Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Greenpeace says Koch funds misinformation about global warming

LONDON - Great Britain’s The Guardian on March 30 reported on an investigation by environmental activist group Greenpeace that identifies privately owned U.S. oil company Koch Industries as the paymaster of global warming skeptics in the U.S. and Europe.
Greenpeace accuses Kansas-based Koch, which owns refineries and operates oil pipelines, of funding 35 conservative and libertarian groups, as well as more than 20 congressmen and senators. Between them, Greenpeace says, these groups and individuals have spread misinformation about climate science and led a sustained assault on climate scientists and green alternatives to fossil fuels.
Greenpeace says that Koch Industries donated nearly $48 million to climate opposition groups between 1997-2008. From 2005-2008, it donated $25 million to groups opposed to climate change, nearly three times as much as higher-profile funders such as ExxonMobil.
Koch also spent $5.7 million on political campaigns and $37 million 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 organizations 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 think tanks," said Greenpeace.
"Koch industries is playing a quiet but dominant role in the global warming debate. This private, out-of-sight corporation has become a financial kingpin of climate science denial and clean energy opposition. On repeated occasions organizations funded by Koch foundations have led the assault on climate science and scientists, 'green jobs', renewable energy and climate policy progress," it says.
The groups include many of the best-known conservative think tanks in the U.S., like Americans for Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, the Manhattan Institute and the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment. All have been involved in "spinning" the "climategate" story or are at the forefront of the anti-global warming debate, says Greenpeace.

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