Cooler Heads Coalition

Cooler Heads Coalition (CHC)

Background

The Cooler Heads Coalition (CHC), located online at GlobalWarming.org, describes itself as an “informal and ad-hoc group focused on dispelling the myths of global warming.“1About,” Cooler Heads Coalition. Archived October 18, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/hLJmH 2Contributors,” GlobalWarming.org. Archived October 18, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Ta3X2

The Cooler Heads Coalition (CHC) was formed on May 6, 1997, under the direction of the National Consumer Coalition—a project of the now-defunct Consumer Alert—“out of concern that the American people were not being informed about the economic impact of proposals to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”3About,” Cooler Heads Coalition. Archived October 18, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/hLJmH The CHC is now backed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), as noted on CHC’s “About” page which states that the website is “paid for and maintained by” CEI.4The Cooler Heads Coalition,” GlobalWarming.org, February 4, 2004. Archived April 27, 2006. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/gblrI

Myron Ebell, director of global warming and international environmental policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), was listed as the “group leader” when the the Cooler Heads Coalition was initially formed, and appears to maintain an important role.5The Cooler Heads Coalition,” GlobalWarming.org, February 4, 2004. Archived April 27, 2006. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/gblrI

The Cooler Heads Coalition describes its website as “one of the Coalition’s principal educational outreach activities,” and it regularly releases blog posts questioning man-made climate change. While Consumer Alert and the National Consumer Coalition are now defunct, both groups historically opposed regulations on industry and advocated “free market” consumer solutions.6Global Warming Web Site Offers News and Information,” P.R. Newswire, April 5, 2004. Published by the Boston Globe. Archived April 8, 2004. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/uAozn The National Consumer Coalition initially formed CHC in late 1996 as “an on-going coalition of market-oriented national and state-level policy and activist groups, which focus on consumer issues in the policy arena.”7Global Warming Web Site Offers News and Information,” P.R. Newswire, April 5, 2004. Published by the Boston Globe. Archived April 8, 2004. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/uAozn

According to CHC founding documents, GlobalWarming.org, “designed and maintained by Consumer Alert, pools together information from experts both inside and outside of the coalition and serves as a clearinghouse for information on global warming science and policy proposals.”8The Cooler Heads Coalition,” GlobalWarming.org, February 4, 2004. Archived April 27, 2006. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/gblrI

In addition to their website, founding documents noted that CHC would operate the “The Cooler Heads Newsletter.” CHC members would also sponsor a regular series of science and economic briefings on Capitol Hill, featuring “prominent researchers and academicians to discuss scientific and economic research relating to global warming issues. Congressional staff members, policy makers, and the media are invited to these educational sessions.”9The Cooler Heads Coalition,” GlobalWarming.org, February 4, 2004. Archived April 27, 2006. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/gblrI

Other activities would include the following:

  • “Besides the publications sponsored by the group, individual Cooler Heads members publish research studies, reports, and issue briefs on scientific, economic, and political aspects of global warming policies. Members also sponsor press conferences, rallies, and consumer surveys.
  • Members give numerous presentations, sponsor seminars, take part in debates, and appear regularly on television and radio talk shows to discuss global warming issues. Articles and opinion pieces by Cooler Heads members appear in newspapers and magazines around the country and abroad.
  • Several Cooler Heads member groups are involved in the global warming treaty negotiations as NGOs (non-governmental organizations) at the United Nations negotiating sessions.”10The Cooler Heads Coalition,” GlobalWarming.org, February 4, 2004. Archived April 27, 2006. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/gblrI

Members

Name200411The Cooler Heads Coalition,” GlobalWarming.org, February 4, 2004. Archived April 27, 2006. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/gblrIThe Cooler Heads Coalition,” GlobalWarming.org. Archived April 12, 2004. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/lWnpt200712About,” Cooler Heads Coalition. Archived November 14, 2007. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.200813About,” Cooler Heads Coalition. Archived September 16, 2008. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.201014About,” Cooler Heads Coalition. Archived November 16, 2010. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.201515About,” Cooler Heads Coalition. Archived October 18, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/hLJmH201716About,” Cooler Heads Coalition. Archived January 3, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/zjQzE
60 Plus AssociationYYYYYY
Alexis de Tocqueville InstitutionYYYY Y
America’s Future Foundation  YY Y
American Conservative Union    Y 
American Energy Alliance    Y 
American Legislative Exchange CouncilYYYYYY
American Policy CenterYYYYYY
Americans for Prosperity   YYY
Americans for Tax ReformYYYYYY
Association of Concerned TaxpayersY     
Center for Security PolicyY     
Citizens for a Sound EconomyY     
Committee for a Constructive TomorrowYYYYYY
Competitive Enterprise InstituteYYYYYY
Consumer AlertY     
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste    Y 
Defenders of Property RightsY     
Eagle Forum    Y 
Fraser Institute, CanadaYYYYYY
Freedom Action    Y 
FreedomWorks YYYYY
Frontiers of FreedomYYYYYY
George C. Marshall InstituteYYYYYY
Heartland InstituteYYYYYY
Heritage FoundationY     
Independent InstituteYYYYYY
Istituto Bruno Leoni, ItalyYYYYYY
John Locke Foundation    Y 
JunkScience.comYYYYYY
Lavoisier Group, Australia YYYYY
Liberty Institute, India YYYYY
National Center for Policy AnalysisYYYYYY
National Center for Public Policy ResearchYYY Y 
Pacific Research InstituteYYYYYY
Seniors CoalitionYYYY Y
Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council YYYYY
Small Business Survival CommitteeY     
Taxpayers’ Alliance, Uk    Y 
The Advancement of Sound Science CoalitionY     

Stance on Climate Change

The Cooler Heads Coalition’s initial mission was to “dispel the myths of global warming by exposing flawed economic, scientific, and risk analysis.”17Global Warming Web Site Offers News and Information,” P.R. Newswire, April 5, 2004. Published by the Boston Globe. Archived April 8, 2004. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/uAozn

2004

“Members of the coalition point out that the science of global warming is uncertain, but the negative impacts of global warming policies on consumers are all too real.”18The Cooler Heads Coalition,” GlobalWarming.org, February 4, 2004. Archived April 27, 2006. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/gblrI

Funding

The Cooler Heads Coalition website, GlobalWarming.org. is paid for and maintained by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).19About,” Cooler Heads Coalition. Archived October 18, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/hLJmH

The majority of Coalition Members have received significant funding from the oil industry and right-wing think tanks. CEI itself has received over $1.6 million from ExxonMobil, and hundreds of thousands of dollars from Koch foundations.20About,” Cooler Heads Coalition. Archived October 18, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/hLJmH 21Competitive Enterprise Institute,” Conservative Transparency. Data retrieved May 27, 2016.

Key People

According to SourceWatch, former Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) director Marlo Lewis was the original Chair of the Cooler Heads Coalition while Myron Ebell, CEI’s Director of Global Warming and International Environmental Policy, directed it.22Cooler Heads Coalition,” SourceWatch Profile. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/tHDhy

GlobalWarming.org lists the following “contributors,” as of November, 2016:23Contributors,” GlobalWarming.org. November 11, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/TkXGU

Past Contributors

According to Greenpeace Research documents (PDF), representatives for CHC have also included the following:24“The Cooler Heads Coalition” (PDF), Greenpeace. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  • Frances B. Smith
  • Jim Lucier
  • Damon Ansell
  • Jan Faiks
  • Craig Rucker
  • Renee Stykes
  • Angella Antonelli
  • Joel Bucher
  • Steve Milloy
  • Don Senese
  • Nancy Marzulla
  • John Shanahan
  • David Ridenour
  • Nona Wegner

Actions

September 2017

The Washington Post reported on the influence that Myron Ebell and the Cooler Heads Coalition (CHC) played in President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.25Robert O’Harrow Jr. “A two-decade crusade by conservative charities fueled Trump’s exit from Paris climate accord,” The Washington Post, September 5, 2017. Archived September 5, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/OFtlj

“He [Trump] made the decision. We helped create the circumstances,” Ebell told The Washington Post. “When you are persistent, good things can happen.”26Robert O’Harrow Jr. “A two-decade crusade by conservative charities fueled Trump’s exit from Paris climate accord,” The Washington Post, September 5, 2017. Archived September 5, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/OFtlj

The Washington Post notes that this is an example of the “little-known role that tax-exempt public charities play in modern campaigns to sway lawmakers and shape policy in the nation’s capital, while claiming to be nonpartisan educational organizations.”27Robert O’Harrow Jr. “A two-decade crusade by conservative charities fueled Trump’s exit from Paris climate accord,” The Washington Post, September 5, 2017. Archived September 5, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/OFtlj

The Post noted that members of the CHC are only a small part of the larger network of tax-exempt nonprofit groups “linked by ideology and funding, that supported Trump while disparaging Democrat Hillary Clinton in last year’s presidential campaign.”28Robert O’Harrow Jr. “A two-decade crusade by conservative charities fueled Trump’s exit from Paris climate accord,” The Washington Post, September 5, 2017. Archived September 5, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/OFtlj

Robert Brulle, professor of sociology and environmental science at Drexel University, described the situation:29Robert O’Harrow Jr. “A two-decade crusade by conservative charities fueled Trump’s exit from Paris climate accord,” The Washington Post, September 5, 2017. Archived September 5, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/OFtlj

“Public charities serve as so-called independent think tanks, providing analysis to create the appearance they are independent, third-party voices,” Brulle said. “It becomes so complicated and so sophisticated. This is how modern politics operates.”30Robert O’Harrow Jr. “A two-decade crusade by conservative charities fueled Trump’s exit from Paris climate accord,” The Washington Post, September 5, 2017. Archived September 5, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/OFtlj

Brulle is author of a 2013 study, titled “Institutionalizing Delay,” which tracked the hundreds of millions of dollars contributed to nonprofit “think tanks” fighting against global warming regulations. The Post also uncovered an email by Ebell, inviting those who opposed the Paris agreement to a White House briefing:31Robert O’Harrow Jr. “A two-decade crusade by conservative charities fueled Trump’s exit from Paris climate accord,” The Washington Post, September 5, 2017. Archived September 5, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/OFtlj

“Thank you for agreeing to be part of the basket of deplorables,” he wrote in an April 18 email. “The purpose of the meeting is to present our views on why President Trump should keep his campaign commitment to withdraw from the Paris Climate Treaty.”32Robert O’Harrow Jr. “A two-decade crusade by conservative charities fueled Trump’s exit from Paris climate accord,” The Washington Post, September 5, 2017. Archived September 5, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/OFtlj

Ebell admitted that some activities of the CHC do “bleed into political persuasion and lobbying,” however added that this was commonplace in Washington, and does not violate IRS rules because it doesn’t constitute a substantial portion of its work.33Robert O’Harrow Jr. “A two-decade crusade by conservative charities fueled Trump’s exit from Paris climate accord,” The Washington Post, September 5, 2017. Archived September 5, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/OFtlj

A former CHC member, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the group’s mission while led by Ebell was to be a a “Johnny-on-the-spot for climate denialism” and to simulate a “cacophony of voices” against climate-change science.34Robert O’Harrow Jr. “A two-decade crusade by conservative charities fueled Trump’s exit from Paris climate accord,” The Washington Post, September 5, 2017. Archived September 5, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/OFtlj

“There’s a whole web,” the former member said. “Their job was to make sure the hard right remained animated.”35Robert O’Harrow Jr. “A two-decade crusade by conservative charities fueled Trump’s exit from Paris climate accord,” The Washington Post, September 5, 2017. Archived September 5, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/OFtlj

December 2015

The Cooler Heads Coalition worked with a number of think tanks and advocacy groups including the Heartland Institute, Heritage Foundation, CFACT, Competitive Enterprise Institute and Nongovernmental Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) to battle against a binding agreement at the COP-21 climate conference in Paris.36Bringing Climate Realism to Paris at COP-21,” The Heartland Institute, January 9, 2016. Archived April 12, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/FUQlw

As part of the effort, members of CHC from the US, Canada, and Europe attended a press conference on December 7 at a Heartland event titled “Day of Examining the Data.” The complete video from the event (over 6 hours) is below.37Bringing Climate Realism to Paris at COP-21,” The Heartland Institute, January 9, 2016. Archived April 12, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/FUQlw

According to a CFACT Press Release, “CFACT is teaming up with the Heartland Institute and the Cooler Heads Coalition to analyze the UN discussions, inject facts, and make available leading scientific and policy experts who offer much-needed balance to the climate debate. They will conduct a series of scientific briefings, press conferences and displays.”38(Press Release). “CFACT delegation headed to Paris to challenge UN climate pact,” PR Newswire, November 24, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/JVXW6 

August 7, 2015

Myron Ebell, Chair of the Cooler Heads Coalition, spoke with H. Sterling Burnett of the Heartland Institute on the “extreme costs and minimal benefits [of] President Obama’s clean power plan.”39H. Sterling Burnett. “Heartland Daily Podcast – Myron Ebell: Breaking Down Obama’s Clean Power Plan,” Somewhat Reasonable (Heartland Institute Blog), August 7, 2015. Archived November 11, 2016. Archive.is URL: 

June 19, 2015

Myron Ebell, Cooler Heads Coalition Chair, denounced Pope Francis’s Encyclical on the Environment as “scientifically ill-informed, economically illiterate, intellectually incoherent, and morally obtuse.”40Myron Ebell. “Pope Francis’s Climate Encyclical: Help Poor People by Dismantling Industrial Civilization,” GlobalWarming.org, June 19, 2015. Archived October 18, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/xShkk

According to Ebell, “It is also theologically suspect, and large parts of it are leftist drivel, albeit couched in the vocabulary of Catholic social teaching” and a “”diatribe against modern industrial civilization.”41Myron Ebell. “Pope Francis’s Climate Encyclical: Help Poor People by Dismantling Industrial Civilization,” GlobalWarming.org, June 19, 2015. Archived October 18, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/xShkk

March 4, 2015 

The Cooler Heads Coalition’s GlobalWarming.org showcased two charts that reported to “[expose] the unsustainability of the European Union’s proposal” to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions.42Marlo Lewis. “EU Climate Policy: Unsustainability Update,” GlobalWarming.org, May 22, 2015. Archived October 18, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/XvBJG 43Marlo Lewis. “Is Climate Policy Sustainable? Sobering Slides on the EU’s 60-by-50 Climate Treaty Proposal,” GlobalWarming.org, March 4, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/YygKn

According to Marlo Lewis, “millions of people could still get hurt along the way before the wretched thing falls apart.”

June 2009

Cooler Heads Coalition members lobbied against the “American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009,” also known as the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill.44Darren Samuelsohn. “Lobbying Frenzy Begins as House Climate Bill Heads for Floor,” New York Times, June 23, 2009. Archived October 18, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/A0gmp 45The Waxman-Markey Crisis,” PR Watch, June 24, 2009. Archived October 18, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ORAzM

May 3, 2004

CHC held a congressional and media briefing entitled “Impacts of Global Warming: Why the Alarmist View is Wrong” on Capitol Hill.

Speakers included well known global warming deniers such as Madhav L. Khandekar, Nils-Axel Morner, Paul Reiter, and Patrick Michaels. They presented arguments against claims that global warming will cause increases in extreme weather events, sea level rise, vector-borne diseases, and species extinction.46Adverse impacts of warming have been exaggerated,” GlobalWarming.org, May 11, 2004. Archived November 11, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/GmoLm

May 16, 2003

The Cooler Heads Coalition and the George C. Marshall Institute co-sponsored a media briefing by noted climate change denier Willie Soon, in an event titled “Was the 20th- Century Climate Unusual? Exploring the Lessons and Limits of Climate History.”47Was the 20th- Century Climate Unusual?” Competitive Enterprise Institute. Archived November 12, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ByUos

May 14, 2002

CHC held a briefing at the National Press Club, in conjunction with Frontiers of Freedom and the Science and Environmental Policy Project, entitled “Experts Discuss Why U.S. Should Withdraw From Kyoto Treaty.”48Experts Discuss Why U.S. Should Withdraw From Kyoto Treaty,” U.S. Newswire, May 14, 2002. Archived October 18, 2002. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/JunNr

Publications

The Cooler Heads Coalition publishes a regular “digest” that regularly includes commentary and articles from leading climate change deniers. Samples below:

Other Resources

  1. Cooler Heads Coalition,” Wikipedia entry.
  2. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Cooler Heads Coalition, CHC.
  3. Competitive Enterprise Institute Director Admits Funding Tied to Denial of Global Warming,” 350 or bust, March 29, 2010. Archived November 11, 2016.

Resources

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