David H. Koch
Executive Vice President, Koch Industries
667 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10065
Dear Mr. Koch:
One year ago, the people of New York City and its environs were struck by the disastrous Superstorm Sandy. Out of the death and destruction we are working together to rebuild, thanks to the support of the American citizenry and the global community. But the challenge is far from over. Crucial decisions about how to dedicate public and private funds for rebuilding are still being made. Thousands of our brothers and sisters are still homeless, facing illness, or without jobs, and we are all still vulnerable to the rising seas of fossil-fueled global warming.
You are the wealthiest man in New York City, with a net worth of $45 billion. Your fortune is built on polluting the climate system, from tar sands oil, pipelines, and petrochemicals. The rising seas and superheated oceans made Hurricane Sandy into a $75 billion monster. You have argued that global warming is natural and good for people. Respectfully, we can tell you from experience that is not true.
Not only has Koch Industries dumped billions of tons of carbon into the air, you have spent hundreds of millions of dollars promoting climate deniers who peddle anti-science propaganda and Tea Party ideologues who fight regulation of carbon pollution. Your political operatives opposed Sandy relief legislation, arguing that the rebuilding from Sandy’s wrath should either be paid for by the victims themselves, or by cutting services to the most vulnerable among us. We believe that we should all contribute to helping each other. You, who have profited perhaps more than anyone else alive from the pollution of our planet, bear a unique responsibility to contribute.
We recognize that you have given some of your fortune to prominent institutions in your adopted city while you attack the efforts to protect it from fossil fuel pollution. Any philanthropy to the institutions of New York City will be for naught if we do not band together to divest from fracking and fossil pipelines, stop the scourge of climate change, and rebuild New York for sustainability and resiliency.
Please, stop funding climate denial and start supporting Sandy survivors. Tell us that you will dedicate your fortune to pay the people of New York City, New York State, and the United States of America for the necessary repairs and investments to guard against future sea level rise and storms fueled by your pollution.