Big money behind local climate change deniers?

Last week I commented on the climate change denial machine in New Zealand. A few days later the NZ Herald published some relevant information – the sources and amounts of money going to local political parties from major donors (see Act line-up attracts Gibbs’ money).

Here’s the information from the article for large donations since 2009

National: $530,000

Donors: Susan Chou ($300,000), Todd Corporation ($50,000), Graeme Douglas ($25,000), Team McMillan ($50,000), Antoines Restaurant ($105,000).

Act: $312,855

Donors: Alan Gibbs ($110,000), John Boscawen ($52,335), Christopher and Banks Private Equity (John Banks’ company) ($50,000), Southland businessman Louis Crimp ($100,520).

Labour: $100,500

Donors: Todd Corporation ($50,000), Mike Smith ($25,000) and Meatworkers’ Union ($25,500).

Green Party:  $21,000

Donor: Dr Stuart Bramhall.

(Tally is of donations of more than $20,000 until January 1, 2011, and more than $30,000 since then.)

OK – we expect the National Party to be the front-runner. But the ACT Party in second place? With three times the large donations than received by the Labour Party?

Now this is a party which gets incredibly low poll support (usually within the margin of error).

It recently had a leadership coup with a unique twist – the new leaders were not even members of the ACT party before their coup!

They have relied on winning the electorate of Epsom to piggyback a small number of their members into parliament on this list. Now the polls suggest this might not happen this year. Despite their candidate being an ex-mayor of Auckland.

Yet a “filthy capitalist” like Alan Gibbs (who has an murky record in New Zealand) can bankroll them. Of course Gibbs is also a backer of the The NZ Centre for Political Research – a local conservative think tank which appears to pull the strings of the Act Party and the New Zealand climate change denier astroturf organisations.

The ACT Party has a disgusting record on  climate change. they have continually attacked the science and the scientists.

But considering the close relationship between the ACT Party, the NZ Centre for Political Research and the climate change denial groups one can’t help drawing some conclusions.

Is the financial backing of the ACT party (not much more than an astroturf organisation itself) indicative of the sort of financial backing going to the climate change denial groups like the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition and the NZ Climate Conversation Group?

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11 responses to “Big money behind local climate change deniers?

  1. Act had a few big financial backers that pushed it well up the list of donations received even before the AGW debate got so politicized. It’s because its overall political and economic philosophy appeals to wealthy individuals, no need to theorize everythings about AGW.


  2. I agree. Everything is more about money.

    But its interesting to see all the links between these organizations.


  3. What a load of bollocks.The Act party can’t even afford to put up billboards, let alone run a “Climate Denial Campaign”

    More and more you sound like a crazy conspiracy theorist Ken.


  4. Richard Christie

    touchy, touchy Mick, someone questioning the ethics of your buddies?
    Strapped -for-cash-ACT? all the more reason to say whatever backers such as Alan Gibbs and Koch Industies might like to hear.


  5. I became quite interested in this antiscience Stalinist idea and made some investigations.

    Regarding the first claim, Ken displays an unhealthy obsession with “science” and appears to believe it can answer questions about the world and how and why humans behave as they do. His science may be faulty but it is clear he has great faith (see what I did there) in the scientific method. On the balance, I don’t think the charge of antiscience can be sustained; this was simply gratuitous of Mick.

    That brings us to the more intriguing of Mick’s claims – of Ken being Stalinist. I don’t know Ken, but I can see that his avatar does have a beard and moustache. Otherwise I don’t see the connection to Stalin. This meant I had to give the matter some serious thought.

    Thinking on it, I conclude that the epithet is not meant literally but is meant as the worst insult that Mick can conceive. But what could be worse than calling someone Stalin-like? To solve this conundrum I had to put myself into a state of ‘Mick-ness’. Rather, I ran an emulation (with a small piece of fairy cake).

    The result: For someone like Mick the worst possible thing is to be a godless communist and Stalin was the first exemplar that came to the keyboard of Mick’s well stocked mind. I shan’t enter into debate as to either point – for discussion I shall accept godlessness and communist as proven for Stalin.

    That leaves the relation to Ken. Though I don’t know him I am prepared to accept on the basis of his posts that he is indeed godless. I am less convinced that Ken is communist: I have it on the authority of a member of the House of Lords that Ken is a well paid board member of a corporation that makes inflatable wind turbines.

    Totting up the score I see that Mick made two claims – antiscience and Stalinist. The first is dismissed and Mick is half right on the second. Giving Mick a 25% success rate – well above that of most like him. Well done Mick, I salute you.


  6. Doug, you think Ken is 50% a Stalinist?

    Seems like he has got some living up to do then.


  7. If ACT are getting all this money, where is it going? I don’t see any ACT presence at all. Not a single poster.

    Most NZ bloggers (including Slater) think ACT is dead in the water.


  8. Richard Christie

    If ACT are getting all this money, where is it going? I don’t see any ACT presence at all. Not a single poster.

    Andy it’s not very charitable of you to insinuate that some or many in ACT are capable of embezzlement.


  9. It’s a Ken-spiracy!


  10. Of interest: Gibbs donations to ACT before the 2008 election coincided with a sea change in ACT’s climate policies.


  11. Thanks Gareth – I remember that article now. I was impressed that an overseas blog had done some analysis of our local situation.


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