The world-renowned Smithsonian Institution “risks damaging its reputation by having a polluter-funded science denier on the payroll and a wildly misleading Koch-funded exhibit that downplays the risks posed by human-caused climate change,” Joe Romm argues this week on the Climate Progress blog.
The David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins was made possible by a $15 million grant from the same fossil fuel billionaire who has funnelled a small fortune into climate denial organizations. “Travel back 6 million years to discover how our ancestors struggled to survive dramatic climate changes and, in the process, evolved the traits that make us humans,” reads the entrance plaque at the hall.
Climate Progress “exposed the myriad flaws in the exhibit” five years ago, but Romm says the Smithsonian still hasn’t corrected a presentation that “thoroughly whitewashes the dangers of modern-day climate change.”
Pointing to one video that implies humans have time to evolve in response to rapidly rising global temperatures, Romm comments: “As long as this anti-scientific video is part of the Koch exhibit, visitors will have every right to assume the museum is intentionally misleading the public on the gravity of the climate situation.”
Later in the week, Romm reported that a group of leading climate scientists and museum specialists were urging science and natural history museums to “cut all ties with the fossil fuel industry and funders of climate science obfuscation.”