BPSDBThe good news about the US Chamber of Commerce (CoC) and their climate change Denial public relations disaster just keeps rolling in, thanks to … The US Chamber of Commerce.
In August the CoC made a very public demand for political trials of climate change science. This proved to be a public relations “own goal” as the CoC outed itself as a regressive force for ignorance and stupidity. The tail spin just got worse as member corporations and groups began very publicly leaving the CoC accompanied by scathing critiques of the Chamber. Then the Yes Men and Avaaz Action Factory staged a press conference mocking the CoC and all hell broke loose.
Now it seems that having shot themselves in both feet, the CoC has reloaded and is aiming at their knees.
Files for DMCA
After their ineffectual attempts at damage control (here, here the CoC filed for a Digital Millennium Copyright Act take down of the Yes Men’s parody site. This brought the Electronic Frontiers Foundation (and here) into the fray, fighting on behalf of the Yes Men. Unfortunately the take down filing succeeded, but the Yes Men have since relocated the site.
Shades of the Anthony Watts debacle! Far from sweeping the whole affair under the carpet, it has led to a lot more coverage (of course):
- EFF: Chamber of Commerce Takes Aim at Yes Men
- Chamber Unleashes Lawyers on Yes Men
- Chamber of Commerces tries to Ralph Lauren the Yes Men
Sues Yes Men/AAF
Not content to having given the story much more visibility with their DMCA take down, the CoC is now suing the Yes Men and AAF.
“The conduct of those who organized the event was “destructive of public discourse,” the Chamber argues.”
Really? It seems to me that there is actually a lot more public discourse about the issue as a result of the action. The Yes Men/AAF should be thanked for keeping public discussion of vital issues alive and vibrant instead of them being determined behind closed doors by a handful of insiders … like the CoC wanted.
“Instead, they deliberately broke the law in order to further commercial interest in their books, movies, and other merchandise.”
As Brainspore commented at Boing Boing, “Hot damn, those guys should join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce!”
The flaming hypocrisy has not gone unremarked:
“Of course, it is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other right-wing corporate groups that have been spending hundreds of millions of dollars supporting “public relations hoaxes” to “undermine the genuine effort to find solutions on the challenge of climate change.”
Needless to say this has generated even more media coverage.
- US Chamber of Commerce suing the Yes Men
- Chamber Of Commerce Sues Yes Men Over Climate Change Policy Prank
Stop the Chamber!
The Chamber has always been a potent behind the scenes lobbying force, including climate and clean energy issues. Recently the CoC has been spending $34,000,000 lobbying last quarter, $300,000 per day (here and here) on climate lobbying alone. Indeed Change to Win claims that the CoC has morphed from a business service organization into a lobbying firm.
Internally they are trying to spin this story with themselves as the victim of viscious attacks by anti-business forces (like Nike and Exelon?). They even have a new fundraising effort (here and here) directed at their shrinking membership.
They even go so far as to say “We need your immediate support to help weather these continued attacks.” Fundraising hyperbole? or are they in real trouble? Will this help raise cash or just serve to remind their membership of this self-inflicted disaster?
Self-inflicted, because in their highly visible call for science trials they tried to do publicly what they have been doing privately for decades. Self–inflicted because they had plenty of warning that this stance was wrong, did not represent the membership, and would backfire.
There are now grass roots campaigns calling for:
- the CoC top the climate trial (here and here)
- Board members to resign; here (reposted here) and here
- Investigation of the CoC; here
So what next? Needless to say the Chamber is not taking this lying down. They have launched a disingenuous PR campaign reasserting their earlier lies about accepting climate science and the need to find “real solutions.” With any luck this will keep them in the glare of the spotlight, and in that spirit I sincerely wish this latest effort proves to be as successful as the last few have.
Particular Kudos for keeping this story alive go out to Mother Jones (and esp for always crediting Avaaz Action Factory as well as the Yes Men, something most neglect to do), Think Progress, Boing Boing and Huffington Post for keeping the story alive.
“Since 1982, spring in East Asia (defined here as the eastern third of China and the Korean Peninsula) has been warming at a rate of one degree Fahrenheit per decade.” Earth Gauge
We give our consent every moment that we do not resist.
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