Here, the Koch brothers are attributed with a near mythical level of persuasion even though on the propaganda front they're greatly outspent, for example, by Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund, and the EU.
I hope you realize that's not a very fair comparison. There are at least three fundamental errors that make the comparison misleading:
1) You are comparing two oil tycoons to Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund and the European Union
The Koch brothers run a privately owned company with an estimated income of around $100 billion per year
Greenpeace has an income of around 0.35% of Koch industries, around 350 million.
The World Wildlife fund has an income of around 0.25% of Koch industries, around 250 million.
The European Union has a budget of around 160% of Koch industries, around $160 billion per year
You needed to throw the European Union into the comparison to make the comparison look even remotely reasonable. Otherwise the groups you're looking at would be at a more than 100 to 1 funding disadvantage. However, other than to make the comparison look less ridiculous, it doesn't really seem reasonable to include the EU in your comparison.
2) You seem to categorizing all money spent by Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund and the European Union (which includes 28 different countries) as propaganda.
This is a ridiculous assumption to make, however, it may surprise you to know that Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund and the European Union have other things to spend their money on than climate change. Greenpeace maintains a small fleet of ships, and runs a variety of different environmental campaigns, the World Wildlife Fund is more concerned with Wilflife preservationt than Global Warming and the European Union is a government that runs many programs that have nothing to do with climate change.
3) No one know how much money the Koch brothers spend on climate change propaganda.
Koch industries is a privately owned company and thus doesn't have to reveal how much money it spends on anti-climate change propaganda. It seems likely, however, if they spend as little as 1% on opposing climate change they'd outspend the Greenpeace and the WWF entirely. Once you account for the actual breakdown of spending on climate change for those groups, the Koch brothers could easily outspend them with 0.1% of annual revenue.
While I agree that some people do have Koch brother myopia, they are in fact, one of the largest funders of anti-regulatory and right-wing propaganda groups in the world. Most of that funding is done in secret because they are not compelled to reveal any of it. They are in fact, running a shadowy propaganda war against environmental groups because they directly profit from lax environmental laws (because of lower costs, and increased ability to shift clean up burdens to tax payers).
I know I became disenchanted when Greenpeace (US branch, I believe) libeled Du Pont (incidentally with global warming FUD) while I was working there around 1990.
Ah, yes. "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it." Incidentally, I've never really been a big fan of Greenpeace either, but I try not to let the messenger colour the message.
People might still be willing to make small but meaningless sacrifices (such as recycling programs) for the environment, but when it affects your life and those you care about for little, if any, gain, people get more discerning.
That is probably true. However, the problem may be the perception of the gain versus the perception of the cost. I know many people (on Slashdot even) have claimed that switching to a low carbon energy infrastructure would result in global poverty. But to stop global warming completely in it's tracks would cost us close to 2% of world GDP, fairly close to what the world spends on sewers and sewage treatment. If you figure the cost is everything and the benefit is nothing, then of course, you're going to oppose it, no matter what "it" is. This is part of the reason why there is a underground funding network for opposition to dealing with global warming. The Koch brother, in particular, see all solutions to global warming as a lose-lose proposition for themselves. They've made a career out of being the largest corner-cutting polluters on the planet. I do think their power and reach is frequently overstated, but they do have a considerable amount of both.