Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Petition: Remove the Koch Brothers

Just say no to Koch brothers. No place for fake science and denial while the world burns -- sign the petitions to remove the Koch brothers from the boards of public television and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the American Museum of Natural History.

Petition:  "Remove David Koch from WGBH’s board of trustees and ensure that public broadcasting remains independent from the influence of radical climate change denial." Over 20,000 signatures so far.

Petition: "It's time to get science deniers out of science museums. Two of our most celebrated natural history museums have a serious Koch problem.

David Koch sits on the board and is a major donor for both the Smithsonian and the American Museum of Natural History. This from one of the two Koch brothers, Kansas billionaires who have sent $79 million since 1997 to groups denying the science of climate change."

Thank you Greenpeace and MoveOn. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Ordinary Heroes Never Give Up

Last week's veto of the Keystone XL pipeline was wonderful news but it was curious how quietly it rolled through the media and the environmental community. It was like a calm-before-the-storm moment.

This is probably because the XL pipeline may be a minor skirmish in the looming battle with the Koch brothers. Certainly their massive machine of fake scientists, shadow nonprofits, and greedy officials are going to make it a bloody one.

The Koch brothers will spend more than anyone has ever spent -- very close to a billion dollars -- to preserve their status quo, according to Koch Brothers’ Budget of $889 Million for 2016 Is on Par With Both Parties’ Spending in the New York Times.

Right now the majority of Americans believe climate change is caused by humans burning fossil fuels but the Koch brothers will try to change that.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is on track to shut down the dirtiest coal burning power plants, and hundreds of millions of Americans acknowledge that they want clean air and water, but the Koch brothers will do everything they can to keep those plants spewing.

They've successfully rigged an already-rigged system.

"The Koch brothers funnel most of their money through specially created nonprofit groups that are not required to reveal their donors. Any outside group — with unlimited donations from corporations, labor or wealthy individuals — can make a direct pitch to voters right up until election day.

The issue is whether their influence, by virtue of their campaign spending, should be so exponentially larger than the sum interests of millions of Americans whose quest for basic health care or a modest piece of the pie would be adversely affected by the Koch-promoted policies," notes John Diaz in Koch Brothers' Hostile Takeover of Our Democracy in the San Francisco Chronicle.

It's a travesty. Big changes in the way things are done need to happen sooner than later, especially when it comes to powering the planet and fueling vehicles. Yet 900 million dollars can be a huge roadblock in the U.S. where votes often go to the highest bidders.

I find solace and inspiration in Nebraskan Mary Pipher's words:

"Our coalition allowed us to transform our feelings of sorrow, fear, anger and helplessness into something stronger and more durable. We became a state of ordinary heroes who decided that money couldn’t buy everything and that some things were sacred.

The campaign to stop the Keystone XL is not over. It won’t be over until we give up, and we aren’t giving up."