Bjorn Lomborg has made a name for himself going around the world denying the severity of climate change. Unlike more extreme denialists such as Senator Inhofe, Lomborg does not claim climate change is an outright hoax. Instead, Lomborg does his best to present himself as a reasonable, learned skeptic claiming the effects of climate change will not come as soon nor be as severe as predicted by most scientists.
Lomborg’s best-selling 2001 book, The Skeptical Environmentalist, whose sequel served in part as the basis for the 2010 documentary film Cool It, sought to cast doubt on many concerns of the modern environmentalist movement including climate change. In the book and film, Lomborg often makes points about the environment using a cost-benefit analysis which reportedly justifies a less intense approach to the problem. Much of Lomborg’s work and research is affiliated with the Copenhagen Consensus Center which is affiliated with the Copenhagen Business School where Lomborg teaches.
But according to a recent report from Desmog Blog, successful funding for Lomborg’s denialist concern trolling of climate change may be less about the power of his arguments than the interests of the powerful fossil fuel industry, including Koch Industries.
The only income for the CCC in its first year in the US came in the form of a $120,000 grant from the New York-based Randolph Foundation. The foundation, seeded by money from the Richardson family’s sale of the Vick Chemical Company in 1985, gave CCC another $50,000 in 2012.
The main trustee at Randolph is Heather Higgins, the president and CEO of Independent Women’s Voice and the chairman of its sister organisation Independent Women’s Forum… A recent article from IWF senior fellow Vicki Alger claimed “a majority of scientists believe that global warming is largely nature-made” — ignoring several studies that show the vast majority of research from scientists studying climate change believe exactly the opposite. IWF funders include the Charles R. Lambe Foundation, controlled by Charles Koch, and Donors Trust, a fund for conservative philanthropists that has pushed millions into organisations promoting climate science denial and fighting laws to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
It appears that the Koch brothers and the fossil fuel industry have an “all of the above” approach to funding attacks on climate change. Not just those claiming it’s all a hoax, but also those trying to salami attack the science and social movements that support using that science to influence public policy. Good strategy if you have money and a planet to burn.
Yet even if this recent discovery of taking money from the fossil fuel industry dissipates what little credibility Lomborg had in the environmental movement, it’s now evident that there will be other hucksters willing to sign up for the fame and fortune that comes from trashing those who dare question those powerful interests that are trashing our planet.