Climate Reality Project



Introduction


The Climate Reality Project (Project) is an effort to advance the liberal climate change message that human beings are causing dramatic global warming and that massive, global government intervention in the economy is necessary to prevent planetary catastrophe. Formerly known as the Alliance for Climate Protection, the Climate Reality Project also espouses that “extreme weather events” are due to man’s activities.[1] Founded by former Vice President Al Gore, the group pushes Gore’s distinct global warming message.

The Climate Reality Project is a non-profit group. It has come under scrutiny for electioneering and charges have been filed with the Federal Election Commission.[2] Describing its work as a “mass persuasion exercise,” the Climate Reality Project generated $88 million in revenues in 2008.[3]

The Project has an affiliated but separate lobbying arm, the Climate Protection Action Fund.[4]


History / Mission


Former Vice President Al Gore founded the Climate Reality Project in 2006. The group describes itself saying, “[t]he Climate Reality Project is bringing the facts about the climate crisis into the mainstream and engaging the public in conversation about how to solve it. We help citizens around the world discover the truth and take meaningful steps to bring about change.”[5] The Project is staffed with liberal environmentalists and has ties to former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and President Barack Obama.


Liberal Ties


President Obama’s former “Climate Czar” Carol Browner served on the Climate Reality Project’s board as late as 2007.[6] Browner has ties to socialist organizations and violated a federal judge’s order when she ordered the destruction of government documents while serving in President Bill Clinton’s Administration.[7] Also, according to the Washington Examiner, “Browner is a member of the Commission for a Sustainable World Society (CSWS), which is a formal organ of the Socialist International.”[8]


Work

After changing its name from the Alliance for Climate Protection to the Climate Reality Project, the group’s primary effort became its “24 Hours of Reality Campaign,” scheduled for September 14-15, 2011. As Al Gore explained on the group’s website in early September 2011, “24 Hours of Reality will focus the world’s attention on the full truth, scope, scale and impact of the climate crisis. To remove the doubt. Reveal the deniers. And catalyze urgency around an issue that affects every one of us.”[9]


Controversial Advertising


In 2008, the Climate Reality Project funded a series of television advertisements through its “We Campaign.” The effort featured unlikely pairs of individuals coming together to promote climate change legislation.[10] Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appeared in one of the advertisements.[11] Judicial Watch, a Washington, D.C. watchdog group, filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that the Pelosi ad constituted illegal electioneering.[12] The FEC dismissed the complaint.

Under federal law, candidates cannot appear in advertisements by independent groups within 90 days of an election.[13] In its complaint dismissal, the FEC admits, “[s]ince the television advertisement was carried nationally, its broadcast area included Speaker Pelosi's Congressional district in California, where it was broadcast within 90 days of the June 3, 2008 California Congressional primary election in which she was a candidate.”[14] The FEC’s complaint dismissal stated the matter was dropped because of “prosecutorial discretion.”[15]


Not Suffering Dissent


The Climate Reality Project has castigated those who challenge its stance on climate change. For example, after the Wall Street Journalran an op-ed[16] critical of efforts to whitewash Climategate, the Project sent a blast email signed by CEO Maggie L. Fox to its members asking them to email the newspaper and demand "that they set the record straight on climate change science." The letter also said, “Balanced media coverage today won’t give back the precious time we’ve lost defending scientific facts that should not have been in question,”[17] demonstrating the Project’s point of view that it is inappropriate for scientists and others to even question the accuracy of the global warming theory, despite an established principle in science that all theories (which, by definition, are unproven) should be questioned. The Project also provided talking points for its members to use in the emails.[18]


Profiting Off Green Energy


Current and former Climate Reality Project staff and board members advocate energy legislation that in some cases appears to advance their personal financial interests. When Al Gore left the Vice Presidency, he was worth about $2 million.[19] By 2008, Gore had amassed enough funds through his green energy windfall to invest $35 million in for-profit ventures.[20] In April 2009, Gore testified before Congress and promoted the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill.[21] According to Steven Milloy, a frequent Gore critic, in that exchange, Gore lied about his personal investments.[22]

Former Climate Reality Project CEO Cathy Zoi, who left the Project to join the Obama Administration as Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency, also has had ties to green investments. In May 2010, the Washington Examinerreported that Zoi, “who would run a proposed subsidy program dubbed ‘Cash for Caulkers[,]’ had intimate ties to a company that had lobbied for the bill and would profit from it.”[23]

Furthermore, the Examinerreported, "Zoi’s husband, Robin Roy, is vice president of ‘Projects and Policy’ at Serious Windows, a company that makes very expensive and very energy-efficient windows. The energy savings of its high-end windows might not pay for the windows’ premium price -- but with a federal subsidy it will. In addition to helping her husband’s company, Zoi -- by supporting and implementing Cash for Caulkers -- will be boosting her stock portfolio. She owns 120,000 shares of parent company Serious Materials in vested stock options and an additional 32,500 options not yet vested. The value of these options is unclear, but it's undeniable that Zoi and her husband get richer when the government subsidizes Serious Materials."[24]


Leadership (as of September 2011)


Maggie L. Fox, President & CEO
Al Gore, Chairman of the Board
Former Congressman Sherwood L. Boehlert (R-NY), Board Member
Cathy Zoi, Former CEO (2007 Salary: $300,789)

Contact Information


The Climate Reality Project
901 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004
Website: www.climateprotect.org



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  1. ^ “The Event,” Climate Reality Project, available at http://climaterealityproject.org/the-event/ as of September 8, 2011.
  2. ^ See infra“Controversial Advertising.”
  3. ^ Alliance for Climate Protection’s 2008 990 Form, available at guidestar.org as of September 6, 2011.
  4. ^ Read about the Climate Protection Action Fund here: http://climateprotectionactionfund.org/
  5. ^ “About Us,” The Climate Reality Project,” available at http://climaterealityproject.org/about-us/ as of September 6, 2011.
  6. ^ Alliance for Climate Protection’s 2007 990 Form, available at guidestar.org as of September 8, 2011.
  7. ^ Michelle Malkin, “Crooked Carol Browner: Obama’s Ethically-Challenged Energy Czar,” Michellemalkin.com, December 12, 2008, available at http://michellemalkin.com/2008/12/12/crooked-carol-browner-obamas-ethically-challenged-energy-czar/ as of September 8, 2011.
  8. ^ “Browner is an Environmental Radical – and a Socialist (Seriously),” Washington Examiner, January 8, 2009, available at http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/Browner_is_an_environmental_radical__and_a_socialist_seriously_010809.html as of September 8, 2011.
  9. ^ “Choose Reality,” The Climate Change Project, available at http://climaterealityproject.org/ as of September 6, 2011.
  10. ^ For more information on the “We Campaign,” go to http://www.wecansolveit.org/available as of October 14, 2010. (The “We Campaign” redirects to the Climate Reality Project homepage as of September 8, 2011.)
  11. ^ The video is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaZFfQKWX54as of September 6, 2011.
  12. ^ To read the Judicial Watch complaint, visit: http://www.judicialwatch.org/files/complaint_0.pdf (PDF).
  13. ^ See11 C.F.R. §§ 109.21(a)(2) and 109.21(c)(4)(i).
  14. ^ Statement of Reasons of Chairman Steven T. Walther, Vice Chairman Matthew S. Petersen, and Commissioners Cynthia L. Bauerly, Caroline C. Hunter and Donald F. Mcgahn II II, May 11, 2009, Federal Election Commission, available at http://www.judicialwatch.org/files/documents/2009/statement051109.pdfas of September 8, 2011.
  15. ^ Statement of Reasons of Chairman Steven T. Walther, Vice Chairman Matthew S. Petersen, and Commissioners Cynthia L. Bauerly, Caroline C. Hunter and Donald F. Mcgahn II, May 11, 2009, Federal Election Commission, available at http://www.judicialwatch.org/files/documents/2009/statement051109.pdf as of September 8, 2011.
  16. ^ Patrick Michaels, “The Climategate Whitewash Continues,” Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2010, available at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704075604575356611173414140.htmlas of September 8, 2011.
  17. ^ Anthony Watts, “Gore’s Web Crusaders Can’t Handle a Dissenting Opinion,” Watts Up With That, July 12, 2010, available at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/12/gores-web-crusaders-cant-handle-a-dissenting-opinion/as of September 8, 2011.
  18. ^ Anthony Watts, “Gore’s Web Crusaders Can’t Handle a Dissenting Opinion,” Watts Up With That, July 12, 2010, available at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/12/gores-web-crusaders-cant-handle-a-dissenting-opinion/ as of September 8, 2011.
  19. ^ Steve Milloy, “Gore Lies to Congress About Personal Finances,” Canada Free Press, April 26, 2009, available at http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/10567as of September 8, 2011.
  20. ^ Miles Weiss, “Gore Invests $35 Million for Hedge Funds With EBay Billionaire,” Bloomberg, March 6, 2008, available at http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a7li9Nhmhvg0as of September 8, 2011.
  21. ^ Steve Milloy, “Gore Lies to Congress About Personal Finances,” Canada Free Press, April 26, 2009, available at http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/10567as of September 8, 2011.
  22. ^ Steve Milloy, “Gore Lies to Congress About Personal Finances,” Canada Free Press, April 26, 2009, available at http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/10567 as of September 8, 2011.
  23. ^ Timothy Carney, “Cash for Caulkers Invites for-Profit Politics,” Washington Examiner, May 12, 2010, available at http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/business/2010/05/cash-caulkers-invites-profit-politics as of September 8, 2011.
  24. ^ Timothy Carney, “Cash for Caulkers Invites for-Profit Politics,” Washington Examiner, May 12, 2010, available at http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/business/2010/05/cash-caulkers-invites-profit-politics as of September 8, 2011.