Heroes' History: From Neoliberalism to Climate Denial

The climate denial movement is the anti-science wing of the neoliberal network, funded by oil and tobacco. Our 100-part series shows that many working in this world genuinely believe they are fighting for freedom, and against tyranny.

Antony Fisher dedicated his life to fighting for prosperity - and he believed free markets would be our salvation. The war hero unleashed a powerful political movement that attacked state control and regulation—including measures to stop climate change.

This is the 60-year saga proving that the road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions. Heroes’ History is the HBO-style 100-part webdoc series exclusive to DeSmog UK that charts the origins of climate denial through to its earliest roots in the neoliberal movement.

To challenge climate denial we must understand the cause. We see how the works of Friedrich von Hayek, the father of modern free market ideas, were co-opted and corrupted. We witness how all-powerful oil monopolies have gained control of our democracies.

And we watch as the lessons of the 2008 financial crisis have been wilfully ignored - and envision how the same mistakes will lead to the biggest environmental and social cataclysm of our time. Grab the popcorn.

SEASON ONE: September to November

Antony watches as his brother Basil tumbles out of his Battle of Britain fighter plane only to discover his parachute is alight. The grief and horror of war inspires Antony on a lifelong crusade to tear down the devastating power of the state. He establishes the neoliberal think tanks and allies with major corporations, including oil and tobacco.

Their powerful support elevates Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan to the highest seats of power. They change the course of British and American history—and lay the foundations for climate denial.

Coming Up: Season Two and Season Three.

In this series

“We know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime: two wars, a...
By Brendan Montague, 10 Sep, 2015
This DeSmog UK epic history post explains how Lord Lawson’s climate denying Global Warming Policy...
By Brendan Montague, 8 Sep, 2015
Environmentalists first promoted a climate change bill when Britain was enjoying an economic boom...
By Brendan Montague, 3 Sep, 2015
The global economy was in a death spiral and Britain was at the centre of the financial tornado....
By Brendan Montague, 25 Aug, 2015
In this DeSmog UK epic history series we meet an American presidential hopeful apparently willing...
By Brendan Montague, 20 Aug, 2015
This DeSmog UK epic history post explains how neoliberalism almost broke capitalism (and what this...
By Brendan Montague, 18 Aug, 2015
This DeSmog UK epic history post remembers how Northern Rock, the first bank run in the UK since...
By Brendan Montague, 13 Aug, 2015
This DeSmog UK epic history post details how a Channel 4 programme on climate change was edited to...
By Brendan Montague, 11 Aug, 2015
This DeSmog UK epic history post reveals the identity of the man behind Lord Monckton’s eccentric...
By Brendan Montague, 6 Aug, 2015
In this DeSmog UK epic history post, we recall the climate denial backlash to the influential Stern...
By Brendan Montague, 4 Aug, 2015
Lord Lawson would command the admiration and gratitude of the sceptic cause when he raised the...
By Brendan Montague, 2 Jul, 2015
This DeSmog UK epic history post recalls the transatlantic effort by the European sceptic Benny...
By Brendan Montague, 30 Jun, 2015
The DeSmog UK epic history series turns to Richard D North, an environmental journalist who later...
By Brendan Montague, 25 Jun, 2015
This DeSmog UK epic history post looks at how Julian Morris’s free market think tank spread its...
By Brendan Montague, 16 Jun, 2015
Our latest DeSmog UK epic history post recalls how Dr Benny Peiser transformed from Marxist radical...
By Brendan Montague, 9 Jun, 2015
This DeSmog UK epic history post recalls the falling out between long-term friends and free...
By Brendan Montague, 4 Jun, 2015
Our latest DeSmog UK epic history series post looks at Julian Morris’s ExxonMobil-funded, climate...
By Brendan Montague, 2 Jun, 2015
This DeSmog UK epic history post tells the story of climate denier Jim Inhofe’s infamous ‘climate...
By Brendan Montague, 28 May, 2015
In this DeSmog UK epic history post we meet David Henderson, who accidentally became one of the...
By Brendan Montague, 26 May, 2015
This DeSmog UK epic history series post investigates the dramatic U-turn taken by the late Prime...
By Brendan Montague, 19 May, 2015
Our latest DeSmog UK epic history post examines the troop of climate sceptic scientists funded by...
By Brendan Montague, 14 May, 2015
Our latest DeSmog UK epic history post details the penetrating impact ExxonMobil had on US energy...
By Brendan Montague, 12 May, 2015
Our latest DeSmog UK epic history post recalls how the IPCC COP 6 was held in the midst of the...
By Brendan Montague, 7 May, 2015
This DeSmog UK epic history post looks at when free-marketeers Roger Bate and Julian Morris made...
By Brendan Montague, 5 May, 2015
This DeSmog UK epic history post introduces you to a young geologist who joined the fight against...
By Brendan Montague, 30 Apr, 2015
The DeSmog UK epic history series continues with an account of how a NASA climate scientist was...
By Brendan Montague, 28 Apr, 2015
Our DeSmog UK epic history series continues with a look at how Big Oil helped push President Bush...
By Brendan Montague, 23 Apr, 2015
This DeSmog UK epic history series post takes a closer look at ExxonMobil’s contribution to George...
By Brendan Montague, 21 Apr, 2015
Lord Lawson asserts that his attack on climate change policy is motivated by deep concerns for the...
By Brendan Montague, 20 Apr, 2015
The DeSmog UK epic history series continues with a look at what happened when environmentalists...
By Brendan Montague, 16 Apr, 2015
This DeSmog UK epic history post describes how an economic think tank became a beacon of light...
By Brendan Montague, 1 Apr, 2015
This DeSmog UK epic history post portrays Lee Raymond, the Texan captain who steered the Exxon ship...
By Brendan Montague, 25 Mar, 2015
Our latest DeSmog UK epic history post looks at what happened when former BP boss Lord John Browne...
By Brendan Montague, 21 Mar, 2015
In this DeSmog UK epic history article we tell the inside story of how the rising tide of...
By Brendan Montague, 18 Mar, 2015
The DeSmog UK epic history series recalls how the war between the climate sceptics and the IPCC...
By Brendan Montague, 14 Mar, 2015
Our latest DeSmog UK epic history post looks at how the dynamic Professor Bob Watson (pictured)...
By Brendan Montague, 11 Mar, 2015
In Part II of our intimate interview with Professor Michael Mann he tells of the exact moment he...
By Brendan Montague, 7 Mar, 2015
The DeSmog UK epic history series introduces you to the creator of the climate change hockey stick...
By Brendan Montague, 2 Mar, 2015
The DeSmog UK epic history series continues with the first in a double-bill feature on how the...
By Brendan Montague, 18 Feb, 2015
Our latest DeSmog UK epic history post reveals how the once-hidden romance between Roger Bate of...
By Brendan Montague, 14 Feb, 2015
DeSmog UK’s epic history series looks back at the conference that marked the first major event...
By Brendan Montague, 11 Feb, 2015
DeSmog UK’s history series examines how the tobacco industry’s PR tactics proved inspirational for...
By Brendan Montague, 4 Feb, 2015
The DeSmog UK epic history series investigates the divide that opened up between chief executives...
By Brendan Montague, 31 Jan, 2015
The DeSmog UK epic history series continues with a look at how oil-funded lobbyists increased their...
By Brendan Montague, 28 Jan, 2015
The DeSmog UK epic history series investigates how Thatcherite John Blundell challenged the young...
By Brendan Montague, 24 Jan, 2015
DeSmog UK’s epic history series continues with a peek into the intimate friendship between free-...
By Brendan Montague, 21 Jan, 2015
DeSmog UK’s epic history series recounts the moment when John Blundell was recruited into Antony...
By Brendan Montague, 17 Jan, 2015
DeSmog UK’s epic history investigates how the former Institute of Economic Affairs director general...
By Brendan Montague, 7 Jan, 2015
DeSmog UK will endeavour to publish profiles of the back-room influencers who have promoted climate...
By Kyla Mandel, 6 Jan, 2015
When free-marketeer, Friedrich von Hayek, died in 1992 he left a legacy of neoliberal think tanks...
By Brendan Montague, 16 Dec, 2014
In the second part of our Fred Smith story - part of our history series - DeSmog UK investigates...
By Brendan Montague, 13 Dec, 2014
As DeSmog UK continues its epic history series, we take a closer look at accusations of how...
By Brendan Montague, 6 Dec, 2014
DeSmog UK tells the story of how the ideologically matched and politically inseparable Blundell and...
By Brendan Montague, 3 Dec, 2014
John Blundell is welcomed into the inner circle of the Koch elite at at time of inner-family...
By Brendan Montague, 29 Nov, 2014
Climate denial was imported from the United States to Britain by a free market idealist employed by...
By Brendan Montague, 26 Nov, 2014
The coal industry in the United States was the first source of funding for climate scepticism...
By Brendan Montague, 22 Nov, 2014
Amidst dismay at the true extent of climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (...
By Brendan Montague, 19 Nov, 2014
Nine days after Lawson resigned protesters in East Berlin began tearing down the Berlin Wall, but a...
By Brendan Montague, 12 Nov, 2014
Margaret Thatcher was at the height of her premiership when she took to the podium at the United...
By Brendan Montague, 8 Nov, 2014
Scientists had well understood for many decades that adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere could...
By Brendan Montague, 29 Oct, 2014
Margaret Thatcher’s intellectual love affair with the economist Friedrich von Hayek continued...
By Brendan Montague, 24 Oct, 2014
Thatcher had been in awe of her fellow free market apostle Reagan, but the two world leaders would...
By Brendan Montague, 22 Oct, 2014
Margaret Thatcher's contribution to the climate debate while British Prime Minister would cause her...
By Brendan Montague, 14 Oct, 2014
In the third of three posts charting how climate change became a political issue, we see how...
By Brendan Montague, 10 Oct, 2014
Scientists were warning about the dangers of climate change even before America discovered and used...
By Brendan Montague, 10 Oct, 2014
The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) helped Thatcher's rise to power and when she became prime...
By Brendan Montague, 2 Oct, 2014
Lord Lawson is a patriot. He believes himself to be a very wise man indeed. But his sale of BP to...
By Brendan Montague, 2 Oct, 2014
Lord Lawson created Britain's privatised energy industry. Some argue that he supports their...
By Brendan Montague, 1 Oct, 2014
Lord Lawson is today the main voice of climate denial in Britain. But 30 years ago he was...
By Brendan Montague, 30 Sep, 2014
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher meets free market economist Friedrich von Hayek at IEA. She...
By Brendan Montague, 28 Sep, 2014
The finest triumph of the Institute of Economic Affairs was winning Thatcher to free market...
By Brendan Montague, 27 Sep, 2014
The founder of the Institute of Economic Affairs argued free markets needed honesty. But his own...
By Brendan Montague, 26 Sep, 2014
A fateful meeting between economist Friedrich von Hayek and British aristocrat Antony Fisher had...
By Brendan Montague, 24 Sep, 2014
Antony Fisher founded the think tanks in Britain that first promoted climate denial. His dramatic...
By Brendan Montague, 19 Sep, 2014
Hayek achieved his dream of becoming a university academic, but could he really challenge the...
By Brendan Montague, 17 Sep, 2014
Hayek is the intellectual inspiration for neoliberal think tanks and their war against Socialism,...
By Brendan Montague, 12 Sep, 2014
Antony Fisher makes Margaret Thatcher beam
The first part of our epic history of climate denial opens with our hero's harrowing experience...
By Brendan Montague, 10 Sep, 2014