“Dark Money” Funds Climate Change Denial Effort

A Drexel University study finds that a large slice of donations to organizations that deny global warming are funneled through third-party pass-through organizations that conceal the original funder

A shift to untraceable donations by organizations denying climate change undermines democracy, according to the author of a new study tracking contributions to such groups.

Image: Wikimedia Commons/Carol M. Highsmith

The largest, most-consistent money fueling the climate denial movement are a number of well-funded conservative foundations built with so-called “dark money,” or concealed donations, according to an analysis released Friday afternoon.

The study, by Drexel University environmental sociologist Robert Brulle, is the first academic effort to probe the organizational underpinnings and funding behind the climate denial movement.

It found that the amount of money flowing through third-party, pass-through foundations like Donors Trust and Donors Capital, whose funding cannot be traced, has risen dramatically over the past five years.

In all, 140 foundations funneled $558 million to almost 100 climate denial organizations from 2003 to 2010.

Meanwhile the traceable cash flow from more traditional sources, such as Koch Industries and ExxonMobil, has disappeared.

The study was published Friday in the journal Climatic Change.

“The climate change countermovement has had a real political and ecological impact on the failure of the world to act on global warming,” Brulle said in a statement. “Like a play on Broadway, the countermovement has stars in the spotlight – often prominent contrarian scientists or conservative politicians – but behind the stars is an organizational structure of directors, script writers and producers.”

“If you want to understand what’s driving this movement, you have to look at what’s going on behind the scenes.”

Read more at Scientific American

Author: konigludwig

progressive social democrat, internationalist, conservationist

3 thoughts on ““Dark Money” Funds Climate Change Denial Effort”

  1. The only way to combat these lies is get the truth out there, just like you’ve done by posting this article.

    I don’t see why the scientific community doesn’t scream louder than they do.

    It must be very frustrating to know the truth and feel helpless to make any headway due to lie machines with deep pockets.


    1. Hello, sister. I like the way that a scientific analysis has been employed to reveal certain obvious political realities. Can you imagine! The American oil industry spent over a half billion dollars on a misinformation campaign directed at what is a well established international scientific consensus. The king isn’t wearing any clothes; and neither are the Koch brothers. 🙂


    2. But one of the important things to take away from this is that there exists a very well funded industry devoted to denying and trying to refute through obfuscation a growing volume of scientific evidence. This money is funding websites and the trolls who run them. This is a clue.


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