Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Pope or Kochs: Republicans, Who Do You Stand With?

Climate

Pope Francis is shaking up the world with his activism on climate change. Fossil fuel billionaires Charles and David Koch have vowed to spend nearly $900 million to put a climate denier in the White House. And Republican candidates for president such as Jeb Bush and Rick Santorum have been telling the Pope to mind his own business. Could there be a connection?

To highlight the contrast and call out the candidates, the progressive advocacy group Americans United for Change has just launched a campaign called Pope or Kochs.

"Climate change is a moral issue," it says. "The Pope's message underscores to people of faith the obligation we have to future generations to address climate change and protect our environment."

But, it adds, "The Kochs are bankrolling the anti-Pope movement. The Kochs sent their stooges at the Heartland Institute to try to change Pope Francis' mind on climate change ... and attack his character when he refused."

The campaign's website provides a hair-raising checklist of the potential presidential candidates the Koch brothers might put their money behind, as well as fellow-travelers like Sen. Jim Inhofe, who has repeatedly called global warming a "hoax," oil industry-funded Texas congressman Joe Barton, who has also told the Pope to butt out of climate issues, and Rush Limbaugh, who called the Pope a Marxist.

The Pope or Kochs website highlights quotes from candidates Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee and John Kasich, as they all appear to be auditioning for the Koch money. They include Bush's direct putdown of the Pope's climate activism, in which he said "I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or my pope. I think religion ought to be about making us better as people, less about things [that] end up getting into the political realm."

Read page 1

"The promise of $900 million in campaign support from the Koch brothers has led to a race to the bottom between GOP presidential hopefuls over who believes less in climate science, some even going so far as to publicly dis the Pope,” said Brad Woodhouse, president of Americans United for Change.

“Buying influence in Washington and funding quack climate studies is all part of Big Oil’s profit-protection plan to kill any effort to limit the millions of metric tons of carbon pollution they spew into the air every year. It’s why today the GOP’s entire environmental policy can be boiled down to ‘Whatever the Kochs say.’ So far, the moral appeal by the Pope and many of other faith leaders that our political leaders be better stewards of the planet has been met with indifference from those too busy chasing Koch money. What will it take to convince the Grand Oil Party to act: a climate event straight out of the book of Genesis?"

Americans United for Change has created an ad which it is running in the key primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, calling on GOP candidates to commit to the Pope or the Koch brothers and challenging them to support science on climate change. Watch it here:

"The Republicans eyeing the White House may all sing from the same climate-skeptic hymnal, but the worsening consequences of climate change are not something that have to be taken on faith," said Woodhouse. "It’s happening right before our eyes, whether it’s rising average temperatures and sea levels, out-of-control forest fires stemming from longer periods of drought, or more frequent and more intense storms and tornadoes. It’s no wonder 70 percent of voters want their representatives to stop fiddling as Rome burns.”

The Pope or Kochs campaign features the usual options, share with friends on Facebook and Twitter. There's also a button to show your support for the Koch Brothers on climate change. Go click on it and see what happens. Surprise!

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

How Pope Francis's Climate Encyclical Is Disrupting American Politics

David Suzuki: Koch Brothers Continue to Oil the Machine of Climate Change Denial

Jon Stewart Slams GOP for Criticizing Pope's 'Call for Environmental Consciousness'

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

An aerial view of a crude oil storage facility of Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) in the Krasnodar Territory. Vitaly Timkiv / TASS / Getty Images

Oil rigs around the world keep pulling crude oil out of the ground, but the global pandemic has sent shockwaves into the market. The supply is up, but demand has plummeted now that industry has ground to a halt, highways are empty, and airplanes are parked in hangars.

Read More Show Less
Examples (from left) of a lead pipe, a corroded steel pipe and a lead pipe treated with protective orthophosphate. U.S. EPA Region 5

Under an agreement negotiated by community groups — represented by NRDC and the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project — the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) will remove thousands of lead water pipes by 2026 in order to address the chronically high lead levels in the city's drinking water and protect residents' health.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images

By Dave Cooke

So, they finally went and did it — the Trump administration just finalized a rule to undo requirements on manufacturers to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new passenger cars and trucks. Even with the economy at the brink of a recession, they went forward with a policy they know is bad for consumers — their own analysis shows that American drivers are going to spend hundreds of dollars more in fuel as a result of this stupid policy — but they went ahead and did it anyway.

Read More Show Less

By Richard Connor

A blood test that screens for more than 50 types of cancer could help doctors treat patients at an earlier stage than previously possible, a new study shows. The method was used to screen for more than 50 types of cancer — including particularly deadly variants such as pancreatic, ovarian, bowel and brain.

Read More Show Less
Ian Sane / Flickr

Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control showed a larger number of young people coming down with COVID-19 than first expected, with patients under the age of 45 comprising more than a third of all cases, and one in five of those patients requiring hospitalization. That also tends to be the group most likely to use e-cigarettes.

Read More Show Less