Climate change is real and poses a real threat to society. In many cases, such as the freak storms Sandy and Katrina, the severe droughts, floods, and the wildfires experienced in recent years, people are already feeling the first hand effects of climate change.
Statistics from the National Climatic Data Centre has found that from 2001 to 2012, extreme weather incidents have caused $487 billion in property damage, and 3,952 deaths. Yet why then has Congress done little to battle climate change? Many governments around the world focus on reducing their carbon emissions, yet the US has only the Environmental Protection Agency working to this end.
In October 2011, Time.com published an article that said that “fossil-fuel companies like Exxon and Peabody Energy — which obviously have a business interest in slowing any attempt to reduce carbon emissions — have combined with traditionally conservative corporate groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and conservative foundations like the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, to raise doubts about the basic validity of what is, essentially, a settled scientific truth.”
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In June, President Obama unveiled his climate strategy, and at the same time decided to leave Congress out of the picture, taking executive action himself. This is because, as highlighted in a two year study by the Investigative Reporting Workshop, the Koch brothers, Charles and David, have been manipulating Congress to purposefully derail any attempts to pass climate legislation.
It turns out that the Koch brothers gained the signatures of 169 Members of Congress on a Climate Obstruction Pledge, which effectively meant they would do nothing to help encourage reduction in carbon emissions.
An article on Popular Resistance claims that more people have died in the last ten years from the effects of climate change than died during the attack on the 11th of September 2001. The author Peter G Cohen stated that if the Koch brothers had ever dared to oppose an effort to go to war against al-Qaeda in retaliation, they would have been labelled traitors; and yet now they are left to block any attempts to curb climate change.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com