Right-Wing Billionaire Fueled Climate Denial & Conservative Judges, Schools

new revelations about how the secretive right-wing billionaire Barre Seid conducts what he calls “attack philanthropy.” Last month, The Lever and ProPublica and The New York Times first exposed how Seid used his electronics fortune to pack the Supreme Court with a conservative supermajority. Now details from emails released through open records requests show Seid also backed the Heartland Institute, which has spent decades attacking mainstream climate science. He also secretly funded groups that fight Medicaid expansion and work to reshape the education system.

For more, we’re joined by Andrew Perez, senior editor and reporter at The Lever. He co-reported this new exposé with ProPublica’s Andy Kroll and Justin Elliott, headlined “How a Billionaire’s ‘Attack Philanthropy’ Secretly Funded Climate Denialism and Right-Wing Causes.”

we recently reported about how Barre Seid converted his electronics company into a $1.6 billion donation for Leonard Leo, the right-wing Supreme Court architect. And what we’ve reported now is, you know, we spoke to people who know Seid, we reviewed emails we obtained through public records requests, and we got a sense of what his philanthropic approach looks like. And what he calls that is “attack philanthropy.” And the idea is making financial bets that have the power to make

— source democracynow.org | Sep 08, 2022

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What is scientific consensus

You’ll most likely have seen instances where the term “scientific consensus” has been misused or misunderstood. People for example often confuse it with appeals to popular opinion or think it is the result of discussions or determined by a vote or just finding a compromise. Because of this, opinion polls – even if predominated by unqualified individuals – are used to argue that no scientific consensus exists for a particular topic even if it clearly does.

It’s important to note that a scientific consensus is not proof for a scientific theory but that it’s the result of converging lines of evidence all pointing to the same conclusion. It is therefore not a part of the scientific method but is actually a consequence of it. When people argue against a scientific consensus, they are usually

— source skepticalscience.com | BaerbelW | 30 Nov 2022

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Climate scientist on hunger strike ‘after being refused bail’

A scientist who was arrested during a climate change protest is on hunger strike after being denied bail, it has been claimed. Activist group Extinction Rebellion claims Emma Smart, an ecologist, was detained on Thursday during a protest with 24 fellow scientists at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in London. Smart, who is also refusing water, is being held at Charing Cross Police Station waiting for a court hearing on Saturday, the group said. Along with eight other scientists, Smart has been charged with criminal damage after pasting scientific papers to the government building and glueing themselves to its glass frontage.

— source news.yahoo.com | Apr 15, 2022

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10 fringe publishers fuel 69% of digital climate change denial

The science is undeniable – human activity is warming our planet at an ever-accelerating rate and leading to catastrophic climate change.

Yet, ten publishers – The Toxic Ten – are spreading baseless, unscientific climate denial on their own websites and across social media. They are responsible for 69% of all interactions with climate denial content on Facebook.

It’s a climate denial propaganda machine funded in part by Google via ad revenue, and spread across the world via social media, in particular Facebook, who allow them to pay to promote their denial.

We are calling on Facebook and Google to stop promoting and funding climate denial, start labelling it as misinformation, and stop giving the advantages of their enormous platforms to lies and misinformation.

Click to access f4d9b9_277d4dc5f1f84858a6a2dc149f00b759.pdf

— source counterhate.com | Nov 3, 2021

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Climate misinformation on Facebook viewed 1.4 million times daily

Facebook may be changing its corporate name, but it’s still peddling climate misinformation. According to a new report from the advocacy organization Stop Funding Heat and the ad hoc group of activists called the Real Facebook Oversight Board, the platform’s existing mechanisms don’t go nearly far enough to rein in false or misleading content about climate change.

The groups analyzed 48,700 posts published between January and August 2021, covering 196 Facebook groups and pages that are known to publish false climate claims. They identified 38,925 instances of climate misinformation — only 3.6 percent of which had been evaluated by Facebook’s third-party fact-checkers. Eighty-five percent of the content bore no link to the platform’s Climate Science Center, a tool the company launched ostensibly to provide Facebook users with “factual resources from the world’s leading climate organizations.”

“The extent of climate misinformation on Facebook’s platform is a lot more than they are giving away,” said Sean Buchan, Stop Funding Heat’s research and partnerships manager and a lead author of the report.

According to the report, this mostly unfiltered climate misinformation was viewed up to 1.36 million times daily over the past eight months — nearly 14 times the alleged daily user traffic to Facebook’s climate science information hub.

— source grist.org | Joseph Winters | Nov 04, 2021

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Here’s What Climate Scientists Are Really Saying About This Catastrophic Summer

The Salt Fire burns in the hills above Shasta Lake on July 01, 2021 in Lakehead, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

By all accounts, the climate crisis is already here. Deadly heat domes across the Pacific Northwest, a petroleum pipeline leak in the middle of the ocean that set the Gulf of Mexico on fire, and the deadly floods in Germany and Belgium in the past few weeks alone have proved that the world is changing in response to how we have changed it.*

No one should be surprised by this. For decades, scientists have been ringing the alarm bell about anthropogenic climate change. Over 30 years ago, NASA scientist James Hansen told the U.S. Congress that the “greenhouse effect is here.” And long before then, in the 1800s, scientists like Svante Arrhenius calculated that doubling the amount of CO2 that was in the atmosphere in 1895 would lead to global warming of 5 to 6 degrees Celsius in average global temperatures. “That wasn’t too far off,” said Peter Kalmus, a climate scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, speaking on his own behalf. It was just that Arrhenius’s timeframe for how quickly humans would emit those gasses was way off, Kalmus added: “It only took about 125 years for that increase in CO2 fraction that he thought would take 3000 years. He grossly underestimated the rate of emissions from burning fossil fuels that we actually did.”

Arrhenius’s original prediction represents a lot of the current problems faced by climate change models. Understanding where we are on the climate change timeline requires multiple steps—we need to know how much greenhouse gas has been emitted, how much those greenhouse gases have increased the global temperature, and then finally, we need to take one last step that even Arrhenius never took—we need to understand how those changes in global temperature will affect the climate we experience. It’s this last bit that is

— source slate.com | Sofia Andrade | Jul 15, 2021

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Billionaires Race to Privatize & Monopolize Space as Earth Burns

As the world’s richest man flies his Blue Origin rocket into suborbital space, here on Earth calls are growing to tax the rich and let Amazon unionize. Billionaire Jeff Bezos has faced strong criticism after Tuesday’s flight, for which he thanked Amazon workers and customers who “paid for all of this.” Bezos traveled to the edge of space just days after another billionaire, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, took a similar trip on a Virgin Galactic spacecraft. “The richest and most powerful people in the world are turning their eyes away from the planet and to the stars,” says Paris Marx, a writer and host of the podcast “Tech Won’t Save Us.” “We need to question whether we should be dedicating so much resources to this kind of grand vision of a future that may never arrive,” Marx says. We also speak with journalist Peter Ward, author of the book “The Consequential Frontier: Challenging the Privatization of Space,” who says billionaires who have monopolized large sectors of the economy are seeking to do the same for space infrastructure. “It’s not the worst thing to have the private sector involved. It’s just it can’t be where they have complete control,” Ward says.

for so long people have been criticizing this, have been saying that it’s not something that we should do. But to watch this, the richest man in the world, a man who admitted after his flight that all of his wealth comes from the workers who, you know, work for Amazon, who have been underpaid, who have been mistreated for so, so long, and then to compare that with the stories that we’ve been seeing in recent weeks about, you know, the fires in British Columbia burning a whole town to the ground, the wet-bulb temperatures in Pakistan, the flooding that’s happening in Europe, it’s just wild to put these stories next to one another and to see that at a moment when we have so many crises, even beyond the climate crisis, that we need to be dealing with, that the richest and most powerful people in the world are turning their eyes away from the planet into the stars.

— source democracynow.org | Jul 22, 2021

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Exxon lobbyists caught

In what can only be described as both shocking and unsurprising at the same time, yesterday Greenpeace’s investigative journalism outfit, Unearthed, released video of two high-ranking ExxonMobil lobbyists (one current, one recently left the company) saying the quiet part out loud about Exxon’s ruthless political efforts to stall progress on the climate crisis and protect its own bottom line.

First reported by the U.K.’s Channel 4, the statements came by way of a sting operation by Unearthed, in which they recorded zoom conversations that were staged as discussions with a fake headhunting firm seeking candidates for a fictional new position. What Keith McCoy, a senior director of federal relations for Exxon Mobil, and Dan Easley who served as White House lobbyist for Exxon while Trump was in office, revealed might have been mistaken for a whistleblower complaint if it weren’t for the fact that they were bragging about it in the context of what they thought were job interviews.

See a ten-minute video from Unearthed with excerpts from the “interviews” of Exxon-affiliated lobbyists here:

— source priceofoil.org | David Turnbull | Jul 1, 2021

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Exxon’s lobbyists exposing the truth


[this explains our democracies too. “but still i believe my boss!”]

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Oil Industry’s Suppression of Climate Science Began in 1940s

A trove of newly uncovered documents shows that fossil fuel companies were explicitly warned of the risks of climate change decades earlier than previously suspected.

And while it’s no secret—anymore—that the companies knew about those dangers long ago, the documents, published Wednesday by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), reveal even more about the broader industry effort to suppress climate science and foment public doubt about global warming.

Industry executives met in Los Angeles in 1946 to discuss growing public concern about air pollution. That meeting led to the formation of a panel—suitably named the Smoke and Fumes Committee—to conduct research into air pollution issues.

But the research was not meant to be a public service; rather, it was used by the committee to “promote public skepticism of environmental science and


— source commondreams.org | Nadia Prupis | Apr 13, 2016

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