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1 George Osborne, Tory chancellor
Osborne took the axe to green energy in Britain late last year, with dozens of solar schemes closing down thanks to the cut in the ‘feed-in tariff’, which helped fund many small-scale solar installations.
The Treasury also scrapped a scheme to make new homes carbon neutral from this year. Yet Osborne found the money in his last budget for road building and an expansion of already-generous oil and gas subsidies. He has said, ‘I would love fracking to get going in the UK and I am doing absolutely everything I can to encourage it.’ That includes tax breaks that he boasts are ‘the most generous for shale in the world’.
2 Michael O’Leary, Ryanair
Ryanair came out against the plan to expand Heathrow – because it’s not enough for them. Ryanair wants ‘three competing runways’ at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.
‘Residents shouldn’t be allowed to block expansion, it’s ridiculous,’ says the airline’s boss Michael O’Leary. ‘If you’re not happy, move.’ Ryanair is one of Europe’s biggest carbon dioxide emitters, with its flights producing as much CO2 as the whole of Cyprus. Meanwhile O’Leary has reportedly just become a billionaire.
3 Nigel Lawson, founder and chair, Global Warming Policy Foundation
The former Tory minister, architect of Thatcher’s privatisation policies, is the founder of Britain’s most prominent climate change denial group (he prefers ‘climate change dissenter’). The ‘foundation’ is a promoter of junk science and a vocal proponent of fracking.
Lawson has demanded that environmental groups make all their funders public, but has refused to name any of the people funding the GWPF. Lawson was found to be linked to Europe’s single biggest CO2 emitter, the Belchatow coal-fired power station in Poland, through his chairmanship of a company called the Central European Trust.
4 Rex W Tillerson, president and CEO, Exxon Mobil
Tillerson has been running Exxon for a decade now, and in that decade Exxon has become the largest – and most polluting – oil firm in the world.
A hundred climate scientists have just called on researchers to reject funding from ExxonMobil because of the ‘well-documented complicity of ExxonMobil in climate denial and misinformation’. The firm has spent over $30 million funding climate denial groups, but there is now a criminal investigation into claims that its own scientific research revealed the reality of climate change as early as 1977.
5 Matthias Müller, chief executive, Volkswagen
Volkswagen was hit by scandal last year after it was found to have fiddled emissions tests. Cars included a ‘defeat device’ that detected when the car was being tested in order to beat the testers.
After the previous chief executive resigned over this, Müller was brought in. He promised to get to the truth – but it’s all gone very quiet since. It is known, however, that the firm fitted at least 11 million vehicles worldwide with the devices, and many of these are still on the road. Some have been found to produce 40 times the allowed emissions limit.
6 Jeremy Clarkson
The Simpsons once asked: who holds back the electric car? Perhaps the single person who’s done the most to sabotage them is Jeremy Clarkson.
When he was presenting Top Gear, the show was found more than once to have staged breakdowns in its reviews of electric cars, even driving them in circles until they ran out of charge and organising a rigged race between an electric car and a petrol car. Yet Clarkson claims it’s climate change that’s a ‘fiction’.
7 & 8 The Koch brothers
It’s worth giving them two places when you consider the impact of Charles and David Koch. The brothers have a fortune of £30 billion each, from their oil refinery firm Koch Industries, making them two of the top ten richest people in the US.
They funnel huge amounts of cash to an array of right-wing causes and Republican candidates, but most prominently to lobbying against action on climate change. Slate calls them ‘the heart of the American climate denial machine’, with Koch money funding a network of climate denial groups – allowing the Kochs to make more profit on every kind of ‘extreme energy’, from fracking to tar sands.
9 Francis Egan, CEO, Cuadrilla
Egan is ‘angry’, he says – angry that opponents of fracking have mostly stopped it going ahead in Britain so far. The firm’s first efforts caused two earthquakes in Lancashire, and a larger test site in Balcombe was stopped by direct action in 2013.
Formerly a senior executive at mining firm BHP Billiton, Egan tends to strike a hard-done-by pose in interviews. He recently complained that when he took the job ‘I was told I’d be drilling lots of wells’. But don’t write off the risk yet: the frackers are hoping the government will force through permission at more sites this year.
10 Amber Rudd, Tory energy secretary
Since taking the post after the 2015 election, Amber Rudd has launched a bonfire of the government’s already-thin green policies. On top of the Treasury’s cuts (see George Osborne, above) she has also stopped funding for onshore wind farms and effectively ended the ‘green deal’, which offered grants for insulation.
She justifies these funding cuts as ‘a level playing field, where success is driven by your ability to compete in a market’ – even though huge subsidies for fossil fuels continue. Despite her claim that Britain would still meet its clean energy targets, a leaked letter revealed a 25 per cent shortfall.
11 Donald Trump
Trump has said outright many times that he thinks global warming isn’t real, and sometimes adds that it was invented ‘by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive’. He has also frequently tweeted things like: ‘I’m in Los Angeles and it’s freezing. Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!’
It’d be laughable, except he could easily be the Republican nominee in this year’s US elections, giving climate denial its biggest platform yet – and he might, terrifying as it is, even be president.
12 Miguel Arias Cañete, EU commissioner for climate and energy
This Spanish aristocrat and ex-minister bagged the top energy job in Europe despite being a former oil mogul. He had to sell his oil shares before MEPs would approve his nomination but his family is still in the oil business.
A Corporate Europe Observatory analysis of European Commission data shows that 80 per cent of the meetings Cañete held last year were with business lobbyists. He held 66 meetings with fossil fuel lobbyists compared with just three with renewable energy companies.
13 Michael Hintze, financier
Finally, meet the Tories’ biggest donor of 2014, hedge fund billionaire Michael Hintze. Hintze, who has dined with David Cameron at his infamous ‘dinners for donors’ and was coincidentally awarded a knighthood, was revealed as a funder of Nigel Lawson’s climate change denial group (see above) in an accidental email.
As well as donating to the Tories centrally, Hintze has made direct donations to a large number of Tory ministers. Top of that list is none other than the man we started with: George Osborne.
Kara Moses, Red Pepper’s environment editor, is one of the Heathrow 13. They are encouraging supporters to attend the solidarity protest at the court, sign up to their campaign to stop the new runway and get active in an escalation of the movement.
What if it's not us who are sick, asks Rod Tweedy, but a system at odds with who we are as social beings?
Survivors of the fire are still relying on thousands of community volunteers, writes Dan Renwick - but the failed council is plotting a comeback
The people could reach a democratic and non-violent solution if they were freed from US meddling, argues Boaventura de Sousa Santos
A decade after the start of the crash, economic power is in our hands – we must take it, writes Ann Pettifor
Nick Dowson looks at the new wave of co-ops and community groups where people are building their own truly affordable homes
Hsiao-Hung Pai meets people affected by the fire, and finds sadness and suffering mixed with a continuing wariness of the official investigations
Chris Williamson MP, winner of the election's tightest marginal, Derby North, and recently reappointed shadow minister for fire services, talks to Ashish Ghadiali about Jeremy Corbyn, the housing crisis and winning from the left
The Corbyn-supporting group is preparing for another election at any moment, writes Adam Peggs – and now has the potential to create powerful training initiatives, union links and party reform efforts
The new municipalism is part of a proud radical history
Molly Conisbee reflects on the history of citizens taking collective control of local services
With the rise of Corbyn, is there still a place for the Green Party?
Former Green principal speaker Derek Wall says the party may struggle in the battle for votes, but can still be important in the battle of ideas
Fearless Cities: the new urban movements
A wave of new municipalist movements has been experimenting with how to take – and transform – power in cities large and small. Bertie Russell and Oscar Reyes report on the growing success of radical urban politics around the world
A musical fightback against school arts cuts
Elliot Clay on why his new musical turns the spotlight on the damage austerity has done to arts education, through the story of one school band's battle
Neoliberalism: the break-up tour
Sarah Woods and Andrew Simms ask why, given the trail of destruction it has left, we are still dancing to the neoliberal tune
Cat Smith MP: ‘Jeremy Corbyn has authenticity. You can’t fake that’
Cat Smith, shadow minister for voter engagement and youth affairs and one of the original parliamentary backers of Corbyn’s leadership, speaks to Ashish Ghadiali
To stop the BBC interviewing climate deniers, we need to make climate change less boring
To stop cranks like Lord Lawson getting airtime, we need to provoke more interesting debates around climate change than whether it's real or not, writes Leo Barasi
Tory Glastonbury? Money can’t buy you cultural relevance
Adam Peggs on why the left has more fun
Essay: After neoliberalism, what next?
There are economically-viable, socially-desirable alternatives to the failed neoliberal economic model, writes Jayati Ghosh
With the new nuclear ban treaty, it’s time to scrap Trident – and spend the money on our NHS
As a doctor, I want to see money spent on healthcare not warfare, writes David McCoy - Britain should join the growing international movement for disarmament
Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India
Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India, by Shashi Tharoor, reviewed by Ian Sinclair
A Death Retold in Truth and Rumour
A Death Retold in Truth and Rumour: Kenya, Britain and the Julie Ward Murder, by Grace A Musila, reviewed by Allen Oarbrook
‘We remembered that convictions can inspire and motivate people’: interview with Lisa Nandy MP
The general election changed the rules, but there are still tricky issues for Labour to face, Lisa Nandy tells Ashish Ghadiali
Everything you know about Ebola is wrong
Vicky Crowcroft reviews Ebola: How a People’s Science Helped End an Epidemic, by Paul Richards
Job vacancy: Red Pepper is looking for an online editor
Closing date for applications: 1 September.
Theresa May’s new porn law is ridiculous – but dangerous
The law is almost impossible to enforce, argues Lily Sheehan, but it could still set a bad precedent
Interview: Queer British Art
James O'Nions talks to author Alex Pilcher about the Tate’s Queer British Art exhibition and her book A Queer Little History of Art
Cable the enabler: new Lib Dem leader shows a party in crisis
Vince Cable's stale politics and collusion with the Conservatives belong in the dustbin of history, writes Adam Peggs
Anti-Corbyn groupthink and the media: how pundits called the election so wrong
Reporting based on the current consensus will always vastly underestimate the possibility of change, argues James Fox
Michael Cashman: Commander of the Blairite Empire
Lord Cashman, a candidate in Labour’s internal elections, claims to stand for Labour’s grassroots members. He is a phony, writes Cathy Cole
Contribute to Conter – the new cross-party platform linking Scottish socialists
Jonathan Rimmer, editor of Conter, says it’s time for a new non-sectarian space for Scottish anti-capitalists and invites you to take part
Editorial: Empire will eat itself
Ashish Ghadiali introduces the June/July issue of Red Pepper
Eddie Chambers: Black artists and the DIY aesthetic
Eddie Chambers, artist and art historian, speaks to Ashish Ghadiali about the cultural strategies that he, as founder of the Black Art Group, helped to define in the 1980s
Despite Erdogan, Turkey is still alive
With this year's referendum consolidating President Erdogan’s autocracy in Turkey, Nazim A argues that the way forward for democrats lies in a more radical approach
Red Pepper Race Section: open editorial meeting – 11 August in Leeds
The next open editorial meeting of the Red Pepper Race Section will take place between 3.30-5.30pm, Friday 11th August in Leeds.
Mogg-mentum? Thatcherite die-hard Jacob Rees-Mogg is no man of the people
Adam Peggs says Rees-Mogg is no joke – he is a living embodiment of Britain's repulsive ruling elite
Power to the renters: Turning the tide on our broken housing system
Heather Kennedy, from the Renters Power Project, argues it’s time to reject Thatcher’s dream of a 'property-owning democracy' and build renters' power instead
Your vote can help Corbyn supporters win these vital Labour Party positions
Left candidate Seema Chandwani speaks to Red Pepper ahead of ballot papers going out to all members for a crucial Labour committee
Join the Rolling Resistance to the frackers
Al Wilson invites you to take part in a month of anti-fracking action in Lancashire with Reclaim the Power
The Grenfell public inquiry must listen to the residents who have been ignored for so long
Councils handed housing over to obscure, unaccountable organisations, writes Anna Minton – now we must hear the voices they silenced