This week, a petition co-organized by the Working Families delivered over 520,000 signatures calling for David Koch’s dismissal from the Board of the Smithsonian Institute to the Museum’s Executive Staff at their annual meeting in Washington D.C. Koch’s extensive ties to the fossil fuel industry and his long history of supporting climate change deniers has led to protests against the Smithsonian’s ties to special, pro-pollution interests. In recent months, the protests have gained momentum due to an outcry over a misleading and scientifically inaccurate exhibit downplaying the danger of climate change at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum.
The “Hall of Human Origins” exhibit, which remains unchanged even after repeated calls from prominent scientists questioning its integrity, was made possible by infamous climate-denier David Koch’s $15 million dollar donation. Particularly troubling among the exhibit’s displays is its “interactive game,” which directly suggests that humans can simply evolve biologically to deal with climate change.
Protesters are also calling for the dismissal of Wei-Hock Soon, the disgraced Smithsonian climate scientist who failed to disclose the millions of dollars he accepted from Exxon and others in the fossil fuel industry whilst publishing questionable theories stating that humans are not the primary cause of climate change. Soon’s published works, which have cast doubt on everything from Polar Bear habitation loss to the coal industry’s carbon footprint, are widely quoted in conservative news programs and by climate change-denying legislators. These ridiculous examples of the Smithsonian’s connections to the fossil fuel industry need to be addressed, and without substantiated public outrage billionaires like David Koch will continue to whitewash important scientific findings in order to protect their bottom lines. Sign here to support the petition and kick David Koch and Wei-Hock Soon off the Smithsonian’s board!