An organisation that has funneled millions of dollars into groups promoting climate science denial has appointed a new CEO who signed a declaration dismissing the overwhelming evidence that human activities are causing climate change.
Lawson Bader, currently the CEO at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, will join Donors Trust in November.
Donors Trust (DT), together with its sister organisation Donors Capital Fund (DCF), is a key funding arm of the climate science denial movement in the United States.
The organisation creates so called “donor-advised funds” on behalf of wealthy conservatives, and then uses those funds to finance “good conservative and liberty-oriented causes”.
DT asks potential donors to sign a declaration stating “it is wrong that the fortunes of successful Americans are being used to fund political and social causes that undermine the free market economy.”
In September 2014, Bader (pictured), an evangelical Christian, signed a declaration organised by the Cornwall Alliance calling on politicians to “abandon fruitless and harmful policies to control global temperature”.
The declaration claimed that “God’s wise design and faithful sustaining” of the Earth would “suppress and correct” any damage, including to the climate.
The declaration promoted a series of misleading statements about the impacts of burning fossil fuels on the world’s climate. The document claimed that rising CO2 would help the poor and that changes in global temperature were natural.
Bader joined CEI in January 2013 after spending 16 years at the Mercatus Center — a think tank based at George Mason University — where he was vice president.
According to Greenpeace, during Bader’s time at Mercatus the centre accepted more than $10million in funding from foundations linked to the oil billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.
Charles Koch and Koch Industries director Richard Fink are both long standing Mercatus board members.
Koch Brothers foundations have also been major backers of the CEI, a think tank that has also worked to spread doubt over the links between fossil fuel emissions and dangerous climate change. CEI has also accepted cash from several fossil fuel corporations.
Last year a CEI fellow Marlo Lewis claimed that problems caused by rising sea levels, linked to global warming caused by fossil fuel burning, would be easily solved by simply moving low lying cities like New York and Boston.
Bader’s move to DT will see him remain within the funding circle of Republican activists the Koch Brothers. DeSmog analysis has found that one foundation controlled by Charles Koch – the Knowledge and Progress Fund – gave $7.65 million to DT between 2010 and 2013. KPF did not give grants to any other organisation over that period.
DeSmog revealed that since 2005, more than $470 million of untraceable money has flowed through DT and DCF.
Donors Trust had been searching for a new CEO since prior to the death of its founder, Whitney Ball, in August this year.
Picture: Flickr/Gage Skidmore