The grandly named EnviroTruth web site has section that purports to debunk “myths” about climate change. The “myths” include the usual false claims such as satellite measurements don’t show warming, but “myth” number 11 is pretty funny.
Here’s “myth” 11:
Those Who Question Whether Human Activity Contributes in Any Significant Fashion to Climate Change are Secretly Funded by Coal, Oil, Gas and Other “Smokestack” Industries.’
Brandon MacGillis of Ozone Action, a Washington DC-based public interest group, refers to global warming doubters as “part of a handful of skeptics, mostly coal producers and users, who are still trying to debate the scientific certainty of this threat.” David Suzuki, an influential Canadian environmentalist, makes a similar claim and refers to those who oppose his views on this topic as “anti-environmentalists.”
Here’s their debunking:
Despite the condemnations of radical environmentalists, it is a safe bet to conclude that scientists who express skepticism about the likelihood of an imminent, human-caused climate change catastrophe act independently of their funding sources – in other words, they aren’t motivated by money. With all scientists competing for very limited funding resources, and due to the strong media and government interest in this area, it has become an attractive selling point for scientists to be able to associate their research in some way with global warming. As a consequence, reference to global warming tends to be made whenever possible, often for projects that are often only distantly related to that line of research. Global warming skeptics are unable to make this association and, thus, have no covert incentive to oppose the alarmists. More to the point, the vast majority would receive more funding if they did endorse the more politically-correct global warming theory.
I hope you were paying attention there. Did you notice that they never got around to actually saying that the alleged myth was false? In fact they seem to have tacitly admitted that the sceptics are funded by carbon energy companies. Their assertion that these sceptics could get more money is also pretty silly. Scientists are funded to conduct research, not reach pre-defined conclusions. If the sceptics could do work that could meet the standards of the top journals, then they could get funding without taking money from energy companies.
So anyway, who funds Envirotruth? If you follow the links from their page you eventually get to this page, which states:
Our audited figures show that most — 81.5% in 2002, 93% in 2001, 93% in 2000, 88% in 1999 and 80% in 1998 — of The National Center’s funding comes from small gifts from individuals. The remainder comes from foundation/non-profit grants (16% in 2002, 4.6% in 2001, 3% in 2000, 5% in 1999 and 11.6% in 1998), with additional income coming from corporate contributions (2.0% in 2002, 2.6% in 2001, 4% in 2000, 4% in 1999 and 8% in 1998), sales of publications and materials and interest income.
Cool, no mention of funding by energy companies.
However, if you check the always useful Disinfopedia you find that
In 2003 [ExxonMobil] boosted its general operating support to $25,000 with another $30,000 for “global climate change/EnviroTruth website”
Not only is Envirotruth specifically funded by an oil company, it’s secretly funded by an oil company. That was some refutation.