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The Buzz, 2-28: Say it ain't so, Paul
Climate crusading Beatle makes ballet for theater named after global warming denier Koch

By Paul Ben-Itzak
Copyright 2011 Paul Ben-Itzak

Early last year, Paul McCartney compared those who don't believe in global warming to Holocaust deniers. So why is he now composing a ballet for a theater named after David Koch, head of the largest privately owned oil company in the world, major funder of the phony science which makes it possible for some to deny global warming, and one of the chief financers of a defeated California ballot measure which would have erected hurdles to that state's efforts to contain global warming?

Speaking to England's Sun newspaper last year following the BP oil spill, the ex-Beatle pointed out, "Sadly we need disasters like this to show people. Some people don't believe in climate warming -- like those who don't believe there was a Holocaust. But the facts indicate that there's something going on and we've got to be aware of it if we want our kids to inherit a decent world, not a complete nightmare of a planet -- clean, renewable energy is for starters."

If he is in earnest, then why has McCartney eagerly signed up to make a new ballet with New York City Ballet chief Peter Martins to be premiered in the David Koch Theater, to which the oil billionaire donated $100 million in an obvious attempt to white-wash Koch Industries' questionable environmental record, Koch's funding of efforts to deny the very global warming facts McCartney cites and the rest of his dark political agenda -- most recently, in funding the election of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, currently engaged in ultimately anti-American efforts to rollback the fundamental American right of workers to collective bargaining?

What prompted McCartney's comments about global warming deniers was his distress over the BP oil spill. Can it be that he ignores the record in this area of the man in whose theater his new ballet will be premiered? Among other things, the checkered history of Koch Industries includes that in January 2000 the company agreed to pay a $30 million civil penalty, according to the Justice Department "the largest civil penalty ever imposed against a single company for violations of an environmental law," in order to, the department said, to "resolve claims under the Clean Water Act related to more than 300 illegal oil spills from Koch's pipelines and oil facilities resulting in the release of some three million gallons of oil and related products into ponds, rivers, lakes, and shorelines in six States."

But the biggest irony is that the ballet with which McCartney will be honoring the theater named after Koch will have as its theme... the Earth and the Ocean.

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