The fight against global warming pollution requires the investment of everyone, including the world’s multinational corporate giants. Many companies have taken official stances on climate pollution, pledging to reduce their greenhouse footprint in order to reduce the threat of a destabilized climate.
However, a number of these same companies are sponsoring toxic, far-right denial of climate science. The American Legislative Exchange Council pushes an extremist denier agenda throughout the United States, funded in secret by corporations. ThinkProgress has acquired a list of the sponsors of ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting, held last week in New Orleans, LA.
ALEC denies that global warming is causing glaciers to retreat or sea level to rise. Not only does ALEC deny the threat of climate change, they even argue that “substantial global warming is likely to be of benefit to the United States”:
“There is no ‘scientific consensus’ that global warming will cause damaging climate change.”
“Even substantial global warming is likely to be of benefit to the United States.” [ALEC, Energy, Environment, and Economics, 5th Edition]
The radical anti-science agenda of ALEC stands in direct contravention to the official public policies of its funders, which include top health care companies like Bayer, Merck, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson, and top energy companies like Chevron, ConocoPhillips, and Entergy:
Allergan: Specifically as part of its commitment to the UN Global Compact, Allergan has committed to the UN Global Compact Caring for Climate Program and the CEO Water Mandate.
Altria: Altria is committed to reducing the environmental impact of its businesses. Reducing carbon emissions is one way to do so. Our companies rely on agricultural products and we are keenly aware of the balance of nature and how climate change could alter that balance.
AT&T;: Climate change is a fact, and the scientific evidence so far seems to implicate greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, as the cause of climate change.
Bayer: The anthropogenic component of the greenhouse effect (which is adding to the natural effect) is what is changing our current climate. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by 1/3 since pre-industrial times as a result of human activity. The anthropogenic contribution to climate change has led to a temperature increase of 0.8 °C over the last 130 years.
Chesapeake Energy: The fact is we can, and should, reduce our greenhouse gas emissions because the risks associated with failing to do so are simply too great.
Chevron: Chevron shares the concerns of governments and the public about climate change and recognizes that the use of fossil fuels to meet the world’s energy needs is a contributor to an increase in greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the Earth’s atmosphere.
ConocoPhillips: ConocoPhillips recognizes that human activity, including the burning of fossil fuels, is contributing to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that can lead to adverse changes in global climate.
CSX: CSXT understands that what’s good for the environment is good for its customers, its employees and its bottom line. That’s why the company is developing long-term, comprehensive climate change strategies and is leading the way to cleaner air through increased fuel efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Dow: Providing humanity with a sustainable energy supply while addressing climate change is the most urgent environmental issue our society faces.
Entergy: We are virtually certain that climate change is occurring, and occurring because of man’s activities. We’re virtually certain the probability distribution curve is all bad.
ExxonMobil: Rising greenhouse-gas emissions pose significant risks to society and ecosystems.
HP: HP recognizes that climate change is one of the most serious environmental and economic challenges facing the world today and that mitigating its effects must be one of the top priorities of governments, companies, NGOs and individuals.
Johnson & Johnson: As a health care company, Johnson & Johnson understands that climate change can negatively affect human health. We have taken sustained, long term action to address our greenhouse gas emissions and we are encouraging our supply chain to do the same.
Merck: Merck supports the adoption of a global framework to address GHG challenges under which all major emitting countries are committed to emission reduction goals.
Pfizer: Climate change is happening, and experts believe it endangers human health.
Sanofi: Sanofi-aventis continuously seeks ways to limit the environmental impact of its business activities, protect public health, and combat climate change.
Shell: The world must take action to halve CO2 emissions by 2050 in order to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
Spectra Energy: We have committed to our stakeholders to be responsible environmental stewards while striving to help meet North America’s increasing demand for natural gas. For us, that means working to reduce our own carbon footprint and taking a lead role in helping our customers manage energy responsibly.
Takeda: As a pharmaceuticals manufacturer operating on a global scale, Takeda strives to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Union Pacific: Climate change, including the impact of global warming, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.
UPS: As a global transportation company, UPS acknowledges that Greenhouse Gas Emissions impact the climate and pose a serious challenge to the environment — and ultimately the global economy.
Wal-Mart: Wal-Mart is looking at ways to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change may not cause hurricanes, but warmer ocean water can make them more powerful. Climate change may not cause rainfall, but it can increase the frequency and severity of heavy flooding. Climate change may not cause droughts, but it can make droughts longer.
ALEC’s climate denial is, however, publicly shared by major funder Koch Industries.