Kate Sheppard

Kate Sheppard was previously Grist's political reporter. She now covers energy and the environment for The Huffington Post. Follow her on Twitter.

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 …

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 …

Copenhagen's Skeptic Tank

Climate skeptics descend on the Copenhagen talks

Cross-posted from MotherJones.com. 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 …