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Energy and Corporate Trade Associations Spend $1.4 Billion on PR Campaigns

Read time: 3 mins
American Petroleum Institute: Men sitting on a bench

Originally posted on Climate Investigations Center.

How much money have the fossil fuel industry’s powerful trade association allies spent to convince the American public that its products are beneficial and necessary — and to stymie progress on climate change that could harm its financial interests?

To find out, Climate Investigations Center researchers analyzed the public relations expenditures of these trade associations going back to 2008, using data from publicly-available federal Form 990 tax records. The expenditures provide unique insight into fossil fuel trade association priorities and the willingness of public relations firms to represent socially harmful industries.

Who’s Behind Trump’s Claim the Green New Deal Will Cost $100 Trillion?

Read time: 8 mins
President Trump at CPAC 2018

By Dave Anderson, Energy and Policy Institute. Originally posted on Energy and Policy Institute.

President Trump’s claim that the Green New Deal would cost $100 trillion can be traced back to the Manhattan Institute, a think tank backed by fossil fuel investor Paul Singer and companies like ExxonMobil. 

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Edward Markey made waves at a press conference in February when they rolled out a Green New Deal resolution that called for the nation to transition to 100 percent clean energy in ten years

Brian Riedl, a senior fellow at the New York-based Manhattan Institute, attempted to “cost out the Green New Deal” in a Twitter thread the next day. Riedl admitted he had “No idea” how much things like “Installing renewable energy everywhere” would cost. 

US and Saudi Arabia Block UN Efforts at Climate Geoengineering Governance

Read time: 4 mins
UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya

This is a guest post by Linda Schneider of the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

At the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, this week, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia blocked a push to gather information on potentially regulating climate geoengineering technologies. Switzerland, along with 11 other countries, including Micronesia, Senegal, and New Zealand, had submitted a draft resolution mandating a report on the state of research, risks, and possible governance options related to geoengineering efforts.

The 2020 Democrats of the 'Anti-Green New Deal Coalition'

Read time: 6 mins
Cover of report on 'the Anti-Green New Deal Coalition'

By Kendra Chamberlain

Support for the ambitious Green New Deal proposal has uncovered widening rifts within the Democratic Party as presidential candidates begin fleshing out their 2020 platforms. To date, the Green New Deal (GND) resolution introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) has attracted 68 co-sponsors from Democratic congressmembers.

However, according to a recent report from Public Accountability Initiative (PAI), centrist Democrats and party leadership are part of what it calls an “anti-Green New Deal coalition” that could seriously impede the GND’s goal to transition the country to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Here’s the breakdown of how the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls fall in their less-than-full-throated support for the GND

Global Warming ‘Hiatus’ Is the Climate Change Myth That Refuses to Die

Read time: 5 mins
Calculator, globe, thermometer, graphs

By Kevin Cowtan, University of York and Stephan Lewandowsky, University of Bristol

The record-breaking, El Niño-driven global temperatures of 2016 have given climate change deniers a new trope. Why, they ask, hasn’t it since got even hotter?

In response to a recent US government report on the impact of climate change, a spokesperson for the science-denying American Enterprise Institute think-tank claimed that “we just had […] the biggest drop in global temperatures that we have had since the 1980s, the biggest in the last 100 years.”

These claims are blatantly false: the past two years were two of the three hottest on record, and the drop in temperature from 2016 to 2018 was less than, say, the drop from 1998 (a previous record hot year) to 2000. But, more importantly, these claims use the same kind of misdirection as was used a few years ago about a supposed “pause” in warming lasting from roughly 1998 to 2013.

Trade Group Targets Shareholders Pressuring Big Oil on Climate Change

Read time: 9 mins
New York Stock Exchange trading floor

By Karen Savage, Climate Liability News. Crossposted from Climate Liability News.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), a 123-year-old trade group that has worked diligently to defend Big Oil in the burgeoning climate liability battles, has also taken on another opponent to the status quo: investors.

In addition to filing briefs in defense of the fossil fuel industry, launching campaigns to discredit the communities filing suits and intervening on the side of the federal government in a landmark constitutional climate lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, NAM has rallied behind efforts to keep corporate shareholders from influencing how oil companies conduct business.

College Students Calling out Climate Denial Machine That’s Older Than They Are

Read time: 3 mins
Youth join climate protest in New York in 2014

This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup.

DeSmog published a story this week from the Climate Investigations Center that touches on an interesting angle that’s emerging in the climate world as kids lead the way.

Fact-check: What Greenland Ice Cores Say About Past and Present Climate Change

Read time: 10 mins
Greenland ice core

By Zeke Hausfather, Carbon Brief. Originally posted on Carbon Brief.

A misleading graph purporting to show that past changes in Greenland’s temperatures dwarf modern climate change has been circling the internet since at least 2010.

Based on an early Greenland ice core record produced back in 1997, versions of the graph have, variously, mislabeled the x-axis, excluded the modern observational temperature record and conflated a single location in Greenland with the whole world.

More recently, researchers have drilled numerous additional ice cores throughout Greenland and produced an updated estimate past Greenland temperatures.

Acme Equities Hedge Fund Wants to Add Expensive Carbon Capture to Distressed New Mexico Coal Plant

Read time: 6 mins
San Juan coal power plant and coal mines in New Mexico

By David Pomerantz. Originally posted on Energy and Policy Institute.

The hedge fund trying to buy a New Mexico coal plant slated for closure has pitched legislators on its plan: it wants to install expensive technology to capture the plant’s carbon pollution, despite the fact that the plant is closing because it cannot compete economically with renewable energy.

Calling out the Origins of Climate Denial and the 'Climate Change Countermovement'

Read time: 3 mins
Brown professor Timmons Roberts, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and Climate Investigations Center's Kert Davies at Brown University.

Originally posted on the Climate Investigations Center.

In February, the Climate Investigations Center’s Kert Davies was an invited speaker at a collaborative conference held at Brown University on the economic impacts of climate change and the opposition to policy advances. The day long event, America’s Climate Change Future: Housing Markets, Stranded Assets, and Entrenched Interests, gathered experts on a range of climate change topics ranging from increased flood risk and stranded assets in fossil fuels, to the climate change countermovement and misinformation campaigns. 

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