Funding Global Warming Hysteria

As media regularly accuse every scientist skeptical of man's role in global warming as being on the payroll of Big Oil, you almost never see a news report addressing the funding of those responsible for spreading climate alarmism.

This all changed Thursday when the Seattle Post-Intelligencer published an op-ed by the John Locke Foundation's Paul Chesser detailing how one environmental advocate receives funds from largely liberal donors to encourage state governments to impose strict regulations on all things speculated to be causing global warming.

Chesser's fabulous exposé began (emphasis added throughout, h/t James Dellinger):

Imagine you are an advocacy group and want to sway a government's policy development, but really want to keep your activism a secret. You could learn a lot by observing and then avoiding the practices of the Center for Climate Strategies, a group of global warming worrywarts.

CCS in recent years has approached many states, including Washington, with an inexpensive, tantalizing offer: to establish and manage a process for climate change policy development. The results are a study legitimized by government that promotes onerous regulations, property rights infringement through smart growth initiatives, and new taxes and fees on fuels and utilities.

CCS operates in Washington in nearly the same way it's worked in every other state where it's been hired. First a governor (such as Gov. Chris Gregoire) issues an executive order declaring global warming a problem that must be confronted through state policy. Then a so-called stakeholder (political appointees and special interests, really) panel considers dozens of CCS-created policy options -- most of which impinge upon individual rights, increase energy costs, or add to the cost of government -- that ostensibly reduce CO2 emissions in the state. CCS holds the hand of the group through several meetings and its decision-making, until the threats to personal liberty and financial well-being are established as official government philosophy. Ideally (to CCS), legislatures will adopt them and add to everyone's cost of living. Nanny-staters celebrate.

In doing this, CCS claims it is not acting as an anti-global warming advocate. Yet, look at how the finances of this organization work:

CCS comes to states promising to bring money with them to pay for their greenhouse-gas reduction development. Who foots the bill? Several foundations on the global warming panic train: the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, The (Ted) Turner Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, the Energy Foundation, and many others. For example, the state of Washington is paying only $200,000 for CCS' services -- half of what their cheap process has cost in other states.

Then CCS controls the entire policy development: the agenda, scheduling and oversight of their meetings; the CO2 reduction options that stakeholders consider; analysis (which is not an examination of cost/benefit or climate impact) of those options; the voting process; the changing and/or elimination of options; and the writing of all meeting minutes, presentations and reports.

Virtually every one of CCS's greenhouse gas-reducing options, which stakeholders find almost impossible to eliminate or alter (as if they wanted to) because the voting procedures are stacked against it, will curtail individual freedom or further burden taxpayers and consumers. Rather than surveying stakeholders in an up-or-down vote, options are instead considered already approved unless enough members (who are political appointees, with almost no scientists or economists) are bold and knowledgeable enough to object to them.

Ominously, this advocacy is destined to arrive at a state capital near you:

CCS has conducted this cookie-cutter process in more than a dozen states, and more are in its sights. The motives, tactics and plans are not hard to see, but they are a threat.

Of course, CCS is doing nothing wrong here, and the reader should not infer such. Instead, as this global warming debate continues, and media regularly question the funding of virtually every individual and organization refuting the supposed consensus regarding the science involved, shouldn't the same scrutiny be applied to those advancing the hysteria?

Or, would that be too much like journalism?

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.