All environmental “activists” are not alike

This post is a partial reprint of an article by Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder, Executive Chairman, and Chief Inspired Protagonist of Burlington, VT-based Seventh Generation Inc.   

America: All Koched Up

We all know that dollars buy influence and aren’t surprised when some millionaire we never heard of is found placing electoral bets or underwriting a political action committee. We have, quite sadly, become accustomed to the power of money and the dubious ends to which those who have it frequently put it. Even so, I found an article in last week’s New Yorker detailing the activities of billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch absolutely horrific. The Koch brothers run America’s second largest private company, Koch Industries, estimated to have revenues of $100 billion from brands that include Lycra, Stainmaster, Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, and Georgia-Pacific lumber.   

It’s an excellent piece of reporting I strongly urge everyone to read, but for now here’s the gist: David and Charles Koch (pronounced “coke”), have for years been clandestinely founding and funding the organizations and efforts at the very epicenter of the right wing’s war on science, truth, progress, and political civility.   

Photo courtesy of Greenpeace's 2010 report on Koch Industries anti-climate change spending

 

 

From the disingenuously named Citizens for the Environment, a rabidly anti-environment group that listed not one average citizen on its rolls to the so-called tea party “movement”, the Kochs have established group after group in an often successful attempt to advance a radical anti-environmental, extreme right wing agenda. Their spending is so vast and so pervasive that political insiders call the network they’ve built the Kochtopus, and its tentacles are wrapped around the heart of modern conservative activism whether it’s the fight against chemical pollution regulations or universal health care or global warming action.   

In public, the Kochs like to play the role of the selfless benefactor. There are buildings, theaters, museum wings, endowments, and other big things named after them. Yet even as David Koch donates tens of millions to cancer research, Koch Industries is funneling money to members of Congress working to undermine EPA attempts to regulate formaldehyde, a carcinogen of key concern. In the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, an exhibit on climate change replaces any mention of its manmade causes with optimistic predictions that we will may adapt by building “underground cities,” and evolving “short, compact bodies” that make it easy to move around in small spaces. Such is the deviousness and duplicity of the Koch brothers.   

To see the entire article and to learn more about what the Koch brothers really represent, go to http://3.ly/D7Ct.\   

To check out Greenpeace’s report on Koch Industries’ spending, see http://3.ly/TBE2.

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