So it’s with sincere gratitude for his support that we report here the wise words of Charles Koch, from a recent interview at the Washington Post.
Jim Tankersley: Do you still have the potential to be surprised or have your mind changed on big things, and the specific example I was thinking of is, could someone produce a piece of research that could convince you that carbon regulation is necessary to head off disastrous global warming?
Charles Koch: Yeah. If we apply the republic of science here and use the scientific method rather than of trying to shut down and shout down and punish anybody who wants to enter into debate about it. And not do it through corporate welfare. Look at what’s happened. What’s being done is symbolic, even under their own thing. It’s not reducing CO2. Not approving the Keystone pipeline – so the oil is produced, now it’s shipped by rail and shipped to China, rather than by pipeline. So that’s symbolic. And making wood pellets, subsidizing making wood pellets, I mean, we’re back in medieval times, we’re going to burn wood. And shipping them to Europe. How is that reducing CO2? And we’re going to put a tax on natural gas, on BTUs, here, so we’ll be making less chemicals and fertilizers here, and we’ll be doing it in China, where they make it out of coal gas, and per unit the production has five times the CO2 emissions. So these things don’t make sense.
CK: And then these agreements on limiting CO2 — well I liken it to, if you’re at a poker game, and you don’t know who the pigeon is, you’re it. And we’re it. So we’re going to regulate the hell, make our — particularly the poor — worse, stifle the economy by having less reliable, cheap, abundant energy, and make it more expensive.
CK: China and India are going to do what they’re going to do anyway. So we just hurt ourselves, even under their theory. And their theories aren’t working very well, because they keep predicting all these theories that aren’t happening. And if they start happening, or they get evidence, and they’ll enter into a debate rather than shut down anybody who has questions about it or wants to challenge any aspect of it, then I get a lot more sympathetic, yeah. If we’re all trying to find the truth of the matter, then I’m all for that. I’m all for applying the Republic of Science on climate, as I am on anything.
JT: Do you think it’s a problem the market can solve, without governments?
CK: I think it will, just like we’re doing all these things (at Koch Industries). We’re investing heavily in biofuels, in biotechnology, in information technology, to do this. Why do we do it? Because we think through innovation we can make it competitive, better than competitive. And that’s the way to go. And like, Bill Gates is raising billions to go find it — that’s the way to do it, is innovation. So it’s win-win, rather than more cronyism, which so far, all it does is enrich a few people and hurt the average and particularly the poor.
KOCH AIDE: There’s a lot of varying reports on what Charles’s position on climate change actually is. So I think it would be a good idea if —
CK: Yeah, I say that a lot of what is done by the climate lobby is anti-science. But there is some science behind it. Like, there are greenhouse gases, and they do contribute to warming. But if you look at the last, say, 160 years, the first 80 of that period, they went up four-tenths of a degree. And now, the second 80 that CO2 has gone up, what, 30 percent or something, it’s gone up five-tenths of a degree. And there’s been in the last 30 or 40 years, there’s been no real increase in storms or bad weather. So, let’s use the part that’s real science and then apply the Republic of Science to the rest of it.