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Betraying the Planet

We are all living together on a single planet, which is threatened by our own actions. And if you don’t have some kind of global cooperation, nationalism is just not on the right level to tackle the problems, whether it’s climate change or whether it’s technological disruption.

Yuval Noah Harari, Israeli author, public intellectual, historian, and professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University

This is not a partisan debate; it is a human one. Clean air and water, and a livable climate are inalienable human rights. And solving this crisis is not a question of politics. It is our moral obligation.

Leonardo DiCaprio, American actor and Activist

I want you to act as if the house is on fire because it is.

Greta Thunberg, Swedish environmental activist

The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.

Albert Einstein, Scientist

All things share the same breath — the beast, the tree, the man. The air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.

Chief Seattle, Indigenous American

I’m often asked whether I believe in global warming. I now just reply with the question: Do you believe in gravity?

Neil deGrasse Tyson, American astrophysicist, author, and science communicator.


Introduction: Unmasking the Denial

Betraying the Planet

Betraying the planet is a shortsighted strategy for the accumulation of wealth through inactivity and denial by the corporate class of oligarchs who use their money to control politics in the United States of America. Through political donations to campaigns, legal bribery was made Constitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States through several incremental decisions that culminated with Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission fundamentally created the principle that corporations are people and may use money as speech.

Once the court opened that door, the results led directly to divisive political activity designed to provide misinformation through corporate-owned media outlets, dogmatic political positions leading to the stagnation of Congress. This move subjected the Judiciary to approach cases that involve corporate interests ideologically rather than through legal reasoning. Dark money authorized by SCOTUS created the shadows of a burgeoning climate crisis. American politicians, propelled by elusive motivations, persist in denying the stark reality that threatens our very existence.

Betraying the Planet: The Dance with Fossil Fuel Giants

Caught in a perilous dance with fossil fuel giants, politicians brazenly simply ignore the imperatives of climate action. The allure of dark money, emanating from industry heavyweights such as ExxonMobil and Chevron, mutes the urgent calls for transitioning towards sustainable alternatives.

This shortsighted dalliance jeopardizes not only the environment but also the trust reposed in elected officials to safeguard the future. Dark money, like a malevolent partner, dictates steps that lead away from responsible governance towards a precipice of environmental catastrophe.

Betraying the Planet: The Timber Tango: Forsaking Our Forests

Forests, nature’s guardians against climate calamities, suffer neglect as politicians succumb to the seduction of the forestry industry. Dark money clouds the vision of lawmakers, preventing them from acknowledging the ecological devastation caused by unchecked exploitation.

The complex dance between politicians and the forestry sector raises alarms. It upset the fragility of the balance between economic interests and environmental stewardship. Dark money’s tightening grip amplifies concerns about the sustainability of our ecosystems and the political will to protect them.

Betraying the Planet: The Veil of Dark Money: Undermining Democracy

A malevolent veil of dark money shrouds the democratic process, distorting the representation citizens deserve. Corporate interests echo louder than individual voices. Thus the erosion of trust in democratic institutions becomes an inevitable consequence of this clandestine choreography.

Unchecked financial influence transforms politics into a murky battleground. A condition where the interests of the few outweigh the needs of the many. The very essence of a government designed for the people becomes tainted. Thus destroying the public’s faith in the democratic process wanes.

Betraying the Planet: Supreme Court Compromise: A Critical Blow

Even the highest court, tasked with upholding justice, faces compromise as dark money infiltrates its hallowed halls. The influence of undisclosed financial backers casts shadows on the judiciary’s ability to remain a bastion of impartiality. The independence of the Judiciary is undermined causing the principles upon which justice stands to decay.

The compromised nature of judicial decisions becomes a potent threat to the fabric of a fair and just society. As the scales of justice tip under the weight of undisclosed financial considerations, the bedrock of a functioning democracy quivers.

Betraying the Planet: The Puppeteers Unveiled: Top Dark Money Donors

Koch Industries and ExxonMobil emerge as puppeteers pulling the strings of American politics, skillfully manipulating legislative priorities. Their colossal dark money contributions reveal a system where power is wielded by those with deep pockets. Thus allowing the steering policies away from environmental responsibility towards profit-driven agendas.

As the influence of these corporate entities grows, ordinary citizens grapple with the realization that their votes may carry less weight than the financial clout of these behemoths. The democratic promise of equal representation begins to fray at the edges.

Living Large: Supreme Court Justices’ Compromised Lifestyles

Supreme Court Justices, beneficiaries of dark money largesse, embrace opulent lifestyles. This creates the condition that defies the austere impartiality expected of those entrusted with interpreting the law. The intertwining of financial interests and judicial authority raises profound questions. Is the court’s ability to deliver unbiased and principled decisions compromised?

As the ethical foundations of the judiciary face scrutiny, the very idea that justice can be blind in the face of unchecked financial influence crumbles. The public’s trust in the judicial system, a cornerstone of democracy, teeters on the brink of erosion.

Conclusion: Escaping the Oligarchical Abyss

The impending descent into an oligarchical abyss necessitates immediate and comprehensive reforms. Stringent campaign finance regulations, coupled with transparent governance measures, stand as bulwarks against the stranglehold of dark money in the political and judicial realms.

Rebuilding trust in democracy mandates unmasking the puppeteers, exposing the motivations behind political decisions, and reinstating the belief that elected officials are beholden to the people, not faceless entities with deep pockets.

Breaking free from the clutches of financial influence demands a collective commitment to prioritize the well-being of the planet and its inhabitants. Only through concerted efforts can we forge a path toward a governance system that genuinely serves the common good, ensuring a legacy of environmental stewardship for generations to come.

By Politics-as-Usual

Roger is a retired Professor of language and literacy. Over the past 15 years since his retirement, Roger has kept busy with reading, writing, and creating landscape photographs. In this time of National crisis, as Fascist ideas and policies are being introduced to the American people and ignored by the Mainstream Press, he decided to stand up and be counted as a Progressive American with some ideas that should be shared with as many people who care to read and/or participate in discusssions of these issues. He doesn't ask anyone to agree with his point of view, but if entering the conversation he demands civility. No conspiracy theories, no wild accusations, no threats, no disrespect will be tolerated. Roger monitors all comments and email communication. That is the only rule for entering the conversation. One may persuade, argue for a different point of view, or toss out something that has not been discussed so long as the tone remains part of a civil discussion. Only then can we find common ground and meaningful democratic change.

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