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Buying Climate Change Denialism

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It’s so easy for corporations to buy climate change denialism that pranksters can pretty much walk into the offices of known professors who have become corporate hacks and do it themselves.

The case of Frank Clemente of Penn State University has similarly damning details. Investigators asked Clemente, a sociologist, if he could publish a paper to “counter damaging research linking coal to premature deaths (in particular the WHO’s figure that 3.7 million people die per year from fossil fuel pollution).”

Clemente said that he could be quoted in support of the report using his university job title, and that it would cost $15,000 for the 8-10-page paper. Asked for assurance that the oil and gas funding would be kept secret, Clemente referenced past articles and even testimony in front of state legislatures and said, “In none of these cases is the sponsor identified. All my work is publised as an independent scholar.”

“There is no requirement to declare source funding in the U.S.,” he explained.

Clemente also took home the biggest paycheck of any in this particular sting. He said he was paid $50,000 for a report titled “The Global Value of Coal,” which was actually published by the International Energy Agency in 2012.

I guess I need to sell my soul. Then I’d be able to buy a house.

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