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“Too much and too long, we seem to have surrendered community excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our gross national product […] counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for those who break them. It counts the destruction of our redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead, and armored cars for police who fight riots in our streets. It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.

Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country.

It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.”

   – Robert F. Kennedy, University of Kansas, March 18, 1968

a recent video exposing koch industries yet again as environmental polluters: you can actually see steam coming from the water that is downstream from their factory in arkansas. the video shows several people suffering from cancer, which they claim to be a direct result of the polluted water.

what’s even crazier is that david koch actually had cancer himself, and even funded a cancer research center. but to stop pollution and get rid of a major source of cancer in the first place would probably cut too deep into their profits.

in case you haven’t heard of koch industries, it’s because they make it their business to stay out of the spotlight (probably with good reason). however, they are among the major air polluters in the US, as shown by this university of massachusetts study. even bloomberg, a fairly conservative medium, exposed koch industries’ sketchy business practices, including making illicit payments to win contracts, trading with a terrorist state, fixing prices, neglecting safety and ignoring environmental regulations.

koch industries is also a major cimate change denier, which is understandable as their wealth stems from the oil business. to say that they have oiled the denial machine is quite an understatement; it’s more like they were involved in building it:

[UPDATE: the koch brothers are also major supporters of the keystone XL pipeline, as naomi klein end bill mckibben recently pointed out. in case it’s unfamiliar to you, i blogged about keystone XL before]

following up on yesterday’s infographic, a short video from the center for investigative reporting on the real price of gas and fossil fuels. did you know there’s all kinds of factors that influence your car’s level of pollution such as weather or maintenance?

(Source: http://blip.tv/)