Shocking News: Donations Follow Opinions—Who Knew?


The Greenpeace noise machine managed to persuade the Guardian to publish a "shocking" article detailing the amazing fact that donors tend to support groups that advocate points of view with which they generally agree. To the report:

A Greenpeace Investigation has identified a little-known, privately owned US oil company as the paymaster of global warming sceptics in the US and Europe.

The environmental campaign group accuses Kansas-based Koch Industries, which owns refineries and operates oil pipelines, of funding 35 conservative and libertarian groups, as well as more than 20 congressmen and senators. Between them, Greenpeace says, these groups and individuals have spread misinformation about climate science and led a sustained assault on climate scientists and green alternatives to fossil fuels.

Greenpeace says that Koch Industries donated nearly $48m (£31.8m) to climate opposition groups between 1997-2008. From 2005-2008, it donated $25m to groups opposed to climate change, nearly three times as much as higher-profile funders that time such as oil company ExxonMobil. Koch also spent $5.7m on political campaigns and $37m on direct lobbying to support fossil fuels.

The Guardian article then lists ten different policy groups that the Koch industries and the associated foundation have supported over the years. Perusing Greenpeace's report one finds various amounts donated to the listed groups. I have no idea if these figures are correct or not, but let's assume they're in the ballpark. So what? 

Reason Foundation which publishes Reason magazine and this blog, is listed in the Greenpeace report as having received a total of $1.7 million from the Koch Foundation over the years. Greenpeace also notes that David Koch "was the 1980 Vice Presidential candidate for the anti-regulatory Libertarian Party" and that he sits on the foundation's board of directors—both of which are true facts. Greenpeace doesn't give much attention to us, but does describe us as a "rightwing climate-denier think tank."

The chief piece of evidence for Reason's perfidy, Greenpeace oddly cites an opinion piece done for the policy side of the foundation by analyst Indur Goklany dealing with the issue of compensating poor countries for climate change damages. Greenpeace characterizes that piece as an example of Free Market Environmentalism that allegedly argues "that those who suffer from the effects of global warming have little legal or moral claim for compensation from GHG emitters." For my part, I think the Goklany analysis can be more accurately characterized as pointing out how the empirical evidence for the costs and benefits stemming from the emissions of greenhouse gases vitiate the argument that harms must be compensated while benefits are ignored. Read it for yourself and make up your own mind.

I find Greenpeace's assertion that the Reason Foundation is a "climate denier think tank" an amusing example of the sort of misinformation that one expects to emanate from the PR apparatus of that vast international green lobbying group. Misinformation? Well, there is my 2005 column "We're All Global Warmers Now" where I wrote:

Anyone still holding onto the idea that there is no global warming ought to hang it up.

And Geenpeace evidently overlooked by my 2006 magnum magna mea culpa "Confessions of an Alleged Exxon Mobil Whore" in which I wrote:

Since I work for a self-described libertarian magazine that should indicate to even the dimmest reader that I tend to have a healthy skepticism of government "solutions" to problems, including government solutions to environmental problems. I have long argued that the evidence shows that most environmental problems occur in open access commons-that is, people pollute air, rivers, overfish, cut rainforests, and so forth because no one owns them and therefore no one has an interest in protecting them. One can solve environmental problems caused by open access situations by either privatizing the commons or regulating it. It will not surprise anyone that I generally favor privatization. That's because I believe that the overwhelming balance of the evidence shows that centralized top-down regulation tends to be costly, slow, often ineffective, and highly politicized. As a skeptic of government action, I had hoped that the scientific evidence would lead to the conclusion that global warming would not be much of a problem, so that humanity could avoid the messy and highly politicized process of deciding what to do about it. Unhappily, I now believe that balance of evidence shows that global warming could well be a significant problem.

For the conspiracy minded (and I suspect disingenuous) folks over at Greenpeace I will point out once again that donors tend to support …

…the Reason Foundation because my colleagues robustly defend the free enterprise system. "Follow the money" is often pretty good advice when evaluating the source of information, but in the think tank and public policy magazine realm money tends follow opinion, rather than the other way around.

It bears mentioning that many of the conservative and free market organizations listed by Greenpeace devote a comparatively small amount of their budgets and analysis to global warming policy. Just for comparison, consider this 2001 Sacramento Bee series, "Environment Inc" (download) which noted:

Donations are at flood stage. In 1999, individuals, companies and foundations gave an average of $9.6 million a day to environmental groups, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, which monitors nonprofit fund raising…. In 1999, environmental groups nationwide took in a record $3.5 billion in donations.

That was ten years ago. Are the companies, foundations, and individuals who donate tens of millions to Greenpeaace buying that lobbying group's opinions or are they just supporting the work of folks with whom they agree?

Whole overwrought Guardian article is here.

For those suspicious types, they may check out an absurdly long personal disclosure here (scroll down).

NEXT: Rock The Youth Vote Up The Ying-Yang When it Comes to Health Care Reform!

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  1. “Koch Industries, which owns refineries and operates oil pipelines, of funding 35 conservative and libertarian groups, as well as more than 20 congressmen and senators…have spread misinformation about climate science and led a sustained assault on climate scientists and green alternatives to fossil fuels. Well, that sure as hell explains Reason but not the constant fundraising;-)

    1. London, England (CNN) — The UK scientist at the center of the “Climategate” controversy over leaked e-mails has been cleared of hiding or manipulating data by a parliamentary committee.

      But lawmakers who had been investigating the row over global warming science said in a report published Wednesday that climate scientists must publish all their raw data and methods to ensure the research is “irreproachable.”

      1. Yeah, they were talking about that on NPR (actually, it might have been BBC news) this morning, and they gave surprisingly balanced coverage of it.

        The secrecy over the original, raw data is the only legitimate dispute, but that is the one that nobody seems to talk about…or at least in the mainstream media, they seem to simplify the debate to his use of the word “trick”. The fact of the matter is, they have not even tried to prove this “divergence” of the tree-ring/climate relationship. They expect us to believe that radial growth responded consistently over millenia, but then suddenly changed about 30 to 50 years ago.

  2. KOCHTOPUS!!11!!

    1. Damn! You beat me to it!

  3. From 2005-2008, it donated $25m to groups opposed to climate change,

    I thought Greenpeace opposed climate change. Perhaps I was mistaken.

    1. Good catch

      1. but please release it

  4. I suppose Greenpeace is funded by the Japanese whaling industry. Because that would make total sense.

    1. (bad Japanese accent)

      Fuck you whale, and fuck you dolphin!!!

      1. (good japanese accent)

        Fuck you goadzera!!!

        1. Actually, Godzilla in the original Japanese is “Gojira.”

  5. It is noteworthy that Reason advocates “Free Markets” yet accepts donations from corporations, which operate with special priviliges granted by the government (limited liability).

    1. You are an inferior troll. Go away. Just because you’re trying to humanize the Tony and Chad attempts doesn’t make this work.

      1. Actually, that trolling deserves at least a “C”. Keep it up and you’ll be in the big leagues with joepboyle and “Neil”.

        1. No it doesn’t. It is not even to D- status since the idiot clearly doesn’t even know what “limited liability” means. Corporations and fully liable for any torts they commit. Limited liability applies to individual shareholders investment and simply means that some grandma with a few shares of Enron can’t lose her home and retirement for something she had no control over. Enron’s liability however, both civil and criminal, was not limited.

          1. Yes, the limited liability applies to the owners of the corporation. I thought that went without saying. But it is still a government issued privilege.

            1. I guess the question is, why do you aspire to be only a C level troll?

              1. He’s a slacker, sage. They can’t all be Cesar.

            2. Just to clarify…

              If someone was caught stealing beef from a grocery and didn’t have enough money to compensate the grocer, you think they should have the meat flayed from their bones and given to the grocer as recompense?

              Or do you instead believe in the government-issued “privilege” of limited liability for people…

            3. You either didn’t know what it meant or you were being deceptive in saying corporations “operate” with limited liability.

              Besides, any legal theory holding a person responsible for something they didn’t do is equally tied to some government policy decision so you’re grasping and some pretty thin straw there. But keep trying.

              1. So the irony of course is that when the Reason Foundation gets corporate donations to promote their “free market” message that money is tainted by the fact it was earned with the government’s help.

                1. The entire libertarian movement is tainted by the fact that its products can’t make any profits on its own and its ideas can’t succeed in the marketplace of ideas without wealthy interests constantly suckling them.

                  1. Tony, with you being a member of a party that hates profit… go fuck yourself.

                  2. Because everyone knows that the popularity of an idea is a direct measure of it’s correctness.

                2. I gather that you have a theory explaining how limited liability corporations would be impossible in an anarchy. Please do tell. It seems to me that they would be very natural occupants of the ecosystem of cooperative associations.

                  Others, of course, could choose not to deal with them if they don’t like their limited liability provisions. Kind of, umm, kind of like today.

            4. Yes, the limited liability applies to the owners of the corporation. I thought that went without saying. But it is still a government issued privilege.

              Only to the extent that the tort laws allowing a plaintiff to recover damages are also a government-issued privilege.

              Think about it. It’ll come to you.

              1. Limited liability does not refer just to torts but also to debt…shareholders’ risk is mitigated.

                1. And people who offer corporations credit are well aware of this fact and price it into the interest rate.

                  I await your explanation of how an anarchist society would be devoid of limited liability corporations. If you have no case for that, you have no case for claiming it’s a government-issued privilege.

        2. He’ll never be in either’s league. Say what you will about joe, but he was offtimes provocative and occasionally funny as hell. Scotch couldn’t get an intern position with joe boyle.

          Neil is a legend. Like the Babe, we will never see his like again.

          1. You’re right. I was just trying to encourage the n00b. I miss joe and Neil terribly sometimes.

            1. Be careful what you wish for

    2. They also accept donations from food stamp recipients too.

    3. Hello Shit Facktory!

    4. They would probably accept donations from retired public sector pensioners too, to be fair.

    5. Any time I smell Chomsky on someone I immediately write them off.

      Let me guess, you recently watched ‘The Corporation’.

  6. As an actual climate denier (because the concept “climate” is about as scientifically rigorous as “fuckhead”), I resent being lumped in with you useful-idiot cost-benefit fuckheads.

    1. You know Euro, you remind me of an iguana I once met on the shores of Iwo Jima.

  7. So, Ron, you’re not an Exxon Mobile whore. You’re a Koch whore. I hope you’re proud of yourself.

    1. Jeebus, Vanneman, considering how much you whore out your work hoping that someone will read it, it’s a bit rich to be calling Ron a whore. Even though he is.

      1. You know I have to agree with Epi. But I can’t stay as I am currently writing the book “Little Women”.

    2. Shut the fuck up, Vanneman. Jesus Christ, you suck.

    3. Alan, I may just be a fictional character, but if you write one more wretched book about me, I swear to god I’ll hunt you down and shove my pipe straight up your ass, you shit-eating hack.

      1. Damn. I tried not to picture Robert Downey, Jr. saying this, but I did anyway.

        1. I pictured Edward Norton; I would have cast him instead.

          1. Patrick Stewart. Hands-down shoulda been Holmes.

            1. I like me some Patrick Stewart, but he would be a terrible Holmes. He’s too freaking old, for starters.

              Jeremy Brett as Holmes will never be surpassed.

  8. “climate-denier”

    What does that even mean?

    Is it supposed to make us think “Holocaust-denier”?

    1. Thanks for a partial answer, ?.

    2. “Climate deniers” believe that climate is a myth, perpetuated by atmospheric interests.

      1. ZIONIST atmospheric interests.

    3. Yes. It’s a phrase the left came up with intentionally to brand anyone that disagrees with them ss comparable to a holocaust denier.

      It’s a DELIBERATE tactic. Intentional. Not an accident.

  9. “Perusing Greenpeace’s report one finds various amounts donated to the listed groups. I have no idea if these figures are correct or not, but let’s assume they’re in the ballpark. So what? Reason Foundation which publishes Reason magazine and this blog, is listed in the Greenpeace report as having received a total of $1.7 million from the Koch Foundation over the years. ” Newsflash, Bailey, we already know who is on your board and their politics. The news is whether you can validate or dismiss the donations amount. If greenpeace is inaccurate, say so or are you having trouble getting confirmation from a source?

    1. rectal, you’re trying too hard. Just loosen up, it’ll slide right in.

      1. Don’t confuse me with your wife or dog.

        1. You just made a comment about comparing you to a dog. I…I…don’t know what to say. I feel like utilizing what you just gave me would be like beating up a crippled kid.

          You know, it’s a lot more fun when you present a challenge.

          1. Epi, I hate you

            1. Pics! Pics! Pics! I mean pics of rctl. We already know Epi is devastatingly handsome.

            2. Good.

    2. Newsflash, Bailey, we already know

      People who begin their sentences with ‘newsflash’ always make me feel like one of the cool kids in comparison.

      1. Sort of like “Gee willikers, Bailey, we already know…”

  10. Is there anything that you do, Ron that’s not absurdly long?

      1. yup

  11. NASA Data Worse Than Climate-Gate Data, Space Agency Admits

    E-mail messages obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that NASA concluded that its own climate findings were inferior to those maintained by both the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) — the scandalized source of the leaked Climate-gate e-mails — and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center.

  12. If the air they breathed was regulated by the government, would they be hypocrites? How could you oppose receiving a donation from an organization, individual, or corporation that exists under government law. And guess what, they were given government mandated fiat money. Why not gold or silver? Because it is not practical, nor is denying money from a corporation that must exist as one in order to prosper.

    1. “If the air they breathed was regulated by the government”

      The government does regulate the air.

      1. I mean in a literal sense, nothing to do with the failures (and I guess successes?) of the EPA.

        1. They do. It’s now called “individual mandate”.

  13. Shockingly,amoung Greenpeace’s donor’s is a disproportionately large number of climate change BELIEVERS.

    Clearly, Greenpeace is a tool in the pay of the climate change industry.

    1. I’m surprised I had scroll down so far before somebody pointed it out. There are, of course, financial interests on both sides of the debate.

      1. I need some entity to fund me for awhile.

        1. How dare Koch make money from crude oil drilling, by the way? It’s immoral.

        2. What’s fund got ta do with it, Raggedy Man?

  14. Greenpeace doesn’t give much attention to us, but does describe us as a “rightwing climate-denier think tank.”

    They’ve got you there. Denying that climate exists really does make you look stupid. 😉

  15. Throwing around “right wing” as a slur when you’re confused by any non-leftist politics is so last season, Greenpeace. Just part of the reason (drink?) that this privately-held chick donates to Reason, and you’ll never see a dime from me.

    1. They clearly either no nothing about Reason or nothing about politics in general.

      1. KNOW.

        Dammit. Why do I type sounds instead of words. I do that with once/wants all the time too.

    2. privately-held chick

      Everyone knows that you’re open to the public, Dagny.

      1. That didn’t take long. Good Warty.

        You’d think that Steve Smith would be less rape-y when we’re in public, but you’d be wrong.

        1. Well, you ARE a character in Ayn Rand novel. One would think that rape-y-ness would be obligatory.

  16. Bailey is a tool of BIG KOCH!

    1. Bailey loves Big Koch.

  17. Climb it’s den higher.

    1. What is that, ebonics? ;-P

      1. I think it’s Creole or something.. 😉

  18. Let me be clear. The time for donating to causes you support has ended. From now on, in the interest of social justice, you will be required to donate money to causes you do not support. Take heathcare for example.

    1. Most of these Fauxbama posts are infuriating because they tend to be truer than they should be.

    2. Please.

    3. …Americans are tired of the mistakes of the past, and that is why we must undertake bold, new mistakes, with consequences yet undreamed-of.

      1. No one will ever read this, but this is just hi-fucking-larious to me…

      2. +1 from me as well

  19. Yes, children, at some point you will learn that living in a civilization sometimes requires you to do things you’d rather not.

    1. D-

      YOU SUCK. Our obnoxious sockpuppet trolls are better than you. Go away, or else do something original.

      1. Yeah, this one was pretty terrible. I rescind my encouragement of this troll.

      2. thank you

    2. Every day I suceed in not beating the shit out of twerps like you. That’s civilised!

    3. And that would be because …. ?

      1. Because Scotch will have a temper tantrum if you do not obey his will.

  20. the amazing fact that donors tend to support groups that advocate points of view with which they generally agree.

    That’s not what this is. This is corporate money spent to peddle lies because if too many believed in reality it might hurt their bottom line. This is not a robust marketplace of ideas, this is huge amounts of money being spent to discredit science, which is not so richly resourced for messaging purposes.

    Congratulations to Mr. Bailey for… what? Not being a science denier? Reason still does propaganda work for its corporate donors and it’s not really a secret. There wouldn’t BE free market fundamentalism without wealthy backers giving the philosophy affirmative action in the form of large amounts of money. There’s not a single laissez-faire philosopher or publication that I can think of that has succeeded in the marketplace of ideas without significant subsidization.

    1. free market fundamentalism without wealthy backers giving the philosophy affirmative action


    2. free market fundamentalism without wealthy backers giving the philosophy affirmative action

      C. Maybe a C+. See, Scotch? You have a long way to go.

      1. You’re no Cesar

    3. Popularity bears no relation to truth.

      1. Yeah, Tony and Chad shit all over Scotch. Although I might be damning those two with faint praise by saying that.

      2. But succeeding in the free market (meaning not being propped up by donations) is the beginning and end to all virtue is it not?

            1. If you ONLY had a brain…

          1. Ohhh so it’s OK when actual libertarian products can’t succeed except through charity, but we can’t have subsidized healthcare because people might get all uppity about their healthcare needs.

            Libertarians need to stop distorting the marketplace of ideas with its refusal to submit itself to fair competition.

            1. Let’s see if you can figure out the difference between voluntary charity and coercion.

              1. What difference does it make? It still distorts the supply and demand equation, right?

            2. Not at ALL, you moron!

              Supply & demand distortions ONLY come from force.

              If people are voluntarily paying for a service (i.e. through charity), they are adding to the overall information that market signals provide by sticking their own money in their mouth and ponying up for something they believe is good.

              That’s all those signals are in every case. It’s *REAL* people supporting the things they value – and therefore increasing the knowledge, and the financial ability of producers to supply more of that good.

              Government force distorts those signals because it makes it seem like people are supporting a certain good when in fact… They aren’t. But money is just a representation of resources, so whatever lots of money is being directed towards is what will be supplied. Government, unfortunately, has powers that regular consumers don’t. For one thing, they can write laws making it illegal to supply anything they don’t want, they can also provide massive incentives through taxes to supply what they do – and if that fails, they can run the printing press and flood certain industries (say… housing?) with shitloads of money that has no correlation to real savings.

              When that happens, producers are actively engaged in supplying something that few people actually are demanding, but are forced to pay for purely because it suits the whims of some oligarchy.

              I really… Jesus…. Sometimes, Tony, I come on here thinking maybe you’ll have listened and learned something about economics since I last read something of yours… But no.

              Every fucking time, you say something more retarded and expose your complete and utter ignorance on the subject.

              Charity is a PERFECTLY libertarian concept – since it’s about voluntarism and supporting causes we value with our own money.

              Taking other people’s money by force, to support causes that you value is just theft, and fucks up market signals and distorts supply & demand, to boot.

              But I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised that you don’t yet grasp the difference between putting your OWN money where your mouth is, and getting guys with guns to take from your neighbors instead.

              1. I still say force is a red herring.

                Take two products, widget A and widget B.

                Widget A submits itself to the market and succeeds or fails based on real demand.

                Widget B submits itself to the market, but is also bought up in bulk by people who want to make it seem more popular than it is.

                If both sell in equal amounts, are they both equally successful in the market equation?

                Ann Coulter’s books hit bestseller lists, but only because they are bought in bulk by rightwing organizations to distribute for free. Only a very superficial reading of the market would lead you to conclude that there exists as large a demand for Ann Coulter’s books as sales indicate.

                Of course government can distort the market similarly. In many cases, though, that’s its job. If a democratic polity demands something the market can’t or won’t provide, then government can create the supply. I don’t believe market forces are magical or always produce optimal outcomes. I think they should be manipulated when necessary.

                1. Tony, tell us left-wingers who write books don’t do the same bulk-buying ploy.

                  PLEASE tell us. With a straight face.

                  1. They don’t. Not that it’s relevant. It was just an example.

                    1. I call bullshit, Tony. No way Hillary sold THAT many copies of “her” book, for instance.

                      And it IS relevant.

                    2. What exactly did the former Democrat Speaker of the House Jim Wright have to resign over?

                      “Wright became the target of an inquiry by the House Ethics Committee. Their report in early 1989 implied that he had used bulk purchases of his book, ‘Reflections of a Public Man”, to earn speaking fees in excess of the allowed maximum, and that his wife, Betty, was given a job and perks to avoid the limit on gifts. Faced with an increasing loss of effectiveness, he resigned as Speaker on May 31, 1989, effective upon the selection of a successor.”

                      Oh, yeah…that.

                2. Were the transactions involving both voluntary? This is not hard.

                3. Tony,

                  those evil organizations you allege to be buying up books are doing so with their own money, which they obtained through VOLUNTARY means.

                  A government doing the same thing would be using my money, which it obtained through INVOLUNTARY means.

                  Can you spot the difference? Or are you being wilfully blind?

                  1. That last bit was just rhetorical, right?

                  2. A tyrannical government would be obtaining your stuff by involuntary means. A representative democracy does it with permission.

                    The point is, how much money you can suck from the universe isn’t the only way to value things, and that single metric shouldn’t dictate how we all live our lives.

                    1. WTF?

                      There is no permission with taxation you jackass.

                      And you’re the only one advocating “sucking money from the universe”! The rest of us are advocating EARNING it, SAVING it, then spending it only on the things that we actually VALUE.

                      Which, if you actually understood what money was, you’d realize is actually the whole point of economic activity to begin with – substituting an less satisfactory state of being for a better one through the exchange of services & goods.

                      In the market, absent government subsidies and all the rest of it, the exchange only takes place if both parties believe they will be better off than they would be if they kept whatever it was (their time, their boat, their sweet ass collection of Pogs, whatever…) and didn’t make the trade.

                      Government distorts that by adding FORCE into the equation. Now suddenly it doesn’t matter that I don’t think giving you my boat for your socket wrench will make me better off – you get a bunch of guys with guns, badges and funny hats to take the boat anyway, and then you give that to yourself and/or one of the people you claim to represent.

                      Your failure to understand economics is what leads you to conclude I’m actually just talking about “money”… I’m not, and I’ve covered that point with you before.

                      F = FAIL, Tony.

        1. Donations are part of a free market.

        2. No, Tony, succeeding without coercion is the beginning and end to all virtue virtuous. Actually, failing without coercion is still virtuous, but comes with the unfortunate side effect of failure.

          Markets are an example of non-coercive means for humans to realize their goals, but so are aid societies, churches, charities, voluntary co-ops, wikipedia, open source software projects, and political nonprofits.

          1. As are the Navi. Fucking Glenn Beck. I’d like to terminate his ass.

          2. The whole point of having a representative democracy is so that government is not coercive but acts with the permission of the people. (Not that it doesn’t coerce, but it does so with our permission, at least in theory.)

            A functioning government is just a mutual aid society writ large.

            To say otherwise is simply to say that all cooperative groups of humans are tyrannical, and you’d have to call yourself an anarchist. A five member school board votes. It’s how groups decide things. Just because you don’t get your way doesn’t mean you’re shackled by a dictator.

            1. The point of having a representative democracy is to give the populace the power to throw out bad rulers without a socially and economically wrenching bloodbath.

              To say otherwise is simply to say that all cooperative groups of humans are tyrannical, and you’d have to call yourself an anarchist.

              This is ridiculous. A government is not a mutual aid society writ large: it is a purported mutual aid society writ coercive.

              No one is denying on this thread that government may have its place. The point, which you fail to grasp, is that the sphere of coercive behavior — i.e., nonvoluntary, or coercion would not be required — should be as small as practically possible while the sphere of voluntary behavior — i.e., markets — should be as large as practically possible.

            2. Incidentally, your school board example is a perfect demonstration of the concept.

              A school board. A board to determine how the schools are run. So simple. And yet implicit in the whole system is a minority that does not get its way — that is worse off for some, most, or all of the decisions the school board makes — that is, for all intents and purposes, forced into an involuntary association.

              Even if you believe that government should pay for schooling, you can decrease the sphere of coercion and increase the sphere of voluntary association by being coercive only in gathering taxes but not being coercive in administering the schools. Subsidize the student rather than the school and there is no need for a coercive school board.

    4. Yes, and money never influences the climate change “science”.

      1. What, those vast resources of Big Windmill?

        Get your head out of your ass.

        1. Private business aren’t the only ones who can be self-interested. Scientists have scared politicians and bureaucrats into giving them more money so they can continue researching their imminent doomsday scenario.

          1. I’ve conducted forestry research that revealed trends that the eco-terrorists who funded me didn’t want made public. So, you know what happened…my contract was not renewed. That’s how it works. I could have lied, hidden data, or just done shoddy work to begin with, and I would be making good money in a gorgeous place.

            By the way, they ended up just lying in their reports (and even in a federal court case) about the results.

          2. Nope, it’s still firmly wedged up there.

            Do you have any evidence whatsoever for your claim that an entire field of science is doing criminally shoddy work for the sake of government grants? And that not only is an entire field of science corrupt, but it’s so clever it’s managed to convince every government in the world of its lies.

            The Guardian article explains the money trail from the oil industry to climate denial propaganda, so surely you can offer something to back up your ridiculous claim.

            The leaps of imagination you have to take to believe this crap don’t pass any test of sanity or logic.

            1. Tony, I experience it every day in my field.

            2. Also, they don’t have to convince the governments of the world of their lies. They politicians eat it up, because the idea that everything we do releases greenhouses gases (which in turn harm innocents elsewhere) means that they can justify controlling everything we do.

              1. Politicians hate that they have to worry about climate change. Does reinventing the energy paradigm for the planet sound like the kind of haul a modern politician wants to carry? Scientists are begging politicians to act based on the facts they’ve uncovered, and politicians the world over are dragging their feet.

                Let’s coin “the Bond test.” If your explanation of reality contains mustachioed evildoers whose plans are so convoluted that they make Bond villains look positively mundane and practical, check your premises.

                1. Which politicians hate worrying about climate change!?

                  Fuck man… This is asinine! Climate change gives virtually all politicians carte blanc to redirect federal tax dollars to projects in their own states, slap their names on new structures like windmill farms and get the massive playing with puppies-style kudos of altruistically “helping” the environment.

                  Every damn bit of this is political gold.

                  The only reason some politicians are “dragging their feet” in your world view is that they’re not going full steam ahead raping evreybody around the world out of their hard earned resources to dole out to your pet projects.

                  God damn you’re an idiot.

                  1. Sean,

                    You sound ridiculous. The entire worldwide scientific community and all the governments of the world are engaged in a massive, unprecedented conspiracy to convince people of global warming so they can use it as an excuse to seize power for some vague, undefined ends.

                    And the poor, oppressed deniers are the only ones speaking truth to that power, power so apparently omnipotent one wonders why it would need to invent climate change to achieve its nefarious goals anyway.

                    Oh, and by the way, you brave deniers are being funded by the fucking oil industry, who are obviously just neutral observers seeking the triumph of truth.

                    Does it hurt to believe this much poppycock?

            3. Tony, please read the research for yourself. So many peer-reviewed journal articles (not the ones in Newsweek or NYT) present evidence that contradicts the notion of AGW, but then they finish the article off with some token line about how the current study does not undermine AGW. It’s not that big of a secret within the community that they’re just trying to maintain their funding by throwing out non-sequiturs about AGW, even when the research is completely unrelated.

            4. Yet, it’s perfectly credible to say that monied interests are completely and utterly dominating alternative viewpoints.

              Let’s go back and think about this for a sec, Tony.

              Money is flooding into the “Green” industry, and in fact, on a profitability level it far exceeds that of non-green labeled products. This is purely a result of the hysteria surrounding global climate change fears.

              There are literally hundreds of billions of dollars at stake and thus huge incentives for everyone to keep up the fear-mongering. I know you know how this works with regard to the military-industrial complex… How is it that you can’t understand how it works with government research grants and industry that benefits immensely from over-blown hype in environmentalism?

              1. Even if everyone was furiously donating to support their pet causes in the way you say, you would have to admit that the petroleum industry certainly has an incentive to do the same. They also happen to be the most profitable industry in the history of the world. They also have a direct, obvious stake in this matter.

                Assuming scientific reality, you can’t really bitch about people investing in green tech. That would seem to be a rational thing to do. Be suspicious of their motives all you want but you can’t say with a straight face that green industries can compete with oil in terms of resources and political influence.

                1. Of course they do… But the green tech can’t compete with oil largely because they are almost across the board poorer uses of resources – they cost more (even without subsidies), are less popular, require huge infrastructure changes, and don’t work as well.

                  I’m not the one pretending that all the money is on one side of this thing… Or that even “money” is the only thing that matters – since as Thomas has been pointing out, scientists who don’t tow the party lion are ostracized and have their careers destroyed. So who wants that?

                2. Tony, I’m glad we’re reaching an agreement. It’s good that you can move beyond the knee-jerk “head out of your ass” reactions and discuss the issue. Of course now you’re just trying to change the subject.

                  Just so you know, I reached my conclusion of AGW skepticism through the academic literature. If you read it carefully, you begin to notice missing information and unjustified data manipulation (e.g. correcting for the supposed tree-ring divergence), as well as the non-sequiturs I mentioned above. I’m not some right-wing schmuck who just laps up whatever Fox news tells me; I’ve done a hell of a lot more research on the subject and work in the field than 99% of the people who have adopted this as their pet cause (on both sides). I think you would be surprised by how many climatologists and environmental scientists feel the same way as me. In fact, not long ago, I was in a car with a meteorologist, a dendroecologist, and a statistician. Someone hesitantly brought up the subject of the CRU emails, and before you know it, three of the four of us went on an hour long rant agreeing that there is no reliable evidence for global warming. Maybe it was an odd coincidence, but in that car of experts only 25% agreed that global warming is taking place at all.

                  1. Thomas, that anecdotal car contained not a single climate expert. Among actual climate experts, there is widespread agreement. Interesting article in NYT the other day about meteorologists vs. climate scientists, btw.

                    You may very well be better versed in the subject than I am. I don’t claim to have expert opinion, so my only recourse is to survey expert opinion. That means actual experts over the entire field and not some conversation that happened in a car.

                    1. Tony, do you even know what a dendroecologist does?

                    2. There are very few people who are actually “climatologists”. Most people who could reasonably be called “climatologists” study climate from a particular angle, whether that’s the trends of synoptic meteorology, climatic impacts on tree growth, or statistical analysis of climate data, physics, etc. Those are the very people you’re relying on.

                    3. Wow, this shows that Tony really has no idea what he’s talking about. I’m in planetary science and I would consider both a meteorologist and a dendroecologist “climate experts” in any general sense of the word.

                      Also, those kinds of conversations is how science is actually done, Tony. There are no experts in the “entire field” of “climate”…just like there is no expert in the “entire field” of physics. Wait, even much more general than that, more like there is no such thing as an expert in the “entire field” of “nature”.

                3. Lots of companies that use fossil fuels are on the “CO2 cap-n-trade train”. Duke Energy is a pretty big one. Most carbon proposals that have any chance of passing are 100% supported by the natural gas industry as the cost increases would give gas a advantage over coal and oil based fuels. Even many of the big oil companies are behind cap-n-trade if they can help write the legislation. It is silly to pretend this is “big oil” vs “vegan biofuels cooperatives”

        2. Presumably you are referring to thisBig Windmill” which is in cahoots with Big Government aka the U.S. Dept. of Energy?

          1. Thanks for the link, Ron.

          2. Ron,

            I trust any rational industry will do whatever it can to maximize its success. The only problem I have is the way so many here refuse to entertain the idea that the most profitable and politically influential industry in the history of the world just might be doing the same thing.

            1. “the most profitable and politically influential industry in the history of the world just might be doing the same thing.”

              Prostitution? Really?

    5. Big Fucking Deal, Tony.

    6. This last data point pushed the p-value below 0.01.

      Tony is the stupid half, and Chad is the evil half.

    7. Shorter Tony: Everyone who disagrees with me is wrong. If you happen to take donations in the process, you’re also a liar.

      Because nobody ever takes money to say something they actually believe.

  21. Ron’s feelings seem to be hurt because he can’t get no respect from Greenpeace. Buck up lad, tomorrow’s another day.

  22. How dare Reason deny climate!

  23. Actually, it would be a magna mea culpa, not magnum mea culpa. Not that that has anything to do with anything.

    1. That’d be a “Honda Magna” and a “Dodge Magnum”. FIFY

    2. Do you mean a “Big” mea culpa or a big culpa of mine?

    3. LD: I blame it on my high school guidance counselor who refused to let me take Latin because, she explained, “Nobody takes three foreign languages in high school.”

      Will fix. Thanks

  24. a “rightwing climate-denier think tank.”

    Greenpeace, meet Ron Bailey. Ron, Greenpeace. I think you two probably have a lot to talk about.

  25. See, if even a climate denier like Ron Bailey is in favor of a carbon tax then it MUST be a good idea.

  26. Greenpeace says that Koch Industries donated nearly $48m (?31.8m) to climate opposition groups between 1997-2008.

    Two cheers for the Brothers Koch.

    From 2005-2008, it donated $25m to groups opposed to climate change, nearly three times as much as higher-profile funders that time such as oil company ExxonMobil. Koch also spent $5.7m on political campaigns and $37m on direct lobbying to support fossil fuels.

    Now, if you could reduce that to zero, it would truly be lovely.

  27. Finally, I strongly dislike fish and lamb.

    I find your public disclosure of a dislike for fish and Lamb unacceptable and demand a retraction!

  28. confidential to Tony:


  29. Still not a big deal.


    1. As I suspected, Bailey is a tool of the anti-lamb syndicate.


      1. Well played.

  31. Speaking of Greenpeace anyways, they *are* a money-making organization.

    One reason they are so pig-headded about GMOs, is because it’s a great fundraising tool. With the Cold War over, their signiature issue – nuclear testing – is sort of dead. Their resources were dwindling and they needed a new issue to scare people about to get them to donate.

    It turns out that food is a very, very, easy thing to scare people about. So Greenpeace shamelessly fearmongers on the subject. They’re never going to give it up becqause it’s their single biggest money maker.

    1. That’s a very astute observation Hazel; there are so many tangents they can exploit with this one area. Food nannies, food quality, food collectivism, food culture warriors, bio fuels, corporate farming, green house gases and AGW …ad infinitum.

      It’s their cause c?l?bre that fuels an otherwise unsustainable movement. Though it could be argued they are in bed with PETA freaks as well, as they are married to the altar of the collectivist nanny church.

      The nuclear option is not only not viable, but undercuts the them as nuclear energy is bereft of AGW gases.

      However, I imagine it’s great vehicle for feel goodism and faux liberal douches to get into the pants of feral women.

  32. Someone should remind Greenpeace …. and maybe Tony, Chad, etc., that the Kochs support other anti science media.
    Like PBS’s NOVA.

    1. I thought that was supported by a grant from the Chubb group.

      1. Maybe they did, but they don’t mention it these days.
        Exxon, Pacific Life and Merrill Lynch buy ad time. Then according to teh website: “Funding for NOVA is provided by David H. Koch, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS viewers.”

    2. Just because an organization doesn’t agree with or support your feeble minded imperialistic view of the world, doesn’t make it ‘anti-science’. The Koch suckers only motives for supporting any thing is personal gain. Wiping out the entire bloodline would only make the world a much better place.

  33. Let’s see where some more of the Kochs’ ‘right-wing’ dollars go.

    A $20 million gift to the American Museum of Natural History, creating the David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing. A contribution of $15 million to the National Museum of Natural History to create the new David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins.
    He financed the construction of Deerfield Academy’s $68 million state-of-the-art Koch Center for mathematics, science and technology.
    He contributed $100 million in 2007, to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to help fund the construction of a new 350,000 square foot research and technology facility to serve as the home of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. He also contributed $20 million to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, $30 million to the Memorial Sloan?Kettering Cancer Center in New York, $25 million to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and $15 million to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical Center.
    Koch, along with his brother Charles, George Soros, the Ford Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation, each contributed $10 million to the American Civil Liberties Union to defeat parts of the USA PATRIOT Act.

    Via Wiki on just David K.

    1. My God. Integrative Cancer Research? This goes deeper than we thought.


      1. Crap. Used one of my stock jokes twice in the same thread, and for this I am ashamed.

    2. The only ‘sheeple’ I know of are the teabagger, republican, liberitarian lemming trash who follow the greedy trash just to pick up the scraps. The only reason the Koch insects donate to anything is for tax purposes, and to appear human. The world would be a much better place without garbage like you and them.

  34. Why anyone would feel the need to ‘demonize’ simple insects like the Koch family is beyond me. Their record does speak for itself, and there is nothing humane or decent about this hive of parasites. What this country needs to do is wipe the ‘Koch’ stain from the planet, and never allow it to happen again.

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