The Volokh Conspiracy, a blog of climate conspiracy theorists, is now part of the Washington Post.
When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos took over the Washington Post, some climate activists hoped he would close down the Post’s editorial support for climate-science deniers such as George Will and strengthen the influential paper’s focus on the climate threat.
But it was not to be.
The Volokh Conspiracy bloggers are aptly named, as they have promoted conspiracy theories about anthropogenic climate change and the scientists who study it.
“As these stories make clear, several of the scientists whose e-mail and other documents were disclosed engaged in both unethical and illegal conduct.”— Jonathan H. Adler, former Competitive Enterprise Institute environmental director and Heartland Institute contributor, 1/30/10
“JunkScience.com, run by the Cato Institute’s prolific Steven Milloy, is a year-round antidote to the unscientific panics incited by big government and the scientists who love it.”— Dave Kopel, Independence Institute, 12/6/04
“The recent Climategate scandal underlines the dangers of like-minded small groups falsifying evidence and excluding opposing views.”— Ilya Somin, Cato Institute Adjunct Scholar, 12/21/09
“Whatever the exact state of climate science, the marriage of the authority of science and the authority of the United Nations plainly corrupted a non-negligible number of the climate scientists. Not, let us be clear, that it took very much to sway scientists who were offered what appeared to them to direct global economic policy and win Nobel prizes.”—Kenneth Anderson, Hoover Institution Visiting Fellow, 2012
“All of their examples of people supposedly ‘reinventing’ the climate change debate were people who were convinced that we needed to do something now to stop or reverse global warming, which is pretty much what that side of the debate has wanted all along. . . . We may well be causing climate change, but it’s not clear there’s anything we as individuals or we as a country are really equipped to do about it.”— Will Baude, 6/22/13
“Hoffer is correct that we now have enough data to know that most prior climate models are wrong.”— Jim Lindgren, 1/3/14
“Remember, people are usually at least somewhat circumspect in writing emails to professional colleagues around the world. Thus, is it likely that the corruption in this subfield of climatology is LESS serious or MORE serious than the scientists would disclose to their colleagues in their own emails?”— Jim Lindgren, 12/8/09
“While the wider world is just beginning to realize that the subfield of paleoclimatology is in shambles (and has been for the last decade), scientists in related disciplines are increasingly fighting back against the shoddy work and orthodoxy that was foisted on them.”— Jim Lindgren, 12/7/09
“The other moment in the debate that struck me as quite strange was Biden’s comment that he is certain that all global warming is manmade and that manmade global warming is what is melting the polar icecap . . .— Todd Zywicki, Competitive Enterprise Institute Director, Institute for Humane Studies Director and Charles G Koch Alumni Award Recipient, Goldwater Institute Senior Fellow, Mercatus Center Senior Scholar, Property and Environment Research Center Fellow, 9/28/08
Palin’s answer was much more nuanced and consistent with science (not to mention being absolutely correct about what to do it about it as a policy matter, focus on the impacts and the mix of policies to respond to climate change) . . .
It is obvious that there are cyclical temperature changes on the planet (in addition to other natural variances, such as sun spots, cloud cover, etc.). We have had ice ages and tropicl [sic] periods. I have tried to find some nuance or qualification in Biden’s statement that he understands the difference between ‘all’ and ‘most’ or the possible role of natural causes, but I don’t see it. He seems to just be wrong about his understanding of what the science actually says on this point.”
Center for Media and Democracy’s Nick Surgey has written a comprehensive overview of Google’s recent lobbying efforts, which include:
- $10,000 from Google’s NetPAC to Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for Senate in 2012
- $2,500 to Ted Cruz’s 2018 re-election campaign
- Funding of Heritage Action, which held a nine-city “Defund Obamacare Town Hall Tour” in August 2013 with Sen. Cruz
- “Gold Sponsor” funding for the Federalist Society 2013 annual dinner, featuring Justice Clarence Thomas
- $50,000 sponsorship of the Competitive Enterprise Institute 2013 annual dinner, featuring Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
- Support for Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, the National Taxpayers Union, the American Conservative Union, and the Koch brothers’ Cato Institute, all new in 2013
These politicians and organizations describe the scientific threat of global warming from fossil-fuel combustion as a liberal conspiracy to promote policies to seize power, cripple the economy and limit American freedom. They all have close ties to the fossil-fuel industry.
“Political spending for corporations is purely transactional. It is all about getting policies that maximize profitability,” Bob McChesney, founder of Free Press, told CMD. “So even ostensibly hip companies like Google invariably spend lavishly to support groups and politicians that pursue decidedly anti-democratic policy outcomes. It is why sane democracies strictly regulate or even prohibit such spending, regarding it accurately as a cancer for democratic governance.”
Google did not respond to CMD’s request for comment.
Several organizations sponsored by Internet giant Google are calling on Congress to let the wind production tax credit to expire. A full-page advertisement from the Koch brothers organization Americans for Prosperity states that the “undersigned organizations and the millions of Americans we represent stand opposed to extending the production tax credit (PTC)” because the “wind industry has very little to show after 20 years of preferential tax treatment.”
“Americans deserve energy solutions that can make it on their own in the marketplace — not ones that need to be propped up by government indefinitely,” the letter concludes.Signatories of the letter who are Google-sponsored organizations, according to Google’s public policy transparency page, include:
- American Conservative Union
- Competitive Enterprise Institute
- Heritage Action For America
- National Taxpayers Union
- R Street Institute
Google’s public policy division, which chose to sponsor the above groups, is run by former Republican Congresswoman Susan Molinari.
In addition to Americans for Prosperity, other signatories notorious for promoting climate-change denial and attacks on climate scientists include the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), Cornwall Alliance, Freedom Works, Independent Women’s Forum, Club for Growth, and the American Energy Alliance.
The listed organizations are not the only Google-supported opponents of wind power. This year, Google joined the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), whose energy agenda is driven by Koch Industries and other fossil-fuel companies. ALEC’s vigorous campaign against state-level renewable energy standards led to the resignation of the American Wind Energy Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association, who had been members in ALEC until this year. Google only updated its public policy transparency page to include its membership in ALEC recently, months after the first reports in August of its membership.
Google is a major beneficiary of the wind PTC, as the company has the stated goal of “100% renewable energy” power for its operations, which include energy-intensive data centers across the nation. Google currently is the sole customer of the entire output of three different wind farms — NextEra’s 114-megawatt Story County II wind farm in Iowa, NextEra’s 100.8MW Minco II wind farm in Oklahoma, and Chermac Energy’s planned 239.2 MW Happy Hereford wind farm in Amarillo, Tex. Breaking Energy’s Glenn Schleede has estimated that Google will receive a $370 to $417 million benefit from the PTC over ten years if it is continued.
If the PTC expires, Google shareholders will suffer, as will the nation’s growing wind industry. Moreover, the effort to meet the challenge of eliminating greenhouse pollution will be stalled, as the fossil-fuel industry enjoys the benefits of not having to pay for the costs of its civilization-threatening pollution. Climate and corporate accountability groups Forecast the Facts and SumOfUs have called on Google to end its support for politicians and groups that reject the threat of climate change and oppose clean-energy policy.
Google has not responded to requests for comment.
Update: The fossil-fuel industry group American Energy Alliance’s Press Secretary Chris Warren has notified Hill Heat of an error in the originally published letter. The original list included “Parker Hannifin – Hydraulic Filter Division” in the list of supporting organizations. The corrected letter replaces that group with the “Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition.”