"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding." - Upton Sinclair
Climate Change Caused by Humans
Global Warming Denial Machine

Please read A Response to Climate Change Denialism by Richard Somerville, a distinguished professor emeritus and research professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, and also Global Warming Deniers and Their Proven Strategy of Doubt and then continue below.

The sections below highlight the AGW Denial Machine and its efforts to try to convince policy makers and the general public that the massive scientific evidence for man-made global warming is either false or a "hoax". Many of these denialists are supported by the fossil fuel industry and other companies that stand to lose money if the world gets "greener". However, there are many well-intentioned people who just do not "believe" that humans can cause the world's climate to change because they either do not have access to the peer-reviewed literature (where climate experts communicate their research) or, if they do, they find these journal articles too difficult to read. Instead these well-intentioned people seek their information from more user-friendly avenues such as Websites, books, television, and radio. The problem is that these portals are not typically where the experts in climate science publish. Instead, these are the portals where "misinformation" can be easily spread. Please view the Suggested Reading page where I have listed Web documents, blogs, and books that will provide the current scientific research in a fairly easy to read format (which is the goal of this Website).

Union of Concerned Scientists Exposes ExxonMobil Funded Organizations & Spokespeople:

The Union of Concerned Scientists, in their expose titled: Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air - How ExxonMobil Uses Big Tobacco's Tactics to Manufacture Uncertainty on Climate Science (2007) show how ExxonMobil waged the most successful and sophisticated global warming denial campaign since that of Big Tobacco's campaign against the dangers of smoking. In their 64 page document, they show that ExxonMobil:

  1. Manufactured uncertainty about climate change by raising doubts about even the most certain science.
  2. Used a tactic known as information laundering by using seemingly independent front groups that pretended to be doing science but were instead just waging public relations for the company. Virtually all of these front groups publicize the work of the same people and these people typically serve as board members or scientific advisors for each of these groups. This tactic creates the illusion that there are many organizations and many people with doubts about global warming.
  3. Funneled about $16 million to these front groups to manufacture this uncertainty.
  4. Paid guilt-less scientists to cherry-pick data and misrepresent peer-reviewed scientific evidence whereby these scientists then used this misinformation to persuade the general public and the media that there was still no scientific consensus.
  5. Shifted the focus away from global warming action by questioning if the data was "sound science".
  6. Used its extraordinary access to the Bush Administration to block regulation and to shape governmental communications about global warming.

These front groups and their spokespeople are listed below. (Some of these groups and people are discussed in more detail on this Web page below.) Click on any image to see a larger version that can be easily viewed.

ExxonMobil Front Groups Page 1
Front Groups Page 1
ExxonMobil Front Groups Page 2
Front Groups Page 2
ExxonMobil Front Groups Page 3
Front Groups Page 3
ExxonMobil Spokespeople Page 1
Spokespeople Page 1
ExxonMobil Spokespeople Page 2
Spokespeople Page 2
ExxonMobil Spokespeople Page 3
Spokespeople Page 3

Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine

According to the Greenpeace document Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine:

"Most Americans have never heard of Koch Industries, one of the largest private corporations in the country, because it has no Koch-branded consumer products, sells no shares on the stock market and has few of the disclosure requirements of a public company. Although Koch intentionally stays out of the public eye, it is now playing a quiet but dominant role in a high-profile national policy debate on global warming.

Koch Industries has become a financial kingpin of climate science denial and clean energy opposition. This private, out-of-sight corporation is now a partner to ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Institute and other donors that support organizations and front-groups opposing progressive clean energy and climate policy. In fact, Koch has out-spent ExxonMobil in funding these groups in recent years. From 2005 to 2008, ExxonMobil spent $8.9 million while the Koch Industries-controlled foundations contributed $24.9 million in funding to organizations of the "climate denial machine".

This report focuses on activities by Koch Industries and its affiliates, as well as the family, and company-controlled foundations which fund organizations that spread inaccurate and misleading information about climate science and clean energy policies. Included is research on the company and the Koch brothers, two of the top ten richest people in the United States."

The Organization of Denial: Conservative Think Tanks and Environmental Scepticism:

Dunlap & Freeman (2008) in their article The Organization of Denial: Conservative Think Tanks and Environmental Scepticism state:

Environmental scepticism denies the seriousness of environmental problems, and self-professed 'sceptics' claim to be unbiased analysts combating 'junk science'. This study quantitatively analyses 141 English-language environmentally sceptical books published between 1972 and 2005. We find that over 92 per cent of these books, most published in the US since 1992, are linked to conservative think tanks (CTTs). Further, we analyse CTTs involved with environmental issues and find that 90 per cent of them espouse environmental scepticism. We conclude that scepticism is a tactic of an elite-driven counter-movement designed to combat environmentalism, and that the successful use of this tactic has contributed to the weakening of US commitment to environmental protection.

They further state: Thus, the notion that environmental skeptics are unbiased analysts exposing the myths and scare tactics employed by those they label as practitioners of 'junk science' lacks credibility. Similarly, the self-portrayal of skeptics as marginalized 'Davids' battling the powerful 'Goliath' of environmentalists and environmental scientists is a charade, as skeptics are supported by politically powerful CTTs funded by wealthy foundations and corporations.

A Few Examples of Organizations that Deny AGW:

The information below has been gleaned from the following sources:

DeSmogBlog.com Directory for Organizations

DeSmogBlog.com Global Warming Disinformation Database




James Hoggan's book: Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming.

Heartland Institute:

Sourcewatch: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Heartland_Institute
Exxonsecrets: http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php?id=41
DeSmog Blog: http://www.desmogblog.com/taxonomy/term/1634 & http://www.desmogblog.com/research-sponsors-behind-heartlands-new-york-climate-change-conference
Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Heartland_Institute

Some of Heartland's key quotes:

Heartland's publications make the following assertions about climate change:

Environment & Climate News

A monthly newsletter espousing very questionable science.

Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change

Edited by S. Fred Singer and Dr. Craig Idso and is the latest attempt by Heartland to discredit the well-established scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming. The publication claims that there were 35 contributors and reviewers. Of these 35, only 22 have credentials that relate to one of the climate sciences. Several of these people also do not have any published articles in peer-reviewed journals related to climate. 22 does not stack up well against the 800+ contributing and 450+ lead authors of the IPCC report.

As Carl Sagan often stated, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." When the overwhelming majority of climate experts state that human activities have dominated modern climate change, the NIPCC should have shown extraordinary evidence to support its claim that nature and not human activity causes climate change. Of course, as with much of this document, the evidence is quite flimsy and never approaches that of extraordinary. Much of what is being represented in this document has been thoroughly discredited by experts in climate science at http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/11/not-the-ipcc-nipcc-report/ and http://www.realclimate.org/wiki/index.php?title=RC_Wiki.

For example, the document suggests that cosmic rays are influencing climate by contributing to low cloud formation with the following statement: "Empirical evidence suggests very strongly that the main cause of warming and cooling on a decadal scale derives from solar activity via its modulation of cosmic rays that in turn affect atmospheric cloudiness. According to published research, cosmic-ray variations are also responsible for major climate changes observed in the paleo-record going back 500 million years."

According to Pierce & Le Page (2007) observations from satellites and model simulations do not support the cosmic ray hypothesis as a major role in low cloud coverage and climate change. Realclimate.org has visited this topic several times with the most recent called Why the continued interest?.

Skepticalscience.com has also visited this topic and summarizes the lack of a link at the thread It's cosmic rays which concludes that the science says: "While the link between cosmic rays and cloud cover is yet to be confirmed, more importantly, there has been no correlation between cosmic rays and global temperatures over the last 30 years of global warming."

Regardless of which research one chooses to consider regarding cosmic rays, there is certainly not enough evidence to hang one's hat on when using this hypothesis to claim that nature and not humans are causing the modern day climate change. If there were many scientists showing irrefutable data to support this claim, then perhaps the NIPCC's claims might hold water. The cosmic ray hypothesis is certainly not "extraordinary evidence" and appears be nothing at all.

The final nail in the coffin of this report is that it actively promotes the Oregon Petition Project which is a complete fraud. One cannot take this report seriously for this single fact alone.

Legislator's Guide to Global Warming Experts

Advises that legislators "should oppose unnecessary and costly global warming programs."

Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable?

Surfacestations.org claim that the U.S. temperature record is unreliable due to poor placement of monitoring stations.

Skeptic's Handbook

In 2008, with the help of the Heartland Institute, Joanne Nova (formerly on the payroll of Shell Oil) published The Skeptic's Handbook. The purpose of this document is to help climate change skeptics to defend their position that humans are not causing global warming.

How reliable is Joanne Nova's opinion? According to her own Website:

"Joanne Nova finished her Bachelor of Science degree with first class honours, A+ grades and prizes (at UWA) majoring in Microbiology, Molecular Biology and doing honours research into DNA markers for use in Muscular Dystrophy trials. She also has a Graduate Certificate in Science Communication from the ANU. Joanne worked for three years as an Associate Lecturer for the Graduate Diploma in Science Communication program at ANU." (Nova, 2009)

She certainly cannot be considered an expert in climate science nor has she done any research in the field. One must question why climate change skeptics use a publication from such a source? This publication is being addressed here because this document has gained much traction recently and the serious errors contained within must be corrected.

This document cites the Oregon Petition as proof that there is no scientific consensus. As mentioned previously, the Oregon Petition is fraudulent and is a purposeful attempt to mislead scientists into signing the petition.

Joanne Nova also lists fourteen scientists as "believers are becoming skeptics" along with some of their quotes. In the case of Dr. Joanne Simpson (JoNova spelled her first name Joanna) the document shows the following incomplete quote: "Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly." Dr. Simpson's full statement can be found here. Of interest is the following excerpt from Dr. Simpson's full statement: "What should we as a nation do? Decisions have to be made on incomplete information. In this case, we must act on the recommendations of Gore and the IPCC because if we do not reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and the climate models are right, the planet as we know it will in this century become unsustainable. But as a scientist I remain skeptical."

Joanne Nova's source for this list of fourteen scientists is from Senator Inhofe who has assembled a list of "scientists" who are global warming skeptics. This dubious list is known as the "Inhofe 400". According to The Daily Green (2008) and Climate Progress (2007) Inhofe's list includes many people who are not climate scientists such as economists, the retired, TV weathermen, mathematicians, amateurs and industry spokespeople.

Because The Skeptic's Handbook endorses the Oregon Petition and Senator Inhofe's dubious list, one must conclude:

  1. Joanne Nova did not do her research or did so without due diligence.
  2. Joanne Nova is intentionally misleading the general public.

Either way, The Skeptic's Handbook is NOT a reliable source for discussing climate change.

The Skeptic's Handbook also lists four main reasons why man cannot be causing global warming. Each of these arguments is seriously flawed. The four points and their mistakes are detailed below:

  1. The Greenhouse Signature is Missing
    According to the Handbook: "Weather balloons have scanned the skies for years but can find no sign of the telltale "hotspot" warming pattern that greenhouse gases would leave. There's not even a hint. Something else caused the warming." and "This is the knock-out blow. If greenhouse gases are warming the earth we are supposed to see the first signs of it in the patch of air 10 kilometers above the tropics. But this 'hot spot' just isn't there."

    Joanne Nova lists her source for this statement as Dr. David Evans who holds degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics but no degrees in any earth sciences. Dr. Evans published "The Missing Hotspot" on his Website at http://www.sciencespeak.com/MissingSignature.pdf. This publication was never submitted for peer-review and has never appeared in a legitimate science journal.

    There are two flaws with this statement: 1) This hotspot is not a signature of the greenhouse effect - it is a signature of warming from any source, and 2) the hotspot is not missing. According to B.D. Santer et al. (2008): "Using state-of-the-art observational datasets and results from a large archive of computer model simulations, a consortium of scientists from 12 different institutions has resolved a long-standing conundrum in climate science - the apparent discrepancy between simulated and observed temperature trends in the tropics. Research published by this group indicates that there is no fundamental discrepancy between modeled and observed tropical temperature trends when one accounts for: 1) the (currently large) uncertainties in observations; 2) the statistical uncertainties in estimating trends from observations. These results refute a recent claim that model and observed tropical temperature trends "disagree to a statistically significant extent". This claim was based on the application of a flawed statistical test and the use of older observational datasets."

    Two other good resources on the so-called missing hot spot can be found at Chris Colose's Skeptics/Denialists Part 2: Hotspots and Repetition and Tim Lambert's David Evans doesn't even know what the hot spot is.

    Increased CO2 emissions will result in a warmer lower atmosphere and a cooler stratosphere which is precisely what has been observed (see: Stratospheric Cooling). Recall that climate models cannot accurately predict the climate change observed in the past century by excluding greenhouse gas emissions due to human activities. When including these greenhouse gas emissions along with natural forcing, the models do predict today's climate. Therefore, today's climate is well explained by the measured increases in greenhouse gases.


  2. Ice Core CO2 Lag
    According to the Handbook: "Instead of carbon pushing up temperatures, for the last half-a-million years temperatures have gone up before carbon dioxide levels. On average 800 years before. This totally threw what we thought was cause-and-effect out the window. Something else caused the warming."

    Before human activities, CO2 was controlled by natural forcing mechanisms that took place over thousands of years. When the climate warmed, more CO2 entered the atmosphere. This increase in CO2 then accelerated the warming so CO2 may not have caused the initial warming but it definitely drove the climate later on. The "CO2 increase lags the temperature increase" argument is moot in today's world because human activities are now driving the CO2 change on very short time scales. CO2 concentrations are known accurately for the past 650,000 years. During that time, they varied between 180 ppm and 300 ppm. As of March 2009, CO2 is 385 ppm which took about 100 years to increase. For comparison, it took over 5,000 years for an 80 ppm rise after the last ice age. Higher values than today have only occurred over many millions of years. The Skeptic's Handbook is comparing apples to oranges. The unprecedented global warming experienced recently is well explained by the measured increases in greenhouse gases.


  3. Temperatures are Not Rising

    According to the Handbook: "Satellites circling the planet twice a day show that the world has not warmed since 2001. How many more years of NO global warming will it take? While temperatures have been flat, CO2 has been rising, BUT something else has changed the trend. The computer models don't know what it is."

    This statement is patently false! Satellite data "infers temperature" and is not a direct measurement of temperature. That is why there are several satellite temperature trends that are published - each uses its own algorithms to estimate temperature. As discussed in the Global Cooling page, GISS, HadCRU, RSS, and UAH represent the four organizations that publish online the global average temperature estimates. All four of these sets show that the planet was warmer between 1998 and 2008 than the previous decade so the assertion that there has been no warming since 2001 is incorrect. In the past few years the rate of warming has decreased but not the temperature. There has been no global cooling! One cannot cherry-pick a few years to try to prove a century's worth of rising temperatures is not occurring. The increased temperature trend since the 1880s is well-documented even though there have been some cooler years in that trend.

    Here is a more technical analysis of why global temperatures have not "cooled since 1998" nor "cooled since 2001" as some global warming critics claim: Embarrassing Questions from the Open Mind Blog.


  4. Adding More CO2 Will Not Cause Much More Warming
    According to the Handbook: "Adding twice the CO2 doesn't make twice the difference. The first CO2 molecules matter a lot, but extra ones have less and less effect. In fact, carbon levels were ten times as high in the past but the world still slipped into an ice age. Carbon today is a bit-part player."

    Another patently false statement. For a detailed description of how carbon dioxide heats the atmosphere please visit Realclimate.org's: A Saturated Gassy Argument. Today's climate is well explained by the measured increases in greenhouse gases.

Because The Skeptic's Handbook contains significant errors in its statements, one must conclude:

  1. Joanne Nova did not do her research or did so without due diligence.
  2. Joanne Nova is intentionally misleading the general public.

Either way, The Skeptic's Handbook is NOT a reliable source for discussing climate change. Increases in greenhouse gases from human activities can easily account for the increased trend in global temperatures over the past century. As mentioned often in this site, there are no other known mechanisms that can account for this unprecedented global warming on such a short time scale. Joanne Nova suggests that "something else must have caused it" but she never explains what this might be...because she cannot!

Joanne Nova ends The Skeptic's Handbook with the following statement which reveals the true motivation of her document: "An emissions trading scheme is a bad solution to a problem that's gone, fighting a cause that never was ..." Doesn't this sound like it comes from the fossil fuel industry?

Competitive Enterprise Institute:

Sourcewatch: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Competitive_Enterprise_Institute
Exxonsecrets: http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php?id=2
DeSmog Blog: http://www.desmogblog.com/taxonomy/term/1636
Media Matters: http://mediamattersaction.org/transparency/organization/Competitive_Enterprise_Institute/funders
Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Competitive_Enterprise_Institute

Looking at the documented major funders of the Competitive Enterprise Institute:

  1. Exxon Mobil: $1,690,000 (Media Matters);
  2. Scaife Foundations: $3,215,000 (Media Matters);
  3. Koch Foundations: $345,000 (Media Matters)

Documented Total for Exxon Mobil, Scaife, and Koch: $5,250,000

Sources of wealth:

  1. Exxon – oil;
  2. Scaife – Mellon industrial, oil, uranium and banking (SourceWatch);
  3. Koch – oil trading and refining, chemicals, process and pollution control equipment, meat and dairy, etc. (SourceWatch)

Fraser Institute:

See My Blog Post on Fraser Institute

Sourcewatch: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Fraser_Institute
Exxonsecrets: http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php?id=107
DeSmog Blog: http://www.desmogblog.com/taxonomy/term/1644
Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraser_Institute


Independent Summary for Policymakers (ISPM)
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Independent_Summary_for_Policymakers - Sourcewatch's description of the flaws with this document
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/02/fraser-institute-fires-off-a-damp-squib/ - Realclimate's description of the flaws with this document

Understanding Climate Change - A shortened version of the ISPM.

Understanding Climate Change: Lesson Plans for the Classroom - Lesson plans based on the documents above that were distributed to thousands of school children across Canada and the U.S. They have no shame! See also: Fraser Institute pitching to students in latest attempt to cloud global warming evidence by DeSmog Blog.

An excellent blog post by Deep Climate about the Fraser Institute and its main funder, Michael Chernoff, can be located at: Understanding climate with the Fraser Institute and Michael Chernoff

George C. Marshall Institute:

Sourcewatch: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=George_C._Marshall_Institute
Exxonsecrets: http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php?id=36
DeSmog Blog: http://www.desmogblog.com/taxonomy/term/1660
Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_C._Marshall_Institute

Global Climate Coalition:

Sourcewatch: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Global_Climate_Coalition
Exxonsecrets: http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php?id=38
Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Climate_Coalition

Andrew Revkin writes about the Global Climate Coalition in an April 2009 article:

Its own scientific and technical experts were advising that the science backing the role of greenhouse gases in global warming could not be refuted. "The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied," the experts wrote in an internal report compiled for the coalition in 1995.

The coalition was financed by fees from large corporations and trade groups representing the oil, coal and auto industries, among others. In 1997, the year an international climate agreement that came to be known as the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated, its budget totaled $1.68 million, according to tax records obtained by environmental groups.

Exxonsecrets' List of Organizations Funded by ExxonMobil

Timothy Chase, a frequent poster on various climate blogs, has researched the various funding sources for organizations mentioned above and has graciously allowed me to post his results here. Total grants from various foundations to organizations that are also funded by Exxon:

Aggregated Grants of Scaife Foundations
Includes: Scaife Family Foundation, Carthage Foundation, Allegheny Foundation and Sara Scaife Foundation

For the period from 1985 to 2006:

1. A Total of 41 organizations found in the Exxon Secrets database where each organization received at least $100,000.

2. Number of individuals belonging to multiple organizations according to the database: 148.

3. The total grants for all causes by Scaife Foundations for this period was $471,475,733 according to Media Transparency. Looking only at organizations that received $100,000 or more over this period that were in the Exxon Secrets database yields $121,418,540. As such, while only 41 of the 434 organizations that received total grant amounts of at least $100,000 were in the Exxon Secrets database, thus constituting only 9.45% of the 434 organizations, 27.75% of the grant money went to organizations that are in the Exxon Secrets database.


The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, Inc.

27 organizations on the Exxon list have received $100,000 or more from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation from 1985-2005, with 95 individuals belonging to 2 or more of those organizations. The grand total given by the foundation to these 27 organizations for this period is $64,707,196.


Aggregated Grants from the Charles G. Koch, David H. Koch, and Claude R. Lambe Foundations

20 organizations on the Exxon list have received $100,000 or more from the Koch/Lambe foundations from 1986-2004. Total number of individuals belonging to 2 or more of these organizations in the Exxon Secrets DB is 77. Total given: $36,815,538.


Coors Castle Rock Foundation

18 organizations on the Exxon list having received $100,000 or more from the Castle Rock foundation from 1995-2006. A total of 69 individuals on the Exxon list that belong to 2 or more of these organizations. Total given $7,068,760.


The total funding from these sets of foundations going to organizations that also receive funding from Exxon and have been identified as part of the Exxon disinformation network: $230,010,034

Four sets of foundations (Scaife, Bradley, Koch and Coors) have given over $262,146,651 to disinformation organizations that attack climate science which are also funded by Exxon.

Timothy Chase also made available the lists of the organizations themselves and of the amounts that they received from each set of foundations, and links to the Web pages (Media Matters “Transparency,” Exxon Secrets, SourceWatch) for virtually all of the information. The list can be viewed here.

Notorious Industry-Funded Individuals

The people listed below include a very small sample of those individuals who for political and economic reasons are misleading the general public and our policy-makers. For a more complete list please see the Union of Concerned Scientists list near the top of this Web page. One can also look at the names listed at DeSmog Blog's people directory at: http://www.desmogblog.com/directory/vocabulary/5 or just type a name into the search box on Exxonsecrets or SourceWatch.

S. Fred Singer:

Sourcewatch: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=S._Fred_Singer
Exxonsecrets: http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/personfactsheet.php?id=1
DeSmog Blog: http://www.desmogblog.com/people/fred-singer
Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Singer

Fred Singer Crock Peter Sinclair's Climate Crock of the Week: That 1500 Year Thing
Climate Deniers S. Fred Singer and Dennis Avery make their living by confusing and obfuscating the science of climate change. Their latest book, "Unstoppable Global Warming every 1500 Years", is a compendium of vintage as well as cutting edge climate crocks. This video shows who they are and how they are bamboozling their audience.

Dr. Frederick Seitz:

Sourcewatch: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Frederick_Seitz
Exxonsecrets: http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/personfactsheet.php?id=6
DeSmog Blog: http://www.desmogblog.com/taxonomy/term/1680
Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Seitz

Timothy Ball:

Sourcewatch: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Timothy_Ball
Exxonsecrets: http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/personfactsheet.php?id=1164
DeSmog Blog: http://www.desmogblog.com/people/tim-ball
Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_F._Ball



Last Updated: 11/7/18