Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Koch Wins, Climate Agreement Broken. Jane Mayer - 2017


This is the last one of Jane Mayer's interesting reports. Here I follow her story with excerpts from the New York Times article by Coral Davenport and Eric Lipton which traces the factors leading to the GOP's complete rejection and denial of climate science.  Here we find that Koch's Americans for Prosperity turn out to play an important role in driving that self-destructive, self-delusional travesty.

In the Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, the Koch Brothers’ Campaign Becomes Overt

By Jane Mayer  June 5, 2017


If there was any lingering doubt that a tiny clique of fossil-fuel barons has captured America’s energy and environmental policies, it was dispelled last week, when the Trump Administration withdrew from the Paris climate accord.

Surveys showed that a majority of Americans in literally every state wanted to remain within the agreement, and news reports established that the heads of many of the country’s most successful and iconic Fortune 100 companies, from Disney to General Electric, did, too. Voters and big business were arrayed against leaving the climate agreement. Yet despite the majority’s sentiment, a tiny—and until recently, almost faceless—minority somehow prevailed.

How this happened is no longer a secret. The answer, as the New York Times reported, on Sunday, is “a story of big political money.” It is, perhaps, the most astounding example of influence-buying in modern American political history.

As the climate scientist Michael Mann put it to me in my book “Dark Money,” when attempting to explain why the Republican Party has moved in the opposite direction from virtually the rest of the world, “We are talking about a direct challenge to the most powerful industry that has ever existed on the face of the Earth. There’s no depth to which they’re unwilling to sink to challenge anything threatening their interests.” For most of the world’s population, the costs of inaction on climate change far outweigh that of action. …

Meanwhile, Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, the Kochs’ main political-advocacy organization, has boasted about the group’s success in killing the careers of politicians who broke with the brothers’ anti-climate-change agenda. Phillips recounted to the Times that, after 2010, when the group spent tens of millions of dollars in campaigns aimed at defeating congressmen who wanted to take action on climate change, no Republican candidate has dared cross the Kochs on the issue again. …
___________________________________________________________

Here's that five thousand word New York Times examination of how and why the GOP transitioned to ignorance embracing climate science contrarians and deniers.

How G.O.P. Leaders Came to View Climate Change as Fake Science

By Coral Davenport and Eric Lipton,  June 3, 2017,  The New York Times


... followed by a soothing narrator who praised a candidate who had stood up to President George W. Bush and “sounded the alarm on global warming.”

It was not made for a Democrat, but for Senator John McCain, who had just secured the Republican nomination.

It is difficult to reconcile the Republican Party of 2008 with the party of 2017, whose leader, President Trump, has called global warming a hoax, reversed environmental policies that Mr. McCain advocated on his run for the White House, and this past week announced that he would take the nation out of the Paris climate accord, which was to bind the globe in an effort to halt the planet’s warming.

The Republican Party’s fast journey from debating how to combat human-caused climate change to arguing that it does not exist is a story of big political money, Democratic hubris in the Obama years and a partisan chasm that grew over nine years like a crack in the Antarctic shelf, favoring extreme positions and uncompromising rhetoric over cooperation and conciliation.

“Most Republicans still do not regard climate change as a hoax,” said Whit Ayres, a Republican strategist who worked for Senator Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign. “But the entire climate change debate has now been caught up in the broader polarization* of American politics.” …  (*What a way of saying, brainwashed and bullied by Koch's minions.)

‘The Turning Point’

It was called the “No Climate Tax” pledge, drafted by a new group called Americans for Prosperity that was funded by the Koch brothers. Its single sentence read: “I will oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.” Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, was the first member of Congress to sign it in July 2008. …

With the help of a small army of oil-industry-funded academics like Wei-Hock Soon of Harvard Smithsonian and think tanks like the Competitive Enterprise Institute, they had been working to discredit academics and government climate change scientists. …

Unshackled by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and other related rulings, which ended corporate campaign finance restrictions, Koch Industries and Americans for Prosperity started an all-fronts campaign … 

But Americans for Prosperity also wanted to send a message to (all) Republicans.

Until 2010, some Republicans ran ads in House and Senate races showing their support for green energy.

“After that, it disappeared from Republican ads,” said Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity. “Part of that was the polling, and part of it was the visceral example of what happened to their colleagues who had done that.” …

“It told Republicans that we were serious,” Mr. Phillips said, “that we would spend some serious money against them.” …

'Obama Feeds the Movement'

After winning re-election in 2012 …

'Attorneys General Step In'

Republican attorneys general gathered at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia in August 2015 for their annual summer retreat, with some special guests: four executives from Murray Energy, one of the nation’s largest coal mining companies. …

'Trump Stokes the Fires'

'The Science Gets Stronger'

The recognition that human activity is influencing the climate developed slowly, but a scientific consensus can be traced to a conference in southern Austria in October 1985. …

To read the entire 5,000 word history lesson link to   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/03/us/politics/republican-leaders-climate-change.html

No comments:

Post a Comment

Koch Brothers Exposed [2014] Robert Greenwald documentary

Here's a look at what the Koch Brothers were up to until about 2014, their investment seems to be paying off handsomely.  These are not ...