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Supreme Court decision bad news for proponents of fighting climate change

Supreme Court decision on election contributions bad for environment
Supreme Court decision on election contributions bad for environment
Fair Use

Five conservative justices on the Supreme Court gave a victory to environmental polluters on Wednesday with the decision that changed a long-held cap on campaign contributions by individuals in a two-year cycle for federal elections and made limitless the number of candidates any individual can support financially.

The role money will play in future elections just became vastly more influential when coupled with the 2010 Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United that removed campaign limits for corporations and unions.

SCOTUS decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission claimed that such limits violates the First Amendment, thereby opening the door for ultra-conservative fossil fuel advocates like the Koch brothers to throw even more massive amounts of money at puppeteer candidates, who will vote against science, climate change legislation and beef up attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency once elected to office.

Writing in Grist, Ben Adler put it like this, “Billionaires who have made their money extracting fossil fuels, cutting down trees, and cooking up dangerous chemicals — the Koch brothers, for example — will now be able to give the maximum to every congressional candidate in the country. (Or, to be more precise, every Republican candidate, plus maybe a few Democrats they carry around in their pockets, like Mary Landrieu.) If someone gave the maximum to one candidate in each House and Senate race every two years, it would cost $1,216,800 — a small price to pay for control over the most powerful country in the world.”

Sure, environmentalists have a few billionaires on the right side of history for reducing greenhouse emissions, but it’s not likely they will be a match for the extremist propaganda juggernaut on the right.

Former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, billionaire hedge fund investor Tom Steyer and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg have all given millions to support progressive causes, including the fight to control the devastating impacts of climate change that will only be getting worse in the future.

Steyer, who is a big supporter of President Barack Obama, is founder of NextGen Climate Action, which has 300,000 members focused on stopping the final construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

"Climate change is the defining issue of our generation. We have a choice between investing in dirty tar sands that will worsen our climate crisis or cleaner energy that reduces our dependence on foreign fuels, brings new jobs in growing industries and preserves the planet for future generations," said Steyer.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released its most dire and comprehensive report on climate change this week.

It was authored and reviewed by over 1,500 of the most respected scientists and experts in the world—but the wakeup call will have no impact on rich-cat individuals, who live in mansions and want for nothing, while the rest of the world deals with increasing super-storms, wildfires, floods, droughts, heatwaves, record rainfall, catastrophic mudslides and the specter of how rising sea levels will impact island nations and coastal cities in the next few decades.

Billionaires who make it their quest in life to keep the US hooked on oil, coal and other non-renewable energy sources are incapable of seeing past their own lives, greed and financial bottom line.

The current batch of oil and coal barons know they will all be dead by the time climate change becomes the great equalizer of humanity.