Climate Skeptic’s Fossil Fuel Funding Exposed


Andy Rowell writing at Oil Change International (from Feb.):

For nearly two decades avid researcher, Kert Davies, has been hunting climate deniers and exposing their links to the fossil fuel industry.

Davies, who used to run Greenpeace USA’s Research Department, developed Exxon Secrets a decade ago which highlighted many of these links. It remains an invaluable tool today.

Last year, Kert decided to move on from Greenpeace and set up the Climate Investigations Center, whose remit is to “monitor the individuals, corporations, trade associations, political organizations and front groups who work to delay the implementation of sound energy and environmental policies that are necessary in the face of ongoing climate crisis.”

For anyone who has followed how climate sceptics have distorted the debate on climate science, there are a few key names on the list. And one of those is Wei-Hock Soon, more commonly known as Willie Soon, who is an astrophysicist from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics.

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Always Sell Your Best Hallucinations: An Interview with Dave Wyndorf of Monster Magnet

cobrasandfireActual Photo of Dave Wyndorf’s Attic

It’s not everyday you get to interview one of your heroes, let alone at complete random. So, the backstory to this interview goes like this: I somehow got on a metal PR distribution list because of something I wrote years ago. I don’t even remember what I wrote that got me on this list in the first place…at all. Being not much of a straight up metal guy, I occasionally download an album or 2 and am typically like, ummm, no. I get roughly 5 of these messages a week and this has been going on for years now. I had thus far responded to exactly none of these requests. As a matter of fact, I haven’t even done a musician interview since 2013. Then all of a sudden there it was in my inbox. Hey, do you want to interview Dave Wyndorf of Monster Magnet?… Read the rest

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Trevor Noah’s master class: It’s not just Fox News — this is the topic that needs Noah, Oliver, Stewart


Sophia McClennen via Salon:

For some time now our nation has counted on satirical comedians like Jon Stewart to entertainingly inform us of major issues we would otherwise ignore.   In an era when mainstream news media constantly fails in its watchdog role and when most politics seems like a circus, satire has played a major role in providing the public with much-needed information in a format that is fun and engaging.  When CNN asks whether Ebola is “the ISIS of biological agents,” we have the perfect proof that mainstream news is more about hype, fear, and spectacle than about information.

We can thank our satirists for helping the public understand the role of Super PACS in funding elections, for exposing the sleaze behind tax-exempt churches, and for consistently hammering Fox News on its lies.  But there is one major news story the satirists have mostly ignored and it’s time to ask why.

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Anti-Vaccine Activists Smear Couple Whose Child Died

Baby Riley: A victim of whooping cough.

Baby Riley: A victim of whooping cough.

Via Green Jihad:

Anti-vaccine activists have stooped to an all time low. An Australian couple whose child died from a vaccine-preventable disease decided to take their experience by writing about it on social media in order to warn people but were met with insults and outright vitriol for their daring to speak out.

An opinion piece in The West Australian describes the experience of Catherine and Greg Hughes. Six months ago, the couple tragically lost their four week old baby, Riley, to whooping cough die to not vaccinating him and upon posting messages on social media warming people of what happened when their baby died of pertussis, they were trolled and had insults directed at them by online anti-vaccine activists.

One campaigner compared the couple to Adolph Hitler’s Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbles, claiming they were conducting a sales pitch for vaccine companies. Another went so far as to question Riley’s existence stating that his death might have been staged in order to promote immunization efforts.

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How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll

811+aY5djDLThe paperback edition of Peter Bebergal’s book Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll is out today. To celebrate we’re republishing our exclusive interview with Peter:

Disinformation: You seem to struggle somewhat to define “occult.” Is it a loaded term?

Bebergal: For a word with such a simple definition, the “occult” has lost almost all meaning, as when you say a word over and over again until it sounds made-up. When I told people I was working on this book, the responses were wildly different, and extremely prejudicial. Some folks assumed I was writing only about the devil and rock music, others—believing the occult to be nothing more than base superstitions—thought the project had no merit, and then there were those that assumed, and hoped, I was going to be making metaphysical claims. I’m sure there were others who worried about my soul. There are just too many preconceived ideas to give it a single satisfying definition.… Read the rest

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‘It’s Like I Forget I’m in Prison’: Simple idea that could change solitary confinement

Prisoners Growing Sagebrush
Terrence McCoy via Washington Post:

It began with a painting, a biologist and an idea to disprove the widely-held axiom that trees are static. The biologist first affixed a paintbrush to a tree branch, set it to a canvas and watched it sketch. She then multiplied the length of that tree’s stroke by every branch in its crown. In the course of a year, the biologist learned, the tree would move 187,000 miles — or seven times across the globe. This seemingly immobile thing was actually in constant motion.

The drawing and its implications would ultimately spark a program that has infiltrated some of the most impenetrable prisons in the nation, attracted international attention, and earned a spot on TIME Magazine’s list of best inventions. Called the Nature Imagery Project, it transports the soothing elements of nature into supermax prisons to help ease the psychological stress of solitary confinement.

The project is rooted in an idea that even the most static entities — like trees, like inmates in solitary confinement — have the capacity for change.

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Obama Becomes The First Peace Prize Winner to Bomb Another Peace Prize Winner

A Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan was bombed over the weekend. This is a very rare instance of a Nobel Peace Prize winner bombing another Peace Prize Winner. In fact, it’s the first. Also – these doctors don’t just have ironic bombs to worry about, the TPP will make their jobs that much harder as well! Lee Camp explains.

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Flaws found in forensic DNA lab testing

The Texas Forensic Science Commission recently found that state labs were analyzing DNA evidence with “an outdated protocol for calculating the probability of DNA matches in ‘mixtures.'”

Martin Kaste via NPR:

Over the summer, the Texas Forensic Science Commission, which sets standards for physical evidence in state courts, came to an unsettling conclusion: There was something wrong with how state labs were analyzing DNA evidence.

It seemed the labs were using an outdated protocol for calculating the probability of DNA matches in “mixtures”; that is, crime scene samples that contain genetic material from several people. It may have affected thousands of cases going back to 1999.

At first, they assumed the update wouldn’t make a big difference — just a refinement of the numbers.

But when a state lab reran the analysis of a DNA match from a murder case about to go to trial in Galveston, Texas, it discovered the numbers changed quite a bit.

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‘Capitalism is Mother Earth’s Cancer’: World People’s Summit Issues 12 Demands

"Caring for Mother Earth is a moral issue," UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon (left) told the World People's Conference on Saturday. "We must change how we use Mother Earth's resources, and live in a manner that is sustainable." Here, he is pictured with Bolivian President Evo Morales. (Photo: Reuters)

“Caring for Mother Earth is a moral issue,” UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon (left) told the World People’s Conference on Saturday. “We must change how we use Mother Earth’s resources, and live in a manner that is sustainable.” Here, he is pictured with Bolivian President Evo Morales. (Photo: Reuters)

This article originally appeared on Common Dreams.

Decrying capitalism as a “threat to life,” an estimated 7,000 environmentalists, farmers, and Indigenous activists from 40 countries convened in the Bolivian town of Tiquipaya for this weekend’s World People’s Conference on Climate Change, aiming to elevate the demands of social movements and developing countries in the lead-up to upcoming United Nations-led climate talks.

“Capitalism is Mother Earth’s cancer,” Bolivian President Evo Morales told the crowd, which also heard over the course of the three-day conference from United Nations Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon as well as other Latin American leaders.

The people’s summit, which concluded Monday afternoon, produced a 12-point declaration (Spanish) that will be presented during the COP21 climate negotiations taking place November 30-December 11 in Paris, France, during which 200 countries will attempt to cement an agreement to curb global warming.… Read the rest

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