When it comes to Pope Francis, the Kochs aren’t even bothering at civility anymore. Their offensive against the Catholic leader continued today in a Daily Caller op-ed by the director of the Cato Institute’s Center for the Study of Science, Patrick Michaels. Absolutely rejecting reason and science, he compares the pope’s call for action against climate change to “disproven doomsday predictions.” Michaels’ piece drips with contempt for the pope’s encyclical and climate science in general, showing the true extent of the Koch network’s hubris.
Michaels also disavows solar and wind energy, writing,
Make no mistake: limiting access to energy will keep people poor and life short. Solar energy and windmills are never going to power a major modern city, and therefore they will never run a modern nation. With the exception of geographically-limited hydropower or sometimes unpopular nuclear fusion, the only way to avoid a life of poverty, infirmity, and vulnerability to climate is through the use of fossil fuels. They have been the engine of wealth and progress.
Instead of promoting the access to dense energy that the developing world desperately needs, Francis proposes an international authority to enforce environmental diktats emanating from the United Nations. This includes handing over $100 billion a year from developed nations to the underdeveloped to spend on technologies incapable of substantively boosting their quality of life.
Make no mistake: these are not simply the words of someone promoting libertarian values; these are the words of someone looking out for Koch Industries’ bottom line.
Michaels even goes as far as to make a vehement defense of the Kochs in his final sentence:
What could be more “old thinking” than recycling the failed apocalyptic environmentalism from a half-century ago, substituting command and control economies for free markets, taking away money from productive nations and giving it to poorly-run countries to invest in energy technologies that will keep them impoverished, and blaming corporate bogeymen for our reluctance to commit the economic suicide that Francis urges us to pray for.
Charles Koch was one of the original founders of Cato and the family has provided more than $30 million in funding. He previously held a seat on the think tank’s board and David is currently a board member. According to the New York Times, the Kochs and the think tank have had their differences over the years, but they reconciled in 2012 after the Kochs successfully pushed out the former CEO, Ed Crane, thus insuring their interests were priorities. Clearly, the deal still stands.
In his op-ed, Michaels argues that Pope Francis is “recycling old, tired, and discredited ideas” — funny, we think the same thing about Cato and the Kochs.