Brendan DeMelle

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Brendan DeMelle is Executive Director of DeSmogBlog.com.  He is also a freelance writer and researcher specializing in media, politics, climate change and clean energy. He has served as research associate for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., researcher for Laurie David, law and policy analyst for Environmental Working Group, campus organizer for Connecticut Public Interest Research Group, environmental justice associate for EPA Region 10, among other positions in his career. 

His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The Huffington Post, Grist, The Washington Times and other outlets, including a peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Rural History about the social and ecological impacts of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project. He graduated from St. Lawrence University with a BA in Sociology and Environmental Studies in 1998, and lives in Seattle.

The Imperial Oil Files: New Collection Adds to Climate and Energy Research Archives On Science and Denial

Read time: 4 mins
ExxonMobil and Imperial Oil climate science denial

Today, DeSmog and the Climate Investigations Center are co-launching a large collection of documents from Exxon's Canadian subsidiary, Imperial Oil, that DeSmog collected from a company archive in Calgary over the past several years.

These documents add new context to the groundbreaking investigative reporting by Inside Climate News, and the Columbia School of Journalism in partnership with the Los Angeles Times, that revealed the #ExxonKnew conspiracy. Those journalistic efforts exposed the facts that Exxon’s own climate science research had confirmed the role of fossil fuels in driving global warming, and that the company pivoted away from that advanced knowledge, choosing instead to spend tens of millions of dollars funding climate science denial campaigns.

DeSmog Was Created to Combat Climategate-Style Misinformation. We’re Still Going

Read time: 4 mins
pow!

DeSmog was launched in January 2006 to call out the public relations industry for working with fossil fuel industry clients to sow doubt and seed misinformation about climate science. In those early years, we focused most of our attention on the merchants of doubt who were scuttling political action to address global warming in the United States. 

Little did we know that climate science denial was spreading throughout the English-speaking world, and we would have to follow it to the UK and beyond.

Massachusetts Sues ExxonMobil For Climate Disinformation, Greenwashing

Read time: 3 mins

Massachusetts filed a lawsuit against ExxonMobil today over the company's misinformation campaign to delay action to address climate change. 

Attorney General Maura Healey told reporters in a press conference today that “Exxon has fought us every step of the way,” and was “completely uncooperative,” noting that the company failed to comply with requests for documents and depositions. 

Right Wing Attacks on Greta Thunberg: How Low Can They Go? Canada's Extremist Network 'The Rebel' Tries for the Prize

Read time: 4 mins
Greta Thunberg

The Koch-funded right wing echo chamber seems obsessed with competing to insult and vilify Greta Thunberg in the most vile and disgusting ways imaginable. The sixteen-year-old climate activist has faced a coordinated barrage of bullying and harassment that started long before she set sail for America. “Freak yachting accidents do happen…” was a particularly disturbing attack, coming from British businessman and Trump ally Arron Banks

But right now, Greta's in Alberta, home to some of the world's dirtiest oil, and also apparently some of the dirtiest mudslinging against the courageous and clear-spoken Swede. 

Announcing DeSmog's Koch Network Database

Read time: 2 mins
Koch Network Database

The Koch Network Database is a new resource library built by DeSmog to assist journalists, academic researchers, and the public to learn more about the backgrounds of individuals and organizations associated with billionaire fossil fuel industrialists Charles Koch and David Koch's free market approach to a broad spectrum of civic issues. 

The Koch Network Database will chronicle the historical and present deeds and quotes associated with the people and organizations that have helped to advance the Kochs' free market approach to environmental regulations, and the subsequent consequences of such approaches for climate change, public health, and democracy.

Announcing The Narwhal, Canada's Independent Media Solution

Read time: 1 min
The Narwhal

Congratulations to our long-time colleagues Emma Gilchrist and Carol Linnitt, who are launching The Narwhal today to continue to advance more constructive conversations about energy and environment issues that are critical to Canada's future.

Check out their new website at thenarwhal.ca for top-quality independent news and analysis, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram if you don't already.

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

Read time: 5 mins
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

Read time: 10 mins

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

Read time: 5 mins

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

Read time: 2 mins

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:

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