Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

A Look Inside Climate Deniers' Secret Piggy Bank

Climate

Greenpeace

by Connor Gibson

For those familiar with the effort of ExxonMobil and the Koch brothers to bankroll a network of organizations denying basic climate science, a new article in the Guardian offers some revelatory information on the secret funding network that outweighs even top denier sugar daddies like Koch and Exxon.

Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund, based out of the DC suburb of Alexandria, VA, have sent $118 million to the "climate denial machine" from 2002-2010, according to a Greenpeace analysis featured in the Guardian. The graph above, from the article, illustrates the significance of this money as compared to giants like Koch and Exxon.

Of course, the Koch brothers are part of the Donors Trust network, using the donors groups to hide their own giving to a variety of corporate front groups. Because of the obscurity provided by donors, we don’t know exactly who is getting exactly how much of the Koch payments to Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund.

An accompanying article by the Guardian shows how the donors groups provide large portions of organisations’ entire budgets, such as the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, which even among climate deniers is notably anti-scientific.

The support helped the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (Cfact), expand from $600,000 to $3m annual operation. In 2010, Cfact received nearly half of its budget from those anonymous donors, the records show.

The group’s most visible product is the website, Climate Depot, a contrarian news source run by Marc Morano. Climate Depot sees itself as the rapid reaction force of the anti-climate cause. On the morning after Obama’s state of the union address, Morano put out a point by point rebuttal to the section on climate change.

CFACT is among over a dozen organizations that get 30 - 70 percent of their total budgets from the two donors groups. As we reported on PolluterWatch last October using 2010 IRS tax filings:

  • Americans For Prosperity Foundation (AFP) got $7.6 million from donors groups in 2010, 43 percent of its budget. AFP Foundation is chaired by David Koch and has received millions in direct funding from Koch foundations since the Koch brothers founded it.
  • Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow got $1.3 million from donors in 2010, 45 percent of its budget.
  • Cornwall Alliance (through the James Partnership) got $339,500 from donors in 2010, 75 percnet of its budget.
  • Heartland Institute got $1.6 million from donors in 2010, 27 percent of it’s budget, which came from Chicago billionaire Barre Seid (see p. 67).
  • State Policy Network (SPN) got 36 percent of its 2010 budget ($4.8 million) from donors. SPN members include just about every climate-denying organization and every conservative think tank in the country, including AFP and Heartland.

Koch is clearly embarrassed by the negative publicity. Koch “Facts,” the company’s PR website that lashes back at unfavorable reporting on Koch, attempted to respond to the flood of press on the donors groups without mentioning them by name. Similarly, Donors Trust president Whitney Ball has done her best to keep Donors Trust and Koch from being synonymous. To be clear–they are not, but the Kochs and their operatives are key players in the Donors network, with people like Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute and Steven Hayward of the Pacific Research Institute helping oversee donors operations, including millions in funding to their own organizations.

Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE page for more related news on this topic.

——–

Click here to tell Congress to Expedite Renewable Energy.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Food Tank

By Danielle Nierenberg and Alonso Diaz

With record high unemployment, a reeling global economy, and concerns of food shortages, the world as we know it is changing. But even as these shifts expose inequities in the health and food systems, many experts hope that the current moment offers an opportunity to build a new and more sustainable food system.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Brian J. Love and Julie Rieland

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the U.S. recycling industry. Waste sources, quantities and destinations are all in flux, and shutdowns have devastated an industry that was already struggling.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

Unhealthy foods play a primary role in many people gaining weight and developing chronic health conditions, more now than ever before.

Read More Show Less
A man pushes his mother in a wheelchair down Ocean Drive in South Beach, Miami on May 19, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. reported more than 55,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, in a sign that the outbreak is not letting up as the Fourth of July weekend kicks off.

Read More Show Less
To better understand how people influence the overall health of dolphins, Oklahoma State University's Unmanned Systems Research Institute is developing a drone to collect samples from the spray that comes from their blowholes. Ken Y. / CC by 2.0

By Jason Bruck

Human actions have taken a steep toll on whales and dolphins. Some studies estimate that small whale abundance, which includes dolphins, has fallen 87% since 1980 and thousands of whales die from rope entanglement annually. But humans also cause less obvious harm. Researchers have found changes in the stress levels, reproductive health and respiratory health of these animals, but this valuable data is extremely hard to collect.

Read More Show Less

Sunscreen pollution is accelerating the demise of coral reefs globally by causing permanent DNA damage to coral. gonzalo martinez / iStock / Getty Images Plus

On July 29, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a controversial bill prohibiting local governments from banning certain types of sunscreens.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks. jacqueline / CC by 2.0

By Kelli McGrane

Oat milk is popping up at coffee shops and grocery stores alike, quickly becoming one of the trendiest plant-based milks.

Read More Show Less