January 28th, 2011 · 1 Comment
A Greenpeace airship today flew over the secretive Rancho Mirage polluter strategy meeting hosted by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch of Koch Industries. Wealthy elite interests and oil tycoons arriving at the posh resort to plot their anti-democracy agenda were greeted with the aerial message “Koch Brothers: Dirty Money.”
Among other things, the Koch brothers have been among the most significant funders of anti-science propaganda in this country, including funding a Smithsonian Institution exhibit that “whitewashes the danger of human-caused climate change“.
With a combined worth of $43 billion, these two aging, archconservative brothers are America’s leading funders of the climate-disinformation machine. By perpetuating the use of fossil fuels, they in turn fuel their sprawling empire of oil refineries and pipelines — the second-largest private corporation in the country. The Kochs have contributed $5 million to Americans for Prosperity, the driving force behind the Tea Party. They also gave nearly $25 million to conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute, two of the leading players in the climate-denial racket.And to help kill climate legislation in Congress, Koch spent $38 million on lobbying — more than any energy company except ExxonMobil and Chevron. Last year, besides underwriting a host of conservative candidates in the midterm elections, the Koch brothers backed Proposition 23, the unsuccessful effort to end California’s crackdown on climate pollution, and funded attacks against the EPA’s right to regulate carbon emissions. In David Koch’s twisted view, global warming is actually good for us. “The Earth will be able to support enormously more people,” he says, “because a far greater land area will be available to produce food.”
1. Would a reasonable person question the impartiality of Justices Thomas and Scalia based on their attendance at secretive Koch Industries retreats?2. Does attendance of a closed-door Koch Industries retreat constitute political activity?3. Did Justice Thomas have a conflict of interest based on his wife’s interest in the subject matter of the Citizens United case?4. Do Koch Industries ties to his wife’s group, Liberty Central, create an additional appearance of bias for Justice Thomas?