Sierra Club to Koch Brothers: How About a Debate?

Public debate is a privilege of democratic society and holds the potential for idea exchange and constructive dialogue. Done properly it can broaden minds, promote new perspectives and spark creative solutions. It can also be a heck of a lot of fun!

I was therefore encouraged to see an open challenge on Facebook from Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director, calling on Charles Koch to meet him for a public discourse on legislative proposals to weaken the Environmental Protection Agency, among other issues. Is Michael holding his breath waiting and anticipating acceptance? I doubt it,>but I love the challenge just the same and applaud a worthy effort.

TriplePundit readers are not unfamiliar with Koch and relevant allegations. The company has been charged with bankrolling Prop 23, which, if passed, would have suspended California’s Climate Change Law. Koch brother companies have been fined millions for the illegal removal of oil from federal lands and have reportedly funneled at least $50 million to groups designed to deny the truth of climate change and global warming.

The mission and intent of the Sierra Club is simple: explore, enjoy and protect the wild places of the Earth. The Sustainability Vision of Koch, as articulated on its corporate website, is, in part, to “…create value by using resources more efficiently; protecting the environment…” Further, and also according to its website, Koch has already collaborated with many environmental NGOs including The Nature Conservancy and the Southern Texas Chapter of the Sierra Club. In addition to working with these and other groups, the organization suggests its commitment to setting the record straight and engaging in dialogue about its liabilities (or lack thereof) in issues regarding people and planet.

So then it is clear, there is synergy here. We will certainly have a meeting of the minds. Surely, in the name of the company’s publicly stated preference for cooperation with environmentalists and its decision to clarify its positions and actions, a public debate with the Executive Director of the Sierra Club would indeed be a high Koch priority. I look forward to the exchange and hope it will be readily available on YouTube and Facebook. I will Retweet that one, rest assured. Raise your glass to democracy and a proper discourse. Let the games begin.

Leslie is a Sustainable MBA student at Green Mountain College. Study interests include sustainability, social responsibility and the power of corporate and non-profit partnerships to bring about positive change. Other areas of interest include social media, fundraising and public policy. She holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Management and is certified in the Global Reporting initiative for Sustainability Reporting. Additionally, she holds an MA in Organizational Management and a BS in Leisure Management. On the rare occasions when she is not studying, she enjoys writing, reading, running, nature walks and yoga. She hopes to use her skills, talents and education to make a positive impact with an environmentally and socially conscious organization. Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn.

4 responses

  1. Who is saying “what” is more credible than “what” is being said in this open sewer of untreated information called the Internet. The consequence of this is that history will show the CO2 mistake being akin to cave wall scratchings and an embarrassing era of environmentalism. What the lab coat consultants all agreed on was that the effects will range from virtually noting to out of control, runaway, unstoppable warming so the theory was a blank check for academia, politicians, PR firms and unconscionable media editors. The mass hysteria feeding our fear factor culture made bad weather Humanities fault and the death of the planet immanent because it assumed Nature was weak and fragile and delicate. This is Nature we are talking about and the vast powers of the cosmos and as we elevated ourselves to the level of Gods with powers to destroy fragile planets, our need for false immortality was satisfied for 25 years of pointless CO2 panic warnings.

  2. Shouldn t the saintly scientists of concern be marching in the streets? Obamas State of the Union Address of Feb./11 neglected to mention: climate, EPA, environment, or CO2 or global warming or climate change. Change was said ten times and not once in regards to CO2.
    Global was said once: Pacific and global trade talks. (Applause.).
    Energy was said sixteen times in with one referenced to clean and the rest in regards to abundance, as in we need more but not in regards to a sick or dying planet as the scientists warned. Saving the planet from catastrophic climate change is NOT the biggest issue ever? What could be worse? The world has walked away from climate change crisis and if this was a real crisis we would be acting like it is, not doubting it’s existence.
    Obama has abandoned climate change mitigation taxes and climate change science and it’s belief. So where are the scientists who have been disposed of by the president and totally ignored as they cried crisis, crisis, crisis for 25 years of warnings? Shouldn’t the saintly scientists of concern be marching in the streets?
    If any of you childish remaining faded doomers of gloom still think the voters will vote YES to taxing the air to make the weather colder, YOU are the new deniers.

  3. Meme mine: while you write your fantasy rhetoric, the laws of physics march on and the Earth continues to accumulate heat, like the tide continuing to advance when King Cnut (surely the first of the deniers?) commanded it to retreat.

  4. “This is Nature we are talking about and the vast powers of the cosmos and as we elevated ourselves to the level of Gods with powers to destroy fragile planets”

    So you are a person of faith that cannot accept that man has developed power that rivals whichever god you subscribe to?

    Not that I am a fan of this, but humanity has enough destructive power in nuclear weapons to destroy all life on earth in a matter of hours.

    Get outside of the church and try and aquaint yourself with reality!

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