Nonprofits Link Hurricanes, Climate Change

Nonprofits That Tie Hurricanes to Climate Change Got $341M in 2 Years

By Aly Nielsen

Left-wing environmental groups peddle global warming alarmism all the time, especially during major hurricane devastation. Turns out those same green groups saw a lot of the other kind of green in the past two years — $341 million in donations to just seven organizations.

Groups including the Natural Resources Defense Council, Democracy Now! And Union of Concerned Scientists, which get big bucks from billionaires like George Soros and the Rockefellers, all tried to link Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to manmade climate change from carbon dioxide and “fossil fuels.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the very agency that monitors and forecasts hurricanes,  said on its website “it is premature” to link hurricane intensity to climate change. That didn’t stop those liberal nonprofits from declaring there was a connection.

During Harvey and Irma, the Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Earthjustice, Union of Concerned Scientists, Greenpeace, 350.org and Democracy now! made sweeping assertions about climate change, including “climate change made Hurricane Harvey more deadly” and fossil fuel use “supercharges” hurricanes. 350.org even advocated creating a new Category 6 for “super storms that are emerging in our changed climate.”  

These groups were able to promote their alarmist messages to a wide audience because they are backed by millions of dollars from powerful donors. The seven groups received at least $341,015,472 in donations in 2014 and 2015 alone.

Some of the most notable donors included Open Society Foundations and Open Society Institute (two foundations run by left wing billionaire George Soros), the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Tides Foundation. Many of those foundations gave to multiple left-wing, environmental non-profits. In fact, Union of Concerned Scientists was the only one of the seven organizations Rockefeller groups did not fund in in 2014 and 2015.

Open Society Foundations and several Rockefeller foundations provided early funding for anti-ExxonMobil journalism campaigns that began in 2015. Since then, smearing the fossil fuel industry went hand in hand with linking climate change to natural disasters like hurricanes.

But the same government agency responsible for hurricane forecasting acknowledged the lack of scientific proof that carbon dioxide emissions are impacting hurricanes. NOAA’s geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory said, “It is premature to conclude that human activities–and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming–have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity.”

Greenpeace, which received more than $17 million in 2014 and 2015, directly contradicted NOAA’s statement on Aug. 28..

“While we cannot say definitively that climate change caused Hurricane Harvey, science tells us with confidence that it has increased the impact of the flooding and heightened the intensity of the storm,” Greenpeace blog editor Ryan Schleeter wrote.

As proof, Schleeter cited climate alarmist Michael Mann, the Penn State meteorology professor responsible for the infamous “hockey stick” graph.

350.org also cited Mann in fearmongering Tweets saying “Climate Change made Hurricane Harvey more deadly.”

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) went beyond the hurricanes to claim climate change also increased the hurricanes’ storm surges.

“This increasing phenomena is due, in large part, to sea level rise, which is triggered by human-caused global warming as warmer ocean water expands and land ice melts,” EDF’s senior climate scientist Scott Weaver said on Aug. 25.

On Sept. 8, days before Irma made landfall in Florida, EDF senior communications director of Climate, Health and Political Affairs Keith Gaby said, “We’ve always had hurricanes, but climate change is making them stronger.” Gaby blasted Trump’s EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for saying it was “insensitive” to push the climate change agenda during devastating hurricanes.

“The fact is, it’s insensitive to deny climate reality right when people are being so badly hurt by the impacts of it. It’s like telling people to shut up about germs during a flu epidemic,” Gaby wrote.

ThinkProgress, a  blog of the Center for American Progress (CAP), also criticized Pruitt, calling his statements “exactly backwards.”

“As horrible as Harvey was — and as Irma is shaping up to be — recognizing the role climate change is playing in this year’s superstorms must help guide recovery and resiliency efforts,” ThinkProgress claimed on Sept. 7.  

CAP received more than $39.8 million in 2014 and 2015, but donation records did not reveal how much of was directed to ThinkProgress.

Two days before Irma struck the Keys, the “largest nonprofit environmental law organization” EarthJustice encouraged readers to donate specifically to its “partners on the frontlines,” rather than encouraging donations to neutral relief organizations.

“Right now, millions of people are feeling the effects of the massive storms, flooding and fires of the last few weeks—painful reminders that climate change is real and is already wreaking destruction on communities around the world,” EarthJustice’s Vice President of Development Mollie Fager wrote.

On Twitter, EarthJustice also connected climate change and hurricanes multiple times.

The Soros-funded Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) outdid other environmental groups by claiming fossil fuel use specifically “supercharges” hurricanes.

“As we’ve seen time and again, those who pay the ultimate price for climate inaction are not the people driving this crisis. They are not the CEOs overseeing the reckless burning of fossil fuels, which supercharges storms like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” NRDC said on Sept.8. “The people who have always suffered the most from environmental disasters are Black, Brown, poor, and the least resourced to cope with a climate changed world.”

The NRDC received more than $91.6 million between 2014 and 2015, including $709,000 from Soros’ foundations.

Between Harvey and Irma, Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) published a blog asking “What’s the Connection Between Climate Change and Hurricane Harvey?” It then cited warmer ocean temperatures and sea level rise which it said was caused by climate change.

On Twitter, UCS said the media “must make connection” between climate change and hurricanes.

350.org went beyond writing blog posts linking climate change to hurricanes. It created a petition to “tell your members of Congress: Harvey is a climate change disaster.”

It also shared fearmongering memes on Twitter including asking if Hurricane Irma was “the new normal” and proposing “Cat 6” for “the new super storms that are emerging in our changed climate.”

Far-left online television program Democracy Now! helped 350.org spread those messages further by  interviewing 350.org founder Bill McKibben on Sept. 7. McKibben told viewers, Harvey was “the kind of storm that’s only possible now that we’ve remarkably affected the climate.”

Of course, that was absurd since there were horrific, intense and deadly major hurricanes in 1900 and 1935 and many more even earlier. Galveston, Texas was decimated in 1900 by a hurricane with winds between 130 and 140 miles per hour (Category 4) and a 15 foot storm surge.

That reality didn’t stop Democracy Now! Host Amy Goodman from encouraging McKibben to slam fossil fuels by asking “what does the whole fossil fuel industry have to do with the kind of severe weather we’re experiencing now around the world?”

McKibben accused the fossil fuel industry of “unreason” and “its inability to deal with the fact that its business model has to change.”

Other liberal climate change nonprofits like DeSmog Blog, InsideClimate News, Grist, and NextGen America (formerly NextGen Climate) also linked hurricanes Harvey and Irma to climate change, but their full donor information was not publically available.