Category Archives: Climate Change

Here is what #Shell Knew about Climate Change in the 1980s

Repost from DeSmogBlog
[Editor: Here’s the link to the original 1988 Shell internal document.  ALSO, see previous stories 2015-2016.  – RS]

Here is what #Shell Knew about Climate Change in the 1980s

By Mat Hope • Wednesday, April 4, 2018 – 23:15
Cover pages of a Shell internal document

Shell knew climate change was going to be big, was going to be bad, and that its products were responsible for global warming all the way back in the 1980s, a tranche of new documents reveal.

Documents unearthed by Jelmer Mommers of De Correspondent, published today on Climate Files, a project of the Climate Investigations Center, show intense interest in climate change internally at Shell.

The documents date back to 1988, meaning Shell was doing climate change research before the UN’s scientific authority on the issue, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was established.

Here’s a quick run through of a 1988 document entitled, ‘The Greenhouse Effect’. Continue reading Here is what #Shell Knew about Climate Change in the 1980s

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NRDC: It’s Time to Fire Scott Pruitt

Repost from Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

It’s Time to Fire Scott Pruitt

Expert Blog, by Rhea Suh, March 29, 2018 Rhea Suh 
The EPA administrator is a threat to the environment and our health.
Susan Walsh/AP

What’s in a silver dollar? Who’s buried in Grant’s tomb? What’s the purpose of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency?

Some questions answer themselves, but EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt gets the easiest one completely wrong. He’s made it his job to protect polluters and put the environment at risk.

It’s not the agency’s mission that needs changing―it’s the administrator. Scott Pruitt’s got to go.

That’s not a position NRDC takes lightly. We’ve disagreed with EPA administrators before. Pruitt, though, is intent on making the agency fail. That’s why we’ve joined with other environmental advocacy groups to call on President Trump to replace Pruitt with someone who’ll protect the people, not the polluters. Continue reading NRDC: It’s Time to Fire Scott Pruitt

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Trump, Not Record-Breaking Disasters, Dominated TV News Coverage of Climate Change in 2017

Repost from DesmogBlog

Trump, Not Record-Breaking Disasters, Dominated TV News Coverage of Climate Change in 2017

 By Farron Cousins • Monday, February 12, 2018 – 16:51
NOAA map showing 2017's 16 billion dollar climate and weather disasters
This map depicts the general location of the sixteen weather and climate disasters assessed to cause at least one billion dollars in direct damages during 2017. [CLICK MAP TO ENLARGE] Credit: Climate.gov, public domain
Extreme weather events in the United States seemed ever-present in the media during 2017, with historic wildfires, floods, hurricanes, and droughts receiving national coverage. What was less common, however, was major TV news networks making the connection between these kinds of billion-dollar disasters and climate change for their viewers. That’s despite scientific support confirming these links, and some experts even warning that such extreme events may be “the new normal.”

The conclusion about major network coverage of climate change comes from a new report by Media Matters for America.

This report found that the major news networks — ABCNBC, Fox, CBS, and PBS — spent a combined 260 minutes covering climate change in 2017 on their evening news and Sunday morning talk shows. The report does not include coverage from cable news outlets. While CBS and PBS spent more time on the issue than the rest of the networks, they were also the only ones to feature guests who outright denied the overwhelming scientific consensus around human-caused climate change.

For example, an October 10 edition of PBS NewsHour hosted notorious coal executive Bob Murray of Murray Coal, who made the claim that “I listen to 4,000 scientists … who tell me that mankind is not affecting climate change.” Murray’s interviewer did not question or correct his erroneous claims, and presented Murray’s position as one of two “sides” along with former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy.

Climate Change and Trump

Up from a dismal 50 minutes of total coverage in 2016, last year’s TV news attention on climate change actually rarely discussed extreme weather events — or greenhouse gas emissions, advances in climate science, or much besides the Trump administration’s actions and statements. In fact, the networks only devoted a combined 12 total segments to discussing the link between extreme weather and climate change, and two of those segments were discussing the links between climate change and hurricanes.

The networks, combined, also had four segments on public health issues related to climate change, three on economics and climate change, and just two which discussed the national security issues associated with climate change. There is some overlap in the numbers, as some issues were discussed in the same segments.

Instead, the lion’s share of the climate-related coverage — 205 of the 260 total minutes — was spent talking about Donald Trump and his administration’s actions on climate change and environmental policies.

Of all the network broadcasts, PBS devoted more segments than any other network to the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, with CBS coming in a very close second. PBS spent far more airtime discussing the administration’s rollback of environmental protections than the other four networks combined. Notably, none of the networks devoted a single segment last year to covering the climate implications of the Dakota Access or Keystone XLpipelines, which climate activists have fought vigorously and on which Trump issued decisions last year.

The report also mentions that nearly one-third of the broadcasts that mentioned Trump’s infamous 2012 tweet calling climate change a Chinese “hoax” did not bother to refute the president’s claims.

Billion Dollar Disasters

According to estimates, 2017’s extreme weather and climate disasters in the United States cost the country more than $300 billion. Since 1980, there have been 219 weather and climate catastrophes that have carried a price tag of over $1 billion a piece, according to the government’s own calculations. Between the more than a thousand deaths from natural disasters in the United States last year (mostly due to Hurricane Maria) and the astronomical price tag, it is obvious that major network coverage could have gone far deeper in reporting the context and connections to climate change.

Mainstream media’s overall failure to mention climate change in the context of extreme weather events helps prevent the public from linking the two.

Climate change has far more impacts than just rising temperatures, and until broadcasters begin explaining its links to human impacts, environmental damage, and extreme weather, too many people will be left with only half of the story.

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