Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 00:00 • Frances Rankin
Cuadrilla bib

As tensions continue to rise between Cuadrilla, police, and anti-fracking campaigners in Lancashire, Cuadrilla continues looking for ways to buy local people’s support.

One of its main targets for advertising? Young children.

Throughout Lancashire, shale gas company Cuadrilla is promoting its brand and putting its logo in front of hundreds of children through the sponsorship of sports clubs and school competitions.

Cuadrilla-sponsored sports teams pose a unique ethical dilemma as fracking has been linked to air pollution. A 2016 study found that young children and infants’ lungs, hearts and immune systems especially were at risk if they lived near a fracking site.

Friday, July 21, 2017 - 08:11 • John Gibbons
Denis Naughten

Ireland’s first minister for Climate Action, Denis Naughten, quietly signed off this month on the Druid/Drombeg exploration field off Ireland’s west coast which is eyeing an estimated five billion barrels of offshore oil.

The department issued no press statement about the initiative and it didn’t even merit a mention on the department’s website.

The news instead leaked out via an industry website, Proactive Investors, which revealed that Providence Resources PLC had confirmed that drilling operations had begun for the exploration well near Porcupine bank off the Irish coast.

Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 08:11 • Mat Hope
Eu flag in front of statues

A new lobby group has appeared in Europe claiming to represent ‘consumers’. But a closer look reveals it is actually backed by some familiar groups known for their efforts to weaken climate and environmental regulations.

The Consumer Choice Centre (CCC) was set up in March 2017 and was promoted as “a grassroots-led movement” that “empowers consumers across the globe”.

But an investigation by Brussels think tank Corporate Europe Observatory suggests the CCC is actually working as a lobby group for a network pushing deregulation, while working closely with high-profile organisations including London-based think tank the Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) and US oil billionaire Charles Koch.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - 07:45 • Kyla Mandel

Britain has provided more than a billion pounds in support for fossil fuel projects abroad in the last year via the UK Export Finance (UKEF) government department and credit agency, which operates alongside the Department for International Trade, the latest accounts show.

According to UKEF’s annual report published on 18 July, half of all projects that received export credits during the 2016-17 financial year are related to the fossil fuel industry – from oil and gas exploration, infrastructure, petrochemical complexes, and coal mining.

Over the last year UKEF has provided a total £3 billion in support to UK companies exporting products and services overseas. Of the 16 different projects around the world that received export credits, eight of these are tied to the fossil fuel industry and are worth a total £1.06bn. Others include investments in the aerospace sector and a water treatment plant in Iraq.

Monday, July 17, 2017 - 02:23 • Guest
Windpower engineer

Redundant North Sea energy workers are offered free football tickets to build revolutionary new electricity storage systems, writes Terry Macalister at Climate News Network.

Highly-skilled engineers – many of them recently made redundant – are being offered free football tickets to switch from the fossil fuel industry to work on a green battery boom.

This is because the “big six” utilities (the UK’s largest energy suppliers), industrial firms and individual householders are all installing storage systems to back up wind, solar and gas-fired power.

redT energy, a UK company which has developed its own storage technology, says it is doubling staff and already hiring former oil workers. The recruitment drive is helped by the fact that the low price of crude since 2014 has meant tens of thousands of workers have lost jobs in Aberdeen, the unofficial capital of the British oil industry.

Friday, July 14, 2017 - 00:00 • Kyla Mandel

Power grab. Backroom Deals. Henry VIII. Reckless. All of these words have been used to describe the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – better known as the Repeal Bill.

The Repeal Bill was officially released on 13 July. This is the plan for how the UK will bring over all the EU laws it is currently operating under. And there’s one big question everyone is asking: how transparent will Brexit be?

From Labour to the SNP, most opposing parties have denounced the bill. And green groups in particular are concerned about the lack of scrutiny and accountability that will take place as the government tries to turn some 1,100 pieces of EU environmental legislation into British law in a very short time span.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - 12:02 • James Wilt
The Banker Sculpture. Photo: University of Sydney

It’s not often that an article about climate change becomes one of the most hotly debated issues on the internet — especially in the midst of a controversial G20 summit.

But that exact thing happened following the publication of a lengthy essay in New York Magazine titled “The Uninhabitable Earth: Famine, Economic Collapse, a Sun that Cooks Us: What Climate Change Could Wreak — Sooner Than You Think.”

In the course of 7,200 words, author David Wallace-Wells chronicled the possible impacts of catastrophic climate change if current emissions trends are maintained, including, but certainly not limited to: mass permafrost melt and methane leaks, mass extinctions, fatal heat waves, drought and food insecurity, diseases and viruses, “rolling death smog,” global conflict and war, economic collapse and ocean acidification.

Slate political writer Jamelle Bouie described the essay on Twitter as “something that will haunt your nightmares.”

It’s a fair assessment. Reading it feels like a series of punches in the gut, triggering emotions like despair, hopelessness and resignation.

But here’s the thing: many climate psychologists and communicators consider those feelings to be the very opposite of what will compel people to action.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - 06:11 • Mat Hope

Mat Hope and Laura Creighton report from Lancashire

Three anti-fracking protesters were arrested after they locked their arms inside tubing at Cuadrilla’s anti-fracking site in Lancashire, forcing police to close off a section of Preston New Road from around 8am this morning. Five police vans and more than 30 officers were on the scene.

Though the rainy weather kept most of the protesters from the previous day away, this did not stop the three protesters who had locked on their arms inside heavy tubing from lying out on the road for more than three hours.

Protesters use the tactic to disrupt activity at the site, as police are forced to cut them out of the tubing before they can be moved or arrested.

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