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How the Koch Brothers Fund the Climate Change Denial Machine

Triple Pundit

By Gina-Marie Cheeseman | March 18th, 2011 

The Koch brothers, owners of Koch Industries are major funders of organizations that create propaganda which denies the reality of climate change. David Koch expressed doubts to the New Yorker magazine last year that climate change is caused by human activity. He also extolled the benefits of climate change, if it happens, stating that it would result in longer growing seasons in colder climates. “The Earth will be able to support enormously more people because far greater land area will be available to produce food,” he said.

The Koch Industries website contains an article that begins by claiming that the company practices environmental stewardship. A couple of paragraphs down, the article states that the company also believes “over-zealous environmental regulation can be destructive.” The article goes on to criticize measures that would reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Greenpeace released a report last year about the Koch foundations supporting organizations that oppose “progressive clean energy and climate policy.” Koch gave $24.9 million from 2005 to 2008 to “organizations of the climate denial machine,” the report states.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative think tank, is one of the organizations that has benefited from Koch money. According to Greenpeace, ALEC’s total grants from 1997 to 2008 from the Koch foundations were $408,000.

The ALEC published a whitepaper titled, EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck: Strategies for State Legislators. The whitepaper states that the “highest priority should be to get the state on record as calling on Congress to stop this regulatory train wreck.” It cites the “Resolution Opposing EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck” as a model resolution. Wyoming and Indiana adopted the resolution this year.

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Al Gore News

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011 at 2:31 pm

On Laura Ingraham’s radio show, 12/10/09

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On First Day Of New Congress, Koch Operatives Met With GOP Chairman Planning To Gut The Clean Air Act

Think Progress- By Lee Fang at 10:00 am

In January, ThinkProgress interviewed billionaire plutocrat David Koch about his views on climate science, his Tea Party movement, and his political plans for the future. On the day of our interview, we also discovered that he planned to hold a party for the new Republicans he helped elect. As we have documented, Koch not only financed the rise of the anti-Obama Tea Party, he has also helped guide the movement to support the narrow business priorities of his conglomerate Koch Industries: Koch funds rallies for young children that attack the EPA, Koch’s front groups spread doubt about climate change, and Koch’s Americans for Prosperity hands out Tea Party talking points attacking clean energy. Building on this research, the Los Angeles Times reported this weekend about the central influence of Koch in the new GOP Congress.

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latimes.com

Koch brothers now at heart of GOP power

The billionaire brothers’ influence is most visible in the makeup of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where members have vowed to undo restrictions on greenhouse gases.

By Tom Hamburger, Kathleen Hennessey and Neela Banerjee, Los Angeles Times

February 6, 2011

Reporting from Washington

The billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch no longer sit outside Washington’s political establishment, isolated by their uncompromising conservatism. Instead, they are now at the center of Republican power, a change most evident in the new makeup of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Wichita-based Koch Industries and its employees formed the largest single oil and gas donor to members of the panel, ahead of giants like Exxon Mobil, contributing $279,500 to 22 of the committee’s 31 Republicans, and $32,000 to five Democrats.

Nine of the 12 new Republicans on the panel signed a pledge distributed by a Koch-founded advocacy group — Americans for Prosperity — to oppose the Obama administration’s proposal to regulate greenhouse gases. Of the six GOP freshman lawmakers on the panel, five benefited from the group’s separate advertising and grass-roots activity during the 2010 campaign.

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Bill Maher: The Environment Is The Ultimate Health Care Issue (VIDEO)

Huff Post- First Posted: 03-13-10 03:56 AM   |   Updated: 03-13-10 05:49 AM

Bill Maher called the environment the “ultimate health care issue” Friday night during “Real Time” and argued that our future depends on our ability to stop global warming. But some on his panel weren’t so convinced.

Conservative talk radio host Amy Holmes, actor Hill Harper, and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson weighed in, with Harper being the sole panelist to agree with Maher’s assessment. Johnson said he believes in climate change, but that its effects have been greatly exaggerated. While Holmes called herself a skeptic, and argued that the science behind the topic is not settled. She described it as a “raging debate.”

Maher was blown away by Holmes’ skepticism and shot down Johnson for opposing cap and trade legislation. Maher pointed out that Republicans weren’t so disgusted by cap and trade when George H.W. Bush used it to stop acid rain.

WATCH VIDEO HERE

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The Right’s Inability to Grasp Climate Change May Be Funny, But It’s Also Very Dangerous

February 12, 2010

The so-called Snowpocalypse has brought out the funny bone in the right-wing media, but their inability to correctly draw causal connections is very dangerous.

Climate change conspiracies are hardly new, but the so-called Snowpocalypse in Washington D.C. has returned them front-and-center to every single right-wing media outlet.

A Fox News anchor smugly claimed that the record snow had not only buried people’s cars — it was also “burying” global warming theories. In a World Net Daily radio segment, someone joked that liberals would soon be claiming the snowfall — and global warming — was the Tea Party movement’s fault. And the family of Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, built a six-foot-tall igloo on Capitol Hill and topped it off with a sign that read, “Al Gore’s New Home,” before posting it on Facebook to the delight of climate change non-believers across the country. (From a commenter: “What if the D.C. tent cities became IGLOO cities?? The irony!” Bashing global warming and the homeless in one fell swoop — classy.)

For years since climate change has been accepted fact among the bulk of the international scientific and environmental community, many people have contended that global warming is a farce brought on by a New World Order (often embodied by the relatively powerless United Nations) to construct a world government that will undermine American sovereignty and make us all slaves to Al Gore and his green business cronies, who will be swimming in our green — our hard-earned cash. Certainly not all global warming deniers fall into this particular conspiracy camp, but it’s among the more popular story-lines.

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Doug Mills/The New York Times - President Obama with Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao, across from him, the prime minister of India, Manmohan Singh, right, and other world leaders at the Copenhagen climate summit on Friday.

JOHN M. BRODER
NYT
December 18, 2009

COPENHAGEN — President Obama announced here on Friday night that five major nations, including the United States, had together forged a climate deal. He called it “an unprecedented breakthrough” but acknowledged that it still fell short of what was required to combat global warming.

The agreement addresses many of the issues that leaders came here to settle. But it has left many of the participants in the climate talks unhappy, from the Europeans, who now have the only binding carbon control regime in the world, to the delegates from the poorest nations, who objected to being left out of the critical negotiations.

By the early hours of Saturday, representatives of the 193 countries who have negotiated here for nearly two weeks had not yet approved the deal and there were signs they might not. But Mr. Obama, who left before the conference considered the accord because of a major storm descending on Washington, noted that the agreement was merely a political statement and not a legally binding treaty and might not need ratification by the entire conference.

Continued>>>

Doug Mills/The New York Times - President Obama returned from Copenhagen early Saturday, landing at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland amid a major winter storm

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Violence erupts outside Copenhagen climate summit

By Raw Story
Saturday, December 12th, 2009 — 12:10 pm

Violence broke out in Copenhagen on Saturday as tens of thousands took to the streets to demand tough measures on climate change, with demonstrators around the world rallying for action instead of words.

Hundreds of youths wearing black went on the rampage through the Danish capital, throwing bricks and smashing windows, as around 30,000 protesters marched through the streets to demanding world leaders declare war global warming.

Many of the youngsters, whose faces were covered with scarves, were forced to the ground by riot police before being bundled into vans, an AFP reporter said.

Police said some 400 people were arrested in the scuffles, although the rest of the march — the centerpiece of protests in 130 cities across the world — remained peaceful.

The huge march to the heavily-guarded Bella Center venue capped a day of lobbying by green groups around the world, staging peaceful, colorful protests from Australia to the Arctic Circle.

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Global Boiling: An Alphabet Of Nations

The Wonk Room-  By Brad Johnson on Dec 8th, 2009 at 6:30 pm

It’s day two of the Wonk Room’s on-the-scene coverage of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. The skies are briefly blue, a reprieve from the darkness that engulfs this northern city for most of the day.

As the nations of the world gather in Copenhagen, the Wonk Room has prepared this alphabetical journey of the impacts of climate change around the globe.

A

East Antarctica, long stable, is now losing ice.

B

Bolivia needs $1 billion over the next seven years to build reservoirs, as the glaciers that hold the nation’s water supply are shrinking rapidly.

C

Leatherback sea turtles that spawn on the beaches of Costa Rica are threatened with extinction by warmer temperatures and rising seas.

D

Denmark joined United States, Norway, Canada, and Russia in identifying climate change as “the most important long-term threat” to future existence of polar bears.

E

The rapidly warming highlands of Ethiopia are becoming too hot for its elite athletes, such as local-born Haile Gebrselassie, to train there.

F

Noting the unprecedented floods this year in Fiji, Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama recently warned that rising sea levels affect not just the islands’ economies, but put into doubt the very existence of his nation.

G

Greece suffered through another storm of extreme wildfires this summer as heat waves and drier conditions increase.

H

Global warming-fueled hurricanes, intense poverty, and widespread deforestation combine to form a gathering storm of disasters for Haiti.

I

The deforested peatlands of Indonesia are drying, disintegrating, and burning.

J

The increasingly early arrival of cherry blossoms in Japan reflects rising global temperatures.

K

The more frequent and severe droughts that are killing off the elephants will likely trigger more conflicts in the arid lands of northeast Kenya.

L

The incidence of wildfires in the cedar forests of Lebanon has increased tremendously over recent years.

M

“If things go business-as-usual, we will not live, we will die,” Maldives President Mohammad Nasheed told the UN General Assembly. “Our country will not exist.”

N

The ministers of Nepal have held the world’s highest cabinet meeting on Mount Everest, as rapidly rising temperatures have reduced snowfall over the mountains and caused glaciers to melt.

O

More than 50 per cent of the population of Oman lives on coastlines vulnerable to rising seas, but its supplies of peridotite may help sequester carbon dioxide emissions.

P

The massive floods that killed hundreds in the Philippines this summer are becoming the norm.

Q

Petroleum-soaked Qatar emits 60 tons of carbon dioxide per person, the most of any nation on earth.

R

Increased floods and malaria outbreaks from global warming, deforestation, and unsanitary conditions have hit Rwanda hard in the past decade.

S

The inhabitants of the Alpine villages of Fieschertal and Fiesch in Switzerland have asked for the Pope to bless their prayers for the restoration of their nation’s glaciers, which shrank by 12 percent over the past decade.

T

Newly discovered, exotic species like the fanged frog of Thailand are especially vulnerable as climate change will further shrink their already restricted habitats.

U

Agriculture in the United States has been ravaged this year by catastrophic droughts in Texas and California, heat waves in Louisiana and Nebraska, storms across the High Plains and the Midwest, floods in North Dakota and Minnesota, and torrential rains in Illinois and Georgia.

V

Speaking from Vatican City on the eve of the Copenhagen conference, Pope Benedict XVI counseled “all people of good will to respect the laws laid down by God in nature and to rediscover the moral dimension of human life.”

W

Warming oceans and sea level rise threaten the coral reefs of the remote Polynesian islands of Wallis and Futuna.

X

The nomadic descendents of Kublai Khan in Inner Mongolia, where Xanadu once stood, are being driven from the grasslands as the Chinese government attempts to fight the region’s desertification.

Y

Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, may be the first capital city in the world to run out of water, as drought and overuse diminish its supply.

Z

On the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe, the flow of Victoria Falls is far below average, as drought and high temperatures reduce the Zambezi.

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We Are Now in a Crucial Moment — It’s Time to Make a Decision

Al Gore

HuffPo- Posted: December 7, 2009 03:49 PM

Editor’s note: This guest post was written by former Vice President Al Gore for the Hopenhagen movement.

The world has arrived at a moment of decision.

As long as we continue to depend on dirty fossil fuels like coal and oil to meet our energy needs, and dump 90 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere, we move closer and closer to several dangerous tipping points—points which scientists have repeatedly warned would, if crossed, threaten to make it impossible for us to avoid irretrievable destruction of the conditions that make human civilization possible on this planet.

I’ve said it numerous times already, but right now we are trapped in a dangerous cycle—borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf, and then burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that’s got to change.

Right now, here in the US and all over the world, people are demanding action. There is a much broader consensus than there was when President George H.W. Bush negotiated—and the Senate ratified—the Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992. And there’s much stronger consensus than when we completed the Kyoto Protocol in 1997.

The road to the signing of an agreement in Copenhagen will not be easy, but the world has traveled this path before. More than twenty years ago the US signed the Montreal Protocol, a treaty to protect the ozone layer, and strengthened it to the point where we banned most of the major pollutants that created the hole in the ozone over Antarctica. And we did it with bipartisan support: President Ronald Reagan and Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill joined hands to lead the way.

We can do it again and solve the climate crisis, protecting our planet for future generations.

Help turn Copenhagen into Hopenhagen at Hopenhagen.org

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Marc Morano
Climate Depot
Sunday, Dec 6th, 2009

A professor who is accusing global warming skeptics of engaging in “tabloid-style character assassination” of scientists, called an American climate skeptic “an assh*le” on the December 4, 2009 live broadcast of BBC’s Newsnight program.

“What an assh*le!” declared Professor Watson at the end of the contentious debate with Climate Depot’s executive editor Marc Morano. A clearly agitated Watson had earlier shouted to Morano “will you shut up.”

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