Industry friendly “think” tanks have been working up a sweat this week in North Carolina to derail bipartisan climate action.The John Locke Foundation issued two press releases in the last week citing a “peer-review” hatchet-job by the Beacon Hill Institute – attacking a recent report by the North Carolina Climate Action Plan Advisory Group (NC-CAPAG) and an accompanying jobs analysis from Appalachian State University.
The “peer-reviews” by the Beacon Hill Institute were apparently done at the request of the John Locke Foundation.
“Peer-review” usually means an independent evaluation by a variety of academics with expertise in a given field. This self-proclaimed “peer-review” appears to instead be done entirely within the Beacon Hill Institute with no outside input.
The Executive Director of the Beacon Hill Institute, David G. Tuerck is the former director of the Center for Research and Advertising at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) – one of the leading groups continuing to fight a PR war against the mountain of scientific evidence for human-induced global warming.
Well known to DeSmogBlog, the AEI sent letters to scientists last year offering a payment of US$10,000 plus travel expenses and additional payments, in return for a critique of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.
Incidentally, former ExxonMobil CEO Lee R. Raymond is on AEI's board of trustees.
As always, it is instructive to follow the money.
The John Locke Foundation apparently received $126,500 from organizations with ties to the fossil-fuel industry between fiscal 2002 and 2005. The American Enterprise Institute accepted over $1.8 million from oil giant ExxonMobil since 1998.
Why would the John Locke Foundation and Beacon Hill Institute care about discrediting the NC-CAPAG?
With the Bush Administration blocking meaningful action at the federal level, many states are now taking the lead in developing climate policies. It turns out these bipartisan policies undermine the chief talking point of those opposed to action – that climate action will harm the economy.
In North Carolina, as in other many other states, climate action plans offer economic development and emission reduction - simultaneously.
North Carolina's win-win model of climate action is something that the John Locke Foundation, the Beacon Hill Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, Exxon and other fellow travelers are hell-bent on denying and distorting – at any cost.
It is the strategy they used to confound consensus climate science. Now they are deploying the same methods to confound solutions.