Saturday, April 29, 2017 - 12:27 • Laura McKenna

The streets of London were awash with a jumble of giant red letters today, as they made their way to Westminster Bridge to send a very important message to two of the world’s most powerful leaders.

As hundreds of people weaved their way carefully through crowds of tourists, onlookers could only attempt to work out what the letters might possibly mean. After a spontaneous eruption of chanting – which made the bunch seem like a group several times its size – the letters soon assembled in their rightful order so that even those far down the Southbank could not mistake their message.

Raised defiantly in the air, the letters read: “TRUMP AND MAY CLIMATE DISASTER.”

Friday, April 28, 2017 - 00:00 • Mat Hope
car exhaust
car exhaust

The government is getting good at putting a spin on its air pollution plans (or lack of them) ahead of the June 2017 general election.  

On Thursday, it told the high court it wanted to delay the publication of a new air quality strategy to “comply with pre-election propriety rules”. The court had previously ordered the government to release the report by Monday, after an earlier plan was judged to have been insufficiently ambitious.

The request for the delay comes shortly after the transport minister, John Hayes, tried to persuade parliament that the UK was at the forefront of European efforts to improve air quality from diesel emissions — when in fact the opposite appears to be true.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 08:55 • Simon Roach
Oil rig worker in silouette
Oil rig worker in silouette

With global oil prices in decline and the UK’s oil reserves in the North Sea dwindling, tensions over pay for those working in the industry are inevitable. Throw in the UK’s existing commitments to decarbonise the economy and you’ve got a conflicting tripartite between boss, worker and the climate - all three kicking in different directions.

Who takes the financial hit of a sector in decline is as much in question as the long-term viability of the industry itself.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 03:59 • Laura McKenna
Ships attend to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
Ships attend to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

The fossil fuel industry is beginning to feel the impact of climate change action, and will become increasingly vulnerable, according to academics.

Two articles published in the latest issue of MRS Energy and Sustainability, a journal from Cambridge University Press and the Materials Research Society, suggest there are a number of new or intensified threats currently facing the industry, including heavier regulation by governments and financial instability of the market.

Monday, April 24, 2017 - 05:37 • Guest
north sea oil rig
north sea oil rig

Op-Ed By Tom Baxter, a senior lecturer in chemical engineering at the University of Aberdeen.

The principle is simple – if oil and gas companies are going to put lots of steel and concrete in the ocean to extract fossil fuels from the seabed, they should return it to its initial state once they are done.

So it’s understandable and entirely predictable that Scotland’s environmental NGOs including WWF and Greenpeace disagreed with Shell’s current plans to decommission its Brent oilfield. Those plans include leaving large sections of the concrete bases of its platforms in place, instead of removing all the drilling equipment from the sea bed.

The comparative societal, environment and economic assessments undertaken by oil and gas companies to justify their decommissioning address options from full removal to leave in place. The requirements of the associated marine legislations are also a vital element of the analysis; particularly the OSPAR Directives.

Saturday, April 22, 2017 - 07:21 • Mat Hope

On an uncharacteristically sunny day in central London, thousands of smiling people in white lab coats holding placards adorned with Einstein’s equations and Neil DeGrasse Tyson quotations marched towards Parliament shouting “science not silence”.

The chant filtered back a half-mile or so down the road, and all of a sudden, thousands of similarly dressed, previously shy people had become vocal. It was a rare moment of activism from a group normally content to go under the radar, bunkering down in labs and libraries across the world.

The chant quickly became the impromptu slogan for London’s March for Science on Saturday.

Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 05:14 • Guest
Scientists march
Scientists march

On Saturday, thousands of people in over 500 hundred marches will take to the streets to call for governments to support and fund scientific enquiry. Dr Alice Bell — campaigner, writer and researcher in the public engagement with science and technology — outlines why it’s important for people to support the global March for Science.

Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 00:00 • Chloe Farand
Shell
Shell

Court proceedings are due to begin in Italy today to determine whether oil giant Shell will face trial on corruption charges over the purchase of one of Africa’s most valuable oil blocks.

Italian prosecutors claim Shell and Italian oil major Eni concluded a deal for the rights to exploit the Nigerian deepwater oil block OPL 245 with knowledge that the money would fall into the hands of a convicted money-launderer and be turned into political kickbacks.

They are accusing Shell, Eni and several of Eni’s senior executives, including its CEO Claudio Descalzi, of corruption over the purchase of the block in 2011.

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