click to enlarge. h/t Climate Progress
I would probably shift the Koch brothers over into the petroleum category, but that’s a minor adjustment.
Takes a lot of organization to dissuade people from what they can see with their own eyes and what is agreed upon by a consensus of scientists worldwide. But it’s happening.
Balloon Juice simplifies the graph to a single huge dollar sign:
Anyhow, denying climate has an enormous pile of money at its back. Want an easy $10,000 plus travel perks? Write an editorial that criticizes the IPCC. Campaign cash? Not a problem (there goes the public policy option…). Maybe you want to start a thinktank where Ivy League legacy cases can draw six-figure slaries and build a reputation doling out rephrased press releases in conservative journals, on broadcast networks and in discussion panels that need a douchebag for “balance”. Choose a name that evokes eagles shooting apple pie machine guns and the money’s there.
On the other hand maybe you want to make a serious contribution to climate science. Get ready for years of difficult graduate study* while living on ramen and cheap beer. Graduated with your degree? Have a tenure track job? Congratulations! Now you get to compete with some of the smartest people in the world for a shrinking pool of stingy grants, crappy pay, abuse, threats and bad-faith attacks from the most powerful people in the world. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it. Or maybe you want to end a very successful public career by speaking out too aggressively about the STUPID CLIMATE METEOR THAT IS ABOUT TO SCREW UP HUMAN CIVILIZATION, like Al Gore did.
As with tobacco the glorious moneygasm only works because of the long delay between cause and effect. You would never see a doubt campaign by the punching-guys-in-the-groin industry, for example, because punching dudes in the groin hurts right now. A tobacco habit might kill you later. Epidemiology and climate science are arcane enough that a determined troll can create all kinds of confusion, even while Marlboro Men kept dying of lung cancer.
It’s literally some of the same people who worked for Big Tobacco: eg Fred Singer.