Follow the money. Climate activism and philanthropy in the US

Prompted by this short story I went to the source (Matthew C Nisbett 2018) to research the Follow the Money chapter in my work in progress. My thesis is that the funding for alarmism outguns the corporate funding for climate realist groups by a factor of 10 or maybe 50 or even 100. This is actually inventing the wheel that was made by Jo Nova and others but it has to be said again to update the situation and spread the word. This is her latest contribution.

David vs Goliath

How many times have you read about the struggling climate scientists standing like David against the Goliath of the science deniers movement, lavishly funded by Big Oil, coal and other corporate interests? The rhetoric persists despite the retreat of Exxon-Mobile from the “denial” side over a decade ago while according to Marc Morano they granted $100 million to Stanford for research to develop non-warming energy sources.

The nerve of these climate deniers, can you believe, between 1998 and 2004 Exxon-Mobil granted $16 million to denier advocates and later in 2006 the Royal Society wrote a letter complaining about $2.9 million then between 2007 and 2015 they gave $1.87 to Congressional climate deniers. They foam over the $7 million Heartland budget while the Sierra Club alone received almost $US50 million between 2011 and 2015 and the top 20 recipients of climate-related charity took a total of $230 million during that time. The top 20 granting bodies spent $556 million (listed below).

A key player is the Energy Foundation set up as a “regranting body” in 1991 by the Rockefeller Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trust and the MacArthur Foundation joined later by the Hewlett Foundation, the Packard Foundation. In 2006 Hewlett and others hired a firm of consultants to produce a report “Design to Win: Philanthropy’s Role in the Fight Against Global Warming”. The suggestion was to triple funding from $210 million in 2007 to $600 million per annum over the next decade.

In 2008 the sponsoring bodies set up Climateworks as a regranting organisation intended to invest more than a billion worldwide. In addition to Hewlett and Packard this involved the Energy Foundation, Kresge Foundation, the Sea Change foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Oak Foundation.

The paper by Nisbett refers to some $550 million during the 2000s provided by libertarian foundations to free market and conservative think tanks and lobby groups to oppose government regulations and support like-minded Republican candidates. That was spread over several years and moreover to compare apples with apples the leftwing funding figure would need to include a great deal of the support raised for the Democrat Party at large!

Top 20 charitable donors to climate-related lobby groups 2011 – 2015 (Nisbett 2018) giving a total of 556 million

Energy Foundation 95M (actually a regranting body), Hewlett and Kresge 70M, MacArthur 53, Doris Duke 42, Rockefeller Brothers and Schmidt Family 28, Skoll 26, Bloomberg 23 (Bloomberg spends much more than that on its own anti-coal activities worldwide), Packard 23, Climate Works 18, Surdna Foundation and Heinz Endowments 15, McKnight 14, and others – Moore Foundation, Park, Oak, Wallace Global down to number 20 Ford Foundation with a piddling 3.2.

Top 20 beneficiaries accounting for $230 million 2011 – 2015

Sierra Club 49, Alliance for Climate Protection 20, Nature Conservancy 19, The Partnership Project 17, National Resources Defence Council 14, Environmental Defence Fund 13, New Venture Fund 13, Bipartisan Policy Centre 10, Wildlife Conservation Society 10, Clean Air Task Force 9, Climate Control 8, Regulatory Assistance Project 7, Institute for Market Transformation 6, Ceres 6, Sustainable markets Foundation 6, American Council for Energy-Efficient Economy 5, Great Plains Inst for Sust Dev 5, Georgetown Climate Centre 4.5, Environmenmtal Law and Policy Centre 4.5, Union of Concerned Scientists 4.

Marc Morano’s book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change (2018) has a mass of up to date information on grants to greens and the hypocrisy of the Hollywood set. Another essential reference is Rupert Darwall’s Green Tyranny (2017) with some chapters on this topic on top of the best “joining the dots” account of the whole story that I know about.

PS Bloomberg’s anti-coal effort.

New York, NY — Just after announcing a renewed commitment of $64 million to the Beyond Coal campaign in the United States and during this year’s UN Climate Conference COP 23 in Bonn, Germany, Michael R. Bloomberg, U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, announced a $50 million commitment to partners worldwide to catalyze a global effort to move nations away from coal dependence. European Climate Foundation will be the leading partner in Europe.

Bloomberg’s announcement marks his first investment in efforts outside the U.S. to decrease reliance on coal and shift to renewable, cleaner energy sources. In the U.S., Bloomberg’s efforts to move away from coal have spurred the closing of more than 50% of the United States’ coal plants since 2011.

I suspect that alone would buy and sell all the the international “denialist” organisations.

Eat your heart out Jo Nova:)

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8 Responses to Follow the money. Climate activism and philanthropy in the US

  1. stackja says:

    Packard legacy from HP, seems strange. Doris Duke had a sad life, so not so strange.

  2. RobK says:

    The anti-coal movement is, I think, just a peice of the jigsaw. The thrust of the money is for redistribution by UN planning. CO2 penalties, superannuation funding with incentives hit at the heart of the effort of the individual. It’s a political ruse. When the dust settles, and the UN has formulated a world order based on something like the Chinese model of government, it will be easy enough to just slip back into coal, as required…or nukes for that matter. It’s a means to an end.

  3. JohnA says:

    stackja #2771008, posted on July 24, 2018, at 10:34 am

    Packard legacy from HP, seems strange.

    And I see the Hewlett Foundation – the other half of the H-P founders.

    They would both hate what the HP business has become.

  4. Rafe Champion says:

    See Mises in The Anti-Capitalist Mentality for some of the types like the relatives of the founder who feel bitter and left out, also singers and actors whose careers are so competitive and individualistic that they feel obliged to show their soft and cuddly side outside working hours by supporting socialism to compensate.

  5. Crossie says:

    Doris Duke had a sad life, so not so strange.

    I don’t think her foundation has anything to do with Doris Duke these days. All of these foundations may have started out to do good and over time became captured by the people who run them and who proceed to indulge their own politics.

  6. Nerblnob says:

    The process is well-known (but not well-known enough) and has been summarised by –

    John O’Sullivan’s First law:
    All organisations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing

    Robert Michel’s Iron Law of Oligarchy:
    In any organisation the permanent officials will gradually obtain such influence that its day-to-day program will increasingly reflect their interests rather than its own stated philosophy

    Robert Conquest’s Second Law:
    The behaviour of an organisation can best be predicted by assuming it to be controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies.

    or just anyone who has ever been part of a bureaucracy or even a local committee or enthusiast’s club.
    They all get taken over by the same self-interested pricks who claim to be working for the greater good.

  7. Nerblnob says:

    Anyway, it’s blindingly obvious that oil, gas & coal continue to be the world’s most important sources of energy despite the unimaginably vast resources dedicating to sabotaging them.

    That they can’t be killed is obviously down to three things:
    a) oil, gas & coal work fantastically well and provide the biggest net benefit mankind has ever seen
    b) the alternatives , except for hydroelectricity and nuclear, don’t remotely come close.
    c) the saboteurs also oppose hydroelectricity and nuclear

    The saboteurs can’t acknowledge this denial of their raison d’etre so they must allege that Big Oil and Big Coal (haven’t heard Big Gas get a guernsey in this game yet) are somehow colluding – invisibly – to hoodwink the public.

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