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Trump's 'Dirty Secrets' Aired in Channel 4 Documentary on Climate Science Denier Network

Donald Trump. Credit: Jamelle Bouie | Flickr

President-elect Trump’s new cabinet is full of people in the pocket of fossil fuel interests, who are set to bring their climate denial agenda to the White House. That was the core message of a Channel 4 documentary last night.

The Dispatches team travelled to the United States to investigate the controversial figures surrounding Trump in the lead up to his inauguration later this week.

And with the entire world watching Washington, these characters and controversies are no longer contained to the United States. Their actions will have international impact, and given Britain’s special relationship with America, it’s time to start taking a closer look at what’s going on Stateside.

A New Special Relationship for America and Britain Emerges with Climate Science Deniers Linked to Trump and Brexit

US-UK Climate Science Denier Network

On Friday, 20 January, fossil fuel lobbyists and climate science deniers from both sides of the Atlantic will step out of the shadows and into the White House as Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States.

DeSmog UK has mapped this new US-UK climate science denier network, held together in large part by conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, to shed light on this growing group of influencers. 

Since November, the president-elect has been gathering his team together; the men that will form the top positions of influence and decision making within his government.

Rather than ‘draining the swamp’, Trump has chosen to surround himself with the same actors who have long been pushing climate misinformation and lobbying against environmental protection.

Front and centre are individuals linked to well known funders of climate science denial, the Kochs, the Mercers, and the Heritage Foundation. And as our new map shows, this isn’t limited to the United States.

The Top 12 DeSmog UK Investigative News Stories of 2016

From Exxon’s anti-EV lobbying to the web of Brexit climate deniers, 2016 has been dominated by behind the scenes influencing from industry and ideologues alike in attempt to weaken Britain’s efforts to tackle climate change and move towards cleaner forms of energy.

DeSmog UK remains dedicated to investigating the individuals and organisations that have helped to delay and distract the public and our elected leaders from taking needed action to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and fight global warming (though sometimes those are our elected leaders).

We also work hard to uncovering the misinformation – and disinformation – clouding the national conversation on climate change. From those using renowned scientific institutions to bolster misleading claims about climate science to groups producing false reports about the cause of global warming, we help shine a light on what’s false.

Millennials, Regulations Hamper Trade Deal Success Brexiteer Tells Climate Denying Heritage Foundation

Daniel Hannan

Spoiled millennials” and “global regulation” imposed by NGOs stand in the way of agreeing a bilateral US-UK trade deal, Brexit campaigner and climate science denier MEP Daniel Hannan told US think tank the Heritage Foundation this week.  Otherwise it would “take only five minutes” to agree and be done in “less than 500 words”, he claimed.

The neocon Heritage Foundation is known for opposing climate action and environmental regulations, and increasingly finds itself at the centre of president-elect Donald Trump's transition team. It has also long courted top Brexit campaigners.

Speaking at the think tank’s offices in Washington D.C., Hannan, a Conservative Party Member of the European Parliament, told the audience “If it’s good enough on your side of the Atlantic it’s good enough on ours”,  adding that “in reality of course the deal is unlikely to be done just by Heritage and me”, drawing laughter from the crowd.

Our state machines will get their hands into it and they of course will try to make it about everything except trade. They’ll make it about ecological standards, and women’s rights, and child labour, and everything except the free exchange of goods and services, and that’s what opens the door to the corporate capture”, he said.

Revealed: Liam Fox’s Post-Brexit Trade Talks with US Business Lobby and Climate Denying Think Tank the Heritage Foundation

Liam Fox

During his first trip to the United States, less than two weeks after being appointed International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox took the opportunity to meet with the climate science denying neoconservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation.

The details of Fox’s post-Brexit three-day tour of America in July have only just been released to DeSmog UK under a freedom of information request.  They show Fox also met with White House representatives, pro-business lobby group the US Chamber of Commerce, and some of its corporate members.

The documents reveal a close relationship between Fox and the Heritage Foundation, as well as the desire for a bilateral trade deal between the two countries. They also suggest concerns over the current “political discourse” in the US could hinder the deal, however.

Climate Science Denying US Neocon Groups Promote ‘Simple’ and ‘Freer’ Trade with UK at Tory Party Conference

TPA, CEI, and Heritage Foundation Panel at Conservative Party Conference 2016

American climate science denying pressure groups the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and the Heritage Foundation joined forces with British campaign group the Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) at the Conservative Party Conference this week.

At the fringe event on 3 October in Birmingham the groups discussed how the UK and the US could “move forward together” now that Britain had voted to exit the European Union.

They agreed that Brexit presented a new opportunity for a free trade deal between the UK and US to minimise “regulatory hurdles that you have to jump over in order to trade or offer services in the other country.”

The Koch and Exxon Funded Think Tanks Supporting, and Being Courted by, Britain’s Brexit Campaigners

Owen Paterson speaking at the Heritage Foundation

The Republican National Convention kicks off this week in Cleveland, Ohio and among the crowd clamouring to see Donald Trump will be one man who crossed the Atlantic to be there: Nigel Farage.

The former head of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) helped lead Britain’s vote to leave the European Union (EU) and is famous for saying last year “I haven’t got a clue whether climate change is being driven by carbon-dioxide emissions.”

But he’s made the trip this week to deliver a message to Republicans that the UK’s vote to leave the EU, or ‘Brexit’, holds lessons for America.

Study Finds The 'Era of Climate Science Denial Is Not Over'

Conservative think tanks in the United States are a sort of “ground zero” for the production of doubt about the links between fossil fuel burning and dangerous climate change.

These think tanks produce reports, hold conferences, write books, go on television, produce columns and blogs and generally and liberally splatter the public discourse with talking points.

You’ll have heard their manufactured doubt everywhere.  CO2 is great for the planet… fossil fuels are good… climate scientists are wrong… the world has been hotter in the past… cutting emissions will kill the economy.” That sort of thing.

But there has been speculation that as the world continues to break heat records, and as oceans rise and the science sends ever more clear and urgent signals, that the focus of these think tanks will shift away from attacking the science to discussing policy.

Now a new study published in the journal Global Environmental Change has declared unambiguously “the era of climate science denial is not over”.

Dr Travis Coan, of the University of Exeter, and Dr Constantine Boussalis, of Trinity College Dublin, analysed 16,000 articles, reports, transcripts, letters, reviews and press releases from the websites of 19 conservative think tanks, mainly based in the U.S, who work on climate change.

In the study, Boussalis and Coan discuss how commentators had been speculating about an end of climate science denial for more than a decade.

Analysing documents from 1998 until mid-2013, Boussalis and Coan found that think tanks had in recent years been focusing less on policy and more on attacking the science.

New Study Exposes True Extent, Influence Of Climate Denial Echo Chamber For First Time

Thanks to a recent poll from ABC News and the Washington Post, we know that nearly two-thirds of American adults think global warming is “a serious problem facing the country.”

And now, thanks to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change (full study available at this link), we know exactly how many people are out there taking money from dirty energy interests to try and confuse Americans about climate changeto derail overdue action and protect the fossil fuel industries' profits.

Justin Farrell, a professor of sociology at Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the author of the report, studied both the institutional and social network structure of the climate denier movement and found that there are some 4,556 individuals with ties to 164 organizations that are involved in pushing anti-climate science views on the public.

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