Quantcast

Ford Motor Company Revealed As Funder of Climate Denial Group ALEC

Climate

Ford Motor Company, despite its much-hyped commitment to the environment, has been quietly funding the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group widely criticized for its promotion of climate change denial and for its opposition to the development of renewable alternatives to fossil fuels.

A Ford spokesperson, Christin Baker, confirmed the ALEC grant to the Center for Media and Democracy/PRWatch, but said that the funding was not intended to be used by ALEC to block action on climate change.

"Ford participates in a broad range of organizations that support our business needs, but no organization speaks for Ford on every issue. We do not engage with ALEC on climate change," said Baker.

Major Corporations Flee ALEC Over Climate Denial

Center for Media and Democracy is breaking the story of Ford funding of ALEC as other major international corporations have continued to withdraw financial support for the organization. Since Center for Media and Democracy first launched the ALEC Exposed investigation in 2011, revealing the extensive agenda of the corporate lobbying group, more than 100 corporations have left ALEC, including BP, Occidental, Yahoo, Visa, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Walmart and McDonalds.

In September 2014, Google announced that it would end its ALEC funding. "I think the consensus within the company was that that was some sort of mistake, and so we’re trying to not do that in the future," Chairman Eric Schmidt told National Public Radio.

Schmidt then slammed ALEC for the deceptive claims it has showcased on climate change, even though "the facts of climate change are not in question anymore. Everyone understands climate change is occurring, and the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place. And so we should not be aligned with such people—they’re just, they’re just literally lying."

Most recently, Shell Oil announced it would withdraw support for ALEC in August 2015, telling the Washington Post: "ALEC advocates for specific economic growth initiatives, but its stance on climate change is clearly inconsistent with our own."

Ford has attempted to present itself as a leader in addressing climate change, in part through its participation in the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). The compact requires corporate members to address ten principles concerning human rights, labor standards, anti-corruption and the environment.

As part of its UNGC commitment, Ford boasts that it "is committed to doing our share to prevent or reduce the potential for environmental, economic and social harm due to climate change."

Ford's funding of ALEC is inconsistent with that aim.

At a session held during the 2014 ALEC Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas, ALEC legislators were repeatedly told: “There is no scientific consensus on the human role in climate change.” At another session during the same conference, legislators heard that: "The idea that there is a "scientific consensus" [on climate change] does not hold up." ALEC counts more than 2,000 legislators as members and it has touted its reach in Congress with former House Speaker John Boehner plus several GOP members of the Senate and House who have publicly denied climate change.

Despite ALEC's efforts to promote climate change denial among U.S. politicians, there is in fact wide consensus that the earth is warming because of human activity. Respected scientific bodies including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, along with 97 percent of climate scientists agree on this point.

Earlier this year, CMD/PRwatch co-launched a new website that documents the teaching of climate change denial to legislators at ALEC conferences: ALECClimateChangeDenial.org.

ALEC's next meeting is in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the same time as the UNFCC's COP21 meeting on climate change will be taking place in Paris, France.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Live From New York, It’s Donald Trump and … Larry David

Bill Nye Is ‘Unstoppable’

14 Extreme Weather Events Linked to Climate Change

Will Rupert Murdoch ‘Dumb Down the Science’ at National Geographic?

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A timelapse video shows synthetic material and baby fish collected from a plankton sample from a surface slick taken off Hawaii island. Honolulu Star-Advertiser / YouTube screenshot

A team of researchers led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration didn't intend to study plastic pollution when they towed a tiny mesh net through the waters off Hawaii's West Coast. Instead, they wanted to learn more about the habits of larval fish.

Read More Show Less
Two silver-backed chevrotain caught on camera trap. The species has only recently been rediscovered after being last seen in 1990. GWC / Mongabay

By Jeremy Hance

VIETNAM, July 2019 – I'm chasing a ghost, I think not for the first time, as night falls and I gather up my gear in a hotel in a village in southern Vietnam. I pack my camera, a bottle of water, and a poncho; outside the window I can see a light rain.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Flooding in New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina on Sept. 11, 2005. NOAA Photo Library / Lieut. Commander Mark Moran

The most destructive hurricanes are three times more frequent than they were a century ago, new research has found, and this can be "unequivocally" linked to the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less

By George Citroner

The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the World Health Organization currently recommend either 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (walking, gardening, doing household chores) or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise (running, cycling, swimming) every week.

But there's little research looking at the benefits, if any, of exercising less than the 75 minute minimum.

Read More Show Less
Mary Daly, president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, poses for a photograph. Nick Otto / Washington Post / Getty Images

It seems the reality of the climate crisis is too much for the Federal Reserve to ignore anymore.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

Passengers trying to reach Berlin's Tegel Airport on Sunday were hit with delays after police blocked roads and enacted tighter security controls in response to a climate protest.

Read More Show Less
A military police officer in Charlotte, North Carolina, pets Rosco, a post-traumatic stress disorder companion animal certified to accompany him, on Jan. 11, 2014. North Carolina National Guard

For 21 years, Doug Distaso served his country in the United States Air Force.

He commanded joint aviation, maintenance, and support personnel globally and served as a primary legislative affairs lead for two U.S. Special Operations Command leaders.

But after an Air Force plane accident left him with a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain, Distaso was placed on more than a dozen prescription medications by doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Read More Show Less
(L) Selma Three Stone Engagement Ring. (R) The Greener Diamond Farm Project. MiaDonna

By Bailey Hopp

If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.

Read More Show Less