Bjorn Lomborg Is Part Of The Koch Network — And Cashing In


DeSmogBlog has done the first comprehensive analysis of where Bjorn Lomborg’s money comes from.

You know the T-shirt-wearing climate inactivist Lomborg (aka the Danish Delayer) from such recent gems as “Subsidizing renewables won’t stop global warming” and “What an increasingly wonderful world” and “The Poor Need Cheap Fossil Fuels” (seriously — or not).

If those sound suspiciously similar to the exact same positions being pushed by the Koch brothers, then it should come as no surprise that Lomborg’s backers are part of the sprawling Kochtopus enterprise, as DeSmogBlog documents.

Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Center (CCC), though long associated with his native Denmark, actually registered as a US-based non-profit organization back in 2008. That’s how we know Lomborg walked away with a cool $775,000 in pay from the CCC in 2012.

Lomborg always says that the best way to help poor people was to convince the world to ignore the threat of climate change. I’m very sure that isn’t the best way to help poor people, but it looks like a pretty terrific way to help Bjorn.

DeSmogBlog documents some of the sources of Bjorn’s payday:

The only income for the CCC in its first year in the US came in the form of a $120,000 grant from the New York-based Randolph Foundation. The foundation … gave CCC another $50,000 in 2012.

The Randolph Foundation is a poster child for the Kochtopus. The long-time president and director is Heather Higgins, a former Wall Street Journal editorial writer who is

  • Chairman of the Independent Women’s Forum (which is “predominately funded by conservative U.S. foundations, including the Koch brothers’ Claude R. Lambe Foundation”)
  • Board Member of the right-wing Philanthropy Roundtable, which is so Koched up it “awarded Charles G. Koch the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership”!

Randolph’s board of trustees include Polly Freiss, the daughter-in-law of conservative businessman Foster Freiss who helped bankroll Senator Rick Santorum in the 2012 GOP presidential primary and backs climate denialist news outlets like The Daily Caller. As ThinkProgress has documented, Foster and Polly Freiss — and Heather Higgins — all attended the Koch brother’s secretive 2010 conservative strategy meeting in Aspen.

The Kochtopus is one tight circle.

DeSmogBlog reports that “The tax records of the Kansas-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation indicate it has given the CCC two $150,000 grants — one in 2011 and another in 2012.”


The “Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation” is part of the “Koch Funded Cabal ‘Educating’ our state and Federal Judges,” as the Voter’s Legislative Transparency Project (VLTP) put it in a 2012 expose. As VLTP has explained, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and other Kochtopus-backed groups are “interfering with our judicial processes by filing hundreds of ‘Amicus Briefs’ to state and federal courts in pending cases.”

Of course, somebody has to educate all the judges to appreciate the conservative arguments in those briefs — judges who, you won’t be surprised to learn, often decide against the Environmental Protection Agency and for ExxonMobil and Chevron USA. That’s why we need all expense-paid trips for those judges to plush resorts for seminars run by academic centers like Northwestern University’s Northwestern Law Judicial Education Program and George Mason University’s Law and Economics Center.

Who funds those centers? For Northwestern, funders include the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation DonorsTrust and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. For GMU — whose judicial seminars were featured by ABC in this 20/20 expose) — those two foundations were joined in the past by the Randolph Foundation.

So Bjorn Lomborg is funded by foundations that are part of the Kochtopus empire of influence. And Lomborg is a big-time pundit who argues for inaction on climate change, who pens pieces like “The Poor Need Cheap Fossil Fuels,” and who asserts “global warming has mostly been a net benefit so far” and will be for decades.

Coincidence? You be the judge — preferably not a Kochtopus-educated one.