This should come as no surprise to us. The planet earth is reeling from an attack on its atmosphere. “Air pollution is the introduction of particulates, biological molecules, or other harmful materials into the Earth's atmosphere, possibly causing disease, death to humans, damage to other living organisms such as food crops, or the natural or built environment. The atmosphere is a complex natural gaseous system that is essential to support life on planet Earth. Stratospheric ozone depletion due to air pollution has been recognized as a threat to human health as well as to the Earth's ecosystems. Indoor air pollution and urban air quality are listed as two of the world's worst toxic pollution problems in the 2008 Blacksmith Institute World's Worst Polluted Places report. According to the 2014 WHO report, air pollution in 2012 caused the deaths of around 7 million people worldwide.”(Wikipedia).
Geenpeace.org spells it out a bit more: “Although carbon dioxide is the most significant greenhouse gas in terms of human emissions, human activity is also adding others to the atmosphere that are even more effective at trapping heat. The Kyoto Protocol covers the emissions of five gases besides carbon dioxide: methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).”
It’s quite surprising, and scary, that there are still those in leadership positions who refuse to face reality, and thus refuse to do anything about pollution of the atmosphere. As we know too well, these human ostriches are hiding from a reality that scientists are proclaiming loudly and urgently. Why do these politicians continue to argue against the fact that human beings and human enterprises have helped to get us to this point? Why do they continue to deny the effect of chemicals and gases on the atmosphere when they know perfectly well that chemicals and gases have the power to influence our immediate environment and our own bodies to a life-changing extent?
Before we answer these questions, let us refer to some examples of the effects of chemicals on our lives and our immediate environment.
We are being bamboozled by the oil and fossil fuel industrialists. They know that denial and delay are not just to be contrary. They know that this is part of their plan to keep us dependent on fossil fuels for as long as it takes to make many more billions of dollars (as the Koch Brothers have been heard to admit). This is not just a denial of climate change; this is their approach to milking us of dollars that go into their pockets and their industries and their indulgences.
Let me just remind you briefly of the positions and actions taken by the Koch Brothers:
“Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch have a vested interest in delaying climate action: they've made billions from their ownership and control of Koch Industries, an oil corporation that is the second largest privately-held company in America (which also happens to have an especially poor environmental record). It's timely that more people are now aware of Charles and David Koch and just what they're up to. A growing awareness of these oil billionaires' destructive agenda has led to increased scrutiny and resistance from people and organizations all over the United States.
“The Koch brothers, their family members, and their employees direct a web of financing that supports conservative special interest groups and think-tanks, with a strong focus on fighting environmental regulation, opposing clean energy legislation, and easing limits on industrial pollution. This money is typically funneled through one of three "charitable" foundations the Koch’s have set up: the Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation; the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation; and the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation.
Total Koch money to the Climate Denial Machine, 1997-2011 = $67,042,064.” (GreenPeace.com)
In 2013, the Koch’s enlisted “Republicans to make it unlikely any bills regulating carbon emissions ever become law, and because they are requiring accompanying off-setting tax cuts, they guarantee their anti-climate change policies will remain the law of the land. The Koch brothers’ pledge is the work of their tax-exempt Americans for Prosperity, and the “No Climate Tax” has successfully prevented Republican lawmakers from addressing climate change particularly by thwarting efforts to control greenhouse-gas emissions by killing cap-and-trade energy bills in the Senate.
The No Climate Tax pledge…garnered signatures from 411 lawmakers nationwide including the entire House Republican leadership, one-third of the members of the House of Representatives, and a quarter of U.S. senators. According to a New York Times report on the Koch pledge, “Since most solutions to the problem of greenhouse-gas emissions require costs to the polluters and the public, the pledge essentially commits those who sign onto it to vote against nearly any meaningful bill regarding global warning, and acts as yet another roadblock to action.” Roadblock is putting it mildly, and it means regardless the threats from climate change, there is little Americans can expect from Republicans in the way of relief because they are beholden to follow directions from the Koch’s and their source of power ALEC.”
In a complicated ruling June 23, 2014, the Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Koch Brothers by not overturning the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gasses. The utility industry, the Chamber of Commerce, and 13 states led by Texas argued that the EPA does not have the legal authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, but by a vote of 7-2, the court ruled that the EPA does have the authority to regulate emissions at facilities that already release pollutants.” (politicususa.com)
Nonetheless, there is still the basic factor that the SCOTUS has ruled that individuals (and corporations) can continue to give huge amounts to these foundations and think-tanks and PACs anonymously, so that the public will not generally know who or what is backing the deniers.