Big oil fat cats finance climate denialism

This video from the USA is called DN! “Astroturf Activism”(1\2): Leaked Memo Reveals Oil Industry Effort to Stage Rallies.

From the (Conservative) Daily Telegraph in Britain:

Oil conglomerate ‘secretly funds climate change deniers

An oil conglomerate has allegedly spent nearly £16.5 million ($25 million) on campaigns to discredit climate change and clean energy policies, according to a new report.

Tom Leonard, in New York

Published: 9:31PM BST 30 Mar 2010

Koch Industries, which is owned and run by two Kansas-based brothers and has substantial oil and chemicals interests, spent the sum between 2005 and 2008 to finance “organisations of the ‘climate denial machine‘”, claims the environmental campaign group Greenpeace.

Despite the relatively small size of the conglomerate, the sum is three times that spent by ExxonMobil, the western world’s biggest oil company, in the same period.

A Greenpeace investigation also claimed that between 2006 and 2009, the company and its owners – Charles and David Koch – spent £25.3 million ($37.9 million) on direct lobbying on oil and energy issues.

According to Greenpeace, Koch foundations had provided substantial funding to at least 20 organisations involved in highlighting “Climategate“, the controversy surrounding climate scientists that was prompted by emails hacked from the University of East Anglia.

A recent survey found that 73 percent of Americans believe global warming is happening, but only 18 per cent believed strongly it was man-made and harmful.

The brothers share 24th place in Forbes magazine’s latest list of the world’s richest people, controlling America’s second-biggest private company from their base in Wichita.

In all, their more than 20 companies employ 70,000 people in 60 countries and earn $100 billion in annual sales.

The business was founded by the brother’s father, Fred, who invented a method of refining petrol from heavy oil but the company, which makes Lycra, is now involved in ranching, mining, paper making and fertiliser production.

Greenpeace, which described Koch as the “financial kingpin of climate change denial and clean energy opposition”, supplied a list of 35 organisations and 21 politicians – 17 Republicans and four Democrats – who it claimed received money, either directly or indirectly, from Koch or foundations it had set up.

They include the Cato Institute, a conservative think-tank, and Americans for Prosperity, a free-market campaign group.

“Although Koch intentionally stays out of the public eye, it is now playing a quiet but dominant role in a high-profile national policy debate on global warming”, said the report.

Kert Davis, research director of Greenpeace US, said it was time Koch Industries “came clean and dropped its, behind-the-scenes campaign against action on climate change”.

“Efforts to pass US clean energy and climate policy are being hampered by polluter lobbyists and climate science denial campaigns, and Koch Industries is at the core of this obstruction.”

See also here.

Obama Offshore Oil Plan a Disaster for Wildlife and Climate: here. And here.

British investigators say there is no evidence that climate scientists involved in the so-called “Climategate” controversy manipulated data or undermined the peer review process: here.

Protest against Shell in Nigeria: here.

Bats, Birds and Lizards Can Fight Climate Change: here.

Major environmental groups are coming under criticism from within their own ranks for taking positions that some say are antithetical to their stated missions of saving the planet. In the latest issue of The Nation magazine, the British journalist Johann Hari writes, “As we confront the biggest ecological crisis in human history, many of the green organizations meant to be leading the fight are busy shoveling up hard cash from the world’s worst polluters—and burying science-based environmentalism in return…In the middle of a swirl of bogus climate scandals trumped up by deniers, here is the real Climategate.” [includes rush transcript]: here.

Taking on Shell’s pipeline plans off the coast of Ireland: here.

A New Climate Movement in Bolivia; by Naomi Klein: here.

Climate activists have announced that they will target the Royal Bank of Scotland in a series of actions this year over its role in financing fossil fuel firms around the world: here.

Coal company Alpha paid climate skeptic Chris Horner $18.6K before filing for bankruptcy: here.

Big Oil ran ads denying climate change — while preparing own operations for sea level rise: here.

35 thoughts on “Big oil fat cats finance climate denialism

  1. Rudd shelves tax on top polluters

    Australia: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced that he is shelving plans to tax the country’s worst industrial polluters, putting legislative efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions on hold until after 2012.

    The Labour government had proposed annual limits on the amount of carbon that major polluters can emit and supported a system whereby companies could exceed their limits if they agreed to buy carbon trading permits.

    But Mr Rudd said he had no choice but to put the legislation on hold after the main opposition Liberal Party withdrew its support.


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