Shocker? Psychotic Billionaires Fund Climate Denial
January 28, 2013
To state, with a straight face, that the jury is still out, or that we can’t separate natural variation from human caused changes, or that the earth has stopped warming for the last decade, or any of the other things we constantly hear from climate change denialists is exactly the same thing as standing there with a big sign that reads “I am a moron.”
Most times, though, the science-denialism comes from a handful of very active blogs, from those charismatic lecture circuit denizens such as “Lord” Christopher Monkton, and a very large number of commenters and their probable sock puppets who show up at every on line newspaper and blog to spew the same exact lines again and again even though every single remark they make … without exception … has long ago been discredited with science and reason.
It turns out that there is a fairly straight forward explanation for this continued craziness. $500,000,000 dollars.
According to Steve Conner at The Independent,
A secretive funding organisation in the United States that guarantees anonymity for its billionaire donors has emerged as a major operator in the climate “counter movement” to undermine the science of global warming…
The Donors Trust, along with its sister group Donors Capital Fund, based in Alexandria, Virginia, is funnelling millions of dollars into the effort to cast doubt on climate change without revealing the identities of its wealthy backers or that they have links to the fossil fuel industry.
Conner documents a link between billionaire Charles Koch and Donors, via another organization called the “Knowledge and Progress Fund,” which is a Koch Family run non-profit. This organization gave $1.25 million each in 2007 and 2008, $2 million in 2012 to Donors, and appears to have made no other donations to anyone or any thing. According to Conner,
The Donors Trust is a “donor advised fund”, meaning that it has special status under the US tax system. People who give money receive generous tax relief and can retain greater anonymity than if they had used their own charitable foundations because, technically, they do not control how Donors spends the cash.
This is a general pattern among Big Oil, but the Koch Brothers seem to have been competing with the more traditional players for the role of Big Daddy to the climate science deniers.
During the period from 2005 to 2008, inclusively, ExonMObil supplied the science denying community with just under 9 million dollars, while the Koch Brothers kicked in something closer to 25 million dollars to the effort to discredit climate science and climate scientist. One of these well funded efforts is known to most people as “Climate Gate,” a bought and paid for attempt to defame Professor Michael Mann of Pennsylvania University, and climate science in general, by Watergating a large number of emails and cherry picking them to make it appear, falsely, that climate scientist were up to no good. (source)
According to Drexel University sociologist, Robert Brulle,
… approximately $500m has been donated to groups dedicated to casting doubt on the science of climate change, with a large proportion of this money arriving via third party organisations. … “We really have anonymous giving and unaccountable power being exercised here in the creation of the climate counter-movement. There is no attribution, no responsibility for the actions of these foundations to the public.”