A new biography reveals the Koch brothers' very early role in creating organized climate denial

The Koch brothers are quite an enigma: on the one hand, they owe their vast fortune to extremely long-range planning: Charles Koch is famously contemptuous of entrepreneurs who take their companies public, believing that the public markets insist on such short timescales that they undermine real growth; and he grew his father's hydrocarbon empire by investing heavily in automation systems with extremely long amortization schedules. Read the rest

As New York State's shareholder suit against Big Oil for climate denial proceeds, Exxonmobil caught intimidating witnesses

In 2015, a deep investigative report from Inside Climate News revealed that as early as 1977, Exxonmobil knew that it was destroying the planet with CO2 emissions, and its response to that fact was to gin up a decades-long disinformation campaign aimed at sowing expensive doubt about the subject, even as it grew more certain of its facts. Read the rest

Paying for climate change: the question isn't "How?" but "Who?"

Writing in Wired, political scientist Henry Farrell points out what should be obvious: we're going to pay for climate change (that is, either we're going to rebuild the cities smashed by weather and take care of the people whose lives are ruined, or we're going to pay to cope with the ensuing refugee crisis), so the question isn't "how can we possibly pay for climate change?" but rather, "Will the people who profited from pumping CO2 into the atmosphere pay, or will their victims be left on the hook for their greed and recklessness?" Read the rest

Elizabeth Warren wants to force companies to warn investors about their risks from climate change

Public companies are legally required to disclose their risks to investors, but it's a rare company that incorporates climate change into those mandatory disclosures; under a new presidential campaign platform proposal from Elizabeth Warren (disclosure: I am a donor to both Warren and Sanders's campaigns), the SEC would require public companies to incorporate two kinds of climate risk in their warnings: first, the risks of an out-of-control climate (fires, floods, etc); and second, the risks from the a transition to clean energy (collapsing fossil fuel prices). The idea is to accelerate divestiture from climate-destroying industries like oil and fracking, and to spur investors to favor companies with a plan to mitigate the effects of climate chaos on their operations. Read the rest

The rent is too damned high because money-laundering oligarchs bought all the real-estate to clean their oil money

In an absolutely epic Twitter thread (unrolled here) author CZ Edwards lays out an incredibly compelling explanation of spiralling real-estate prices: oligarchs need to launder a lot of oil money -- think Russia, Iran, ex-Soviet basket-case states, Saudi -- and so they plow the money into offshore Real Estate Investment Trust that then cleans it by outbidding any actual real-estate investors or would-be homeowners, bidding up and snapping up all the property in desirable cities, and then realizing the rental income-flows as legitimate, clean money. Read the rest

Corporate America projects giant profits from climate disasters

Though firms may worry about profits now that Trump's decision to let the world boil in its own juices rather than offend the hydrocarbon lobby (Coke may run out of water, Disney may run out of themepark-goers), the latest report from UK nonprofit Carbon Disclosure Project shows that companies are also privately exulting in the new possibilities opened up by climate catastrophes and the ensuing hidden misery. Read the rest

Congressional Democratic establishment wants to replace "Green New Deal" with a climate committee of oil money recipients

The Green New Deal -- championed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other progressive Dems -- is one of the most popular Democratic policies in living memory, supported by 81% of registered voters (including 64% of Republicans and 57% of "conservative Republicans"), so of course the Democratic establishment is trying to kill it. Read the rest

Inside the funny accounting that lets the money-losing fracking industry claim to be profitable

Fracking is grossly unprofitable: the fracking industry is losing hundreds of millions of dollars, but it claims to be profitable and august publications like the Wall Street Journal and Reuters repeat these claims as though they were true. How can this be? Read the rest

Blame billionaires for climate change

70% of global emissions come from 100 companies: Koch Industries' annual carbon emissions bill is 24 million tons. Read the rest

Leaked document shows Trump officials planning to force Americans to spend $311m-$11.8b/year to keep unprofitable coal and nuclear energy plants from shutting

Officials in Trump's Department of Energy prepared a plan to use unprecedented "emergency powers" to force the US grid to rely on expensive, unprofitable coal and nuclear power, rather than paying market rates for cheaper sources of energy: renewables and natural gas. Read the rest

Scott Pruitt's EPA has opened secret backchannels to the climate denial industry to find "scientists" and other "experts"

The Environmental Defense Fund and the Southern Environmental Law Center sued the EPA to force it to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request for access to emails to and from thinktanks associated with the climate denial industry like the Heartland Institute, Plants Need CO2, The Right Climate Stuff, and Junk Science. Read the rest

Koch-backed climate deniers are exploiting the reproducibility crisis to discredit climate science

The National Association of Scholars is a tiny, hydrocarbon-industry backed organization that is not to be confused with the National Academy of Sciences. Read the rest

Oklahoma teachers walk out, sensing weakness from GOP legislators who caved on taxing the oil industry

Oklahoma teachers will walk out en masse this coming Monday, despite a historic agreement from the ailing state legislature to give them a long-overdue pay raise which will be paid for by increasing taxes on the state's previously untouchable oil and gas industry. Read the rest

The oil industry just told a judge that climate change is undeniably real, but they still found a way to weasel

Judge William Alsup in San Francisco is presiding over a case in which California cities are suing the big oil companies over the climate-related disasters they're experiencing; Judge Alsup asked for a "tutorial" session in which experts for both sides would be asked to explain the underlying science, something he's done in earlier cases that turned on technical questions, including a DACA case and a case on lidar and self-driving cars. Read the rest

Oklahoma Republicans are tearing themselves apart as they confront the economic wreckage of their policies

Oklahoma spent eight years under full GOP rule, with Republicans controlling the governorship and the legislature, passing a fully ALEC-compliant slate of laws that benefited the wealthy at the expense of the poor; the result has been a catastrophe for the party's fortunes in Oklahoma, to say nothing of a catastrophe for Oklahomans, whose schools are running four day weeks so teachers can made ends meet by getting a day's work at Walmart (no wonder they're on the verge of striking); while Republican lawmakers have run amok, introducing bills demanding that creationism be taught in schools; or that protesters be bankrupted for peaceful assembly; and making the state a haven for forced-labor camps masquerading as drug rehab centers. Read the rest

Kucinich is running for Ohio Governor, and he's promised to end fossil fuel extraction and sue Big Oil

Dennis Kucinich was once the youngest mayor of a major city in the US, leading Cleveland through a hard fight with the banks and mobbed-up city contractors to save its municipally owned power plants and kill a plan to privatize the city's energy; after decades in Congress, he's running for Democratic governor of Ohio (a state whose Republican leadership has shamelessly corrupted the state's electoral process) and promising to kill fracking and oil extraction, fund studies that will produce the evidence to sue Big Oil, and create jobs by funding a conversion of the state to renewable energy. Read the rest

The West Virginia Democrat candidate who was dragged away for calling out gas-money-dependent lawmakers has raised record-breaking sums

When Lissa Lucas stood up at a public meeting of the West Virginia legislature and read into the record the gas-industry campaign contributions that lawmakers had received prior to taking a favorable view on allowing gas-drillers to drill in West Virginians' property, she was dragged out of the chamber. Read the rest

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