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Monday, January 5, 2015

John Irving: Dear Industrial Capitalists and members of the 0.01%

The following is a letter from John Irving, posted originally on his Facebook page and reprinted here as a guest post:
John Irving
John Irving
Dear Industrial Capitalists and members of the 0.01%,

I feel obliged to inform you that you’ve made a huge strategic blunder and things aren’t probably going to work out very well for you soon.

You recall that way back in 1965 – 50 years ago this year – President Lyndon B. Johnson was warned about the dangerous impact industrial activity was having on the Earth’s atmosphere. Unfortunately, rather than confronting the challenge you opted to do the complete opposite – you doubled down on fossil fuels.

Over the intervening years you employed many unethical and subversive tactics to maintain the dirty status quo. This included investing many billions of dollars to obfuscate the problem through the use of propaganda and so-called “think tanks,” covertly influencing government and lobbying politicians, suppressing alternate forms of clean energy technology, poisoning land and sea through toxic extraction techniques and transportation blunders, and shafting taxpayers to the tune of many trillions of dollars through outrageous and unwarranted subsidies.

As outlandish as all that was you went even further. Decades ago, when the public started to become aware of, and concerned about, widespread environmental damage that threatened your interests, you subverted democracy itself – the greatest invention since probably, well, ever! I could go on and on but co-opting the religious right, fabricating a protest movement (a.k.a. The Tea Party) and a fake cable news network are a few examples that come to mind.
And who could forget the invasion of Iraq under false pretenses that led to hundreds of thousands of casualties and disrupted the lives of millions, the obstruction of every attempt by the global community to limit greenhouse gas emissions, and bringing the most powerful democracy the world has ever known to a grinding legislative halt (if not the brink of financial default).

Thanks to these underhanded methods of gaming the system for your own narrow interests and greed America now has levels of inequality not seen since 1929. Even worse the planet’s biosphere is now completely out of whack and will be for millennia. Hundreds of millions of people will be displaced and require aid due to sea level rise, extreme weather events, drought, crop failure and more. Countless species will go extinct. To put it bluntly – it’s an absolute mess!

People are now starting to realize what you have done and they are not very happy about being completely screwed over for decades just so you could have private jets, mansions and plastic surgery. Even some of your traditionally dependable supporters have been abandoning you lately. People are even talking about ditching capitalism itself – some are even talking about outright revolution (I’m not exaggerating!).

This is just my opinion but I think you might have gone a little bit overboard this time.

John Irving


John is on Twitter at: @ClimateNow

The original letter is here, where you will find additional comments.

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