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How the Koch Brothers Manipulate Climate Change Studies

By Joao Peixe | Mon, 10 December 2012 22:54 | 1

The Koch brothers, Charles and David, are the billionaire owners of Koch Industries, and two of the most obstinate climate change deniers out there.

It actually turns out that they will stop at nothing to try and dirty the reputation of climate science, even going as far as fixing renewable energy studies to provide proof to their cause.

Even when Richard Muller, a Berkeley physicist, reported earlier in the year that his 3 year long, Koch-funded investigation proved that global warming did exist, that human activity was largely responsible, and that it is having a far worse effect on the planet than commonly thought; the Koch’s just ignore the results and focused on another study that shows climate change is fake.

Two of the Koch brothers most powerful anti-climate science weapons, are the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Heartland Institute, both funded by Koch organisations, and both renowned for their anti-climate change stances.

Related Article: Climate Change and the Fiscal Cliff Both Lead to the Same Outcome

Under the direction of the Koch brothers ALEC, a lobby group, played a key role in derailing plans to setup the Midwest Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord, a six state cap and trade agreement. Then, there is the Heartland Institute, probably best known for its billboard that it erected in Chicago last May which compared supporters of global warming with ‘Unabomber’ domestic terrorist Ted Kaczynski.

Then just recently both organisations have been involved in a campaign against the new Electricity Freedom Act, which looks to increase utilities use of renewable energy and is already used in 29 states, claiming that it dramatically inflates electricity prices.

The reality is that electricity prices in the 29 states where the model legislation is already in effect, has not increased, in fact if anything it has decreased a bit.

When ALEC or the Heartland institute want to make a point, or release an attacking statement against renewable energy or climate change, they usually turn to studies commissioned by the American Tradition Institute, and State Policy Network, both of which are funded by the Koch brothers.

In a recent study undertaken by the Beacon Hill Institute, economist Michael Head admitted to the Washington Post that he and his colleagues manipulated the data to try and influence the results. Not necessarily anything huge, but just by leaving out certain key figures they can make the results seem to prove climate change sceptics when in fact they disprove them.

By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com

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  • PolluterWatch on January 07 2013 said:
    Correction: the Electricity Freedom Act is ALEC's model bill to REPEAL state renewable energy portfolio standards--the laws that require states to generate a certain percentage of their electricity from clean sources, usually a percentage that increases over time.

    Note also that The American Tradition Institute (basically a spinoff of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, another infamous Koch front that even Exxon was too embarrassed to keep funding) co-wrote some of the reports that ALEC is citing in their effort to kill clean energy laws--ALEC's Todd Wynn is also affiliated with ATI. Perhaps he wrote the very reports he was citing.

    And Beacon Hill Institute is at Suffolk University out of the economics dept. Charles Koch's foundation has sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to Suffolk in the last 4 years--the same foundation with contracts at George Mason University and Florida State giving them hiring control over the econ professors. I'd bet Suffolk's econ dept/Beacon Hill Inst. are the same.

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