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

'Doing the Lord's Work' Heartland Institute Gathers Climate Deniers For America First Energy Conference

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One of the world’s most notorious climate science denial groups — the Heartland Institute — will gather its supporters and fellow ideologues this week for a one-day energy conference in Louisiana.

Aside from the conference’s fanatical devotion to fossil fuels, the line-up includes the usual pushers of junk science who are sure that every major science academy in the world is wrong about the dangers of adding CO2 to the atmosphere.

Gathering at the conference will be “hundreds of state and national elected officials, think tank leaders, and policy analysts.”

Front and center in New Orleans will be Fred Palmer, a veteran coal industry lobbyist who was behind what was probably the very first fossil-fuel funded attacks on the science linking coal burning to dangerous climate change. 

After more than 30 years with the Western Fuels Association and then coal giant Peabody, Palmer now spends his time as a senior fellow at the Heartland Institute. 

Billionaire Mining Magnate Gina Rinehart Revealed As Key Donor to Australian Climate Science Denial Promoter Institute of Public Affairs

Read time: 5 mins
Gina Rinehart

Australia’s richest person, mining magnate Gina Rinehart, has been revealed as a key funder of the right wing think tank the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) — a major pusher of climate science denial.

Rinehart’s company, Hancock Prospecting Proprietary Ltd (HPPL), donated $2.3 million to the IPA in 2016 and $2.2 million in 2017, according to disclosures made to the New South Wales Supreme Court.

As part of a long-running legal dispute over the use of company funds, Gina Rinehart’s daughter Bianca had served a subpoena to access documents that would have shed light on the two donations from HPPL to the IPA.

The IPA is an influential right wing think tank with close ties to Australia’s governing Liberal Party. IPA fellows regularly appear in the media. The payments suggest that more than a third of the IPA’s income in 2016 and 2017 was from HPPL — majority-owned privately by Gina Rinehart.

Climate Science Deniers From Around Globe Rally Around Sacked Scientist Peter Ridd

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Peter Ridd

Climate science denial groups from the UK, U.S., and Australia have leapt to support a controversial marine scientist who was fired from his job at an Australian university.

Dr. Peter Ridd, formerly a professor at James Cook University (JCU), was sacked for repeated breaches of his employment’s code of conduct, according to a statement from the university.

Ridd claims that the Great Barrier Reef is “in great shape” and dismisses evidence that human activities including dredging and human-caused global warming have damaged the internationally iconic marine wonder. Back-to-back coral bleaching events linked to record-breaking sea surface temperatures have killed about one third of the reef's corals.

Friend of Mike Pence and a Coal-Funded Lawyer Form 'Accountability' Group to Attack Climate Lawsuits

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christopher horner

For a group apparently hooked on transparency, the latest organization to spring from the loins of the fossil fuel–funded climate science denial industry certainly manages to obscure one or two pertinent facts.

Government Accountability and Oversight (GAO) — the name of the group given public charity status on March 20, 2018 by the Internal Revenue Service — is promising to publish documents about the people and groups behind ongoing court cases against the energy industry and its impact on the global climate.

We’re not going to get into the science debate and other arguments. We’ll just show the public the documents, so you can decide,” lawyer Chris Horner told a sympathetic Daily Caller about GAO’s Climate Litigation Watch (CLW) project.

Behind the group are three lawyers — one a Republican-elected district attorney, another a former radio host and “longtime friend” of Vice President Mike Pence, and Horner, who has been paid by coal companies and works at the fossil fuel–funded Competitive Enterprise Institute.

While apparently not wanting to “get into the science debate,” Climate Litigation Watch says the science linking fossil fuel producers to climate change is “dubious” — a position at odds with every major scientific academy on the planet.

So, who are these characters behind the GAO and its sole project, Climate Litigation Watch?

EPA's Scott Pruitt Dined With Fellow Climate Science Denier and Vatican Treasurer Cardinal George Pell, Documents Show

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Scott Pruitt

One of the Catholic church's most powerful figures, Australian climate science denier Cardinal George Pell, dined with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt and discussed a plan to set up a two-sided “debate” about human-caused climate change, it has been revealed.

According to documents collated by The New York Times, administrator Pruitt joined Pell and others for a $240-per-head dinner in June 2017, an engagement that was left off official schedules of Pruitt's Vatican visit.

In an email sent during the dinner, one EPA staff member said that Pell and Pruitt had discussed a Wall Street Journal article reporting on proposals for a military-style “red team/blue team” debate on climate science.

Climate science denial groups, including the Heartland Institute, have been pushing the idea of such a debate for years.  The proposal from Pruitt for the debate appears to be on hold.

Fossil Fuel Interests 'Coached' Conservatives to Reject Climate Science in US and Australia, Study Finds

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Rick Perry, Ryan Zinke at CPAC

There’s a widely held belief that when it comes to human-caused climate change, you’re far less likely to accept the science if you lean toward the right of the political spectrum.

But a new study just published in the journal Nature Climate Change suggests that this link between conservative values and climate “skepticism” holds strongest in the U.S. and Australia, and less so in Canada, where fossil fuel vested interests are high.

Scott Pruitt's Secret Science Plan Was Developed to Defend Tobacco and It Could Be Coming for Clean Air Rules

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Powell Tate Secret Science action plan

In early 1998, lobbying and PR company Powell Tate was busy with a strategy to protect its tobacco industry clients from health and safety regulations.

Costing roughly $200,000, the plan was called “Secret Science” and would be a public affairs campaign “mounted in three phases” to influence the public, scientists, corporations, and policymakers. 

After “laying the groundwork,” the plan was to build “a critical mass of outrage” and then offer a solution to all the outrage and division the campaign had whipped up.

Climate Science Deniers Have a New Hero and His Name Is Peter Ridd

Read time: 6 mins
Peter Ridd

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?

Sea Level Science Agency Publishes Response to 'Completely Unwarranted' Attacks from Climate Deniers

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Signs on an Australian beach showing future sea levels under certain climate change scenarios

Scientists at a British government-backed agency have formally responded to “completely unwarranted” claims from climate science deniers that they were engaged in a conspiracy to arbitrarily adjust data from tide gauges around the world and misrepresent sea level rise.

A research paper by two Australian climate science deniers claimed the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL), based at the UK’s National Oceanography Center, had “arbitrarily” altered sea level data from Aden, in Yemen.

The research, from Australia-based pair Albert Parker and Cliff Ollier, was published in December 2017 in the new journal, Earth Systems and Environment and reported uncritically by the UK’s MailOnline.

Climate Science Deniers Defend New York’s American Museum of Natural History From Calls to Drop Trustee Rebekah Mercer

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Dinosaur cast at the American Museum of Natural History

With friends like climate science deniers and alt-right megaphones like Breitbart, you have to wonder whether New York’s iconic American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) needs any enemies right now.

As the New York Times and others are reporting, the museum is facing calls from hundreds of scientists, its own curators, campaigners, and the public to drop rich benefactor and major Trump funder and ally Rebekah Mercer from its board of trustees.

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