bill maher, david koch, real time

Bill Maher On The Passing Of Right-Wing Billionaire David Koch: ‘I’m Glad He’s Dead’

David Koch, right-wing billionaire and one-half of the infamous Koch Brothers, died Friday at the age of 79. And while death usually prompts feelings of pain and sadness, many on the left—including comedian Bill Maher—had a decidedly different response to the news.

The Real Time host covered the one-time presidential candidate’s passing with his usual unflinching honesty Friday night.

“I guess I’m going to have to reevaluate my low opinion of prostate cancer,” Maher joked, referring to Koch’s longtime battle with the disease. “Condolences poured in from all the politicians he owned and mourners are being asked, in lieu of flowers, to just leave their car engine running.”

“I know these seem like harsh words and harsh jokes, and I’m sure I will be condemned for them on Fox News, which will portray Mr. Koch as a principled libertarian who believed in the free market,” Maher continued. “He and his brother have done more than anybody to fund climate science deniers, for decades. So fuck him, cause the Amazon is burning up, I’m glad he’s dead and I hope the end was painful.”

Koch, whose assets were valued at a whopping $42.2 billion earlier this year, amassed considerable wealth during his life. At the time of his passing, he had a 42-percent stake in Koch Industries, the family’s energy and manufacturing conglomerate, according to The New York Times.

His legacy, however, is likely to be what he used his fortune to accomplish. Most notably, Koch and his brother, Charles, poured untold millions into conservative political causes, including environmental deregulation and the opposition of climate change legislation at both the state and federal levels.

In fact, New York Times writer Christopher Leonard called Koch “the ultimate climate change denier” in an opinion piece published Friday.

“To his critics, [Koch’s] most lasting political legacy might very well be the rapidly warming world that he has left behind,” Leonard wrote.

Maher is far from the only liberal who cheered Koch’s death.

Climate change has become a defining issue for progressives as the 2020 election nears.

Many Democratic presidential candidates, including Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have released ambitious plans for tackling the emission of greenhouse gases and investing in cleaner energy sources.

Given that Koch Industries is ranked as the 14th-worst air polluter in the U.S., it’s no wonder environmental activists aren’t exactly mourning Koch’s passing. What’s less clear, at least for now, is what Koch’s longer-term impact on the rapid warming of our planet will be—and whether there’s still time to turn things around for future generations.