Similarly, on the
Acton Institute's website a document entitled "The Catholic Church and
Stewardship of Creation" states that "Global warming, for instance,
which remains speculative and based on incomplete computer models rather than
on demonstrated science, might cost man and nature a great deal if we rush to
impose dramatic limits on fossil-fuel use in a misguided attempt to solve a
problem that may not even exist. Just twenty-five years ago, some of the
current proponents of global warming were warning us about global
document, entitled "A Biblical Perspective on Environmental
Stewardship" reads, "While atmospheric carbon dioxide (co2) is certainly on the rise, and
global average temperature has almost certainly risen slightly in the last 120
years or so, it is by no means certain that the rising temperature stems from
the rising co2
.Highly speculative computer climate models drove the
great fears of global warming that arose in the 1980s and endured through the
2. Advancement of Sound Science
$ 40,000 from 2000-2003; see
also the "Free Enterprise Action Institute/Free Enterprise Education Institute."
According to IRS forms obtained
from GuideStar.org, this organization is run by Steven Milloy, a frequent
commenter on science issues on his website JunkScience.com and as a "junk
science" columnist for FoxNews.com.
Milloy has repeatedly challenged the scientific consensus on global warming in
non-peer reviewed outlets. In a February 2001 Washington Times column, for example, he wrote that "There is general agreement that global temperatures warmed
from 1910 to 1940 and cooled from 1940 to 1975. Temperature changes since 1975
are hotly disputed. The IPCC says global temperatures have warmed. But this
claim is based on surface temperature records that are biased upward by
temperature readings from urban areas whose concrete and asphalt absorb heat
IPCC models that assume global climate is very sensitive to greenhouse gases
and predict a 2.5- to 10.4-degree increase in temperature over the next 100
years remain seriously flawed."
That's just one
example out of many. In a June 8, 2001 column in Canada's
National Post Milloy wrote, "As to
the theory of man-made global warming, a read of the NAS report
is significant uncertainty about the surface temperature record. Moreover, the
recent temperature records compiled from balloon and satellite measurements
inexplicably don't show any warming."
In a June 25, 2004 Washington Times column
he wrote, "When you consider that the greenhouse effect contributes about
60 degrees Fahrenheit to the Earth's average temperature [which would be about
zero degree Fahrenheit without the greenhouse effect], it doesn't seem
atmospheric carbon dioxide levels -- even if they triple or quadruple due to
human activities -- are all that important to global climate."
3. American Council for Capital
$ 909,523 from 2000-2003, but
only year in which activity was detected was 2001. The group received $ 250,000
in that year.
An examination this group's
activities shows that it has largely focused on economic critiques of climate
control policies like the Kyoto Protocol, rather than science-based argumentation.
However, in Senate testimony in 2001, ACCF's Margo Thorning went beyond solely
economic arguments by including an appendix on "key gaps in the science of
climate change," meant to back up her argument that numerous "science
questions must be addressed before the United States and its allies embark on a
path as nonproductive as that of the Kyoto Protocol."
The two page appendix provides an extremely one-sided
presentation. It focuses solely on scientific uncertainties revealed in a 2001
National Academy of Sciences report on climate science, nowhere mentioning the
report's strong conclusions about human-caused global warming. This highly
selective emphasis on uncertainty and raising doubts, seen so frequently in the
climate science "skeptic" camp, brings the activities of the American
Council for Capital Formation within the purview of this study, at least for
the year 2001.
4. American Council on Science
$ 215,000 total from 2000-2003;
but subtract $ 25,000 in 2000 for "Environment and Children Study",
$ 50,000 in 2002 for "Body Burdens and Biomarkers Project" and $
25,000 in 2003 for "Children's Asthma." That leaves $ 115,000.
A steady recipient of modest
infusions of ExxonMobil funding, this "consumer education consortium"
counts S. Fred Singer and Patrick Michaels among its scientific advisers.
The group's director, Elizabeth Whelan, has written, "there is no scientific consensus concerning global warming.
The climate change predictions are based on computer models that have not been
validated and are far from perfect."
ACSH does not appear to work on global climate change as a primary focus, but
the group's affiliations with prominent "skeptics" justify its
inclusion on this list. However, funding explicitly earmarked for projects with
no apparent relation to climate change has been subtracted from the total.
5. American Enterprise Institute
$ 960,000 from 2000-2003. See
also "Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy," "Tech
This august conservative think tank
has ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond sitting on its board of trustees.
In 2003 it hosted a panel entitled "Return to Rio: Reexamining Climate Change Science, Economics, and Policy," which
featured talks by "skeptics" Sallie Baliunas and David Legates.
At least two of AEI's fellows--James Glassman and Steven F. Hayward--have also repeatedly
challenged mainstream climate change science. So has its president, Christopher
DeMuth, in the think tank's own publication, The American Enterprise.
in particular has been a dedicated debunker of climate change concerns. In a
December 11, 2000 column in the Washington Times, Glassman--identified as an AEI "resident
fellow"--questioned the "still uncertain threat of global
in a May 12, 2001 column in the Canadian National Post he wrote,
20th-century warming has been caused by human-generated greenhouse gases, then
why hasn't the earth heated up consistently, as CO2-emitting manufacturing and
transportation activities have increased? It is generally agreed that the earth
has been hotter in the past -- during the Middle Ages, for example, long before
SUVs were invented. Strong evidence is emerging, in fact, that the earth's
heating is cyclical, and that the prime mover in warming is the magnetic
activity of the sun, as Sallie Baliunas, a respected Harvard astrophysicist who
is also deputy director of the Mt. Wilson Observatory, has been finding in her
has penned numerous other similar pieces and also teamed up with Baliunas in a
number of articles challenging the scientific basis for concern about global
warming. He also "hosts"
the website TechCentralStation.com (see
more below), which specializes in climate change contrarianism.
fellow Steven F. Hawyard (see also the "Pacific Research Institute for
Public Policy") sometimes writes in a more subtle vein than Glassman, but
he too has sought to undermine the scientific consensus on global warming. For
example, in a 2003 article in the American Enterprise examining media coverage of the environment, Hayward provided
a list of "some of the best environmental stories of the latest year,"
in which he included "Andrew Kenny's spirited and lengthy frontal attack
on the global warming hypothesis" published in The Spectator of London.
More recently, in the National Review, Hayward
wrote about climate change:
we actually know? The earth's temperature has risen about 1 degree Celsius over
the last 100 years. That's where the agreement ends and the arguments begin
of the increase may be man-made, but much of it may be a natural warming trend
stemming from the "little ice age" between the 14th and 19th
centuries. Some scientists believe the warming may have more to do with deforestation
and other land-use trends than greenhouse gases. There is no consensus on this
along similarly misinformed lines, AEI's president, Christopher DeMuth, has also
misrepresented our scientific understanding of climate change. Writing in 2001
that the Kyoto Protocol "deserved to die" (a quite premature
statement as it turned out), DeMuth asserted, "Although it is fairly
well-established that the Earth's atmosphere has warmed somewhat (one degree
Fahrenheit) during the past century, it's not clear why this happened. The
warming may have been due to human impositions (the burning of fossil fuels and
other incidents of industrial growth), or to natural solar or climate
variations, or to some of each."
6. American Legislative Exchange
$ 712,200 from 2000-2003,
including $ 50,000 in 2003 for "Energy and Climate Change" and $
140,000 in 2003 for "Global Climate Change."
ExxonMobil's support of the American Legislative Exchange Council
(ALEC), a group pushing conservative policies in statehouses, appears to
reflect an interest in fighting greenhouse gas emission controls at the state
level. ALEC has drawn on "skeptic" stalwart Patrick J. Michaels of
the University of Virginia to question global warming concerns. In a report for
the group, Michaels did not deny some human influence on climate, but argued
that global warming was ultimately a "paper tiger." At least as of
2002, Michaels was also an "adviser" to ALEC.
ALEC's leadership has gone farther, fundamentally disputing the
scientific consensus on global warming. "The claim that carbon dioxide contributes to global warming
is highly controversial, and is by no means agreed upon in the scientific
community," executive director Duane Parde wrote in the conservative Washington
Times in June of 2003.
It's unclear what Parde may have meant to say here, but not even global warming
"skeptics" like Michaels seriously dispute the basic notion that
carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas.
7. Annapolis Center for
Science-Based Public Policy
$ 697,500 from 2000-2003; but
subtract $ 30,000 in 2003 for "epidemiological studies review," $
50,000 in 2003 for "Leadership Conference on Asthma," $ 50,000 in
2002 for "Children's Asthma," and other funding for asthma related
projects. That leaves $ 427,500.
According to the Wall Street
Journal, as of 1997 this organization was largely
funded by members of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM).
Although Annapolis often produces calmly worded (if industry-friendly) studies
on environmental policy topics, the group's chairman Harold M. Koenig has also penned
opinion columns about global climate change that are considerably less nuanced
and sometimes verge upon outright denial.
in the Washington Times in July of 2000,
for example, Koenig declared: "The politicized
goal of sensationalizing unproven
theories about global climate change, part
of which is seemingly accomplished by the widespread dispensing of fear and
uncertainty to the public, continues with the release of the draft report of the
National Assessment on Climate Change (NACC) [Emphasis added]."
Beyond fundamentally calling into question the scientific consensus on climate
change, in the same article Koenig misleadingly wrote, "One major
unanswered question is how much of the observed warming of about 1 degree
Fahrenheit during the past century may be caused by human activities and how
much by natural climate variations. Despite the impression given by those
attempting to advance one political agenda over another, we simply do not know
the answer." What Koenig ignores is that while it may not be possible to
describe exactly what percentage of change is natural as opposed to
human-caused, scientists agree that human factors play a major or even the
a similar note, writing in the Baltimore Sun on July 27, 2001, Annapolis's Koenig and Harrison H.
Schmitt (both of whom "were Apollo 17 astronauts" according to their
by-line) posed the following questions:
warming real? Does man affect global warming? If so, by how much? Is there a
possibility that after a period of warming, Earth may cool as it did in the
1400s? Europe's "Little Ice Age" lasted until 1850.
Asking questions like these is not denial. Most scientists
who have studied the issue believe the Earth's surface has been warming for
centuries, but at an erratic yet accelerated rate in the 20th century.
They then went on to pay homage to the role of
"rational thinking" without ever bothering to state the scientific
consensus on climate change, leaving the impression that such "rational
thinking," at the very least, throws the role of human beings in causing global
warming into serious question.
November 5, 2003, Koenig remained in a state of denial, writing in a letter to
the Washington Times: "Many environmental
activists contend that CO2 is the prime culprit in global warming. However, a
letter signed by 17,800 scientists contends 'there is no convincing scientific
evidence' that human activity is causing 'catastrophic heating of the Earth's
atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate.'"
According to an article in Investor's Business Daily, meanwhile, another Annapolis Center representative, Dick
Seibert, has also fundamentally questioned the scientific consensus on climate
change. Investor's Business Daily
quoted Seibert as follows: "We are warming, but to say that man is causing
it, the science really cannot say that. We don't know why it is warming."
far the greatest offense from the Annapolis Center, however, came in 2004. In
that year, the group presented climate change denialist senator James Inhofe
with an award for "rational, science-based thinking and
8. Arizona State University
Office of Climatology
$ 49,500 in 2001.
At the time, this organization was headed
by Robert C. Balling, a well known climate change "skeptic." It is
unclear from the Arizona State University website whether Balling retains this
role today. See Gelbspan, 1997, for his history.
9. Atlas Economic Research
$ 440,000 from 2000-2003.
Based in Arlington, Virginia, this
organization "brings freedom to the world by helping
develop and strengthen a network of market-oriented think tanks that spans the
globe." Its inclusion on this list springs in large part from the fact
that one of its fellows, syndicated columnist Deroy Murdock, has repeatedly
debunked the scientific basis for global warming concerns over the years.
"As the science behind global warming
becomes increasingly sketchy, many environmentalists clutch even harder to
their views," Murdock wrote in 1996.
continued to make such arguments over the time period considered for this
study. "Scientists still debate global
warming and have observed Earth cooling slightly since 1979," wrote
Murdock in The Washington Times in
November of 2000.
Similarly, in a May 2002 syndicated column, Murdock directly defended Exxon
Mobil against critics by arguing that
advocates voluntary, market-oriented measures to reduce so-called greenhouse
gases. Moreover, its management echoes prestigious physicists such as Harvard's
Dr. Sallie Baliunas and George Mason University's Dr. Fred Singer, designer of
the U.S. weather satellite system. They and at least 17,100 leading scientists
nationwide believe that if global warming is afoot, it is minor, manageable and
less due to human action than natural causes, such as fluctuations in solar
Another onetime Atlas fellow, Paul
Driessen (see "Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise" and
"Congress on Racial Equality"), also has a history of disputing the
scientific basis for climate change concerns--including while identifying
himself with Atlas. In a 2003 article critical of the oil company BP, for
instance, Driessen complained that "In 1997, BP
chief Browne endorsed the global warming theory and said tough measures should
be imposed quickly, even in the absence of scientific proof."
10. Cato Institute
$ 75,000 from 2000-2003.
The Cato Institute is one of the
modern right's most respected think tanks, having been founded in 1977 to advance
libertarian ideas. Although not heavily supported by ExxonMobil, its inclusion
on this list springs from the fact that its fellows include not just Patrick J.
Michaels, but also Steven J. Milloy (see "Advancement of Sound Science
Center" and "Free Enterprise Action Institute"), an
"adjunct fellow" with the organization.
11. Capital Research Center
$ 115,000 from 2000-2003.
This organization plays the role of
a right wing watchdog group that tracks the funding of nonprofit public
interest groups, especially environmental organizations. In the process, it
challenges many of these groups' activities, including the scientific basis for
concern about global warming. Perhaps most notably, in a February 2002 United
Press International commentary, Capital Research Center president Terrence
Scanlon wrote, "Scientists disagree about
climate change, but you wouldn't know that from the [Kyoto] treaty. It is based
on a theory that man-made carbon dioxide, or CO2, gas emissions caused by
industrial activities have created the so-called 'global warming' effect."
A similar scorn for the findings of mainstream science on
climate change can be detected in other products from the Capital Research Center.
Thus a report from the group charges that "Like other environmental
groups, the Sierra Club bases much of its opposition to fossil fuels
development on the scientifically-unproven theory of global warming."
Another report criticized Ted Turner for claiming that "humanity is on the
verge of extinction due to, among other things, alleged global warming."
12. Center for the New Europe
$ 40,000 in 2003 for
"Global Climate Change Program."
This free market think tank, based
in Brussels, cites the "fatal economic consequences of the Kyoto
Protocol" and sports a
website which offers a contrarian commentary on climate science from
uber-"skeptic" S. Fred Singer. The only year
included in this study for which the group received financial support from
Exxon Mobil was 2003 (the last year for which records were available); the next
year its president, Tim Evans, challenged climate science in two published
letters to British papers. "Not only is the scientific basis
of global warming increasingly uncertain, but Kyoto will also ultimately prove
to be an economic disaster for Europe -- and the developing world," wrote
Evans in a letter to the Daily Telegraph.
Another letter from Evans published in the Financial Times repeated a strikingly similar talking point: "Just as
the scientific basis for global warming seems increasingly shaky, so it is
becoming clearer that Kyoto will itself be largely ineffective because it fails
to take account of emissions in the developing world."
13. Center for the Defense of
$ 40,000 in 2003 for
"Global Climate Change Activities."
Although its first year of funding
from ExxonMobil was 2003, in the same year this organization's publishing arm
released Paul K. Driessen's Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death, which includes many skeptical statements about the
science of climate change, such as calling global warming "nothing more
than a frightening theory."
Driessen himself is a "senior policy adviser"
with the organization, which is linked to the right wing "wise use"
Writing on the
CDFE's website, Driessen's recent assertions about climate science include
calling the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment "as phony as a three-dollar
bill -- as plausible as the 'science' in 'The Day After Tomorrow,'"
as well as the following:
Actual satellite and weather
balloon data as well as historic and geologic records of numerous warming and
cooling cycles contradict computer models, theories and assertions that
humans are causing disastrous weather events and climate shifts. Arctic
temperatures were even higher in the 1930s, before cooling again for several
.18,000 scientists have signed a petition saying they see "no
convincing scientific evidence" that humans are disrupting the earths climate.
This is, of course, nothing less
than a fundamental questioning of the findings of the IPCC, National Academy of
Sciences, and other leading scientific bodies with expertise relevant to
14. Center for the Study of
Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
$ 55,000 from 2000-2003; 2003
grant of $ 40,000 for "Climate Change Activities."
This organization is run by well
known "skeptics" Sherwood and Keith Idso, who are discussed in Ross
Gelbspan, 1997. The group's "position paper" on carbon dioxide and
global warming blatantly and directly questions the scientific consensus on
global climate change. "There is little doubt the air's CO2 concentration
has risen significantly since the inception of the Industrial Revolution; and
there are few who do not attribute the CO2 increase to the increase in humanity's
use of fossil fuels," it reads. "There is also little doubt the
earth has warmed slightly over the same period; but there is no compelling
reason to believe that the rise in temperature was caused by the rise in
15. Citizens for a Sound Economy
$ 305,250 from 2000-2001, including
250,250 in 2001 for "CO2 Regulation Project."
This organization no longer appears
to receive funding from Exxon Mobil, but received a considerable amount in 2000
and 2001. During this time period, CSE correspondingly expressed considerable skepticism
about climate science. Writing in the Washington Times on March 25, 2001, the group's Glenn Spencer
(identified as "deputy director" of CSE's
Center for Environmental Policy) commented, "Why anyone would sign onto a measure so politically lethal
[the Kyoto Protocol] is something of a mystery. No new science has emerged to
give any credence to claims of human-induced global warming."
Two months later, CSE's Pat Burns similarly told The National Journal,
"We're trying to answer the enviros on the left. We've taken a highly
skeptical view of global warming."
in 2001, the Texas branch of Citizens for a Sound Economy engaged in a textbook
battle in the state to reform how students learn about global warming. In the
midst of this fight, according to a report in the San Antonio Express News, "Peggy Venable,
director of Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy, said the science behind global warming is inconclusive,
and to teach otherwise is fearmongering."
16. Committee for a Constructive
$ 252,000 from 2000-2003,
including $ 25,000 in 2003 for "Climate Change Issues."
This organization was originally
founded in 1985 by David Rothbard and Craig Rucker, onetime conservative campus
activists who have turned to anti-environmentalism as their particular specialty.
The two were questioning global warming concerns as early as 1993--"satellite data, temperature records and ice core samples
have led a vast majority of scientists to question the reality of global
warming," they wrote at the time--and
have continued to do so up to the present. In 2001, CFACT helped organized a
trip to Bonn for a group of conservative college students, who took the
occasion to challenge the need for action to address global warming and
attacked the Kyoto Protocol. "Kyoto is an expensive insurance policy for
an empty threat that scientists have not even agreed exists," CFACT's
Rucker said at the time.
The CFACT board of scientific and academic advisers
includes well known "skeptics" Sallie Baliunas, Robert Balling, Sherwood
Idso, and Patrick Michaels.
A statement on CFACT's website entitled "Bringing facts, compassion to global
warming issue" contains by-now familiar attacks on the scientific
consensus on climate change: "You rarely hear
that 18,000 scientists have gone on record to say they see no scientific
evidence that humans are altering our climate. Nor do you learn that today's
computer models are too primitive to predict next winter's climate -- much less
the climate for 2025 or 2050
.You're rarely told that satellites have found
almost no warming over the past 20 years, or that ground temperature gauges are
so contaminated by urban and airport heat that they are worthless."
On top of everything else, climate change denier
Paul K. Driessen (see "Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise" and
"Congress on Racial Equality") is a "senior fellow" with
17. Competitive Enterprise
$ 1,380,000 from 2000-2003.
It is hard to know where to begin
in describing the attacks on climate change science by this lavishly Exxon
Mobil funded organization. First, the group spearheaded a several year long legal
attack on the U.S. "National Assessment" of Climate Change, a government
report completed in 2000 that studied U.S. vulnerability to the impacts of
global warming. Although CEI has labeled the report "junk science,"
it has in fact been repeatedly praised by the National Academy of Sciences.
A 2001 NAS report on
climate change science actually based an entire section on the National
Assessment, which, it said, "provides a basis for summarizing the
potential consequences of climate change."
In addition, a 2004 NAS panel charged with reviewing the Bush administration's
ten year strategic climate change research plan observed that the National
Assessment made "important contributions to understanding the possible
consequences of climate variability and change,"and also praised the process by which it had
been created and reviewed.
Besides attacks on
the National Assessment, other CEI activities challenging mainstream climate
change science include attacking the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment.
On its global warming webpage, CEI declares:
predictions of the extent of
future warming are based on implausible scientific and economic assumptions,
and the negative impacts of predicted warming have been vastly exaggerated. In
the unlikely event that global warming turns out to be a problem, the correct
approach is not energy rationing, but rather long-term technological
transformation and building resiliency in societies by increasing wealth. CEI
has been a leader in the fight against the global warming scare.
Similarly, in 2003 CEI president
Fred Smith stated, "climate change science cannot now predict much of
anything. Weve learned much over
the last decade but that learning has increasednot reducedour uncertainty
about the causes of climate change.
The extent to which anthropogenic factors are significant also remains
18. Congress of Racial Equality
$ 40,000 in 2003, $ 15,000 of
which was for "Climate Change Outreach Efforts."
A well known civil rights
organization historically, more recently this group has received ExxonMobil
funding and challenged climate science under the auspices of a broader critique
of "eco-imperialist" policies that environmental groups are allegedly
foisting on the world's poor. Thus for example, speaking to the New York Sun about the global warming movie The Day
After Tomorrow, CORE spokesman Niger Innis
commented, "My opinion is that global warming is
a fiction. The movie takes bits of pieces of science and exaggerates
become closely associated with senior policy advisor Paul K. Driessen, who has
repeatedly challenged climate science (see "Center for the Defense of Free
Enterprise"). CORE's Niger Innis wrote an approving introduction to
Driessen's 2003 book Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death, which suggests that global warming is "nothing more
than a frightening theory." At ExxonMobil's 2004 shareholder meeting, CORE was
represented by Driessen, who claimed that "Over 18,000 scientists
have said they see no convincing, real evidence that humans are disrupting the
19. Consumer Alert
$ 35,000 from 2000-2003.
Founded in 1977, this organization
frames itself as a free-market consumer advocacy organization, dedicated to
"advancing competition as the best regulator of business, and individual
choice as the best expression of consumer interest."
Consumer Alert operates the National Consumer Coalition, under whose auspices
the "Cooler Heads Coalition" was in turn formed.
Launched in 1996, the Cooler Heads website--www.globalwarming.org--is "paid
for and maintained" by Consumer Alert itself.
The site is a treasure trove for global warming skepticism and apparently
receives "millions of hits."
Alert itself has Patrick Michaels as a member of its advisory council.
Its policy analyst, James Plummer, has written that
science behind the forecasts of catastrophic global warming remains uncertain.
Satellite data continue to show no sure warming trend, and even point to a
possible cooling trend. Major contributors to the earth's climate--the sun, the
sea, the clouds--and their effects are still not well understood, confounding
the computer climate models on which the predictions of dramatic, man-made
warming are based.
Among other science debunking
activities, Consumer Alert also joined the Competitive Enterprise Institute,
Senator James Inhofe, and the Heartland Institute in their lawsuit attacking
the "National Assessment" of climate change impacts on the United
20. Federalist Society for Law
and Public Policy Studies
$ 60,000 from 2000-2003; however,
the only years in which activity was detected were 2000 and 2001. The group
received $ 15,000 in each year for a total of $ 30,000.
This conservative legal
organization does not centrally focus on the climate change issue.
Nevertheless, in the organization's "Environmental Law & Property
Rights Practice Group Newsletter" we find, in the Winter of 2000, the
ubiquitous S. Fred Singer writing, "I must inform you, however, that the
science is not settled (as claimed by Vice President Gore), that it is not
"compelling" (as claimed by President Clinton), and that there is
certainly no scientific consensus favoring global warming."
Similarly, in 2001 the
Federalist Society's website directed readers
to an analysis of the legality of regulating carbon dioxide under the Clean Air
Act which noted, "The evidence supporting CO2s role in the global
warming scenario is hotly debated. There is hardly a consensus on the issue. In
fact, the mounting evidence over the most recent years demonstrates that the
forecasts for global warming were greatly exaggerated. This new evidence
suggests that global warming may not even be occurring."
21. Foundation for Research on
Economics and Environment (FREE)
$ 100,000 from 2000-2003.
This Montana-based think tank is
headed by John A. Baden, who in 1994 wrote, "Contrary
to conventional wisdom, many fundamental questions about global warming remain
unanswered. Two crucial questions are: 1) Is significant human-induced global
warming actually occurring? 2) If it is occurring, will the net effects be
beneficial or harmful? In neither case is the answer an unambiguous
'yes.'" In more
recent years Baden's organization appears to have grown more cautious about its
contrarian stance on global climate change. Nevertheless, it indulges many of
the tropes that we see more broadly among ExxonMobil supported think tanks--especially
the selective emphasis on scientific uncertainty and downplaying of climate
change severity and impacts.
for example, in a November 14, 2001 op-ed in
the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Baden
wrote that "Aside from agriculture, there is no significant
economic activity much affected by climate, certainly not by the relatively
minor changes scientists anticipate during the next century."
(Relatively minor changes? The IPCC in 2001 provided a range of estimates of
possible global average temperature rises--from 1.8 to 5.6 degrees Celsius by 2100.) Similarly, in a November 13, 2002 column in
the same outlet FREE's John C. Downen described an event the group had hosted,
using a selective emphasis on uncertainty to make the case for inaction: "Given
the uncertainty around warming, and the fact that some models predict that
temperature increases of up to 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit would have beneficial
effects, increasing our adaptability to change may be more important than
most troubling, however, was a September 24, 2003 op-ed by Thomas Schelling,
who was described as "FREE's Bill and Reta Haynes Distinguished Scholar in
Residence at the 2003 FREE-MSU Federal Judges Seminar Series." Entitled "It's
Hot. But Is This the Greenhouse?", Schelling's article included the
The popular guessing game -- do we
see a greenhouse "signature," can we identify a clear "signal" in the "noise"?
-- is probably premature. The history of climate shows that sudden changes of
global atmospheric temperature have occurred. There are random or "chaotic"
influences on global climate -- El Niño is an example, volcanic emissions are
another. There are anthropogenic (man-made) influences besides greenhouse
gases: aerosols of dust and, especially, sulfur emissions can block incoming
sunlight. Urbanization can produce "heat islands" that affect temperature
estimates. Finally, most of the globe is ocean; the specific heat of water is
great relative to air, and the oceans act as a huge cooling reservoir that
delays by perhaps decades the appearance of atmospheric warming.
So the recent temperature record is unlikely to be conclusive on the cause of
the warming. Greenhouse warming is not clearly established by the temperature
record, nor is it in any way ruled out. We may see the greenhouse "signal"
clearly in another decade or two. Meanwhile we have to rely on what science can
This misrepresents the state of the science; in 2001 the
IPCC clearly stated that "most of the observed warming over the last 50
years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas
22. Fraser Institute
$ 60,000 in 2003 to work on
The Fraser Institute is a free market think tank based in
Vancouver, Canada, which does plenty of debunking of mainstream climate
science. A 2001 report by the group, authored by Willie Soon and Sallie
Baliunas and entitled "Global Warming: A Guide to the Science," found
that "There is no clear evidence, nor unique
attribution, of the global effects of anthropogenic CO2 on climate."
More recently, in January 2003, the Fraser Institute released a special issue
of its publication Fraser Forum
dedicated to "The Politics, Science, and Economics of Kyoto," which included
another contribution from Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas suggesting that
"the surface warming
may be largely natural and result from the varying
total energy output of the sun."
The same issue included a
contribution from Kenneth Green (see "Reason Public Policy
Institute"), Fraser's "chief scientist," which approvingly cited
Baliunas. Wrote Green: "Scientists such as Harvard Universitys
Sallie Baliunas explain that most observed global warming has been a natural,
and largely beneficent phenomenon, primarily related to the increase of energy
output from the sun."
In a 2003 column published in the Vancouver Province, Green more directly questioned the "still-speculative risk of global warming."
23. Free Enterprise Action
$ 50,000 in 2003; see also the
"Advancement of Sound Science Center."
This group, which apparently has no
website (at least under the name "Free Enterprise Action Institute"),
is registered to the home address of Steven Milloy, according to GuideStar.org.
In addition to regularly challenging climate change science (see
"Advancement of Sound Science Center"), Milloy publishes
CSRWatch.com, which attacks the "corporate social responsibility"
movement and is sponsored by the similarly named "Free Enterprise
Kyoto treaty on global warming has been overwhelmingly rejected by the U.S.
Senate (95-0) and the President," the site complains, "global warming
activists are pressuring companies to implement the treaty on a private or
One company that has been pressured to change its greenhouse gas policies by
environmental and social justice activists? ExxonMobil.
24. Frontiers of Freedom/Center
for Science and Public Policy
$ 612,000 from 2000-2003,
including $ 97,000 in 2002 for "Global Climate Change Outreach
Activities," $ 35,000 in 2002 for "Global Climate Change Science
Projects," $ 95,000 in 2003 for "Global Climate Change
Outreach," and $ 50,000 in 2003 for "Global Climate Change Activities."
This Virgina-based outlet was
founded by former Wyoming Republican senator Malcolm Wallop, a strong booster
of space-based missile defense, in 1995. In a 1997 op-ed criticizing the Kyoto
Protocol, Wallop opined, "The theory is that
this added carbon dioxide (currently 360 parts per million but rising) will
increase the greenhouse effect and lead to higher temperatures. That's theory,
not fact. The most accurate temperature measurements from NASA satellites show
a slight cooling trend. Should we believe unproven computer models or actual
Note in particular Wallop's attempt to create an opposition between computer
models and observations. The former senator followed up the next year by
stating in an interview, "Despite the endless claims by Vice President
Gore and his doomsaying allies, there is no scientific consensus that we face
catastrophic global warming. There is no consensus nor anything approaching
consensus that whatever minimum changes in the climate that have been observed
from time to time are man-caused."
the time period covered by this study--2000 through 2003--Frontiers of Freedom
carried forward similar science-disputing climate change activities. That
included an April 4, 2000 Capitol Hill symposium on global warming and Kyoto,
featuring "skeptics" Willie Soon, Sallie Baliunas, and David Legates,
where Wallop declared, "The question of global climate changes has
been overrun by shrill, emotionally-charged rhetoric, weak science, and
unsupported claims of dire emergency."
In a 2001 op-ed, Wallop continued to challenge the science, writing, "to listen to eco-radicals tell the story, it is a proven
scientific fact that the climate is warming and that mankind is
.nothing could be further from the truth. President Bush is simply
acknowledging what the responsible scientific community has been saying for
some time -- the scientific evidence for the global warming theory is
weak." In 2002,
Frontiers of Freedom carried forward the same tack with a National Press Club
luncheon titled "Whatever Happened to Global Warming? Climate Science Does
Not Support the Kyoto Protocol," featuring "skeptic" S. Fred
In 2003, Frontiers of Freedom officially launched its Center
for Science and Public Policy, which has been heavily involved in the global
warming issue, including through its lengthy commentaries on congressional hearings.
A typical one noted in part, "The claim that there exists a consensus
of scientists that catastrophic man-made
global warming is occurring is refuted by overwhelming evidence to the
25. George C. Marshall Institute
$ 295,000 from 2000-2003, including
$ 60,000 in 2001 for "Climate Change Work," $ 80,000 in 2002 for
"Global Climate Change Program," and $ 95,000 in 2003 for
"Global Climate Change Program."
The Marshall Institute's first activities, in 1984, came
in defense of Ronald Reagan's "Star Wars" program.
Beginning in 1989, it shifted into the role of one of the leading conservative
think tanks disputing climate change science. A 1995 Marshall Institute report
by current board of directors member
Sallie Baliunas, for instance, found that "predictions of an anthropogenic
global warming have been greatly exaggerated
the human contribution to global
warming over the course of the 21st century will be less than one degree
Celsius and probably only a few tenths of a degree."
The tune had changed little by 2004, when Marshall
Institute CEO William O'Keefe wrote in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "the science of climate change is far from
settled. Neither I nor anyone else knows whether over the course of this
century the climate will be a scientific curiosity or a serious ecological
threat." One of the
Marshall Institute's most frequent lines of attack involves disputing climate
models. As O'Keefe put it in 2003, "Most of what we are told by those who
claim to be 'mainstream scientists' and the media is the result of statistical
analyses and the output of climate models which lack a robust scientific
foundation and have not been validated."
Taking a somewhat more subtle stance than other groups
that deny human caused climate change outright, the Marshall Institute does not
unequivocally dispute any role for human activities in global warming. Rather,
it criticizes climate models, repeatedly highlights scientific uncertainty
(rather than mainstream conclusions), and argues (contrary to those
conclusions) that human activities only represent a small impact on climate
change. Thus, in attacking an EPA climate change report in 2002, O'Keefe stated,
"All global warming theories agree that if human activity is the primary
cause of recent temperature increases, the lower atmosphere would have to warm
faster and more than the surface. It has not. The temperature of the lower
atmosphere has shown no significant warming trend, according to satellite
measurements. It follows that most of the warming is not due to human
26. Heartland Institute
$ 312,500 from 2000-2003.
This Chicago-based think tank joined
the Competitive Enterprise Institute in its first lawsuit over the
"National Assessment" of climate change impacts on the United States.
The group also publishes Environment & Climate News,
a regular source of contrarian and skeptical commentary on global climate
change, with regular contributions from many of the key players on the
conservative side of the debate. (As of 2003 S. Fred Singer and Paul Driessen
were "contributing authors.")
follies, Environment & Climate News published,
in a three part series, Senator James Inhofe lengthy July 28, 2003 Senate floor
rant on global warming. Inhofe's speech embraced an outright denialist position
on human caused global warming, ending with the following line (reprinted by
the Heartland Institute): "With all of the hysteria, all of the fear, all
of the phony science, could it be that man-made global warming is the greatest
hoax ever perpetrated on the American people? It sure sounds like it."
27. Heritage Foundation
$ 340,000 from 2000-2003, including 25,000 in 2001 for
"Climate Change Issues."
Another of the august think tanks
of the right, the Heritage Foundation, launched in 1973, has steadily
challenged basic climate science in recent years. That included hosting a 2002
lecture by Sallie Baliunas, entitled "Warming Up to the Truth: The Real
Story about Climate Change," in which Baliunas suggested that global
warming resulted from the sun's activity rather than human emissions:
The surface warming that should be
occurring from human-made actions, which is predicted to be accompanied by low
troposphere warming, cannot be found in modern records from balloon and
Thus, the recent surface warming
trend may owe largely to changes in the sun's energy output.
This represents just one example
out of many of the Heritage Foundation's climate change contrarianism. Speaking
to Maine's Portland Press Herald in 2000,
Heritage's Brett Schaefer claimed, "Every study
I've seen says that global warming is a theory, not a fact."
Heritage Foundation's energy policy analyst Charli Coon, too, has been a
repeated challenger of mainstream climate science. As she wrote in the Washington
Times in 2001, "The science is still
very uncertain. And we're supposed to blame President Bush for refusing to
drive our economy into a ditch over a problem that may not even exist?"
Similarly, speaking to Greenwire in 2002, Coon stated, "We do not have
conclusive evidence that human activity is causing the climate to warm. Before
we start talking about mechanisms to reduce CO2 and increase the cost of energy
and perhaps reduce supplies, we need to be focusing on research and sound
Or consider one more example: Writing in 2003, Coon complained that the Bush
administration "stands ready, in effect, to endorse the claim that CO2
causes global warming, even though no proof exists that man-made activities,
such as increased dissemination of CO2, have caused this."
28. Hoover Institution
$ 140,000 from 2000-2003; including
$ 30,000 in 2003 for "Global Climate Change Projects."
This right-leaning think tank based on the Stanford University
campus once again has a history of distorting climate change science. Most
egregiously, perhaps, in 2000 the group published a "Hoover Essay in
Public Policy" by S. Fred Singer entitled "Climate
Policy -- From Rio to Kyoto: A Political Issue for 2000 -- and Beyond."
In the summary to this lengthy essay, Singer describes the "observed
climate variations" as being "presumably of natural origin." He
later continues, "The scientific evidence for a presumed 'human
influence' is spurious and based mostly on the selective use of data and choice
of particular time periods." At the time, Singer was described as a "visiting Wesson Fellow at the Hoover Institution."
fellow and syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell has also directly challenged the
scientific consensus on climate change. In a 2000 piece, Sowell wrote, "Many scientists are not convinced human activity has much
to do with global warming, while some question whether the globe is any warmer
today than it was a couple of decades ago, when the big scare was over a 'new
Similarly, in a 2001 column Sowell opened with the following:
A new political dogma is being
spun in the media. "Science," they say, has now "proved"
that global warming is a real danger and that human beings are responsible for
it, so that we need to take drastic steps to reduce greenhouse gases. This has
been the widespread response to a recent publication by the National Academy of
Sciences, which many in the media have taken as proof that we need to follow
the drastic requirements of the Kyoto accords, in order to reduce the threat of
There were some pretty heavy-weight scientists involved in the NAS discussions
of the global warming issue. But, as the report itself stated clearly, these
scientists not only did not write the report, they didn't even see it before it
was published. They "were not asked to endorse the conclusions or
recommendation nor did they see the final draft of the report before its
So much for "science" having "proved" global warming and
its human causation.
Sowell's innuendos notwithstanding,
the text of the report in question opens with the following statement,
thoroughly reflecting the scientific consensus view: "Greenhouse gases are
accumulating in Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing
surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise.
Temperatures are, in fact, rising."
29. Hudson Institute
$ 15,000 in 2000.
This organization has not received
much funding from ExxonMobil, but it did receive a small infusion in 2000. In
that year, the Institute's American Outlook
magazine published a lengthy article by well known "skeptic" S. Fred
Singer on global warming, entitled "Cool Planet, Hot Politics: The next
president needs to know that the global warming hypothesis, though politically
powerful, is scientifically weak."
denied that a scientific consensus exists on global climate change, writing
that "Although the mass media have come to a consensus on global warming,
the scientific community has not. Surface temperature data do show a warming
since the beginning of the twentieth century, but most of it occurred before
1940, after which the climate cooled for more than three decades. Weather
satellite data, the only truly global measurements, show little if any
atmospheric warming, in direct disagreement with the best computer-created
climate model predictions." Later, Singer even stated, "The
'dwindling band of skeptics' who consider climate warming the 'empirical equivalent
of the Easter Bunny' (as Al Gore put it) is growing rapidly."
30. Independent Institute
$ 30,000 from 2000-2003.
Based in Oakland, CA, this outlet seeks to "transcend
the all-too-common politicization and superficiality of public policy research
Apparently that includes disputing what scientists know about global climate
change. The group boasts S. Fred Singer as a research fellow and published his
book Hot Talk Cold Science: Global Warming's Unfinished Debate in 1998.
Similarly, the Independent Institute published a 2003 report co-authored by
Singer and contrarian David Legates (listed as a "research fellow" at
the Independent Institute) entitled "New
Perspectives in Climate Science: What the EPA Isn't Telling Us."
A relatively nuanced document that does not directly criticize the central
scientific consensus view that humans are causing global warming, the report
nevertheless claims that "critical portions" of the 2001 U.N.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, as well as the 2000 U.S. National Assessment on climate change, are "misleading, inaccurate, unreliable, or
Both reports are heavily
reviewed scientific consensus documents on climate change.
Independent Institute's website also provides a lengthy archive of writings by S.
Fred Singer, including an article in which he states that "human-induced
climate warming, although expected from greenhouse theory, is difficult to
demonstrate and likely to remain insignificant in comparison to natural climate
31. Institute for Energy Research
$ 67,000 in 2002 and 2003.
This organization is headed by Robert L. Bradley, Jr., and has
Steven Hayward (see "American Enterprise Institute" and "Pacific
Research Institute for Public Policy") on its board of directors. Bradley lectures
frequently before the American Legislative Exchange Council on energy policy, which published
his book Julian Simon and the Triumph of Energy Sustainability in
2000. Bradley has
The two global temperature measurements
from satellites and balloons in their two decades of existence have not picked
up the "greenhouse signal" where it should be most pronounced, or at
least discernible: the lower troposphere. This suggests that surface
thermometers may be overestimating warming and/or that the surface warming is
primarily the result of factors other than just the enhanced greenhouse effect
(such as increased solar radiation). A natural warming trend neuters the case
for climate alarmism.
Similarly, in a 2003 "Letter to President George W.
Bush" on global climate change, Bradley advised that "the uncertain
link between industrial emissions and global warming after a century of
[greenhouse gas] buildup and decades of study points toward lower-range,
benign warming scenarios."
32. International Policy Network
$ 50,000 in 2003 for "climate change outreach."
Based in London, in 2003 this organization released a book
entitled Adapt or Die, edited by Kendra Okonski. Although the
introduction states, "This book is not an attempt to disprove that global
warming is occurring," many of the authors seem to do precisely that.
Carlos Stagnaro, for example, writes, "Humanity's carbon emissions have
been rising since the Industrial Revolution, and proponents of catastrophic
global warming believe that these emissions are causing global warming. But the
discontinuity in observed warming in the twentieth century shows that this
explanation is wrong. The temperature variations read in the past century could
be part of a larger process that is alien to humanity." Similarly, Martin
Livermore writes, "We are uncertain what will happen to the earth's
climate. In fifty years' time, we may or may not be worried about global
warming; we may once again be concerned about global cooling."
In late 2004 the International Policy Network released a lengthy
study fretting that "the public is being fed a series of
exaggerated claims regarding likely future climate change" thanks to
unreliable computer models--models that happen to be the best tools scientists
have at their disposal to project how global warming could change our world.
33. Mackinac Center for Public
$ 41,000 from 2000-2002; but
activity only detected in 2001, when the group received $ 15,500.
Not a top repository for ExxonMobil's
donations, but individuals affiliated with this Michigan-based think tank, too,
have challenged climate science. The group appears to have been more vocal
during the 1990s than today, but in 2001 Mackinac Center board of scholars
member James Sheehan denounced "global warming alarmists,"
while board of scholars member Michael Heberling argued, "The Kyoto
Protocol seems to be built on the following two assumptions: First, global
warming is a function of human activity (with the biggest villains being automobiles,
factories, and power plants), and second, we are currently experiencing
unprecedented levels of global warming. However, a review of the earths most
recent 'geological history' brings into question both assumptions and puts the
entire subject in a different light."
34. Media Research Center
$ 50,000 in 2003 for
"Global Climate Change Activities."
The year after receiving this
donation from ExxonMobil, the group produced a report finding that the
mainstream media provide biased coverage of climate change, because--among
other reasons--they do not adequately cite "valid scientific objection to
global warming theories."
The Media Research Center also founded
the web-based Cybercast News Service, which regularly produces heavily slanted
"reports" on climate change (for instance, it has cited Steven Milloy
as a scientific authority on the issue of Arctic warming).
The outlet used to be called the "Conservative News Service";
you can still reach its website by typing in ConservativeNews.org.
35. Mercatus Center
$ 40,000 in 2003.
You might not think that an academic institution would
seriously consider challenging the scientific community's robust consensus view
on global climate change, but then, you might not be familiar with George Mason
University's Mercatus Center. In a 2001 "public interest comment" on
whether the Environmental Protection Agency should regulate greenhouse gas
emissions, Mercatus's Kameran L. Bailey stated, "Researchers and modelers continue
to investigate this [global warming] theory and its implications. However, they
have not yet reached consensus on (1) the link between anthropogenic emissions
and global temperatures, (2) the degree of warming that can be expected in
future years, or (3) the impact of warming on public health and welfare."
Similarly, the Mercatus Center's Brian Mannix has denounced those seeking to
regulate carbon dioxide as a "carbon cartel" (although apparently
prior to working at Mercatus).
Given that Exxon Mobil only began to fund the
Mercatus Center in 2003 according to its reports, these 2001 actions would
probably not suffice to justify the group's inclusion on this list. However, in
official comments submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget
in 2003, Mercatus's Mannix sent an eight page speech by global warming skeptic
Michael Crichton. Crichton's speech likened global warming concerns to a
religious belief and stated, "I can tell you that the evidence for global
warming is far weaker than its proponents would ever admit."
Mannix, for his part, described the speech to OMB as "so striking, and so
relevant to the need for scientific peer review in policymaking, that I wanted
to bring it to your attention and file it on the record." Given these
public comments submitted to the federal government, the Mercatus Center seems
to belong on this list.
36. National Black Chamber of
$ 75,000 from 2001-2003.
This organization, which
participated in anti-Kyoto Protocol television ads in 1997
and in 2000 co-sponsored a study about the economic impacts of the protocol on
blacks and Hispanics,
blatantly states on its website that
In December 1997, the 186
signatories to the Framework Convention on Climate Change met in Kyoto, Japan,
to conclude an agreement that addresses concerns that increased concentration
levels of greenhouse gases within the Earth's atmosphere will lead to climatic
disruptions--the global warming theory. Despite continued scientific
uncertainties related to this theory, the countries agreed in principle to the
Kyoto Protocol--legally binding commitments by 38 industrialized nations to
reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to specific levels by specific dates.
This is yet another instance of the
selective citation of scientific uncertainty about global warming, without any
description of what scientists actually know. The 2000 economic impacts study
contained the same language as well; it appears to have been the organization's
stance since at least that time.
37. National Center for Policy
$ 205,000 from 2000-2003.
Based in Dallas, Texas, this
organization has as an "adjunct scholar"--lo and behold--S. Fred
Singer. In an October 30, 2003 news release timed for a Senate vote on the
McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act, the National Center, quoting Singer,
went so far as to question whether the Earth is currently warming at all:
claims the climate is currently warming. This is based solely on surface
thermometer data. It is contradicted not only by superior observations from
weather satellites, but also by independent data from radiosondes carried on
weather balloons. In addition, proxy data from tree rings, ice cores, etc.
confirm that there is no significant current warming.
That's not what you hear from NASA's Goddard Institute
for Space Studies, which asserts that the years 1998, 2002, 2003, and 2004 were
the four warmest years in the temperature record since the 1890s.
NCPA "adjunct scholar" is contrarian or "skeptic" figure
David C. Legates. The group's website contains information blatantly challenging
the notion of human-induced warming and stating, "The small warming that has occurred is likely a result of
natural alterations in global ocean currents -- as yet little understood --
which are driven by variations in the salinity of seawater." Similarly, a 2002 NCPA
"daily policy digest" asserted, "There is still no conclusive evidence that human activity is causing
global temperatures to rise."
38. National Center for Public
$ 130,000 from 2000-2003,
including $ 15,000 in 2001 for "Global Climate Change Programs" and $
30,000 in 2003 for "Global Climate Change/EnviroTruth Website."
The EnviroTruth.org website, supported
by the National Center and explicitly funded by Exxon Mobil, has a section
listing a number of alleged "myths" about climate change. These include
the following: "Humanity is the primary cause of global climate
change"; and "The consensus of world scientists, as revealed by the
UN's IPCC agree -- humanity is causing significant climate change."
EnviroTruth then proceeds to debunk both "myths."
addition to its EnviroTruth website, the National Center sponsors a online
"Global Warming Information Center," which provides, along with
various contrarian and "skeptic" links, a document entitled "Questions
and Answers on Global Warming."
Statements provided there include, "There is no serious evidence that
man-made global warming is taking place," and "There are many
indications that carbon dioxide does not play a significant role in global
39. Pacific Legal Foundation
$ 65,000 from 2000-2003; but
only year in which activity was detected was 2002. The group received $ 15,000
in this year.
conservative legal group concerns itself much more with issues like endangered
species protections than with global warming. Nevertheless, in a 2002 column
published in the San-Diego Union Tribune,
Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Anne M. Hayes challenged the California
legislature's passage of an "anti-global-warming bill." That included
challenging its scientific basis. As she wrote, "Whether global warming is happening is a matter of
debate. In contrast, the sardine effect
for moms, dads and kids if SUVs are effectively outlawed for the non-rich, is
road-tested reality. It will be interesting to see whether [Governor Gray] Davis
signs an anti-SUV 'global warming' bill that is really a hit-and-run assault on
middle-class families" [italics added].
Research Institute for Public Policy
145,000 from 2000-2003.
conservative San Francisco-based think tank founded in 1979, the Pacific
Research Institute is headed by Sally C. Pipes, who wrote in February 2001 in
the San Francisco Examiner, "This
winters big chill has given global warming enthusiasts some explaining to do. Whether
global warming, if it occurs at all, would be a good or bad thing, is another
Similarly, in a 2002 Los Angeles Times column,
Institute senior fellow Benjamin Zycher wrote, "No
one seriously claims to know whether the past warming was caused by human
activities; whether further warming will occur and, if it does, whether it will
result from human activities, and whether such warming in some general sense
would be a bad thing."
Writing again in the Los Angeles
Times the next year, Zycher called the
"purported scientific 'consensus'" on global warming
"illusory." The Pacific Research Institute's environmental studies
senior fellow, Steven Hayward, has also challenged basic climate science on
several occasions (see "American Enterprise Institute").
Perhaps most alarming of all the Pacific Research Institute's
products was a December 2003 study by Pipes and Zycher entitled "Attorneys
General Versus the EPA." The study contained a lengthy section entitled
"What Do the Data Show About Global Climate Change?", which
thoroughly misrepresented the science and concluded, "it is far
from clear that the earth is warming significantly, particularly in the context
of increases above the very long-term average. To the extent that warming is
occurring, it is not clear that the dominant source is anthropogenic, and the
attendant magnitude is obscure as well."
Property and Environment Research Center (formerly Political Economy Research
This "free market environmentalist" organization, based in Bozeman, Montana, does not appear centrally focused on the climate issue. However, in 2002, the group's Jane Shaw published a book entitled Global Warming
as part of PERC's "Critical Thinking About the Environment" series, designed for children. According to a review of the three book series, "
Each slim volume of approximately 100 pages gives comprehensive coverage to the hot-button issues, with full weight given to those on both sides of the debate."
In short, although the book was not reviewed directly for this analysis, it appears to present a "controversy" over global climate change rather than accurately depicting the consensus view.
PERC also issues "report cards" judging how
President Bush has fared on the environment, including on the global warming
issue. In giving Bush a B- on global warming over the course of his term, PERC applauded
the president for acknowledging "the importance of scientific
uncertainty" in the global warming debate--while failing to describe the mainstream
scientific view. This selective emphasis on uncertainty, without stating what's
actually known, is common among greenhouse "skeptics."
In delivering the final "grade" for Bush, the group similarly stated,
"Given the uncertain state of scientific knowledge and the economic flaws
of the Kyoto Protocol, the Bush administration was right to reject the protocol
and to keep reductions of carbon emissions on a voluntary basis."
PERC interim report card on Bush was even more overt in its embrace of climate
change "skeptic" tropes. It stated:
Although many scientists think
that global temperatures will rise, the scientific community is skeptical that
it will be catastrophic. Over 17,000 scientists in the U.S. have signed the
Global Warming Petition. It states, "There is no convincing scientific
evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse
gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic
heating of the Earths atmosphere and disruption of the Earths climate.
Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in
atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural
plant and animal environments of the Earth."
Once again, the report did acknowledge the scientific
consensus on climate change, rather depicting an open debate about the role of
259,000 from 2000-2003, but subtract $ 29,000 in 2000 for
"Air Quality in Texas." That leaves $ 230,000.
organization, based in Los Angeles, sponsors the free market Reason Public
Policy Institute, which in turn has a special web page on climate change hosted
by "adjunct scholar" Kenneth Green (see "Fraser
A kind of clearinghouse, the site includes a number of commentaries on climate
science, going as far back as Green's one sided reflection on a 2001 National
Academy of Sciences report on climate change science.
Green, like other skeptics, seems to have only pulled out
the passages of the report discussing scientific uncertainty.
Somehow he managed not to notice (or at least quote) either of the following two
statements from the report: "Greenhouse gases are accumulating in
Earth's atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing surface air
temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise"; "The IPCC's
conclusion that most of the observed warming of the last 50 years is likely to
have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations accurately
reflects the current thinking of the scientific community on this issue."
just one example of many from the Reason Public Policy Institute, whose
commentaries on climate change range from moderate and reasonable to
outlandish. In the latter category, the site refers readers to the Center for
Carbon Dioxide and Global Change,
and contains a commentary from Amy Ridenour, of the National Center for Public
Policy Research, which baldly states, "The sun, not a gas, is primarily to
'blame' for global warming -- and plays a very key role in global temperature
variations as well."
The site also contains an op-ed by Green, published originally in the San
Diego Union-Tribune, which commented on a
push in California to regulate carbon dioxide as follows:
All of this is being done because
some people believe carbon dioxide is causing global warming, and that
preventing carbon dioxide from entering the air is the only answer. Never mind
that there is still an ongoing scientific debate about global warming itself,
and that some respected climate scientists believe that methane is a better
target, California legislators have locked their sites on carbon dioxide.
examples of Green's willingness to challenge the scientific consensus on
climate change can be found under "Fraser Institute."
Science and Environmental Policy Project
10,000 in 2000.
organization is headed by uber-greenhouse "skeptic" S. Fred Singer.
For Singer's challenges to climate change science specifically in the year of
this grant, 2000, see "Hoover Institution" and "Hudson Institute."
Tech Central Science Foundation
in 2003 for "Climate Change Support."
this is synonymous with the website TechCentralStation.com. The site, providing "news, analysis,
research, and commentary," is published by the DCI Group, LLC, which
happens to be a lobbying shop in Washington, D.C.
It is "hosted" by James Glassman, a regular disputer of climate
change science (see "American Enterprise Institute"). The site
devotes an entire section to "climate change," with commentaries from
Robert Balling, Patrick Michaels, Sallie Baliunas, Willie Soon ("the
science director for TCS"),
and other usual suspects.
In a typical contribution on the site from 2001, Soon and Baliunas contest the
IPCC's statement of that year that "There is new and stronger evidence
that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to
human activities." Au contraire, say the "skeptics": "This
claim is empty. There is stronger evidence that it is not mankind that has
caused global warming. It takes some hefty manipulation and illogical explanation
of the data to show mankind has contributed anything at all."
could go into TechCentralStation's
myriad climate change contrarian contributions--often accompanied by charts and
figures--at exhaustive length, but let's settle for a particularly embarrassing
2003 example from Willie Soon. "The complaint
the 'Arctic is melting' as a result of fossil fuel use
has no basis from the
climate records of that region and that for the Northern Hemisphere," wrote
Soon in March of that year.
The next year, out came the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, heavily peer
reviewed and the work of some 300 scientists. It's conclusion? "Examining
the record of past climatic conditions indicates that the amount, speed, and
pattern of warming experienced in recent decades are indeed unusual and are
characteristic of the human caused increase in greenhouse gases."
The American Enterprise Institute/Brookings
Institution Joint Center for Regulatory Studies was not included in this
analysis, although it received $ 55,000 from ExxonMobil from 2002-2003.
That's because during those specific years, no case could be found of the
organization directly challenging mainstream scientific conclusions or
reports on climate change. While Michael Crichton's January 2005 speech
hosted by the Joint Center, described in "Some Like it Hot,"
certainly crossed the line into challenging mainstream climate science, January
2005 was deemed too far beyond the time range of the study for inclusion.