The news that the Koch brothers’ plan to funnel nearly a billion dollars into the 2016 elections is bad news for anyone who cares about the outsized role of money in politics, for anyone who doesn’t want to see an American dominated by Republicans, and definitely for anyone who plans to keep living on this planet.
It’s what Joe Romm at Climate Progress calls ”a declaration of dependence on fossil fuels, a figurative declaration of war on a livable climate and the health and well-being of countless future generations” and my colleague Elias Isquith describes as an effort to “design a right-wing machine to dominate American politics in the near- and medium-term future” — which, if successful, will be more than enough time to set Earth on an irreversible path to catastrophic climate change.
This is not really an exaggeration. The yearlong project of hundreds of scientists to assess the current state of climate change concluded that its impacts are already being felt “on all continents and across the oceans,” and that we’re increasing our chances of experiencing “severe, pervasive and irreversible” consequences the more we continue to emit greenhouse gases. The absolute best-case scenario would be for us to reach peak emissions by the end of this decade, and abandon them entirely by the end of the century. That’s going to require the kind of effort that should have started decades ago, and, at this late hour, a near-Herculean push for major reform. We’ve literally run out of time for climate denial.