Two-Faced Europe: EU companies fund climate skeptics in the US


Yesterday some articles appeared which highlighted the sad role of some of Europe’s most powerful corporations, uncluding British Petrol, Royal Dutch Shell, and some Germans like E.On or Bayer. The European section of the Climate Action Network (CAN) compiled a report (pdf) on this matter „Using information which this month became available in the Open Secrets database„, they „uncovered what appears to be a coordinated effort […] to influence United States climate and energy policies through targeted donations to candidates who oppose action on climate change.“

We conclude that the support of European companies is not only targeted at deniers and blockers but that the financial streams are also very strategic. Another example is the support for Lisa Murkowski (Rep.), the brain behind a resolution which would take away the possibility of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

March of tea-party supporters in Washington. lots of flags

Not easily to be stopped: "March for Ignorance and Free Tea" in Washington, D.C.

This is indeed alarming. While we subsidize those companies with tax-money of hard-working families (think of coal-subsidies, pharmaceutical-prices), the same money is blown into pockets of politicians that care only for their constitutencie’s trailers and dreams. It is time to wake up for the American public as well as the European one. Both sides of the Atlantic are so much intertwined that you cannot make out a clear leader and laggards. Skeptics and deniers are on the march to the front in Europe as well. We need laws that tighten campaign donations and decrease the impact large companies can have on single politicians. In the U.S. as well as here in Germany, politics recently went into an open policy-along-donations-line of thinking. This is not a partisan thing, as some suggest. It is a systemic problem. And we need to change it fast, if we want to safe the climate.

1 comment

  1. Comment by Greg Robie

    Greg Robie Reply 10.12.2010 at 12:12

    In January of this year the Supreme Court of The United States gave corporations free political speech. This was the last step in a process by which this country has benn transformed into a fascist state. This process started its legal march into existence in 1886 with corporations being given the rights of citizens under our 14th Amendment to our Constitution. Systemically, the process of turning our republic into a fascist state has a longer history. Is it ironic that EU corps would get involved in helping fascism grow in the US in this past election?
    Regardless, moral integrity, on the part of consumers and investors, is the source of the social power needed to change things toward being less irrational. Such integrity is spiritual/religious in nature. Liberation Theology in not a strong suit among the developed world’s religious organization and spiritual movements. With fascism garnering free reign in the world, and—as you have noted—acting very myopically in its decision making processes, the changing of that vision toward being clear enough to see and choose justice over greed as a matter of business, is a lens correction that only a religious-like movement among consumers and investors can effect . . . and right now, at least here in the US, light green „climate hawks“ are all about evangelizing green greed. They are not advocating for choices and policies that are based on the systemic dynamics that Evo Morales has helpfully framed as: „Either capitalism dies or Mother Earth dies.“

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