Tell science museums to kick David Koch off of their board
The Smithsonian is allowing climate denial mega-funder David Koch to co-opt the science presented in its museums.
A particularly appalling exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History entitled the “David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins” attempts to downplay the impact of massive, rapid global climate change. The exhibit actually promotes the misleading and inaccurate premise that humans can evolve their way out of climate change.1 2
David Koch has spent at least $67 million funding climate denial front groups. His political organizations have spent hundreds of millions more to elect politicians who deny science. 3 Now he’s trying to manipulate the presentation of science directly as a major donor, exhibit sponsor and board of directors trustee at the Smithsonian and American Museum of Natural History.
Dozens of leading scientists – including Nobel Prize winners – sent an unprecedented letter to natural history and science museums nationwide calling on them to cut ties to the fossil fuel industry and funders of lobby groups that misrepresent climate science.4 We should join them.
Tell the Smithsonian and the American Museum of Natural History: Kick science denier David Koch off your boards.
David Koch’s oil and manufacturing conglomerate Koch Industries is one of the greatest contributors to climate pollution in the United States, so he has an enormous financial stake in blocking swift action to stop fossil fuel extraction.5
The scientific community is fighting back citing Howard Zinn’s assertion that you can’t be neutral on moving train and saying that “fossil fuel companies are driving this train off the end of the Earth.” It’s time for science museums to get off this train, and reaffirm their commitment to empirical fact over fossil fuel fiction.6
Tell the Smithsonian and the American Museum of Natural History: Kick David Koch off of your board.
1. Joe Romm, "New Yorker exposes Koch brothers along with their greenwashing and whitewashing Smithsonian exhibit," ThinkProgress, August 24, 2010
2. Joe Romm, "Smithsonian Stands By Wildly Misleading Climate Change Exhibit Paid For By Kochs," Joe Romm, ThinkProgress, March 23, 2015
3. Suzanne Goldenberg, "US museums asked to sever ties with fossil fuel industry," The Guardian, March 24, 2015
4. "An Open Letter to Museums from Members of the Scientific Community," March 24, 2015
5. "Greenhouse 100 Polluters Index," June 2013
6. "Why Is Climate Denier David Koch on the Board of Top Science Museums? Letter Urges Cutting of Ties," Democracy Now!, March 26, 2015