By Bob Ferris
Ty’s piece was well researched and is part of growing body of works documenting how this industry and others are investing heavily in political and programmatic mischief. These actions include co-opting the messaging of conservation groups; criticizing those that prove true to their missions and the constituencies, wildlife and habitats they represent; or simply creating their own groups with deceptive names. We are seeing all of this and more.
And all of this is wrapped up within a larger package that seems like an episode of “Corporations Gone Wild” where the checkbooks and arm twisting are out of control. How significant is this effort? That came out in a New York Times piece this past Monday that claimed that Keystone XL pipeline’s main beneficiaries and backers—the infamous Koch brothers—were basically planning to invest $900 million in the 2016 elections—just as much as the individual political parties. That means a single corporation is taking up one third of the political space. (If you do not believe that is problem in a democracy, I am not sure what to say.)
The whole situation is absolutely ridiculous from the level of these investments to the irony of the manufactured criticism directed at legitimate and courageous organizations. Organizations, I might add, that are only trying to stop the damage to our natural resources wrought by those with overflowing wallets made so by their ability to externalize the true costs of their actions.
All of this is encapsulated nicely in the above screen shot of a video of Sarah Palin (see here to play video) that is making the rounds on the internet. She speaks nonsense to cheers and she does so centered below the words “Citizens United” which she seems to wear as a halo. Herein lies the crux of our peril manifested by the above and our current set of elected representatives.
I remember the last time we were in this position in 1994 and Martha Marks and others including Theodore Roosevelt IV stood up via Republicans for Environmental Protection (now known as ConservAmerica). REP’s branding revolved around a green elephant and they made a big impact at a critical time. My sense is that we desperately need for the “green decoys” to rise in a similar fashion. If you are not a “green decoy” become one and if you can support those organizations carrying what has been characterized as the “green decoy” message and banner. Quack!