A new study out of Drexel University in Philadelphia has exposed a billion dollar industry of fabrication-a complex construction of false information created by those engaged in climate change denial and the conservative organizations that support that denial. To uncover the organized effort, researchers examined the Climate Change Counter Movement (CCCM), a structured “think tank” supported by 91 official organizations and funded by 140 non-profits. The total budget for these synchronized groups as a whole is over 900 million dollars; funds that are provided largely by corporations, conservative organizations and groups set up specifically to promote climate change denial. The study, entitled Institutionalizing delay: foundation funding and the creation of U.S. climate change counter-movement organizations includes a meta-analysis of numerous previous studies.
The study found that these organizations and non-profits, as a unified body, deliberately put forth untrue propaganda in order to purposely confuse the public and create vast misunderstanding over climate change. The CCCM also endeavors to block legislation that could potentially harm the movement’s shareholders. The study states:
A number of analyses have shown that one major factor driving this misunderstanding and an overall lack of legislative action is a deliberate and organized effort to misdirect the public discussion and distort the public’s understanding of climate change.
The study found that stockholders who could be affected by climate change legislation are major funders of the CCCM. Two big players are Exxon Mobil and Koch Enterprises, although, according to the study, both of these organizations have recently “pulled back” from making easily identifiable public donations and have shifted to “untraceable sources,” also called “dark money,” to disseminate funds to the CCCM.
While NASA has attempted to settle the climate change “debate” once and for all by publishing definitive information about an overwhelming scientific consensus on its website which maintains that climate change exists and may pose major problems for the global population in the future; the organized CCCM has poured many millions of dollars into its own message, effectively creating a billion dollar industry of fabrication centered on climate change denial. This organized campaign to dupe the public has resulted in confusion about the established science put forth by by 97% of researchers who accept climate change as a real and significant concern.
The study found that the overarching concern of the CCCM is stopping any legislation which would regulate carbon emissions. This legislation would significantly negatively impact shareholders such as executives and board members of Exxon Mobil, and result in vast negative financial consequences for them. The movement was purposely enacted, the study claims, by “conservative think tanks—the key organizational component of the conservative movement – and their backers, (who) launched a full-scale counter-movement in response to the perceived success of the environmental movement and its supporters.”
The CCCM disseminates information in the form of editorials by its representatives about climate change which are published in sympathetic media forums and disseminated by both the Republican and Tea parties. Information is also spread by “provision of Congressional testimony, publication of documents on these organizations’ websites, the publication of conservative anti-climate change editorials, and books critical of the need to address climate change,” according to the study.
The study concludes by again stating that the main objective of the people involved in the CCCM is to secure the unlimited ability to use fossil fuels and create uncapped fuel emissions by effectively stopping any legislation that would negatively affect their ability to do so, thus protecting their own financial interests. The study explains:
The CCCM efforts focus on maintaining a field frame that justifies unlimited use of fossil fuels by attempting to delegitimize the science that supports the necessity of mandatory limits on carbon emissions. To accomplish this goal in the face of massive scientific evidence of anthropogenic climate change has meant the development of an active campaign to manipulate and mislead the public over the nature of climate science and the threat posed by climate change.
The study author also describes the CCCM movement as “identical” to the overall conservative movement in the United States, and illuminates the fact that the major funders of the movement are conservative non-profit organizations and Republican and Tea Party politicians, who have direct ties to the large corporations that are the primary beneficiaries of the blocked legislation.
This new study out of Drexel University says climate change denial is a billion dollar industry of fabrication, and likens the Climate Change Counter Movement to a complex play purposely scripted by well-funded writers and directors. The study suggest that just as a play is often a fabrication intended to produce a certain end result, so is the CCCM. It further suggests that the corporate financial interests behind this fabrication are the only entities that stand to benefit from the movement’s ongoing false constructions.
By: Rebecca Savastio