heroes and villains: Steyer, Kochs, McKibben, the Toronto Star…

American firster Bill BcKibben has written a staunch defence of coal billionaire Tom Steyer, aka sugar daddy, which includes, in the concluding paragraph (emphasis added).

While the Times was busy trying to shame Steyer for the crime of changing his mind, real journalists at the Toronto Star were completing an investigation into the extent of the Koch holdings in the far north. Piecing together all the scattered data, they found that they control an astonishing 1.1 million acres of the tarsands, and that they are huge contributors to all the “thinktanks” and campaigns trying to build Keystone and other pipelines. And there’s nothing even remotely hypocritical about it –– it’s just disgusting.

maybe that’s not what’s disgusting.

I caught onto this story back in March, when exchanges between a couple of sources displayed the sordid defence of publishing unsubstantiated pap with the defence it might start a conversation of encourage further exploration. You could follow all the links in my post from a couple of days ago, including  my March blog entry, but I’ll spoil the ending to save you the time. The initial, poor, mainstream story was put up on the Washington Post Wonk blog March 20th and included:

The Koch Industries subsidiary holds leases on 1.1 million acres — an area nearly the size of Delaware — in the oil sands region of Alberta, Canada,according to an activist group that studied Alberta provincial records.

That link is to 1.1 Million Acres in Canada and Counting: Koch Interest in Keystone XL Pipeline Confirmed – presumably from 2013, when the study it references shows as being published (initially claiming 2 million acres).

What luck, that the 4300+ word article Olivia Ward manufactured for the Toronto Star included,in Alberta, where Koch controls at least 1.1 million acres of the oil patch…” I don’t use the word “manufactured” recklessly here; Ward actually writes quite fairly if you suffer through 4300+ words that exist mainly for assholes like McKibben to cite the Toronto Star as a source – instead of, properly, the International Forum for Globalization’s Billionaire’s Carbon Bomb.

To reiterate the entire substance of what is being communicated:

Koch, Oil, Alberta

Koch, Oil, Alberta

Koch, Oil, Alberta

Koch, Oil, Alberta

… and so on. In the Toronto Star article, “Koch” repeats 79 times, “Alberta” 20,  and “oil” 65 times – of which 17 are as part of “oil sands.” 

Everybody seems to be pretty harsh on the Kochs, considering that for a couple of hundred million dollars they could purchase their own rehabilitation in the eyes of those they give it to – if Steyer’s halo is indicative of anything.


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