Wed Feb 6, 2013, 02:53 PM
octoberlib (5,727 posts)
Art Pope still funding climate disinformation
As North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory's budget director, Art Pope will help make important fiscal decisions for a state facing serious threats due to climate disruption, from destructive storms and more intense hurricanes to unusually fast-rising seas.
But he will carry out that work in a political context that's been shaped by disinformation about climate science -- thanks to efforts Pope himself has generously funded.
According to a Facing South analysis of the latest annual tax filing from the John William Pope Foundation, Pope's family fund gave almost $5.7 million from July 2011 through June 2012 to conservative think tanks and advocacy groups that work to deny the scientific consensus that global warming is happening and driven at least in part by human activities like burning fossil fuels and cutting down forests. That represents 61 percent of total giving for the year by the Pope Foundation, which draws its wealth from the Pope family's discount-retail chain, Variety Wholesalers. Pope has long been a big contributor to efforts to challenge climate science and block any action to address global warming. Our previous analysis of tax return data showed that the Pope Foundation donated generously to many of the groups that make up what Greenpeace has dubbed the "climate denial machine," a network of industry-supported think tanks that works to sow doubt about global warming -- over $24 million from 1997 to 2008.
* The biggest recipient at over $2.6 million is the John Locke Foundation, which promotes the idea that global warming is a "hoax." A conservative Raleigh, N.C.-based think tank that was founded by Pope and gets most of its support from his foundation, JLF has been one of the most outspoken voices of climate denial in North Carolina, claiming that global warming is a "pseudoscientific fraud." It has worked closely with other prominent denier groups and individuals to cast doubt on the science of global warming; Paul Chesser, a former JLF editor who is prominent in climate denial circles, accused Christians concerned about climate of suffering from “Biblical illiteracy” and cited the Book of Revelation to warn them that “God has some serious global warming of His own planned.” JLF is currently advocating repeal of North Carolina's renewable energy law.
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