Charles and David Koch, a.k.a. the Koch Bros.—who have come to represent the face (or faces) of the US conservative movement and its primary, though certainly not only, source of private funding—have continued, and perhaps deepened, according to new reporting, their involvement with the ongoing masquerade of climate change denial politics on both sides of the Atlantic.
The two men symbolize, for many at least, the best example of the worst kind of people: billionaire titans of industry who use their outrageous wealth to push libertarian policies that thwart the hopes and possibilities of a better and more sustainable world for all.
Between the reams of investigative work (most notably by the folks at Center for Media & Democracy and other progressive media outlets) and their own exploits and public comments, the goals of the Koch's, and their network of allies—monikered as a singular and tyrannical 'Kochtopus'—have been made impeccably clear.
Still, a new report by journalist Steve Connor, at the UK-based Independent, has uncovered new information about the depth and manner of the Koch's secretive and ongoing funding of the international effort to undermine climate science.
As Connor shows, the 'Kochtopus' annually delivers millions to a cabal of front groups, think tanks, and non-profits—both in the US and abroad—whose sole purpose is to shield the public from the reality that the fossil fuel-driven economey of modern society is driving the capacity of Earth's biosphere to its breaking point.
Anonymous private funding of global warming sceptics, who have criticised climate scientists for their lack of transparency, is becoming increasingly common. The Kochs, for instance, have overtaken the corporate funding of climate denialism by oil companies such as ExxonMobil. One such organisation, Americans for Prosperity, which was established by David Koch, claimed that the "Climategate" emails illegally hacked from the University of East Anglia in 2009 proved that global warming was the "biggest hoax the world has ever seen".
Robert Brulle, a sociologist at Drexel University in Philadelphia, has estimated that over the past decade about $500m has been given to organisations devoted to undermining the science of climate change, with much of the money donated anonymously through third parties.
Read the full report here.