Category Archives: Climate Change

Koch Brothers Stranglehold On Our Politics — Documentary On The #Kochs

If you need more reasons why Occupy Wall Street supporters have taken to the streets, this documentary is loaded with them.

This documentary goes into the long history of political influence and funding Koch Industries and the Koch brothers have had and the effect of their lobbying through ALEC and lobbying firms.  

Lee Fang, one of the people interviewed, is an investigative reporter with Think Progress. He has been investigating the “web of influence” of the Koch brothers on state and federal politicians. The film touches on the Koch role in everything from health care to energy policy. 

The video is about 24 minutes but is well worth a watch. Below the video, you will see that I have transcribed some of the significant findings that this documentary uncovered about the Koch brothers.   

  • Koch hold 2 meetings a year attended by people who fund the right-wing movement and right-wing politicians. Attendees of Koch meetings are sworn to secrecy.   
  • Koch and their partners spent $40 million in the 2010 elections. 
  • Koch brothers essentially oppose everything since the New Deal. 
  • The Koch’s expect to spend more than $200 million dollars to defect Obama next year.  
  • They have created a web of influence that stretches from State Houses all the way to the halls of Congress.  
  • Koch brothers gave birth to the Tea Party. American for Prosperity was founded and funded by Kochs. They were the first to organize Tea Party rallies. When the Tea Party movement began they consistently denied that they were a part of it but eventually it became impossible to deny because you could just connect all the dots.  
  • They organized the “Hands off my Healthcare” movement. 
  • AFP has 33 state chapters.  
  • ALEC is another group that brings corporate lobbyists and conservative legislators to draft model laws. The anti-union laws passed represent model legislation by ALEC the fact of which they try to keep under wraps.  
  • At the ALEC meetings they vote on drafted legislation that then are used in State House legislation and eventually get passed into law but the lawmakers do not let that fact be known. 
  • The voter ID legislation passed throughout the states this year were based on an ALEC written preapproved bill. The legislations passed are constructed to restrict voting in by minorities, students, and the elderly.  
  • The Koch brothers are using their money to buy State elections. It is actually a lot cheaper to buy State elections than it is for the U.S. Congress.  
  • Since 1998 Greenpeace has traced over $50 million that Koch has sent to various front groups and think tanks in D.C. and around the country who have run various elements of a campaign against global warming policy or against the science of global warming. 
  • The think tank The Cato Institute was founded by Koch Industries. Cato Institute receives about 40% of their funding from fossil fuel industries. 
  • The Koch’s have spent upwards of $50 million since 2006 on lobbyists. They are now the largest funder of campaigns within the oil and gas sector exceeding Exxon, Chevron.  
  • In 2010 the Koch’s contributed to 62 of the 87 new members of Congress.  
  • After the 2010 election, David Koch was one of the first people to visit the newly elected Speaker Boehner’s office.  
  • Koch brothers are suspected of being responsible for a large amount of the speculation in the oil and gas market, which is a leading reason for high gas/oil prices.
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Climate Change: 2010 Most Extreme Weather Perhaps On Record

I came across a great article by Dr. Jeff Masters, a world-leading meteorologist of 30 years, in which he details the very extreme weather documented from 2010, and I want to share his findings with you. 

Dr. Masters’ introduction: 

Every year extraordinary weather events rock the Earth. Records that have stood centuries are broken. Great floods, droughts, and storms affect millions of people, and truly exceptional weather events unprecedented in human history may occur.

But the wild roller-coaster ride of incredible weather events during 2010, in my mind, makes that year the planet’s most extraordinary year for extreme weather since reliable global upper-air data began in the late 1940s. Never in my 30 years as a meteorologist have I witnessed a year like 2010–the astonishing number of weather disasters and unprecedented wild swings in Earth’s atmospheric circulation were like nothing I’ve seen.

The pace of incredible extreme weather events in the U.S. over the past few months have kept me so busy that I’ve been unable to write-up a retrospective look at the weather events of 2010. But I’ve finally managed to finish, so fasten your seat belts for a tour through the top twenty most remarkable weather events of 2010. 

  1. Earth’s hottest year on record. 
  2. Most extreme winter Arctic atmospheric circulation on record; “Snowmageddon” results. 
  3. Arctic sea ice: lowest volume on record, 3rd lowest extent. 
  4. Record melting in Greenland, and a massive calving event. 
  5. Second most extreme shift from El Niño to La Niña. 
  6. Second worst coral bleaching year. 
  7. Wettest year over land. 
  8. Amazon rainforest experiences its 2nd 100-year drought in 5 years. 
  9. Global tropical cyclone activity lowest on record. 
  10. A hyperactive Atlantic hurricane season: 3rd busiest on record. 
  11. A rare tropical storm in the South Atlantic. 
  12. Strongest storm in Southwestern U.S. history. 
  13. Strongest non-coastal storm in U.S. history. 
  14. Weakest and latest-ending East Asian monsoon on record. 
  15. No monsoon depressions in India’s Southwest Monsoon for 2nd time in 134 years. 
  16. The Pakistani flood: most expensive natural disaster in Pakistan’s history, 
  17. The Russian heat wave and drought: deadliest heat wave in human history. 
  18. Record rains trigger Australia’s most expensive natural disaster in history. 
  19. Heaviest rains on record trigger Colombia’s worst flooding disaster in history. 
  20. Tennessee’s 1-in-1000 year flood kills 30, does $2.4 billion in damage. 

Source: Planetsave (http://s.tt/12J9w)