Koch brothers place fourth in Pacific Institute’s Climate B.S. of the Year Awards

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Friday, January 06, 2012 at 4:58 pm | More from The Colorado Independent

Al Gore made headlines when he called B.S. on climate change deniers in Aspen over the summer, and now the Pacific Institute is doing the same. But this time B.S. stands for “bad science.”

Dr. Peter Gleick, president of the Pacific Institute, announced the second annual Climate B.S. of the Year Awards on Huffington Post and Forbes blogs Thursday to make examples of bad climate science that was produced, cited, or used in 2011 to try to influence or confuse the public.

Scores of conservative lawmakers and Fox News personalities amplified their pro-greenhouse-gas mantra last year, even as extreme weather, record-breaking temperatures and billion-dollar catastrophesdominated the planet.

First place went to all of the Republican candidates running for president, none of whom sided with the science accepted by 97-98 percent of all climate scientists and every national academy of sciences in the world. Second place went to Fox News and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation “because of its regular misrepresentation of climate science and anti-climate science reporting among the different Murdoch outlets in the UK, the U.S., and Australia,” the Pacific Institute announced.

Third place went to Roy Spencer and William Braswell “for a debunked research paper on climate sensitivity, and John Christy, for an astounding piece of misleading testimony at a Congressional climate change hearing,” Gleick wrote.

Billionaire badboy brothers Charles and David Koch, who own Colorado property and bankroll lawmakers like Cory Gardner and Scott Tipton, slide into the fourth spot of the bad-science list. The Pacific Institute makes note of the Koch brothers’ well-funded network of anti-climate science groups and highlights a quote from the president of Americans for Prosperity, a Koch-supported super-PAC.

“If you look at where the situation was three years ago and where it is today, there’s been a dramatic turnaround. Most of these candidates have figured out that the science has become political. We’ve made great headway,” Americans for Prosperity’s Tim Phillips “brags outright,” Pacific Institute reports.

For a detailed report on how the Koch brothers influence environmental politics, click here.

Colorado’s conservative congressional delegation has helped the cause. Gardner, Tipton, Doug Lamborn and Mike Coffman have all taken the No Climate Tax Pledge and repeatedly voted to weaken protections for land, air and water. Calling out Gardner specifically, one report found Congress averaged more than one anti-environmental vote for every day it was in session.

Fifth place went to anti-climate-science blogger Anthony Watts, “who said he would accept the results of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature … even if it proved him wrong.” The Koch brothers actually funded the study but it backfired and, like many studies before it, confirmed the Earth’s surface is warming and doing so at an accelerating rate. In the end, Watts attacked the study.

The Pacific Institute’s runners-up for its 2011 Climate B.S. of the Year Awards were Harrison Schmitt and the Heartland Institute for ‘Arcticgate’ (documented errors in denying disappearance of Arctic sea ice); Rush Limbaugh for his consistent falsehoods about climate science; and Steve McIntyre for his smear of climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann of Penn State University.”

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