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Koch Brothers' New Pledge for Planet Destruction

Wednesday, 03 July 2013 14:04 By The Daily Take, The Thom Hartmann Program | Op-Ed
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Quarantine the Kochs.(Photo: Matt Leonard / Flickr)According to a report released today by the United Nations, the world suffered through unprecedented climate extremes between 2000 and 2010.

From hurricanes Katrina and Sandy here in the U.S. to epic heat waves in Europe and devastating floods in Australia and the Middle East, virtually all parts of the globe were affected by global warming-induced extreme weather.

The report, published by the UN’s World Meteorological Organization, noted that every year of the decade ending in 2010, except for 2008, was among the 10 warmest since recordkeeping began in the 1850’s.

The WMO report also says that between 2000 and 2010, 370,000 people died worldwide as a result of extreme weather events, up 20% from the 1990’s.

Fortunately, many nations across the globe are doing their part right now to combat the biggest threat that our planet has ever faced.

Countries like Germany are leading the way when it comes to producing clean and green renewable sources of energy, while China, America’s biggest competitor, has already rolled out a cap-and-trade emissions program in Shenzhen, one of that nation’s largest cities, as a test for the entire nation.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said here in the United States.

That’s because politicians in Washington are doing absolutely nothing to curb climate change, and to prevent future devastating super storms and extreme weather events.

In fact, all of the recently elected Republicans in the House of Representatives say that they doubt humans are causing global climate change, despite mountains of research and studies proving otherwise.

And if you don’t believe me, just ask freshman Republican Congressman Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma.

On the House floor last month, the freshman Congressman demanded that President Obama apologize to all Oklahomans for allocating federal funding to climate change research.

Bridenstine said that, “Here is what we absolutely know. We know that Oklahoma will have tornadoes when the cold jet stream meets the warm Gulf air, and we also know that this President spends 30 times as much money on global warming research as he does on weather forecasting and warning. For this gross misallocation, the people of Oklahoma are ready to accept the President’s apology and I intend to submit legislation to fix this.”

Bridenstine is proof that, if you’re a Big Oil company or a shill for the fossil fuel industry, buying off a Republican lawmaker is the best investment you can make.

As the website OpenSecrets.org points out, Bridenstine and other climate-change denying Republican lawmakers have received a small fortune in campaign donations from some not so climate-change friendly groups.

According to OpenSecrets.org, during the 2012 campaign cycle, Bridenstine alone received money from ExxonMobil, Latshaw Drilling, WPX energy, Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy and Koch Industries. In fact, all were in his top twenty donors.

But for some Big Oil bankrollers, simply buying off Washington politicians isn’t enough.

That’s where the Koch Brothers, two of the fossil fuel industry’s biggest friends, come in.

Through their Americans for Prosperity front group, the Koch Brothers have succeeded in getting politicians from Congress to state offices to sign-on to a Grover Norquist-like pledge.

But, instead of pledging not to raise taxes, these lawmakers have pledged to block any legislation that might lead to cap-and trade or a carbon tax, unless it is accompanied by an equivalent amount of spending cuts.

The pledge, known officially as the “No Climate Tax Pledge,” was created by the same men who’s very own companies emitted over 24 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2011 according to the EPA.

So it should come as no surprise that the Koch Brothers would want to protect their perceived right to pollute our environment and do irreversible damage to our planet.

More than 400 Republican lawmakers in Washington and across the country have signed onto the pledge, promising to “oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.”

That number includes 76 Republican freshmen Congressmen, the entire GOP House leadership, and just about every Republican lawmaker in the state of Wisconsin, including Gov. Scott Walker.

Nearly a quarter of U.S. Senators have also signed on to the Koch Brothers’ pledge.

Once again, millionaires and billionaires are corrupting our American democracy, buying off our politicians, and putting money and greed ahead of the well-being of the American people, and in this case, the entire world.

We can’t continue to let billionaires like the Koch Brothers buy off politicians left and right, while everyone else is left to suffer.

Some issues are bigger than politics, and the fate of the only planet we can call home is certainly one of them.

It’s time once and for all to get money out of politics, because if we don’t, the end of the world and life as we know it may be just down the road.

Go to movetoamend.org to reclaim your voice in our American democracy and thus help to save our planet!

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