Big money behind local climate change deniers?

By Ken Perrott 16/10/2011

Last week I commented on the climate change denial machine in New Zealand. A few days later the NZ Herald published some relevant information – the sources and amounts of money going to local political parties from major donors (see Act line-up attracts Gibbs’ money).

Here’s the information from the article for large donations since 2009

National: $530,000

Donors: Susan Chou ($300,000), Todd Corporation ($50,000), Graeme Douglas ($25,000), Team McMillan ($50,000), Antoines Restaurant ($105,000).

Act: $312,855

Donors: Alan Gibbs ($110,000), John Boscawen ($52,335), Christopher and Banks Private Equity (John Banks’ company) ($50,000), Southland businessman Louis Crimp ($100,520).

Labour: $100,500

Donors: Todd Corporation ($50,000), Mike Smith ($25,000) and Meatworkers’ Union ($25,500).

Green Party:  $21,000

Donor: Dr Stuart Bramhall.

(Tally is of donations of more than $20,000 until January 1, 2011, and more than $30,000 since then.)

OK – we expect the National Party to be the front-runner. But the ACT Party in second place? With three times the large donations than received by the Labour Party?

Now this is a party which gets incredibly low poll support (usually within the margin of error).

It recently had a leadership coup with a unique twist – the new leaders were not even members of the ACT party before their coup!

They have relied on winning the electorate of Epsom to piggyback a small number of their members into parliament on this list. Now the polls suggest this might not happen this year. Despite their candidate being an ex-mayor of Auckland.

Yet a “filthy capitalist” like Alan Gibbs (who has an murky record in New Zealand) can bankroll them. Of course Gibbs is also a backer of the The NZ Centre for Political Research – a local conservative think tank which appears to pull the strings of the Act Party and the New Zealand climate change denier astroturf organisations.

The ACT Party has a disgusting record on  climate change. they have continually attacked the science and the scientists.

But considering the close relationship between the ACT Party, the NZ Centre for Political Research and the climate change denial groups one can’t help drawing some conclusions.

Is the financial backing of the ACT party (not much more than an astroturf organisation itself) indicative of the sort of financial backing going to the climate change denial groups like the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition and the NZ Climate Conversation Group?

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