Thursday, August 9, 2018 - 08:35 • Mat Hope

They’re at it again.

Despite campaigners’ repeated calls for publicly-funded museums to drop controversial commercial deals, the Museum of Science and Industry has agreed a deal with fossil fuel giant Shell to sponsor a new exhibition, DeSmog UK can reveal.

The exhibition, Electricity: The Spark of Life will run for six months, as part of the Manchester Science Festival. It will be sponsored by Shell UK, North West Electricity, and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Campaigners said they were “hugely disappointed” at the museum’s decision.


To see details of more fossil fuel company sponsorships, check out our Greenwash Database


Thursday, August 16, 2018 - 05:55 • Guest
Read time: 4 mins

By Ruth Hayhurst for Drill or Drop

For the first time since 2013, a quarterly public attitudes survey for the government has not asked questions on whether people support or oppose fracking.

The latest findings, published this morning, cover only whether people were aware of the process.

Previously, 18 surveys for the Wave public attitudes tracker had asked whether people supported or opposed fracking for shale gas and by how much. It also asked why people supported or opposed.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - 02:30 • Guest
Read time: 5 mins

By Megan Darby for Climate Home News

Presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro is threatening to take Brazil out of the Paris Agreement if he wins the October election.

In an unpredictable race, the right-wing Bolsonaro is polling secondbehind Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the socialist former president. But “Lula” is in jail for corruption and likely to be disqualified by the courts, leaving a scattered field.

At his campaign launch last month and in subsequent interviews, Bolsonaro said he would join Donald Trump’s US and withdraw from the Paris pact.

Sunday, August 12, 2018 - 16:01 • Chloe Farand
Read time: 8 mins

A pro-Brexit campaign group with ties to a neoliberal transatlantic network and climate science denial is emerging as a potentially influential player pushing for environmental deregulation and a “no deal” scenario.

Economists for Free Trade (EFT), formerly known as Economists for Brexit, has made the news recently following its report claiming that a cliff edge Brexit and adoption of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules would be “the very best” option for the UK.

The group claims to be a coalition of independent economists, but it has strong ties to Brexiteer Conservative MPs, right-leaning mainstream media and some well-known climate science deniers.

The group has long been pushing for a full break-up with the EU and has accused the Treasury and civil servants of misleading the public on the costs of Brexit and staying in the customs union.

The group’s findings that “no deal would be better than a bad deal” have contradicted most other studies on the issue and have been widely criticised as “doubly misleading”.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018 - 09:19 • Mat Hope and Ru...
Read time: 4 mins

Durham County Council has decided not to take action against Banks Mining over a planning breach at the UK’s newest coal mine, DeSmog UK can reveal.

The council told DeSmog UK that it would not seek to penalise Banks for failing to complete an access road to its mine at Bradley, County Durham, before commencing work as it was not “an efficient use of resources for us to take enforcement action.”

The completion of the access road was one of the conditions agreed between the council and Banks Mining as part of the planning permission for the mine. The way the clause is worded suggested the road needed to be completed prior to work commencing.

Friday, August 3, 2018 - 06:02 • Mat Hope
Read time: 12 mins

As you drive up through the undulating hills near Greencastle, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, you’ll see a sign for a local attraction: a Mass rock — not an unusual sight in this part of the world. But turn right, and in a hundred metres or so there's something more surprising: a caravan, surrounded by a dozen or so national flags, and hand-painted signs warning of a “toxic future”.

Return to the main road, drive on a couple of minutes, and you’ll start to pass small construction sites. Normally there’s a truck or two, a yellow porta-cabin, and a few men in overalls. They stand beside a drill bore working its way into the ground, before turning their attention to you. Not engaging, but watching. 

This is what it’s like living in and around the proposed site for a new gold mine as a Canadian exploration outfit, Dalradian, tests the quality of the riches beneath the earth.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 - 04:31 • Mat Hope
Read time: 4 mins

It was all a bit retro… A BBC radio presenter, looking out the window and seeing it’s (still) hot, and leaning into his microphone to ask “does this mean climate change is real?”

Do not adjust your wireless. This really is the opening question on a segment about climate change. In 2018.

BBC Radio Cambridgeshire’s decision to have climate science denier and UKIP supporter Philip Foster on to debate a (non-climate) scientist about whether or not humans have caused climate change immediately drew much ire.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - 02:06 • Chloe Farand
Read time: 7 mins

A thinktank has been helping climate science deniers push their agenda on government ministers through its lobbying activities for a UK-US free trade deal, which could see the UK import products such as genetically modified (GM) beef and chlorinated chicken, an undercover investigation by Greenpeace’s Unearthed published in the Guardian reveals.

It exposed how the free-market thinktank the Institute for Economic Affairs is playing a pivotal role in enabling behind-the-scene discussions about a US-UK trade deal while advocating for a hard-Brexit with cabinet ministers.

The Unearthed investigation and a response published by the IEA, seen by DeSmog UK, also reveals details of how climate science deniers, including Tory hereditary peer and coal baron Matt Ridley and DUP MP Sammy Wilson, advocate for deregulation — including on food and environmental standards — as part of the IEA’s push for a hard-Brexit and stronger trans-Atlantic commercial links.

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