The Yes Men, the anti-corporate pranksters that have previously impersonated officials from Dow Chemical, Halliburton, and the US government, put out a fake press release in the Chamber of Commerce’s name. They rented a room at the National Press Club in Washington, DC to hold a fake news conference for unsuspecting journalists. Posing as a Chamber of Commerce spokesperson named Hingo Sembra, the Yes Men member known as Andy Bichlbaum read from a prepared statement:
HINGO SEMBRA: Ecologists tell us that if we don’t
enact dramatic reductions in carbon emissions today, within five years
we could begin facing the propagating feedback loops of runaway climate
change, which would mean a destruction of food and water supplies
worldwide, with the result of mass migrations, famine and death on a
scale never before imagined.
Needless to say, that would be bad for business. We at the
Chamber have until now tried to keep climate science from interfering
with business. But without a stable climate, there will be no business.
We need business more than we need relentlessly higher returns.
A number of prominent and longstanding members have recently
left the Chamber over our opposition to climate legislation. Numerous
others have expressed their dissension, and a number of local chambers
have done so, as well. Today, we’re taking their cue.
There is only one sound way to do business, and that’s to pass a
strong climate bill quickly so that this December in Copenhagen
President Obama can lead the entire business world in ensuring our
long-term prosperity. The Kerry-Boxer bill is a good start to a strong
climate bill, and the Chamber will work with Senators Kerry and Boxer
to strengthen it. It does need strengthening.
Cap and trade depends on complex market mechanisms and big
government oversight, and where it’s been implemented, it’s had very
mixed results, at best. The Chamber seeks a solid business solution,
one that requires much less intervention and has a proven track record.
What we need is simply a carbon tax. Only thus will we be able
to compete against physics and create an environment where the best
company wins and the best solution dominates. A carbon tax will mean
new blood for free enterprise and a fertile new foundation for
long-term business prosperity.
The Chamber also calls on President Obama and the US Congress to cease subsidizing old and failed technologies like the so-called clean coal hoax and to incentivize tried and true clean technologies in their stead.