Koch Inc: Oligarchs of Order and Ordure

The Koch brothers

The Koch brothers

It is truly dispiriting to watch all the money, much of it from undisclosed sources, that is being poured into this year’s election. (Thanks, Supreme Court, for your Citizens United decision.) By the time all is said and done, it is predicted that more than half a billion dollars will be spent on Senate and House races. The oil-rich Koch brothers say that they will be spending $300 million and they don’t have to say where.

If you want to understand why so many rightwing politicians are denying the fact of human-caused climate change, there’s a big part of your answer. It pays, at least in the short run, to believe that fossil fuels are not a problem.

Here’s a poem written by my father about oil barons like the Koches. The poem labels these figures “Officious Oligarchs of Order and Ordure” that would “Obliterate Oz,” by which he means our fair country. (As Joni Mitchell would put it, they are in the process of paving paradise.) The “Oceans of BUZZ,” I think, are the deliberately induced mind clouding that prevents us from seeing what they are really up to.

Pull aside the curtain, however, and the Wizards of Oz morph into the Lizards of Ooze.

O Is a Dirty Oil Man

By Scott Bates

O look out for the
Oil Barons the Omnipotent
Outrageous and Obnoxious
Owners of the O so declicate O-

Oligarchs of Order and
Ordure they would
for an Ocean of
buzziness busyness bossiness booziness

Opinionate and
Omniverous they are also
(but they don’t know it yet)

O look out
for the
(they think)

Lizards of Ooze

The one good piece of news I’ve heard is that the Rockefeller Foundation, which of course owes its money to Standard Oil, has decided that the future lies in renewable energy, not in ooze, and is pulling out of fossil fuel stocks. Who could have predicted that?

The poem appears in The ABC of Radical Ecology (1990).

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