based conservative “free market” groups that helped convince President Donald Trump to pull the country out of the international Paris climate agreement.

Climate Hustle, first screened in late 2015 in Paris, claims human-caused climate change is a scare story and that scientists actually disagree that humans are causing global warming.

In reality, climate scientists and campaigners say the documentary is a rehash of long-debunked talking points, cherry-picked claims and misrepresentations promoted by a “fossil fuel salesman.”

Hero Farmer Joel Salatin Rejects Climate Change Science Using 'Standard Denier Talking Points'

Farmer Joel Salatin holding a chicken

Joel Salatin, a global hero of the sustainable small-scale farming movement, does not accept the well-established science linking greenhouse gas emissions to dangerous climate change, DeSmog has found.

The Virginia farmer and self-described “Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic” has told DeSmog he is skeptical because he “grew up inundated with the science that by now, we would enter a new ice age.”

Climate scientists have told DeSmog that Salatin had apparently accepted several “standard denier talking points,” including the 1970s cooling myth.

In late June, Salatin gave a keynote speech at the “Red Pill Expo” where other presenters pushed conspiracy theories about the 9/11 terrorist attacks and claimed human-caused climate change was largely a hoax.

Koch-funded Ex-GOP Congressman Tim Huelskamp to Lead Climate Science Denial Group Heartland Institute

Tim Huelskamp

A former Republican congressman with a history of rejecting action on climate change while accepting funding from the fossil fuel industry has been picked as the new president of the Heartland Institute.

Tim Huelskamp, a prominent Tea Party figure, will take over from current president and institute founder Joseph Bast, who said he would stay on as CEO until some time in 2018.

Despite financial backing from groups affiliated with the Koch brothers, Huelskamp lost his March 2016 primary race, ending almost 20 years in Kansas state and federal politics.

According to Federal Election Commission disclosures, the oil and gas industries and groups affiliated with Koch Industries have been among Huelskamp’s most enthusiastic financial supporters.

Red Pill Expo Pairs Climate Science Denier Christopher Monckton With Joel Salatin in Parade of Conspiracy Theories

Christopher Monckton speaking at the Red Pill Expo

Did any of the panel have any advice, the female questioner from Houston asked, about buying gold and silver stocks to help protect them from the New World Order?

The setting was a packed hall in Bozeman, Montana, for the inaugural Red Pill Expo, and it was the British hereditary peer, Lord Christopher Monckton, who jumped at the chance to give advice on commodities.

It’s a good idea to keep silver rather than gold,” said Monckton. “Communists tend to confiscate gold but silver takes more storage, so they don’t confiscate that. So the thing to do is hold silver.”

EPA Chief Pruitt’s 'Red Team' on Climate Science Is an Eight-Year-Old Talking Point Pushed by Heartland Institute

Scott Pruitt

Like many of his Trump administration colleagues, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt has never really been down with the whole climate science thing.

Pruitt has denied that carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning is the key driver of climate change, instead hedging his bets with an assortment of ifs, buts, and maybes.

Now, Pruitt is suggesting that what the American public really needs is more debate, more false equivalence, and more delay on policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Editor of New 'Sham Journal' Is Climate Science Denier With Ties to Heartland Institute

Sign that says 'science is not an alternative fact'

The title alone of the scientific paper could have suggested one of two things — either the author deserved a Nobel prize in science, or something very odd was going on.

Professor Steve Sherwood knew it was not the former.

The paper’s title was grandiose but sincere — “The Refutation of the Climate Greenhouse Theory and a Proposal for a Hopeful Alternative” — and appeared in a publication with a name that sounded like a legitimate scientific journal. But appearances don't always stack up, and neither did this paper.

“The paper is laughable,” Sherwood told DeSmog.

“It is so riddled with unsupported, fantastic and … or … unintelligible claims, arranged in a disorderly fashion and sprinkled liberally with innuendo,” said the director of the Climate Change Research Center at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

DeSmog has found the journal which that paper appeared in, “Environment Pollution and Climate Change,” is being led by a climate science denier who is advising notorious think tank the Heartland Institute.

Tobacco To Fossil Fuels: Tracing the Roots of Trump's Claims on Paris Climate Deal

To understand why President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the global Paris climate agreement, we might start by looking at the sources he relied on to justify his decision. 

But we’re not going to start there, but we will end there.

Instead, let’s go back to the early 1990s.  The tobacco industry was facing multiple bans on advertising its products in countries around the world.

Exclusive: UN, EU Agencies Reject Ties to Conference Hijacked by Climate Science Deniers

Christopher Monckton speaking on 'genocidal climate science' at a London meeting in 2016

On the face of it, the climate science conference scheduled for the romantic Italian city of Rome looks like any other.

The organizers, India-based ConferenceSeries, promise their “4th World Conference on Climate Change” will attract “world class experts” from across the planet.

Anticipating “more than 500 participants,” the event claimed to have an organizing committee with representatives from the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the European Space Agency, and the European Environment Agency (EEA).

But a DeSmog investigation reveals the event is being hijacked by a group of climate science deniers who have previously claimed they want to investigate climate scientists for fraud and have dismissed human-caused climate change as a hoax.

Since being contacted by DeSmog, both the WMO and the EEA have issued statements distancing themselves from the three-day conference, scheduled to start on October 19.

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