They are multinational corporations that use their money to control the energy policy of the United States in order to suit their corporate mania, regardless of the damage it is certain to do to society.
They have, in effect, dissolved the political parties into a bipartisan toxic mix of words and actions that work against the efforts to avoid catastrophe, as explained in some comments made by Noam Chomsky, on the issues facing those of us in The United States:
I’ve kept to domestic issues, but there are two dangerous developments in the international arena, which are a kind of shadow that hangs over everything we’ve discussed. There are, for the first time in human history, real threats to the decent survival of the species.
One has been hanging around since 1945. It’s kind of a miracle that we’ve escaped it. That’s the threat of nuclear war and nuclear weapons. Though it isn’t being much discussed, that threat is, in fact, being escalated by the policies of this administration and its allies. And something has to be done about that or we’re in real trouble.
The other, of course, is environmental catastrophe. Practically every country in the world is taking at least halting steps towards trying to do something about it. The United States is also taking steps, mainly to accelerate the threat. It is the only major country that is not only not doing something constructive to protect the environment, it’s not even climbing on the train. In some ways, it’s pulling it backwards.
And this is connected to a huge propaganda system, proudly and openly declared by the business world, to try to convince people that climate change is just a liberal hoax. “Why pay attention to these scientists?”
We’re really regressing back to the dark ages. It’s not a joke. And if that’s happening in the most powerful, richest country in history, then this catastrophe isn’t going to be averted -- and in a generation or two, everything else we’re talking about won’t matter. Something has to be done about it very soon in a dedicated, sustained way.
(Huffington Post, emphasis added). A scientific paper just released (5/9/12), backs up Dr. Chomsky's statement, indicating that parts of the Antarctic, once thought to be solid, in fact are vulnerable to melt.
Statements by Dr. Hansen say that if Canadian dirty oil is used we can forget it, there will be no turning back:
If Canada proceeds, and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate … Civilization would be at risk … If this sounds apocalyptic, it is … The global warming signal is now louder than the noise of random weather, as I predicted would happen by now in the journal Science in 1981. Extremely hot summers have increased noticeably. We can say with high confidence that the recent heat waves in Texas and Russia, and the one in Europe in 2003, which killed tens of thousands, were not natural events — they were caused by human-induced climate change.
(NY Times, 5/9/12, emphasis added). It really is much later than we think, and the clock keeps ticking in the direction we are not diverting from.