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Carbon industry attacks the planet

America's unity has been eroded by a number of forces. Our federal government has been paralyzed. This places us all at risk. We face growing economic, civic and ecological risks. It is a bad time to suffer from indecision.

America’s unity has been eroded by a number of forces. Our federal government has been paralyzed. This places us all at risk. We face growing economic, civic and ecological risks. It is a bad time to suffer from indecision.
One of the key factors spreading incapacity has been the growing influence of greed and money on public policy. Super PACs now may influence who is nominated for office as a representative of the people. This trend was aggravated when the Roberts Court soiled itself with the Citizens United  Supreme Court decision, which was 5-4. This ruling empowered corporate personhood. Corporations are now entitled to representation. And we the human, taxpaying citizens not so much.
Clearly, the largest risk we face is global warming from increased carbon emissions.  Current data from Mauna Loa indicates that by 2040 we may wake the sleeping giants of the biosphere. If the rate of carbon emissions grows, we may greet them earlier.
Climate change deniers are fearful that the creative destruction of the marketplace may change the economy as we deal with this unprecedented challenge. The people and organizations tied to carbon industries are labeled in the book, “Carbon Democracy,” by Timothy Mitchell. He documents how their evolution with industrial America has added to their wealth and political influence. Now those groups are using those tools to stop markets from demonstrating the efficiency and health associated with clean energies.
A number of interdisciplinary studies have described how our global political leaders could build a clean-energy economy to protect kids, communities and the creation. The Stern report, “The Economics of Climate Change,” from London was the first in 2006. Now there are many describing this great transition.
It requires direction, dedication and investment. Unfortunately, those billionaires associated with the carbon democracy will not allow it. They have been using their “spare cash” to create front organizations to confuse and distract the public. This wasted capital may be big enough to buy a more-sustainable future. But the climate change deniers would rather disable the American commonwealth, using distortion and fear to undo American teamwork.
We can build a healthy and  robust clean-energy economy. But we must be unified.
One political front group that has been trying to undo the efficiency of the wind and solar industries is the American Legislative Exchange Council. This group is funded by the Koch brothers and their radical-right partners. They apparently do not believe in representative government because they reportedly use their robust funding to wine and dine state legislators and then hand them copies of corporate legislation that protects the interests of the carbon democracy. They seem prepared to sacrifice the creation so a few people can enjoy more wealth. The ironic element is that the council’s legislation was used to craft energy legislation in Minnesota last session. It was designed to destroy the solar industry by attacking the “net-metering” framework for solar producers connected to the grid.
This is not representation. It attacks one of Minnesota’s growing industries and jobs while it distorts the political process. This is not the Minnesota way. Worse, it is a direct attack on our kids, communities and creation. Voters need to understand our rising risks.
 
Bill Mittlefehldt of Duluth is a member of Peace Church and serves on the Arrowhead Regional Network of the Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light team.

Related Topics: ENVIRONMENT
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