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Chamber of Denial

Pete Altman

Posted September 29, 2009

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More here on the U.S. Chamber statement released today.

The Chamber claims that its critics were "dead wrong" in claiming that the Chamber denies climate change is a problem. Unfortunately for Mr. Donohue, this coverup is unmasked by his own paper trail. 

In a petition to EPA this summer, posted on the U.S. Chamber's website and part of the public record on important global warming proceedings under the Clean Air Act, the Chamber argued that a "warming of even 3ºC in the next 100 years would, on balance, be beneficial to humans" because of fewer cold-related deaths in winter months. (p. 38)  The petition is available at: 

This is but one part of an elaborate U.S. Chamber effort to prove that climate change is not a threat.  As part of its comments to EPA, the U.S. Chamber submitted a 57 page document that would make even he hardiest climate denier blush (See "Detailed Review of EPA's Health and Welfare Scientific Evidence" on the above-referenced site). 

Here are some excerpts:

  1. "The increased use of air conditioning will mitigate many of the effects cited by EPA...." (p.1)
  2. "Overall, there is strong evidence that populations can acclimatize to warmer climates via a range of behavioral, physiological, and technological adaptations" (p. 4)
  3. "The evidence when considered together suggests potential increases in temperature as the result of climate change will not pose an endangerment to public health... " (p. 14)
  4. "The U.S. health care system has effectively dealt with many of the reported climate sensitive diseases for a long time, and will continue to respond effectively."  (p. 39)

Disclosure: Credit goes to National Wildlife Federation for the above observations.

The Chamber's efforts to deny the extent of the problem include public presentations orchestrated through the Chamber front-group Alliance for Energy and Economic Growth, which organized a number of climate "dialogues" in more than a dozen states.

These included presentations on the science, or at least the Chamber's version of it. A regular at these events has been Dr. Michelle Foss with the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin (read, the oil drilling department). Dr. Foss' presentations focus on the uncertainty of the science, establishing the basis for questioning how much we should actually spend on solutions. Here's one of her slides, quotes Bjorn Lomborg, the Danish economist who is long on visibility and short on credibility, explaining why climate solutions are a waste of money:

Go ahead, view the whole show, courtesy of the US Chamber of Commerce, which denies that it denies the science behind global warming and the need for action.

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Nathanael Greene, NRDCSep 29 2009 05:40 PM

Seen this: the Chamber also chose today to voice support for Cape Wind ( Of course they also use the occasion to attack the need for careful permitting and siting and argue for "all of the above" energy (read coal and oil). File this under dim damage control.

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