Conservative groups spend up to $1bn a year to fight action on climate change

From The Guardian:

Brulle’s study. Abstract only – the article is behind a paywall.

I venture to suggest that no corporation would spend that kind of money to get the truth out.

There are many reasons why I call those ***Stink ***Thanks.

Scholars? Maybe scholars of the methods for deceptive messages.

I suggest that study is flawed:

He then predicts:

I’m especially interested in GIGOBuster’s reaction to this criticism. Is it valid?

You can see the problematic rhetorical slide right there in the abstract provided by the OP. He concedes himself that the $900 million figure is total income, not the amount specifically spent on climate change.

I have institutional access to Springer journals, so i downloaded a copy of the full study.

The author notes the existence of a significant number of organizations, mainly conservative or libertarian in their political priorities, that he believes constitute a climate change counter-movement (CCCM). He discusses the CCCM’s attempts to push back against the scientific consensus about climate change, and says:

He defines his three main questions, and his focus in answering those questions, as:

And this is pretty much what he does over the course of the 14-page study. He discusses the organizations involved in opposition to the climate change science; he examines where they get their money and the financial connections between them; and he talks about the ways in which these organizations interact with one another.

Each one of these analyses is reasonably straightforward and unproblematic, and i don’t think anyone needs much convincing that conservative and libertarian groups often share information and resources and strategies, or that the Koch brothers give money to conservative thinktanks and policy organizations.

But, while climate change is the ostensible reason for the study, nowhere in the paper does he make any effort to disaggregate what percentage of that $900 million a year is spent on this issue. He doesn’t do this for the group as a whole, nor for individual organizations within the CCCM. And nor does he even offer any sort of subjective or sociological analysis of how important the climate change issue is to these organizations, or whether other issues are more important to them.

I think that the study itself, while having some limited use, is misleading and draws a very tenuous connection between the overall argument about a nexus of conservative organizations, on the one hand, and the specific issue of there organizations’ focus on climate change, on the other. And interpreting the study as the OP did, and as some liberal media outlets are doing, is even more disingenuous.

Don’t think so when right away they ignore that the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) was offering scientists and economists $10,000 each to write articles critical of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report on climate change.

BTW, the Media Matters report was made before the paper from the OP, I do agree with **mhendo **that the amount of money used is an exaggeration, but what remains is a very important reason why we have a Republican party that invites misleading sources even to hearings on the issue in Washington.

Ah, so this “study” is just about as valid as climate models.


Obviously money well spent.

More claptrap from you as usual.

To me what many conservatives are missing is the opportunity that that flow of money allows to the ones that are making an effort to mislead the American people. As usual there will be always priorities, and the denial efforts are more possible and far reaching thanks to the money that is used on other matters, like their overhead and influence gained in the past on more supported issues.

Indeed, somehow many of the fake skeptics are nowadays acting like if their contradictions are a smart thing to follow.

It does not matter that many of the models that the “luminaries” of the contrarian movement (many who are part of those think thanks) continue to fail to get it right **and even conservative scientists have lost patience with those “scholars” **

I don’t really see the relevance of haggling over whether they spend 10 bucks or 10 billion, unless you want to compare it to pro-warming groups. Point is, industries will spend money to prevent regulations that they think will cut into their profits, or to maintain already existing favorable laws. Not really news.

“Distorting democracy,” yeah right. That is democracy. Marketing. Bribery. Propaganda. Keep up or get left behind.

But their budget is $28,000,000.00. Ten grand an article, even if they paid out a hundred times over, is still a drop in the bucket compared to $28,000,00.00.

As I understand it, this Brulle guy has basically made a list of all the groups that oppose climate science, taken their entire budgets, added them together and said “That’s how much is spent on climate denialism”.

So if a right wing think tank has a budget of $100 million, and they spend $10.00 a year on anti-climate change buttons and $99,999,990.00 on trying to get Breaking Bad back on the air for a sixth season, this Brulle guy would count the entire $100 million as ‘Anti climate change’ money. Have I got that right? Because if I have, that seems insanely dishonest.

Has anyone done a comparison-study?

What is an “anti-climate effort”? Advocacy for living on the Moon?

Taking the question seriously: The attempt to either deny the reality of global climate change; or in the case of some pro-apocalypse Christians, the desire to do as much damage to the climate as possible in the belief it will bring about the end of the world and their ascension into heaven. The same sort who were pro-nuclear war back in the Reagan era, and who interpret God giving stewardship of nature to humans to mean that humanity should destroy nature so that Jesus will come back.

And that is what I said when I made the point that it is an exaggeration, however the opposite of that is what you are doing, it is dishonest too. One can look at charities and realize that many do spend most of the money on overhead and related functions, the point I make is that groups like the Competitive Enterprise Institute are not only propping up fake experts, they use a lot of money to send deniers to congress.

Frankly, who cares if it is a billion or a million. Quibbling about the amount is just throwing dust in people’s eyes. The important point is that a fuckton of money is being spent by right wingers and business interests to obfuscate the facts and persuade voters and politicians that the (very firm) scientific consensus is wrong. (And no, before anyone suggests it, there is no equivalent fuckton of money pushing the view that anthropogenic climate change is real. Although climate science certainly needs and get financial support, largely from governments, the suppliers of that support have no particular interest in having the scientists validate the reality of climate change.)

Well, there’s fucktons and then there’s fucktons.

Agreed, but I think you’ll find some people who will dispute even that. They see climate change hype as a conspiracy by socialists to justify expansion of government power, and I’m not making that up.