Investigative journalist Bruce Livesey has teamed up with TRNN to make a documentary exposing the Koch brothers’ war on climate science and their plan to influence the 2016 elections. Stay tuned for the full documentary this week!
BRUCE LIVESEY: 2015 was the hottest year on record according to the World Meteorological Organization, with 2016 looking like it will be even warmer. SPEAKER: April 2016 was the hottest April ever recorded. LIVESEY: And the last decade was the hottest in history. SPEAKER: Some people barely had time to get out. LIVESEY: Out of control forest fires and drought are plaguing the United States and Canada. SPEAKER: The entire population of Fort McMurray has been order to abandon their homes. LIVESEY: While modest proposals put forward by the Obama administration and democrats to deal with this crisis are seen as woefully inadequate by climate scientists. The real problem is the republican controlled congress and senate. CHARLIE CRAY: The United States congress is the single biggest obstacle to global resolution of climate change. JANE MAYER: It becomes like there’s an emerita in the Republican side, speaking out about climate change. LIVESEY: But in reality, the republicans’ refusal to act on global warming is largely the handiwork of these two American billionaires. Charles and David Koch. MIKE CASEY: Well I think Americans should care about the Koch brothers because they’re arguably the most powerful force in American politics. LIVESEY: The Koch brothers are the 5th richest people in the United States with a combined worth of nearly 100 billion dollars. They run Koch industries, a secretive conglomerate that makes its money in the oil industry. A conglomerate founded by the brothers’ father Fred, who got rich building refineries for the Nazis after 1933. MAYER: He ended up building a refinery for Adolf Hitler that had to be greenlighted specifically for Hitler after he became chancellor in Germany. LIVESEY: Today, Charles and David Koch are the single biggest funders of climate change denial groups and public relations. ALIYA HAQ: The Koch brothers have spent at this point 80 million dollars on climate denial front groups. KERT DAVIES: They have a vast network now, political network that rivals the other parties. LIVESEY: Made up of at least 18 front groups, this network has vast sums at its disposal to run attack adds during elections. COMMERCIAL: She promised spending limits then voted against them. ROBERT MACGUIRE: In the last presidential election the network itself raised at least 407 million dollars. LIVESEY: And has bankrolled the Tea Party movement. SPEAKER: And the Tea Party when it emerged was not really a new thing but they grabbed it and they corporatized it. LIVESEY: This Koch network has tried to destroy the careers of leading climate scientists. DR. MICHAEL MANN: I received death threats. Threats against my family. It was a variable price on my head in the sense that there were people that were putting out bounties for those who could destroy me. LIVESEY: And destroy journalists who have investigated them. MAYER: They actually funded, either directly or indirectly, a private investigator to spend months digging up dirt on me in hopes of trying to undermine my reputation. LIVESEY: And even republicans like Bob Ingles, a conservative congressman who believes climate change is real, saw his political career destroyed by the Kochs. DAVIES: And he lost badly to a very underqualified candidate who the Koch machine brought in. CRAY: The Kochs have got over 170 members of the house to take a pledge that they will never support any legislation that puts a tax on carbon. LIVESEY: For the 2016 election this fall, the Kochs and their network are accumulating a war chest of hundreds of millions to get republicans elected to congress and the senate to guarantee no action is taken to stop climate change. MANN: They have polluted our public discourse. They have skewed media coverage of the science of climate change. They have paid off politicians. And the number of lives that will be lost because of the damaging impacts of climate change in the hundreds of millions. More people will die from the fact that we didn’t act on climate change early enough. LIVESEY: Please help us finish the documentary, the Doubt Machine: Inside the Koch Brothers’ War on Climate Science, that will be narrated by Oscar winning actress Emma Thompson. So it can be aired by the Real News Network.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.