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The State of the Nation [as Arranged by Polluters, Inc.]

  • Posted on: 9 December 2010
  • By: Connor Gibson

The fossil fuel industry knows that its time is running out.  While their influence and profits are still enormous, we can see from increasing shifts to unconventional extraction methods--hydraulic fracturing, deepwater drilling, tar sands mining, and other examples--that easily accessible fossil fuels are dwindling.  That's a pretty clear indicator that they will not last indefinitely, before even considering how burning dirty fuel to the last particle will cook the Earth, not to mention the casualties along the way.  You know, like the Gulf of Mexico, or the people of the Athabasca watershed, or those whose wells are now full of poisoned [PDF] or flammable water.

Unfortunately, for people who care about the future of humanity and the vast variety of species were are dragging to extinction [PDF] through the climate crisis, profit is the key factor for fossil fuel barons and their influence peddlers.  With time running out and industry insiders well aware of it, Big Fossil is focusing on how to preserve itself for as long as possible.  Creating a public relations war over the seriousness of global climate disruption has been the keystone tactic in this process. 

Companies recognize the benefits of investing in public doubt, and unfathomable sums have been dumped into this effort across the board, whether through the grossly unapologetic Koch Industries or ExxonMobil, or more slyly by the likes of Chevron or Duke Energy.  Industry misinformation is then pushed to the public through astroturf front groups (like the Koch-funded and -founded Americans for Prosperity), through advertising campaigns (like those run by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity), and by hiring "scientists" or "experts" with that special lack of integrity and credibility that allows a person to earn money at the expense of a far, far broader population.  As this happens, Congress and federal offices are constantly being filled with polluter servants instead of public servants, taking massive campaign donations or cutting career deals in order to further enrich Polluters, Inc.


As if the battle wasn't uphill enough, we now have witnessed the first round of elections post-Citizens United, in which powerhouses like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce raised tens of millions of dollars from the corporate titans it serves and funneled the money into attack ads, sending a warning message to politicians who aren't bending over backwards for big business, if not delivering a crippling blow to their election campaigns. 

Now wouldn't be a bad time to look up the definition of "democracy."  Google it now, before net neutrality is a thing of the past.

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Huffington Post: Koch Brothers Fighting Climate Legislation at State Level

  • Posted on: 29 September 2010
  • By: JesseColeman

The Kochtopus wants to destroy your clean energy future

 

Yet another tentacle of the "Kochtopus", the shadowy assemblage of front groups that helped kill this year's cap and trade bill, is attempting to strangle regional clean energy initiatives on the East and West Coasts.  The Kochtopus is a network of astroturf groups funded by the Koch brothers, who have made billions of dollars from Koch Industries, an enormous dirty energy corporation.

Not content with retarding progress on climate change at the federal level, industry-funded astroturf groups have taken aim at a regional cap-and-trade system in New York and the nation's most ambitious state clean energy program in California.

This time it is the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity that is protecting the billionaire brothers' ability to pollute.  Assisted by a conglomeration of 58 front groups called the State Policy Network, AFP and its allies have been clouding out the facts on climate change with lies and confusion.

Despite the amusing name, the Kochtopus is a very sophisticated and calculated propaganda apparatus that has seriously manipulated public opinion to the detriment of the American people and the planet.  The front groups that comprise it have proven very effective to their corporate puppeteers, who will continue to fund and exploit them to prevent much needed regulation of the dirty energy industry.  These groups must be recognized as pawns and charlatans before they further delay action against catastrophic global warming.

For more on this story, see the Huffington Post article by Robert Eshelman

 

 

  

 

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Oil Billionaire Koch Brothers exposed in The New Yorker

  • Posted on: 24 August 2010
  • By: joesmyth

The New Yorker published a must-read expose of Charles and David Koch this week, detailing the major role that these oil billionaire brothers have played in funding organizations that misrepresent the science of climate change like the Cato Institute, front groups like Americans for Prosperity, and others that aim to block progress on climate solutions and keep America addicted to  fossil fuels . The article includes information from Greenpeace’s report, Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine.

Here's an excerpt:

The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation. These views dovetail with the brothers’ corporate interests. In a study released this spring, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst’s Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries one of the top ten air polluters in the United States. And Greenpeace issued a report identifying the company as a “kingpin of climate science denial.” The report showed that, from 2005 to 2008, the Kochs vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups. Indeed, the brothers have funded opposition campaigns against so many Obama Administration policies—from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program—that, in political circles, their ideological network is known as the Kochtopus.

Earlier this month, New York Magazine also published an article about David Koch, and it looks like he’s been seeing some of Greenpeace’s materials:

"In his office, Koch showed me a  photocopied flyer Greenpeace had produced with sketches of him and Charles below the words wanted for climate crimes and shook it in the air."
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greenpeace activists distributed those fliers at the opening of the Smithsonian’s Koch-funded “Hall of Human Origins” exhibit. (Check out this post from Climate Progress for more information about how David Koch's oil money may have tainted the exhibit.)

Maybe David Koch can use his copy of the flyer as a bookmark when he reads how his shadowy oil-funded network has been exposed in this week's New Yorker Magazine.

Check out the full article for all the details.

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