Environmentalists like to claim skeptics are making money off hampering global warming regulations, but those same activists are making a lot of money promoting global warming alarmism.
A recent video from The Guardian claims that there is little money or power to be gained from environmental activism. The money behind activism pales in comparison to those of their fossil fuel-financed opposition, according to the video. The video even claims that “most of the money in solar and wind power comes from savings to the consumer.”
In the case of Al Gore, prominently featured in the video, the former vice president has levied his global warming activism from a net worth of $700,000 in 2000 into an estimated net worth of $172.5 million by 2015. He’s not alone in his financial endeavor.
“Funding of science, in this particular case, climate change science, is dominated by the federal government. We assert that this will cause recipients of [government] grants to publish findings that are in-line with government policy preferences (i.e., don’t bite the hand that feeds you),” Chip Knappenberger, the assistant director of the Center for the Study of Science at the libertarian Cato Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an email.
“After a while, the scientific literature becomes dominated by these types of research findings which then produces a biased knowledge base,” Knappenberger said. “This knowledge base is then ‘assessed’ by intergovernmental and federal science committees (i.e., IPCC, USGCRP) to produce authoritative reports that supposedly represent the scientific ‘consensus,’ which is then tapped by the federal government in determining policy and setting regulations, such as the CPP [Clean Power Plan].”
Studies that receive financial support from the public sector don’t have to disclose it as a conflict of interest, even when that support is in the millions of dollars. Recent studies that the Environmental Protection Agency is using to support the scientific case for its Clean Power Plan saw the EPA itself give $31.2 million, $9.5 million, and $3.65 million in public funds to lead authors according to EPA public disclosures.
The author who received $3.65 million, Charles Driscoll, even admitted to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the result of his study was predetermined, saying “in doing this study we wanted to bring attention to the additional benefits from carbon controls.”
Universities typically received about 50 percent of the money that their researchers get in public funds if their research finds positive results, making them deeply dependent upon federal funding and likely to encourage studies which will come to conclusions that the government wants.
Even counting only private money, environmental groups massively outspend their opposition. Opposition to global warming activism only raises $46 million annually across 91 conservative think tanks according to analysis by Forbes. That’s almost 6 times less than Greenpeace’s 2011 budget of $260 million, and Greenpeace is only one of many environmental groups. The undeniable truth is that global warming activists raise and spend far more money than their opponents.
Attempts by governments to encourage solar and wind power have created incentives for corruption that even environmentalists acknowledge. The push to encourage “green” systems has already led to serious corruption, such as the Solyndra scandal, which “crowds out” investment dollars that could be better spent on more workable solutions.