Thirty Pieces of Silver


Why do people doubt the reality of anthropogenic climate change in the face of near unanimous expert evidence that it is real?

It’s because the fossil fuel industry and its investors have spent billions of dollars working to persuade Americans of a lie: that there is doubt, that the science is uncertain.

Funding sources for the anti-climate change effort. Credit: Prof. Robert Brulle, Drexel University

Funding sources for the anti-climate change effort. Credit: Prof. Robert Brulle, Drexel University

Those fossil fuel lobbyists and their investors, through a network of foundations, have put about a billion – that “billion” with a “b” – dollars into persuading folks of a lie, sowing doubt and confusion where, really, there isn’t any.

The tactics are lifted straight from the struggle to regulate tobacco. You hire tame “experts” to claim there is no link between CO2 and warming, just as Big Tobacco tried to confuse the link between smoking and cancer. You make extremely generous campaign contributions to selected politicians like Senator James Inhofe and President Donald Trump, paying them to express doubt.

In the case of the effort to regulate tobacco, “all” that was at risk was the lives of a few hundred thousand smokers and future smokers. Big Tobacco and the politicians that industry had purchased sold themselves, gaining big campaign contributions and enabling them to cling to power, at the costs of smokers’ and future smokers’ lives. Pretty cynical, even for politicians.

In the case of climate change denial, though, what’s at risk is the future of humanity on the planet. Millions, maybe billions of lives, trillions of dollars. The consequences of climate change – drought, sea level rise, disruption of the ocean food chain, extreme weather – are as real and as serious as a heart attack. They are going to affect everyone on the planet, drowning some nations, baking important farm country and destroying economies. The consequences of climate change are almost certain to include wars resulting from economic displacement.

WC doesn’t often use profanity to express his opinions, but how fucking cynical do you have to be to do the Judas work of the fossil fuel industry and those conservative foundations?

Thirty pieces of silver for betraying the Son of God?

Senator James Inhofe’s price was $389,989, according to OpenSecrets.org. That’s how much the oil and gas industry paid him directly. It’s nearly impossible to determine how much of the rest of his $4.6 million campaign war chest comes, directly or indirectly, from the fossil fuel industry and its investors. That’s a lot of silver for betraying your country and the planet. But it still makes you a traitor. Getting a good price for your soul is still selling your soul.

At least at the moment, all we can legally do is point out the truth. We can point to the politicians who do these greedy bastard’ bidding. We can point to the “experts” who sell themselves to tell lies. And we can point to the selfish, greedy bastards who fund these lies and corruption to make themselves a few more megabucks.

WC urges you to help. There’s not much time.