There’s no doubt that many Trump followers are vocal climate deniers. But some of them are so passionate, they’ve dropped a pretty penny to support their beliefs.
One such anti-climate donor is Robert Mercer, whose family foundation previously supported Ted Cruz — another climate denying presidential candidate. After Trump’s win in the primaries, the family diverted to support the Donald. And along with Mercer’s $15 million donation to the campaign, he also devoted $22 million to various organizations attempting to debunk climate science.
The anti-science agenda runs in family, too. Mercer’s daughter Rebekkah supports climate rejecting organizations such as The Heartland Institute. As a trustee for the Natural History Museum — a longtime proponent of climate advocacy whose scientists agree that climate change is indeed a reality — Rebekka’s philanthropic efforts were called into question after she was appointed to the museum board.
Indeed, Mercer donations show a pattern of support for fossil fuels and the agenda to remove power from the EPA. While the family has taken no official stance on climate science, the proof is in the pudding. This is a commonality amongst those who actively fund climate denial. Many corporations and foundations attempt to mask their involvement by avoiding interviews and keeping quiet about their donations. Case in point: one of the world’s largest coal plants, Peabody Energy, was caught last year funding climate denial scientists.
Luckily, there is some good news. While climate deniers are pouring money into their beliefs, so are climate advocates. Reports by various environmental groups indicate a surge in patrons. After Trump’s confirmation, Greenpeace and Climate Citizens Lobby saw a hike in donations, volunteer signups, and social media followers.
This surge in excitement for climate advocacy may be just what we need to prevent the threat of climate denying billionaires.