At this year’s Group of 20 (G-20) summit in Buenos Aires, U.S. President Donald Trump stood out. Not because he broke protocol, and not due to outrageous, Trump-like statements, but because he was the only leader not to commit to fighting climate change. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, this forced the international forum to make special modifications to its internal documents, singling out the United States as the sole climate science denier.
Given Donald Trump’s previous statements — the president once called global warming a “hoax” invented by the Chinese, and doubted the global scientific consensus on climate change on numerous occasions, going as far as contradicting his own administration’s report — this hardly comes as a surprise. But where does Donald Trump’s denial of climate science come from? According to a new Axios report, “a small but influential set of organizations and people have been pushing misinformation for years — and Trump has been listening.”
In pushing climate change misinformation, according to Axios, oil companies stand out. Among them, ExxonMobil appears to be the most powerful force. Known for funding anti-climate science think tanks, ExxonMobil has lobbied against climate science, not just since Donald Trump took office, but for years, putting a stamp on the Republican Party as a whole. Notably, the oil corporation’s former CEO, Rex Tillerson, briefly served as Donald Trump’s Secretary of State.
19 of 20 world leaders just pledged to fight climate change. Trump was the lone holdout. https://t.co/MRI9orOo1d
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) December 1, 2018
But it is not only corporations that have made an effort to influence the president. A number of climate change skeptics have infiltrated — or at least attempted to infiltrate — the administration. For instance, Myron Ebell and Steve Milloy, who helped run Donald Trump’s transition team at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are known climate science-deniers. Milloy has ties to the oil industry, and runs a website dedicated to debunking “mainstream” science. Ebell has ties to a conservative, climate science-denying think tank. The same can be said about CEO of Murray Energy Bob Murray, Donald Trump’s close friend, who has reportedly fed the president with disinformation, and claims that the Democrats are using climate change as means to achieve political goals.
Along with oil, coal, energy, and other companies, and in synergy with lobbyists, conservative think tanks, like the Heartland Institute, also contribute to the issue, Axios reports. The advocacy group has been spreading climate change disinformation for decades, but it has also managed to infiltrate the White House, at least to an extent. According to the report, the highest office in the land once reached out to the think tank to seek insight about the climate. Unsurprisingly, the institute concluded that climate change does not pose a threat to humanity.
Donald Trump’s denial of climate change has, Axios writes, been “years in the making,” and the same group of influencers that has been grooming and persuading the president for decades is continuing to do so, expanding its sphere of influence and effectively shaping the administration’s environmental policy.