Environmental activism is one of the key pillars of the Democratic Party. New financial analysis proves it.
The greenest thing about the eco-Left is surely its pocketbook.
Public filings reveal that professional environmentalist groups brought in close to $3.8 billion in 2021—a stunning figure that paid for everything from lobbying, to litigation, to get-out-the-vote drives for Democrats, and nearly all of it through tax-exempt nonprofits.
Yet these groups aren’t selling products or contributing to the economy. Quite the opposite: Eco-activists are responsible for inventing the Green New Deal, a proposed federal ban on gas-fueled stoves, skyrocketing energy prices, and the degradation of appliance quality—like your dishwasher—in hundreds of millions of homes nationwide.
Far from preserving our environment, eco-activism represents an anti-human ideology bent on depopulating the planet, abolishing free markets, and returning civilization to the Dark Ages. And, irony of ironies, they’re funding this crusade with fortunes created by capitalism and funneled through tax-exempt philanthropies.
So who are these groups?
Start with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), which pulled in a gob-smacking $408 million in 2021 alone. While it presets itself mainly as a conservation group, the WWF is heavily funded by the MacArthur Foundation and Rockefeller Brothers Fund to fight nuclear energy—which emits exactly zero carbon dioxide, the chief culprit, global warmers say, behind climate change—to bring about an “equitable, net-zero” global economy.
Next on the list are two groups that push Scientism overgenuine science. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) may sound like an innocuous group, but it’s one of the most influential in spreading this ideology nationwide. It’s also one of the largest, reporting $112 million in 2021 revenues. I’ve documented AAAS’ socialist origins, history of fraternizing with the Soviet Union, and past calls for a totalitarian one-world government—this from the largest self-styled science association in the world.
If anything, the Union of Concerned Scientists (2021 revenues: $64 million) is even more political. It was birthed as an anti-Vietnam War group in 1969 and evolved into an anti-nuclear advocate by the 1970s; today the Union of Concerned Scientists rage against so-called fossil fuels, fracking, and—oddity incoming—“racial equity,” because “racism is an inescapable reality in the United States” thanks to our “legacy of white supremacy.”
Next on the list is the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which had nearly $274 million to play with in 2021. NRDC is one of the country’s biggest environmental lobbies and is famous for using 8-figure campaigns to fund its public scare campaigns. During the Obama administration, NRDC engaged in “sue-and-settle” tactics with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Launching lawsuits against the agency, which quickly agrees to a closed-door meeting with NRDC attorneys, resulting in new EPA regulations that become law. President Trump ended sue-and-settle in 2017, only for President Biden to reinstate it last year.
The Sierra Club is one of the oldest and most powerful environmental groups in the country. In 2021 alone, its network reported $261 million in revenues, funds used to shut down at least 335 coal power plants nationwide. It ultimately aims to abolish all oil and gas pipelines, ban fracking, and block all development on at least 30 percent of the country’s land.
The League of Conservation Voters is one of the Democratic Party’s biggest get-out-the-vote groups and raked in $196 million in total revenues across its network in 2021. It’s also a major backer of Democratic candidates, spending $33 million in independent expenditures to boost Democrats in the 2022 election, and gifting another $7 million to left-wing PACs that year.
Greenpeace, one of the most extreme groups on this list, raked in $67 million in 2021. Like the Union of Concerned Scientists, it started out battling nuclear weapons testing in the 1960s and opposing the Vietnam War; since then, it’s engaged in violent attacks on whaling ships in the Pacific Ocean. Today it demands 100 percent “renewable” energy commitments from every country in the world by 2050, a plan Greenpeace admits would cost as much as $64 trillion to enact.
Then there’s the Environmental Defense Fund (2021 revenues: $394 million) and its advocacy arm, whose former vice president, Michael Regan, currently heads President Joseph Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency. Since Biden took office, EDF has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying Democrats to support 100 percent renewable energy mandates, the Build Back Better agenda, and a Republican-introduced carbon tax (the deceptively named MARKET CHOICE Act).
Bankrolling Big Green
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We could also mention the major funders behind many of these groups, including the MacArthur and Hewlett Foundations, two of the biggest funders of political activism in the world.
Add to that the Energy Foundation—itself given a money pot by the Rockefeller Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts to fund climate alarmism indefinitely. But ultimately every big “progressive” funder supports some sort of environmental activism that, until recently, was widely considered extreme. Today banning oil-burning cars and natural gas hookups is par for the course on the Left.
Here’s the bottom line: Eco-activists won’t be satiated with anything conservatives might offer—be it a carbon tax or promises to lower America’s carbon dioxide emissions. We’re locked in a war for the soul of the nation with religious zealots who want every American to submit to their invented “gods.” Until conservatives realize this and stop pretending they’re on neutral ground, they’ll keep losing.
Carter Gaskill contributed to this report