Thursday, April 30, 2015

In this corner, the Kochtopus; in the other corner, the challenger, the Pope

The Koch boys and their fossil fools are ramping up to take on the Pope over what does not exist in Kochtopia: human-driven climate change. In the process, the oily guys are branding themselves as the true saviors of the masses. (Remember the tobacco execs? Same drill.)

Here are snippets from Steve Benen's post at The Maddow Blog.

... the politics of climate denial are getting a little tricky. In a few months, this will get a little more complicated.

In September, at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the pope will deliver an address to a joint session of Congress. How likely is it that Francis will address the climate crisis Boehner and his caucus choose to ignore? The odds are about 100%.

"I think Boehner was out of his mind to invite the pope to speak to Congress," the Rev. Thomas Reese, an analyst at the National Catholic Reporter, told the Times. "Can you imagine what the Republicans will do when he says, ‘You’ve got to do something about global warming’?"

The Kochtopus is already on the attack.

The New York Times reported yesterday that the pope’s activism is "alarming some conservatives in the United States who are loath to see the Catholic Church reposition itself as a mighty voice in a cause they do not believe in."

In the United States, the encyclical will be accompanied by a 12-week campaign, now being prepared with the participation of some Catholic bishops, to raise the issue of climate change and environmental stewardship in sermons, homilies, news media interviews and letters to newspaper editors, said Dan Misleh, executive director of the Catholic Climate Covenant in Washington.

But the effort is already angering a number of American conservatives, among them members of the Heartland Institute, a libertarian group partly funded by the Charles G. Koch Foundation, run by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers, who oppose climate policy.

While Koch-financed operations usually aren’t shy about taking the offensive against perceived opponents, the far-right Heartland Institute seems to realize attacking the pope is a little more complicated.

In a statement, the group’s president said he fears the "Holy Father is being misled," despite Francis’ heart being "in the right place."

Misled? And here I thought the Pope took his marching orders from God.

That was not entirely facetious. When the Pope takes the stand it becomes a matter of morality. Here is a snippet from Rebecca Leber's article in The New Republic (cited by Benen).

Unlike the usual discussions of climate change as an economic and scientific issue, Francis conveys it as a moral cause. His past comments—that it "is man who has slapped nature in the face"—frame the issue in vivid and urgent terms. He's presented the fossil fuel industry with a challenge. Though they have a well-worn playbook for countering the economic, political, and scientific need for climate change action, industry is in relatively new territory with religion.

Do the Kochs and friends really want to get into it with THE POPE?

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