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BP supervisor pleads guilty to violating Clean Water Act; manslaughter charge dropped

BP Supervisor pleads guiltyA BP supervisor charged in the deadly 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill has pleaded guilty to one misdemeanour count of violating the Clean Water Act, and involuntary manslaughter charges have been dismissed.

Donald Vidrine appeared in federal court Wednesday.

Vidrine and another defendant, Robert Kaluza, were charged with violating the act and 11 counts of involuntary manslaughter. But earlier Wednesday, prosecutors asked that the manslaughter charges be dropped. The judge agreed.


Unearthing America's Deep Network of Climate Change Deniers

Climate change deniersThe American public has turned away from outright denial of climate change. Sixty-three percent of adults describe the problem as "serious" in the latest opinion poll from the Washington Post and ABC News, a dip from the 69 percent who held that view in June. The minority who remain skeptical of climate science—a group that includes presidential hopefuls and powerful lawmakers—can count on a dedicated network of several thousand professional supporters.

New research for the first time has put a precise count on the people and groups working to dispute the scientific consensus on climate change. A loose network of 4,556 individuals with overlapping ties to 164 organizations do the most to dispute climate change in the U.S., according to a paper published today in Nature Climate Change. ExxonMobil and the family foundations controlled by Charles and David Koch emerge as the most significant sources of funding for these skeptics. As a two-week United Nations climate summit begins today in Paris, it's striking to notice that a similarly vast infrastructure of denial isn't found in any other nation.


Splits over climate responsibility in spotlight at crucial Paris talks

Fact-basedPresident Obama, the leaders of China and Russia and around 150 other states are in Paris Monday for talks aimed at forging an international agreement to stem global climate change emissions. But despite months of negotiations — and with only two weeks remaining ahead of the deadline for a new treaty — several unresolved and controversial topics threaten to weaken or even derail any new deal.

At the heart of the split is a debate over how much responsibility developed countries like the United States should bear for producing emissions historically, and in parallel, how much assistance should be given to developing countries to encourage them to stop polluting as they struggle to pull millions of people out of poverty.


Paris protesters clash with police ahead of UN climate talks

Paaris Climate protesters clash with policeAbout 100 people have been detained in Paris after a protest in advance of U.N. climate talks turned violent, the Paris police chief said.

Protesters threw glass bottles and even candles at police in the Place de la Republique. The violence came after two peaceful demonstrations earlier in the day, which were held in response to a ban on marches under France's state of emergency imposed after the Nov. 13 attacks.


For their second act, Keystone killers tackle Exxon

Exxon a new target for Keystone environmentalistThe same rowdy band of green activists who toppled the Keystone XL pipeline are aiming their sights at ExxonMobil.

Environmental groups are waging an escalating public relations campaign against the giant oil and gas company, diving deep into Exxon’s history to accuse it of knowingly — perhaps illegally — misleading the public about its decades of research on the dangers of climate change.


Paris climate activists plan human chain on global day of action

Paris climate activistsActivists plan to join arms and form a "human chain" in Paris on Sunday to urge action on global warming, in a muted rally after attacks on the city by Islamic State, at the heart of worldwide protests on the eve of a U.N. climate summit in France.

More than 2,000 climate events are planned in cities including Sydney, Jakarta, Berlin, London, Sao Paulo and New York, making it one of the biggest days of action on climate change in history, organizers say.


U.S. hardest-hit nation for weather-related disasters

US hardest hit in natural disastersIf there has ever been a finding that exemplifies the need for additional investments in weather resiliency and adaptation measures, the United Nations put it forth this week.

Over the past 20 years, 90% of major disasters have been caused by weather, and the United States was the hardest-hit country, according to a new U.N. report.


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