Greenpeace Says Fossil Fuel Industry Misleads On Climate Science

An undercover Greenpeace investigation released on Tuesday suggests that fossil fuel companies secretly funnel money into prominent scientists’ pockets to manufacture doubt about mainstream climate change science.

Greenpeace UK took an unconventional approach to the research: Members of the environmentalist group posed as representatives of fake oil and coal companies and asked two climate change skeptics to write papers promoting the benefits of carbon dioxide and coal in developing countries. The two academics the group approached — Frank Clemente of Pennsylvania State University and William Happer of Princeton University — reportedly agreed to pen the reports and not to reveal their funding source.

The group’s expose follows revelations from The New York Times earlier this year that Willie Soon, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, accepted donations from fossil fuel companies and anonymous donors to write papers that challenged the consensus on climate science — without saying where his funding came from.

This academics-for-hire tactic has “materially changed the debate about climate change,”said Jesse Coleman, a Greenpeace activist who participated in the probe. “You could say that one of the reasons we’re facing such dire climate change risks is because these fossil fuel companies are funding climate change denial.”

“It’s the exact same playbook” tobacco companies once used to “convince people of something that is just not true,” Coleman added.

For decades, tobacco corporations deceived consumers about the dangers of smoking by covertly funding contrarian research. Manufactured data, concealed conflicts of interest and misleading conclusions, as The Huffington Post has previously reported, are also evident in influential research on vaccination, organic food, secondhand smoke, lead paint and chemical flame retardants. But perhaps no environmental or public health issue is as high-stake —> Read More