Seibt is promoted by the Heartland Institute. The Koch bros Institute seems to miss an essential point. Neither Science nor those arguing the reality of man-made Climate Change being real are declaring it’s “all” only man made. However, the accumulated effect human activity has had on the accelerating the rate of change can’t be discounted as the trigger and only humans can alter that over the long term.
Righteous anger is a valid response to call for a stop on CO2 emissions. Given the history of denial, which has only recently seen a psuedo shift by denialists like the Kochs and remains neither scientific or rational but purely political, economic and self-interested the anger stems from concern for the common good of the planet. Seibt on that basis is a red herring just as Dr Bjorn Lomborg and his Coppenhagen Climate Council was when also financed by the Koch Bros to distract from the evidence science has and continues to accumulate for over the past 60 years. Today proving the negative influence CO2 emissions have on the planet’s changing climate. (ODT)
“I don’t want to get people to stop believing in man-made climate change, not at all,” she told the Washington Post on Monday, while acknowledging she found the idea that human activity alone was responsible for the warming planet “ridiculous.” The outlet’s profile of the young activist, whom it not-so-subtly dubs “the anti-Greta,” proceeds to paint her as a puppet of the Heartland Institute, which is “paying [Seibt] to question established climate science” – as if she would never have done so on her own.
Rather then give Seibt the benefit of the doubt, at least one other outlet pounced on WaPo for not being harsh enough on the German activist. Motherboard accused the outlet of “amplifying climate change denialism” from a “noted propaganda factory” that “can routinely be found peeing in the public discourse pool on behalf of its corporate donors.” Imagine what hell would break loose if anyone used such terms to describe Saint Greta…
We let the Ramsay Center into our Universities, Abbott wanted a Climate denier control center in one who lost his Koch Bro funding, Dr Bjorn Lomborg. What funding doe Murdoch get from the Kocks of this world? (ODT)
“It is much more dangerous to be unaware of whom you’re taking money from, and what kind of politics they support,” Kellie McElhaney, a University of California, Berkeley professor, told McBride. “You sure as heck should have some core values you’re not going to compromise on,” she added.
When there is money of the magnitude that Koch Disruptive Technologies has at its disposal, you should probably bet on the money!
What’s next for Koch Industries? Will Chase Koch be setting up a pavilion at Burning Man?
The Koch Industries representatives appeared interested in both the rules and regulations, but also how political donations were viewed “culturally” in Australia.
Watch the second part of the Al Jazeera investigation on Thursday on ABC TV or watch the full documentary on iview.
A 20-year campaign by rightwing billionaire donors to undermine trade unions and strike a blow at the progressive movement in Americacomes to a climax on Monday, in a hearing at the US supreme court.
A new film tells the story of Crossett, Arkansas – a small town dominated by a Koch brothers-owned paper mill, blamed for dumping cancer-causing chemicals
All over the country, the Kochs and utilities have been blocking solar initiatives — but nowhere more so than in Florida
The Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch have self-interested agendas that go well beyond the interests of those who carry their banners.
BILL BERKOWITZ FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
The Koch Brothers, who have pledged to spend at least $100 billion dollars between now and the 2016 elections, first appeared to be building the Good Ship Scott Walker, and now … that may not be putting away their construction gear. At a recent fundraiser for the New York State Republican Party, David Koch told donors that he and his brother were thinking that the Wisconsin’s Governor could be a winning candidate. “We will support whoever the candidate is,” David Koch said, “but it should be Scott Walker,” according to an account in The New York Times.
While Koch fell short of a full-throated endorsement of Walker, several attendees at the fundraiser told The New York Times that the billionaire brothers seemed to have picked their man. “Scott Walker is terrific and I really wish him all the best,” Koch said. “He’s a tremendous candidate to be the nominee in my opinion.” He later added that he wasn’t “endorsing or supporting any candidate for president at this point in time.”
A day later, Charles Koch moonwalked his brother’s remarks, telling USA Today that there were four other candidates the brothers were paying close attention to: former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida. “Those are the ones we have talked to the most and who seem to be the possible leaders,” he said.
“What we’ve told them all is that right now, we’re not supporting anyone,” Koch said. “We’re telling them that if they want our support, one way to get it is articulating a good message to help Americans get a better understanding and a better appreciation of how certain policies … will benefit them and will benefit all America.”
What seemed like a stunning and significant development for Team Walker, now appears to have been a bit premature.
If Walker does get the full financial backing of the Koch brothers, it will not be the first time. According to the Wisconsin-based Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), Walker has received “at least $11.6 million in support for Walker from the Kochs and their affiliated groups, plus millions more in indirect funding.”
In February 2011, Lisa Graves, the executive director of CMD, reported that the Koch Brothers had found their man in Wisconsin and that man was Scott Walker.
Brendan Fischer recently reported at PR Watch (a CMD project), that “In his first months after taking office, Walker — a star alumnus of the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — signed 19 ALEC bills into law, which went after unions, enacted voter ID restrictions, and made it harder to hold corporations accountable in the courts. In many ways, the new pat-on-the-back by two of the biggest moneymen in the game is an astonishing affirmation of deep ties forged years ago at ALEC.
Walker agenda demonstrations by thousands at the Wisconsin state house and ultimately resulted in a 2012 recall election. According to Fischer, the Koch Brothers “came to his rescue.”
“During the 2012 recall elections, David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity spent $10 million supporting Walker, which included at least 70 paid staffers flown into Wisconsin, plus bus tours, rallies, town hall meetings, phone banks, and canvassers, not to mention the months of TV ads.”
As if that spending wasn’t enough, Fischer reported that “A mysterious group called ‘Coalition for American Values’ poured $400,000 into a barrage of last-minute ads that made a unique appeal: instead of promoting Governor Scott Walker or attacking his opponent, the ads attacked the premise of the recall itself.”
To the surprise of many, Walker prevailed. “CMD discovered that all of Coalition for American Values’ known contributions came the Koch-tied Freedom Partners.”
“We’re helping him, as we should. We’ve gotten pretty good at this over the years,” David Koch told the Palm Beach Post in early 2012. “We’ve spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We’re going to spend more . . . What Scott Walker is doing with the public unions in Wisconsin is critically important. He’s an impressive guy and he’s very courageous.”
“The Kochs have been on a kick to portray themselves as socially liberal, pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-immigration, and pro-criminal justice reform,” Brendan Fischer, General Counsel for The Center on Media and Democracy told me in an email. However, “their support for Walker is further proof that they are more than willing to bankroll elected officials who actively oppose all of those issues as long as the politicians cut taxes and deregulate.”
At this point, however, it remains to be seen if Walker will be the Koch Brothers’ love child. If he is, despite his gaffes, his unwillingness to directly answer questions from the press, his relative unpopularity at home, and most recently, his ridiculously awkward statements about legal immigration, he will be back in the Koch’s financial catbird seat. If he can’t get the love, he won’t get the money. And that will spell the end of Walker’s dream of leaving Madison.
DR. DAVID SUZUKI OF ECOWATCH ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Brothers Charles and David Koch run Koch Industries, the second-largest privately owned company in the U.S., behind Cargill. They’ve given close to US$70 million to climate change denial front groups, some of which they helped start, including Americans for Prosperity, founded by David Koch and a major force behind the Tea Party movement.
Through their companies, the Kochs are the largest U.S. leaseholder in the Alberta oilsands. They’ve provided funding to Canada’s pro-oil Fraser Institute and are known to fuel the Agenda 21 conspiracy theory, which claims a 1992 UN non-binding sustainable development proposal is a plot to remove property rights and other freedoms.
Researchers reveal they’re also behind many anti-transit initiatives in the U.S., in cities and states including Nashville, Indianapolis, Boston, Virginia, Florida and Los Angeles. They spend large amounts of money on campaigns to discredit climate science and the need to reduce greenhouse gases, and they fund sympathetic politicians.
In late January, 50 U.S. anti-government and pro-oil groups—including some tied to the Kochs and the pro-oil, pro-tobacco Heartland Institute—sent Congress a letter opposing a gas tax increase that would help fund public transit, in part because “Washington continues to spend federal dollars on projects that have nothing to do with roads like bike paths and transit.”
The letter says “transportation infrastructure has a spending problem, not a revenue problem,” an argument similar to one used by opponents of the transportation plan Metro Vancouver residents are currently voting on. Vancouver’s anti-transit campaign is led by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation—a group that doesn’t reveal its funding sources and is on record as denying the existence of human-caused climate change—along with Hamish Marshall, a conservative strategist with ties to Ethical Oil.
American and Canadian transit opponents paint themselves as populist supporters of the common people, a tactic also used against carbon pricing. Marshall told Business in Vancouver, “I love the idea of working on a campaign where we can stand up for the little guy.” The U.S. letter claims the gas tax increase “would disproportionately hurt lower income Americans already hurt by trying times in our economy.” Both fail to note that poor and middle class families will benefit most from public transit and other sustainable transportation options.
Although many organizations that promote the fossil fuel industry and reject the need to address climate change—including the Heartland Institute, International Climate Science Coalition, Ethical Oil and Friends of Science—are secretive about their funding sources, a bit of digging often turns up oil, gas and coal money, often from the Kochs in the U.S. And most of their claims are easily debunked. In the case of the U.S. Heartland Institute, arguments stray into the absurd, like comparing climate researchers and those who accept the science to terrorists and murderers like the Unabomber and Charles Manson!
In some ways, it’s understandable why fossil fuel advocates would reject clean energy, conservation and sustainable transportation. Business people protect their interests—which isn’t necessarily bad. But anything that encourages people to drive less and conserve energy cuts into the fossil fuel industry’s massive profits. It’s unfortunate that greed trumps the ethical need to reduce pollution, limit climate change and conserve non-renewable resources.
It’s also poor economic strategy on a societal level. Besides contributing to pollution and global warming, fossil fuels are becoming increasingly difficult, dangerous and expensive to exploit as easily accessible sources are depleted—and markets are volatile, as we’ve recently seen. It’s crazy to go on wastefully burning these precious resources when they can be used more wisely, and when we have better options. Clean energy technology, transit improvements and conservation also create more jobs and economic activity and contribute to greater well-being and a more stable economy than fossil fuel industries.
To reduce pollution and address global warming, we must do everything we can, from conserving energy to shifting to cleaner energy sources. Improving transportation and transit infrastructure is one of the easiest ways to do so while providing more options for people to get around.
Those who profit from our continued reliance on fossil fuels will do what they can to convince us to stay on their expensive, destructive road. It’s up to all of us to help change course.
You know, I have to wonder how many of these old farts aren’t just bored. If they lived on the East Coast, they’d hop a free bus to Atlantic City for the day, get a free buffet lunch and a roll of quarters to gamble with. So the Kochs offer them a free lunch and a comfortable bus ride — maybe they’re just doing what they’re told. Legislators act like a deer in the headlights with these people, but I do wonder how much of a threat they really are. Readers?
NASHVILLE-In December, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, got the deal he wanted from the Obama administration: Tennessee would accept more than $1 billion in federal funding to expand Medicaid, as allowed for in the Affordable Care Act, but Obama aides would allow Haslam to essentially write staunchly conservative ideas into the program’s rules for the state. He dubbed the reformed Medicaid program “Insure Tennessee.”
But the state’s chapter of Americans for Prosperity, the national conservative group whose foundation is chaired by controversial billionaire David Koch, argued Haslam was just trying to trick conservatives into implementing Obamacare in their state by giving it a new name. AFP campaigned aggressively against Haslam’s plans for the next six weeks, even running radio ads blasting GOP state legislators who said they might vote for it.
On Wednesday, Haslam’s bill died in a committee of the Tennessee state senate. The vote was one of the clearest illustrations of the increasing power of AFP and other conservative groups funded in part by the Koch brothers.
When the coalition of conservative groups allied with Charles and David Koch announced recently they would spend $889 million over the next two years, much of the discussion was about how that money could shape the upcoming presidential election. But AFP and other Koch-backed conservative organizations may be having their biggest impact on state politics, where targeted advertising and a strong organization can make a huge difference.
“We’re the third-worst state in the country for accepting federal dollars,” said Andrew Ogles, AFP’s state director said in an interview here. “It’s time for us to stop. Anytime we have a problem, instead of coming up with a Tennessee solution, we run to the federal government with our hands out. No more.”↓ Story continues below ↓
The aggressive action in Tennessee by AFP was not unusual. The group, started in 2004, now has chapters in 34 states. The state operations’ general goals, like AFP and other Koch-allied groups nationally, are to oppose tax hikes, increases in government spending and what they view as excessive regulation.
But AFP is playing a unique role in effectively serving as a conservative watchdog against fellow Republicans at the state level. In many states in the West and South, like Tennessee, both houses of the state legislature are controlled by the GOP and the governor is also a Republican. The policy debates are between more moderate Republicans and the party’s conservative wing.