Image credit: Terrapass
One of the most interesting things about the recent uptick in climate skeptic activity (or denier, or denialist, if you will), is the repetition of accusations of a gigantic climate conspiracy being perpetrated by the world's scientists and Governments. Angry commenters have told us that it's all about the money, and that lobbyists for Wall Street are colluding to make billions off carbon trading—all the while dismissing documented evidence that the fossil fuel lobby is actively seeking to derail climate science. Now Adam Stein, with help of the Center for Public Integrity, has revealed the full extent of how deeply the climate policy process has been infiltrated by lobbyists. In his excellent piece on the truth behind the climate change conspiracy, Adam pulls out some statistics on exactly who is lobbying law makers on climate legislation. The numbers are pretty stark:
- 65.6% of climate change lobbyists are working for energy producers and consumers. This includes manufacturers, utilities, power companies, oil and gas companies, the transportation industry, mining and coal companies, and alternative energy producers. (Those dastardly solar companies out to ruin the world have about half the lobbying muscle of oil and gas companies, and a quarter of those employed by the power utilities.)
- 13.5% represent advocacy groups, a catch-all for environmental organizations, unions, and the mysterious "other." (Presumably including climate 'skeptic' organizations.)
- 21% is a mix of waste management , universities, building contractors, etc.
- 4.4% is the figure given for Wall Street and the financial industry. That is, as Adam tells us, "just below the alternative energy crowd and just ahead of city, county and public agencies."
Of course numbers don't always equal influence, but please don't tell me that oil, coal and gas lobbyists are a weak lobbying group.
And yes, if this really is a global conspiracy of the depths that some people alledge, then I'm sure all the real lobbying is going on behind closed doors in darkened rooms as the protagonists drink the blood of innocents. But in the meantime, the argument that the climate science wagon is being pushed along by nothing more than a greedy group of carbon traders looks like a shaky one indeed.