A secretive funding organisation in the United States that guarantees anonymity for its billionaire donors has emerged as a major operator in the climate “counter movement” to undermine the science of global warming, The Independent has learnt.
The Donors Trust, along with its sister group Donors Capital Fund, based in Alexandria, Virginia, is funnelling millions of dollars into the effort to cast doubt on climate change without revealing the identities of its wealthy backers or that they have links to the fossil fuel industry.
However, an audit trail reveals that Donors is being indirectly supported by the American billionaire Charles Koch who, with his brother David, jointly owns a majority stake in Koch Industries, a large oil, gas and chemicals conglomerate based in Kansas.
Chris wrote three years about the Koch Brothers, then not nearly as well known, funding climate change truthers (quoting the Guardian):
Greenpeace says that Koch Industries donated nearly $48m (£31.8m) to climate opposition groups between 1997-2008. From 2005-2008, it donated $25m to groups opposed to climate change, nearly three times as much as higher-profile funders that time such as oil company ExxonMobil. Koch also spent $5.7m on political campaigns and $37m on direct lobbying to support fossil fuels.
In a hard-hitting report, which appears to confirm environmentalists’ suspicions that there is a well-funded opposition to the science of climate change, Greenpeace accuses the funded groups of “spreading inaccurate and misleading information” about climate science and clean energy companies.
“The company’s network of lobbyists, former executives and organisations has created a forceful stream of misinformation that Koch-funded entities produce and disseminate. The propaganda is then replicated, repackaged and echoed many times throughout the Koch-funded web of political front groups and thinktanks,” said Greenpeace.
But, but, but the Koch Brothers fund PBS! So they can’t be all bad!
Yeah, right. A friend of mine here in town explained this seeming contradiction thusly: Rich GOP billionaires like to live in NYC, but their wive’s don’t get invited to any high-society parties because hubby is a right-wing nut, and NYC isn’t. So, hubby find a few liberal causes to invest in – it was PBS, now for many NYC Rs it’s gay marriage – and presto! No longer the social pariah they once were.
You’ve heard of clean coal? Welcome to Clean Koch.