US Chamber Gets Its ‘Scopes Monkey Trial Of The 21st Century’ Against Climate Science

In 2009, the US Chamber of Commerce — funded by top corporations from Google to JP Morgan Chase — called for the “Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century” on the science of climate change. “It would be the science of climate change on trial,” said a top Chamber official.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, lawyers representing the Chamber of Commerce put the science of climate change on trial before the United States Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia. The Chamber is represented by Robin S. Conrad and Sheldon Gilbert of the National Chamber Litigation Center, the organization’s in-house trial-lawyer shop, as well as Jeffrey A. Rosen, Robert R. Gasaway, Jeffrey Bossert Clark, and William H. Burgess IV of the corporate legal firm Kirkland & Ellis.

In its filings, made jointly with a cavalcade of polluter interests and Republican politicians, the Chamber makes absurd global-cooling arguments and cites the work of the Heartland Institute’s Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC).

“It is arbitrary for EPA to rely on 21 years of twentieth-century warming as near-conclusive proof of human warming but then claim that the preceding 31 years of cooling and the following 13 years of no warming prove nothing”

“Over the last 65 years, temperatures have mostly been steady or declining, while CO2 levels have steadily increased”

“empirical data from independently derived temperature records show the pattern demanded by this theory and predicted by models does not exist

“2009 Report of the NIPCC, Climate Change Reconsidered

The Chamber’s anti-science claims are the fever dreams of conspiracy theorists and hacks for hire.

When the Chamber of Commerce stood with climate deniers instead of scientific reality, corporations like Apple, PG&E; Corp., Exelon Corp. and PNM Resources quit the group. However, many corporations that supposedly value science and the challenge of climate change have decided to endorse the chamber with their stockholders’ money.


Sum Of Us has launched a campaign to challenge Google to leave the Chamber. Google CEO Eric Schmidt laughed off the campaign, saying the right-wing lobbying group represents “good American values.”