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Sunday, May 29th

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ExxonMobil tried to censor climate scientists to Congress during Bush era

Exxon tried to censorscientistsExxonMobil moved to squash a well-established congressional lecture series on climate science just nine days after the presidential inauguration of George W Bush, a former oil executive, the Guardian has learned.

Exxon’s intervention on the briefings, revealed here for the first time, adds to evidence the oil company was acutely aware of the state of climate science and its implications for government policy and the energy industry – despite Exxon’s public protestations for decades about the uncertainties of global warming science.

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Portugal runs for four days straight on renewable energy alone

Portugal runs four days on renewable energyPortugal kept its lights on with renewable energy alone for four consecutive days last week in a clean energy milestone revealed by data analysis of national energy network figures.

Electricity consumption in the Iberian country was fully covered by solar, wind and hydro power in an extraordinary 107-hour run that lasted from 6.45am on Saturday 7 May until 5.45pm the following Wednesday, the analysis says.

News of the zero emissions landmark comes just days after Germany announced that clean energy had powered almost all its electricity needs on Sunday 15 May, with power prices turning negative at several times in the day – effectively paying consumers to use it.

TVNL Comment:  Why, just why, are we always behind other countries in so many things?  Just asking...

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Blast in Baghdad market kills at least 50

Baghdad blast kills at least 50A car bomb in a predominantly Shia district of the Iraqi capital has killed at least 50 people and wounded at least 100 others, police sources told Al Jazeera.

A 4WD vehicle packed with explosives blew up near a beauty salon in a bustling market at rush hour in Baghdad's Sadr City on Wednesday.

Most of the victims were women, Iraqi police and hospital sources told Reuters news agency.

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Solar plane reaches California after flight across Pacific

Solar plane crosses pacificA solar-powered airplane reached the San Francisco Bay area and performed a fly-by over the Golden Gate Bridge on Saturday afternoon following 56 hours of flight over the Pacific Ocean as part of its journey around the world.

"I crossed the bridge. I am officially in America," pilot Bertrand Piccard declared as he flew over the iconic span as spectators watched the narrow aircraft with extra wide wings from below.

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Why North Dakota (aka Boomtown, USA) is running on empty

N Dakota running on emptyIn the mid 2000s hydraulic fracturing - or fracking - coupled with soaring oil prices, made it possible to unlock billions of barrels of oil from the rocky Bakken formation, one of the largest deposits of oil and natural gas in the country.

Almost overnight, the former backwater of Williston transformed into the unofficial capital of America's energy renaissance, experiencing unprecedented economic growth.

As oil workers flocked to the region, its population exploded, salaries ballooned, fancy new buildings appeared and chain stores arrived.

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New Documents Show Oil Industry Even More Evil Than We Thought

big oilIn 1968, a pair of scientists from Stanford Research Institute wrote a report for the American Petroleum Institute, a trade association for America’s oil and natural gas industry. They warned that “man is now engaged in a vast geophysical experiment with his environment, the earth” — one that “may be the cause of serious world-wide environmental changes.”

The scientists went on: “If the Earth’s temperature increases significantly, a number of events might be expected to occur including the melting of the Antarctic ice cap, a rise in sea levels, warming of the oceans and an increase in photosynthesis.”

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Notorious Coal Baron Don Blankenship Sentenced to a Year in Prison

Don BlankenshipA federal judge in West Virginia sentenced former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship to a year in prison on Wednesday for conspiring to commit mine safety violations at his company's Upper Big Branch mine during a period leading up to the explosion there that left 29 miners dead in 2010.

Blankenship was convicted of the misdemeanor charge in December, but the conviction was explicitly not linked to the Upper Big Branch disaster itself and Blankenship's attorney worked hard to ensure the accident was hardly mentioned during the trial.

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