About ten days ago I mailed letters to Mrs David Koch and Mrs Charles Koch. Yesterday the letter to Mrs David was returned as unknown. Yeah right. So here it is for the world to see:
Dear Mrs Koch,
When my husband died two years ago, the loss was easier to bear because it was shared by everyone who knew him, and by many who only knew of him through his work. I hate to tell you this, but when your husband dies, there will be dancing in the streets.
Given the cocoon that great wealth affords, and his prestige in certain circles, you may not be aware that you are married to one of the most reviled men in America, his brother being the other. I am not talking about their unbridled political ambitions, but about their determination to block any efforts to move away from the use of fossil fuels. This mainly takes the form of disinformation. You know: there is no global warming, it is all a hoax, and even if there is, humans had nothing to do with it.
This is murder.
It is the equivalent of Thabo Mbeki telling the South African people that you cannot get aids from sex, a stance calculated to have caused 300,000 preventable deaths, and uncounted millions of infections. The results of global warming, caused by the burning of fossil fuels, will be much, much worse, with deaths in the hundreds of millions. Indeed, there is a growing body of scientists who predict that we could lose more than 50% of the species on earth. The gloom and doom is predicated on continuing business as usual, something which your husband favors so strongly that he is doing everything in his considerable power to promote it.
Do you not see the damage that Koch Industries and the Heartland Institute are doing to our chances of mitigating the devastating effects of climate change? Do you know that as of October 28, 2014 the reservoirs which supply the 20 million-strong city of Sao Paulo are at 3% capacity. If it does not rain, by mid-November they will have no water. None. Los Angeles could be next. (Update: it has rained, but the reservoirs are not being replenished)
Mrs. Koch, I’m begging you, please do something. One percent of your husband’s wealth could build solar panels to power a million homes. More importantly, an acknowledgement by the Koch brothers that fossil fuels have no place in the future of the human race would go a long way towards turning the tide. There is the philanthropy which leaves your name on another institutional wing, and then there is making a difference. I want my grandchildren to know that I was part of the solution, not a major cause of the problem. How about you?
PS. I have included images of the tar sands in Alberta. It is bitumen from these ravaged fields which would be transported through the Keystone XL Pipeline. I feel as nauseous looking at these as I would if I was treating a woman bleeding and torn after a vicious rape.
655 Park Avenue, 10065