Public Relations

"Anti-Greta" Naomi Seibt Marched with Neo-Nazis and Promotes White Nationalists

  • Posted on: 10 March 2020
  • By: Connor Gibson

Photo credit: @antifalinkems, via wiedertaeufer.ms

Greenpeace USA's Valentina Stackl assisted with editing and German translation for this article.

Over the last week, The Heartland Institute – an infamous climate denial think tank - has been rolled with not one, but two scandals.

HuffPost's Alexander Kaufman revealed that the Heartland Institute laid off more than half of its staff, who accuse Heartland leadership of financial mismanagement.

But HuffPost called out something else that went unmentioned by far too many media outlets:

Heartland's contractor and YouTube personality Naomi Seibt marched with Neo-Nazis and promotes white nationalists unapologetically.

According to Heartland's recently-departed staff, Naomi Seibt was seen as a ticket out of Heartland's financial troubles. It is unclear if Heartland is okay with Seibt's history of marching with violent racists and promoting white ethnocentrism could end out being more trouble for Heartland than she is worth as a fresh new voice for climate deniers to rally around.

The 19-year old Seibt was coined the "Anti-Greta" by Heartland, which wants a puffed-up foil to Greta Thunberg. Thunberg, the 17-year old global sensation, has dedicated her life to broadcasting the increasing urgency of the climate crisis. Thunburg's statements are consistent with what scientists have attempted to warn us for decades, as she meticulously read reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Seibt simply rejects the warnings of scientists, choosing instead to broadcast her contrarian opinions on YouTube.

And that’s not where the differences between these two ends. We've pulled together a research brief on Seibt to help journalists and allies.

Naomi Seibt Marched with Neo-Nazis in 2018:

This photo was taken by Anti-Fascist activists in Münster, Germany, at a 2018 anti-abortion march that involved a contingency of Neo-Nazis, including Robert Malcoci of the Neo-Nazi Malcoci family. The "1,000 White Crosses" rally, or 1000 Kreuze Marsch, in German, was not organized by Neo-Nazis, but it included at least one bloc of people from such groups, as the photo above shows.

This March 4, 2020 post from the German website Münsterland rechtsaußen includes more information and references on the 1000 Kreuze Marsch:

"Alongside Seibt marched members of the ‘Identitarian Movement’ and the ‘Fraternity Franconia,’ a local far-right fraternity. Amongst them Robert Malcoci, a well-known neo-Nazi and activist of the ‘Identitarian Movement.’ [3,4] Following her participation in this fundamentalist rally, she posted a video about the ‘Pride Weeks’ where she addressed her concerns about homosexuality and the LGBTQI * community."

On February 28, 2020, Seibt denied attending any Neo-Nazi rallies, when questioned on camera by Jamie Corey at Documented--a watchdog group that I frequently collaborate with.

At #CPAC2020, I asked “Anti-Greta” @SeibtNaomi—who works for the climate denial, Mercer-funded @HeartlandInst—about anti-semitic comments that came to light in the @Guardian. Here’s what she said. pic.twitter.com/dNmUBDTpnJ

— Jamie Corey (@JamieMCorey) February 28, 2020

What struck me most about Seibt's reaction to the question was this indication that Seibt doesn't believe you can be "100% German" if you are Jewish or Muslim:

"I don't care if you're a Jew, or a Muslim, or 100% German."

Naomi Seibt's Anti-Semitic Comment After Yom Kippur Synagogue Shooting

Thanks in particular to a report for The Guardian by Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Emily Holden, U.S. press began catching on to Sebit's ties to white nationalists.

The article included a comment made by Seibt in an online video following a shooting at a Synagogue in Germany during Yom Kippur:

In a YouTube discussion last year that was highlighted in a report by the German broadcaster ZDF, Seibt discussed an attack on a synagogue in Halle that killed two people who were outside the temple, and said Jews were considered to be “at the top” of groups who were seen as being oppressed. “Ordinary Germans”, she said, were “at the bottom”. Muslims, she added, were somewhere in between.

The remarks were part of a video discussion that appears to have been deleted. They were seen by some experts as saying that Germans had less pity for “ordinary German” victims of crime than for Jews and Muslims. A portion of the discussion was included in a report by ZDF and is still available online.

A longer translation of this quote was reported by Jennifer Dhlouy for Bloomberg:

“The normal German consumer is at the bottom, so to speak. Then the Muslims come somewhere in between. And the Jew is at the top. That is the suppression characteristic,” she said in comments first reported by The Guardian.

Naomi Seibt Praise For Canadian White Nationalist

The Guardian article by Kirchgaessner and Holden included another concerning statement made by Seibt regarding a well known White Nationalist in Canada. The article was published the same day that Seibt spoke on a panel at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, hosted by the American Conservative Union.

In another YouTube interview describing her embrace of “views that were outside the mainstream”, Seibt referred to the Canadian alt-right internet activist Stefan Molyneux as an “inspiration”.

Molyneux has been described as an “alleged cult leader who amplifies scientific racism, eugenics and white supremacism” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors extremism and white supremacy.

Business Insider reporter Anthony L. Fisher was at CPAC and asked Seibt about her praise for Molyneux:

During a Q&A session, Insider read Molyneux's following quote to Seibt: "I've always been skeptical of the ideas of white nationalism, of identitarianism and white identity. However, I am an empiricist, and I could not help but notice that I could have peaceful, free, easy, civilized, and safe discussions in what is essentially an all-white country."

Insider asked Seibt if she was aware of Molyneux's statement and, if so, still considered herself a fan of his. 

"I am still a fan of Molyneux's, absolutely," Seibt replied.

Following this reporting, acknowledgement of Seibt's support for White Nationalism was picked up by the Washington Post, the New York Times, HuffPost, and global outlets like the UK Daily Mail and Yahoo! News Australia.

Naomi Seibt and the Ethnopluarlist "Identitarian Movement"

According to the March, 2020 post from Münsterland rechtsaußen:

All rhetorical whitewashing put aside, Seibt's concept of nationalism resembles the concept of "ethnopluralism" which is the main concept of the "Identitarian Movement", a far-right group from Europe. It is based on the racist conspiracy theory of the "great replacement" by the French far-right academic Renaud Camus. The far-right terrorists who carried out the attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, and in Halle, Germany, partially based their manifestos on this racist, anti-Semitic and anti-feminist theory which is also popular amongst the politicians, members and supporters of the "Alternative for Germany" and other far-right movements in Germany. (Google translation)

Naomi Seibt, Karoline Seibt and the German AFD Party

The German Alternative for Germany political party, aka "Alternative für Deutschland" or AfD, is known for its scapegoating of Jews, Muslims, and refugees. The AfD's affiliates promote perspectives that many Germans say contributed to nationalist terrorist acts like the Halle Synagogue shooting in October, 2019.

Naomi Seibt and her mother, Karoline Seibt, both have deep ties to the AfD party. And as mentioned in the new HuffPost report,

Her [Naomi Seibt] mother, Karoline Seibt, is an attorney who works with Alternative für Deutschland, Germany’s far-right nationalist party with ties to neo-Nazis. In 2018, the mother was pictured partying with Milo Yiannopoulos, the far-right former star columnist at Breitbart who, according to BuzzFeed News, pushed white nationalist ideology into mainstream U.S. politics.

The Guardian's David Smith was the first journalist in the U.S. to report on Seibt's connections to the AfD political party in Germany:

[Seibt] was pushed into the limelight by leading figures on the German far right and her mother, a lawyer, has represented politicians from the Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party in court.

Seibt had her first essay published by the “anti-Islamisation” blog Philosophia Perennis and was championed by Martin Sellner, leader of the Austrian Identitarian Movement, who has been denied entry to the UK and US because of his political activism.

A Facebook post by the AfD youth wing names Seibt as a member and she spoke at a recent AfD event, though she has denied membership of the party.

In May 2019 she posted her first video on YouTube, reading out verses submitted for a poetry slam competition organised by the AfD.

The March, 2020 post from Münsterland rechtsaußen mentions an AfD event featuring Seibt and another speaker who appeared to express pride for his parents' "achievements" during the Nazi Germany era: (see Google translation):

[Naomi Seibt] was invited as a speaker to the New Year's welcome event of the local branch of the far-right party "Alternative for Germany" in February 2020 [7]. Rüdiger Lucassen, one of the speakers at the event stated that "we are proud of the achievements of our mothers and fathers and not ashamed of them". [8] Since Lucassen was born in 1951, his parents were part of the generation that enabled, supported and committed crimes during the reign of the Nazis in Germany.

More examples of Karoline and Naomi Seibt's work with the AfD, and with white nationalists, is chronicled by Correctiv, Münsterland rechtsaußen (here and here), and Die Wiedertäufer.

No More Excuses to Ignore Neo-Nazi Ties

The confusion of Seibt's sudden entrance to the U.S. media market and the complications of translating material published in Germany are no longer an excuse.

Heartland rejoiced at the initial U.S. press coverage of Seibt. The group rejoiced over "fair" coverage in this Washington Post that debuted Seibt to U.S. audiences before a speech at CPAC two weekends ago. The article said nothing of Seibt's thinly-veiled support for White Nationalism.

Neither did Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain, which hosted Seibt live on their program last week with no mention of her ties to Neo-Nazis and racist white nationalists. Instead, Morgan apologized to Seibt for slightly misrepresenting the particular aspects of climate science that she denies, which Heartland has used to continue promoting Seibt.

In the era of Putin and Trump, of Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, of Charleston, South Carolina and Charlottesville, Virginia, we have no more excuses to misunderstand this dynamic. Enough false equivalence has been published.

It's time for reporters and editors to carefully include evidence of Seibt's ties to Neo-Nazis when reporting, or not report on her at all.

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Governors Submit Pro-Pipeline Letter Written by DAPL PR Firm

  • Posted on: 21 February 2017
  • By: JesseColeman

The Governors of three states involved in the Dakota Access Pipeline are marching to the orders of a PR company hired by the pipeline’s builders.

On October 25th of last year, the Governors of North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa sent a letter to the Army Corp of Engineers demanding approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

A Greenpeace investigation has revealed that the first draft of this letter was written by LS2Group, a PR firm contracted by Energy Transfer Partners, the Dakota Access Pipeline’s (DAPL) main builder.

Emails between Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s staff and Craig Schoenfeld, a senior account executive for LS2Group, contain a first draft of the three governors’ letter, written by LS2. An email from Schoenfeld obtained through an open records request makes plain that LS2 wrote the letter. He also questions why the letter was not sent to President Obama and other agency heads, as LS2 initially requested.

“The draft letter we sent the four governors for consideration last month was addressed to the President, DOJ, DOI and Army, but the one approved by ND, SD, and IA was addressed to the three USACE commanders. I was curious if this was a request by one of the governors for the change i.e.to steer clear of political pushback.”

The draft sent by LS2Group in September and the letter eventually sent by the Governors contain only minor differences in content.

LS2Group has multiple employees registered to lobby for Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), and has been lobbying for DAPL since at least 2014.

The PR firm has particularly strong ties to Governor Branstad of Iowa. It was Governor Branstad’s office that pushed the Governors of South and North Dakota to sign on to the LS2 letter.

As DeSmogBlog points out, Branstad’s chief of staff from 2010 to 2013, Jeff Boeyink, is now a Senior Vice President of LS2Group, and lobbies for ETP in Iowa. Susan Severino Fenton, LS2Group´s Director of Government Affairs, is also a registered lobbyist for Energy Transfer Partners.

LS2Group contributed $1,000 to Branstad in June of 2016. The PR firm has also contributed many thousands of dollars to the Republican party of Iowa since 2014.

The ease with which oil lobbyists were able to slap the official seals of three governors onto their clients’ missive underscores the cozy relationship between the oil industry and State Governments in the region.

The governors of Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota have fully supported the pipeline builders, providing militarized police to intimidate indigenous water protectors and their allies. As opposition to the pipeline escalated over the last few months, the Iowan government has brought severe criminal charges against those speaking against the pipeline.

Currently ETP is drilling under the Standing Rock Sioux’s water source, the Oahe Reservoir, despite a promise by the Army Corp of Engineers to conduct a thorough environmental review. A Presidential Memorandum by Donald Trump effectively cancelled any ongoing environmental assessment of the pipeline and gave the company permission to begin drilling. Donald Trump has investments in ETP and Phillips 66, which are partnered in building the pipeline. Trump also has close ties to ETP CEO Kelcy Warren, who contributed large sums to Trump’s presidential campaign.

 

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Exxon's decades of advertising against climate change science

  • Posted on: 17 September 2015
  • By: Cindy Baxter

See our full archive of ExxonMobil's paid New York Times "advertorials" from 1972-2004.

This week, Inside Climate News has published some new revelations about one of the world’s biggest oil companies: that scientists working for Exxon knew about climate change as early as 1977. 

Exxon’s own scientists conducted an extensive research program on climate change and "The Greenhouse Effect", running complex CO2 monitoring experiments and publishing peer-reviewed papers, because the company was deeply interested in this emerging threat to its core business, oil, and ultimately the company's survival. There is now no doubt that Exxon has known about the science and the risks of global warming for decades.

The news will perhaps be of great interest to those lawyers who successfully prosecuted the tobacco industry, which hid its knowledge of the science around tobacco’s addiction, and the impact of second hand smoke.

Exxon Advertising Fully Contradicted Exxon Scientists

Because, despite having this breadth of knowledge within its walls, and for many years after these climate science programs were run at Exxon, the company has spent years and millings of dollars funding climate deniers and think tanks who attack the scientific consensus, spreading doubt and uncertainty. Greenpeace has collected data on Exxon's campaign of climate denial for decades. Our ExxonSecrets project and database now shows that has spent nearly $31 million since 1998 funding think tanks and campaigns against the climate science consensus and climate policy progress. 

For decades, Mobil ran a weekly “advertorial” or "op-ad" on the opinion pages of the New York Times and other papers, ads that continued after Mobil merged with Exxon in 1999. The story of how Mobil managed to secure advertising space on the editorial page of the New York Times and why they did so is another story.

We at PolluterWatch have collected an archive of these ads from the 1970's to 2004. In light of the recent revelations about the company’s early understanding of the issue, they’re worth re-examining. The ads on global warming in particular set out the history of the companies’ campaign against both climate action and the science. 

THE MOBIL ADS

In the lead up to the Kyoto Protocol negotiations, Mobil, a prominent member of the Global Climate Coalition, was leading the charge on the “it’s not global” message calling for developing countries to be included in emissions reduction targets.

Mobil focused on all the arguments against action on climate change that we still hear today. It claimed that developing country emissions were not addressed (the “blame China” argument). It said the climate models can’t be trusted. It called for more research. And it questioned the veracity of climate science. This argument later became the mantra of Republicans and industry opponents of international climate action, turning into a “blame China” campaign that stalled international action for years.

THE EXXONMOBIL ADS

On December 2, 1999, the first of the newly-merged ExxonMobil company ads appeared in the New York Times, announcing the merger:

 

And just one week later, on December 9, 1999, the merged ExxonMobil picked up the decades-long New York Times ad campaign with an ad titled: “Tomorrow’s energy needs”, emphasizing of course the plentiful global supply of fossil fuels, ExxonMobil’s preferred energy source. ExxonMobil is still running this argument today, using outdated, business as usual IEA scenarios to emphasize its point, and ignoring any of the IEA's “new policy” scenarios. Interestingly, the new revelations by Inside Climate News show that in the 1970s, Exxon was thinking well beyond oil for a spell, doing advanced research in solar power for example.

The Chairman and CEO of the merged giant ExxonMobil was Lee Raymond, who had worked for Exxon since the 1960s. Raymond in fact chaired the American Petroleum Institute’s climate change committee, and twice chaired the API itself. Raymond was a hardened climate science denier, and his views were strongly reflected in a new turn in the company’s ads. Whereas Mobil had called for more research, and put the blame on developing countries, ExxonMobil embraced those arguments, but turned to outright denial.

On March 16, 2000, ExxonMobil’s ads continued the onslaught against the Kyoto Protocol and climate science with Do no harm that argued a similar line to the “coal will solve poverty” pitch we hear from Peabody Energy today:

 

“…for most nations the Kyoto Protocol would require extensive diversion of human and financial resources away from more immediate and pressing needs in health care, education, infrastructure, and, yes, the environment—all critical to the well-being of future generations.”

ExxonMobil went on to advocate a “strong focus on scientific understanding” around climate change and proposed policies “that have the potential to make significant longer-term reductions in emissions, if they are needed.” 

The ad finished with this: “Although it is hard to predict what the weather is going to be this weekend, we know with certainty that climate change policies, unless properly formulated, will restrict life itself.”

A week later, on March 23, 2000, ExxonMobil’s ad, “Unsettled science” focused on a 1996 study on temperature and climate in the Sargasso sea. At the company AGM in May that year Lee Raymond gave a presentation arguing the study showed how past temperatures appeared warmer than today, long before people began burning fossil fuels.

 

"So the issue isn't only: is the earth warming, but why is it warming," Raymond told the meeting.

In a letter in response to ExxonMobil’s use of his work, the author of the study, Dr Lloyd Keigwin, wrote:

"I believe ExxonMobil has been misleading in its use of the Sargasso Sea data. There's really no way these results bear on the question of human induced climate warming…I think the sad thing is the a company with the resources of ExxonMobil is exploiting the data for political purposes."

ExxonMobil then moved to a touch of greenwashing, a prominent feature of many of its Op Ads. In “The Promise of Technology” the company emphasized its push to explore new technology, especially it project on hydrogen/petroleum cars, research that kept a focus on cars at least in part powered by Exxon’s climate-changing product, which hasn’t produced any results, and which has since been surpassed by the development of electric cars. Yet it still managed to keep a question mark over the science of climate change with this line: “Climate change may pose legitimate long term risks.”

 

XOM 2000 Mar 30 NYT: the promise of technology (PDF)
XOM 2000 Mar 30 NYT: the promise of technology (Text)

 

October 28, 2000 – ExxonMobil launched an attack on the precautionary principle with “Unbalanced caution”

 

In November 2000, Republican George W Bush won the US elections. Three days before his inauguration, in January 2001 Exxon's “An Energy Policy for the New Administration,” urged caution on energy issues, arguing: 

Regarding climate change policy, the unrealistic and economically damaging Kyoto process needs to be rethought....Alternative energy sources such as solar or wind will not become significant until well after 2020.”   

(Note: in 2014, renewable sources of energy accounted for about 10% of total U.S. energy consumption and 13% of electricity generation.1 Globally, in 2013 renewables accounted for almost 22% of global electricity generation, a 5% increase from 2012, according to the IEA).

 

On 28 March, 2001, EPA head Christine Tod Whitman announced the US would not implement the Kyoto Protocol. Just over a week later, on April 10, 2001 ExxonMobil’s ad lauded the decision: Moving Past Kyotoslammed the Protocol, saying it was “too much too soon,” “tried to force technological change”, “failed to include developing countries” and was “fatally politicized.”

 

The ad’s companion the following week “…to a sounder climate policy” called for more research on climate change, an argument became the central plank of the Bush administration’s climate change policy.

 

XOM 2001 April 17 NYT: ...to a sounder climate policy (PDF)
XOM 2001 April 17 NYT: ...to a sounder climate policy (Text)

 

In June 2001, President Bush gave his famous Rose Garden speech on climate change, saying, in very similar words to Exxon’s, that Kyoto was “fatally flawed in fundamental ways” and then set out the same argument as Exxon – and Mobil – had been running since the mid-90’s: that big developing countries such as China and India were not part of Kyoto therefore it wouldn’t work. This remains the mantra of recalcitrant developed country nations today.  

In August 2001, Exxon’s ad “Sifting and winnowing”, while not directly mentioning climate change, argued that technological advances in energy were not progressing fast, and that the government should not give subsidies to new technologies – they had to stand on their own two feet.  

 

 

XOM 2001 Aug 2 NYT: Sifting and winnowing (PDF)
XOM 2001 Aug 2 NYT: Sifting and winnowing (Text)

 

“..it’s important that business and government leaders not pretend that we know enough to force our energy future to conform to some predetermined vision. Nor should some sources be subsidized, thereby masking their true costs and true consumer preferences.”

(Today, the fossil fuel industry receives around $37.5 billion a year in subsidies from the US Government).

In October 2002, Exxon was still questioning the science. It's op-ad “Managing Greenhouse Gas Emissions” starts with that very question: 

“It is our view that better scientific understanding of climate change, human influence on it, and the associated risks and possible consequences are needed.”

While the ad went on to emphasize what the company was doing about energy efficiency, and reluctantly accepted the problems with climate change: 

“Doing nothing is neither prudent nor responsible, but the same may be said of rash action.”

January 2004: “Directions for Climate Research” Here, ExxonMobil outlines areas where it deemed more research was necessary, such as “natural climate variability, ocean currents and heat transfer, the hydrological cycle, and the ability of climate models to predict changes on a regional and local scale.”

 

XOM 2004 Jan 21 Climate Research Directions (PDF)
XOM 2004 Jan 21 Climate Research Directions (Text)

 

January 2004: The “Weather and climate” ad correctly stated that weather and climate are different, but again, the ad emphasizes the range of uncertainties about climate change. The list is a litany of climate denier arguments at the time (many of which are still used today), including the influence of the sun (led by the Smithsonian Institute’s "Willie" Wei Hock Soon, whose work was being funded by ExxonMobil at the time). 

 

XOM 2004 Jan 22 NYT: Weather and climate (PDF)
XOM 2004 Jan 22 NYT: Weather and climate (Text)

 

“In the face of natural variability and complexity, the consequences of change in any single factor, for example greenhouse gas emissions, cannot readily be isolated, and prediction becomes difficult... Scientific uncertainties continue to limit our ability to make objective, quantitative determinations regarding the human role in recent climate change, or the degree and consequence of future change.”

We don’t have any more of these ads after 2004. But they continue today.

In 2005, Lee Raymond retired as CEO and Chairman of ExxonMobil. During his time in this role, the company had funded climate denying think tanks to the tune of $18,593,923, with the highest year of giving that year, in 2005, at $3.47 million. Science writer Chris Mooney outlined some of that funding in Mother Jones.

The following year, with new CEO Rex Tillerson at the helm, ExxonMobil began dropping its funding of some of these groups, saying in its May 2008 annual report that it was would no longer fund groups “whose position on climate change could divert attention from the important discussion on how the world will secure the energy required for economic growth in an environmentally responsible manner."

Indeed it did drop some of that funding, and it fell back to around $800,000 in 2013, but rose again to $1.8m in 2014, after a $1m grant to the Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

ExxonMobil’s paying of climate denial campaigns may have waned since Raymond’s term, but Tillerson is still campaigning against the solutions. At the company’s AGM in May 2015, he repeated his view that renewables are not economic, saying "we choose not to lose money on purpose." 

But he also repeated the same mantras seen over the decades: that the models weren’t very good, and that it would be difficult for the world to meet aggressive emission reduction targets. Technology, he said, can help deal with rising sea levels or changing weather patterns "that may or may not be induced by climate change." 

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Charles Koch: CO2 Causes Climate Change...and I Don't Care

  • Posted on: 30 April 2015
  • By: Connor Gibson

Charles Koch, chosing Tobasco over Sriracha at the Koch Industries cafeteria.
Photo: USA Today

As the nation warily watches every Republican presidential candidate kiss the ring of billionaire donor Charles Koch for a shot at his network's $300,000,000 pool of presidential cash, Charles Koch did something unusual. Last week's USA Today interview with Charles Koch noted his shifting opinion on what he calls climate change "hysteria:"

For the record, Koch says this of climate change: "You can plausibly say that CO2 has contributed" to the planet's warming, but he sees "no evidence" to support "this theory that it's going to be catastrophic."

Wait...Charles Koch just accepted that the planet is warming? Hold your applause. Clearly, Mr. Koch still denies that there's a problem - which means he's missing the entire point of discussing climate change. But any movement from Charles on the 5 Stages of Climate Denial--from #1 down to #3--is a big deal. This is the same guy who has poured $80 million into organizations that have misrepresented climate change science to the public and advocated against any viable solutions to the problem.

Koch's Right-Hand-Man: "Charles is ahead of me on this."

Last June, leaked recordings surfaced from Koch's regular meeting of millionaires and billionaires who are coordinating $889 million in spending around the 2016 election. Charles's Koch top strategist Richard Fink indicated that we may see a shift in Koch's rhetoric on climate change. Fink, aka "Charles Koch's Brain," told attending prospective donors what they wanted to hear: donate to us, and we'll fight the crazy commie hippies and their pesky science. From the Undercurrent:

“The environmental movement. Occupy Wall Street. These kids are searching for meaning. They're protesting the 1 percent. They are the 1 percent, but they're protesting the 1 percent. The environmental movement and climate change. It's not about climate change. I studied climate change for six years. I can't figure it out, quite frankly. Charles is ahead of me on this. I'm not a climatologist, but I'm not completely stupid. I can tell you I meet with people, particularly in California, that are convinced the world is going to burn up in you know, a year or two. They don't know the answer -- they don't even know the question, because it's not about climate change. It's about a cause. It gives their life meaning.”

For context, you should probably know that Fink told the room's billionaires that the minimum wage would lead to fascism, comparing today's low-income Americans to pre-Nazi Germany citizenry. Not exactly a room full of academics. And since one of the people that Mr. Fink 'meets with' was a scientist that he funded to study global temperature data, you have to wonder how much experience Rich Fink has with willful ignorance.

When Charles Koch Accidentally Proved Global Warming

Charles Koch cannot deny is that he's seen the global temperature record data. In 2011, through the Charles Koch Foundation (CKF), CKF president Richard Fink funded a high-profile study on global surface temperature data. This dataset, which was an unnecessarily redundant reproduction of several other similar studies, was constructed by a scientist who at the time was a climate change denier.

BEST data compared with previous reconstructions of global surface temperature data.

Dr. Richard Muller's Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study (BEST) made headlines when he announced his acceptance of what climate scientists had already been saying for over 15 years--yes, people are responsible for unnatural climate variability that scientists have documented--and surprised the country by becoming an advocate for solutions to global warming.

This put Mr. Koch in an awkward spot. Koch's $150,000 grant to Dr. Muller made him the project's top single donor, and Muller was a celebrated skeptic before his dramatic change-of-heart.

Add to that Mr. Koch's background in science--a chemical engineering degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For such an educated, celebrated albeit controversial high-society businessman, the refusal to acknowledge science that is understood by middle schoolers guaranteed to undermine the sensible reputation that Koch Industries has spent a lot of money to put out there.

But Charles gets no credit here. Dumping almost $80 million into organizations that have attacked the scientists who study climate change and interfered with virtually every proposed policy and regulation to solve global warming isn't being a science-savy CEO. It's being a denier, and especially in the context of a self-serving petrochemical billionaire, that's pretty offensive to the rest of us.

We define climate change denial as "anyone who is obstructing, delaying or trying to derail policy steps that are in line with the scientific consensus that says we need to take rapid steps to decarbonize the economy." Mr. Koch remains a staunch denier in that regard.

The Koch brothers continue to finance campaigns to make Americans doubt the seriousness of global warming, increasingly hiding money through nonprofits like DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund.

Why focus on Charles Koch and David Koch? Many large foundations associated with corporate fortunes are active in financing climate denial groups - Anschutz, Bradley, Coors, DeVos, Dunn, Howard, Pope, Scaife, Searle, and Seid, to name a few. Unlike Koch, most of those fortunes did not come from owning a corporation like Koch Industries, historically rooted in fossil fuel operations. And none come as close as the Kochs in terms of decades-long focus on actively building a political influence network and coordinating other wealthy executives, corporations and families to dump amounts money into politics that not even the Koch brothers could afford.

Check out Greenpeace.org for more research on the Koch brothers crusade against climate science.

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Patrick Moore's Pesticide Challenge: You Can Drink This...But I Won't

  • Posted on: 24 March 2015
  • By: Connor Gibson

Here's a lesson for lobbyists: eating your words is a lot safer than drinking the poison you help sell.

Today's lesson is brought to you by Dr. Patrick Moore, who has worked for pesticide manufacturers like Monsanto, refusing to drink Monsanto's product just seconds after claiming it's safe to do so:

Once upon a time, Dr. Patrick Moore was an early Greenpeace member. Now he is a public relations consultant for the polluting companies that Greenpeace works to change: Big Oil, pesticides and GMO agribusiness, forestry, nuclear power... anyone who puts up the money for truth-benders who appear to carry scientific and environmental authority.

This is the best gotcha-moment I've seen on camera since tobacco lobbyist Joe Bast, CEO of The Heartland Institute, was forced to acknowledge and re-affirm his denial that smoking cigarettes is bad for your health, courtesy of Lee Fang for Republic Report.

 

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Wille Soon's Fall from Grace: Climate Denier #Fakexpert Has Extreme Conflicts of Interest

  • Posted on: 22 February 2015
  • By: Connor Gibson

Extra Extra! Read all about climate denial scientist Willie Soon's dirty money from petrochemical billionaire Charles Koch, coal utility Southern Company, oil giant ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel companies to deny the science of climate change!

The last time I bumped into Willie Soon, I asked him if there was any explanation for some of the information in our latest round of documents indicating that his employer was eager to take money from ExxonMobil:

The questions I tried asking Dr. Soon (who won't talk to me, after a few of these encounters went bad for him) are based on seemed to show that despite all the embarrassment Soon has caused his employer, the Smithsonian Institution, private communications with ExxonMobil indicate that Smithsonian was all too happy to take Exxon's money for their general operating budget.

Is that why the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics allowed Dr. Soon to conduct what essentially is a lobbying and public relations campaign for fossil fuel companies, all in their name? From the documents Greenpeace obtained, here's the Harvard-Smithsonian Center thanking Exxon:

 

To their credit, Smithsonian officials say they are doing an internal review of Dr. Soon. We'll see how that goes, but it's not encouraging to see that Soon's coworkers may have been complicit in peddling influence for ExxonMobil and the other polluters financing Dr. Soon.

For years, we at Greenpeace have been working to make public the secret paper trails that show what everyone already knows: climate science deniers - #Fakexperts - are few and far between, and most of them are paid by companies most responsible for global warming to downplay the problem.

Willie Soon's payments from Koch, Exxon, Southern Company and the American Petroleum Institute aren't news - we've known he took over $1 million from these interests since 2011. But the level of detail and the implications from this latest round of research is shocking. From the New York Times:

He has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. At least 11 papers he has published since 2008 omitted such a disclosure, and in at least eight of those cases, he appears to have violated ethical guidelines of the journals that published his work. The documents show that Dr. Soon, in correspondence with his corporate funders, described many of his scientific papers as “deliverables” that he completed in exchange for their money. He used the same term to describe testimony he prepared for Congress.

For Greenpeace, this raises both legal and ethical questions. From The Guardian:

In letters to the Internal Revenue Service and Congress, Greenpeace said Soon may have misused the grants from the Koch foundation by trying to influence legislation.

Our executive director Annie Leonard just sent a letter to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, and two letters to the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology (here and here) in pursuit of answers.

Is the IRS okay with Charles Koch's nonprofit foundation funding research that appears to have directly influenced state and national politicians? Did ExxonMobil violate any Congressional rules by giving Soon a grant just two months after Soon told Congress he had no financial conflicts of interest, after telling them that climate change isn't a crisis? And Southern Company?

We will keep you posted as things unfold - keep track yourself on the Climate Investigations Center, where our former colleague Kert Davies is busy trying to answer the same questions. For disclosure - know that Kert helped start this work when he still was Greenpeace's Research Director. We have continued to partner with him on this since his amicable split from our team.

After you read the Times, check out more on the story...just about everywhere.  The Boston Globe writes that Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) plans on opening an investigation on climate science deniers. InsideClimate News notes how Soon has been part of a game plan detailed by the American Petroleum Institute in a leaked memo from 1998. Gawker, Discover Magazine, and STGIST have more. Gizmodo wins for the most brazen headline. Willie Soon NY Times A1 2015Willie S

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Four Years After Greenpeace Sting: PR Firm Dumps Oil Lobbyists

  • Posted on: 20 February 2015
  • By: Connor Gibson

Richard Edelman calls time out on Big Oil's climate change denial. Photo: Adweek.

Perhaps you heard the good news - the world's largest public relations firm, Edelman, just spun off an advertising subsidiary so that it could show a commitment to not aiding the denial of climate change science. The Guardian explains how API's contracts with Edelman were so massive--tens of millions of dollars--that it was up to 10% of the PR giant's income.

For years, Edelman has managed multi-million dollar contracts with the American Petroleum Institute (API), using its Blue Advertising subsidiary to help API run commercials selling fantasies to people: that oil and gas are our only viable, plentiful, "AMERICAN" sources of energy.

In the saga that led Edelman to dump the lobbyists at API, Greenpeace had a small role to play: we infiltrated a commercial shoot, run by Edelman's Blue advertising arm for API. The commercials were to be called "Vote 4 Energy," casting the illusion of mass popular demand for more oil and gas drilling (and more pollution, more climate change, and more government giveaways to prop it all up).

After being dressed up in a button-down, plaid orange shirt--I'm not sure what look they had in mind for me--I was put in front of the camera and told to repeat lines back. This despite the casting call for "REAL PEOPLE not Actors!" Huh.

Instead of telling them "I Vote" for oil and gas, I ran off script and demanded a prioritization of clean energy, not continued pandering to oil lobbyists at API. As I was ushered off set, the person I appealed to for a clean energy future was Robert McKernan, president of Blue Advertising, the company that Edelman is ditching. He was the last person I saw before being booted out of the studio rooms, and as we locked eyes, I appealed directly to him: "we need clean sources of energy, like wind and solar." Here's a transcribed recording of that on-set disruption:

Shockingly, API and Edelman didn't stop the commercial shoot there and reinvent it into an appeal for clean energy (yes, that's sarcasm). And as Edelman and API moved forward with the commercial, Greenpeace got another idea.

On the day that API's commercials debuted, Greenpeace created and released a fake Vote4Energy commercial, mocking their bizarre message with parody oil executives dismissing clean energy and using empty patriotic jargon: "I vote for prosperous American liberty jobs for Freedom." 

We crashed API's launch event for Vote4Energy, rolling out an astroturf mat for politicians and lobbyists to make their entrance, framed by oil company logos. Online, we buried their actual website with our spoof material and drove more traffic to our fake commercial. Some journalists actually linked to our silly video in their stories about API's Vote4Energy campaign.

This was in January, 2012. Since then, big things have happened at Edelman.

Edelman's Make-Or-Break Moment

Fast forward to last fall, 2014: Edelman suffered a months-long PR crisis--the last thing a PR firm wants--over its representation of API and other climate science denial organizations. Edelman's chairman, Richard Edelman, hastily put out a statement affirming his company's commitment to climate change.

Mr. Edelman was personally urging the press that he cared about the issue, and fired a top executive who was uncooperative with the Climate Investigations Center, which was surveying PR firms on their climate change policies. It was awkward.

The mess was intensified by another round of documents showing Edelman was helping TransCanada--the operator of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline--with campaign planning to subvert local activism in Canada against TransCanada's Energy East pipeline. After the plan was leaked, TransCanada dumped Edelman.

It seems that Big Oil is starting to be a Big Headache for Big PR. Of course, there are still plenty of public relations firms with little to no moral standard out there, unrecognized by the public, for Big Oil to pay for dirty PR.

But for the world's largest firm to take some meaningful steps to throw in the towel on climate denial - that indicates a precedent for an industry that most activists wouldn't have bothered to spend time trying to change.

And it's a good thing, because climate scientists aren't getting any less distressed about our changed climate. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences is getting desperate enough to officially call for "unproven technology" in attempts to mitigate the crisis. Despite the weight of the crisis, which is just getting started, coal companies, oil companies, the Koch brothers and their legion of front groups are creating layers of red tape to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, the first regulation of carbon emissions from existing power plants.

Perhaps there's a slick PR firm out there willing to make right of its past and do something productive for the climate, and all of us who rely upon it.

Edelman: you're up. Show us you mean it this time.

 

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Bjorn Lomborg Think Tank Funder Revealed As Billionaire Republican 'Vulture Capitalist' Paul Singer

  • Posted on: 9 February 2015
  • By: Connor Gibson

Bjorn Lomborg - left - received $200,000 from Paul E. Singer - right - for the Copenhagen Consensus Center's research used to interfere with global climate negotiations.

By Graham Readfern, crossposted from DeSmogBlog.

A billionaire “vulture capitalist” and major backer of the US Republican Party is a major funder of the think tank of Danish climate science contrarian and fossil fuels advocate Bjørn Lomborg, DeSmogBlog has found.

New York-based hedge fund manager Paul Singer’s charitable foundation gave $200,000 to Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Center (CCC) in 2013, latest US tax disclosures reveal.

The grant to Lomborg’s think tank is revealed in the tax form of the Paul E. Singer Foundation covering that foundation’s activities between December 2012 and November 2013.

Singer, described as a “passionate defender of the 1%”, has emerged as a major force in the Republican party in recent years and was a key backer and influencer during Mitt Romney’s failed tilt at the Presidency.

The $200,000 grant represented almost one third of the $621,057 in donations declared by the Copenhagen Consensus Center in 2013.

A spokesperson for the think tank told DeSmogBlog that “not one dollar” of the Singer grant had been spent.

Lomborg, a Danish political scientist, is often cited on lists of the world’s most influential people. He writes extensively on climate change and energy issues with his columns appearing in many of the world’s biggest news outlets.

The CCC think tank produces reports that consistently argue that cutting greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the roll-out of current renewable energy technologies should be low priorities for policy makers.

Most recently, Lomborg wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal arguing climate change was not the urgent problem that many thought.

He wrote that “the narrative that the world’s climate is changing from bad to worse is unhelpful alarmism”.

Lomborg argues the poorest countries need fossil fuels to lift themselves out of poverty – a position that gained support from the world’s richest man, Bill Gates.

At a G20 side event in Brisbane last year, Lomborg appeared at an event sponsored by the world’s largest private coal company, Peabody Energy, where he again argued that the world’s poor needed fossil fuels.

The CCC’s keystone project is the Post 2015 Consensus that is trying to influence the formulation of the next set of global development goals being discussed by the United Nations. Those goals will replace the millennium development goals.

Lomborg’s CCC think tank was registered as a not-for-profit in the US in 2008 and has attracted almost $5 million in donations since then. In 2013, the CCC paid Lomborg, its founder and president, $200,484 for his work. The previous year Lomborg was paid $775,000.

The think tank has insisted that its funders, most of which are anonymous, do not influence its research.  The think tank says it does not accept funding from the fossil fuel industry.

Despite being registered in the US, Lomborg has admitted that all but one of the think tank’s seven staff are based elsewhere.  The think tank’s address is aparcel service in Lowell, Massachusetts.

The discovery of support from Paul Singer comes after a DeSmogBlog investigation last year found that CCC’s early funders included conservative think tanks with links to the network of organisations funded by the Koch brothers, who have pushed millions into organisations denying climate science and blocking action to cut fossil fuel emissions.

In the 2014 US political spending cycle, data presented by OpenSecrets shows Singer spent $9.4 million influencing Republicans – the biggest disclosed individual spender on the conservative side of US politics.

Singer, whose Elliott Management hedge fund manages about $25 billion in assets, has been branded a “vulture capitalist” enterprise due to investment strategies employed by his firm that targets foreign economies in trouble.

A 2011 summary of “vulture funds” in The Guardian said Elliott Management’s “principal investment strategy” was “buying distressed debt cheaply and selling it at a profit or suing for full payment”.

Greg Palast, the author of Vulture’s Picnic, documented in The Guardian how Singer’s firm had managed to pocket $1.29 billion from the US Treasury after a “brilliantly complex” financial manoeuvre in 2009 that saw Singer lead a consortium to buy the parts supplier of General Motors and Chrysler before claiming cash from a government bailout of the struggling auto industry.

Singer, who according to Forbes is personally worth $1.8 billion, remains in conflict with the Argentinian government over debt bought by an Elliott affiliate and other investors.
As well as the generosity shown to Bjorn Lomborg’s think tank, Singer’s foundation gave $500,000 to the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, where Singer is chairman of the board of trustees.

The Manhattan Institute is also known for downplaying the impacts of climate change while promoting fossil fuels.

In October 2014, Manhattan senior fellow Robert Bryce wrote a report Not Beyond Coal arguing that the future for the coal industry was bright and the fossil fuel was “essential” for addressing poverty in developing countries — a position identical to that pushed by Lomborg.

Bryce also attacks the wind industry claiming it cannot cut emissions, describing wind turbines as “climate change scarecrows”. In testimony to the US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in February 2014, Bryce said wind turbines were “slaughtering wildlife” and killed 600,000 birds every year in the US.

A review of studies and data into US bird deaths has found about 600 million birds are killed annually in collisions with windows and buildings, but even this high number was only a quarter of the birds killed annually in the US by feral cats.

Another large donation from Singer’s foundation went to the Moving Picture Institute – an organisation that says it produces films that promote understanding of “individual rights, limited government, and free markets”.

The MPI helped fund the 2004 pro-mining documentary Mine Your Own Business by Irish filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney.

The two would go on to make the 2009 climate science denial film Not Evil Just Wrong, which was partly funded through a grant from DonorsTrust – a fund which stockpiles cash from conservative philanthropists and that has pushed millions into organisations promoting climate science denial while fighting action to cut emissions.

Roland Mathiasson, Executive Vice President at the Copenhagen Consensus Center, told DeSmogBlog: “Not one dollar of this grant has been spent. It's for a potential future project, pending support from a broad range of political perspectives to underline the non-political nature of the project.

It is a project for the public conversation, so obviously there will be a lot of communication once broad support is secured, and the project is launched.”

Mathiasson declined to provide further details. DeSmogBlog attempted to contact the Paul E Singer Foundation to ask about their donation to CCC, but email requests went unanswered.

Bjorn Lomborg - left Paul E. Singer - right

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PR Flack Randal Simonetti Sells Conflict to Corporations

  • Posted on: 4 December 2014
  • By: Connor Gibson

Randal Simonetti. This isn't a joke - image via TalkZone.com

In the public relations world, there exists a subset known as crisis communications, or crisis management. This is the type of service a company like Takata may purchase to handle deaths and recalls from faulty air bags, how BP and Halliburton seek damage control after causing the worst accidental oil spill in history, or how TransCanada may hire (then fire) PR giants like Edelman to handle activist groups that are resisting development of tar sands pipelines.

Now, DeSmogBlog's Kevin Grandia (a former Greenpeace employee) reveals how one particularly un-savvy PR agent named Randal Simonetti is using Greenpeace campaigns to end deforestation in Indonesia as an excuse for companies to hire people like him to troll activists' Facebook pages and slander activists as a bunch of greedy hypocrites. Simonetti says that activists don't really care about the bad things corporations do, like "defoliating" forests. Instead, we're just a bunch of greedy treehuggers, laughing all the way to our eco-friendly banks credit unions:

As is often the case, funding is a primary driver of any activist organization’s behavior.  However, there are people within the activist organization that really do believe in the mission but dislike the strategy of attacking just to raise awareness to increase funding.

These folks are essentially whistle blowers.  Primarily, they only feel safe to express those opinions through social media therefore it is essential to search the social media networks for syntax clues provided by the whistle blowers. Then, expose that information through your own media channels.

This from the guy hired to protect the profit margins of large corporations during times of public scrutiny. Never considered is the fact that rainforest destruction in Indonesia is linked to slavery at palm oil plantations, local air pollution, global climate change, and habitat loss for critically endangered tigers and orangutans.

Randal Simonetti: don't solve the problem - attack the messenger!

DeSmog's Grandia sums up Mr. Simonetti's likely motivation nicely:

By assuming from the word go that the company is right and that activists are only in it for the money, Simonetti sets up a path that ends in ruin for both his client and for the environmental advocates who want to see positive change.

It creates a confrontation, instead of dialogue — a log jam before either party has even had the chance to consider the other's point of view.
 
It sets up a scenario where nobody wins.
 
Which, I guess if you are in the business of crisis communications, is a pretty lucrative situation to find yourself in.  

How Corporate Executives Imagine Protests

Most hilarious is the Tweet where Randal Simonetti's company, EFP Rotenberg, attempts to sell its bad advice with the most awkward of images. Apparently, this is what impeccably-groomed middle-aged white men think grassroots protests look like:

 

 

For those hungry for more laughs, the full Ignition Consulting / EFP Rotenberg blog can be viewed here. The Greenpeace International campaign it references was waged against chocolate giant Nestle to end its role in driving the destruction of Indonesia's Paradise Rainforest. That campaign ended in productive partnership, the way Greenpeace (and most companies) prefer to collaborate on solving important problems.

But if corporations would rather favor Ignition Consulting's conflict-mongering instead of listening to the case of activist groups seeking solutions, they have every right to waste their time and money doing so. We don't want that, nor do we recommend it.

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Evidence of Climate Denial in Koch-funded Florida State University Economics Department

  • Posted on: 9 April 2014
  • By: Connor Gibson

Crossposted from Greenpeace's blog, the EnvironmentaLIST.

Students at Florida State University are telling Charles Koch to stop compromising academic integrity with multimillion dollar grants that come with strings attached.

You may recall: back in 2011, two Florida State University (FSU) professors revealed that the Charles Koch Foundation was given inappropriate control over the professor hiring process in the economics department, where millions of dollars were granted from the Kansas billionaire. Three years later, the case still isn't closed on this corporate manipulation of university functions. The FSU students write:

Our university’s academic integrity has already been compromised from the influence of high-dollar donors like Koch, who managed to assume inappropriate control over our economics department’s curriculum and hiring process per an agreement signed in 2008. Three years have passed since FSU professors exposed Koch’s financial grip over our school and a committee of faculty senators formally rejected several stipulations of the agreement. Yet, it is clear that the administration refuses to act to appropriately limit outside influence on FSU’s educational operations.

A new agreement with Koch, signed by both ex-President Barron and current Interim President Garnett Stokes, still contains many provisions from the original agreement that were explicitly rejected by the faculty senators who reviewed it. Barron himself stated that the initial agreement “did provide the opportunity for outside influence” from Koch. This leads us to question whether the new agreement leaves that influence intact.

The op-ed focuses on the departure of Eric Barron, who is transitioning into the president's office at Penn State University after serving as president of Florida State University.

Mr. Barron is being celebrated for his expertise in climate science as he cycles into his new position at Penn State (which also gets money from Charles Koch).

Why does this matter? What's the relevance of President Eric Barron's climate change credentials?

Let's start with Florida State's economics department. FSU's economics department has received much of the $3,898,657 itemized to FSU in the Charles Koch Foundation's tax filings from 2009 to 2012.

Beyond the well-documented concerns highlighted by FSU students and professors alike, FSU's Koch-funed economics department appears to host professors who are misrepresenting climate science, a field well outside of their credentialed expertise.

Ph.D economist Yoram Bauman has twice reviewed and ranked economics textbooks for how accurately they portray climate change science. Citing top climate science institutions like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Bauman has repeatedly given a failing grade to a widely-used textbook authored by professors from several of the top Koch-funded schools across the country, including FSU. Three of these four authors have direct ties to FSU: one primary author is a current economics professor, one formerly taught in the FSU econ department, and one obtained his economics Ph.D at FSU.

These same four professors, who aren't climate scientists yet authored the worst economics textbooks in regard to climate science misinformation, are affiliated with numerous Koch-funded climate denial organizations. Such affiliations include the Tallahassee-based James Madison Institute, The Heartland Institute, the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) and the Association for Private Enterprise Education (APEE). These professors are closely affiliated with groups created and directly overseen by the Koch brothers, like the Cato Institute in Washington, DC and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

All of these climate denial front groups are affiliated through a Koch-funded umbrella called the State Policy Network. Koch Industries' executives are well-known for dumping tens of millions of dollars into organizations that deny the science or the solutions to global climate change. Now it appears that Koch-funded professors may be an extension of the same political campaign.

Florida State University students and faculty alike have good reason to ask hard questions about Charles Koch's grants to FSU. Whether or not the Koch money caused or simply encourages such manipulated teaching doesn't matter--lying to students about science is wrong and its one of the key controversial things that KochWorld has a habit of funding.

It is directly contrary to the principles of academic freedom for Koch to walk in and fund departments that then impose a curriculum reflecting Charles Koch's business interests and political strategies. Florida State University explicitly honors the principles of academic freedom in Koch's crosshairs. FSU students Jerry Funt, Gladys Nobriga, Lissa Reed and Ralph Wilson conclude their opinion piece emphatically:

As students striving to live by the Florida State seal of Vires, Artes, and Mores — strength, skill, and character — we’d rather not surrender our character just to serve Charles Koch. Our impartiality is more valuable than his money.

With FSU's outgoing president Eric Barron taking the helm at Penn State University, a good first step would be to ensure that Charles Koch's grants to Penn State aren't affecting the presentation of climate science or other critical topics to the student body. As a climate scientist, Mr. Barron must know how much is at stake when conversations regarding climate change are polluted executives at companies like Koch Industries, which profit from oil and gas operations.

Greenpeace strives to support students who are questioning Koch's manipulation of education through high-dollar grants, especially in the realm of science.

Check out the article and comments from the students themselves!

Check Greenpeace.org for more Koch Facts.

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