Saturday, May 28, 2011

Why arch-polluter Koch Industries owes the planet its entire net worth

Original Link:

by Christopher Mims

The only thing equal to the obscene wealth of Charles and David Koch, who jointly own the privately-held Koch Industries, is the obscene damage they cause to the environment. Every gold coin in their Scrooge McDuck money pool means a monetarily equivalent amount of damage to the planet, says a new analysis of the social impact of the company's cumulative impact on the earth.

If that pisses you off, you're not alone. This past weekend, a bunch of rageaholic malcontents protested the secretive annual meeting of Koch Industries bigwigs and various right-wing luminaries. (From where we're standing they actually looked like a bunch of old folks in Dockers, but the prophylactic police presence says otherwise. Malcontents are sneaky.)

What's got them so fired up: The Kochs are taking out massive loans against your future. Koch Industries represents a gigantic, direct wealth transfer from the environment to the pockets of the Koch brothers and their GOP beneficiaries, says Brad Johnson of ThinkProgress.

Koch Industries has a cumulative carbon footprint rivaling that of most nations, says Johnson. With a true cost of carbon pollution between $30 and $300 a ton, that means "[t]he potential liability the Kochs face for having knowingly destabilized the global climate system -- and funded a propaganda network to prevent political action to end their pollution -- represents practically the whole of their wealth."

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