To the Editor:
Senator Tim Kaine took the the floor of the United States Senate, and displayed the potential for being a climate champion. This welcome sign of progress on the environment could lead to stronger leadership for climate action. In his speech, Sen. Kaine pointed to Virginia-based climate denial groups, citing the Virginia Institute for Public Policy, whose statements on climate change include: “The facts show—despite increasingly shrill rhetoric—that planetary warming is not proceeding as originally predicted, and that it is evolving in a much more benign fashion than is generally portrayed.” Apparently, they haven’t read any of Michael E. Mann’s well-respected books or picked up a scientific paper on climate recently. Senator Kaine also pointed to the root issue - funding from Donors Capital Fund and Donors Trust to denier organizations. Between 2004 and 2013, Donors Trust contributed $80 million groups that deny the science and impacts of human-caused climate change or the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund share the same address in Alexandria, Virginia.
This is part of a partnership of 19 senators throughout the week who will take to the Senate floor to call out Koch brothers and fossil fuel industry-funded groups that have fashioned a web of denial to block action on climate change. I congratulate Sen. Kaine for drawing the necessary attention to the impact of funding climate denial - delaying the policies necessary for to protect our health, environment and future, along with the economic opportunities of clean energy.