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It's an interesting post-Citizens United world.  Yesterday, billionaire Tom Steyer pledged to "destroy" climate change denial:


A California billionaire is pledging to spend as much of his fortune as necessary to make climate change “the defining issue of our generation.”

Tom Steyer, who made his riches as a hedge fund manager, told The Hill on Tuesday that he wants to make climate change a campaign issue for years to come and Democratic support for environmental protections as widespread as support for gay marriage and immigration reform.

The goal here is not to win. The goal here is to destroy these people. We want a smashing victory,” Steyer said of candidates he judges to be on the wrong side of the climate change debate.

Really, what we’re trying to do is to make a point that people who make good decisions on this should be rewarded, and people should be aware that if they do the wrong thing, the American voters are watching and they will be punished.”

Steyer, whose wealth is estimated at $1.4 billion, last year quit the hedge fund he founded to devote his energy and resources to environmental causes. He has contributed millions to charitable organizations that work on climate change issues, and is a big financial supporter for Greener Capital, a venture firm that invests in renewable energy endeavors.

The Hill:  Greens get billionaire ally, money

More on Steyer:

In August 2010, Steyer and his wife joined Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and 37 other American billionaires in pledging to give away at least half their fortunes to worthwhile causes.


Steyer is a leading Democratic activist and fundraiser. In 1983, he worked on the Walter Mondale for President campaign.[31] He raised money for Bill Bradley in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004. An early supporter of Hillary Clinton for President, Steyer became one of Barack Obama’s most prolific fundraisers. Steyer served as a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 2004 and 2008.


Looks like a lifetime Democrat who became wealthy.  

Steyer also was a host of the fundraiser yesterday for the DCCC at which President Obama spoke:

Tom Steyer, a hedge fund billionaire and philanthropist, hosted a fundraiser Wednesday night for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Obama made an appearance, according to the White House press pool report.
Daily Mail OnLine

And the fundraiser was successful:

President Obama's Wednesday night fundraisers in San Francisco brought in more than $3.2 million for House Democrats.

The pair of fundraising events, one for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and another for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), brought in about half as much as the committee raises most months.

The Hill: Obama Fundraiser Brings In $3.2M For House Democrats

Coincidently, no doubt, the President's speech was about climate change:

“Despite a very aggressive agenda on the other side to block action, we’ve been able to double fuel efficiency standards on cars.  We’ve been able to take mercury out of our air.  We have been able to reduce carbon emissions in this country and have made not only this a healthier place to live, but have also begun to address in a serious way one of the biggest challenges of our time, and that is the challenge of climate change,” the president said at the first of two San Francisco fundraisers Wednesday night.

“We’ve got more work to do in terms of dealing with climate change and making sure that we’ve got an economy that is energy-efficient, that is productive, that is cutting-edge, and thinks about not just the energy sources of the past, but also the energy promise of the future,” he added.


One hundred people paid between $5,000 and $34,200 a head to attend the first fundraiser, a cocktail reception at the home of hedge fund billionaire and environmentalist Tom Steyer, an ardent opponent of the Keystone pipeline, and his wife Kat Taylor.

abcnews: Obama Talks Climate Change at Calif. Fundraisers

On climate change, we all really are in it together because there is only one planet.
Perhaps he can bring some balance to the public discussion and change the media narrative. Sort of an Anti-Koch Brothers Billionaire.  

Interesting times.

Originally posted to TomP on Thu Apr 04, 2013 at 07:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Hawks and Climate Change SOS.

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