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slick as a whistle blower

BP whistleblower: ‘They just don’t know who they’re messing with’

If you've been reading Mother Jones lately, you've heard about BP's stranglehold on media access in the Gulf, which has included preventing reporters from visiting oil-soaked public beaches and barring its spill cleanup workers from talking to the press. Now, one of BP's ex-media enforcers is speaking out. Former BP contractor Adam Dillon went public last Friday, telling a local news station in New Orleans that he was fed up with BP's handling of the spill response, not least of all its information clampdown. In an interview with Mother Jones this week, Dillon, who claims he was fired for raising …

Read more: Uncategorized


Sick with me, kid

Can global warming give you kidney stones?

The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt van RijnPhoto: Wikimedia Commons. The 1995 Chicago heat wave was one of the most brutal weather events the United States has ever experienced. On July 13, the thermostat hit 106 degrees F. Many of the city's poor and elderly residents had no air conditioning; many of those who did lost power as blackouts swept the city. Soon, thousands were suffering from dehydration, kidney failure, and respiratory distress. The hospitals were overloaded; the city couldn't cope with the flood of 911 calls. Over the following days, more than 600 people died from heat-related illnesses, with hundreds …

Read more: Climate & Energy


Copenhagen's Skeptic Tank

Climate skeptics descend on the Copenhagen talks

Cross-posted from The Bella Center, the venue hosting the Copenhagen climate negotiations, is overflowing with advocates seeking action on climate change. But their opponents have turned out in force too. They're a little harder to identify than, say, the activists walking around dressed as trees. But working the crowds are some of the biggest climate skeptics in the business. I spotted British climate change denialist Lord Christopher Monckton on Monday, surrounded by reporters. Leighton Steward, the retired oil executive who now heads Plants Need CO2, is also here. There's also the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, (CFACT) a.k.a. Climate …


Don't mess with him

Badass mayor builds bridges between working class and enviros

Mayor John FettermanPhoto: The Cap SolutionJohn Fetterman is not easy to miss. He's 6'8", 325 pounds, and usually dressed in a black work shirt and boots. He sports two large tattoos on his forearms, a shaved head, and a goatee. You might mistake him for a steelworker at first glance, but he's actually the 40-year-old, Harvard-educated mayor of Braddock, Pa. Fetterman has become a poster boy for the clean-energy revolution, thanks to an Environmental Defense Fund ad campaign that features him calling for climate and clean-energy legislation to help revitalize former steel towns like Braddock. He's appeared before Congress twice …


Lobby horse

Majority of ‘Energy Citizens’ rallies organized by oil-industry lobbyists

Here's more evidence that the "Energy Citizens" rallies against climate legislation are anything but grassroots uprisings.  We already knew that the American Petroleum Institute was behind the whole idea.  Now it turns out that even the local organizers of individual rallies are oil-industry lobbyists.  Grist obtained a copy of API's list of coordinators for the 21 planned rallies, and 15 of them are registered lobbyists, mostly for API or its state-level affiliates. There have already been three "Energy Citizens" rallies -- in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday; in Roswell, N.M., on Thursday; and in Lima, Ohio, on Friday. Others are planned …


Windfall prophet

South Dakota Sen. Johnson comes out in favor of passing climate bill

Sen. Tim JohnsonSouth Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson (D), listed as one of our fence-sitters on climate legislation, seems to be taking more of a strident stance in favor of passing a bill this year. In a column he recently penned and posted on his Senate website, Johnson argues that the climate change bill "could bring jobs, prosperity and clean air" to the country and his wind-swept state of South Dakota. "Soon the Senate will consider climate change legislation that could finally help South Dakota to live up to its wind generating potential and capture the benefits of a cash crop …


Mission possible

Veterans push for climate bill with new ‘Operation Free’ coalition

A new coalition of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is hoping to counter the oil industry–backed "Energy Citizens" rallies with its own call to pass a climate bill and end dependence on fossil fuels. Under the name of Operation Free, the group aims to rally other vets to the cause. "We're a coalition of leading veterans and national security organizations who recognize that climate change is a major threat, and support fast, bold action," reads its website. "It is time for Americans to rise to the challenge, and we're taking on the fight." In a call with reporters on Thursday, Operation …


Things that go clunk in the night

Cash-for-Clunkers to end Monday night, for real this time

Photo: billadayThe "Cash for Clunkers" program has been so successful that it will have to be wrapped up earlier than expected, the Obama administration announced on Thursday. Folks looking to turn in their fuel-hogging old cars will need to get their deals finalized by this Monday, Aug. 24, at 8 p.m. EST in order to cash in. The program was supposed to run through Labor Day, as it received a $2 billion extension earlier this month after exhausting its initial allocation. But the Department of Transportation said on Thursday that overwhelming demand has forced the program to end early to …


For what it's Wirth

Former Sen. Tim Wirth stirs up controversy over cap-and-trade, tries to tamp it down

Tim WirthTim Wirth -- former Democratic senator from Colorado, former Clinton-era climate negotiator, and current U.N. Foundation president -- raised quite a hubbub this week when he told Bloomberg news that the cap-and-trade bill in Congress had "gotten out of control."  "The Republicans are right -- it’s a cap-and-tax bill," Wirth said. "That’s what it is because they are raising revenue to do all sorts of things, especially to take care of the coal industry, and it makes no sense." Conservative pundits, like those at the Red State blog, latched onto his comments, citing them as evidence that Democrats are …


Face lift

Who are the faces behind FACES of Coal?

Yet another pro-coal group has popped up to rally folks against climate action. The Federation for American Coal, Energy and Security -- or FACES of Coal -- joins a growing list of "grassroots" groups formed to support fossil fuels. The "faces" shown on the group's website include a smiling flower vender, a child playing golf, a family with a baby, and a grandmother waving an American flag. Shockingly, no coal miners, residents of homes destroyed by mountaintop-removal mining, or asthmatic children are featured. FACES says it's an "an alliance of people from all walks of life" united by their belief …

Read more: Climate & Energy