After Greenpeace released a report yesterday detailing the efforts of the Koch Industries billionaires David and Charles Koch to pollute energy policy and deny the threat of global warming, Koch Industries communications director Melissa Cohlmia attempted to greenwash their record:
Both a free society and the scientific method require an open and honest airing of all sides, not demonizing and silencing those with whom you disagree. We’ve strived to encourage an intellectually honest debate on the scientific basis for claims of harm from greenhouse gases.
Americans for Prosperity — founded, funded, and overseen by Koch Industries billionaire David Koch — claims to be trying to build that “free society” by “educating citizens about economic policy and mobilizing those citizens as advocates in the public policy process.” So far, they’re not doing a very good job of engaging in an “intellectually honest debate” without “demonizing and silencing those with whom you disagree”:
‘Hitler Youth.’ At an Americans for Prosperity event in December 2009, guest speaker Christopher Monckton called youth climate activists “Hitler Youth.” He told a Jewish youth climate activist whose grandparents escaped the Nazis that he was “Hitler Youth,” and that “you people don’t care” that “millions are dying in third world countries.” Americans for Prosperity again featured Christopher Monckton at a regional summit in March 2010. [The Times, 12/11/09]
‘Radical Global Warming Agenda.’ “President Obama is at again,” the Americans for Prosperity Regulation Reality Tour warns, with a “radical global warming agenda” by “unelected bureaucrats regulating our life,” “ignoring the entire democratic process all together.” Supposed threats of “EPA’s power grab” include “Grass Mileage Standards,” “Government Control of your Thermostat,” “Churches would need EPA Permits,” and The tour features “EPA Carbon Cops” who want to punish you if you “opened your refrigerator” or “drove a car.” [RegulationReality.com]
‘Al Gore’s Global Warming Alarmism.’ The Americans for Prosperity Hot Air Tour told people to “rally against Al Gore’s global warming alarmism” and “propaganda advanced by global warming alarmists,” claiming “global warming alarmism” means “fewer jobs,” “less freedom,” and a “government that controls your home thermostat remotely.” The Hot Air Tour flew a balloon over Al Gore’s “energy-guzzling mansion” in Tennessee with the message “Global Warming Alarmism.” [HotAirTour.org]
‘We Might As Well Forget Freedom.’ The Americans for Prosperity Hot Air Tour says that “far left environmentalists” are “radicals” with a “radical Global Warming ideology that claims people are the problem” who “want GOVERNMENT to force us to drive less and live in smaller homes while killing jobs that help grow our economy” and “want GOVERNMENT dictating our lives.” [HotAirTour.org]
Cohlmia told the Wonk Room that “AFP is an independent organization and Koch companies do not in any way direct their activities.” This is a remarkable claim, as Koch Industries executive vice presidents and directors Charles Koch and Richard Fink are also directors of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation.