I'm sure that many us often look at the title of a think tank and don't see past the fancy wrapper. That's quite forgivable, after all they are doing honest research and faithfully reporting their findings, aren't they?
Unfortunately this is not always quite the case, in fact some think tanks are nothing more than thinly veiled lobby groups, especially where environment is concerned.
So I would ask everyone to at least ask a few questions about reports and policy suggestions from think tanks, before glibly accepting them. The link below is to a site that has started to rate the transparency of think tanks, I hope the results are interesting:
Who Funds You? Promoting open, transparent think tanks
Strikes me that the further right you move, the less is the transparency. This could be because of the greater opportunity to influence government, or it could perhaps be, that the more centre left organisations have a wider funding base, reflecting a rainbow of views. This would mitigate more to broader policy formulation than a narrow funding base that is more likely to tend towards lobbying.
Either way this is a very important aspect of our democracy, so we should all do more to be aware of who is trying to influence who and those who are the most likely to produce unbiased information.