October 24, 2011

Blue Army: Finance, Research and Development

Global War on Disinformation


Climate change scepticism — its sources and strategies


Riley Dunlap and William Freudenburg

[There's] just been an explosion in these books quite recently. …
We've jumped up to 64 books espousing some version of climate change denial since 2000.
[How] many of these books are linked to conservative think-tanks? … 78%.
[The] really consistent thing, that most books [say is:]
No matter what, don't pass legislation, don't [ratify] treaties.
[The] bottom line remains the same,
NO REGULATIONS.
This reflects the near universal conservative ideology behind all versions of climate change denial.

[An] earlier study [Dunlap] did with Jacques and Freeman, found [of] 141 books expressing scepticism about anything environmental [92%] were from conservative think-tanks.

(AAAS Forum, The Science Show, ABC Radio National, 3 April 2010)


Contents


Finance


ExxonMobil

Koch Industries


Research and Development


Cato Institute

American Enterprise Institute

Independent Institute
Institute of Public Affairs
George C Marshall Institute

Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine

The Sydney Institute

References


FINANCE


EXXONMOBIL | ESSO


ExxonMobil ranked 2nd highest toxic air polluter in the United States in 2010 (PERI, 2010).

  • Royal Society and ExxonMobil, Royal Society, 4 September 2006.

    In September 2006, the Royal Society wrote to ExxonMobil to express concern that some of its corporate publications were presenting a misleading view of the scientific evidence about climate change and were over-emphasising uncertainties about what we do and don't know.
    This letter followed a meeting which had taken place at the request of ExxonMobil where the Society raised concerns about Exxon's position on climate change and the company's funding of lobby groups that misrepresented the science.
    At the meeting ExxonMobil indicated that it intended to stop funding these organisations.
    The letter asked for clarification as to when the company would carry out this pledge.
    Although we have exchanged further letters with ExxonMobil, it has still not addressed this issue.

  • ExxonSecrets Organizations, Greenpeace.

    These organisations are being quietly funded by ExxonMobil … $22 123 456 since 1998.
    ExxonMobil, the world's largest oil company, collected all time record corporate profits in 2003 (Source: AP 29 Jan '04).


RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT


AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE

  • Scientists offered cash to dispute climate study, The Guardian, 2 February 2007.
    Ian Sample.

    Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today.

    Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

    The AEI has received more than $1.6m from ExxonMobil and more than 20 of its staff have worked as consultants to the Bush administration.
    Lee Raymond, a former head of ExxonMobil, is the vice-chairman of AEI's board of trustees.


CATO INSTITUTE


The Cato Institute established by Edward H Crane and Charles Koch in 1977 (SourceWatch, 2011).
  • The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama, The New Yorker, 30 August 2010.
    Jane Mayer.

    When President Obama, in a 2008 speech, described the science on global warming as “beyond dispute,” the Cato Institute took out a full-page ad in the Times to contradict him. …

    Cato scholars have been particularly energetic in promoting the Climategate scandal. …
    In the two weeks after the e-mails went public, one Cato scholar gave more than twenty media interviews trumpeting the alleged scandal.
    But five independent inquiries have since exonerated the researchers, and nothing was found in their e-mails or data to discredit the scientific consensus on global warming.

INDEPENDENT INSTITUTE

  • Viscusi, W Kip, Book Review of 'Rational Risk Policy", Independent Review, Winter 1999.
    Robert Formaini: Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

    For [regulators] any measurable risk serves as an opportunity to justify their activities and expand their domain. …

    Regulation is not free:
    • workers earn less,
    • consumers pay higher prices, and
    • everybody bears a higher tax burden.
    [The] wealthier a society is, the longer its citizens live.
    Making people poorer in the name of protecting them [is] problematic.
    In fact, a large increase in national product will [save more] lives than almost any regulation passed in recent decades.

    Would you like to know more?


INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS

  • Institute of Public Affairs, SourceWatch, Center for Media and Democracy, 25 September 2011.

    [The IPA] has close links to the Liberal Party of Australia [conservative/libertarian]. …
    It was established in 1943 by GJ Coles and a group of businessmen based in Melbourne …

    [The] IPA has been the driving force behind the establishment of a number of new non-profit front groups, including the
    • Australian Environment Foundation — which campaigns for weaker environmental laws …
    • Independent Contractors of Australia — which campaigns for an end to workplace safety laws and a general deregulation of the labour market, and the …
    • Owner Drivers Australia, which campaigns against safety and work standard for truck drivers.
    [It] has campaigned against the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, promoted the use of genetically engineered crops and defended the logging of native forests.

    John Roskam [Executive Director, IPA]:
    Of all the serious sceptics in Australia, we have helped and supported just about all of them in their work one way or another …
    • Ian Plimer — we launched his book …
    • Bob Carter [IPA Science Advisor,]
    • Jo Nova [and]
    • William Kininmonth
    The IPA has heavily relied on funding from a small number of conservative corporations. …
    • … BHP-Billiton and Western Mining Corporation;
    • … Monsanto; …
    • … Telstra, Clough Engineering, Visy, and News Limited;
    • … Philip Morris (Nahan) and British American Tobacco
    • … Caltex … Shell and Woodside Petroleum; and fifteen major companies in the electricity industry;
    • … Gunns, the largest logging company in Tasmania;
    • Murray Irrigation Ltd — a major irrigation company [has] contributed $40,000.

    Would you like to know more?


Australian Environment Founcation

  • SourceWatch.  Australian Environment Foundation, Center for Media and Democracy, 5 November 2008.

    The Australian Environment Foundation is a front group [that was] founded by the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) [on World Environment Day, 2005.]
    The director of the environment unit of the IPA, Jennifer Marohasy was [also] the founding Chairwoman [and Director of the AEF.]
    Mahorasy is also the listed registrant of the group's website, although the address and phone number for the website registration are identical to the address and phone number for the Victorian office of the logging industry front group, Timber Communities Australia. …

    … Mike Nahan, the former Executive Director of the IPA [is listed] as one of the other founding directors [and has] described AEF as
    • pro-biotechnology,
    • pro-nuclear power,
    • pro-modern farming,
    • pro-economic growth,
    • pro-business and
    • pro-environment.
    [AEF jumped] the queue for Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) Status [following approval] by the Federal Liberal Environment Minister.
    The head of the AEF admitted that it is a group set up to protect timber interests and stop resources being taken away from the industry …


Australian Climate Science Coalition

  • What's in a name?, MediaWatch, ABC Radio National, 19 March 2012.

    In 2008, the AEF launched a subsidiary organisation called the Australian Climate Science Coalition.
    On its Scientific Advisory Panel are some of Australia's most prominent climate change sceptics.

    [In] the 2009 and 2010 financial years, the Australian CSC received … more than $100,000 … from … the American CSC (ASIC, AEF Financial Report 2009-10).
    That means that an American climate change sceptic group has been the largest single contributor not just to the ACSC but through it, to the AEF.

    Speakers at its conferences have been … hostile to wind power, against reducing water allocations to irrigators, in favour of genetically modified crops, and supportive of the timber industry and the Tasmanian pulp mill. …


OREGON INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND MEDICINE

  • Wikipedia, 18 September 2011.

    The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine … is a private research institute that studies biochemistry, diagnostic medicine, nutrition, preventive medicine and the molecular biology of aging, and receives no government funding. …
    The OISM circulated the Oregon Petition, a "Scientists' Petition" on global warming, in collaboration with the late Frederick Seitz [a cofounder of the Marshall Institute], former president of the National Academy of Sciences.
    OISM founder Arthur Robinson is skeptical that humans cause global warming.

    The OISM website states that:
    [Several] members of the Institute's staff are also well known for their work on the Petition Project, an undertaking that has obtained the signatures of more than 31,000 American scientists opposed, on scientific grounds, to the hypothesis of "human-caused global warming" and to concomitant proposals for world-wide energy taxation and rationing.
    The Institute publishes the book "Nuclear War Survival Skills," by Cresson Kearny, describing how to survive nuclear war, and in 1986 published Fighting Chance by Gary North and Arthur Robinson, advocating a revival of the federal government civil defense program.

  • Jokers Add Fake Names To Warming Petition, Associated Press, 1 May 1998.
    H Josef Hebert.

    While the [Oregon] petition has been portrayed by global-warming skeptics as authoritative evidence that many scientists reject the catastrophic scenario of global climate change, Robinson acknowledged that little attempt was done to verify credentials of those who responded.

    Several environmental groups questioned dozens of the names:
    "Perry S Mason" (the fictitious lawyer?), "Michael J Fox" (the actor?), "Robert C Byrd" (the senator?), "John C Grisham" (the lawyer-author?).
    And then there's the Spice Girl, aka Geraldine Halliwell:
    The petition listed "Dr Geri Halliwell" and "Dr Halliwell."

    Asked about the pop singer, Robinson said he was duped.
    The returned petition, one of thousands of mailings he sent out, identified her as having a degree in microbiology and living in Boston.

    "It's fake," he said.
    "When we're getting thousands of signatures there's no way of filtering out a fake," Robinson, 56, said in a telephone interview from Oregon.


The Sydney Institute


REFERENCES

  • Political Economy Research Institute (PERI), 2010.  Toxic 100 Air Polluters, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 18 October.
  • SourceWatch, 2011.  Cato Institute, Center for Media and Democracy, 5 August.

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