The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been working hard to water down and delay government action on climate change. Their work seems, consistently, to be representative of their Global Warming denier board member Don Blankenship rather than members like Nike, who have issued strong statements about climate change. U.S. C.O.C.’s counterproductive truthiness on Climate Change has led member Corporations to leave behind their membership, at what seems to be an accelerating pace. In face of the latest departure, U.S. C.O.C. spokesman Eric Wohlschlegel , according to greenInc at the New York Times, said that the group’s position had been misrepresented in media reports. Wohlschlegel assert that
“We’ve never questioned the science behind global warming,”
Perhaps truthiness so dominates thinking there that they really think this true or, well, perhaps Eric and others at US COC think we’ll all simply “easily deceived; dupes” (in other words, suckers).
“… never questioned …”?
Perhaps before issuing such declarative statements, Eric might wish to consider that Al Gore isn’t only know for winning a Nobel Prize for informing people about the scientific Theory of Global Warming but also for being a politician who helped foster the environment for the eventual emergence of the internet and world-wide web. Yes, Eric, Google search exists and people like Brad Johnson at the Wonkroom know about it. Brad saw Eric’s statement and did some “Google”. And, well, Eric’s comment didn’t stand up so well.
This is a blatant falsehood, by any definition. The Chamber has a long history of questioning the science of climate change. The Chamber’s present campaign against regulation of greenhouse gases by the Environmental Protection Agency questions the existence of global warming as well as the scientific evidence of its impacts on the public health and welfare. The Chamber promotes global warming denier books “to advance our thinking about issues of significance,” and has promoted the work of global warming denier Pat Michaels since at least 1992:
2009: Chamber SVP Kovacs Calls For ‘Scopes Monkey Trial’ On The ‘Science Of Climate Change.’ “It would be evolution versus creationism. It would be the science of climate change on trial.” Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President William Kovacs explained that the Chamber was seeking a “Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century” on global warming to prevent the EPA from declaring greenhouse gases a threat to the public welfare. [Los Angeles Times, 8/25/09]
2009: Chamber Claims No ‘Plausible Theory’ To Link ‘Climate Change With Extreme Weather Events And Disease In The United States,’ Disputes ‘Claims Of Ocean Acidification.’ In an official filing prepared by the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis for the comments on the EPA’s proposed endangerment finding for greenhouse gases, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce cited blog posts by global warming deniers such as Pat Michaels and Chip Knappenberger to challenge a broad range of climate change science, including sea level rise and the “UN/IPCC forecasted temperature increases.” [U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 8/25/09]
2009: National Chamber Foundation Promotes Global Warming Denier Book As ‘#1? Top Book Of The Year. Promoting “Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don’t Want You to Know,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s National Chamber Foundation writes: “Climatologists Patrick J. Michaels and Robert Balling Jr. explain that climate science is hardly unbiased,” and that the “pop-culture icons of climate change turns out to be short on facts and long on exaggeration.” On Twitter, the National Chamber Foundation ranked the book “#1? in its “Top Books of ‘09.” [National Chamber Foundation, 8/20/09]
2008: National Chamber Foundation Promotes Global Warming ‘Deniers’ Book Against ‘Global Warming Hysteria.’ The National Chamber Foundation selected “The Deniers: The World Renowned Scientists Who Stood Up Against Global Warming Hysteria, Political Persecution and Fraud; And those who are too fearful to do so” by Lawrence Solomon to “help shape the debate on issues important to the business community.” [National Chamber Foundation, 2008]
And so on. Brad’s work provided numerous sourced examples of the U.S. C.O.C. ‘questioning the science’ and funding/promoting those questioning the science dating back to the George H.W. Bush Administration.
1992: Chamber Sponsors Global Warming Denier Pat Michaels To ‘Refute The Global Warming Warnings.’ “Bankrolled partly by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Global Climate Coalition, a group of manufacturers fearful of new environmental regulations, Patrick Michaels and Washington, D.C., attorney Eugene M. Trisko have been traveling cross-country to refute the global warming warnings from environmentalists.” [Chicago Sun-Times, 5/13/1992]
Perhaps “never” won’t slip so easily from Eric’s lips in the future.