Lobby groups funded by the US oil industry are targeting Britain in a bid to play down the threat of climate change and derail action to cut greenhouse gas emissions, leading scientists have warned. \nBob May, president of the UK's Royal Society, says a "a lobby of professional skeptics who opposed action to tackle climate change" is turning its attention to Britain because of its high profile in the debate. \nWriting in the Life section of yesterday's Guardian newspaper, May says the UK government's decision to make global warming a focus of its G8 presidency has made it a target. So has the high profile of its chief scientific adviser, David King, who described climate change as a bigger threat than terrorism. \nMay's warning coincides with a meeting of climate change sceptics yesterday at the Royal Institution in London organized by a British group, the Scientific Alliance, which has links to US oil company ExxonMobil through a collaboration with a US institute. \nLast month the Scientific Alliance published a joint report with the George C. Marshall Institute in Washington that claimed to "undermine" climate change claims. The Marshall institute received ?51,000 (US$92,000) from ExxonMobil for its "global climate change program" in 2003, and an undisclosed sum this month. \nMay's warning comes as British scientists publish new research in the journal Nature showing that emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide could have a more dramatic effect on climate than thought. They say average temperature could rise 11 degrees celsius, even if carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is limited to the levels expected to be reached in 2050. \nDavid Frame, who coordinated the climate prediction experiment, said: "If the real world response were anywhere near the upper end of our range, even today's levels of greenhouse gases could already be dangerously high." \nEmission limits such as those in the Kyoto protocol would hit oil firms because the bulk of greenhouse gases come from burning fossil fuel products. \nMay writes that during the 1990s, parts of the US oil industry funded (through the so-called Global Climate Coalition) skeptics who opposed action to tackle climate change.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong (FCC) yesterday said that reporters in the territory were experiencing “highly unusual” visas problems, and called on the US and China to stop using the media as a political weapon. Journalists have been caught up in US-China tensions, with both sides placing limits or expelling reporters from their territories in the past few months. Now the spat is filtering into Hong Kong, a regional press hub nominally in charge of its own immigration policies. The FCC said in a statement that multiple media firms had reported delays getting visas in recent months. “The delays have affected journalists