George Graham

How do People Like the Koch Brothers Sleep at Night?

From where I sit, the Koch Brothers are monsters. They devote their considerable wealth to blocking life-saving government policies and promoting deadly initiatives that feed their bigoted beliefs.

Surely, they should toss and turn tonight, haunted by the images of babies swept away in the floodwaters of the Philippines and of the devastation caused by last night’s tornadoes in the American Midwest? Surely, they should know that these tragedies are partly caused by the industries that made them billionaires?

But if the vision of black youths gunned down with impunity because of the Stand Your Ground laws they devised and promoted does not pique their conscience, I imagine they are immune to any remorse for the equally deadly but less direct effects of their anti-environmental crusade.

The smug smirks on the faces of Charles and David Koch (above) reflect the self-satisfaction of men who feel exempt from the rules that govern ordinary folks. But, surely, some spark of decency must smolder in their bleak souls? Surely, they must be vulnerable to some sense of shame?

They would probably respond that their anti-environmental policies have nothing to do with the drastic climate change ravaging the earth, as they would deny responsibility for the human tragedies resulting from their other crusades.

But they must know better. They are not stupid.

And not deaf.

As rulers of an empire that includes vast coal producing operations, the Kochs must be aware of the worldwide protests against continued fouling of the air by this primitive fuel.

U.N climate chief Christiana Figueres pleaded with coal company CEOs at the International Coal and Climate Summit in Warsaw recently to “leave most of the remaining coal reserves in the ground.” She argued that:

The world is rising to meet the climate challenge as risks of inaction mount, and it is in your best interest to make coal part of the solution.

But her plea is futile when people like the Kochs control the energy industry. They not only refuse to join the worldwide effort to avert environmental disaster, they vigorously resist environmental control.

I find it tragically unjust that these people apparently enjoy immunity from retribution for the havoc their polices create. But I am confident they must one day answer for their actions, if not in this world then in the next.

Click for the report of Figueres’ plea.

Click for more on the Koch Brothers.

Click for a video on the Kochs.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for