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article imageClimate change — Truth vs. the doubt spread by corporate funding

By Karen Graham     Nov 26, 2015 in Environment
Through the concerted efforts of the Koch brothers and ExxonMobil, the American public has been spoon-fed so much misinformation about climate change, they have polluted the main stream media and created two warring camps in the climate change debate.
An analysis of 20 years worth of data by Yale University researcher Dr. Justin Farrell shows without a doubt that ExxonMobil and Koch brothers foundations were behind the formation of climate denial echo chamber organisations.
The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science (PNAS), details the connection between corporate funding and the creation of messages that create doubt about the science of climate change and whether humans are responsible in any way.
The Koch brothers have spent millions funding climate change denial.
The Koch brothers have spent millions funding climate change denial.
Bloomberg Business
There have been many studies done previously on how corporate funding has shaped public consciousness on global warming and many other issues regarding the climate. But Farrell took what he calls a "bird’s-eye view,” using computer analytics to examine huge amounts of paperwork from over 164 groups that included think-tanks and lobbying firms.
Additionally, the papers written by more than 4,500 individuals who were skeptical of climate change were included in the analysis. The total of all the reports and other data gathered covered the past 20 years. The information was then separated into those groups receiving corporate funding and those who did not, according to Truthout.
ExxonMobil Wednesday cut its forecast for oil and gas production after a number of major projects hi...
ExxonMobil Wednesday cut its forecast for oil and gas production after a number of major projects hit snags in the ramp-up phase
Karen Bleier, AFP/File
The two biggest corporations funding climate change denial
The Koch brothers have been financing climate denial groups — Anschutz, Bradley, Coors, DeVos, Dunn, Howard, Pope, Scaife, Searle, and Seid, to name just a few — to the tune of $79 million. The funding ensures false information is spread through the media and the public.
ExxonMobil's fraudulent misinformation campaign was made public through great investigative journalism by Inside Climate News (ICN), as reported in Digital Journal in October.
“The contrarian efforts have been so effective for the fact that they have made it difficult for ordinary Americans to even know who to trust,” Dr. Farrell told the Washington Post. “This counter-movement produced messages aimed, at the very least, at creating ideological polarisation through politicised tactics, and at the very most, at overtly refuting current scientific consensus with scientific findings of their own,” Dr. Farrell said.
Farrell was able to show that corporate funding created what he calls an “ecosystem of influence” with the groups putting out papers of questionable truth denouncing climate change as a hoax. The Kochs and ExxonMobil “created a united network within which the contrarian messages could be strategically created” and spread, Farrell said.
“This counter-movement produced messages aimed, at the very least, at creating ideological polarization through politicized tactics, and at the very most, at overtly refuting current scientific consensus with scientific findings of their own,” he said.
Polarization is created at all levels of society
We all know corporations spend vast amounts of money buying influence, from lawmakers in Congress to the mayors and city councils of municipalities all across America. Take ExxonMobil, for example. For over 20 years it funded studies by its own scientists that showed human-caused global warming was happening.
But being a petroleum giant, Exxon also kept track of its bottom line. Profits won out and Exxon started funding a campaign to discredit scientific studies. Since 1998, Exxon has given over $31 million to organizations and individuals for the sole purpose of creating mistrust in the public about any scientific evidence proving climate change was real.
The Kochs can be likened to the perfect example of the corporate takeover of government. Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch have a vested interest in making sure climate change denial is always in the public's eye. The Koch brothers have made billions with Koch Industries and an oil corporation that is the second largest privately-held company in the country.
Will the public finally heed the warnings about climate change?
It is critically important that the public hears the scientific facts about global warming, minus the lies and accusations of scientific wrongdoing spouted by climate change deniers. Dr. Farrell's research also provides evidence that corporate funding is detrimental to the public good. Desmogblog.com has a final say about climate change denial, stating, "It's far beyond the time to end the climate cover-up. And responsible media can lead the way."
The study, "Corporate funding and ideological polarization about climate change," was published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science (PNAS) on November 23, 2015.
More about climate denial echo chamber foundations, Exxonmobil, koch family foundations, coverup of facts, millions of dollars
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