Top News

Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 05:00 • Kyla Mandel

Climate change could be disrupting the relationship between bees and plants, according the research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) published today.

The study examined how changes in temperature impacted the relationship between solitary bee species Andrena nigroaenea and the Early Spider Orchid.

The research, published in Current Biology, found that warmer springs cause changes in the bees’ life-cycle, and disrupt their natural synchronisation with the orchids they pollinate.

Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 04:32 • Kyla Mandel

Climate denier Lord Lawson claimed last night that any attempt to prevent catastrophic global warming is “unethical” because it would put the needs of future generations over those living today.

The former Tory chancellor, whose policies overheated the British economy in the 1980s leading to boom and bust, argued environmental risks should be ignored today because perpetual economic growth would mean future generations would always be richer.

Lawson was supported by Andrew Lilico, an economist and chairman of the Institute of Economic Affairs Shadow Monetary Policy Committee, who said: “The rich look after the environment best.”

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - 23:14 • Brendan Montague

Lawson is almost always introduced as Thatcher's chancellor — but he was instrumental in her downfall. And once again, the tobacco- and oil-funded Institute of Economic Affairs and its radical free market ideology was at the heart of the debacle. 

Margaret Thatcher's chancellor Lord Nigel Lawson's last public engagement as chancellor was at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), where he was joined by Sir Geoffrey Howe: “It was a happy if piquant, occasion,” Lawson would remember.

“Here were the two ministers who, of all Margaret's cabinet colleagues, had probably done most over the previous ten years to roll back the frontiers of socialism.”

Secretly, however, both Lawson and Geoffrey Howe were on the verge of breaking with Thatcher.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - 11:57 • Brendan DeMelle

We’re pleased to announce that DeSmog UK has appointed Kyla Mandel as Deputy Editor.

With in-depth reporting experience on topics including sustainable timber and fracking, Kyla will bring an analytical eye to all her work as Deputy Editor.

Living in London for the past two years, Kyla has worked for titles such as Green Futures Magazine, EnergyDesk and most recently The ENDS Report. Her work has also appeared on Forbes Online and The Guardian’s Sustainable Business channel.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 - 08:46 • Kyla Mandel

Senior officials from business, government, NGOs and academic institutions gathered in London this week for policy institute, the Chatham House’s annual conference on climate change.

The conference, held on 3-4 November, sought to “examine opportunities to raise ambition [on climate change] and convert this into results” ahead of December’s COP 20 discussions in Lima.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 09:53 • Guest

By Kieran Cooke, From the Climate News Network.

Insurance is all about assessing risk, so you might expect companies in the sector to be intimately involved with one of the most potent risks facing the world – the possibility of catastrophic climate change.

Yet a survey by Ceres, a US not-for-profit group that lobbies for more environmental awareness in the business sector, has found a startling lack of action by most insurers on the issue.

In total, more than 300 insurers, a large proportion of them based in the US, were canvassed and then given various ratings associated with their response to climate change – ranging from “leading” to “minimal”.

“Most of the companies responding to the survey reported a profound lack of preparedness in addressing climate-related risks and opportunities,” the Ceres report says. “Only nine insurers, or three per cent of the 330 companies overall, earned a ‘leading’ rating.”

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 - 01:34 • Brendan Montague

Scientists had well understood for many decades that adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere could raise global temperatures and cause climate change. But when politicians finally took notice, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was formed, industry began a war with science itself. 

Bert Bolin, the founder of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was the first scientist to detect signals from the coal and oil industry that there would be serious resistance to climate science and its policy implications. 

As soon as governments began taking the issue seriously, the energy industry mobilised its greatest assets in order to combat organised opposition to its climate-damaging activities.

The Global Climate Coalition (GCCwas formed as soon as the IPCC came into being and, as the name suggests, this was an industry-funded powerhouse designed to undermine any global coalition to prevent climate change.

Bolin notes: “The strategy pursued was primarily to minimise the significance of the possible impacts of climate change and to address procedural and legal issues.”

The majors would engage with the issue more quickly than some of the environmental campaign groups.