Museums Pressured to Drop Donors Who Deny Climate Change

Are museums really the respected educational and cultural centers that we often consider them to be? That’s something that’s been called into question as museums become increasingly reliant on support from private donors. Feeling that this money tarnishes the integrity of museums, noted scientists, artists and patrons are calling on several of America’s most prominent museums to sever their ties with known climate change deniers, reports The Art Newspaper.

Not an Alternative, the group calling for a change in policy, is specifically targeting natural history museums with its efforts. The assemblage argues that such museums cannot pretend to provide vital information on science and nature while rubbing elbows with those who also help to fund climate change denialism.

Museums are in a difficult position. Short on funding, most need the generosity of extremely wealthy philanthropists to stay afloat. Members of Not an Alternative understand this position, but believe that museums need to draw the line at glossing over climate change to maintain their relevancy.

In a letter to museums that receive money from climate change deniers, Not an Alternative writes, “When some of the biggest contributors to climate change and funders of misinformation on climate science sponsor exhibitions in museums of science and natural history, they undermine public confidence in the validity of the institutions responsible for transmitting scientific knowledge. This corporate philanthropy comes at too high a cost.”

For proof, look no further than the world-renowned Smithsonian museum. A few years ago when the Smithsonian first accepted money from the infamous Koch family, a representative for the museum claimed that the donations would have no bearing on the content of the exhibits. However, the “David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins” indicates otherwise. This exhibition suggests that climate change is natural rather than manmade and that humankind is suited for adapting to any future fluctuations.

While not all museums are willing to stoop to this level of climate change denial, some will just agree to cave to its donors’ desires to avoid the topic altogether, despite it being a very important subject for people to understand. If museums are beholden to the same wealthy people trying to spread misinformation on the seriousness of climate change, it’s not likely that they’re going to be willing to upset these donors.

“At the same time that the far right and the 1 percent expand their influence in cultural institutions, they are also undermining our political process and lobbying for budget cuts in the same institutions, thus concentrating cultural power into fewer and fewer hands,” representatives for Not an Alternative told Creative Time Reports. “These cultural institutions are civic treasures, close to the hearts of generations of Americans. They have a tremendous influence on our culture, defining values, transmitting information, and conveying norms, yet they are increasingly subject to self-censorship. “

It’ll be interesting to see whether the United States’ most prominent natural history museums will heed the call of Not an Alternative. By continuing to accept donations from those who promote climate change propaganda, they are resigning to being cogs in the corporate machine, rather than centers for genuine and vital discourse.


Warren Webber
Warren Webber4 years ago

Live long and prosper

Connie O.
Connie O4 years ago

thanks for the interesting article

Bert Klein
Bert Klein4 years ago

Politically Left Scientist Dissents – Calls President Obama ‘delusional’ on global warming
Climate Statistics Professor Dr. Caleb Rossiter of American University: 'Obama has long been delusional on this issue. Anyone who believes we are in a climate catastrophe I think is deluding themselves.'
Rossiter on his conversion to a climate skeptic: 'You are very isolated on the Democratic Party on the left — one is, I am — for having this conclusion of analysis...I would say since 2004 I’ve been very lonely. I’ve been lonely working on the Hill for the Democratic Party.'
 Rossiter on Gore's film: 'I think it’s a wonderful teaching tool because it shows how we don't do science. Gore’s irresponsible.'
On Gore winning the Nobel: 'Worst Nobel Prize for peace since Henry Kissinger.'
Rossiter: 'My blood simply boils too hot when I read the blather, daily, about climate catastrophe. It boggles the mind that I could be certain that I know what caused a half degree rise in the last hundred fifty years. It’s simply not large enough to find a physical cause.'

By: Marc Morano - Climate DepotSeptember 23, 2014 12:29 AM with 16 comments
Climate Depot Exclusive
As President Obama attends the UN Summit climate summit in New York City, a fellow member of his Democratic Party, who is also a scientist, is publicity renouncing the Presidents climate change claims as “delusional.” Rossiter reversed his view on man-made

Rebecca Carroll-Lees

not quite sure I agree with this

Martha Ferris
Martha Ferris4 years ago

Re: Climate change. Let's fix what we can fix.
Museums, or any other entity relying on donors, should not accept any kind of support where strings are attached.

Mac C.
mac C4 years ago

I can see where accepting certain donations can be bad when there are "strings attached" to the Hall of Human Origins. Thank you for posting.

Michael T.
Michael T4 years ago

The director of the pseudo-documentary has willfully omitted the most recent data because it would disprove the personal agenda that he is trying to promote. When anyone misrepresents real data to try to present a personal agenda, what he is doing is flat out


Michael T.
Michael T4 years ago

The Great Global Warming Swindle does not represent the current state of knowledge in climate science…

Many of the hypotheses presented in the Great Global Warming Swindle have been considered and rejected by due scientific process. This documentary is far from an objective, critical examination of climate science.

Instead the Great Global Warming Swindle goes to great lengths to present

David Eff kind of



or ambiguous data

in such a way as to grossly distort the true understanding of climate change science, and to support a set of extremely controversial views.

Michael T.
Michael T4 years ago

How amusing it is to see the same dunderheads-are-us promoting what he calls a documentary. It has in fact been debunked and nailed to the wall so many times it is hilarious.

“The Great Global Warming Swindle” (DVD/video/movie) is a pseudo-documentary in which British television producer Martin Durkin has fraudulently misrepresented both the data involved and scientists who have researched global climate. Movie director Durkin has willfully misrepresented the facts about global warming just to advocate his own agenda.

“The Great Global Warming Swindle” is aimed at and appeals to the “Don’t bother me with the facts - I’ve already made up my mind” audience. There may be future media presentations by those who wish to promote ignorant political viewpoints instead of presenting factual knowledge. (Or possibly, the individuals involved have never passed a high school science course and don’t understand that there is a difference.)

John B.
John B4 years ago

Thanks Kevin for the article and info.