Site: DeSmogBlog

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The DeSmogBlog team is led by Jim Hoggan, founder of James Hoggan & Associates, one of Canada's leading public relations firms. By training a lawyer, by inclination a ski instructor and cyclist, Jim Hoggan believes that integrity and public relations should not be at odds – that a good public reputation generally flows from a record of responsible actions. His client list includes real estate development companies, high tech firms, pharmaceutical, forest industry giants, resorts and academic institutions. He is also a Board Member of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Recent Articles

DeSmogBlog: Donald Trump Jeopardizes America’s Global Position By Reversing US Climate Policy

During the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, a common theme among the candidates was that the U.S. needed to scale back efforts to combat climate change because one country can’t go it alone. The candidates’ thoughts were that other countries were still polluting, so why should the U.S. “destroy our economy” to address climate change?

The only problem with this talking point…

2017-03-28 22:02   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Trump Kingmakers Rebekah and Robert Mercer Attended Heartland Institute's Climate Science Denial Conference

Standing in front of a crowd of influential climate science deniers and conspiracy theorists, Myron Ebell was in a triumphant mood.

“It’s the people who have worked persistently against global warming alarmism that made this election possible,” said Ebell, referring to the election of Donald J. Trump as president.

Ebell was handpicked by Trump to lead the “transition team” at the…

2017-03-28 05:15   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: As Exxon Pushes Gulf Refinery During March Madness Ad Blitz, Facility Offered $1.4B Tax Break

ExxonMobil has engaged in a March advertising blitz, repeatedly airing a new commercial during national cable news channel breaks and prominently, during TV timeouts during the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I basketball tournament, better known as March Madness.

The commercial vaguely promotes what Exxon says is a new jobs initiative, which it claims will create…

2017-03-27 22:41   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Does 'Green Energy' Have Hidden Health and Environmental Costs?

By , and .

There are a number of available low-carbon technologies to generate electricity. But are they really better than fossil fuels and nuclear power?

To answer that question, one needs to compare not just the emissions of different power sources but also the health benefits and the threats to ecosystems of green energy.

var…

2017-03-26 12:58   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Introducing Biochar: Climate Change Solution or Greenwash Nightmare?

After years of investigating biochar, which promoters have touted as a potential climate change fix, DeSmog is releasing its findings on the science, claims, and controversy surrounding this approach to sequestering carbon. 

Biochar is the product of plant or animal products (biomass) undergoing pyrolysis, a high-heat chemical reaction, to convert the carbon-containing biomass to a…

2017-03-24 10:57   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Heartland Institute Award Winner Compares Work of Climate Science Deniers to 9/11 Firefighters

An award winner at a flagship conference for climate science deniers has compared their work to the heroics of firefighters during the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York.

Greeted with applause, the statement was made by University of Pennsylvania marketing professor Scott Armstrong at the end of day one of the Heartland Institute’s meeting in Washington, D.C.

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2017-03-24 05:36   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Heartland Institute Award Winner Compares Work of Climate Science Deniers to 9/11 Firefighters

An award winner at a flagship conference for climate science deniers has compared their work to the heroics of firefighters during the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York.

Greeted with applause, the statement was made by University of Pennsylvania marketing professor Scott Armstrong at the end of day one of the Heartland Institute’s meeting in Washington DC.

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2017-03-24 02:04   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Improving Gas Mileage Will Cost up to 40 Percent Less than EPA Estimated: New Report

It may be far cheaper than previously estimated for American car manufacturers to meet fuel efficiency standards — slashing greenhouse gas emissions, improving air quality, and helping drivers keep the cost of filling their gas tanks low — because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) might have overestimated the price tag on innovation by as much as 40 percent, a newly published

2017-03-23 22:03   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: What The Oilsands Sell-Off Actually Means

The last few months have been marked by some massive shifts in the oilsands.

In December, there was the $830 million Statoil sale to Athabasca Oil, followed in January and February by the writing down of billions of barrels of reserves by Imperial Oil, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil.

On March 9, Shell sold a majority of its oilsands assets to Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL) in a

2017-03-22 16:51   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: How a Libertarian Think Tank Is Trying to Correct the 'Degenerate' Climate Science Debate in Washington, DC

There are lots of attributes that seem to work as reliable predictors that a person or group will reject the science of human-caused climate change and the risks that come from it.

In recent years, for example, being a Republican or a Tea Party member has gone hand in hand with branding the science of climate change as a giant scam.

If you’re one of those conspiracy theorists like…

2017-03-22 10:58   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Facts And Evidence Matter In Confronting Climate Crisis

We recently highlighted the faulty logic of a pseudoscientific argument against addressing climate change: the proposition that because CO2 is necessary for plants, increasing emissions is good for the planet and the life it supports. Those who read, write or talk regularly about climate change and ecology are familiar with other anti-environmental arguments not coated with a scientific sheen.…

2017-03-22 00:41   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Two Ethanol Trains Derail — and One Explodes — as Industry Embraces Riskier Practices

On March 8, a train pulling 80 tank cars of ethanol derailed in Providence, Rhode Island. Luckily, no ethanol was spilled and no one was injured. However, activists immediately began calling for a halt to these “unit trains” of ethanol into and out of the city, noting the potential risks to the community. Unit trains are longer than average freight trains — often 100 cars or more…

2017-03-21 23:10   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Study: Natural Gas Power Plants Emit up to 120 Times More Methane Than Previously Estimated

Researchers at Purdue University and the Environmental Defense Fund have concluded in a recent study that natural gas power plants release 21–120 times more methane than earlier estimates. 

Published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, the study also found that for oil refineries, emission rates were 11–90 times more than initial estimates. Natural gas, long touted…

2017-03-21 00:45   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Curbing Climate Change Has a Dollar Value — Here’s How and Why We Measure It

By , Harvard University

President Trump is expected to issue an executive order soon to reverse Obama-era rules to cut carbon pollution, including a moratorium on leasing public lands for coal mining and a plan to reduce carbon emissions from power plants.

Trump and his appointees argue that these steps will bring coal miners’ jobs back (although coal industry job losses…

2017-03-19 11:58   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: While One Louisiana Town's Lead-Tainted Water System Is Replaced, Dozens of Others Deteriorate

For years the discolored water delivered to the northern Louisiana delta town of St. Joseph resembled what one would expect to find in a third-world country. But it wasn’t until high levels of lead were discovered in the town’s municipal water system that work began to replace it. 

On March 6, Louisiana Gov. John Bell Edwards, along with local officials and state…

2017-03-18 11:57   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Brain Drain: Engineers and Managers Flee Southern Company’s Troubled Kemper ‘Clean Coal’ Plant

This is a guest post by Dan Zegart of the Climate Investigations Center

With builder Southern Company still promising that the Kemper power plant will go online soon, a group of key engineers and managers who work on the plant's so-far-inoperable gasifier has left the company.

Earlier this month, Southern Company posted a cluster of want ads on its web site for a “gasification 

2017-03-17 21:11   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Architect of Federal Fracking Loophole May Head Trump Environmental Council

Confidential sources have told Politico that Bill Cooper — current congressional staffer and former fossil fuel industry lobbyist and attorney — is under consideration to head President Donald Trump's White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ).

CEQ works to coordinate various federal agencies dealing with environmental and energy public policy issues and oversees the National…

2017-03-17 10:58   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Climate Change Denier Jim Inhofe Says EPA Is 'Brainwashing' Our Children

In August 2016, Republican Senator and noted climate change denier Jim Inhofe told conservative radio host Eric Metaxas that children were being “brainwashed” into believing in climate change in school, and that we needed to “un-brainwash” them once they come out. This entire exchange (available here) arose from a conversation Inhofe claims to have had with his granddaughter because…

2017-03-16 18:18   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Trump Takes Aim at Fuel Efficiency Requirements, Prompting Concern US Automakers Will Lag on Innovation

In a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, Wednesday (March 15), President Donald Trump handed a victory to the oil industry, in a move that will have severe and long-lasting ramifications for the climate — and could leave American automakers lagging far behind in the emerging world market for highly fuel-efficient vehicles.

Trump announced he was taking the first steps to rollback rules requiring…

2017-03-16 16:36   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Why Is "Rosie the Riveter" Being Appropriated for a War Against Climate Science?

Her image is iconic — red polka dot bandanna around her hair, blue sleeve rolled back, exposed bicep curled in a show of strength, a speech bubble declaring, “We Can Do It!”

We know her today as “Rosie the Riveter,” and she’s shown up on t-shirts, coffee cups, oven mitts, bobble-head dolls, and now, even a quarterly report of the fossil fuel industry–funded think tank, the

2017-03-16 10:57   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Have Oil Majors Changed Their Tune on Climate Change?

“This is the biggest challenge as we have at the moment as a company,” Ben van Beurden, chief executive of oil giant Shell, said recently. “The fact that societal acceptance of the energy system as we have it is just disappearing.”

Speaking at the annual CERAWeek energy conference in Houston on March 9, van Beurden described the growing tensions between his industry, which has created…

2017-03-16 07:00   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Only Way to Stop Deadly Coral Bleaching Is to Cut Fossil Fuel Burning, Says Major New Research

Coral reefs across the globe cannot be saved from devastating bleaching events unless rapid action is taken to cut greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning, major new research has found.

Published in the journal Nature, the research finds the world’s biggest reef system — the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in Australia — has been suffering the impacts of global warming since its…

2017-03-16 01:12   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Electric Utility Executives Pony up for the GOP Roll Back of Environmental Protections

This week, as President Trump reportedly prepares to begin unwinding the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, and as Congressional Republicans continue their systematic dismantling of environmental protections, the heads of electric utilities are showing up in Washington, D.C. to raise money for the GOP leadership.

On Tuesday night (March 14), the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the major trade…

2017-03-15 19:21   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Unsealed Court Documents Suggest Collusion Between Monsanto, EPA to Pollute Science

Agrichemical giant Monsanto is currently facing lawsuits from people who claim that exposure to the company’s blockbuster product Roundup has caused cancer, specifically non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers of the blood. The active ingredient in Roundup, glyphosate, is the suspected culprit. Roundup is the most widely used herbicide on the planet right now.

As part of this ongoing…

2017-03-15 18:33   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Three Reasons Why Keystone XL May Never Get Built

Almost a full decade since first applying for a presidential permit, TransCanada looks set to finally receive go-ahead in the U.S. for its massive $8-billion Keystone XL pipeline.

But here’s the thing: U.S. approval, while a great leap forward for TransCanada, doesn’t guarantee the Keystone XL pipeline will ever be built.

New U.S. President Donald Trump was elected with the explicit…

2017-03-14 17:46   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: My Congressman Is Trying to Abolish the EPA

On November 8, 2016, Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was elected to his first term in Congress, representing Florida’s 1st District. This happens to be the district that I have called home for my entire life.

The first piece of legislation he introduced as a federal representative was to completely abolish the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by December 31, 2018.

“Completely abolish” is…

2017-03-14 17:02   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: States Ramp up Attacks on Incentives for Electric Vehicles

As federal support for electric vehicles (EVs) is expected to wither under the Trump administration, state-level policies will play the biggest political role in how quickly battery powered motors replace the internal combustion engine.

Yet, at this critical moment when state governments should be supporting zero-emission vehicles, many states are cutting their incentives, while others are…

2017-03-14 00:59   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Now Under Attack, EPA’s Work on Climate Change Has Been Going on for Decades

By , University of Oregon

The Trump administration intends to roll back two pillars of the Obama administration’s climate policy — regulations to limit carbon emissions from vehicles and power plants.

Under President Obama, the Environmental Protection Agency was central to these regulations. But new EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has said he plans to return the agency to…

2017-03-13 11:58   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Revealed: How BP Puts its Branding in Local Schools While Cutting North Sea Jobs

Oil giant BP is promoting its brand to thousands of schoolchildren in almost 100 schools in Aberdeenshire, an area in which it recently slashed a fifth of its workforce.

Documents obtained by DeSmog UK through freedom of information requests show BP sponsoring a tutoring scheme and cooperating with the local council and universities to place its branding in schools.

DeSmog UK’s…

2017-03-13 07:00   Click to comment

DeSmogBlog: Exxon, Peabody Coal Lobby for Bill Poised to Load EPA Science Board With Polluters

A bill which would prohibit scientists who had received research grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from serving on its Science Advisory Board (SAB) and potentially welcome more industry and corporate representatives to the board has passed through the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

The SAB is an independent council charged with reviewing the…

2017-03-12 11:57   Click to comment


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