Republicans love wars, and over the past decade it appears it does not matter one iota who they are at war with; just so they get to wreak death and destruction on human beings. Oh it is true they love little more than waging war against Muslims on behalf of their ‘most favored’ nation, Israel, but because they are ”the structurally violent segment of society,” they also love waging war on Americans. Part and parcel of the Republican war on Americans is borne of their godly devotion to the Koch brothers and their dirty fossil fuel industry, but now the Kochs have abandoned working behind the scenes and are openly expanding their war against the people and the Pope.
The final straw was the official adoption of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan this week that incited the enemies of clean air, the economy, the Pope, and the people prepared their substantial forces to prevent America from reducing the amount of carbon it produces to stem the devastation of anthropogenic climate change. The war became official when at long last, mainstream media reported that the Koch brothers’ legislative arm, the American Legal Exchange Council (ALEC) and Americans for Prosperity openly vowed to “stop the CPP’s implementation” at all costs.
The Washington Post reported that the Kochs’ and their fossil fuel industry underlings intend on launching a rash of initiatives at the state and local level to stop the CPP implementation in Congress, the courts, and state legislatures and country governments. At the local level, the Koch brothers directed their legislative arm ALEC to convene a special task force comprised of fossil-fuel interests and electricity producers. The Koch task force rapidly “approved model legislation to be sent to state and local governments around the nation giving them ‘special authority’ to ‘expedite approval of resources to challenge the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.”
Expedite approval of resources is typical ALEC-speak for legislation giving Republicans unchallenged authority to transfer taxpayer dollars allotted for education, transportation, and healthcare into a giant legal fund to challenge, and block, CPP implementation in the courts; all to keep those same taxpayers breathing foul air and suffering harsher droughts, more intense, larger wildfires, and more severe weather events. Americans should never making the mistake of thinking the Kochs are at war solely with the Obama Administration or the Environmental Protection Agency although they are prime targets; this war is fundamentally against the American people who will be around long after the Obama Administration is termed out. However, the people should not feel they are being singled out by the Kochs; the oil magnates have also publicly opened up a battle front against Pope Francis over his audacity of hope that world governments will address climate change.
Within a day or so of the Pope’s encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’, the Koch brothers unleashed their oil industry funded punditry and belief tanks to attack the Papal pronouncement. It is noteworthy that everything in the Papal statement was not only relevant to serving the people, and founded solely on empirical scientific data, it was completely consistent with “Catholics concern for helping the poor” and that “environmental stewardship is an important part of the Catholic faith.” According to various Koch surrogates, the Pope’s encyclical contradicting all Catholic principles and like his regard for the poor of the world, concern about climate change makes him a “bad Catholic.” In great part, the Koch’s industry talking heads are advancing the idea that Pope Francis is a bad Catholic because by calling for action on climate, the Pope is deliberately causing harm on the world’s poor and he is intent on increasing their numbers and sending them deeper into poverty; especially in America. The Koch’s plan of attack is portraying the Pope, climate scientists, and President Obama as working in concert to increase poverty in America as part of a “fanatical agenda and regressive form of taxation.”
For example, although the poorest people in the world are most affected by climate change, a Cato Institute op-ed said the Pope calling for action on climate change will “cause so much harm to so many, especially the poor and downtrodden.” The Heritage Foundation’s Steve Moore wrote that “The embrace of governmental action that underlies many of the Pope’s statements would not lift up the poor, but condemn them to more poverty and less freedom. Consider the climate change fanatics’ agenda.” In the Koch and Exxon-funded Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), an industry advocate asserted that “climate-related restrictions harm poor families far more than climate change will.” It is not that the Kochs, conservatives, or the fossil fuel industry has ever cared about the poor anywhere, but it is beyond refute that the poor suffer the brunt of climate change’s effects which is precisely why the Pope is taking action.
In a recent United Nations report it clearly stated, and gave empirical evidence, that climate change “risks disproportionately affect the world’s poor.” The World Health Organization reported that the impacts of climate change are already “exacerbating poverty in developing countries,” and that in countries with gross income inequality like America, poor households will be “particularly affected due to increasing food prices.” Americans should not underestimate just how much food prices are going to rise due to drought conditions, especially in California, and should consider that there is no life-sustaining benefit from pouring more carbon into the atmosphere. It is something that President Obama and Pope Francis certainly consider in advocating for action on climate change; even if the President’s Clean Power Plan is not nearly as robust as it could, and should be; but any action is better than none and that is why the Kochs have publicly unleashed ALEC, Americans for Prosperity, and Republicans to wage an all-out war on the Pope and the People.
For the first time it appears that mainstream media is finally reporting that the Koch brothers’ legislative arm ALEC is moving into the open to prevent any action on climate change. Now all that remains is for the Koch-Republican Congress to publicly denounce the Pope like the Kochs’ oil industry and accuse him of being a “bad Catholic” and deliberately creating more poverty and misery for the poor of the world. In a clever move, Senate Democrats are giving Republicans a chance to condemn the Pope with a resolution supporting the Papal encyclical on the environment. It will not win the war, or even a battle, but it will clearly delineate the combatants in the war against Americans and there is little doubt that Republicans will publicly align with the Kochs. And why wouldn’t they? It is war, it serves the Koch brothers, it will harm Americans, and if they can demean and defeat the Vicar of Christ for advocating for the poor, then it will be a very good Republican war.