Donor’s Trust: ATM for Climate Denial
February 19, 2013
While the secretive Donors Trust has given millions to a variety of right-wing causes, denying climate change appears to be its top priority. An analysis by the environmentalist group Greenpeace reveals Donors Trust has funneled more than one-third of its donations — at least $146 million — to more than 100 climate change denial groups over the past decade. In 2010, 12 of these groups received between 30 to 70 percent of their funding from Donors Trust. We’re joined by Suzanne Goldenberg, U.S. environment correspondent for The Guardian, who has written a series of articles detailing the ties between Donors Trust and opponents of climate change science. “The goal here is to create this illusion that there is a really strong movement against the science of climate change and against action on climate change,” Goldenberg says. “And in fact, that has become a reality now: You see that opposition to action on climate change is essential to Republican thinking.”
Conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120m (£77m) to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change, the Guardian has learned.
The funds, doled out between 2002 and 2010, helped build a vast network of thinktanks and activist groups working to a single purpose: to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a highly polarising “wedge issue” for hardcore conservatives.
The millions were routed through two trusts, Donors Trust and theDonors Capital Fund, operating out of a generic town house in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington DC. Donors Capital caters to those making donations of $1m or more.
Whitney Ball, chief executive of the Donors Trust told the Guardian that her organisation assured wealthy donors that their funds would never by diverted to liberal causes.
The piece mentions The Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, which is behind the website Climate Depot, a repository for the climate denial ramblings and attacks of Marc Morano. Sounds like his new theme will be warnings about “eco-terrorists” .
For the record, I interviewed Morano at the recent Heartland Institute climate denial conference in Chicago, and gave him full latitude to state his case.