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, March 2, 2017 - 00:00 • Kyla Mandel
Dakota Access Pipeline – Oceti Sakowin
Dakota Access Pipeline – Oceti Sakowin

The Green Party has issued a letter to the chief executives of all UK banks currently financing the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline asking them to “immediately suspend all credit lines”.

Despite previous calls for British institutions to divest from the polluting project, financial data reveals Barclays and HSBC continue to bankroll the companies constructing the pipeline.

Signed by party co-leaders Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley and four other party members, the Green Party letter calls on Barclays and HSBC to stop funding the U.S. pipeline project due to its impact on the climate and indigenous communities.

Calling the pipeline a “barrier to climate safety,” they write: “The Dakota Access Pipeline is a major fossil fuel infrastructure project, and thus represents exactly the kind of project that should no longer receive the support of those with a serious commitment to tackling the climate crisis.”

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 - 04:33 • Guest
Smog over London
Smog over London

The UK government hates to be held accountable in court when it breaks environmental laws like those on air quality. So it has created new rules – coming into force this week – that expose environmental litigants to unlimited financial liabilities, writes Oliver Tickell of The Ecologist. Now three leading NGOs have gone to the High Court to argue that the rules themselves are in breach the UK's international obligations.

New rules coming into force today will make it virtually impossible to bring a public interest case - like ClientEarth's air pollution challenge - to protect the environment.

The new rules weaken financial protection for people or organisations bringing a case against the government, meaning they risk having to pay the government's full, unlimited legal costs in return for going to court to protect the environment.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 00:22 • Mat Hope
A diagram of the North Sea oil network with Big Oil and Big Four companies
A diagram of the North Sea oil network with Big Oil and Big Four companies

Big Oil companies have made billions from exploiting the North Sea’s oil and gas resources. But as it gets harder to squeeze a profit out of the drying fields, they are increasingly asking the taxpayer to fund their polluting activities, all while making billions for their shareholders.

Since 2015, the Treasury has given the industry tax breaks worth £2.3 billion. This is despite BP, Shell and Total making after tax profits of $10 billion in 2016 alone.

Monday, February 27, 2017 - 17:43 • Graham Readfearn
Caricatures of notable climate science deniers
Caricatures of notable climate science deniers

Beware climate science deniers bearing gifts or, in the case before us right now, bearing open letters claiming to have hundreds of signatures from “eminent” scientists.

Last week, long-time climate science contrarian and retired MIT professor Richard Lindzen dusted off his contacts book one more time.

Lindzen, who is with the conservative think tank the Cato Institute, sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to pull the United States entirely from the United Nations international convention on climate change, known as the UNFCCC.

Trump has previously promised to pull the U.S. from the deal signed by almost 200 countries in Paris in late 2015 as part of that convention.

In just a few weeks, more than 300 eminent scientists and other qualified individuals from around the world have signed the petition below,” wrote Lindzen.

Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 09:32 • Chloe Farand
UNFCCC chief Patricia Espinosa addressed the Marrakech COP22 climate conference
UNFCCC chief Patricia Espinosa addressed the Marrakech COP22 climate conference

The financial sector needs to show leadership by providing trillions of dollars for green growth projects, Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), today told a London audience.

Speaking at a public event at the London School of Economics (LSE), Espinosa highlighted “the gap of trillions of dollars that are still needed to truly transform our economic and social reality”.

She warned that achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which include climate goals, required finance of $5 trillion to $7 trillion a year – a target which is far from being met.

Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 02:30 • Sophie Yeo
North sea oil rig at night
North sea oil rig at night

The famous Brent oil field is dead, but is it buried? After ten years of study, Shell has found that the once-productive field, sucked dry of its resources, is not all that useful after the oil has run out.

After several decades of oil extraction, Shell now has the challenge of cleaning up its debris. As it prepares to decommission four rigs from its Brent oil field, Shell considered various ways to give its North Sea facilities a second lease of life: clean energy, fake reefs, hotels and carbon capture were all thrown into the ring as possible ways to reincarnate the rigs.

Shell looked at 35 alternative ways to put the tired rigs to use, which it eventually narrowed down to ten more serious considerations. But in the end, Shell decided to remove most of the structure, while leaving other bits to crumble on the seabed over time.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 06:09 • Mat Hope
Donald Trump addressing the CPAC conference
Donald Trump addressing the CPAC conference

Two fringe British climate science deniers are heading to Maryland to see Donald Trump and his tea party pals this week, taking their Brexit-inflected anti-science agenda with them.

Trump’s golden elevator buddy and UKIP MEP, Nigel Farage, and far-right Breitbart London commentator, James Delingpole, are both due to appear at the American Conservative Union’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), starting today.

CPAC claims to be the “birthplace of modern conservatism”, and aims to “break through the resistance of Washington’s powerful elites” via four-days of talks and activist training. In recent years it has been seen as a breeding ground for Tea Party ideas and activism.

The conference will offer Farage and Delingpole an opportunity to network with other members of a US-UK climate science denial network linked to Brexit and Trump, previously mapped by DeSmog UK.

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