Today, the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History unveiled a new exhibit named after right-wing billionaire polluter, David H. Koch. Greenpeace dispatched its Climate Crime Unit at the opening of the $20.7 million David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins in search of Koch, the billionaire scion of Koch Industries and founder of a vast network of conservative organizations that deny the threat of global warming. Greenpeace research director Kert Davies noted that the true Koch family legacy is “one of environmental crimes“:
While David Koch’s oil wealth may get his name on a museum exhibit, the Koch family legacy is one of environmental crimes, lobbying to block clean energy, and funding global warming denial front groups.
Koch Industries is among the biggest lobbying spenders in the oil industry and Koch’s PAC spent more on contributions to federal candidates since the 2006 election cycle than any other oil-and-gas sector PAC. [OpenSecrets]
Koch Industries is also a major source of funding for climate denier think tanks and organizations, including Americans for Prosperity, which David Koch founded. According to the Washington Post, next week AFP will launch another “Hot Air Tour” aimed at opposing climate and clean energy policy. [Washington Post, 3/1/10]
AFP founder David Koch, with a net worth of about $17 billion, is the richest man in New York City, owning a $17 million apartment at 740 Park Avenue, a home in the Hamptons, an Aspen retreat, and the Villa Del Sarmiento in Palm Beach. The David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins joins the David H. Koch theater at Lincoln Center ($100 million), the American Museum of Natural History’s David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing ($20 million), the Johns Hopkins University’s David H. Koch Cancer Research Building ($20 million), and MIT’s David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research ($100 million). Koch enjoys not just ballet and fine art but big game hunts, whose kills he features in his Aspen ski chalet.