Republicans and Climate Change

Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?”

Trump didn’t exactly phrase the question that way, but he might as well have in his belligerent speech taking the U.S. out of the Paris accords on climate change.

The important thing to note is that Republican denial of climate change doesn’t reflect a sober and critical weighing of the evidence, which is now clear and irrefutable. It does reflect the influence of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, and yet another highly successful effort on the part of the billionaire Koch brothers to shape the national agenda:

That scientific consensus was enough to pull virtually all of the major nations along. Conservative-leaning governments in Britain, France, Germany and Japan all signed on to successive climate change agreements.

Yet when Mr. Trump pulled the United States from the Paris accord, the Senate majority leader, the speaker of the House and every member of the elected Republican leadership were united in their praise.

Those divisions did not happen by themselves. Republican lawmakers were moved along by a campaign carefully crafted by fossil fuel industry players, most notably Charles D. and David H. Koch, the Kansas-based billionaires who run a chain of refineries (which can process 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day) as well as a subsidiary that owns or operates 4,000 miles of pipelines that move crude oil.”

The Koch brothers don’t even have to bother running for political office. They just have to flood the political arena with money, and buy the support of candidates who will do their bidding.

The Founding Fathers were wealthy men, and they clearly intended that the wealthy and educated males would be in charge of our democracy. But I wonder if they could have ever envisioned something like this?

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