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What investigative reporting would you like to see?

By Joe Romm  

"What investigative reporting would you like to see?"

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In early May, ClimateProgress will bring on a new blogger/journalist, as I noted last week (see “What would you like to know about clean energy?“).

But his task won’t merely be to report on clean energy.  I’m hoping we can do some investigative reporting, too.  I’d love your suggestions for areas worth exploring.

The kind of work that is done in this area is best exemplified by Lee Fang, at ThinkProgress, who was done ground-breaking reporting on the tentacles of the Koch-topus (see stories here).

A recent example done outside of CAP is from the Center for Public Integrity (“Investigative journalism in the public interest”) in their detailed new report “Koch’s web of influence“:

Ethanol

The Koch brothers are renowned as free market libertarians. But as a major trader in energy and financial markets, Koch Industries also knows how to hedge.

As its corporate officials and  publicists decried ethanol as a costly government boondoggle, the Kochs bought four ethanol plants in Iowa in recent months, with a combined annual capacity of 435 million gallons. In Washington (where ethanol tax subsidies cost the Treasury some $6 billion annually) Koch representatives lobbied Congress on ethanol and other biofuel subsidies….

Toxic

Koch’s efforts to limit regulation of toxic substances illustrate the breadth of its lobbying operation.

In 2004 Koch Industries purchased Invista, a subsidiary of DuPont, known for manufacturing Lycra, Stainmaster carpets and other textiles and fabrics. In 2005, as part of the same corporate diversification and expansion strategy, Koch Industries bought the giant wood and paper products firm, Georgia-Pacific, adding Brawny paper towels, Angel Soft toilet paper, Dixie cups and dozens of factories and plants to its holdings.

Koch has since worked, on Capitol Hill and in various regulatory proceedings, to dilute or halt tighter federal regulation of several toxic byproducts that could affect its bottom line, including dioxin, asbestos and formaldehyde, all of which have been linked to cancer….

Global warming and low carbon fuel standards

It’s in the Kochs’ commercial interest to preserve America’s reliance on carbon-based energy sources. Despite recent diversification, Koch remains a major petrochemical company with refineries in North Pole, Alaska; Corpus Christi, Texas; Rosemount, Minn., and Rotterdam in the Netherlands; an array of chemical plants; a coal subsidiary (the C. Reiss Coal Co.) and 4,000 miles of pipelines.

So it is not surprising that, when the Obama administration and the Democrats on Capitol Hill proposed to regulate the emission of greenhouse gases in recent years, Koch Industries responded with a fervent counteroffensive.

“Oppose government mandates on carbon reduction provisions “¦ [and] provisions related to climate change, and oppose entire bill,” Koch lobbyist Robert P. Hall wrote, listing his goals on the 2008 lobbying disclosure form….

Energy industry tax breaks

Koch lobbyists spend much of their time, according to their disclosure reports, fighting attempts by members of Congress to curb price-gouging, windfall profit-taking and speculation in the oil industry. To this same end, Koch officials worked to dilute a 2009 Federal Trade Commission rule governing manipulation of the energy markets.

Meanwhile, Koch has lobbied to preserve some of the oil industry’s coveted tax breaks and credits.

What kind of investigative reporting would you like to see at ClimateProgress on energy and climate in the coming year?

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61 Responses to What investigative reporting would you like to see?

  1. I’d like to see more reports on how far ahead efficiency, renewables, wind, and solar are coming. I see occasional statements that solar could overtake coal in $/KWH but nothing that makes it clear that the US is falling behind because of rigid adherence to oligarchs. What about recent efforts towards developing a smart power grid or an energy accumulator? The chief reason energy companies still clutch their monopolies is no one has figured out how to turn a green home into a storage battery yet. That’s the sustainable green revolution I want to see, but no one is talking about it.

  2. Mark says:

    Here’s two

    There’s persistent rumors of biz-as-usual corps and investors snapping up patents for competing technologies, for purpose of sitting on them to death. Is it true, and if so what’s the top 50 most important clean tech patents that we’d like to see freed?

    And if its true, what are the tools for freeing those ideas for further R&D? Eminent domain? Remember the supreme court a few years back ruled that the spinoff economic benefits to a local community by a pricey for-profit privately owned hotel were a good enough “public good” to condemn the humble private property rights that were in the way of the developers plans. Same reasoning should apply to clean tech patents.

    ===================

    Are any of the major deniers and denier think tanks quietly investing now to cash in from climate change later? Are members of the Heartland Institute’s board investing in potential RR and shipping properties around Churchill Manitoba? Does Anthony Watts have stock in companies hoping to use existing utility ROWs to build water pipelines to the southwest?

  3. Mark says:

    Here’s another idea after reading this post

    http://climateprogress.org/2011/04/09/budget-deal-epa-clean-air-cleantec/#more-46486

    where you, Joe, said:

    “The Tea Party are extremists – and thankfully progressives have finally figured out that labeling them as extremists is a key winning message.”

    How about running names of outspoken TP people against names of known White Supremacists, tax evaders, survivalists, and other types of recongized crazy extremists. If Timothy McVeigh hadn’t been executed, how many TP people would he call by first name at the rallies? Etc.

  4. right off the top of my head, would love to see reporting on the link between studies coming to ridiculous climate science findings and the fossil fuel industry.

  5. Jonathan Koomey says:

    I’d love to see a lot more investigation of underreported effects of coal mining, processing, use, and disposal. Visit mines, slag ponds,displaced mountaintops, power plants, and other coal facilities and report what you see. Let the world know that there’s no such thing as clean coal.

  6. George Almond says:

    Hi, Joe.

    My candidates for investigation are: “Who is muzzling the main stream media on climate reporting?” and “Why doesn’t the MSM critique itself on the misinformation published?”

    Is it overt influence by corporate sponsors/masters? If the Washington Post publishes outright falsehoods, why doesn’t the LA Times report on their fabrication? Faux News Network should be ridiculed by their peers, but they aren’t. Is this self-censorship due to fear that the critic would be subject to scrutiny? Cops don’t investigate cops, is that it? Nobody should be immune.

    Good luck on the new line of investigations, wherever they lead.

  7. Leland Palmer says:

    Oh, please don’t leave out ExxonMobil, and the Rockefeller family. The way to approach this research is historically, IMO, building a historical picture of ExxonMobil, Standard Oil, and the Rockefeller family. Thomas R.
    Dye, with his series of books entitled “Who’s Running America?” has been studying elites and power for decades, and his students have built a database of corporate power and control, which is available to “qualified researchers”. With your PhD, you might be able to get it.

    Why should you be concerned about historical background?

    Because it’s the same guys that have been shafting us for decades, using the CIA to overthrow foreign governments, building a system of death squads in Latin America, who are opposing effective action on climate change, and who have the sheer power and wealth to do so effectively, IMO.

    ExxonSecrets is a good place to start researching modern climate change opposition. The book “Challenged by Carbon” gives an insider’s account of ExxonMobil’s machinations in persuading European oil corporations to go slow on adapting their businesses to climate change.

  8. Mike # 22 says:

    The big one is who is behind the orchestrated Republican rejection of science and morality. There is a strong stench of something ugly behind this, and I don’t care to wait for the other shoe to drop.

  9. All hail investigative journalism!

    Me, I’ve been trying to answer this question: Who was/were behind the original CRU cyber-attack? And so I’d like to see any reporting on anything that can help to solve this mystery. I’m willing to work together with your journalist-blogger on this (to the extent that I can).

    – frank, Decoding SwiftHack

  10. Christopher S. Johnson says:

    Hi Joe, thanks for crowd sourcing.

    1.) Who constructed “Climategate”, including the Canadian university break in around the same time? Who stole the emails and found which statements to take out of context and leak?

    2.) Every single algae bio-diesel test plant I see has a long hose going out of it and into a nearby gas/oil well, and is sucking the “old CO2″ by-product out of that hole to speed the feeding of the algae. Why is this OK? Doesn’t this mean when the fuel is burned that old CO2 molecules go into our current atmosphere? Are we missing a giant achilles heel around algae bio-diesel ? I’ve seen this in three news stories now, but with no reporter getting the irony. Here is just one example, with video:

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/environment/july-dec09/algae_10-30.html

  11. Brad Pierce says:

    According to http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/0719/opinions-taxation-tax-havens-banking-on-my-mind.html

    “By my estimate, there is $15 trillion to $20 trillion in private wealth sitting offshore in bank accounts, brokerage accounts and hedge fund portfolios, completely untaxed.”

    and

    “This wealth is concentrated. Nearly half of it is owned by 91,000 people–0.001% of the world’s population. Ninety-five percent is owned by the planet’s wealthiest 10 million people.”

    and

    “The majority of offshore wealth is managed by 50 banks. As of September 2009 these banks accounted for $10.8 trillion of offshore assets–72% of the industry’s total. The busiest 10 of them manage 40%.

    “In other words the real tax haven problem is not tiny islands on the periphery of the system. The real problem is a global industry of pirate banking, made possible by the best lawyers, accountants and lobbyists money can buy. When you hear “tax haven,” you shouldn’t think of the Cayman Islands. Instead, picture institutions like JPMorgan Chase, UBS [...]”

    These trillions are generally the proceeds of crime and tax evasion. In a time of “austerity”, budget cuts for clean energy and so on, shouldn’t it be the priority of society to take these trillions back, even if we have to bribe the big banks with billions to get their cooperation?

  12. Economic impacts of chaotic weather

    detailed comparisons of 2007 IPCC predictions and 2010-2011 observations

    cradle to cradle costs of wind, solar, geothermal, etc. for LA/NY/Minneapolis (or Berlin, London, Sydney)

  13. yesmyliege says:

    I would like to know what has happened to all the supposed breakthroughs in clean energy technology that never seem to appear. Where is the photovoltaic paint made from cheap white pigment that we can brush on our houses? What happened to carbon-based capacitor battery technology? What is the actual cost of mass-produced photovoltaic panels these days? Where is the spray-on liquid glass which was supposed to be here last fall?

  14. Mike Roddy says:

    It would be nice to see deaths from coal quantified. I’ve heard one million annual coal power related deaths, but would like to see a citation.

    There is no long term comprehensive study of fracking’s current and potential effects on water supplies. This needs to be done at scale.

    The Tar Sands oil is coming our way via a proposed pipeline. Hillary Clinton and Obama are rumored to support its construction. Why has this not been covered, or more vigorously opposed by green organizations?

    I’d like to see an interview with a Republican Congressman who doesn’t vote for the oil companies every single time. If he exists, that is. Maybe he would reveal the kind of pressure that they are putting on him.

    Someone needs to investigate strange goings on in the Mojave Desert. Every time a solar company appears ready to build a big project, something goes wrong, either an extended government review or zoning change. It’s cast a pall on the industry, and cost developers a lot of money. Clearly the coal and gas companies are behind it, but it would take work to uncover their actions- including astroturf environmental organizations.

    There’s lots else- it would take several investigators to shine a light on the fossil fuels companies’ political operations.

  15. dp says:

    it seems like the physically toughest of the challenges is our buildings.

    first because they stay with us much longer than other equipment.

    second because we put them very high in our national economic scheme, to the point of using single family housing as an key indicator of our prosperity. this makes them hard to reconfigure because (as usual) we measure them in a way that makes it embarrassing if they don’t keep going the way they’ve been going, consequences be damned.

    third because where we live & work creates our transportation needs.

    so i’d like to see some inside looks at the building industry — for homes, for commercial buildings, for highways, all of it — to get an idea who the players are, why they resist cutting pollution & waste, and what would make them change their minds, besides new laws and higher prices. maybe those answers aren’t any big secret, but it seems like we’d all gain from understanding who wants what, since the industry has planetary impact.

    (probably the politically toughest is making polluters pay. or actually, clawing back public goods from anyone who’s been hoarding them during these indulgent decades. this isn’t about fairness or right-v-left, it’s about overall economic efficiency, as genius economist joe stiglitz says: http://www.vanityfair.com/society/features/2011/05/top-one-percent-201105 )

  16. I’d like to see a really strong light shined on the people at the top of the mainstream media outlets — the ones that have caused the decades-long bottleneck such that there might as well be a blackout with regard to real climate change news. Just take the Weather Channel, for instance. I saw a one-minute report on that channel — a channel that is on 24/7. Gee, 0.069% of their time spent on climate change reporting.

    Who are the people at the top of the news organizations who are to blame for the terrible ignorance of the American people with regard to climate change? Who are their minions? Are they connected to the Tea Party? How much of their ad revenue is directed related to fossil-fuel intensive companies? We need a wall of shame for them. How about monthly installments?

  17. Prokaryotes says:

    The Dalai Lama told US diplomats last year that the international community should focus on climate change rather than politics in Tibet because environmental problems were more urgent, secret American cables reveal. http://thebuddhistblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/dalai-lama-via-wikileaks-save.html

  18. John Downey says:

    I am doing a report of the effects of climate change and ice melt on the indigenous Inuit people of Greenland. I know some are having to move already due to land loss, lose of fish habitat, etc. I would love to see an up-to-date report including maps and pictures of changes to the ice sheet.

    thanks! – John

  19. john atcheson says:

    I’d like to see the role of money in journalism — especially with regard to specific examples of influence.

  20. Wilmot McCutchen says:

    Federally-funded sequestration (underground storage of CO2) demonstration projects look like a good candidate for investigation. What little money was available for fighting climate change seems to have been absorbed in the sequestration effort. If subsidies for oil company enhanced oil recovery (EOR) are not scalable to deep saline aquifers, where the pore space for power plant CO2 would have to be found, then that would be corporate welfare for the oil companies in the guise of fighting climate change. Another “how the Greens got played for suckers” story. If sequestration in deep saline aquifers poses a threat to our water supplies and might result in lethal gas eruptions some time in the future, then the money spent on it would be worse than wasted. Clearly sequestration is not feasible at utility scale (see http://network.carboncapturejournal.com/forum/topics/sequestration-time-to-punt), according to the opinion of prominent petroleum engineering experts. Actually, their words were “profoundly non-feasible,” which is a polite way of saying ridiculous.

  21. Piggybacking on Wilmot’s suggestion, I could add that investigation of the abject failure of clean coal technology projects (with noted boondoggles in Illinois) that have been allocated obscene amounts of federal funding.

  22. Anna Haynes says:

    Hmmm. I have what looks like a clue, with ties to a think tank and the potential for effective persuasion, but it’s definitely “back channel” material at this point; while it revolves around public figures, I have not been able to get and/or find people to talk about it, including the central individual. And it would be prime disinformation.

    Joe, I’ll send it by email; please devote to it the resources you think it deserves.

  23. Robert R. Holt says:

    1. How much has frakking increased atmospheric methane? In ‘Gasland’ I was troubled to see so much evidence of leakage from tanks and methane bubbling up in streams, not to mention from people’s home water wells. It is hard to believe that the huge increase in all this activity hasn’t had a measurable effect.

    2. What (if any) are the legitimate unanswered questions about the long-term adverse effects on health of chronic exposure to subsonic (say, 0–10 Hz) and very low-frequency sound (11-50 Hz) at various realistic decibel levels? It is perfectly possible for two people to have the same exposure of this kind and for one to be perfectly unharmed and oblivious while the other suffers true damage. There is differential susceptibility to many other pathogens, depending on diathesis; that makes the epidemiology very difficult. I personally believe that there are probably very few people whose symptoms are not psychogenic, but that doesn’t mean that the holes in existing research (if any) should be ignored. This is getting to be a serious interference with the growth of wind power.

  24. Richard Brenne says:

    This is an interesting and complex question, because one additional person can’t do it all. It’d be nice if they could combine actual face time with actual people with CP being a clearinghouse for the most credible information gathered by others.

    I’m impressed with Lee Fang’s work on the Kochs and most-impressed when he actually confronted one of them on-camera as we saw here months ago.

    At a dinner I convened with epic journalists James Howard Kunstler, Eric Pooley and Jeff Goodell we talked about how much information we get that’s off-the-record that’s so far beyond what sources will go on-the-record as having said, and in blogging there’s some balance here: Never betray or “out” a source, but give your best sense of the truth with as many credible sources as you can.

    I’d love to see a chart of all the Koch Associations and others where the tentacles reach into government and journalism as well as business. Maybe a master chart could be revisited as newer associations are known.

    Also I’d love to see lists of the good guys, with the list updated all the time.

    Similarly I’d love to see lists of the bad guys, like Rolling Stone has done the last two years. These characters could even be listed on CP’s home page so that the bios of the characters could be referenced by anyone, including newcomers to CP.

    The list would be adjusted and some of the characters would come as a surprise. For instance, in January 2010 Warren Buffett was first on the Rolling Stone’s list of those killing the planet’s climate because of his Berkshire Hathaway’s recent purchase of the coal-carrying Burlington Northern railroad, together with his visit (with Bill Gates) to the Alberta Tars Sands, which he saw as merely a good investment opportunity when Hansen, McKibben and Romm would see that as one of the biggest nails in our species’ (and Hansen thinks every other species’) coffin.

    Yet the perception of Buffett is just as a benevolent, grandfatherly figure, rather than a Grandfather of Doom.

  25. Rick Covert says:

    Joe,

    unless there is extensive analysis of the roll of the public relations industry in creating confusion on climate change and exposing these astro-turf envirnomental groups then everything else we do will be for naught. Exposing the Koch brothers, though they do not own PR firms employ them widely, was an excellent first step. The Kochs like anonymity in their affairs but now I’d say that has been made considerably harder now thanks to exposure you made light of here on your blog.

  26. Sarah says:

    I second brad@12.

    But the money trail is a really complicated story.

    Maybe start with a small bit of it: taxes paid (and not, especially) by dirty energy companies. What tax write-offs do they get? What laws, enacted by whom, and when, gave them these handouts? Which are most vulnerable to repeal if exposed?

  27. Roddy Campbell says:

    Touching on Mike Roddy’s comment on annual coal deaths, I’d like to know where the incentive/justification for the continued allegations that the UN/UNSCEAR/WHO et al have systematically undercooked (in spades) the human health impact of Chernobyl comes from.

    As per Monbiot’s recent correspondence with Helen Caldicott, as per the LLRC website (whose current headline is 417,000 cancers forecast for Fukushima 200 km contamination zone by 2061).

    http://www.monbiot.com/2011/04/04/correspondence-with-helen-caldicott/
    http://www.monbiot.com/2011/04/04/interrogation-of-helen-caldicotts-responses/
    http://www.llrc.org/

    Where does this stuff come from? Why is it that people can’t accept that UNSCEAR et al have reported, at least in the right dimension, what’s happened at Chernobyl 25 years later?

    Sure, future nuclear accidents may be worse than the ones we’ve had. And sure, the future issues of nuclear waste aren’t tackled.

    But on the actual subject of the issues the Chernobyl Forum tackled, why can’t people accept them and move on? If there are other grounds to fight on, then fight on them. But denying these reports is, well, denying. Surely.

    So I’d like an investigative reporter focussing on which energies are ‘cleaner’ than others to look into this stuff. I’m genuinely fascinated.

  28. B Smith says:

    re: Richard Brenne
    April 9, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    I second the goodguys/badguys list concept. Perhaps each entry linked to the support article/documents.
    Separately, two things:

    We need a comprehensive inventory of voting constituencies. How many individuals (by state?) are there to vote/support real climate action if we add them all up? Greenpeace, Audubon… all the climate and environmental orgs and NGOs in the US… the hundreds of local action groups (rural & urban)..the science community,etc.,etc. (I would like all of them invited to a central social site to cast their votes on policy & petitions, connectt with their reps, etc.) Has anyone already done this?

    Secondly, We know there is a grand alliance in the works, as found here in other blogs, to but we don’t know if anyone has solid startup plans as yet. Staging a major, coordinated national initiative to engage the US public and prepare them for action on climate change is critical, expensive, and needs to happen before this election cycle gets much farther.
    Does anyone know the state of play?

    Thank you for CP.

  29. BlueRock says:

    Roddy Campbell,

    The UN / UNSCEAR / WHO is intertwined and sometimes overtly controlled by the nuclear industry. You cannot simply accept their claims, as Monbiot has:

    * The WHO cannot say anything about nuclear without the approval of the IAEA. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/may/28/who-nuclear-power-chernobyl

    * Lack of vital knowledge about effects of Chernobyl. “Mr Monbiot … should acknowledge that there has been unwarranted dismissal of potential effects [of Chernobyl] for which there has been no objective investigation.” Dr Keith Baverstock, leader of Radiation Protection Programme, WHO 1991 to 2003. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/apr/08/lack-knowledge-effects-chernobyl-accident

    * “George Monbiot is, at best, confused about debates over nuclear power….” – Professor Andy Stirling, Science & Technology Policy, U. Sussex. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/apr/06/no-definitive-answers-nuclear-debate

    * Why Monbiot is wrong on nuclear power. http://cooltheearth.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/why-george-monbiot-is-wrong-on-nuclear-power/ + http://cooltheearth.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/why-monbiot-is-wrong-on-nuclear-power-ii/

    * “Monbiot reveals his anti-intellectual agenda by repeatedly resorting to a false dichotomy….” http://www.counterpunch.org/giambrone04012011.html

    Whatever the true number of deaths, cancers, birth defects and other suffering, it far exceeds the 43, 47, 64, 4000 or 9000 deaths (depending on which ‘official’ report you look at). There are vast sums of money and political power at stake re. nuclear so the IAEA has every incentive to lie, lie, lie.

    Why would e.g. Greenpeace lie? What have they to gain?

    * International Agency for Research on Cancer = 16,000 – “…about 16,000 cases of thyroid cancer and 25,000 cases of other cancers may be expected due to radiation from the accident and that about 16,000 deaths from these cancers may occur.” http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2006/pr168.html

    * TORCH (German Green Party, independent scientists) = 60,000 – “…the worldwide collective dose of 600,000 person sieverts will result in 30,000 to 60,000 excess cancer deaths.” http://www.chernobylreport.org/?p=summary + http://www.greens-efa.org/cms/topics/dokbin/118/118559.torch_executive_summary@en.pdf

    * Greenpeace = 93,000+ – Chernobyl death toll grossly underestimated. “…approximately 270,000 cancers and 93,000 fatal cancer cases caused by Chernobyl. The report also concludes that on the basis of demographic data, during the last 15 years, 60,000 people have additionally died in Russia because of the Chernobyl accident, and estimates of the total death toll for the Ukraine and Belarus could reach another 140,000.” http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/international/press/reports/chernobylhealthreport.pdf

    * New York Academy of Sciences = 985,000 deaths as a result of the radioactivity released. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster_effects#New_York_Academy_of_Sciences_publication + http://www.napf.org/articles/db_article.php?print&article_id=141 + http://www.strahlentelex.de/Yablokov%20Chernobyl%20book.pdf

    The Soviets covered up as much as they could – leading to many more people being poisoned than should have been. Hundreds of thousands of people dispersed across Europe following Chernobyl. There is no way to identify all those who suffered cancer-related deaths years or decades later.

    I wouldn’t recommend paying attention to anything George Monbiot says. He was fooled by the deniers re. stolen CRU emails. He was fooled by some rightwing think tank re. FITs and solar in Germany. He’s been fooled now by nuclear propaganda. He is not credible.

  30. Start with some easy answers:

    What is the advertising budget for the American Petroleum Institute? It seems that every TV news show carries a paid ad for EnergyTomorrow.org.

    How much ad revenue does a typical TV news show take in from the petroleum industry?

  31. Lewis C says:

    Roddy – regarding the prediction of death tolls from Windscale, TMI, Chernobyl and Fukushima, some of the contamination was of relatively short half-life types and thus can be expected to have lost potency within less than one human generation.

    Yet there are also medium, long and very long half-life materials that these disasters have released into the environment. – 60 miles north of where I live in Wales there was a rain shower while the Chernobyl plume went over – and the livestock grown on those mountains are still unsafe to eat and the farms are still compensated for their destruction each year. There is no such restriction on rabbits or game from that area, let alone on birds feeding there on their annual migrations.

    Over 400 million people live closer to Chernobyl than we do in Wales, with a scant patchwork of quarantined farmland, but scarcely any restrictions on game consumption, and none at all on birds’ migrations worldwide. Our swallows, for instance, have just started returning from their winter holiday in South Africa, to rear their young in the barn roof on the rich local supply of midges – who bite any mammal they can find.

    With the annual migration of Tuna across the pacific to America’s west coast now under way, caesium, with its 30-year half-life, and other isotopes will be transported into both the coastal ecology and the human food chain for perhaps another 100 million people.

    In terms of CP investigating just how many deaths are due to the nuclear industry’s corrupt profiteering incompetence, perhaps you’d better define, first, just which of all the myriad pathways of concentration in the worldwide human food chain should be included in the research you propose;
    and second, just how many generations of our decendants untimely deaths should be considered as relevant ?

    On the latter question, it seems worth noting that plutonium contamination loses just one half of its lethal potency after about 1,000 generations of humanity – and that ingesting just one particle can be lethal.

    As a child in primary school I was of the generation that was given free milk daily – which continued to be made and distributed while Windscale burned, and for weeks thereafter. I thus have a personal interest in this matter, as well as an implacable concern for present and future generations.

    Regards,

    Lewis

  32. In the energy delivery process almost every step benefits from either active disinformation or secrecy.

    Industrial decisions made free from public input is crucial to business success. In Japan’s melting reactors – the decision appears aimed at recovering the valuable nuke fuel instead of encasing it in concrete. But we do not know, it just seems that way.

    Brand identity and trust building is the only reason to reveal information, and that really does not require hard data or truth. This rule of information control seems to apply to nuke as well as coal, oil and gas – even hydroelectric.

    So all energy sectors spend heavily to co-opt, constrain and control the source of unconrtolled information that is most dangerous to their business – new reporting is outside of their direct control. Because mainstream media news purports to have a responsibility to inform the public. But the larger the media news outfit – the more likely their business goal is to deliver audience to their advertisers – this optimizes profit.

    So because of business interests, it is the advertiser clients who really call the shots in the news industry. And there is every reason to believe that a big, organized industry sector – like energy or pharmaceuticals can influence message selection and content. I expect corporate stockholders would demand it. Such a conclusion seems so logical, and yet is very hard to discover and describe.

    “Follow the money.” An easy experiment is to just notice what advertisers are bringing your news. And ask what their goals might be in shaping opinion. Count the print ads in the NYTimes from the petroleum industry. Notice the relationship be advertiser content and story selection. When was the last time you saw climate change discussed on “Meet the Press” ? Why do major paper publications consider climate change to be undecided? Why does no major news organization give the story much beyond minimal coverage? And when they do cover the story, it is about emails and thermometers?

    Follow the money.

  33. Sam Clark says:

    My first vote would be to learn more about the simultaneous decision of GM, Toyota, Fiat and Ford in the late 90s to abandon electric vehicles and try to destroy any institutional memory of them. This was no level playing field for the market place of ideas. It was a concerted effort to thwart an alternative to vehicles that are dependent on oil. Who was behind this?
    My second vote would be, why is there not more attention to retrofitting car and buses internal combustion engines to electric? Yes, there are severe limitations, but the scope is huge if the cost can be reduced for retrofitting with economies of scale and ever cheaper batteries.

  34. Roddy Campbell says:

    Lewis – I just googled the Welsh radiation ban – can you give me a DEFRA link or something? I couldn’t find it?

  35. ToddInNorway says:

    I would like to see a profile of the how US car manufacturers apply their market analysis to choosing to develop new car models. GM and Ford are back to their old ways of pumping SUVs, light and heavy trucks and other gas-guzzlers on the market. Why? What planet do they think live on? This is obviously a result of what they believe the market will buy. Why do they believe what they do to continue in their old pattern of believing cheap gasoline will always come back?

  36. Joan Savage says:

    Follow the money, but also follow the carbon, the specialty metals, and the water.
    The examples about the Koch activities suggest that it is not required to keep the focus on the clean energy industry alone.

    I’d like to see a map of the mix of US imports and US exports of petroleum and petroleum products. Is Tar Sands bitumen going to show up both as in import from Canada and as an exported petroleum product to Latin America or elsewhere? What is known about the infrastructure of pipelines that go from Canada to the northern US and to Texas refineries, and from there, in various ways to & from Central America?

    What is the effect of exporting scrap metal to India, Taiwan and China?
    That was a hot tip from my plumber here in the US who had heard of a few middlemen who were going to profit from the scrapping and export of a used water heater. And, how do specialty metal prices affect clean energy industry growth?

    Industry uses of water are second only to irrigation in the list of human consumption; please evaluate the water costs of each clean energy technology, and compare to other energy technologies’ demand for water.

    I have corresponded with Arjen Y. Hoekstra of the Water Footprint Network. He would welcome more information on industrial water footprints.

  37. bigcitylib says:

    Well, up in Canada we have suddenly seen the development of a whack of new “anti-wind-power” groups. For example:

    http://windconcernsontario.wordpress.com/

    Would like to know if they are home-grown NIMBYS or whether there is any real money behind them. They ARE having a political effect, that’s for sure.

  38. Sarah says:

    For a more positive story, try one on feed-in tariffs for electricity, comparing places they’ve been enacted and the outcomes, e.g Germany, Ontario, etc.
    And where new ones are on the table or have a chance of success if introduced.

  39. Leland Palmer says:

    Wondering about “Climategate”, it seems that the intelligence agencies, especially since the Patriot Act and the events of 9/11, would have routine access to the content of the emails. The intelligence agencies would know that there were some emails which could be misquoted and taken out of context, in the “leaked” emails.

    There was a court case in 2006 by the Electronic Frontier Foundation against AT&T, which alleged that there are Narus supercomputers, equipped with sophisticated semantic analysis software, installed at telecommunications centers around the country. One such installation is on Folsom street in San Francisco, according to that lawsuit.

    Narus exists, and is now owned by Boeing. They sell such mass surveillance equipment to governments (and corporations?) around the world. Narus sells NarusInsight surveillance systems, for real time and massive monitoring, intercept, and interpretation of email and other web traffic.

    Venture capital for Narus came from JPMorgan Partners, among other sources. JPMorgan Chase is the descendant of Chase Manhattan bank, the Rockefeller’s bank. So, once again we have a funding link for this mass surveillance system to the Rockefeller family. The Rockefeller family also appears to control ExxonMobil, if you pay attention to who wins the ExxonMobil proxy fights for control of the corporation, as happened with Lee Raymond in 2006.

    The U.S. and Britain have a long history of intelligence cooperation. Narus is not the first such intercept system for email traffic, there were earlier systems, which have been used by the NSA for decades to monitor the content of emails. One interesting source for this is the series of books by Loftus and Aarons including “The Secret War Against the Jews”, which details oil corporation collusion with the Arabs.

    It would have been trivial for such a surveillance system to cause a leak of the CRU email traffic. This suggests that there may be intelligence cooperation between the NSA and ExxonMobil, or between the NSA and the Rockefeller family.

    Climategate was a transparent attempt to derail the Copenhagen climate talks, and it succeeded. It is in the corporate interest of ExxonMobil to have those talks derailed. ExxonMobil has a long history of climate change deception and opposition, as detailed in numerous GreenPeace and Union of Concerned Scientist reports. This deception program includes a network of climate change “information laundering” operations and think tanks. ExxonMobil appears to be controlled by the Rockefeller family, and ExxonMobil is part of the Rockefeller financial empire, part of which (JPMorgan Partners) helped fund Narus. The Rockefeller family has a very long history of involvement and cooperation with U.S. intelligence agencies, including a “family jewels” briefing of David Rockefeller, as one small example.

    So, who leaked the Climategate emails? I vote for the intelligence agencies, doing a favor for the Rockefeller family and ExxonMobil.

    The intelligence agencies would have routine access to the NSA email traffic intercepts.

  40. Snapple says:

    [snip]

    The problem is not capitalism but lack of transparency. The biggest capitalists of all were those Bolsheviks who owned everything and now those Russian oligarchs who became billionaires because of their Kremlin connections. I am for capitalism, but with regulation for the public good. All societies need competing forces.

    Mainly, we need transparency so voters can judge what is going on.

    I have a strong suspicion that Climategate involved the Russians. I wrote about my suspicions a week before the UN and European media voiced these identical suspicions.
    Forgive the naivte, I was new to the topic of climate change, but it is an honest attempt to understand by someone who had never paid attention to this issue.

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2009/11/russias-hacker-patriots-embarrass.html

    I had some follow-ups on this article that discussed Russian claims.

    I would like more research on the influence activities of the Russian petrostate’s energy companies such as Gazprom and LUKoil.

    Russian energy companies do their political influence activities openly as well as covertly through apparently “non-Russian” companies that are secretly controlled by them or that have business relations with them. When you make a deal with a Russian energy company, you often have to collaborate with their political agenda. Gazprom is owned by the Russian government and pays a lot of the taxes.

    Gazprom officials have openly opposed getting gas from shale in the US because they want to sell their natural gas. Gazprom publically made an “environmental” pitch, and for all I know, they may have been right. Their gas may be more environmental than getting gas from shale.

    See “Gazprom Goe$ “Green”!”

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2010/02/gazprom-goes-green.html

    Gazprom tries to influence EPA policies in ways that are not environmentally sound. For example, the Gazprom organ Kommersant openly attacked the British climate scientists for dishonesty right when the EPA made its ruling on CO2.

    As Cuccinelli’s EPA suit reports, with breath-taking if unconscious irony:

    “On December 15, 2009—the very day that EPA announced the Endangerment Finding—the Russian Institute of Economic Analysis (“IEA”)reported that CRU probably tampered with Russian climate data and that the Russian meteorological station data do not support human-caused global warming.”

    http://www.oag.state.va.us/PRESS_RELEASES/Cuccinelli/Joint%20Motion%20to%20Remand%20VA%20filed%20with%20clerk%204_15_10.pdf

    The Kommersant article was abridged a bit, translated into English by RIA Novosti, and recycled by the Heartland and Cuccinelli. Gazprom is owned by the Russian government and is full of people who used to work for the KGB. It was hardly an accident that the article appeared on the “very day” of the EPA ruling on CO2.” Capitalist-Roader Cuccinelli’s observation is one of the great fellow-traveller quotes of all time.

    This a pretty clear case of collaborating with a foreign government agency to attack an American government agency. [Libertarians seem not to have the problems with Russian agencies that they have with US agencies.]

    Kommersant is owned by the Gazprom operative Alisher Usmanov. He is reputed to be in charge of Gazprom’s sensitive foreign operations. He has an education and career that suggest an affiliation with the KGB.

    Cucinelli’s dad is a career gas lobbyist who got his start in the American Gas Association. This is almost NEVER mentioned in the Washington Post. It was mentioned once in a biography about Cuccinelli, but the father’s career has never been investigated for the role it might play in Cuccinelli’s policies.

    The elder Cuccinelli currently owns a public relations firm. Any arrangements the father’s companies have with the son’s political operations should be transparent. One of the dad’s companies has “European” and “Latin American” clients. So-called “professional services” can disguise money-laundering. Perhaps the elder Cuccinelli’s clients are really sponsoring the persecution of Dr. Michael Mann. I can only say my suspicion, not facts, because Cuccinelli won’t tell what is going on here.

    Businesses shouldn’t be determining how the head law officer in the Commonwealth of Virginia operates.

    What I want researched is here—please read what I found out (below). I voted for Cuccinelli. I feel like Cuccinelli TRICKED me, not Dr. Mann! Cuccinelli and Glenn Beck made me see that I wanted to defect from the Republicans. To me, Cuccinelli seems to be subverting the office of the Attorney General and turning it into an instrument of persecution–the sword and shield of the Denialist Party!

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2010/09/attorney-general-cuccinellis-daddy-and.html#links

    We need to know who is giving money to our state politicians. State politicians may not have the rules that federal elected officials have about foreign money.

    Cuccinelli cited the Russians in his EPA suit. I wonder if the other states who sued the EPA cited the same RIA Novosti version of the Kommersant article. I bet these states coordinated their attack on the EPA. To me, this all seems like a really big influence operation.

    Here is information about the article. Cuccinelli even mischaracterized what the Russians said. The Russians messed up their facts a little, so I think he had to “fix” what they said.

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2010/10/attorney-general-cuccinelli-ties-his.html

    Also, Cuccinelli’s Florida sugar daddy Bobby Thompson has reportedly fled to Eastern Europe or the Middle East.
    His picture was on America’s Most Wanted, but nobody knows who this guy really is. He is a John Doe.

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2011/01/has-attorney-general-cuccinellis-sugar.html

    When you buy Russian gas you also have to promote the Russian government’s political agenda.

    It is a big goal of the Russians to be a major supplier of liquified natural gas to the US.

    Here is how this subversion already works in Europe:

    “Russia’s LUKoil has serious pull in the Czech Republic, and has cultivated ties with many leading politicians…

    Unlike Western firms, which lobby largely in their own interests, Russian state-controlled and private enterprises play an integral role in Kremlin foreign policy, and they’re ‘undoubtedly influencing the behavior of various Czech political parties and politicians,’ [former President Vaclav] Havel said in an interview. ‘I’ve seen several cases where the influence started quietly and slowly began projecting onto our foreign policy. I can only advise serious discretion and great caution.”—RFE/RL (9-25-10)

    Russia experts Gregory Feifer and Brian Whitmore have published an excellent article titled “Czech Power Games: How Russia Is Rebuilding Influence In The Former Soviet Bloc” (9-25-10). The article explains how Russian energy companies and the Russian government are subverting democracy and sponsoring global warming denialism. [See also "Why The Russia Spy Story Really Matters" (RFE/RL, 7-9-10)]
    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2010/09/russian-oil-companies-subverting.html

  41. Sailesh Rao says:

    A few years ago, George Monbiot stopped being vegan and started mouthing food industry palaver. Now, he is obviously not reading the report that Helen Caldicott sends him and he is mouthing nuclear industry palaver. Please investigate why?

  42. BlueRock says:

    Joe, I made a comment ~15 hours ago. It contained many links. I didn’t get ‘awaiting moderation’ message so I guess it went to the spam folder. Can you set it free, please?

    More re. Monbiot and his new nuclear love and his ludicrous claims that only 43 (or 47 depending on which article you read) people died as a result of Chernobyl:

    * How Many Cancers Did Chernobyl Really Cause? “As we see below, 70,000 and 35,000 are reasonable estimates of the number of excess cancers and cancer deaths attributable to the accident.” http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/gronlund070411.html

    ~~~

    My request / suggestion: investigation and exposure of the anti-renewable propaganda. I’ve come to believe that the climate ‘debate’ is a partial distraction. While we’re debunking the ACC deniers, we’re not focusing on the real prize: replacing fossils with renewables.

  43. Anna Haynes says:

    What I’d like to see – answers to my questions (Why would a “global warming complacency” 501c4′s income exactly match a director’s stock purchase amount, when he’s said they’re unrelated? What’s with the $345,791 spent for “contract labor” by AZ-based Idsos’ Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change in 2009? why is their Form 990 income for 2003 so much less than the donations Scaife & Exxon reported? why doesn’t Frontiers of Freedom have Form 990s available beyond 2006? …why won’t SPPI’s Ferguson call back & explain what he did to get $187k plus a $60k bonus from the Idsos, when (AFAIK) their connection isn’t public (except in IRS filings)? how does the Idsos’ business Cenospheres (“serving the oilfield industry”) tie in? Why won’t _Cool It_’s filmmaker substantiate her assertion that people in the film lost their jobs as a result? …etc)

    With two caveats – first, some of the above are likely red herrings (or deliberate disinformation; caution is advised), and second, the most important followup Q (after “what reporting would you like to see”) would be “…and have you considered whether/how it could be turned into a precedent for abuse, e.g., DoS attacks against organizations/research/action, and how to take precautions against this?”

  44. Christopher S. Johnson, Leland Palmer, Snapple, and myself. Well, that makes 4 people interested in SwiftHack!

    Leland: My impression from reading the notes of the Muir Russell team’s meetings with UEA’s IT staff (some of which I link to) is that this was an active hack attempt which specially targeted the CRU backup server in UEA’s central IS facilities — not a passive eavesdropping as one might reasonably expect from a mere NSA/CIA/FBI/MI5/MI6 intercept operation. Certain tell-tale signs in the FOI2009.zip file itself would also suggest an active break-in.

    In general, I’ve found the zip file itself and the Muir Russell inquiry material to be rather rich sources of information, even though they still aren’t quite enough to help pin down the identity of the guilty party. I also tried directly e-mailing e.g. some of the CRU researchers, but mostly got no answer — maybe my pseudonymity has something to do with it. Hopefully CP’s two-man team will have better luck.

    frank

  45. Snapple says:

    Radiation at Chernobyl:

    The late nuclear physicist Vassili B. Nesterenko (2 December 1934–25 August 2008) was hounded and persecuted by the Belorussian KGB because he published inconvenient truths: research about the consequences of Chernobyl.

    Nesterenko claims that the nuclear core might have exploded like a giant atomic bomb. Minsk would have been obliterated and Europe rendered uninhabitable. Many lives were sacrificed so that this would not happen.

    India’s Daily Latest News (4-27-10) reports:

    A report by Alexey Yablokov, Vassily Nesterenko and Alexey Nesterenko which appeared in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences [See "Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment"] showed that by 2004, there were 985,000 additional deaths worldwide caused by the nuclear disaster, including 212,000 of them within Western Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

    I can’t judge if this Russian scientist is right or not. More here, plus a film that interviews Nestorenko and Gorbachev.

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2010/05/death-of-exceptional-resister-vassili-b.html

    The fires last year burned up radioactive land and sent some radiation into the air.

    When Russia’s state forestry protection agency warned of the danger, their site went down and they got in trouble.

    Probably they didn’t want the firefighters to stop fighting the fires in that area.

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2010/08/wildfires-spread-across-radiation.html

  46. Roddy Campbell says:

    Bluerock – thanks for your reply, and the links.

    Baverstock’s letter is sensible, and doesn’t allege any worse health effects than the Chernobyl Forum, only that the investogation wasn’t sufficiently funded and exhaustive to be sure, and states that there are potential (ie possible) effects about which there has been no investigation, which he doesn’t name, I assume for brevity.

    While he may be right to dispute equating UNSCEAR with IPCC, the reports I’ve read were written jointly by 8 UN specialized agencies, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA), United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), and the World Bank, as well as the governments of Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine. Which weakens the possibility of one agency being driven by one or two powerful people?

    Stirling’s letter only criticises George for being over-definitive, and stresses there should be more mention of uncertainty (which I agree with, both here and in the IPCC context, especially WG2).

    The Cooltheearth blog wrecks any case it might have in the first paragraph, which shows they haven’t read any of the reports. they say ‘But Monbiot “forgot” to add to this figure the estimated 4,000 deaths from thyroid cancer.’ – Er, no. 4,000 cases, and something like 99% recovery rate, so very few deaths, is what the reports say. A later report mentions 6,000 cases, again with overwhelming recovery. I’m afraid I didn’t read on after that error.

    I’m sure that some of the links make some perfectly sensible points, but, like George, I’ve not seen anything authoritative, and Helen Calidcott’s correspondence with him, from someone who absolutely should be able to supply such if it were available, I found very telling, and he covered the NYAS report you link to.

    I don’t treat Monbiot as gospel, far from it, I still have nightmares about his vision of battery-powered combine harvesters (I’m a farmer). I’m afraid I agree with him on UK solar FiTs being one of the worst ways ever devised to reduce CO2, in terms of bang for the buck.

    As ‘why would Greenpeace lie’, I haven’t suggested that, although George certainly got close. Clearly Greenpeace have a history of opposition to nuclear power going back decades that comes close to ideology, so that they look for reasons to debunk the UNSCEAR et al reports isn’t surprising?

  47. shauserman says:

    Although Deep Climate has been doing an admirable job of exposing the plagiarism in the Wegman Report to Congress, I would like to see some investigation of why George Mason has not acted for over a year on Ray Bradley’s complaint against Edward Wegman. It would seem that there must be some pressure behind the scenes (from members of congress, George Mason funders, etc) to stall the investigation and hope it goes away. It would be fascinating to explore what is going on and to follow the threads which I suspect connect, Wegman, Said, right wing members of Congress, McIntyre, the Administration of George Mason, and right wing think tanks.

  48. BlueRock says:

    Roddy Campbell:

    > …the reports I’ve read were written jointly by 8 UN specialized agencies, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), …

    The IAEA is the marketing – propaganda – department for the nuclear industry. It’s prime function is to promote and protect nuclear energy. The IAEA controls what the WHO is allowed to say. I can’t make comment on the reports you claim to have read as you have provided no links.

    The simple fact is that the ‘official’ claimed death toll and cancers are tiny in comparison with independent, credible reports. I trust those who have no financial incentives to lie over those whose entire purpose if to promote and protect a trillion dollar industry. And regardless of trust, the science is compelling in showing the mortality from Chernobyl far exceeds the laughable numbers quoted by Monbiot.

    > I’m afraid I agree with him on UK solar FiTs being one of the worst ways ever devised to reduce CO2, in terms of bang for the buck.

    Again, multiple credible expert sources disagree – and the reality of what is already happening in Germany. Nukes offer close to no solution because they cannot be deployed quickly or reliably enough. We cannot afford them. Se Joe’s recent coverage on the escalating costs of nuclear and plummeting costs of solar and wind: “Nuclear: from too cheap to meter to too expensive to matter.”

    The main benefit of nuclear is to ring fence power (both electrical and political) for a ruling plutocracy with close ties to the military industrial complex.

  49. Snapple says:

    Re: CRU Hack

    “There have been indications that the hackers could have been based in Russia, and some experts believe they may have been hired by sceptics based in the US.”—The Financial Times (4-15-10)

    Shortly after the so-called “Climategate” e-mail scandal got underway, the British authorities announced that the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit (NETCU) was assisting Norfolk Constabulary with the investigation into the allegations of computer hacking at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU).

    The global warming denialist bloggers like James Delingpole appeared nonplussed by this development, but the involvement of the NETCU is really not unexpected.

    The U.K. Times (12-5-09) reports that the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) “works closely” with the U.K.’s Meteorological Service (MET), which is a branch of the U.K.’s Ministry of Defense.

    The British consider global warming a threat to their national security. If hackers are breaking into the servers of CRU scientists who work with a department of the U.K. Ministry of Defense and are posting stolen e-mails on the server of an “internet security business” in Tomsk Russia, it should come as no surprise that the British authorities are going to want to know who is doing that.

    If it turns out to be the case that U.S.-based global warming skeptics paid Russian hackers to break into the servers of CRU researchers who work with the MET, a branch of the U.K. Ministry of Defense, certainly such skeptics might expect to become legitimate targets of investigations by the U.K. police and national security agencies.

  50. Leland Palmer says:

    Hi Frank- post # 45-

    Well, it would have been a lot easier for the hackers to do an active hack if they already knew what they were looking for and where it was located, right? The U.S. and British intelligence agencies undoubtedly knew exactly where the most “incriminating” statements were located.

    What I envision is the following scenario:

    Someone associated with ExxonMobil (or Koch)wanted to disrupt Copenhagen. This could be, for example, someone like David Rockefeller or the Koch brothers, or a lower level hired hand like Marc Morano. Speculating further, that person or group of people contact persons inside the intelligence agencies, and ask their help.

    The intelligence insiders do a few key word searches on the CRU, using the email intercepts routinely collected by intelligence agencies like the NSA, and routinely shared with British Intelligence. They search for words implying deception, such as “trick” or words such as “travesty”. Alternately, they use software like the Narus intelligence semantic analysis software to find quotes suggesting deception, correlating this with members of the CRU.

    Up pops thousands of potentially useful statements implying deception, located in various locations. Searching for a single location where a number of these “incriminating” statements are located, up pops the CRU computers targeted by the later hacking incident.

    The intelligence professionals realize they have to leave a false trail, so they contact Russian hackers and tell them where the data is located, and pay them to do the actual hacking. The Russian hackers are also given instructions to fumble around a little and leave a false trail, lest the “hacking” look too easy. The rest happens according to the conventional interpretation of the known facts.

    The data is then fed to Delingpole, one of the few deniers outside the paid ExxonMobil and Koch funded climate denier network, lest that connection be too obvious. The ExxonMobil and Koch funded denier network is then free to scream about the supposed deception “documented” by the “hacking” incident.

    The timing, just before Copenhagen, is just too good for it to be a random hacking incident. Somebody was paying those Russian hackers, I suspect. Their success was all out of proportion to the amount of hacking apparently done, suggesting that the Russian hackers already knew what they were looking for. The subsequent “leaked” information was then propagandized by the ExxonMobil and Koch paid climate denier network, and had its resulting and intended chilling effect on Copenhagen.

    Much of this is speculation, of course, but I hope that it is logical speculation that fits the known facts.

  51. Lewis C says:

    Roddy at 36/. -

    I tried googling – radiation chernobyl north wales sheep – and got over 46000 entries of which the first few included articles on the issue by Guardian, Independent and BBC, plus a statement on the contaminated zones by the UK food standards agency.

    There may well be a statement by Defra somewhere below.

    You might also try googling for – wild boar chernobyl radiation Germany – as apparently many of the wild boar killed there each year have now concentrated ex-Chernobyl caesium to the extent that they cannot be eaten.

    I look forward to your response to the suggestions in my post above.

    Regards,

    Lewis

  52. Roddy Campbell says:

    Lewis – what were your suggestions? I can’t see any in post #32?

    Thanks for the suggested Google search re Welsh sheep, I was just being dozy, this document from the FSA from June 2009 seems to have the whole story http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/pdfs/chernobylwelsh08.pdf

    c. 95% has been derestricted (down to 180,000 sheep population from 4 million) and in the 2008 testing by the FSA around 95% of sheep tested from the remaining restricted areas were under the limit.

    You stated …’60 miles north of where I live in Wales there was a rain shower while the Chernobyl plume went over – and the livestock grown on those mountains are still unsafe to eat and the farms are still compensated for their destruction each year.’

    So far as I can tell that isn’t correct, no sheep are destroyed, the compensation payments (£1.30 per sheep) relate to the extra costs for the farmers on the remaining restricted areas penning the sheep for the DPA Inspector to look at – sheep over the limit are kept on low ground and are re-tested a few days later as the caesium-137 levels falls quickly through excretion.

    Where did you get the information that sheep are destroyed from?

  53. Roddy Campbell says:

    Bluerock – thanks for reply

    I don’t know how to embed links, but these are some of the publications I read:

    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2005/pr38/en/index.html
    http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/chernobyl/en/
    http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/chernobyl/IAEA_Pub1239_web%5B1%5D.pdf
    http://www.who.int/ionizing_radiation/chernobyl/chernobyl_digest_report_EN.pdf
    http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2006/9241594179_eng.pdf
    http://www.unscear.org/docs/reports/annexj.pdf
    http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1239_web.pdf
    http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/statements/2005/ebsp2005n008.html

    I’m not sure you can tar all of WHO/UNDP/FAO/UNEP/UN-OCHA/UNSCEAR and so on with being financially incentivised to lie? The IAEA coordinated the environment findings, the WHO the health findings.

    I still haven’t seen any ‘independent, credible reports’, but I guess credibility is in the eye of the beholder, so we may have to agree to disagree. The reason Monbiot is relevant is that if he had found an independent report he found credible, or even some substance to, say, Caldicott’s claims, I’m pretty sure he would have said so. NYAS absolutely didn’t support Caldicott.

    (I haven’t seen much evidence of wind costs plummeting either, this report on UK wind output from the John Muir Trust (a Scottish charity) was interesting. http://www.jmt.org/home.asp and the report is at http://www.jmt.org/assets/pdf/wind-report.pdf , but that’s a wholly different conversation, my question was solely to do with denying the Chernobyl Forum reports).

  54. Marlowe Johnson says:

    1. CRU hack follow-up

    2. Wegman/GMU follow-up

  55. Solar Jim says:

    1) Describe what banks, utilities and other entities will benefit by the Democratic Party, through the president, endorsing atomic taxpayer handouts via loan guarantees for reactors and plutonium reprocessing plant and process subsidies? What non-taxpaying industrial conglomerates are on the list?

    2) What is the story, including information she had, about the burned up car with the dead body of a former employee of Member of Congress Rosa DeLauro? I understand, she was a lobbyist for Progress Energy, which is merging with Duke to form the largest US utility.

    3) Describe the vast interlocking utility, university, lobbying, weapons and atomic power complex and how much of it’s utility sector is centered around the president’s home territory, and how it is promoted by Ivy League type universities. Describe Insurance Indemnification and how nuclear power is entrenched in agendas of national security, and manipulation of profit such as through “nuclear bankruptcy electric utility restructuring” during the last years of the Twentieth Century. Describe if any reactor whatsoever meets original Design Basis Approval, or whether these have all been changed by the NRC to meet a national atomic agenda.

  56. Ethanol looks for me the best to see as report !

  57. Leland Palmer:

    Well, personally I’d avoid postulating the involvement of state intelligence agencies unless there’s an explicit mention of those somewhere in the available evidence.

    Of course given our present state of knowledge SwiftHack, I suppose there’s still some possibility that intelligence agencies were involved. Then again, given our present state of knowledge on SwiftHack, a whole lot of things are possible… And yes, one thing which I’d like to find out — as you mentioned in passing — is how and where exactly the filtering of e-mails was done.

    I think questions like these are why investigative work is useful — instead of everyone speculating ‘here’s what I think happened, and here’s what you think happened’, someone with the resources and commitment to truth can finally dig up the true answer and tell us ‘hey look guys — here’s what really happened!’ I’m quite sure that the truth, if and when it does come out, will bring some surprises for all of us.

    frank

  58. Jay Alt says:

    Thermal Electric Storage. Off-peak grid power heats iron oxide bricks up to 1400F and levels the heating load. 1st article says it has been used for 20+ yrs in Europe. What are their experiences, recommendations & warranties? The following articles give some cost numbers with payback times ranging from 2 to 20 years. Why the wide variation?

    Steffes furnaces
    http://www.handycanadian.com/articles-electric-thermal-storage.asp

    http://www.hemisphere-eng.com/assets/Uploads/Multimedia/WEEC-2010-Presentation-Compatibility-Mode.pdf
    ETS Option by Nova Scotia Power: Case Study of a Statistically Representative NS House

    http://www.peaklma.com/documents/LeBel.pdf
    New Electric Thermal storage furnace for space heating case studies for CI market

    http://canmetenergy-canmetenergie.nrcan-rncan.gc.ca/eng/buildings_communities/communities/publications/peterborough.html

  59. sailrick says:

    Joe
    Maybe an article on what it will take to get the solar thermal ball rolling in the southwest U.S.
    Related to this, are you aware of Shec Energy, and what they call disruptive technology for solar thermal? They say their solar thermal can run at about twice the temperature of existing technology, greatly increasing power and efficiency as well as improved heat storage, at half the cost. 850 C verses about 450 C with existing plants.

    http://www.shecenergy.com/

  60. Snapple says:

    My number 43 is still in moderation after a week or so. Is that an oversight?