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Archive for the ‘Peak Oil’ Category

Last Hours

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‘The film Last Hours is the 2nd film in the Green World Rising Series ( the first one is Carbon that is available on this channel). Last Hours describes a science-based climate scenario where a tipping point to runaway climate change is triggered by massive releases of frozen methane. Methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, has already started to percolate into the open seas and atmosphere from methane hydrate deposits beneath melting arctic ice, from the warming northern-hemisphere tundra, and from worldwide continental-shelf undersea methane pools. Burning fossil fuels release carbon that, principally through greenhouse effect, heat the atmosphere and the seas. This is happening most rapidly at the polar extremes, and this heating has already begun the process of releasing methane. If we do not begin to significantly curtail the use of carbon-based fossil fuels, this freed methane threatens to radically accelerate the speed of global warming, potentially producing a disaster beyond the ability of the human species to adapt. With this film, we hope to awaken people to the fact that the earth has experienced five major extinctions in the deep geologic past – times when more than half of all life on earth vanished – and that we are now entering a sixth extinction. Industrial civilization with its production of greenhouse gases has the potential to trigger a mass extinction on the order of those seen in the deep geological past. In the extreme, it could threaten not just human civilization, but the very existence of human life on this planet. An asset for the climate change movement, Last Hours will be disseminated globally to help inform society about the dangers associated with climate change and to encourage the world community to chart a path forward that greatly reduces green house gas emissions . . . Last Hours is narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, presented by Thom Hartmann and directed by Leila Conners. Executive Producers are George DiCaprio, Earl Katz and Roee Sharon Peled. Last Hours is produced by Mathew Schmid and was written by Thom Hartmann, Sam Sacks, and Leila Conners. Music is composed and performed by Francesco Lupica. Last Hours is brought to you by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and produced by Tree Media. Published on Sep 19, 2014′.

 

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Chilcot Inquiry: the Report and the Regrets

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Channel 4 New: Published on Jul 4, 2016. It has been long in coming, but at long last and finally, here it is: “The inquiry has not expressed a view on whether military action was legal. That could, of course, only be resolved by a properly constituted and internationally recognised court . . . We have however concluded that the circumstances in which it was decided that there was a legal basis for UK military action were far from satisfactory”.

Jeremy Corbyn – Response to the Chilcot Inquiry report

‘This is the entire speech I just gave to the House of Commons in response to the Chilcot Inquiry report into the Iraq war. It is only a provisional response – as I only received the report this morning – but I will be giving a further response later today. The intervention in Iraq was a tragic decision which lead to the deaths of 179 British personnel and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis – while destabilising the region and increasing the threat of terrorism to our own country. Published on Jul 6, 2016’.

The Report of the Iraq Inquiry. Executive Summary

Introduction

  1. In 2003, for the first time since the Second World War, the United Kingdom took part in an opposed invasion and full‑scale occupation of a sovereign State – Iraq. Cabinet decided on 17 March to join the US‑led invasion of Iraq, assuming there was no last‑minute capitulation by Saddam Hussein. That decision was ratified by Parliament the next day and implemented the night after that.
  2. Until 28 June 2004, the UK was a joint Occupying Power in Iraq. For the next five years, UK forces remained in Iraq with responsibility for security in the South‑East; and the UK sought to assist with stabilisation and reconstruction.
  3. The consequences of the invasion and of the conflict within Iraq which followed are still being felt in Iraq and the wider Middle East, as well as in the UK. It left families bereaved and many individuals wounded, mentally as well as physically. After harsh deprivation under Saddam Hussein’s regime, the Iraqi people suffered further years of violence.
  4. The decision to use force – a very serious decision for any government to take – provoked profound controversy in relation to Iraq and became even more controversial when it was subsequently found that Iraq’s programmes to develop and produce chemical, biological and nuclear weapons had been dismantled. It continues to shape debates on national security policy and the circumstances in which to intervene.
  5. Although the Coalition had achieved the removal of a brutal regime which had defied the United Nations and which was seen as a threat to peace and security, it failed to achieve the goals it had set for a new Iraq. Faced with serious disorder in Iraq, aggravated by sectarian differences, the US and UK struggled to contain the situation. The lack of security impeded political, social and economic reconstruction.
  6. The Inquiry’s report sets out in detail decision‑making in the UK Government covering the period from when the possibility of military action first arose in 2001 to the departure of UK troops in 2009. It covers many different aspects of policy and its delivery.[1]

TonyBlair

[1] “The Report of the Iraq Inquiry. Executive Summary” The Iraq Inquiry. http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/media/246416/the-report-of-the-iraq-inquiry_executive-summary.pdf.

Chernobyl and Nuclear Power: 30 Years of Fallout

FRANCE_24_logo_svg’30 years ago today, a botched safety test led to the world’s worst nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in eastern Ukraine. France, with its 58 nuclear reactors, is particularly sensitive to this story. François Hollande reiterated a promise to close the oldest one at Fessenheim but no firm date is set. What future for atomic energy? And could the next Chernobyl be on purpose? It’s a serious question since Belgian authorities revealed that the Brussels attackers had considered targeting nuclear plants. (26 April 2016)’.

 

On a dedicated website, the IAEA presents this potted history of the impact of the Chernobyl disaster: “On 26 April 1986, the most serious accident in the history of the nuclear industry occurred at Unit 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Since that time there has been much confusion about the real consequences of the accident, including implications for health, the environment, nuclear safety, society and the economies of countries affected by the accident. In 1996 at the time of the tenth anniversary there were major reviews of the information available in an attempt to clarify and synthesise a consensus on the actual consequences of the accident. In 2000-2001, by the fifteenth anniversary, several articles books, and important publications on the topic were issued, and international reviews were prepared on lessons learned. The most comprehensive analysis on human exposures and health consequences of the Chernobyl accident, both for workers of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, rescue and clean-up workers and for the population of Belarusian, Ukrainian and Russian areas contaminated with radionuclides, was provided by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), in its 2 000 Report to the General Assembly . . . In 2001, on the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of the Chernobyl accident, two international scientific conferences were held in Kiev, Ukraine. The first of them, called ‘Fifteen Years after the Chernobyl Accident. Lessons Learned’ held April 18-20, 2001, discussed lessons learned from the accident in areas of nuclear and radiation safety, emergency preparedness and response, status and future of the Shelter and the exclusion zone, radiation health and environmental effects. The second conference entitled ‘Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident: Results of the 15-year follow-up Studies’, was held 4-8 June 2001, only considered the health effects of the accident, presented medical lessons learnt and developed recommendations for public health services and for future research. conclusions. During 2001-2002, the UN family organizations UNDP, WHO, OCHA, and UNICEF prepared and published, with the IAEA’s support, the UN report on The Human Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident – a Strategy of Recovery. After a proposal made by Belarus, the IAEA initiated a project in 1995 to convene an international group of high level experts who would review the information drawn from the long term environmental and social studies of the Chernobyl accident and its consequences. The study had been monitored by an International Advisory Committee under the project management of the Institut de protection et de sûreté nucléaire (IPSN), France. The project report, based mainly on the studies carried out by experts from Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine during the period 1986-1995, was published as an IAEA TECDOC, Present and future environmental impact of the Chernobyl accident – IAEA-TECDOC-1240 (3MB). Two further projects were initiated by the IAEA in its follow-up actions designed to mitigate the impact of the accident’s consequences. The first of these was to establish the Chernobyl Forum, through which the relevant organizations within the UN system the governments of the primarily affected countries (Belarus, Russia and Ukraine) and other relevant international organisations could discuss their views on the consequences of the accident and implement, jointly or individually. The Forum was launched in February 2003, and the first Organizational Meeting was convened at the Agency headquarters in Vienna on 3-5 February 2003. The second project is the new series of Chernobyl-related technical co-operation (TC) projects with the affected countries. Through the TC Programme over US $10 million have already been disbursed since 1990 within the frame of 31 completed and ongoing projects aiming to reduce the impact of the Chernobyl accident. During 2003 the IAEA launched its new topical regional TC project (RER/9/074) on the long-term rehabilitation strategies and monitoring of human exposure in the rural areas affected by the Chernobyl accident. The IAEA will continue to support activities aiming to overcome the adverse radiological effects of the largest nuclear accident in human history as long as they are internationally recognized to be justified”.[1]

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The above-quoted verbiage appears to consist of a lot of words that indicate that the ultimate impact of Chernobyl is still hard to determine and that the process is still ongoing . . . or a project in progress, if you will.

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[1] “Consequences of the Chernobyl Accident” IAEA. http://www-ns.iaea.org/appraisals/chernobyl.asp.

Human Extinction ahead and the End of the World as we Know it

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The eminent Australian scientist Frank Fenner, who passed away in late 2010, made some surprisingly unsurprising predictions right before his death. Writing on the web-based science, research and technology news service Phys.org, Lin Edwards put forward that Professor Fenner “predicts humans will probably be extinct within 100 years, because of overpopulation, environmental destruction and climate change”.[1] As such, this apparently shocking statement should not come as a surprise to anybody . . . given that estimates indicate that the availability of drinking water will become problematic by the year 2040 and that the supply of foodstuffs will arguably falter in about ten years from then, or by 2050 . . . underpinning such dire estimations are the prospects of the sustained growth of the human population in the coming century. The world’s leading resource for events, research, and insight into the global agricultural investment sector Global AgInvesting (or GAI) released a report in 2012 (entitled simply, World Population Growth in the 21st Century) that put the population increase into perspective: “[t]he world’s human population does not grow linearly, but rather geometrically, (i.e., 1, 2, 4, 8, 16…, etc.) which explains the five-fold increase in population from 1.2 billion to 6.1 billion during the 20th Century. Rapid population growth is predicted to continue for the first half of the 21st century, with rates of growth declining during the latter half of the century. World population is projected to stabilize at just over 10.1 billion by 2100”.[2] More than 10 billion people without easy or even direct access to either drinking water or food, to be precise. That is, as things stand today.

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Edwards continues her piece by stating that Professor Fenner has “said [that] homo sapiens will not be able to survive the population explosion and ‘unbridled consumption’, and will become extinct, perhaps within a century, along with many other species. United Nations official figures from last year [i.e. 2011] estimate the human population is 6.8 billion, and is predicted to pass seven billion next year. Fenner told The Australian he tries not to express his pessimism because people are trying to do something, but keep putting it off. He said he believes the situation is irreversible, and it is too late because the effects we have had on Earth since industrialization (a period now known to scientists unofficially as the Anthropocene) rivals any effects of ice ages or comet impacts”.[3] The report World Population Growth in the 21st Century puts it like this: The “rapid growth [of the human population] is expected [to occur] in the next 40 years, and will likely place a huge burden on global resources and the agriculture sector in particular”.[4] Professor Fenner himself told the press that “We’ll undergo the same fate as the people on Easter Island, there will be a lot more wars over food”,[5] aka resource wars-in-the-extreme. Lin Edwards then goes on to explain Fenner’s analogy: the “Easter Island is famous for its massive stone statues. Polynesian people settled there, in what was then a pristine tropical island, around the middle of the first millennium AD. The population grew slowly at first and then exploded. As the population grew the forests were wiped out and all the tree animals became extinct, both with devastating consequences. After about 1600 the civilization began to collapse, and had virtually disappeared by the mid-19th century. Evolutionary biologist Jared Diamond said the parallels between what happened on Easter Island and what is occurring today on the planet as a whole are ‘chillingly obvious'”.[6]

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At the end of 2010, I wrote a piece appropriately headlined “Easter Island as a metaphor” and in it I tried to come to terms with what had happened to the island and how these events appear to predict the fate of the planet as a whole: “[w]hen Europeans arrived on the island it was utterly treeless. Pollen analysis has revealed however that the island was ‘almost totally’ forested until about the year 1200. But now the island is barren. A volcanic crater on the island’s eastern plain, Rano Raraku, provided the source of the sideromelane (basaltic) tuff from which 95% of the statues were carved. Some 250 mo‘ai [or Easter Island statues] are found in an almost unbroken line around the perimeter of the island, while 600 others in various stages of completion are scattered around the island. It is hard to imagine that this now barren island was once covered with trees and forests, but as wood and other tree materials were needed to transport the mo‘ai, trees had to be cut down and forests subsequently disappeared. In view of this rapacious resource depletion executed in the space of two and a half centuries, the locals devised narratives that managed to minimize the role of humans destroying the island’s abundant forests. The environmentally concerned physicist Adam Frank, on the other hand, relates in a matter-of-fact voice that the ‘need for trees, rope, and food to maintain a population of laborers eventually led to the destruction of the very forests the islanders depended on. After the forests were gone erosion took the soil too. What followed was Easter Island collapsing into starvation, warfare and cannibalism. The chance of escape disappeared too as seafaring canoes require large trees for their hulls'”.[7] Edwards, for her part, adds that “many scientists are also pessimistic, [but] others are more optimistic”.[8] She cites Professor Stephen Boyden as an example of the latter and predictably, he has come out to state that “[w]hile there’s a glimmer of hope, it’s worth working to solve the problem. We have the scientific knowledge to do it but we don’t have the political will”.[9] The other side of the coin is represented by somebody like the English writer and erstwhile green activist Paul Kingsnorth, who spent about two decades striving to save the planet as an activist in the environmental movement. But once he turned 40, he had an epiphany of sorts and threw out the baby with the bathwater, some would argue . . . he wrote an essay that ended with the following words: “It’s all fine. I withdraw, you see. I withdraw from the campaigning and the marching . . . I am leaving. I am going to go out walking”.[10] Together with Dougald Hine, he penned UNCIVILISATION: The Dark Mountain Manifesto,[11]

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“These are precarious and unprecedented times . . . Little that we have taken for granted is likely to come through this century intact.

We don’t believe that anyone — not politicians, not economists, not environmentalists, not writers — is really facing up to the scale of this … Somehow, technology or political agreements or ethical shopping or mass protest are meant to save our civilization from self-destruction.

Well, we don’t buy it. This project starts with our sense that civilization as we have known it is coming to an end; brought down by a rapidly changing climate, a cancerous economic system and the ongoing mass destruction of the non-human world. But it is driven by our belief that this age of collapse — which is already beginning — could also offer a new start, if we are careful in our choices.

The end of the world as we know it is not the end of the world full stop”.[12]

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[1] Lin Edwards, “Humans will be extinct in 100 years says eminent scientist” Phys.org (23 July 2010). http://phys.org/news/2010-06-humans-extinct-years-eminent-scientist.html#jCp.

[2] World Population Growth in the 21st Century (23 March 2012), p. 3. http://www.globalaginvesting.com/downloads/files/World-Population-Growth-in-the-21st-Century-277F.pdf.

[3] Lin Edwards, “Humans will be extinct in 100 years says eminent scientist”.

[4] World Population Growth in the 21st Century, p. 3.

[5] Lin Edwards, “Humans will be extinct in 100 years says eminent scientist”.

[6] Lin Edwards, “Humans will be extinct in 100 years says eminent scientist”.

[7] C. Erimtan, “Easter Island as a metaphor: resource depletion, climate change and the word of God” Today’s Zaman (21 December 2010). http://www.todayszaman.com/op-ed_easter-island-as-a-metaphor-resource-depletion-climate-change-and-the-word-of-god-by-can-eri-mtan-_229397.html.

[8] Lin Edwards, “Humans will be extinct in 100 years says eminent scientist”.

[9] Lin Edwards, “Humans will be extinct in 100 years says eminent scientist”.

[10] Wen Stephenson ,”‘I withdraw’: A talk with climate defeatist Paul Kingsnorth” Grist 50 (11 Apr 2012). http://grist.org/climate-energy/i-withdraw-a-talk-with-climate-defeatist-paul-kingsnorth/.

[11] The Dark Mountain Project. http://dark-mountain.net/about/manifesto/.

[12] Wen Stephenson ,”‘I withdraw’: A talk with climate defeatist Paul Kingsnorth”.

Untouchable Big Oil Threatens All Life On Earth // Empire_File016

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‘All life on Earth is threatened by catastrophic climate change–the main culprit is so powerful that the U.S. government is setup to serve it, rather than regulate it. The oil industry is a powerhouse with control over land, resources, politics and more. In this episode of The Empire Files, Abby Martin uncovers big oil’s strong-arm reach–its growth, its crimes, its power and its impunity. Featuring interviews with two investigative journalists who have covered oil disasters on-the-ground–Antonia Juhasz, author of Black Tide: The Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill, and Greg Palast, author of Vulture’s Picnic: In Pursuit of Petroleum Pig, Power Pirates, and High-Finance Carnivores. (Published on Jan 19, 2016)’.

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Pepe Escobar on the Nuclear Deal

‘Asia times correspondent Pepe Escobar talks with RT about the Iran nuclear deal. Published on Jul 15, 2015′.

Escobar writes in the Asia Times: “This is it. It is indeed historic. And diplomacy eventually wins. In terms of the New Great Game in Eurasia, and the ongoing tectonic shifts reorganizing Eurasia, this is huge: Iran — supported by Russia and China — has finally, successfully, called the long, winding 12-year-long Atlanticist bluff on its ‘nuclear weapons’. And this only happened because the Obama administration needed 1) a lone foreign policy success, and 2) a go at trying to influence at least laterally the onset of the new Eurasia-centered geopolitical order. So here it is – the 159-page, as detailed as possible, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA); the actual P5+1/Iran nuclear deal. As Iranian diplomats have stressed, the JCPOA will be presented to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), which will then adopt a resolution within 7 to 10 days making it an official international document”.[1]

The deal reached starts off like this: “The E3/EU+3 (China, France, Germany, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States, with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy) and the Islamic Republic of Iran welcome this historic Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which will ensure that Iran’s nuclear programme will be exclusively peaceful, and mark a fundamental shift in their approach to this issue. They anticipate that full implementation of this JCPOA will positively contribute to regional and international peace and security. Iran reaffirms that under no circumstances will Iran ever seek, develop or acquire any nuclear weapons”.[2]  In the next instance, the text goes on, “Iran envisions that this JCPOA will allow it to move forward with an exclusively peaceful, indigenous nuclear programme, in line with scientific and economic considerations, in accordance with the JCPOA, and with a view to building confidence and encouraging international cooperation. In this context, the initial mutually determined limitations described in this JCPOA will be followed by a gradual evolution, at a reasonable pace, of Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme, including its enrichment activities, to a commercial programme for exclusively peaceful purposes, consistent with international non-proliferation norms”.[3]

[1] Pepe Escobar, “Historic Iran nuke deal resets Eurasia’s ‘Great Game’: Escobar”Asia Times (14 July 2015). http://atimes.com/2015/07/historic-iran-nuke-deal-resets-eurasias-great-game-escobar/.

[2] “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” Fars News (Vienna, 14 July 2015). http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13940423001084.

[3] “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action”.

The Climate Change Deception or the Real Climate Change Hoax

The Union of Concerned Scientist (UCS) published The Climate Deception Dossiers in July 2015. The Dossiers’ lead authors are Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman and they categorically state that “the fossil fuel industry and policy makers learned that the climate is changing and that emissions from burning fossil fuels are the cause” “more than two decades” ago.[1]

The Dossiers‘ authors start off be saying that “there has been a climate hoax that continues today. It is the decades’ long campaign by a handful of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies—such as Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Peabody Energy—to deceive the American [as well as the global] public by distorting the realities and risks of climate change, sometimes acting directly and sometimes acting indirectly through trade associations and front groups”, adding that “for nearly three decades, major fossil fuel companies have knowingly worked to distort climate science findings, deceive the public, and block policies designed to hasten our needed transition to a clean energy economy”.[2]  Mulvey and Shulman explain that “[t]his report presents seven ‘deception dossiers’—collections containing some 85 internal company and trade association documents that have either been leaked to the public, come to light through lawsuits, or been disclosed through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. While many of these documents have been analyzed by others (Oreskes 2011; Oreskes and Conway 2010; Gelbspan 1998), these dossiers offer the most complete and up-to-date collection yet available”.[3]

Succinctly, Mulvey and Shulman explain that the “fossil fuel industry—like the tobacco industry before it—is noteworthy for its use of active, intentional disinformation and deception to support its political aims and maintain its lucrative profits”.[4] The Dossiers‘ authors charge that the “[f]ossil fuel company leaders knew that their products were harmful to people and the planet but still chose to actively deceive the public and deny this harm. The letters, memos, and reports in the dossiers show that company executives have known for at least two decades that their products—coal, oil, and natural gas—cause harm to people and the climate”.[5]  And, in a most unsettling way, they furthermore assert that the “campaign of deception continues today. With documents made public as recently as 2014 and 2015, the evidence is clear that a campaign of deception about global warming continues to the present. Today, most major fossil fuel companies acknowledge the main findings of climate science. Many even say they support policies to cut emissions. And yet, some of these same companies continue to support groups that spread misinformation designed to deceive the public about climate science and climate policy”.[6]  Mulvey and Shulman then stress that “global warming is already having harmful effects on our communities, our health, and our economy . . . Communities, people, and businesses are now facing impacts including: Rising sea level. Global warming is accelerating the rate of sea level rise and dramatically increasing coastal flooding risks. Longer and more damaging wildfire seasons . . . Costly and growing health impacts . . . Heavier precipitation and more extreme flooding. As temperatures increase, more rain falls during the heaviest downpours, increasing the risk of floods . . . More frequent and intense heat waves. Dangerously hot weather occurs more frequently than it did 60 years ago, and heat waves have gotten hotter”.[7]

The science behind climate change is not really rocket science, as elaborated by the Dossiers‘ authors; the “fundamentals of global warming have been well established for generations. The idea that heat-trapping emissions could alter our climate dates back to the late 1800s . . . By the 1950s, scientists knew that climate change could present significant risks to people and places . . . In 1965, the highly respected oceanographer Roger Revelle explained in a report prepared for the President’s Science Advisory Committee that increasing amounts of carbon dioxide could be trapped in the atmosphere and function much like the glass in a greenhouse, to raise the temperature of the lower air’ . . . The major fossil fuel companies were likely aware of all of these developments. Evidence shows that from as early as 1977 representatives of fossil fuel companies including BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Peabody Energy, and Shell attended dozens of congressional hearings in which the contribution of carbon emissions to the greenhouse effect and other aspects of climate science were discussed”.[8]  Continuing their argument, Dossiers‘ authors state that “[t]here is ample evidence demonstrating what companies did know. Exxon, for example, had a staff scientist serve as an expert reviewer for the first IPCC scientific assessment on climate change, published in 1990 . . . The industry’s own scientists were internally warning of climate dangers by the mid-1990s, as evidenced by a leaked draft document by a team headed by a scientist at Mobil that was distributed to other major fossil fuel companies in 1995 . . . As that internal document from 1995 unequivocally states: ‘The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied’ . . . Nonetheless, despite what fossil fuel companies knew about the harm their products were causing, some of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies continued to engage in an active campaign to deny the science, deceive the public, and delay action, rather than acknowledge the science publicly or change their business models and lobbying goals to be consistent with the urgent need to work toward a lower-carbon economy”.[9]

I would now like to highlight one specific case dealt with in The Climate Deception Dossiers, namely the strange instance of Willie Soon at the Smithsonian or ‘Deception Dossier #1’. Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman declare that the “documents, obtained through a FOIA request by Greenpeace and the Climate Investigations Center, show that Wei-Hock (“Willie”) Soon received more than $1.2 million in research funding between 2001 and 2012 from fossil fuel interests including ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Institute (API), the Charles Koch Foundation, and Southern Company, a large electric utility in Atlanta that generates most of its power from coal. Soon, whose background is not in climate science but rather in aerospace engineering, has long used his affiliation with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics to add credence to his climate-related research. Soon has written about many aspects of climate change but is best known for his work on the role of solar variability, research that has broadly overstated the role the sun plays in climate change and has been largely discredited by his scientific peers . . . Outcry from the climate science community over a 2003 paper published by Soon in Climate Research even resulted in the resignation of several of the journal editors and an admission by the journal’s publisher that the paper should not have been accepted”.

Elaborating on the strange case of Willie Soon, the Dossiers‘ authors clarify that “the Smithsonian Institution has launched an investigation into its disclosure and funding policies. As the contracts, proposals, reports, letters, and other documents reveal, Soon relied exclusively on grants from the fossil fuel industry for his entire salary and research budget . . . Particularly troubling, the Smithsonian Institution entered into funding agreements that gave Soon’s funders the right to review his scientific studies before they were published. The documents also show that the Smithsonian agreed not to disclose the funding arrangement without the funder’s permission . . . Soon reported his research articles and even his congressional testimony to his corporate underwriters as “deliverables” . . . While requirements for disclosing funding sources vary among disciplines and institutions, scientists generally expect one another to be transparent about their funding sources and to uphold scientific integrity by ensuring that funders do not interfere with or pre-determine research results”.[10]

Another interesting case to consider is the ‘Deception Dossier #7’ or The Global Climate Coalition’s 1995 Primer on Climate Change Science (21 December 1995).[11]  The document in question was composed by a team led by Leonard S. Bernstein, a chemical engineer and climate expert at Mobil Corporation, on behalf of an industry group called the Global Climate Coalition (or GCC). Bernstein starts off the GCC Primer like this: “[s]ince the beginning of the industrial revolution, human activities have increased the atmospheric concentration of CO2 by more than 25%. Atmospheric concentrations of other greenhouse gases have also risen. Over the past 120 years, global average temperature has risen by 0.3 – 0.6°C. Since the Greenhouse Effect can be used to relate atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases to global average temperature, claims have been made that at least part of the temperature rise experienced to date is due to human activities, and that the projected future increases in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (as the result of human activities) will lead to even larger increases in future temperature. Additionally, it is claimed that these increases in temperature will lead to an array of climate changes (rainfall patterns, storm frequency and intensity, etc.) that could have severe environmental and economic impacts”.[12]  In the next instance, Bernstein takes off his kid gloves and goes in for the kill, casually stating that the “scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied”.[13]

[1] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers (July 2015). http://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/fight-misinformation/climate-deception-dossiers-fossil-fuel-industry-memos#.VaEObpUVjpA.

[2] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers, p. 1.

[3] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers, p. 1.

[4] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers, p. 1.

[5] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers, p. 2.

[6] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers, p. 2.

[7] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers, pp. 2-3.

[8] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers, pp. 3-4.

[9] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers, p. 5.

[10] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers, p. 6.

[11] Kathy Mulvey and Seth Shulman, The Climate Deception Dossiers, pp. 25-7.

[12] Leonard Bernstein, Predicting Future Climate Change: A Primer (21 Dec 1995). http://s3.amazonaws.com/nytdocs/docs/122/122.pdf.

[13] Leonard Bernstein, Predicting Future Climate Change: A Primer.