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Dairy cow carcasses pile up following California heat wave
Updated 1:53 pm, Sunday, July 2, 2017
Western Fuels Association's Decades Of Dollars For Climate Science Doubt And Denial
By John Mashey • Friday, June 23, 2017 -
Alpha Natural Resources, Arch Coal and Peabody Energy have filed bankruptcies, incidentially revealing payments to cllimate anti-science groups. The Western Fuels Association (WFA) may be smaller and less known, but its long history of funding climate denial is already better exposed. It was called out by Senator Tom Udall in his #WebOfDenial remarks in July 2016. Its earliest well-known disinformation effort is detailed in MedievalDeception 1991: Lindzen Hijacks Curve For Western Fuels Video - Early Fake News.
Its front group Greening Earth Society (GES) claimed “sound information” following the “sound science” theme of The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), started as front for Philip Morris in 1993, but like WFA, also involved Pat Michaels.
Newly-assembled information adds evidence that #WesternFuelsKnew the science was against them, decades ago.
Ross Gelbspan began writing about WFA in the mid-1990s. DeSmog offers a detailed profile (read first!), which includes WFA Annual Reports for 2005 and 2014/2015. Recent searches found the 1998-2003 reports, attached and annotated here, with a few especially instructive quotes, plus a few key events from other sources.
1998 - The CO2 Issue 1996,1997 financials, and $583K was a substantial fraction of its non-coal costs
p.6 'We lost $583,000 in 1997, even though coal deliveries were substantially over 20 million tons.
1997's red ink was not due to adverse operational performance either in coal deliveries or by management. …
On an ongoing basis, Western Fuels is operating substantially “in the black.”
Our half-million dollar shortfall is due entirely to our advocacy in the area of climate change. The Board of Directors continues to provide financial support to programs designed to turn back efforts by the Clinton Administration to dial-out coalfired generation in the US energy supply mix.' (advocacy, not science)
p.7 'It is not that the science associated with the vision of apocalypse is uncertain. It simply is wrong.
Western Fuels' ongoing activity, including our creation of Greening Earth Society (described elsewhere in this report), is designed to convince Americans that warm is good, cold is bad; using more fossil fuels benefits everyone; and by using fossil fuels, conditions are being created on earth for humans to grow, both in numbers and living standards.' (strawman, but at least clear statement that the goal is convincing Americans, i.e., PR)
1999 Coal Fired Electricity Energizes the U.S. Economy 1998 financials
p.10 'The global-climate-change issue is about the wisdom of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide: a greenhouse gas, primary nutrient for plant life, and unavoidable consequence of humans using fossil fuels.
Western Fuels’ advocacy since 1988 reflects our understanding of this fundamental fact. (1988 important)
Coal is king among fossil fuels in terms of its generation of CO2 per unit of energy output …' (false)
p.15 'Our advocacy work was robust last year. … GES itself had an excellent first year. We premiered The Greening of Planet Earth Continues: The Promise for the 21st Century and Beyond at the Basin Electric annual meeting last November. It was very well received and many people believe it is superior to our earlier video,
The Greening of Planet Earth. … While Big Media and Big Government give no credence to either “Greening” video,
the science they depict has the advantage of being right. (false)
2000 Fuel for Thought - Transforming the debate over coal-fired electricity 1999 financials. The best to study.
p.5 '… we have continued our steadfast opposition to this jihad against CO2 and coal-fired electricity, and we will continue to do so. Our financial performance during the past year reflects this effort. Once again, our advocacy work has left us with a deficit for the year. … Western Fuels remains in a position to continue vigorous pursuit of our advocacy activity. This is particularly true because we continue to receive more and more support (financial and otherwise) from other industry participants. (inquiring minds might ask: who else paid?)
p.7 'Additionally, our early and effective advocacy work with respect to the benefits of cheap electricity through the work of Mark Mills, and now David Wojick, likewise has paid off. '
p.10 'Since Earth Day 1998, Western Fuels Association’s climate change advocacy has been rooted in Greening Earth Society… bi-weekly World Climate Report Online, … a host of studies by the ASU Climate Data Task Force. Together with The Heartland Institute, we now publish World Climate Report’s content in the monthly tabloid Environment & Climate News. Circulation is more than 40,000 nationwide. Pat Michaels, Bob Balling, Sallie Baliunas, and other scientists working under contract with New Hope Environmental Services increase their influence on public and political dialogue.' (ASU = Robert Balling)
p.11 'Mark Mills has worked with us for many years… Mark’s work has been featured in Forbes Magazine and has atracted the attention of high-tech futurist George Gilder.'
(GIlder was cofounder of the Discovery Institute (creationism) ; “men superior to women in work environment,” and seemed to to think Art Robinson and his son Noah great climate scientists watch first 2 minutes of this video. He also suggested that the Wall Street Journal seek a climate OpEd from the Robinsons.)
p.12 'Where does our advocacy stand, today? Based on work by our newest science advisor John Daly concerning the fatal flaws of the ground-based temperature record and revelations concerning agreement among ground-based thermometers, instruments onboard satellites, and carried aloft by weather balloons, Western Fuels is now prepared to argue that no reliable record exists to show a warming globe, and second, to establish the lack of warming, apocalyptic or otherwise.' (Tasmanian resident John Daly was not a scientist of any kind, but mostly known for his blog Still Waiting For Greenhouse, which was well debunked by scientist John Robert Hunter.
Daly's blog was filled with cherry-picking errors, and an important step in this MedievalDeception series. )
2001 WF/BW AR/00 2000 financials
p.2 'As a result of our steadfast advocacy of sound science and cheap electricity, we had been a target of derision and scornful attacks by environmental groups. While we do not rejoice in California’s woe, the situation presents a wake-up call for the energy sector. The science that Western Fuels has helped research and promote in the “global warming debate” has made important impacts on national energy policy. …'
p.3 'We maintain a presence in Washington, DC, as concern for energy moves from far down in the hierarchy of consumer and political concerns to the very top, even as we broaden the scope of our climate change advocacy through management of the Greening Earth Society.'
2002 Racing to Meet Demand 2001 financials
p.4 'and Western Fuels Association’s continued investment in climate change advocacy in 2001.'
p.12 'There is now bi-partisan opposition to designating carbon dioxide as a pollutant, and there is growing awareness of coal as an abundant, reliable, and increasingly clean energy resource. …
Western Fuels sustains its financial commitment to the Greening Earth Society and challenges the popular belief that carbon dioxide emissions will lead to catastrophic changes in earth’s climate. At the same time we
are staying in front of the issues by exploring with others in the coal-chain industry voluntary programs to sequester additional carbon in forests, croplands, and grazing lands.' (strawman, then “exploring”)
2003 Securing Your Energy Future 2002 financials
p.3 'Even that is not good enough for some in Congress who also insist on limits to carbon dioxide emissions….
As concerns carbon dioxide, we have loaned an executive to the Center for Energy and Economic Development to help CEED pursue a carbon sequestration initiative in behalf of the coal producers, utilities, and railroads that comprise its membership. The initiative encourages changes in agriculture practices and the management of forests and grasslands to sequester carbon. …
We also continue financial support of the climate change advocacy work of the Greening Earth Society.'
2006 Western Fuels Association Annual Report financials for 2004, 2005 (no mention of GES, advocacy, CO2, etc)
2015 Western Fuels Association Annual Report 2014/2015 2014 financials
p.7 'Over 1.1 million comments were filed opposing the EPA GHG proposals through
Action.coop. Coal states are refusing to comply. County commissioners and state legislators are becoming engaged and writing comments supporting coal issues. Friends of Coal chapters and support rallies are being organized in the West. As a result, a 2015 poll of national concerns shows that climate change is ranked #22 in priority out of 23 issues.8 Such polls are allowing legislators to question and try to rescind or reign in regulatory overreach by the EPA and OSM, block funding for their implementation, and investigate the lucrative “sue-and-settle” industry.
Current benefits of carbon use to the economy and society overwhelmingly outweigh costs by 50-to-1 to 500- to-19 including increased quality and quantity of foods, for example. Carbon based fuels have raised the standard of living worldwide, increased lifespans by decades, and have elevated over a billion people out of poverty in the past 20 years. Western Fuels supports publicizing, indeed celebrating, the social benefits of carbon…benefits which far outweigh the social cost of carbon touted by environmental groups.'
'9 Management Information Services, Inc. (December 2013) for American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, The Social Costs of Carbon? No, The Social Benefits of Carbon.'
(That report is by Roger Bezdek, who testified for Peabody in 2015 Minnesota Social Cost of Carbon Case. Jud
Image credit: Coal trains near North Antelope Rochelle Mine in Wyoming, photo by Kimon Berlin, plus WFA 1998.
* Ross Gelbspan wrote pioneering books on climate disinformation. He often mentioned WFA and its hired experts n The Heat is On (1997, 1998) and Boiling Point (2005)., complemented by Jeff Goodell's Big Coal (2007), all recommended.
FBI agent's car, weapons and gear stolen in Chicago's West Loop
Early Monday, an FBI agent left his agency-issued SUV running and unattended long enough for a thief to get in the vehicle and flee, according to a news release.
Estranged Wife Charged in Former FBI Agent's Death
Estranged Wife Charged in Former FBI Agent's Death
The estranged wife of a former FBI agent has been charged with his death, Laurel police announced Monday.
Anne Reed Allen was arrested Friday and charged with the death of her estranged husband, Scott Alan Horn, police said.
On March 16, Horn was found unresponsive in the yard of a home on Patuxent Road. Horn, who was a retired special agent with the FBI, had major trauma to his upper body.
Investigators quickly identified Allen as a suspect in Horn's death.
Allen has been
Source: Estranged Wife Charged in Former FBI Agent's Death | NBC4 Washington
AMERICAN PATRIOT: INSIDE THE ARMED UPRISING AGAINST THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
Charges for FBI Agent Renew Scrutiny of Elite Team
JUNE 29, 2017 /
When the FBI finally defused the armed occupation of a wildlife refuge in Oregon last year, the agency largely viewed the effort as a success. One of the occupation leaders had been killed by law enforcement, but a situation that threatened to become far more deadly had ended relatively peacefully.
But the operation has now come under increased scrutiny, with the indictment made public this week of an FBI agent for lying and obstructing justice.
The indictment says that the agent, W. Joseph Astarita, a member of the FBI’s hostage rescue team, lied about firing two shots at Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, one of the occupation’s leaders, after he drove his truck toward a roadblock set up by the FBI and Oregon State Police. Finicum was ultimately killed by the state police.
Woman Says NM Officer Beat Her, Forced Her Into Sex
June 30, 2017
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (CN) — After arresting her as she stepped out of a shower in her home, handcuffing her and subjecting her to lewd comments, a New Mexico sheriff’s officer forced a woman into a sexual relationship with him, she claims in court.
“We are a town stamped by something that happened in 1947,” said Roswell Mayor Dennis J. Kintigh, a former state representative, FBI agent and Air Force veteran who worked in the aerospace industry. His background is enough to deepen the suspicion of conspiracy theorists.
“Roswell has a brand — and good, bad or indifferent, it is our brand,” Kintigh said.
That brand means money for a town struggling with a 6.3 percent unemployment rate — just under the state’s 6.6 percent average — and an uncertain oil and gas revenue base. The UFO Museum, which keeps handwritten logs of visitors, recorded more than 200,000 guests in 2016. The city’s 26 hotels reported a total of 248,476 room bookings last year.
Smile: Tricks to make yourself effortlessly charming
SDE Entertainment News-
Jack Schafer, a psychologist and retired FBI special agent who is a likeability coach and author of The Like Switch, points to Johnny Carson as a quintessential ...
Sound-Cannon Case Heralds E-Transparency for NYPD
June 30, 2017
In this 2004 photo, an officer with the New York City Police Department stands atop the hood of a vehicle equipped with a Long Range Acoustic Device used for crowd control at the Republican National Convention that year. (Photo by Peter Bergin via Wikipedia)
MANHATTAN (CN) — To learn how the New York City Police Department deploys sound cannons, the average citizen should simply be able to fire off an email under the state’s Freedom of Information Law.
That’s the conviction that guided Keegan Stephan to sue the NYPD last year for details about its use of crowd-control weapons known as LRADs, short for Long Range Acoustic Devices.
A politically active student at Yeshiva University’s Cardozo Law School, Stephan brought a federal civil rights lawsuit last year with five others, challenging how police use these devices.
The deal Stephan reached on his own Thursday with the NYPD, however, could have much broader implications for police accountability.
“NYPD will accept FOIL requests sent to the designated e-mail address, which is currently
,” the 15-page settlement states. “NYPD will also accept any follow-up correspondence regarding pending FOIL requests by e-mail if it is identified by the FOIL Unit file number.”
To the average New Yorker, these two sentences might not mean much, but Stephan believes the commitment could spell a new era of transparency for journalists, open-government activists and concerned citizens.
“Being forced to print, scan, and physically mail documents has derailed countless Freedom of Information requests upon the NYPD by myself and others,” Stephan said in a statement. “I’m thrilled with the outcome of this settlement, which I hope will empower the public to make the NYPD more transparent and accountable.”
In Stephan’s other sound-cannon case, he is part of a group of activists, journalists and filmmakers who all claim to have suffered hearing damage after police deployed the weapon indiscriminately at a Black Lives Matter protest in December 2014, two days after a grand jury declined to indict the police officer who killed Eric Garner.
Standing with their attorney on June 1, 2017, a group of journalists gathered outside the courthouse where they are suing police over their use of sound cannons as a method of crowd control. A federal judge in Manhattan refused to dismiss their case a day earlier.
U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet advanced assault and excessive-force allegations in this case on May 31.
As the challengers slog through the discovery, Thursday’s settlement gives evidence collection a shot in the arm. The NYPD must provide recordings of police communications from the days of the protests, charts depicting the use of LRADs, and training materials and emails related to the devices.
Elena Cohen, an attorney with the National Lawyers Guild who represents Stephan in both the open-records case and the civil-rights action, said the settlement will update and democratize the NYPD’s once-analog practices.
“This settlement makes requesting public documents more accessible and affordable for the public, recognizing that our right to be aware of governmental actions should not be thwarted by shrouding it with the cloak of secrecy or confidentiality- or the needless expense and time of paper mailing in our digital age,” Cohen said in a statement.
The NYPD has 90 days to update its website with the new protocols. A spokesman for the city declined to comment on Stephan’s settlement.
NYPD Sound Cannons Case Hits Federal Court
January 26, 2017
In "Civil Rights"
Deafening ‘Sound Cannons’ Could Cost NYPD
June 1, 2017
In "Civil Rights"
Judge Raps NYPD for ‘Gotcha’ Tactics in Civil Seizures
May 22, 2017
In "Civil Rights"
S.D. Drought Continues to Take a Toll on Ranchers
June 30, 2017
NYPD Cleared of Evidence Destruction After Slaying
June 30, 2017
Bronx Mom Claims NYPD Scorched Son
June 30, 2017
Police nationwide shot and killed 492 people in the first six months of this year, a number nearly identical to the count for the same period in each of the prior two years.
Fatal shootings by police in 2017 have so closely tracked last year’s numbers that on June 16, the tally was the same. While the number of unarmed people killed by police dropped slightly, the overall pace for 2017 through Friday was on track to approach 1,000 killed for a third year in row.
The Washington Post began tracking all fatal shootings by on-duty police in 2015 after the 2014 shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, of Michael Brown, who was unarmed and had an altercation with the officer who shot him.
The ongoing Post project has documented twice as many shootings by police in 2015 and 2016 as ever recorded in a single year by the FBI’s tracking of such shootings, a pattern that is emerging again in 2017.
Since Brown’s killing in Ferguson, other fatal shootings by police, many captured on video, have fueled protests and calls for reform. Some police chiefs have taken steps in their departments to reduce the number of fatal encounters, yet the overall numbers remain unchanged.
Academics who study shootings give weight to The Post’s accounting.
“These numbers show us that officer-involved shootings are constant over time,” said Geoffrey Alpert, a criminologist at the University of South Carolina who has studied police use of force. “Some places go up, some go down, but it’s averaging out. This is our society in the 21st century.”
As in previous years, the data gathered by The Post showed that police most frequently killed white males who were armed with guns or other weapons. One in four people killed this year were mentally ill. And police have continued to shoot and kill a disproportionately large number of black males, who account for nearly a quarter of the deaths, yet are only 6 percent of the nation’s
Hillsborough: Holding the Police to Account
“It is also a story of deceit and lies, of institutional defensiveness defeating truth and justice. It is evidence of a culture of denial within South Yorkshire Police.”
— Anne Burkett, BBC, Apr 27, 2016
It took 28 years for the tables to turn on the South Yorkshire police regarding the Hillsborough disaster that took the lives of 96 fans. The 1989 FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest saw a sporting catastrophe that was portrayed as less a matter of institutional accountability as the consequence of loutish, irresponsible fans.
The finger pointing began instantly, with the police arguing that the bad behaviour of the fans, fuelled by alcohol consumption, was the primary cause. (This, notwithstanding the fact that some of the injured and dead were children.)
There were, in fact, no limits as to what the fans had done wrong. They supposedly arrived too late; they obstructed the police in accomplishing their tasks; they forced open a gate; many were supposedly ticketless. What mattered in the police narrative and technique was not safety but control.
The ground was laid after the finding by inquest jurors in April 2016 that the fans in question had been unlawfully killed. It had been the longest jury case in British legal history, involving the families and supporters of the Hillsborough Family Support Group (HFSG) and Hillsborough Justice Campaign.
Interest naturally turned towards police conduct not merely on the day itself, but subsequently. The latter point was of particular interest to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which was charged with the task of investigating allegations of a cover-up.
On Wednesday, six people, including two former senior police officers, were charged for criminal offences linked to the disaster. Significant here was the alleged cover-up that ensued. Sue Hemming of the Crown Prosecution Service’s head of special crime and counter-terrorism, after reviewing the material, “decided that there is sufficient evidence to charge six individuals with criminal offences.”
Prominently featured is David Duckenfield, the South Yorkshire officer who oversaw policing at the semi-final, charged for the manslaughter of 95 people. (The 96th, Tony Bland, would only die four years after the incident, making a charge of manslaughter inapplicable.) He had eluded the clutches of a private prosecution in 1999 with a stay by the senior judicial officer. For a prosecution to take place, that stay will have to be lifted by application from the prosecutors.
Duckenfield, the grim star of a very grim show, received specific mention from Hemming. During proceedings, the CPS intends to show that Duckenfield’s conduct that day was “extraordinarily bad and contributed substantially to the deaths of each of those 96 people who so tragically and unnecessarily lost their lives.”
The focus on Sir Norman Bettison, former chief constable of Merseyside and West Yorkshire police, an inspector in the South Yorkshire force during the disaster, was one of misconduct. He faces four counts of the offence in public office.
“Given his role as a senior police officer,” stated Hemming, “we will ask the jury to find that this was misconduct of such a degree as to amount to an abuse of the public’s trust in the office holder.”
Donald Denton and Alan Foster, both former police chiefs, were charged with perverting the course of justice in allegedly fiddling witness statements used during the original investigation and inquest into the deaths. Dozens of such statements were allegedly doctored to suggest a picture of police control rather than lethal chaos. The police lawyer, Peter Metcalf, was charged for allegedly assisting the enterprise.
Completing the institutional circle is Graham Mackrell, Sheffield Wednesday Football Club’s company secretary and safety officer that day. His charges are less grave, but no less significant: the alleged contravention of safety rules and failing to take appropriate reasonable care for the health and safety of those on the grounds.
This is the season for a reckoning. The charred ruins of Grenfell Tower have drawn necessary accusations about public safety across London. The cult of the cheap and expedient is being challenged; the wisdom of authorities questioned.
The Hillsborough families proved relentless in seeking accountability for the losses of 1989, showing that doing things by the book in calmly directed rage transformed the alleged responsibility of the victims to accountability of the authorities. It is with some historical irony, given the state of Brexit, that these efforts would been further hampered but for the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights via the Human Rights Act 1998.
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