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The Doubt Machine: Inside The Koch Brothers’ War on Climate Science​


The Real News is launching its Global Climate Change Bureau with a documentary on the Koch brothers’ war on climate science.

The past decade has been the hottest ever documented, and 2016 is shaping up to be the hottest year in recorded history. Droughts, heat waves, severe storms, forest fires, and rising sea levels are now impacting the United States and Canada.

The US Congress has failed to take any real action on climate change. The subject is hardly even broached in election debates, speeches, and campaigns.

The Real News Network’s 30-minute documentary, “The Doubt Machine: Inside the Koch Brothers’ War on Climate Science”, reveals how Big Oil–particularly, the billionaire oil tycoons Charles and David Koch–have used their vast wealth and clout to ensure the American political system takes no action on climate change.

Narrated by two-time Oscar-winning actress and screenwriter Emma Thompson and directed by award-winning investigative journalist Bruce Livesey, “The Doubt Machine” explores how the oil industry discovered that burning fossil fuels would cause global warming as far back as the 1970s–but buried this information. Instead, the industry embarked on a decades-long campaign to foster doubt in the public mind about whether climate change was happening or not.

Indeed, Charles and David Koch–the 7th richest individuals in the US and 9th richest people in the world, with a combined net worth of $84 billion–also built a vast political network to ensure the election of candidates who will dismiss climate change and stop any preventative action on global warming.

The Kochs’ motivation is simple: ensuring the profitability of Koch Industries, Inc., a $100-billion Kansas-based conglomerate they control. Koch Industries operates in 60 countries, employs 100,000 people and refines, transports and sells millions of barrels of oil every year. The company was founded by the brothers’ father, Fred Koch, who got rich building refineries for both Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler in the 1930s.

Today, the Kochs’ well-financed political network–a vast array of front and lobby groups–attacks scientists, harasses journalists, funds dubious research on climate change, and spends hundreds of millions to get Republican Party candidates elected to Congress all the while pressing the Tea Party movement to be its foot soldiers in their battles.

The documentary includes interviews with Jane Mayer, award-winning investigative reporter with The New Yorker magazine and author of the best-selling book on the Kochs’ Dark Money; Naomi Oreskes, Harvard University science historian and co-author of the book Merchants of Doubt; Michael Mann, a world-renowned climatologist at Penn State University, and Kert Davies of the Climate Investigations Center, among many others.

Learn more about The Real News’ Global Climate Change Bureau. The Real News Network