A new study published this Friday has revealed that conservative donors are more active than ever in funding efforts to block action on climate change — to a tune of more than $1 billion a year.
The study analyzed the income of 91 think tanks, advocacy groups, and other associations funded by 140 different conservative foundations that espouse climate change-denial ideology. The study’s author said the massive funding effort “has not only played a major role in confounding public understanding of climate science, but also successfully delayed meaningful government policy actions to address the issue.”
“It is not just a couple of rogue individuals doing this,” Robert Brulle, the study’s author said. “This is a large-scale political effort.”
Brulle refers to the effort as “the climate change counter-movement,” and says it’s an organized effort to prevent policies from counter-acting actions that fuel man-made climate change. Lobbying for political contributions coupled with media campaigns that attempt to discredit the scientific consensus around global warming are just some of tactics utilized.
The most consistent funders of organizations disseminating 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.
Interestingly, the study notes that the traditional high-profile funders of climate denial, such as the Koch brothers and ExxonMobil, have slowed their efforts of publicly funding organizations that oppose action on climate change. Now, the single-largest funders are the combined foundations Donors Trust/Donors Capital Fund, who have provided more than $78 million in funding to climate change-denial over an 8-year span.
“These two philanthropic organizations form a black box that conceals the identity of contributors to various CCCM organizations,” Brulle said.
Read the entire report here.