Here’s Some Money; Can I Quote You?

by Paul Chesser, Heartland Institute Correspondent on December 15, 2009

in Blog

An article by environmentalist journalist Fred Pearce about the “public relations disaster” that is Climategate is getting a lot of attention for Yale Environment 360, as it should. But the Web site, a clearinghouse for eco-Left points of view, crossed into bizarro territory last week with an “analysis” piece co-written by Michael Northrup and David Sassoon that touts “ambitious actions” by U.S. states to push “toward climate goals.” And the centerpiece of their “expert” analysis about the “great” things states are doing on climate policy? The Center for Climate Strategies:

Twenty-four policies and measures account for 85 percent of the states’ emissions reduction potential, touching every sector of the economy. The majority of the policies save money or expand the economy; the remainder either cost money or require investment, but overall they create new economic opportunity.

“Every macroeconomic analysis of state climate action that we have done has shown an expansionary effect,” Tom Peterson, the CEO of the Center for Climate Strategies (CCS), told us. “It should not be a big leap to figure out how to nationalize it.”

Peterson’s group has worked with governors and elected officials on both sides of the aisle in dozens of states and is completing an economic analysis of state climate action for presentation at a series of events at the Copenhagen meetings.

The laughable, undisclosed thing about this article is that Northrup, one of the co-authors and program director for sustainable development at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, probably has a conversation with Peterson every day. Why? Because RBF funds a substantial majority of their work, as I explained earlier this year:

While (CCS’s) Peterson and (Ken) Colburn have been far from transparent about their origins (they also hide how much they get paid), the work CCS does has also been thoroughly discredited. They forbade any debate or discussion about global warming science. As they wooed states out of as much money as they could (not much, it turns out) to reduce the burden on their subsidizers — mainly the Rockefeller Brothers Fund — they peddled incompetent economics (Green jobs! Cost savings!) in every state where they worked. They could not produce analysis in any state that showed the effect their policy recommendations would have upon climate — ostensibly the purpose for their state commissions. And besides their disregard for recent observed climatological trends, they continue to promote obsolete technologies like biofuels, which recent studies show have increased greenhouse gas emissions rather than reduced them.

So when I asked in the comments section (scroll, baby, scroll) of the Yale 360 article why the authors didn’t disclose the RBF-CCS funding relationship, the answer from co-author Sassoon was that they were disclosed — in RBF’s annual reports! That Leftist version of “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” transparency was then followed by, “So what!” In other words, “you idiot readers ought to be well-acquainted with funding specifics of our multi-million-dollar foundation.”

Then, in keeping with the global warming alarmist playbook, they suggested I disclose who my funders are. So in response I asked if they could share some of that Standard Oil/Exxon slathered Rockefeller dough they enjoy with little ‘ol me. That comment hasn’t been posted at Yale 360 as of this writing.

Update 4:45 p.m.: I forgot to mention that CCS is over in Copenhagen delivering advice about how to further wreck state economies by raising energy costs. Surprise, surprise — RBF’s Michael Northrup is on their honored guest list. Payback is not a bitch at all!

Update 5:24 p.m.: Just noticed that the Yale Environment 360 editors posted the following at the end of the article sometime today:

The original posting of this article should have noted that the Center for Climate Strategies — whose CEO, Tom Peterson, is quoted in the story — has received funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. One of the article’s co-authors, Michael Northrop, is program director for sustainable development at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Likely a result of an email I sent them last night. I would have put it at the beginning of the article, but at least it’s there.

Michael949 December 16, 2009 at 9:19 am

Main stream journalism has no idea how much money is flowing into the hands of global warming alertists. Last week in the LA Times, Tim Rutten’s, in his Op-Ed, Close This Climate “Gate,’ asked, “So what are we to believe: that huge numbers of British and American scientists have entered into a conspiracy to dupe the world on climate change? Why? What would they stand to gain?” This $7 Billion in grant money from the US Government.

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