Koch Brothers...merchants of death?

Beneath the radar, as usual, of the national media there is a controversy over PBS pulling a documentary on the Koch bothers influence in America. Apparently, they are large donors on both sides of the aisle and no one wants to stop the flow of their money...even if it kills them...or maybe their grandchildren.

I encourage you to read this chilling article by Jane Meyer of the New Yorker:

If this article is true....

The House of Representatives voted to slash the EPA budget by 27 percent, one of the biggest cuts since President Richard Nixon and the Congress created the agency in 1970. The Senate subsequently modified the severity of these cuts, and the budget was ultimately cut by nearly 16 percent. What is less known is that more than 100 House members - all Republicans, many tea party members - signed a little-known "pledge" (similar to the Grover Norquist no tax increase pledge) backed by the Koch brothers promising to not spend any federal money to fight climate change without an equal amount of tax cuts. Most of the pledge signers received campaign contributions from Charles or David Koch or Koch Industries.


There's more...read it and be angry.


People Who Sign Such "Pledges"...

...are short-sighted idiots.

And if you don't believe that, just look at the list of short-sighted idiots who have signed this inane pledge. It's the usual crowd of North Carolina short-sighted idiots.

"What I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers." -- Thom Tillis

Climate change and mass delusion

The problem with climate change as an issue is that progressives and many liberals see it as one of the biggest imperatives of our generation.

At best, group of extremist Republicans, however, look at it as some kind of myth and propaganda effort by the left to "limit growth". At worst, they see it as part of "God's plan" and that the big imaginary father-figure up in the clouds will somehow fix it for us or bring about the rapture so we don't have to worry about it.

There's no convincing these voters on this issue. Like racism, homophobia, abortion or several other issues, they're just driven by pure emotion and won't listen to reason. They have no respect for the science behind it or just can't "connect the dots" on the information out there to see it as something real.

And, yes, you can thank the Koch Brothers misinformation campaign for the attitudes of many of these voters. We all know they're being taken for a ride like a con artist's mark so the Koch's and their type can make a few more bucks.

I haven't the foggiest on how to overcome this kind of mass delusion on the part of these folks. Progressives and liberals probably need to talk with psychologists about how to approach it - it's really like dealing with a mentally ill patient that's blocking out the real world and doing harm to themselves as a consequence.

These things can be difficult to overcome. I recall reading a piece awhile back in the New Yorker about Nigerian and other Internet scammers and how, even with perfectly intelligent people that were "taken in" by these scum and lost thousands of dollars, many still believed the scammers were genuine after the police investigations and arrests exposed the scams.


As environmentalists, we also need to get over our own knee-jerk, emotion driven responses to those who spout off some heresy against the accepted "green" dogma. We must, in particular, accept the reality that photovoltaics and wind are not the panacea for climate change.


The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Not so sure about that

The costs of Solar PV have come down substantially in the last few years, and wind has too, although not as much. We've also made some healthy strides in efficiency, which is a critical component.

The thing people have to keep in mind is: among climate scientists anyway, a complete conversion to renewables was/is not the short-term goal. Getting us back below 350 parts per million in atmospheric carbon content is the goal. And it's an achievable goal, but increasing the percentage of renewable energy in the mix is the only way to achieve that. Nuclear energy could have been an ally, but the industry is too caught up in making money for that to happen. They've priced themselves out of business, and there are way too many people out there still trying to pay down loans from decades ago for nuke plants that are now needing even more money.


The way for nuclear to become part of the mix is to go to small, distributed nuclear generation on the order of 100 MW. That's about the electrical generating capacity that can be achieved by the reactor plants we use on Navy aircraft carriers and submarines. The design is proven, the safety record is impeccable, and the reliability is without question.

Adapting shipboard reactor plant design to land-based power generation would significantly streamline the regulatory approval process. Such plants could be deployed relatively quickly into a distributed generation grid.

And we need to open up Yucca Mountain.


The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR

Not a bad idea

They're a lot easier to keep cool, too, which is going to be a primary issue in the near future.

I'm still waiting for them to settle on one of the Gen IV reactor designs, but I'm beginning to think the powers that be don't want to deviate from their present (idiotic) stance.

So everyone who wants to live downstream of the Hanford

nuclear landfill please raise your hand. And just in case you think you are ok just cuz you live in the East, think again.

There are problems with nuclear power from the start through the end of the whole damn process. Why mess with it??

Believe me, after sweating through

the Fukushima crisis (my pregnant niece lived in Tokyo at the time), I'd like nothing better than to see all those reactors closed for good. But if they did shut them down right now, the vast majority of those megawatts would be replaced with coal or NG.

But you know what? You're probably right. There's a substantial surplus of solar panels ready to go, and the wind industry is geared up. If we don't take advantage of those factors soon, we will regret it down the road.

Forming a policy on Climate Change

I don't think anyone except some die-hard greenies see solar solving all our problems.

It's going to take a combination of things to minimize our carbon footprint to a point where climate change won't cause widespread damage. We need a clearly thought-out strategy for moving forward. However, at both the state and national level, politicians can't think beyond the next election cycle and the next group of big donors.

I fear that climate change will be the one issue where progressives and liberals fail in the US, leaving our children with an uncertain future. In the end, widespread death and suffering and perhaps even extinction of the human race will just come down to short-sighted quests to make a few bucks.

A few decades from now, young people are going to despise this generation for what they've done.

Let the deniers swing in the breeze.

I really think that you do not need to worry about convincing those conservatives whose brains are tattooed with such right wing foolishness. They comprise at most 30% of the electorate. The ones to convince are the 30% in the middle; those independents who have a more open mind and who usually decide elections.


In NC and other states, the issue is that 30% has been gerrymandered to have more power in state legislatures. Where I live is a fairly moderate area that's been lumped in with a rabid Right-wing nutzoid county. So I've got elected officials "representing" my area that have taken the pledge.

You'll have to figure out how to undo the gerrymandering or get a big percentage of the 30% so disillusioned and separated from reality that they start hiding out in their basement waiting for the rapture instead of going to the polls. The latter might be easier than undoing gerrymandering.

It's even worse

They're not really in denial about climate change at all. They just see it as a business opportunity and are too chickenshit to say so.

That's the sad and ugly truth of it.

For them it ALWAYS comes back to the money. Profit is their god.

As to the earlier remarks about solar, wind, and even nuclear, I've been of the opinion for a while now that the answer to our energy needs lies in widely distributed small-scale generation and local distribution. None of them alone will solve our problems, and I'm still not convinced nukes can be done safely over the entire life cycle - especially the long-term waste problems.

Small-scale generation is where it's at! And it will break the back of behemoths like Duke Energy. Not a minute too soon.


"...the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be."

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail