The Koch brothers were not very well known a few years ago, despite being two of the richest people in America (tied for 5th now). They liked it like that. They could pour money into politics and climate science disinformation campaigns without any notice. But that recently changed. More and more of the media (and, thus, the public) have picked up on the Koch Brothers’ efforts to change the content, mood, and conclusions of critical issues, such as climate change. Greenpeace got a lot of that rolling and on Friday it did even more to expose this dirty energy duo.
On Friday, Greenpeace flew one of it’s airships over Rancho Mirage, California with a banner reading “Koch Brothers: Dirty Money.” Why Rancho Mirage? Because this is where the oil billionaires are hosting a secret political strategy meeting.
Hopefully, the crew joining the party took note of the increasing (bad) attention the Koch brothers are getting. But considering the folks who socialize with these guys, I don’t imagine they care that much. They care more about the fools they can manipulate than organizations like Greenpeace and the liberal left.
But if Greenpeace and others keep the pressure on, bring their name out into the open more, and show how insidiously they dismantle our democracy, hopefully that could change someday soon.
Greenpeace: Going from Air to Land Tomorrow to Confront Koch Secret Meeting
Tomorrow, Sunday, Greenpeace writes that “hundreds of people from a diverse coalition of labor, environmental, consumer, and other groups will protest the Koch Brothers’ strategy meeting at the Rancho Las Palmas resort in Rancho Mirage.”
Basically, with our legal system crumbling to corporate interests, our political leaders in Congress and elsewhere essentially bought, direct action like this is going to be the only way to bring some attention to the Koch Brothers’ and others’ undemocratic sabotaging of the United States. Here’s more from Greenpeace (which I received via email):
“David and Charles Koch used their dirty money to block progress on clean energy and climate change policies, and now they’re scheming to roll back the Clean Air Act and other critical health and environmental protections with their partners in Congress,” said Kert Davies, Research Director for Greenpeace USA. “Their agenda of increased polluter profits at the expense of people, our health, and environment must be exposed and stopped.”
Tax records obtained by Greenpeace show that Koch foundations continued funneling money to front groups and think tanks that spread inaccurate and misleading information about climate science and clean energy policies. The tax records from David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation show:
- In 2009, the latest year for which data is now available, the Koch foundations continued the pace of recent funding, providing over $6.4 million dollars to a familiar array of conservative organizations that engage in global warming denial.
- The new total funding to these climate denial organizations is $54.9 million since 1997 and $31.3 million since 2005
- Top recipients in 2009 included The Institute for Humane Studies, the Mercatus Center, Americans for Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute. Americans for Prosperity has now received over $5.6 million in documented donations from the Koch foundations.
The newly available tax records update findings from Greenpeace’s March 2010 report, Koch Industries, Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine, released to expose the company’s role in funding climate denial organizations, lobbying and political contributions to block progress on climate and clean energy policies. The report is available at http://www.greenpeace.org/kochindustries
The New Yorker magazine published an investigation of the Koch Brothers in August 2010, revealing the oil billionaires’ central role in funding and establishing astroturf organizations and think tanks that push a corporate agenda. Now, a growing awareness of these oil billionaire’s destructive agenda has lead to increased scrutiny and resistance from organizations and people all over the United States.
Great work by Greenpeace and their allies. Read more from the Greenpeace crew here: Greenpeace airship sends message to secretive oil billionaires’ strategy meeting: “Koch Brothers: Dirty Money”
Photo Credits: Greenpeace USA 2011