Not Just Koch Brothers: New Study Reveals Funders Behind Climate Change Denial Effort
A new study conducted by Drexel University environmental sociologist Robert J. Brulle, PhD, exposes the organizational underpinnings and funding behind the powerful climate change countermovement. [...] Brulle found that, while the largest and most consistent funders behind the countermovement are a number of well-known conservative foundations, the majority of donations are "dark money," or concealed funding.
The data also indicates that Koch Industries and ExxonMobil, two of the largest supporters of climate science denial, have recently pulled back from publicly funding countermovement organizations. [...]
Funding has shifted to pass through untraceable sources. Coinciding with the decline in traceable funding, the amount of funding given to denial organizations by the Donors Trust has risen dramatically. Donors Trust [...] whose funders cannot be traced [....] now provides about 25% of all traceable foundation funding used by organizations engaged in promoting systematic denial of climate change.
Most funding for denial efforts is untraceable. Despite extensive data compilation and analyses, only a fraction of the hundreds of millions in contributions to climate change denying organizations can be specifically accounted for from public records. Approximately 75% [...] comes from unidentifiable sources.
"The real issue here is one of democracy. Without a free flow of accurate information, democratic politics and government accountability become impossible," said Brulle. "Money amplifies certain voices above others and, in effect, gives them a megaphone in the public square. 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. At the very least, American voters deserve to know who is behind these efforts."
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