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Chamber of Commerce admits calling for ‘the Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century’ was inappropriate.

By Zaid Jilani on September 1, 2009 at 11:33 am

"Chamber of Commerce admits calling for ‘the Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century’ was inappropriate."

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Last week the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the industry federation that calls itself the “voice of business,” called for a “trial on the science of climate change” that would act as “the Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century” in order to discredit scientific studies about global warming. Now, Bill Kovacs, the Chamber’s senior vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs who originally called for the trial, has admitted that it was “inappropriate” to use the Scopes analogy:

My “Scopes monkey” analogy was inappropriate and detracted from my ability to effectively convey the Chamber’s position on this important issue.

Commenting on Kovacs’ original comments last week, Brenda Ekwurzel, a researcher for the environmental group Union of Concerned Scientists, said that the Chamber’s campaign against climate change is like the Salem witch trials — “based on myth.” As the Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson has noted, even though a court found Tennessee schoolteacher John Scopes guilty of teaching evolution, the state supreme court overturned the verdict on a technicality. The anti-evolution movement lost steam (before being reborn as “intelligent design“) and science textbooks with biblical quotations were phased out. (HT: EnviroKnow)

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