Meet the network of industrialists and conservative think tanks funding the climate denial movement to the tune of nearly a billion dollars.
There isn't a scientist in the world who studies the environment who believes that man-made pollution has had a catastrophic on our world. Our industries have punched holes in the ozone layer, greenhouse gas emissions have raised the temperature significantly, rapid deforestation has wiped out millions of species, and the oceans are filled with our detritus. This has lead to huge changes in our climate and natural disasters have become more intense and more deadly.
Every day dozens of articles get written about the damage of climate change, each more apocalyptic than the last. Yet there is a cottage industry of climate denier pumping out bad information and attempting to politicize and discredit the work of scientists and journalists working on the issue.
Drexel University sociologist Robert Brulle dug into the money that finances climate denial groups and discovered a network of industry leaders and conservative think tanks financing these efforts.
According to Brulle's research, there are 91 groups of trade organizations, advocacy groups, and conservative think tanks that have donated up to a billion dollars in funding to climate denial groups. They include such heavyweights as the Koch brothers, Exxon Mobil foundation, the Richard and Helen DeVos foundation, Coors, and a bunch of others.
The technique is simple; flood the discourse with bad information to cast doubt on the good information. This has worked in the past, as tobacco companies funded studies that "proved" that the dangers to smoker's health was exaggerated. More recently, the fact that there is an anti-vax movement is proof that bad information will be taken to heart by enough of a minority group that it could damage the whole.
"Now, what you can see in the movement itself is that it has two real roots. One is in the conservative movement itself, in that you see a lot of conservative foundations that had been funding the growth of the conservative movement all along now appear as funding the climate countermovement. You also can see dedicated industry foundations that come in to start funding the climate countermovement.
So it’s kind of a combination of both industry and conservative philanthropies that are funding this process, and what they did was they borrowed a great deal of the strategy and tactics that came out of the tobacco industry’s efforts to prevent action on the health impacts of smoking.
What you see is the tactics that this movement uses were developed and tested in the tobacco industry first, and now they’re being applied to the climate change movement, and in fact, some of the same people and some of the same organizations that were involved in the tobacco issue are also involved in climate change."
There you have it. As long as trying to do something about climate change will affect the incomes of the super rich, they're going to do what they can to stop it. Even if the rest of us lose.