The Copenhagen Consensus Center is a think tank registered in Arlington, Virginia, near Washington DC. The CCC says its role is to publicize “the best ways for governments and philanthropists to spend aid and development money”.
“I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organisations — environmental organizations working against shale gas — to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas,” said Rasmussen, the former Prime Minister of Denmark.
Rasmussen's comments were relayed to the press by someone in attendance who apparently broke the “Chatham House Rule” by telling outsiders about the content of a Chatham House meeting.
But Rasmussen left out some key context from his presentation, which he said “is my interpretation” and did not further elaborate on his “disinformation operations” comments.
That is, while powerful actors have claimed on multiple occasions that western-based anti-fracking activists are funded by the Kremlin, no one has ever documented such a relationship in the form of a money paper trail.
In early 2012, it seemed like the future of Bjørn Lomborg’s influential think tank was in serious doubt.
The Danish Government had changed its political stripes and the millions in public funds that had poured into his Copenhagen Consensus Center had come to an abrupt halt.
Lomborg told The Ecologist magazine he was worried there would be a limited pool of donors willing to part with cash to support his work.
“We have to make sure that that funding, if it’s going to go forward, is unassailable,” Lomborg said.
The impression back in 2012 might have been that Lomborg’s think tank was struggling for cash, but a DeSmogBlog investigation suggests the opposite.
The nonprofit Copenhagen Consensus Center (CCC) has spent almost $1 million on public relations since registering in the US in 2008. More than $4 million in grants and donations have flooded in since 2008, three quarters of which came in 2011 and 2012.
In one year alone, the Copenhagen Consensus Center paid Lomborg $775,000.
CNBC host Joe Kernen marked the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy by questioning the wisdom of investing to protect utility customers from extreme weather. In an interview with Steve Holliday, the CEO of utility company National Grid, Kernen cited Bjorn Lomborg's recent global warming denial op-ed in the Washington Post, “Don't Blame Climate Change for Extreme Weather.”
Kernen's repeated dismissal of global warming and attacks on climate scientists and activists as the “eco-taliban” have spurred a 45,000-signature petition drive organized by climate accountability group Forecast the Facts.
Finally, a vestigial government-funded program actually worth cutting gets taken out as Denmark's new regime change is opting to excise Bjorn Lomborg's $1.6 million in funding for his Copenhagen Consensus Center.
“It’s been very strange that particular researchers have received special treatment due to ideology. We’re going to run fiscal policy differently,” said Ida Auken from the Socialist People's Party.
Lomborg is notorious for touting economic woes pertaining to the costs of mitigating climate change. He has often suggested that it is either too expensive to tax carbon and cap emissions to solve climate change, except when he was advocating his 1900 robotic ship army idea to spray sea water and ameliorate warming through geoengineering.
Either way, the almighty free market that laissez-faire economists pray to has spoken (Lomborg's movie 'Cool It' raked in all of $62,713 in box office sales), and it's out with excessive climate-denier-mobiles. It's like the irony is killing…off his program. Literally.
THERE is a publication in Australia where for every one story you read which agrees society should take firm steps to combat climate change, there are four stories suggesting we shouldn’t.
When climate change is viewed through the pages of this publication, most of the world’s “experts” think it’s either not happening, not worth worrying about or not caused by humans.
Advocates for strong action on climate change are variously described as “prophets of doom”, “greenhouse hysterics” or “hair-shirted greenhouse penitents”.
As extreme as these positions might appear, this publication is not a newsletter from a fringe group or a bulletin from the Tea Party.
This is the divisive state of climate change science in the pages of the nation’s sole national newspaper The Australian, according to a 115-page examination of the publication’s role in shaping how Australia thinks.
Two weeks ago, I visited the office of a friend of mine, a partner at a top cleantech Silicon Valley law firm. He and I shared a concern about the increasingly hostile, anti-clean energy propaganda from dirty energy-funded critics who are trying to position clean energy as expensive, subsidy-dependent, and “not ready.” The good news, my friend said, was that he’s increasingly hearing from cleantech executives and investors concerned about these growing attacks on their investments. The bad news was that many of those concerned don’t connect the attacks with the dirty energy money that’s funding them.
“Now what cleantech needs to hear is, ‘No more Mr. Nice Guy’,” he told me. “These [dirty energy] guys are out to kick our butts, and they will if we let them.”
Head over to Dot Earth to read the whole thing, but here is an excerpt of important points and observations from Revkin about the film:
In “Cool It,” Lomborg breezily ticks down a laundry list of high-tech ways to engineer the atmosphere, for example, but punts on the tougher questions related to such planet-scale enterprises — such as the inevitable diplomatic dispute over who sets the planetary thermostat and how blocking the sun does nothing to stem the buildup of carbon dioxide, much of which will stay in the atmosphere for many centuries.
He proposes spending tens of billions of dollars (a bargain, he insists, compared to the hundreds of billions that would be spent on a cap-and-trade style approach), but he doesn’t say how he’d convince the United States or China to adopt the necessary carbon tax.
And he doesn’t deal with the full pipeline for innovation that is required to take a promising technology from idea to breakthrough. A greatly intensified research effort is a vital, but insufficient, facet of any plan to foster progress without disrupting the climate.
Its chiding tone in places is unlikely to build the sense of consensus and excitement around an energy quest that Lomborg seems to desire.
The Guardian reports today that long-time global warming contrarian Bjorn Lomborg has changed his tune a bit, and now acknowledges that climate change is “a challenge humanity must confront.” In an interview with the paper, Lomborg calls for a carbon tax and a $100 billion annual investment in clean technologies and other solutions to climate disruption.
Lomborg has never been among the outright climate deniers, acknowledging repeatedly over the years that he accepts the science confirming manmade global warming. But until now he has downplayed the need for massive investment to solve the problem, and is often seen cavorting with the ExxonMobil-funded denier crowd. In his 2007 book ‘Cool It,’ he argued that spending huge amounts of money to address climate change would do little to address the problem.
Now it appears Lomborg has come to his senses, becoming an unlikely advocate for massive public investment in creating a low carbon energy future.
“It’s about technologies, about realizing there’s a vast array of solutions,” he tells the Guardian.
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.