Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The Guardian is thrilled that it has finally found some cashflow to “deniers”, from a now destitute coal company which sought to defend its business model from politically motivated attacks.
Biggest US coal company funded dozens of groups questioning climate change
Analysis of Peabody Energy court documents show company backed trade groups, lobbyists and thinktanks dubbed ‘heart and soul of climate denial’
Peabody Energy, America’s biggest coalmining company, has funded at least two dozen groups that cast doubt on manmade climate change and oppose environment regulations, analysis by the Guardian reveals.
The funding spanned trade associations, corporate lobby groups, and industry front groups as well as conservative thinktanks and was exposed in court filings last month.
The coal company also gave to political organisations, funding twice as many Republican groups as Democratic ones.
The company’s filings reveal funding for a range of organisations which have fought Barack Obama’s plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and denied the very existence of climate change.
“These groups collectively are the heart and soul of climate denial,” said Kert Davies, founder of the Climate Investigation Center, who has spent 20 years tracking funding for climate denial. “It’s the broadest list I have seen of one company funding so many nodes in the denial machine.”
Peabody refused to comment on its funding for climate denial groups, as revealed by the bankruptcy filings.
“While we wouldn’t comment on alliances with particular organizations, Peabody has a track record of advancing responsible energy and environmental policies, and we support organizations that advocate sustainable mining, energy access and clean coal solutions, in line with our company’s leadership in these areas,” Vic Svec, Peabody’s senior vice-president for global investor and corporate relations, wrote in an email.
Greens have long been confused at the success of climate skepticism. Given the lavish funding organisations like the WWF receive from government sources and green activists, they are desperate to find out where we get our funding from.
Consider the following – the budget breakdown for the WWF FY2015;
|IN-KIND AND OTHER||$69,496,505||24%|
|OTHER NON-OPERATING CONTRIBUTIONS||$19,682,814||6%|
So what sort of funding did skeptics receive?
Earlier this year, bankruptcy filings from the country’s second-biggest coal company, Arch Coal Inc, revealed funding to a group known mainly for its unsuccessful lawsuit against the climate scientist Michael Mann.
The $10,000 donation to the Energy and Environment Legal Institute (E&E) was made in 2014, according to court documents filed in Arch’s chapter 11 bankruptcy protection case.
Last October, court filings from another coal company seeking bankruptcy protection, Alpha Natural Resources, revealed an $18,600 payment to Chris Horner, a fellow at E&E.
Read more: Same link as the first article
Just one green group, the WWF, last year received just under eleven million dollars from corporations, and just under fifty million dollars from government. Yet greens think a handful of skeptics receiving a few 10s of thousands of dollars is news.
The truth is very few climate skeptics receive funding. I have never received a penny for what I do. We do what we do, because we believe our efforts will help make the world a better place.
It is bizarre and I think more than a little telling, that today’s well paid green executives find it difficult to accept that the people who oppose their climate propaganda are mostly volunteers.
Leading green groups might have been founded by volunteers, but most of those volunteers have long since retired. Perhaps the lavishly rewarded executives of today’s establishment green organisations have forgotten that doing what is right, helping to create a better future for our kids, is more important to some people than the size of your bank balance.