Peter Dykstra's analysis helps environmental journalists sort through the convergence of money, politics, ideology and nature.
Economy & Business
It's not just that the billionaire Koch brothers have spent tens of millions to undermine science and stifle debate on climate change. It's that they do it in secret.
"PALERMO, Italy -- Inside a midnight-blue BMW, a Sicilian entrepreneur delivered his pitch to the accused mafia boss. A new business was blowing into Italy that could spin wind and sunlight into gold, ensuring the future of the Earth as well as the Cosa Nostra: renewable energy."
"Phil Anschutz -- who has made money out of everything from a well explosion to a failing railroad -- is looking to wager $9 billion on the fierce winds of Wyoming."
"There are few new EVs, but plenty of performance cars -- with eco mode. Yes, it's possible to drive a rip-roaring V-8 Corvette and get nearly 30 mpg."
"Shell may have moved an oil rig that ran aground off Alaska last week partly to avoid millions of dollars in taxes, U.S. Rep. Ed Markey said, raising even more questions about the oil company's decision on the timing of the move."
"Risk experts are concerned that the twin threats of economic upheaval and accelerating climate change could collide over the next decade, delaying crucial adaptation efforts while exposing nations to unpredictable financial loss from disasters."
"RICHMOND, Calif. -- The Chevron refinery’s massive oil storage tanks sit on the hills overlooking this small, impoverished city in San Francisco’s East Bay. Painted earthen red to blend with the natural surroundings, the tanks cannot help dominating the city’s skyline, much the way the oil giant itself has long shaped Richmond’s identity, economy and politics."
Too often stories fail to disclose such industry ties, which might call into question the experts' objectivity. The Checks and Balances Project, an energy watchdog group, did an analysis of coverage in 60 publications over a five-year period with very interesting results.
EPA had on December 3, 2012, published a final rule requiring reporting of unpublished cadmium-related health and safety studies by manufacturers and importers. This rule prompted industry objections, resulting in EPA's withdrawal of the rule less than 2 weeks later.