Secret funding helped build vast network of climate denial thinktanks | Environment | guardian.co.uk
Cat's out of the bag. The funding demonstrates that the conservative agenda is not about actual science, but preserving their business model.Conservative billionaires used a secretive funding route to channel nearly $120m (£77m) to more than 100 groups casting doubt about the science behind climate change, the Guardian has learned.
The funds, doled out between 2002 and 2010, helped build a vast network of thinktanks and activist groups working to a single purpose: to redefine climate change from neutral scientific fact to a highly polarising "wedge issue" for hardcore conservatives.
The millions were routed through two trusts, Donors Trust and the Donors Capital Fund, operating out of a generic town house in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington DC. Donors Capital caters to those making donations of $1m or more.
"We exist to help donors promote liberty which we understand to be limited government, personal responsibility, and free enterprise," she said in an interview.
The ready stream of cash set off a conservative backlash against Barack Obama's environmental agenda that wrecked any chance of Congress taking action on climate change.
"These groups are increasingly getting money from sources that are anonymous or untraceable. There is no transparency, no accountability for the money. There is no way to tell who is funding them," Davies said.
And although these think tanks have influence over government, the people donating to them can remain anonymous. Clandestined financial cabals such as these are the reason why democracy is threatened in most of the western world. They can use their massive fortunes to sway government without the public ever knowing who they are.
As a democratic people, we must stand up and insist our government create legal reforms that prevent lobbying on this massive scale.