Thursday, May 5, 2011

Koch Suckers

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No qualified professional denies that human CO2 emissions are dangerously increasing global mean temperature, for reasons outlined in the introduction to basic physics of climate change. People who do deny these scientific facts are paid to say that they have doubts about climate science, which calls into question whether they actually believe what they say, or whether they are only saying that they have doubts about climate science because they are paid to say that they have doubts about climate science.

Climate deniars do it for money. Koch Suckers do it for Koch Industries' money. Greenpeace has discovered that:

From 1997 to 2008, the Kochs funneled more than $48.5 million to organizations who are working in lockstep with the Kochs' agenda while presenting themselves as experts. Some top recipients of Koch money include:

Mercatus Center
$9,247,500 received from Koch foundations 2005-2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997-2008: $9,874,500]

Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFP)
$5,176,500 received from Koch foundations 2005-2008 [No Koch foundation grants received prior to 2005]

The Heritage Foundation
$1,620,000 received from Koch foundations 2005-2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997-2008: $3,358,000]

Cato Institute
$1,028,400 received from Koch foundations 2005-2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997-2008: $5,278,400]

Mercatus Center Sucks Koch for $9,247,500 [2005-2008]

Detecting the Mercatus Center's pro-petroleum bias is as easy as doing a Google search on for the word climate and examining the authors' profiles. Some of the articles are sure to have some merit just as they are sure to get some things wrong, but the fact that the articles are all written by economists, not climate scienctists, is enough to see that the goal of Mercatus on climate is only to oppose climate policy on financial grounds. Doing only economic analysis of climate change violates a fundamental principle of business, which is to consider both cost and benefit. Mercatus only examines the cost. Furthermore, Mercatus' authors are disproportionately specialists in "Business" which is the branch of Economics that deals only with corporate profits, as opposed to matters of the general welfare. Climate policy, like all national policy, is a matter for macroeconomic analysis, not microeconomic. Mercatus deliberately employs economists who are qualified only to analyze the interests of business, making them least qualified of all economists to advise policy makers.

Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFP) Sucks Koch for $5,176,500 [2005-2008]

While the other anti-climate Koch properties avoid headlines, Americans for Prosperity™ sets out to make headlines. Its purpose is to advertise its corporate sponsors' policy preferences to as many voters as possible, to increase support for the legislators and candidates who serve the Kochs' financial interests. In its own pseudo-intellectual words:

Americans for Prosperity™ (AFP) and Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFP Foundation) are committed to educating citizens about economic policy and mobilizing those citizens as advocates in the public policy process. AFP is an organization of grassroots leaders who engage citizens in the name of limited government and free markets on the local, state and federal levels. The grassroots activists of AFP advocate for public policies that champion the principles of entrepreneurship and fiscal and regulatory restraint.
AFP's "grassroots" credentials have been ably de-bunked by Rachel Maddow already, so all that would be left to report about Americans for Prosperity™ is its integrity on science. And now, that's done.

In its anti-climate propaganda, Americans for Prosperity™ simply avoids engaging the peer reviewed research in any way. The Hot Air Tour website (created by AFP) has a mailing list subscription form, a donation form, and a form to contact Congress stating opposition to a "Climate Tax" but absolutely no information about climate science nor how interested citizens can learn more about climate science.

The Heritage Foundation Sucks Koch for $1,620,000 [2005-2008]

The Heritage Foundation is a conservative "think" tank with predetermined bias against climate policy.

Recently the Heritage Foundation has: misinterpreted the impacts of global warming on the US economy; twisted news reports to justify claims about ‘climate taxes’; issued deceptive economic analyses and presentations; and released allegations about economic ruin and job losses from green stimulus investments by Congress.

Heritage Foundation also teamed up with Institute for Energy Research (IER) to promote the widely debunked “Spanish” study.

Cato Institute Sucks Koch for $1,028,400 [2005-2008]

The Cato Institute is focused on disputing the science behind global warming and questioning the rationale for taking action.

The organization’s 2009 “Handbook for Policymakers” on global warming begins with the suggestions that Congress should “pass no legislation restricting emissions of carbon dioxide” and “inform the public about how little climate change would be prevented by proposed legislation.”

Robert Bradley, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, is also a founder and the CEO of the Institute for Energy Research.

In 2007 the Cato Foundation gave $120,000 to New Hope Environmental Services, an “advocacy science consulting firm" founded and run by long-time climate science denier Patrick Michaels, who uses New Hope to publish his World Climate Report, a sort of ongoing journal of denial of climate science. Michaels is also a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, which paid him $98,000 to write a book, The Satanic Gases, with fellow skeptic Robert Balling. Over the years, Michaels’ work has been financed by a number of coal and polluter interests, including the Western Fuels Association, the Intermountain Rural Electric Association, and others.

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