Top news: Greenpeace exposes climate sceptic’s big oil funding; Canadian government fines Statoil over water regulation violations; Hungarian activists demand government reduce emissions; oil spill in Israel contaminates nature reserve; happier orangutans lives longer.


#Climate change: According to documents unearthed by Freedom of Information Requests in the US, prominent scientist and climate change sceptic Dr. Willie Soon, has received more than $1m from oil companies for his researches. Dr. Soon is well known having discounted the health risks of mercury emissions from coal, and for his opinion that the melting of the arctic sea ice is caused by solar variation rather than CO2 emissions. Greenpeace found that Soon has been mostly funded by companies such as ExxonMobil, American Petroleum Institute and Koch Industries.

#Oil industry: Statoil will issue a plea over charges of giving misleading information to the government of Alberta over water use. Due to the effects of its devastating oil sands operations, the company is charged with 19 violations of water regulation and faces fines of up to 11 million Canadian dollars. Statoil’s project in Canada is highly controversial, and Greenpeace is calling on oil companies and the government to stop the tar sands and end the industrialization of a vast area of Indigenous territories, forests and wetlands in northern Alberta.

#Climate change: Greenpeace activists demonstrated on a replica iceberg floating in front of the Hungarian presidential offices, holding banners demanding that the government quit lagging behind its 2009 target of 30% emissions reduction.

#Oil: A tractor struck the Eilat-Ashkelon Pipeline in the Israeli town of Negev on Wednesday morning, causing a spill of over 1.5 million litres of jet fuel into the Nahal Zin wadi and surrounding Negev nature reserve. The manager of Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry called it “one of the largest soil contaminations to occur in the last year in Israel.” – no kidding. Greenpeace’s Hila Krupsky is quoted in the article saying that “this seems like a severe ecological disaster.”

#Animals: Continusing the Simian theme, a team of researchers has devised a method to measure the happiness of captive orangutans, by asking the people working closely with each captive orangutan to complete a questionnaire assessing the orangutans' personalities and attitude. In a follow-up study seven years later, the scientists found that happier primates were much more likely still to be alive. In light of these – not surprising – findings let’s ask louder and clearer APP to stop making orangutans sad destroying their homes!