Industry Group Disregarded Own Scientists on Climate

Apr 24, 2009 12:00pm

Even the name of the Global Climate Coalition was confusing.  It sounded like an environmental group — not far different, say, from "The Climate Project," which was started by Al Gore. In reality, the GCC was an industry group that started in 1989, with backers that included Exxon, Chevron, the American Petroleum Institute, and other companies or lobby groups that stood to lose out if there were aggressive laws or treaties involving the global climate. Andrew Revkin of the New York Times has now been leaked some internal papers from the Coalition in the 1990s, which, he says, show it disregarded its own scientific advisers on the issue. To the public and reporters, the GCC said, “The role of greenhouse gases in climate change is not well understood…." Meanwhile, writes Revkin, its advisers wrote, “The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied.” Take a look at Revkin’s piece HERE.  He has links to copies of the documents, which he writes were leaked during a lawsuit over California’s efforts to regulate greenhouse gases. Revkin says he spoke by phone to Bill O’Keefe, former head of the GCC.  “One thing I’m absolutely certain of,” he said, “is that no member of the board of the Global Climate Coalition said, ‘We have to suppress this.’" The GCC no longer has a website of its own, though you can find an archived version HERE.  The group disbanded in 2002.  Some past members, such as the National Association of Manufacturers, continue to lobby against emissions curbs.  Others, including Exxon Mobil and Chevron, say they’re working on energy sources that do not create greenhouse gases. 

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