climate change

Comment: Now is the time to tackle shipping emissions

Container ship

By John Maggs

Out of sight, out of mind? Our blindness to what happens at sea has been skilfully exploited by the global shipping industry.

The coal market only functions because coal can be cheaply shipped hundreds of miles across the ocean, from where it is mined to where it is incinerated. The companies transporting it have been profiting from the trade for decades, in full knowledge of the escalating risks of climate change.

There has been a fantastic stream of announcements recently to phase out coal burning, from countries as diverse as Chile, France, Mexico and Angola. The next logical move is to persuade ports and countries to ban the import and handling of coal. It wouldn’t be the first environmentally damaging or otherwise undesirable product countries have stopped from entering their ports and territory.  

Opinion: Polar Bears at Ground Zero for Climate Change and Climate Science Deniers

polar bears

By Shaye Wolf

According to alarming weather data released this week, the Arctic just experienced its warmest winter on record. This is devastating news for polar bears, who are suffering as their sea-ice habitat melts from under their paws.

Polar bears are a global-warming poster child for good reason. Their struggle provides compelling, real-time evidence of climate change. But it also puts polar bear science in the crosshairs of climate science deniers.

To mark International Polar Bear Day last week, the dubiously named Global Warming Policy Foundation climate science denial thinktank released a report by Susan Crockford that grossly misrepresents scientific research findings on polar bears.

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

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.

The EU Wants to Fight Climate Change – so Why is it Spending Billions on a Gas Pipeline?

TAP pipeline in Albania

By Aled Jones, Anglia Ruskin University

Over the past few years there has been exponential growth in clean energy investment – while fossil fuel assets are increasingly considered to be risky. Yet, on February 6, the European Investment Bank, the EU’s long-term lending institution, voted to provide a €1.5 billion loan to the controversial Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). 

The TAP is the Western part of a larger Southern Gas Corridor proposal that would ultimately connect a large gas field in the Caspian Sea to Italy, crossing through Azerbaijan, Turkey, Greece and Albania. And while gas might be cleaner than coal, it’s still a fossil fuel. 

So how does the EU’s support for this major project fit in with its supposed goal of addressing climate change? 

Oil Majors to face London, New York Hearings over Philippines Climate Impact


By Megan Darby. This article originally appeared on Climate Home News.

The Philippines Human Rights Commission is set to confront carbon majors over their climate change impact with hearings in Manila, New York and London this year.

Responding to a petition that seeks to hold 47 companies accountable for Philippine communities suffering from extreme weather, the commission is taking its inquiries overseas.

It is in talks with climate law researchers at Columbia University’s Sabin Center and London’s Grantham Institute about hosting evidence sessions.

Commissioner Roberto Cadiz urged the targeted companies, which include Chevron, ExxonMobil and BP, to engage.

Comment: Oil Majors That Keep Investing in New Oil Projects Have Their Heads in the Sand

oil plant in Europe

The oil industry has a history of successfully adapting to significant changes, the nationalisation of oil production in oil rich countries being a prime example. Yet oil majors seem to be willfully blind to the momentous shift afoot.

Following the trend of rising oil prices, oil giant’s investments in new oil projects increased in 2017. This is despite their rhetoric on climate change and — disproportionately small — investments in low-carbon technologies.

But demand for oil will increasingly be under pressure from the emergence of different transportation services and technologies, such as automated, electric and more fuel-efficient vehicles; new government policies to regulate air pollution; pressures on end markets, such as plastics; and slowing energy demand in China.

The UK’s Oil Industry is Increasingly in the Hands of Unaccountable US Companies - That's a Problem

North Sea rig

After global oil prices slumped dramatically in 2014, many energy giants such as Shell and BP decided to sell off their “mature assets” in the North Sea. 

Now, the operation of aging fossil fuel infrastructure in the once profitable region is increasingly being taken over by private companies, analysis by DeSmog UK shows — raising concerns over transparency and accountability in the region. 

Four of the five largest sales since 2015 have been to private companies, DeSmog UK has found, with three of those backed by money from US private equity firms. 

Whereas companies listed on public stock exchanges are accountable to their shareholders and the public – through legal requirements such as annual reports and corporate financial disclosure – privately held companies have fewer legal obligations and can aggressively pursue long-term profit. 

Public Transport Price Hikes Are Costing the Commuter and the Climate

UK rail price hikes costing commuter and climate

Op-ed by Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive, Campaign for Better Transport

The New Year was marked, as in previous years, by rises in rail fares and lots of press coverage. Campaign for Better Transport has been using the coverage to make the case for simpler, fairer and cheaper rail fares with our Fair Fares Now campaign. This is important for rail users, for whom constant fares rises have immediate economic impacts. But as an environmental group, we’ve been making the case for fares policy to be looked at more broadly.

Bernie Lewin

Bernie Lewin


  • B.A., Social Science, La Trobe University (1990)

  • Graduate Diploma, Information Management, RMIT (1997)

How do you Spot a Climate Science Denial Blog? Check the Polar Bears

Polar bear and climate change

In an era of #fakenews, it can sometimes be tricky to work out what is legitimate scientific reporting, and what is, well, fake. New research suggests there's a handy rule of thumb for spotting the work of climate science deniers, however: look for the polar bears.

One of the most glaring differences between legitimate science-based blogs and those that deny the science on anthropogenic climate change is how they write about polar bears and Arctic sea ice.


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