It couldn’t hurt.
These brands are manufactured by Georgia-Pacific, owned by Koch Industries. I haven’t considered buying Brawny or Angel Soft for many years – since recycled paper products appeared on the shelves. My personal boycott had nothing to do with oil-industry billionaires Charles and David Koch, whose leviathan energy conglomerate purchased Georgia-Pacific in December, 2005. Frankly, I’d never heard of the Koch brothers before they were revealed as the Tea Party’s financial backers.
Strenuously denying their connection, why did the Koch brothers want to keep their Tea Party activities secret? Could it be they were deliberately attempting to dupe American citizens into the myth of the Tea Party as a legitimate libertarian groundswell, rather than a propaganda machine fueled by oil profits, spewing false ideology about the evils of federal oversight?
Before I learned to associate toilet paper with politics in such a direct manner, avoiding Georgia-Pacific products was an intuitive act of conscientious consumerism – some choices are so easy, after all. Whatever Georgia-Pacific may claim about its environmental record, non-recycled, bleached-white paper products are an insult to the environment. That was a good enough reason for me not to buy them. Until now.
The more I learn about the right-wing political agenda funded by Koch Industries, the more passionately I want to implore every consumer on the planet to join in a simple, sensible, convenient act of protest by boycotting Georgia-Pacific paper products.
If nothing else, it could save a few trees. Even more, it gives us a way to begin thinking about the path of consumer dollars into politics. Follow the money, then decide what the Tea Party really stands for. Koch Industries is a Kansas-based, privately held conglomerate that takes in an estimated annual revenue of $100 billion. Its major companies include Koch Pipeline Company LP, which owns and operates 4,000 miles of pipeline in seven states and Alberta, Canada; Flint Hill Resources LP, which refines and manufactures oil, chemicals and asphalt; and Invista, the company that makes Stainmaster carpet and Lycra, which I will also be boycotting (in the latter case, at the expense of my happy relationship with Spanx fishnet pantyhose).
Charles and David Koch may be considered obscenely wealthy by any standard. With personal fortunes estimated at $22 billion each, either Koch brother could eradicate world hunger.
Perhaps they’d rather just eradicate the U.S. government so they can do whatever they like to the environment. Nevermind the paltriness of the fines they’ve actually had to pay to answer for chronic environmental abuses.
It seems that any amount of ethical oversight is intolerable to the Tea Party’s wallet. Why wouldn’t the Koch brothers want to dismantle a government that insists on slapping their wrists every time it catches them flagrantly polluting the environment?
I’d like to hope Koch Industries has nothing to do with the products that heat my home and fuel my car, but it’s not easy to know whose pipelines and politics one’s oil and gas have passed through. My impression is that the whole industry stinks.
I wish I could imagine a leader with the clarity and character to focus on a new-energy economy for America, and watch Big Oil fade into history, a toxic artifact. In the meantime, at least I can snub Charles and David Koch when I see them. Maybe the billionaire brothers would only feel the sting of a Georgia-Pacific consumer boycott like Godzilla feels a mosquito bite, but it’s still a unified act of protest – measurable in dollars, with the potential to refocus our attention on what’s really sending the United States down the toilet. Corporations that finance anti-government propaganda machines such as the Tea Party have only one political purpose – to undermine government’s ability to protect us from their own corporate malfeasance.
Tags: Angel Soft, boycott, Brawny, Cato Institute, Climate Change, Dixie Cups, Faux Libertarian, Georgia Pacific, Koch Brothers, Labor Unions, Propaganda, Scott Walker, Tea Party, Union Busting, Wisconsin