Climate change denial funders hide donations

 

This study is part one of Brulle’s three-part project to examine the climate movement in the United States at the national level.

This study is part one of Brulle’s three-part project to examine the climate movement in the United States at the national level.

by Mary Budinger — 

Most donations behind the climate change denial effort in the United States are “dark money,” or concealed funding, finds the first peer-reviewed, comprehensive analysis ever conducted on the sources of funding behind the campaign.

A new study by Drexel University environmental sociologist Robert J. Brulle, Ph.D., found that the largest funders of climate change denial are a small number of conservative foundations. Two of its largest supporters, Koch Industries and ExxonMobil, have pulled back from publicly funding countermovement organizations.

The largest and most consistent funders of organizations orchestrating climate change denial are a number of well-known conservative foundations, such as the Searle Freedom Trust, the John William Pope Foundation, the Howard Charitable Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation.

From 2003 to 2007, the Koch affiliated foundations and the ExxonMobil Foundation were heavily involved in funding climate change denial organizations. But since 2008, they are no longer making publicly traceable contributions.

Through an analysis of the financial structure of the organizations that constitute the core of the campaign and their sources of monetary support, Brulle found that the decline in traceable funding parallels the amount of money given to countermovement organizations through third party pass-through foundations like Donors Trust and Donors Capital, whose funders cannot be traced.

“Money amplifies certain voices above others and, in effect, gives them a megaphone in the public square,” he said. “Powerful funders are supporting the campaign to deny scientific findings about global warming and raise public doubts about the roots and remedies of this massive global threat.”

This study is part one of Brulle’s three-part project to examine the climate movement in the United States at the national level. The next step in the project is to examine the environmental movement or the climate change movement. Brulle will then compare the whole funding flow to the entire range of organizations on both sides of the debate.

Source: Environmental News Service, January 2, 2014.

 

Mary Budinger is an Emmy award-winning journalist who writes about integrative medicine. 602-494-1999.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 33, Number 1, February/March 2014.

, , , , , , ,
Web Analytics