Chamber of Commerce senior vice president Bill Kovacs, under fire for his opposition to the regulation of global warming pollution, has claimed that the Obama administration is suppressing evidence that climate change isn’t really a threat. In a debate with Ceres CEO Mindy Lubber about the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act, Kovacs argued that any debate of “the consequences” of greenhouse gas pollution is “ridiculed” by “those who have already decided on a course of action and fear any discussion which may cast doubt on their decision“:
No better example of this can be found than the Environmental Protection Agency’s April finding that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare. It turns out that when the EPA issued their finding about the impact of greenhouse gases, they didn’t tell the whole story. They routinely ignored relevant, credible scientific information that contradicted their findings, including information generated by the agency’s own staff. Cherry-picking only the evidence that bolsters your claim is the opposite of scientific integrity, transparency, and openness. . . The wrong way would be to impose barely debated, ineffective, and burdensome new regulations based on shaky, selective data.
Kovacs is alluding to work of Alan Carlin, an economist for EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics. Carlin had plagiarized arguments from right-wing blogs that the world’s climate scientists are wrong about global warming. The right-wing Competitive Enterprise Institute promoted Carlin’s report and the false story that his work was being unfairly suppressed. CBS News and Fox News then pushed Carlin’s tale of woe.
By asserting that the ravings of oil-funded climate deniers like Ken Gregory, Pat Michaels, and Chip Knappenberger are “relevant, credible scientific information,” Kovacs is embarassing himself and the Chamber, supposedly “the world’s largest business federation” and the “voice of business.” This reactionary behavior is leading forward-thinking corporations like Nike and Johnson & Johnson to break with the Chamber, and support Mindy Lubber’s attempt to bring American business into the 21st century.