consultants are sandburs

Monday, December 23, 2013

Is there a Climate Change Denial Network? Not just Michael Jungbauer as a voice in the wilderness? Dark forces? Yet intrepid Chris Christy has no place for climate change concern, in a quick rebuild of the Jersey coast.

Ars Technica reporting, here, linking here, (with the study abstract alone published online by Springer - the report behind a paywall - but supporting material is online). The supporting material gives some detail, and can be downloaded here.

Ars noted:

An extensive study into the financial networks that support groups denying the science behind climate change and opposing political action has found a vast, secretive web of think tanks and industry associations, bankrolled by conservative billionaires.

Among those named as key nodes of the network were the American Enterprise Institute, which claims to have no institutional position on climate change, and the Heritage Foundation, which campaigns on a number of issues.

However, [study author] Brulle admitted that tracing the funding back to its original sources was difficult, as around three-quarters of the money has been routed through trusts that assure anonymity to their donors.

While it was not always possible to separate funds designated strictly for climate-change work from overall budgets, Brulle said: "This is how wealthy individuals or corporations translate their economic power into political and cultural power."

He added: "They have their profits and they hire people to write books that say climate change is not real. They hire people to go on TV and say climate change is not real. It ends up that people without economic power don't have the same size voice as the people who have economic power, and so it ends up distorting democracy."

[links omitted, read original item for detail]

This link stating:

In all, 140 foundations funneled $558 million to almost 100 climate denial organizations from 2003 to 2010.

Meanwhile the traceable cash flow from more traditional sources, such as Koch Industries and ExxonMobil, has disappeared.

The study was published Friday in the journal Climatic Change.

"The climate change countermovement has had a real political and ecological impact on the failure of the world to act on global warming," Brulle said in a statement. "Like a play on Broadway, the countermovement has stars in the spotlight -- often prominent contrarian scientists or conservative politicians – but behind the stars is an organizational structure of directors, script writers and producers."

Guardian, here; reporting:

The vast majority of the 91 groups on Brulle's list – 79% – were registered as charitable organisations and enjoyed considerable tax breaks. Those 91 groups included trade organisations, think tanks and campaign groups. The groups collectively received more than $7bn over the eight years of Brulle's study – or about $900m a year from 2003 to 2010. Conservative think tanks and advocacy groups occupied the core of that effort.

The funding was dispersed to top-tier conservative think tanks in Washington, such as the AEI and Heritage Foundation, which focus on a range of issues, as well as more obscure organisations such as the Atlas Economic Research Foundation and the John Locke Foundation.

Funding also went to groups that took on climate change denial as a core mission – such as the Heartland Institute, which held regular conclaves dedicated to undermining the United Nations climate panel's reports, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which tried and failed to prosecute a climate scientist, Michael Mann, for academic fraud. reported, here; and for balance, followed the post with this item, (the Brits sometimes show a sense of perspective often absent elsewhere).

Salon, here, reports:

[...The study] found that the campaign to discredit climate change runs upward of $1 billion a year, largely funded by conservative billionaires who work through secretive funding networks:

They have displaced corporations as the prime supporters of 91 think tanks, advocacy groups and industry associations which have worked to block action on climate change. Such financial support has hardened conservative opposition to climate policy, ultimately dooming any chances of action from Congress to cut greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet, the study found.

…The vast majority of the 91 groups on [Drexel University sociologist Robert] Brulle’s list – 79% – were registered as charitable organisations and enjoyed considerable tax breaks. Those 91 groups included trade organisations, think tanks and campaign groups. The groups collectively received more than $7bn over the eight years of Brulle’s study – or about $900m a year from 2003 to 2010. Conservative think tanks and advocacy groups occupied the core of that effort.

The various items involve a lot of overlapping reporting, as if repetition carries greater weight, and there is the "hard to track disclaimer" within the reporting. The numbers from item to item have questionable differences.

However, bottom line, it's money and not science behind global warming denial. There can be similar charges leveled against those arguing for global warming attention and adjustments which would involve economic change against the interest of entrenched economic ways and means; i.e., an economic policy vs a scientific one on both sides - that is what each says against the other, so you can take the red pill and learn how deep the global warming rabbit hole goes or take the blue pill, wake up tomorrow morning in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.

Another link - Kansas/climate..

Last, intrepid Chris Christie and the Jersey coast, here.


BLUE PILL SPECIAL: Heartland Institute gets ringing endorsement (click thumbnail to read, p.8, from here):

As an added attraction, I will in a FURTHER UPDATE publish the name of any reader who, via a verifiable email address, sends an email stating he/she made it through either of these Heartland YouTube items; here and here.

See also, here.


If you weigh poll results, this link:

Greenpeace, here and here.

Sourcewatch, here.

Astroturf exposed? You decide. Here.

Sincere or smoke? Here and here. You decide. Is this (from the second linked item) real and reliable, to you:

Q. Can you reply to specific accusations made by The Union of Concerned Scientists?

A. Yes. The Union of Concerned Scientists is a far-left environmental advocacy group that is trying to raise funds by slandering The Heartland Institute in its fundraising pitches. It recently (August 2013) posted an inaccurate and libelous slideshow on its Web site called "Exposing the Disinformation Playbook." Heartland is prominently featured. While pretending to expose the tactics and intentions of groups that oppose global warming alarmism, it is itself filled with disinformation, contains few actual facts, employs falsehood and innuendo, and engages in ad hominem attacks.

[more updating - that item inadvertently left out the link to the UCS slideshow; Crabgrass to the rescue, the link is here]

Judging by Board of Directors pages, the company they keep, why is Heartland Institute relative to the "far-left environmental advocacy group" Union of Concerned Scientists, so terse?

This link.
This link.

[legibility of the full screen captures is a "feature" of Blogger, but the links are CLEAR, so toggle over and see what you think]

As a hypothetical, if each board ran a used car lot, where would you shop? Whose money back if not fully satisfied guarantee would you most trust?

_____________FURTHER UPDATE_____________
More to judge: Heartland Institute and Union of Concerned Scientists each have history pages; respectively here and here (see also, here, here, and here - UCS' other history pages). One talks of accomplishments dating back to the 1960's and 1970's and is laid out differently than the more folksy item describing a start during Gipper times, 1984, noting founder achievements at the time. Is there any evidence of a credibility and objectivity gap between the two, to your mind, after seeing each present its history, its own chosen way? Also, why do you suppose Heartland Institute mentions the National Academy of Science less frequently in its history, than UCS does?

It is interesting to me that in establishing that each of the Heartland founders did graduate from college, terms such as "cum laude," "magna cum laude," or "summa cum laude" are absent, while some of the UCS history mentions "Nobel Laureates" once or twice.

Then again, between UCS and Heartland Institute, which would you turn to if your goal in life were to have cheap cigarettes?


Anonymous said...

Omly a fool would still believe in Man Made global warming! Did santa claus visit your house too? Talk about a F%$&ing pea brain!

eric zaetsch said...

Name calling without name giving is what, besides a show of need to try going to Oz to get courage? Oh, right, Scarecrow went for a brain. Take a double duty trip to Oz, Jane.