Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 06:00 • Guest
Hurricane flooding

Climate science denial is actually pretty rare, so why do we keep talking about it? asks Leo Barasi, author of the new book, The Climate Majority. Instead, he argues, let’s focus on a much more widespread problem: climate apathy.

We should stop talking so much about climate denial. That might seem a surprising message from the author of a book on public opinion about climate change, but I’m convinced it’s the right answer for those of us who want more action to cut emissions.

Look at the news and climate denial seems to be everywhere. It’s common in the media, as Newsweek readers and UK radio listeners have recently been reminded, while its grip on the White House seems stronger than ever.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 00:00 • Mat Hope
ende gelände march

Is the coal industry on its last legs in Europe? A quick look at the statistics suggests it might be.

Since 2007, coal power production has fallen by about 20 percent, and several EU countries, including the UK, have pledged to phase-out coal completely before 2030.

But coal is not dead yet.

Monday, September 4, 2017 - 00:00 • Kyla Mandel
Abandoned North Sea Wells Leaking Methane

Abandoned offshore oil and gas wells in the North Sea may be a source of significant methane emissions finds a new study, which claims to be the first to measure the amount of methane leaking from offshore wells.

According to the study published recently in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, about one third of the region’s wells could be releasing between 3 and 17 thousand tonnes of methane into the North Sea each year. “This poses a significant contribution to the North Sea methane budget,” it states.

But despite the scale of emissions that may be leaking from abandoned wells, these emissions are not currently being monitored by regulators or operators.

Friday, September 1, 2017 - 11:19 • Guest
Tony Abbot and the GWPF

Abbott becomes second former Australian prime minister to address Global Warming Policy Foundation. His speech will be called ‘Daring to Doubt’, writes Karl Mathiesen, editor of Climate Home.

Former Australia prime minister and government backbencher Tony Abbott is set to give the annual lecture to a London-based climate sceptic group.

Abbott will give his speech, entitled ‘Daring to Doubt’, to the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) on 9 October.

Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 10:06 • Frances Rankin
Google Fracking and Health activist sign

Anti-fracking activists today delivered a petition to government agency Public Health England calling for a review of the health impacts of shale gas extraction.

The handover coincides with a court case in which protesters are appealing the government’s decision to allow fracking to go-ahead in Lancashire despite the council rejecting Cuadrilla’s planning application last year.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 - 09:10 • Guest
Royal Courts of Justice

Anti-fracking activists have been making their case in court to overturn a decision that allowed shale gas company Cuadrilla to start work on a shale gas site in LancashireRuth Hayhurst reports for Drill or Drop.

Opponents of Cuadrilla’s fracking plans near Blackpool brought their final legal challenge to the Court of Appeal in London this morning.

A community group and an individual campaigner were appealing against the ruling of a high court judge earlier this year.

Mr Justice Dove, sitting in Manchester, had dismissed challenges to the granting of planning permission for Cuadrilla’s plans for drill, frack and test up to four shale gas wells at a site on Preston New Road.

But the challengers, Preston New Road Action Group (PNRAG) and resident Gayzer Frackman, argued that the judge had misapplied planning policy and EU law in rejecting their cases.

Friday, August 25, 2017 - 03:04 • Kyla Mandel
UK environmental justice

A report on access to environmental justice has been quietly published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) during peak holiday season. Published on an obscure website, the report includes inaccurate figures on the cost of pursuing environmental legal cases against the government.

On 15 August DEFRA, now run by “shy green” Michael Gove, opened a consultation on a report about how the UK will implement the Aarhus Convention – which provides the rights to access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice when it comes to environmental issues.

The DEFRA report argues that the UK is in full compliance with all the three pillars of the convention. However, recently the government adopted new rules which expose people and organisations to potentially unlimited legal costs when pursuing an environmental case against the government.  

Thursday, August 24, 2017 - 07:43 • Kyla Mandel
UK Fracking defintion

Two British scientists have warned that the UK Government’s definition of fracking could risk environmental harm.

In a letter published in Nature on 23 August Stuart Haszeldine of the University of Edinburgh and geophysics expert David Smythe write that the government’s legal definition of hydraulic fracturing has “little rational or scientific basis”.

As DeSmog UK first revealed in 2015, under the UK Infrastructure Act fracking is defined based on the volume of fluid used during oil and gas extraction: 10,000 cubic metres or more per well. This is much higher than the threshold for “high-volume hydraulic fracturing” in the US (between 2,000 and 2,500 cubic metres per well). The definition originates from a report conducted on behalf of the European Commission.