No. 10: Tennessee Center for Policy Research (A.K.A. Carnival of Climate Change)

Meet the 12 loudest members of the chorus claiming that global warming is a joke and that CO2 emissions are actually good for you.

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The Tennessee Center for Policy Research runs the website Carnival of Climate Change, which provides “a skeptical look at climate change alarmism.” Much of its content is reposted from amateur blogs. One of the blogs that it promotes, The Global Warming Heretic, argues that “Environmentalists may be to BLAME for recent warming” because efforts to stop acid rain limited coal particulates that reflect sunlight. Even so, the blogger adds, “I’m not ready to concede any human influence in the climate cycle.” Another “Climate Blogger” in the Carnival’s tent suggests that obese Americans are a “natural resource” because their fat can be harvested for its stem cells.

The TCPR’s president is Drew Johnson, who made a splash in 2007 when he revealed that Al Gore’s Tennessee mansion used roughly 20 times more energy than the typical American household. “Al Gore is a hypocrite and a fraud when it comes to his commitment to the environment,” he crowed. (Gore’s supporters countered that his house has solar panels and other energy efficient technologies.) Johnson previously served as a Koch Fellow at the Institute for Humane Studies and the American Enterprise Institute, which are both funded by foundations tied to Koch Industries, a company with extensive oil interests.

In an interview, Johnson claimed that TCPR has never taken any money from energy interests and that Carnival of Climate Change was a minor side project that is “not supposed to be a hard news or hard research site.” He added, “What we put up there, or what is put up there [through an automatic news feed] isn’t reflective of our research, our opinions, or our thoughts.”

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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