Koch brothers

COVID-19 'Liberate' Groups Are the Same Ones Pushing Climate Denial

Read time: 13 mins
Ohio statehouse protests against COVID-19 pandemic stay-at-home orders

This story is a part of Covering Climate Now’s week of coverage focused on Climate Solutions, to mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Covering Climate Now is a global journalism collaboration committed to strengthening coverage of the climate story.

The response among many American public officials and the public at large to the COVID-19 pandemic has, in many ways, paralleled the response to the climate crisis.

First came a denial that it was a problem at all, then a denial of its depth and gravity. Later came an acceptance of the problem but the stance that responding is too economically costly. And as with the climate crisis, this is no accident. The well-funded machinery that sowed doubt about climate is now sowing seeds of doubt over the economic and public health response to COVID-19. 

Election 2019: Here Are All the Brexit Party's Climate Science Deniers

Read time: 12 mins
Nigel Farage

Climate science denial and opposition to climate-friendly policies are widespread among Brexit Party general election candidates, analysis by DeSmog shows.

Of prospective parliamentary candidates (PPCs) standing for Nigel Farage’s party who have expressed views on climate change publicly, the majority appear to reject mainstream science on the issue.

Exxon Leaving ALEC: Important But Insufficient Step in Addressing Company's History of Climate Science Denial, Campaigners Say

Read time: 3 mins
Exxon Mobil forecourt

ExxonMobil has announced it will leave the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a corporate lobby group known for its attempts to block climate action. Campaigners cautiously welcomed the decision, though said Exxon had to do more to prove it was committed to addressing climate change.

Exxon’s decision comes after opposition to ALEC’s attempt last December to get the Environmental Protection Agency to abandon its position that climate change proposes a risk to human health.

The Doubt Machine: Documentary Explores Koch Brothers' War on Climate Science

Read time: 2 mins
David Koch and Charles Koch

The Koch brothers' attack on clean energy solutions is just one prong of their war on anything that threatens the dominance of fossil fuels. While funding fights against renewable energy policies at the federal and state levels, the Koch brothers have also been using their vast wealth to sow the seeds of doubt about the science of climate change.

This week, the Real News Network released “The Doubt Machine: The Koch Brothers' War on Climate Science,” a documentary that explores how Koch-funded entities attacked and threatened climate scientists like Michael Mann and journalists like Jane Mayer. Both Mann and Mayer feature prominently in the documentary, which is narrated by Emma Thompson. You can watch it right here, and it's well worth your half hour:

Koch Bros’ Summer Reading List for Donors Promotes Freedom, Fossil Fuels, and Matt Ridley

Read time: 3 mins
Charles Koch

Students won’t be the only ones working through a stack of summer reading this August.  

Billionaires Charles and David Koch at their top secret bi-annual donors meeting last weekend gave attendees a ‘library request card’ with 48 recommended books to read on politics, business, freedom, and fossil fuels.

Among these books are free-market classics by Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy by Stephen Moore and Kathleen Hartnett White which makes “an unapologetic case for fossil fuels”, and The Evolution of Everything, the latest publication by British climate science denier and coal mine owner Matt Ridley.

The Koch and Exxon Funded Think Tanks Supporting, and Being Courted by, Britain’s Brexit Campaigners

Read time: 7 mins
Owen Paterson speaking at the Heritage Foundation

The Republican National Convention kicks off this week in Cleveland, Ohio and among the crowd clamouring to see Donald Trump will be one man who crossed the Atlantic to be there: Nigel Farage.

The former head of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) helped lead Britain’s vote to leave the European Union (EU) and is famous for saying last year “I haven’t got a clue whether climate change is being driven by carbon-dioxide emissions.”

But he’s made the trip this week to deliver a message to Republicans that the UK’s vote to leave the EU, or ‘Brexit’, holds lessons for America.

New Study Exposes True Extent, Influence Of Climate Denial Echo Chamber For First Time

Read time: 3 mins

Thanks to a recent poll from ABC News and the Washington Post, we know that nearly two-thirds of American adults think global warming is “a serious problem facing the country.”

And now, thanks to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change (full study available at this link), we know exactly how many people are out there taking money from dirty energy interests to try and confuse Americans about climate changeto derail overdue action and protect the fossil fuel industries' profits.

Justin Farrell, a professor of sociology at Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the author of the report, studied both the institutional and social network structure of the climate denier movement and found that there are some 4,556 individuals with ties to 164 organizations that are involved in pushing anti-climate science views on the public.

DeSmog UK's July Recap - What Stories Did You Miss?

Read time: 4 mins

July will perhaps best be remembered as the month the UK Government cut all the “green crap”.

In total, nine environmental policies were scrapped: subsidies for wind, solar and biomass will be cut along with the Green Deal which aimed to help homeowners improve energy efficiency, most of the Green Investment Bank will be sold off, incentives to buy greener cars were watered down, the Zero Carbon Homes initiative was killed off, fracking will be allowed under national parks, green taxes were dropped and, finally, the Swansea Bay tidal project looks close to being chopped.

At first it started slowly, as Amber Rudd raised concerns that solar subsidies “might” be cut. A hop, skip and a week later, solar was just one of many cuts made in rapid-fire succession.

Is Koch Industries Lobbying the EU Over Natural Gas?

Read time: 3 mins

America’s largest privately owned energy company, Koch Industries, has been lobbying on “energy markets/financial regulation” reveals new data released by the interactive lobby database, EU Integrity Watch launched at the end of June.

On 28 April, Koch’s lobbyist met with Lee Foulger, an EU cabinet member working under European Commissioner Jonathan Hill. Hill’s team works on financial stability, financial services and the Capital Markets Union – Europe's flagship project to build a single finance market for all 28 Member States.

According to the database, this is the only lobby meeting the representative for Koch’s legal, lobbying and public affairs arm – known as Koch Companies Public Sectors – has had in the last six months with a member of the European commission. Meetings prior to December 2014 are not available online.

Are the Koch Brothers Trying to Influence TTIP Negotiations?

Read time: 5 mins

The latest release of lobbying data on the European Commission’s Transparency Register has raised concerns that the fossil-fuelled Kochs are trying to influence the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations.

Digging through the data, DeSmog UK found that the European arm of Koch Industry’s legal, lobbying and public affairs branch – known as Koch Companies Public Sector LLC – has spent up to £0.5m lobbying EU policymakers on the environment, energy and free trade.

And according to the voluntary register, Koch Industries – the largest privately owned energy company in the United States, known for funding climate denial groups – has a particular interest in lobbying on the “EU’s free trade agreement negotiations.”

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