October 19th, 2009
Inspired by the awesome practical joke somebody (reportedly the Yes Men, or maybe the AVAAZ Action Factory) played on the US Chamber of Commerce this morning, as reported in “Announcement Of Chamber Shift On Global Warming Is Hoax” (TPM Muckraker 10/19/09 11:53) and “Pranksters stage Chamber of Commerce climate change event” (WashingtonPost.com 10/19/09 1:44 pm), and The Chamber of Commerce gets punk’d” (Ezra Klein, WashingtonPost.com 10/19/09 3:36 pm). As reported by Politico, CNBC (watch video below), Reuters, the New York Times, and the Washington Post were all initially taken in by the hoax. Read the fake press release and statement made at the fake press conference here. See also “White House looks to bypass powerful Chamber of Commerce” (WashingtonPost.com 10/19/09 3:32 pm), “Defections Expose Chamber’s Dirty Little Secrets” (Washington Post 10/15/09), “Apple Leaves US Chamber Over Its Climate Position” (Washington Post 10/06/09) and the excellent U.S. Chamber Of Commerce: ‘We’ve Never Questioned The Science Behind Global Warming (ThinkProgress 9/29/09), which pretty convincingly shows that that’s exactly what they’ve been doing for years. Watch the video of the press conference below. To see our other posts on climate change (there’s a nice long one about the Kerry-Boxer bill), click on the tag below.
The US Chamber of Commerce has long held the view
That politicians should do what business wants them to.
The Chamber represents businesses (at least the American ones,
And in decreasing numbers, given defections).
But instead of the 3 million they say
It’s actually closer to 300K.
They run negative ads and file lawsuits
In the Chamber’s name so members don’t seem like brutes.
They lobby and make political contributions,
Hiding members’ actions to influence public institutions.
They wrap their “issues” in American flags
So their self-interested members don’t seem like douche-bags.
It’s natural that companies with unpopular causes prefer
To promote them anonymously in the guise of the Chamber.
Because their business interests are so far-flung,
It’s in committees that the Chamber’s work is done.
Each committee is dominated by one special interest,
Which dictates the position on which the Chamber will insist.
So rather than representing business as a whole
They represent narrow corporate interests (that’s become their role)
They’ve become a targeted policy generator
For each business sector’s lowest common denominator.
So on climate change, the Chamber is dominated
By those whose business is concentrated
In the coal, gas, and oil industry
Who with real action on climate disagree.
So anyone familiar with the Chamber’s opinion
Could tell right away the press release wasn’t genuine.
That “strong climate legislation is the best way to ensure American innovation” is true
But it’s not believable that those words were coming from you.
“The Chamber announced an immediate moratorium on lobbying and publicity work opposing climate legislation.”
Whoever wrote that had quite an imagination!
They’re spending hundreds of millions to convince the population
That it’s best to continue the policies of the Bush Administration.
But as the fake “Donahue” rightly said:
“In business, as in life, we sometimes don’t look ahead.”
“We at the Chamber have tried to keep climate science from interfering with business.
But without a stable climate, there will be no business”
We must “support a strong climate-change bill quickly”
To allow “ensuring our long-term prosperity.”
Noble words, and they could not be more true.
But unfortunately they weren’t spoken by Mr. Donohue
But the real hoax wasn’t the press release,
Saying the Chamber had made such a startling decision.
The real hoax unfortunately remains
The Chamber of Commerce’s actual position.
The Chamber’s real strategy on climate can best be stated
As one of denial and defeat, or in other words translated:
Say climate change doesn’t exist until it’s too hard or too late
To address the problem your industry helped create.
And how can they say it’s not denial
When they want to put climate science on trial.
The Chamber claims they want “strong federal legislation”
(That’s code for saying they want to avoid EPA regulation).
Of course, whenever actual legislation is proposed,
The Chamber is coincidentally opposed.
They support a “binding international agreement”
On which any national climate action is contingent.
Negotiating an international agreement without national commitment is difficult;
With the latter contingent on the former, failure of both is the likely result.
Then again, maybe it’s their intent
To maximize both national and international dissent.
If they fill national legislation with international demands
Negotiators will have an even tougher job on their hands.
International negotiations would disintegrate,
Which national legislation would invalidate.
Is that what the Chamber wants to take place?
Will they try to insert a poison pill just in case?
Naturally, with Democrats they’re less at ease;
They’re far more comfortable with their Republican proxies.
Still, they’ll use the Republicans remaining
To keep environmentalists from their goals attaining.
The Chamber said for years that the greenhouse effect
Is based on science that’s incorrect
They now propose continued neglect
And that carbon emissions continue unchecked.
But those who say this are a dwindling minority,
And also often (not just coincidentally)
Getting money from the energy industry.
So their “science” isn’t marked by objectivity.
Apple, Nike, PNM Resources, Exelon, and PG&E
Find the Chamber’s position on warming appalling.
They all resigned from the Chamber
To oppose it’s unending stonewalling.
The Chamber says now’s not the time,
They’ve been saying that for a long time.
In truth, we don’t have much time
If we want to stop global warming in time.
Spewing more pollution
Isn’t the solution.
Don’t use Bush’s economic contraction
As the excuse for more years of inaction.
Tags: Bush Administration, Chamber of Commerce, Climate change, Copenhagen, Energy, Environment, Ezra Klein, hypocrisy, Lobbyists, Republicans, Science, Stupidity
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