Climate Science Denialism’s home – the Mont Pelerin Society

Mont Pelerin Society Revealed As Home To Leading Pushers Of Climate Science Denial DESMOGBLOG.COM, GRAHAM READFEARN, 14 JAN 14  THERE’S a popular talking point coming from climate change denialists that all people who accept the science and the need to act on it are somehow blinded by faith.

In Australia, climate science contrarian columnists can barely touch their keyboards without typing out the words “global warming faith” or explaining how human-caused global warming is some sort of “new religion”.

This “climate religion” narrative often goes hand-in-hand with another favourite denialist talking point where climate scientists are only doing what they do because there’s a dollar in it.

Presumably the laws of physics, the melting ice sheets, the increasing risk of bushfires, the hottest decades on record and the acidifying oceans are also waiting for their cash…….

Among the notable members is Charles Koch (list excerpt here), the US oil billionaire who has been a Mont Pelerin Society member since 1970.

Charles and his brother David have used their charitable foundations to funnel tens of millions of dollars into free market think tanks which fight environmental protection and deny the dangers of human-caused climate change

The Mont Pelerin Society

The Mont Pelerin Society was established in 1947 by free market economist and philosopher Friedrich von Hayek……

DeSmogBlog has obtained a full list of the society’s members that includes senior representatives of many of the world’s foremost “free market” think tanks actively pushing back on proposed policy solutions to tackle climate change.

The list, from 2010, includes almost 500 people from 52 countries, with the bulk of members coming from the United States and the United Kingdom. The 70-page list includes private contact details. DeSmogBlog has decided to publish only extracts with contact details redacted…..

Mont Pelerin in the United States

The US cohort of Mont Pelerin members includes many senior staff associated with “free market” think tanks that have manufactured doubt about the science of human-caused climate change or the need to act quickly.

Alongside Charles Koch, DeSmogBlog’s document shows that Mont Pelerin Society members include senior staff, directors and associates from groups his family foundations have helped to fund. These include the Cato Institute, Heritage Foundation, the Acton Institute, the Reason Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.

Other members include Wall Street Journal editor and columnist Mary O’Grady and John O’Sullivan, a columnist with the conservative National Review.

The UK and Mont Pelerin

Members of UK free market think tanks including The Adam Smith Institute, CIVITAS and the Institute of Economic Affairs have also gained membership with the Mont Pelerin Society.

Long-standing climate science sceptic Julian Morris is also listed as a member.

Another UK member is Linda Whetstone, the daughter of Antony Fisher who founded the influential UK neo-liberal think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Antony Fisher established the Atlas Economic Research Foundation – a vast network of about 400 think tanks around the world that share the ideals of limiting the power of government. Alejandro Chafuen, the current president of Atlas, is also listed as a 2010 Mont Pelerin Society member.

Global network

The Mont Pelerin Society got its name from the location of the very first meeting in Switzerland, and members continue to have ample chance to network in their annual meetings. …….

It should come as no surprise that the Mont Pelerin Society has more than its fair share of climate science deniers within its ranks.

Research has shown that belief in free market ideology is a predictor of the rejection of climate change science. This link was also revealed in Merchants of Doubt, a book by science historians Erik Conway and Naomi Oreskes.

About four out of every five climate denial books ever published, according to one study, have links to conservative and free market think tanks either through the authors or the publishers.


When it comes to efforts to block meaningful policy to tackle climate change, it seems free market groups and societies extolling their version of “freedom” are in fact a “ground zero” for climate science denial.


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