Most people have a very well-defined threshold that no-one dares cross when it comes to accusing them of some character flaw, untoward behavior, or malicious action. Obviously, being called a liar is high on an honest person’s list of accusations they will not tolerate, but for conservatives who lie as a matter of course, being accused of lying is likely such a common occurrence that it is certainly nothing shameful. However, now it appears that the Republican and Koch brothers’ legislative arm, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), has found an accusation it is not going to tolerate any longer and lodged a threat to stop it.
Interestingly, the Koch-backed anti-environmental group is threatening to file suit against progressive and liberal groups for accusing ALEC of lying about the reality of anthropogenic climate change. Specifically, the group that writes template legislation to eliminate environmental regulations that combat climate change sent letters to Common Cause and the League of Conservation Voters warning them to “cease making false statements” about ALEC’s denial of global warming. ALEC demanded that the progressive and environmental group immediately “remove all false or misleading materials” suggesting ALEC is anything less than truthful about the existence of anthropogenic climate change, or the validity of climate science overall.
One wonders if ALEC sent a letter threatening a lawsuit to technology giant Google chairman Eric Schmidt. Schmidt accused ALEC of “just literally lying” about climate change and it drove the company to cut ties with the Koch group last year. After Google ended its incestuous relationship with ALEC over its pathological lies about the existence of climate change, ALEC attempted to pretend it never denied the Earth’s climate is changing. However, just because ALEC says it does not deny climate change, the mountains of template legislation it crafts on behalf of its bosses at Koch Industries tells a completely different story.
Recently, ALEC said that it acknowledged that human activity has altered the Earth’s atmosphere, but that it has not been resolved if it really leads to demonstrable changes in the Earth’s climate. What seals the deal that ALEC does deny climate change is the organization’s statement that human activity “may lead to deleterious, neutral or possibly even beneficial climactic changes, but due to the great deal of scientific uncertainty surrounding these prospective changes the cost of regulation to inhibit such changes may lead to great economic dislocation.”
At its annual meeting in December, two speakers led a seminar emphasizing the ways in which carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere provided benefits to the environment and the economy. The two speakers disagreed with the consensus of international scientists convened by the United Nations that increased carbon dioxide emissions is responsible for climate change. ALEC cannot claim it denies climate change. or that it does not work tirelessly to promote the filthy lie that there is no reason to address the clear and present danger to Americans’ health, national security, or the nation’s economy. As an aside, one of the Koch and ALEC’s newest assertions Republicans have embraced is that the real issue is not climate change, but “whether President Obama’s proposed regulations are illegal;” particularly when ALEC claims the changing climate may even be beneficial.
It is certain that there are very few Americans, even stupid ones, and very few scientists, who claim the severe droughts, extreme heat, and severe weather events plaguing America are beneficial, but that is what makes ALEC’s lies so egregious; there are no bounds to the lengths they go to do their Koch masters’ bidding. In fact, ALEC’s entire proposition is a dirty outlandish lie according to what the overwhelming majority of the world’s climate scientists believe based on the preponderance of research and empirical data and not what the Koch brothers pay ALEC to advertise.
As a means of convincing the abundance of abject stupidity plaguing Americans that their lives are not being adversely affected by heat waves, droughts, and extremely severe weather events, ALEC claims that there is “a great deal of scientific uncertainty surrounding the nature of ‘prospective’ climate changes.” ALEC’s employers the Kochs have dutifully funded the push to cast doubt on climate scientists to distort the overwhelming consensus among the scientific community that climate change is real and undoubtedly driven by human beings; what is technically anthropogenic climate change.
There is no debate among the overwhelming number of scientists (97%) who are not funded by the Koch brothers. It is certain that what they are discussing is not whether climate change is real, or if it is caused by human activity, or if the consequences will be good or bad; they are debating just how rapidly it is progressing and how incredibly damaging it will be to civilization in terms of lives, economic devastation, and just what doing nothing means for the continued existence of the human race.
Obviously, the groups being threatened with a Koch-funded ALEC lawsuit are not impressed with bullying tactics just because they labeled ALEC for what it really is; part and parcel of the dirty lying Koch climate denial machine. The senior vice president for the League of Conservation Voters, David Willett, said “We don’t appreciate the attempt to silence LCV just because we disagree with ALEC’s positions. if someone wants to get serious about tackling climate change, they ask about working with us, they don’t threaten to sue us.” In concert with the League of Conservation Voters, Common Cause has repeatedly criticized ALEC for pushing legislation to undercut renewable energy such as solar and wind power by claiming that new sources of power are job killers, economically devastating, and unnecessary because of the “uncertainty among the science community” about whether the climate is changing due to the effects of carbon emissions.
As they should, both Common Cause and LCV officials said the legal demands and threats from ALEC would not alter their position whatsoever because, “We don’t think ALEC or organizations like it are done attacking progress on climate change” according to Kert Davies. Davies is an environmental activist leading a small group, Climate Investigations Center that recently gained notoriety for distributing documents showing Koch funding pays scientists to publicly dispute climate change. Davies said, “It is hard to imagine these organizations turning a corner and suddenly being open to an honest discussion of real environmental policy.” Of course they are not going to change or have an honest discussion; not when they claim that droughts, severe storms, extreme heat and flooding as a result of climate change may be beneficial, or that environmental regulations are illegal.
Apparently, ALEC threatening lawsuits against progressive groups for telling the truth about the Koch brothers’ organization is due in great part to the stampede of corporations distancing themselves from the group most responsible for the guns everywhere, voter suppression, and climate denying laws saturating red state legislatures. The Koch legislative machine was able to work behind the scenes with veritable anonymity until progressive and liberal groups began exposing ALEC for what it really is; a Koch construct pushing a vile libertarian agenda that serves no-one’s interests but the Koch brothers and their privatization-minded cohorts.
ALEC exists to spread lies and misinformation about a rash of subjects whether it is the need for every American to be armed, the need to abolish public schools, restrict voting to white Christian males, or eliminate environmental regulations because the effects of anthropogenic climate change are beneficial to Americans and good for the economy. Actually, if ALEC is butt-hurt because progressives claim the Koch group denies climate change, it must break their spirit when secular humanists call them a bunch of dirty lying un-American fascists that refuses to support democracy.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.