Saturday, May 14, 2011

More on Templeton, Atlas, and climate denial

In a recent post about Templeton’s antiscience activities (receiving some attention at the moment thanks to a link in a piece by Jerry Coyne, which I strongly recommend), I mentioned the infamous 2009 Heartland Institute climate conference. DeSmogBlog’s list of conference sponsors detailed the over $47 million received by the sponsoring organizations from ExxonMobil and the Koch and Scaife Foundations since the mid-‘80s. The Atlas Economic Research Foundation received funding from all three of the sources of interest to DSB, and they noted that Atlas in turn had funded another sponsor, the Alternate Solutions Institute.

DSB didn’t look at Templeton, but it’s funded at least a few of the sponsors (Free to Choose, John Locke, and Atlas) directly, as I discussed earlier. In fact, Atlas’ grant from Templeton – to support, it appears, its think-tank efforts - for the four-year 2009-2012 period alone is more than the total funding Atlas received from the other three sources combined over the entire period DSB considered.

I noted parenthetically in the previous post on the subject that several of the organizations listed as sponsors are funded by Atlas, and I’d like to be more specific. Most of these were listed by DSB as having “No funding records from Exxon, Koch, or Scaife,” but they all appear to be in the Atlas international stable:
  • Institute of Public Affairs, Australia

  • Instituto de Libre Impresa, Peru (2007 Templeton Freedom Award grant winner)

  • Instituto Juan de Mariana, Spain (2008 and 2010 Templeton Freedom Award winner)

  • Instituto Liberdade, Brazil (2006 Templeton Freedom Award grant winner)

  • Instituto Bruno Leoni, Italy (2004 Templeton Freedom Award winner)

  • Liberales Institut, Switzerland (2005 Templeton Freedom Award winner)*
  • This may not be exhaustive, nor, as the MJ article I linked to above shows, do the sponsors of this conference represent all of the climate denialist organizations promoted by Atlas. Naturally, Atlas isn’t necessarily the sole funding source for these organizations, though its financial and other support may well be necessary to keep some of them in operation. But it’s clear that Templeton and Atlas are in the climate denial game.

    * You may have noticed a pattern here similar to that of the awarding of the Templeton Prize.

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