White House physicist sought aid of rightwing thinktank to challenge climate science

William Happer contacted Heartland Institute, one of the most prominent groups to dispute that fossil fuels cause global heating A member of the climate crisis, a trove of his emails show. Jim Bridenstine, the Nasa administrator, had accepting the science of climate breakdown. In May 2018, an exchange between Happer and Heartlands Wysmuller called Bridenstines change of heart a puzzle and copied in the temperature increases and Nasas deputy administrator, about emissions actually benefit the planet rather than drive harmful climate disruption, once claiming that carbon dioxide has been demonized much like the poor Jews under Hitler. The physicist was previously a leader and co-founder of an advocacy group called the Mercer Family Foundation and the Noaa) and the Environmental …

Revealed: Mobil sought to fight environmental regulation, documents show

Revealed: documents from the early 1990s show oil giant looked to make tax-exempt donations to promote the companys interests Oil giant Mobil sought to make tax-exempt donations to leading universities, civic groups and arts programmes to promote the companys interests and undermine environmental regulation, according to internal documents from the early 1990s obtained by the Guardian. The documents shine a light on the ways corporations have used their money to buy influence, amass prestige and shape public policy through grants to academic programmes and advocacy groups. The documents come to light as ExxonMobil, formed when Mobil merged with Exxon in 1999, is now recommended contributing a total of $25,000 to the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, saying the center had …

Climate crisis: aviation industry hears clamour for electric planes

Shift from fossil fuels top of agenda for Paris air show, industry having lagged behind other sectors Faced with growing calls for action on the climate crisis, aerospace companies gathering for the Paris air show next week are turning their thoughts to a future run on electricity rather than fossil fuels. The scale of the challenge is considerable. The target for net zero carbon emissions by 2050, recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and emissions laggard compared with the car industry or power generation, but improvements in the German startup Lilium and US firm Bell Helicopter small hybrid-electric commuter aircraft to market in the early 2020s, and Aurora Flight Sciences, which is also targeting air taxis. Yet for …

Indiana Jones of climate science: the professor who escaped a 70ft crevasse

After filming himself as he clambered out with a pickax, John All has resumed his Himalayan mission One spring morning in 2014, before breakfast or even coffee, outside magazine The trip had been fraught since the beginning. The five-member teams initial expedition to Everest had come to an abrupt end when a massive avalanche struck the Khumbu icefall and base camp, killing 16 Sherpas, including one from Alls team. After much deliberation, they re-routed to Himlung, about 160 miles west of Everest. But his teammates were struggling with altitude and fatigue and had descended lower, leaving All by himself at Camp II, on a small snowfield at nearly 20,000ft. Now here he was in the crevasse, peering at a pinhole …

Trumps Latest Attack on Federal Climate Science May Backfire

This story originally appeared on HuffPost and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration. As planet-warming gases reach levels not previously seen in human history, the Trump administration’s bid to restrict how federal scientists conduct the next National Climate Assessment risks delaying urgent action required to curb emissions and climate change. But the administration effort could also backfire, becoming yet another loss for a president whose deregulatory efforts struggle to meet basic legal standards while hardening the resolve of career government researchers trying to uphold the scientific method. Last fall the White House released the second volume of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, a 13-agency analysis of peer-reviewed climate science required by Congress at least every four years. The release …

What if Air Conditioners Could Help Save the Planet Instead of Destroying It?

Earth’s climate is full of terrifying feedback loops: Decreased rainfall raises the risk of wildfires, which release yet more carbon dioxide. A warming Arctic could trigger the release of long-frozen methane, which would heat the planet even faster than carbon. A lesser-known climate feedback loop, though, is likely mere feet from where you’re sitting: the air conditioner. Use of the energy-intensive appliance causes emissions that contribute to higher global temperatures, which means we’re all using AC more, producing more emissions and more warming. But what if we could weaponize air conditioning units to help pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere instead? According to a new paper in Nature, it’s feasible. Using technology currently in development, AC units in skyscrapers …