Most of the conservative think tanks attack environmentalism in some way and have provided a key role in inspiring and galvanising anti-environmentalist sentiments. They do this because environmentalists seek government regulation to protect the environment whilst conservative think tanks oppose most government regulation and because conservative think tanks believe environmental groups support an anti-business, anti-free market agenda.
Moreover, in order to downplay environmental problems (see casting doubt) think tanks "portray environmentalists as 'radicals' who distort evidence and exaggerate problems". Environmentalists are also portrayed as being opposed to progress and threatening economic prosperity and comfortable lifestyles. Various think tanks have also claimed that environmentalists have been responsible for millions of malaria deaths in the developed world because of their opposition to DDT.
In its journal, Policy Review, the Heritage Foundation has labelled the environmental movement as “the greatest single threat to the American economy”. Cato Institute books include:
In 2007 the Cato Institute held a forum entitled "Do NGOs Harm Growth in the Developing World?" which clearly argued that they do by advocating anti-growth policies.
Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) NGO Watch Project, Don D'Cruz (pictured) attacked Malaysian NGOs — Consumers' Association of Penang (CAP) and the Third World Network (TWN), who were opposing genetically-engineered crops, as being 'local front organisations' for American environmentalists because some of their funding cam from a US environment group.
Jennifer Marohasy, when she was director of the IPA's environmental unit, argued that "The tangible environmental benefits of GM are being ignored because it seems that Greens hate technology more than they care about the environment" and that the opposition of environmentalists to GM crops was "a clear illustration of their narrow and backward-looking approach to environmental protection".