Around The Nation, Chambers of Commerce Promote Climate Denial

U.S. Chamber of CommerceYesterday, Nike became the latest major company to abandon the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over its opposition to global warming action. The Chamber has tried to stop the hemorrhaging by claiming that it has “never questioned the science behind global warming,” and that it “continues to support strong federal legislation and a binding international agreement to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change.”

The former claim is demonstrably false, and the latter claim is laughable. The Chamber’s “support” for federal legislation is “conditional on an international agreement that requires full international participation.” Since such an international treaty is profoundly unlikely unless the United States passes federal legislation, the Chamber’s “sensible” policy is a recipe for inaction. Paradoxically, the Chamber even opposes tariffs on imports from countries that don’t limit greenhouse gases, claiming that would “set off a trade war.”

Furthermore, the state-level chambers of commerce, affiliated with and supported financially by the U.S. Chamber, continue to promote extremist global warming denial, paying climate skeptics Roy Spencer, Glenn Beck, Steven Milloy, and Steven Hayward to speak before their members.

Kansas Chamber of Commerce, September 21:

Global warming? So what. That was the message Monday from research scientist and best-selling author Roy Spencer to legislative leaders, lobbyists and leading business officials at the Kansas Chamber of Commerce business and energy summit. Spencer is a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and author of “Climate Confusion.” Spencer doesn’t deny that Earth is warming, but he attributes that to natural climate cycles and not to the increase in greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.

Michigan Chamber of Commerce, September 15:

Although Glenn Beck’s race-baiting and McCarthyism have led a massive advertiser boycott of his Fox News program, the largest business lobby in the United States has chosen to embrace him as the “dinner keynote speaker” for the 2009 “Future Forum” at Michigan State University’s Kellog Forum on September 15th.

West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, September 4:

The Chamber announced last Wednesday that it was giving a major platform at the Business Summit to Steven J. Milloy, the founder of the Web site Milloy is expected to talk about his book, Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them,” as an introduction to the “save coal” session. Steve Roberts, the Chamber president, said: “Steve Milloy’s remarks will be timely and interesting, given the current controversies that are being driven by the debate over environmental issues such as global warming, energy use and the economic impacts of all of this. West Virginia is one of the states that could be affected significantly depending on how things go with the scientific and political debate over current environmental issues.”

Indiana Chamber of Commerce‘s Economic Club, April 29:

More recently, environmental experts such as April 29 Economic Club of Indiana speaker Steven Hayward, have publicly disagreed with Gore and company. Hayward, an environmental researcher holding numerous prestigious fellowships and an adjunct professorship at Georgetown University, starred in a film rebutting Gore’s claims of pending disaster as a result of climate change. Hayward is of the belief that the planet goes through natural periods of warming and cooling and is not tremendously influenced by the activity of human beings.

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