Exposing Koch Industries' web of climate denial

A new Greenpeace report uncovers the multimillion dollar funding and intense lobbying against climate science and climate action by Koch Industries, that eclipses the traditional funding for climate deniers from ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel companies.

Greenpeace Reports: Koch Industries: secretly funding the climate denial machine | Dealing in Doubt: A Brief History of Attacks on Climate Science, Climate Scientists and the IPCC

Climate criminals come in many shapes and forms including many corporate executives and politicians who fail to take meaningful action to reduce carbon emissions or other climate mitigation action despite being aware of the climate science.

But a step above the many who fail to take action, are the few who actively engage in the concerted campaign against climate scientists, climate science and intensively lobby against emissions reduction or mitigation action on climate change. The executives of Exxon-Mobil are part of this elite criminal fraternity, but eclipsing even them are Charles and David Koch, the principal owners of Koch Industries, the second largest privately-held company in the USA.

You haven't heard of them? They like it that way. They have until now been operating under the radar of public scrutiny. But now Greenpeace have published a report on their climate denial funding activities, gleaned from public sources. Koch Industries: secretly funding the climate denial machine

Koch Industries funding climate denial

Koch Industries is a conglomerate of more than twenty companies with $100 billion in annual sales, operations in nearly 60 countries (including Australia) and 70,000 employees. Koch’s industry areas span petroleum refining, fuel pipelines, coal supply and trading, oil and gas exploration, chemicals and polymers, fertilizer production, ranching and forestry products. There are few brand names in their portfolio.

Their investments include multiple leases on the polluting tar sands of Alberta, Canada since the 1990s and the Koch Pipeline Company operates the pipelines that carry tar sands crude from Canada into Minnesota and Wisconsin where Koch’s Flint Hill Resources owns oil refineries.

The Koch brothers and other executives in the company work behind the scenes against climate action by contributing to a combination of foundation-funded front-groups, big lobbying budgets, Political Action Committee (PAC) donations, and direct campaign contributions overwhelmingly favouring Republican candidates at both State and Federal level in the US.

Koch foundations contributed over $48 million to climate opposition groups in the US from 1997 to 2008. With the debate over climate action heating up since 2005 with increasing calls for Government action on carbon emission control and climate mitigation measures the volume of funding has increased significantly. Over one half of this funding - $24,888,282 - was contributed in the three years between 2005 to 2008.

Koch foundations surpass ExxonMobil and the ExxonMobil Foundation as a funding source to organizations that generate and disseminate misinformation on the science of and solutions to global warming according to Greenpeace. In the same three year period - 2005 to 2008 - ExxonMobil provided about $8.9 million to groups with similar activities.

Charles Koch as well as being Chief Executive Officer, Koch Industries, is ranked as 9th richest American (tied with his brother David). He is a Co-founder of the Cato Institute, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Humane Studies, and Member of the Board of Directors of the Mercatus Center.

David H. Koch is Executive Vice-President, Koch Industries and ranked equal 9th richest American. He is on the Board of Directors of the Cato Institute, the Reason Foundation, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Americans for Prosperity Foundation.

Other key executives in Koch Industries and Foundations include: Koch Industries Executive Vice_president Richard Fink, Logan Moore, Wayne Gable, and Kevin Gentry.

The web of denial of foundations and front groups works like an echo chamber amplifying arguments and counter information for grass roots members to blog or post comments on. In the theft of emails from the University of East Anglia in November 2009, dubbed 'climategate' by sceptics, many of the groups funded by Koch Industries played a major role in Climategate publicising information in the emails as a “conspiracy” of scientists to cast doubt on the scientific consensus on human caused climate change.

Countering climate science with 'Junk' science

The funding works in many ways. Part of it is to fund researchers with some scientific credibility to publish counter research in scientific or related journals regarding climate science.

For example, funding from ExxonMobil and Koch Industries was provided to Dr. Willie Soon for a non-peer reviewed paper on polar bears (“Polar bears of western Hudson Bay and climate change: Are warming spring air temperatures the ‘‘ultimate’’ survival control factor?”) The 2007 paper did not contain original research but was a review of the literature to produce conclusions at odds with researchers studying in the field. The paper was debunked by two polar bear experts, Dr. Ian Stirling and Dr. Andrew Derocher who published a response stating that the article did not adequately support the claim that non-climate factors were causing the polar bear population decline.

Many Koch and Exxon-funded groups published the ‘findings’ from the Soon paper that polar bears are not endangered by climate change, with the Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin using the paper as part of protesting Federal government action to protect the polar bear.

Willie Soon, and fellow author Sally Baliunas are astrophysicists by profession working at Center for Astrophysics. Their institute, the Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory has received funds from ExxonMobil totalling $340,000 in four grants since 2005.

Countering the push for Renewable Energy

In countering the growth of renewables, the Koch web of denial has been an important source of funding and network for dissemination of information from a 2009 Spanish study on Green Jobs and a 2009 Danish Study on Windpower and on the viability of renewable energy.

The Spanish study has been proven unsupportable by the US’s own National Renewable Energy Laboratory as well as being criticised by ministers of the Spanish government and independent experts.

The Danish study, prepared by Danish think-tank CEPOS has been misrepresented and distorted. CEPOS was awarded a $100,000 grant from the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, which has given CEPOS “several awards.” The Charles G. Koch Foundation and the Claude R. Lambe Foundation both support the Atlas Economic Research Foundation. The Danish paper on wind farms was promoted by The Institute for Energy Research and the Heritage Foundation.

Foundations and Front Groups

Foundations and groups being funded (that Greenpeace have discovered so far) include:

  • Mercatus Center - $9,247,500 received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997–2008: $9,874,500]
  • Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFP) - $5,176,500 received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [No Koch foundation grants received prior to 2005]
  • Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) - $1,967,000 received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997–2008: $3,923,457]
  • The Heritage Foundation - $1,620,000 received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997–2008: $3,358,000]
  • Cato Institute - $1,028,400 received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997–2008: $5,278,400]
  • The Manhattan Institute - $800,000 received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997–2008: $1,325,000]
  • Washington Legal Foundation (WLF) - $655,000 received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997–2008: $1,255,000]
  • Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies - $542,500 received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997–2008: $1,750,700]
  • Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment - $365,000 received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997–2008: $1,460,000]
  • Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy (PRIPP)
    $360,000 received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997–2008: $1,100,000]
  • Tax Foundation - $325,000 received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997–2008: $525,000]
  • Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) - $290,000 received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997–2008: $335,000]
  • Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) $283,125 received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997–2008: $393,999]
  • American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF) - $215,000 received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997–2008: $225,000]
  • George C. Marshall Institute - $210,000 received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997–2008: $240,000]
  • The Reason Foundation - $205,000 received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997–2008: $1,706,200]
  • Institute for Energy Research (IER) - $175,000 received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997–2008: $235,000]
  • Fraser Institute - $175,000 received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [No Koch foundation grants received prior to 2005]
  • Frontiers of Freedom - $150,000 received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997–2008: $175,000]
  • National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) - $130,000 received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997–2008: $570,000]
  • Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) - No grants received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997–2008: $471,420]
  • Heartland Institute (HI) - No grants received from Koch foundations 2005–2008 [Total Koch foundation grants 1997–2008: $30,000]
  • and others as listed in the Greenpeace report

Koch Industries and the Web of Denial in Australia

According to the company website INVISTA and the Koch Chemical Technology Group operate in Australia. INVISTA was bought by Koch Industries in 2004 from Du Pont and are the creators of Lycra fiber and Stainmaster® carpet. Koch Fertiliser Australia Pty Ltd. has an office in Ringwood, Victoria, and Koch Membrane Systems has offices in Kew, Victoria & in Parramatta, NSW.

In March 2010 Koch Industries leased from GrainCorp a 150,000 tonne storage facility at Geelong for marketing fertiliser across Victoria and the Riverina.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) received funding from Koch foundation grants between 1997 and 2005 totalling $471,420. This organisation has been intent on developing the campaign against climate science in Australia. In August 1997, the CEI and the Frontiers of Freedom front group sponsored a conference in Canberra, with the Australian and New Zealand Chambers of Commerce and the Western Mining Corporation (WMC) in attendance.

A recent Greenpeace report by Cindy Baxter - Dealing in Doubt discusses the history of the climate denial industry and attacks on climate science, climate scientists and the IPCC. The CEI were prominent in getting climate scepticism off the ground in Australia led by Western Mining Corporation, Chambers of Commerce, and prominent politicians in the Liberal and National Parties:

In August 1997, the CEI and the Frontiers of Freedom front group sponsored another conference, this time in Canberra, Australia, along with the Australian and New Zealand Chambers of Commerce and the WMC. Ray Evans and WMC’s Managing Director Hugh Morgan played a significant role at the conference, and attendees included the Australian Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer and Environment Minister Robert Hill. Fisher claimed that tough emission reduction targets could put 90,000 jobs at risk in Australia and cost more than $150 million."

Speakers included American climate sceptic Patrick Michaels, climate sceptic politicians, Rep. John Dingell, Senator Chuck Hagel and Richard Lawson (President and Chief Executive Officer of the US National Mining Association and present at the earlier CEI meeting).

According to RJ Smith from the CEI, the purpose of the Canberra conference was to ‘try and buck [Prime Minister John Howard] up a little more and let him know that there is support of the American people’ for his government's obstructionist stance.

Later that year, an Australian at the CEI, Hugh Morley, noted on the CEI’s website that ‘If Australia sticks to its gun [sic], there might not be a Kyoto treaty after all’.

The Australian denial movement, funded by the WMC and other big business groups, and led by the Institute of Public Affairs, has had a relationship with the US climate sceptics ever since. Meanwhile, Australia has adopted a weak climate policy, only signing the Kyoto treaty after the Howard administration lost power in 2007.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has a history of attacking climate science and the IPCC reports. This year, on 16 February 2010, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, along with Fred Singer, filed a lawsuit to the US demanding that, on the basis of the hacked emails and so called ‘flawed datasets’ of 'Climategate', the EPA drop all its proposed regulation on CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

In 2009 an International investigation by journalists revealed a multinational fossil fuel campaign to undermine Copenhagen talks.

Want to read more?

Visit some of these sites for more information on the sceptic campaign against climate science and climate action:

  • RealClimate blog – a blog by climate scientists discussing science in a very scientific way.
  • Climate progress by Joe Romm
  • Skeptical science: blog by John Cook, that answers the main denier arguments.
  • Deltoid: An Australian blog by scientist Tim Lambert - exposes the scientific holes in denier arguments:
  • Desmogblog – a Canadian blog exposing climate denier junk science and business links http://
  • Hot Topic – New Zealand science writer Gareth Renowden on climate science and denial arguments.
  • Grist ‘How to talk to a climate sceptic
  • Climate Science Watch: Former ‘gagged’ US climate scientist Rick Piltz follows the abuse of climate science

or try these two books:

  • ‘Climate Cover Up’ by James Hoggan, Greystone Books 2009,
  • ‘Science as a Contact Sport’ by Stephen H Schneider (intro by Tim Flannery) – a scientist’s account of years of denier attacks, Random House, 2009.


your theory on oil companies funding global warming denial doesnt add up. oil companies will make MORE money if a global tax on fuel is implemented.

and how many exposes of climate/temperature data fraud have there been in the last 6 months? at least a dozen...

it pays to have an open mind!

The amount of sea ice covering the Arctic dramatically increased last month, reaching levels not seen at this time of year for nearly a decade.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1263207/Increase-Arctic-i...

Yes, and much of it is first year ice with a tendency to melt over the summer. The increased winter sea ice extent is related to the strongly negative phase of the Arctic Oscillation which brought colder temperatures and snow to lower latitudes this winter, while higher latitudes still had higher than average temperatures.

The higher Arctic sea ice extent this northern winter is just a return to the average long term trend of slowly decreasing sea ice extent. See Arctic Sea Ice Extent returns to average trend.

Global Warming and climate is about climate trends, not about presumptuos announcements that "Global warming is Over" due to one indicator returning from the exceptional anomolies seen in recent years to the long term average trend.

Comedian Bill Hicks denounced boring pop stars who endorse Products, Brands etc as Coporate cocksuckers
So how ironic that there is exposed Koch Corporation and their media suckers who deny Capitalism caused climate change, global warming.

Like "good Germans" these denialists will have to answer to the next generation for collaborating, following orders, just doing their job, laughing along with the Bosses as they plunder, pollute and exploit the environment in the name of the economy ie their profits.
Like Mussolini, Franco, Hitler, Stalin, Mao etc Corporations are narcissistic psychopaths who have no empathy for anyone but themselves. Rio Tinto, Triads, BHP-Billiton, Mafia, Monsanto, Blackwater/Xe private security mercenary murderers etc have their short term interests dominance as goal and if you get in their way you get treated like locals opposing Developers - have your say if you want but shut up and move out of our way...this is Capitalism.
The climate change denial spin has bewildered the Anthricite & Lignite Party and COAl-ition alike as their Bosses media are hyping up this shite so they are starting to echo the lie machine...that is Politicians, Pollytrickuns for you sell out to the highest bidder servants of the Corporations.

there endeth the sermon for today

thanks Da Bored Guy...

so how come indymedia types ignore the one world govt. enforced global carbon tax that will not change anything. IPCC agenda of lies. etc etc... and blame it all on coal and oil?

climate change has been happening for years, and there was once a time when the climate was much hotter that today and everything was fine and dandy...

here's the latest news on climate tax.


'One of the best-kept secrets of British politics – although it is there for all to see on a Government website – is the cost of what is by far the most expensive piece of legislation ever put through Parliament. Every year between now and 2050, acccording to Ed Miliband's Department for Energy and Climate Change (Decc), the Climate Change Act is to cost us all up to £18.3 billion – £760 for every household in the country – as we reduce our carbon emissions by 80 per cent.

Last Thursday – with northern Britain again under piles of global warming – another tranche of regulations came into force, as this measure begins to take effect. New road tax rules mean that to put a larger, more CO2 -emitting car on the road will now cost £950. New "feed-in" subsidies for small-scale "renewables" mean that the installers of solar panels will be paid up to eight times the going rate for their miserable amount of electricity to be fed into the grid, with the overall bill for this scheme estimated eventually to be billions a year.'

looks like a scam to me, considering AGW is only a theory...

The problem is general society has been subsidising these polluters for years. Profits from industrial pollution have been kept (for the most part) by the owners of industry, while the social costs of pollution are borne by society in general, including the costs incurred in adverse health, environmental effects, and a large part of the environmental clean up when that occurs, which is irregularly. No wonder Nicholas Stern called it "the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen" in his report on the economics of climate change to the British Government (Executive Summary PDF)

CO2 industrial emissions is pollution on a grand scale - one of the greatest market scams foisted on the public. Whether or not you believe that global warming is anthropogenically based, and climate science shows a direct linnear relationship between human industrial carbon emissions and global warming, the corporations responsible for the pollution should also be responsible for cleaning it up.

So where is the private investment in carbon capture and storage? It is overwhelmingly public research funds going into this development which may just save the ass of the fossil fuel companies.

Where is the private investment in reducing the cause of ocean acidification which is threatening marine biodiversity and ecosystems?

Where is the private investment for paying the health costs and environmental effects of coal mining?

Are private corporations going to pay compensation to the people of the Maldives, Tuvalu, or Kiribati when their Island Nations get flooded?

Closer to home, who is going to pay for relocation of coastal infastructure with rising sea levels caused by the accelerating loss of mass from Greenland and West Antarctic Ice sheets?

When Florida starts to get innundated whose going to cover the costs? Koch Industries? ExxonMobil? If only.
"Across the Keys in a best-case scenario, the study suggested, the sea would rise seven inches by 2100, which could wipe $11 billion from property values. In the worst-case scenario, the sea would rise 55 inches by 2100, with 5,950 acres lost on Big Pine alone. Property values over all the islands could take a hit of more than $35.1 billion." - Christian Science Monitor

thanks takver, you have raise some good points. yes, i do think companies should pay for the damage they cause.
but oceans rising has nothing to do with climate change if 'global warming' doesn't actually exist. oceans will fluctuate and land rises and falls naturally. sometimes it sinks into the sea sometimes coasts erode. that is natural. acidification of the sea is also not necessarily due to c02. many pollutants could be attributed also to that, including aluminium oxide from chemtrails. also decomposing plastics and toxic waste. there are more harmful pollutants on earth that are NOT being addressed. instead they point the finger at the least likely suspect - carbon dioxide. i would be ALL for a user pays tax system on many poisons, but at the level today or in 100 years - c02 is not a poison. there was a time on earth when the planet flourished where c02 was 50000 parts per million. currently we are between 200 and 400 ppm. perhaps western greed is the problem, not c02.

'perhaps western greed is the problem' is a point I can agree with you on. CO2 emissions have been a side effect of that greed. Once we thought we could throw our rubbish and sewerage into the streets, which worked for a while, although assisting the spread of plagues and disease. Urban sanitation was designed and our wastes and effluent were dumped into the streams and rivers. This worked for a while, but the people downstream didn't like utilising the water we had polluted. We finally got around to partially cleaning up many of the polluted streams and rivers, but we still pollute the atmosphere and oceans. They were both once thought of as limitless and vast, but no longer.

We are currently emitting 26 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year.

Increased CO2 --> greenhouse effect --> increased global average temps --> increased glacier melt, ice sheet melt --> rising seas

Increased CO2 --> greenhouse effect --> increased global average temps --> ocean thermal expansion --> rising seas

Increased CO2 --> greenhouse effect --> increased global average temps --> more atmospheric water vapour --> increased storm frequency and intensity --> higher storm surges

Geological uplift and sinking are ocurring, but at rates substantially lower than to account for sea level rise.

These are all scientifically observable changes. The global average rise in sea level for the 20th century was 1.7mm per year, but is increasing with the global average of 3mm per year from 1993-2009. But actual sea level changes will vary based upon local ocean currents. Around Australia's coasts sea level has risen 1.5-3mm in the south and east and 7-10mm per year in the north and west. Mean Sea surface temperatures around Australia have increased by about 0.4°C in the past 50 years according to a joint statement of Australian Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO

CO2 absorption by the oceans changes the hydroxyl ion conentration - the pH value or alkalinity / acidity of the oceans and the relative values of dissolved free carbon dioxide (CO2(aq)), carbonic acid (H2CO3), bicarbonate (HCO-3) and carbonate (CO2-3). Surface ocean pH has dropped by slightly less than 0.1 units (on the logarithmic scale of pH; approximately a 25% increase in H+), and it is estimated that it will drop by a further 0.3 to 0.5 units by 2100. You can read about the basic ocean acidififaction chemistry on wikipedia, but the process will have a major impacts on marine biodiversity and ecosystems, and impact on Fisheries food production and Tourism Industries.

I blogged in February about a couple of videos on ocean acidification - Sigourney Weaver highlights threat from Ocean Acidification in Video Documentary. The first, Acid Test, is a 20 minute slick 'Hollywood style' documentary. At the bottom of the page is a 56 min long video of a presentation by marine chemist Dr Andrew Dickson from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography - Acidic Oceans: Why Should We Care?. As a specialist in the interaction of CO2 in ocean chemistry he explains the processes and impacts to date. Both are worth watching, but particularly Dr Andrew Dickson.

Yes, the CO2 level has changed over geological time, but we are making changes to the earth's atmosphere and oceans at a rate 100 times faster than in the last 40 million years. Marine extinctions have happened before - the last one ocurring about 50million years ago- perhaps ocurring over a couple of thousand years and then a long recovery over a million years.

Yes there are other pollutants, from plastics to fertiliser runoffs, but atmospheric CO2 is changing the chemistry of the oceans. While it may be just feasibly possible to devise methods to pulldown CO2 from the atmospheric - it will be next to impossible to reverse this process in the oceans except over geological periods of time.

increased c02 does not mean increased temps or ice melt!

see this: ice coverage 1980 compared to 2010

ocean c02 levels will also increase with a warming of the ocean. that doesn't mean it's caused by manmade c02.
climate change is a natural occurrence...

i do agree that humans rely too much on technologies that create poisons, and i do think humans cut down far to many trees (which is possibly the main problem here), and dig far too much out of the ground, and burn far to many things. i am all for a simpler existence of humanity, and a lighter footprint - but i am not into scare tactics or lies or taxes based on lies to make people get to that point.

the truth goes further everytime...


it pays to keep an open mind, especially on an independent media forum ...

I have looked at the 'research' by Timothy Casey. I note that his study on Volcanic Carbon Dioxide doesn't appear to be peer reviewed or published in scientific journals. That would appear to reduce its scientific credibility. I certainly would not take it as fact until it was debated and discussed by others researching in similar fields. I strongly doubt the assertion that a mass of submarine volcanoes is turning the ocean acidic.

In fact I found a couple of ambiguities in his 'study', and I'm only an educated layperson.

problem is, by the time peer reviews come through, the lies have so much publicity that they have become the real version, and the new laws and carbon tax has been enforced with no returns...
we also can't trust many scientific journals, we don't know who is behind them and what the agenda is. in fact, i don't trust any 'official' versions of anything these days. agenda agenda agenda... science is no longer willing to be proven wrong.

good links tom.
at the rate this climate change taxation is going we'll all die of starvation before any oceans rise!
can people not understand that this issue is being used against them regardless of which side of the wall you stand.