Investigation: Trump Climate Denial Committee

Investigation: Trump Climate Denial Committee

The Washington Post broke the story that the White House plans to “create an ad hoc group of select federal scientists to reassess the government’s analysis of climate science and counter conclusions that the continued burning of fossil fuels is harming the planet.” Spearheading this proposed Presidential Committee on Climate Security is William Happer, a member of Trump’s National Security Council and head of the climate denying CO2 Coalition.

A follow up article published by the Post cites research and documents provided by CIC, showing that Happer’s CO2 Coalition received $170,000 from the Mercer Family Foundation and more than $33,000 from the Charles Koch Institute in 2017. This news builds on CIC research published last year exposing $150,000 in Mercer grants to the CO2 Coalition and just over $13,000 from the Charles Koch Institute.

This research generated a wave of press, leading to interviews with Kert Davies including the following excerpted highlights:

Meet The Ostriches Under Consideration For Trump’s Anti-Science Climate Panel
Huffington Post, Chris D’Angelo, Chris D’Angelo, February 26, 2019

Kert Davies, director of the Climate Investigations Center, told HuffPost that the early list of candidates would indicate that the White House has opted to turn to folks in academia rather than representatives of climate denial think tanks. Though that might make it seem like they have more credibility, all bring “different flavors of denial,” Davies said.

“These guys’ arguments are only held in high regard amongst a very small club of climate deniers,” he said. “They are not included in mainstream thinking about climate science. And they variously attack the temperature record or the modeling.”

Pro-Trump Billionaires Continue To Bankroll Climate Denial
Huffington Post, Chris D’Angelo, February 27, 2019

The Mercers divvied out a total $15,222,302 to 37 nonprofits in 2017, according to the foundation’s most recently available 990 tax form, which researchers at the Climate Investigations Center shared with HuffPost. That’s down from the approximately $19 million they gave to 44 nonprofits one year earlier.

Roughly one-third of all the foundation’s 2017 contributions ― just shy of $5 million ― went to nonprofits that oppose federal regulations targeting greenhouse gas emissions, challenge the scientific consensus that human-caused climate change is an immediate crisis, or promote or funnel cash to denial proponents.

“It appears that climate denial is a priority of the Mercer family,” Kert Davies, director of the Climate Investigations Center, told HuffPost.
(Reposted on Grist)

Trump adviser created group to defend CO2
E&E News, Scott Waldman, February 28, 2019

In particular, the emerging White House effort led by Happer is one of their most significant achievements in a “long campaign of denial,” said Kert Davies, director of the Climate Investigations Center, an advocacy group.

“The deniers have been pushing uncertainty and fighting the scientific consensus for 20 or 30 years,” he said. “And this is exactly what they want. They want a debate on the science, and there is no debate.”
(Reposted in Science Magazine)

As evidence of man-made global warming hits ‘gold standard’, Robert Mercer continues funding denialists
Oil Change International, Andrew Rowell, March 1, 2019

A new investigation by the Climate Investigations Centre and HuffPost, found that in 2017, Robert Mercer and his family foundation donated nearly $5 million to nonprofits and think tanks that “that oppose federal regulations targeting greenhouse gas emissions, challenge the scientific consensus that human-caused climate change is an immediate crisis, or promote or funnel cash to denial proponents.”

This included $170,000 donation to the CO2 Coalition, which was co-founded by William Happer, out of the ashes from the now defunct George C Marshall Institute.

Kert Davies, director of the Climate Investigations Center, who has spent decades exposing the climate deniers, told HuffPost: “It appears that climate denial is a priority of the Mercer family.”
(Reposted on CommonDreams)

Posted by Climate Investigations Center