Climate Deniers: Can’t..stop..must..promote..Tobacco..
June 15, 2016
They really can’t help themselves. Promoting death dealing addictive poisons that target the young is in climate denier’s hardwired DNA.
In the inevitable Climate Tribunals, I wonder if Exxon execs will call Tobacco execs as character witnesses?
None of the 108 board members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce came forward to explicitly support the lobbying group’s policies on tobacco and climate change, according to a new report from a group of eight Senate Democrats, including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders.
The report, which was written by Senator Warren and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, followed on reporting by The New York Times that revealed the chamber’s international campaign against antismoking laws and its efforts to undermine policies aimed at curbing global warming.
“The chamber’s lobbying is at odds with its own public positions,” the report found. It noted that the “organization strongly professes that it is anti-tobacco” and has claimed to support “efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
In a statement, the chamber described the report’s contents as a “partisan line of attack” that was “egregiously false” and recycled “old myths and tired talking points.”
The Times reported that the chamber had focused on antismoking measures advanced by health advocates from Ukraine to Nepal to Australia. The measures targeted by the chamber included restrictions on smoking in public spaces, bans on menthol and slim cigarettes, curbs on tobacco advertising, excise-tax increases and graphic warning labels. Thomas J. Donohue, the head of the chamber, personally lobbied the speaker of the House, the United States trade representative and the Irish prime minister on the tobacco industry’s behalf.
The chamber’s campaign has aroused the ire of the World Health Organization, and it put the four health care companies that serve on the chamber board — Anthem, the Health Care Service Corporation, the Steward Health Care System of Boston and the Indiana University Health system — in an awkward position. CVS Health Corporation quit the chamber over the revelations.
Another report from The Times last year focused on the chamber’s efforts to dismantle President Obama’s climate change regulations. The chamber convened regular meetings of corporate lawyers, coal lobbyists and Republican political strategists more than a year before the regulations were introduced.
From Ukraine to Uruguay, Moldova to the Philippines, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its foreign affiliates have become the hammer for the tobacco industry, engaging in a worldwide effort to fight antismoking laws of all kinds, according to interviews with government ministers, lobbyists, lawmakers and public health groups in Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States
The U.S. Chamber’s work in support of the tobacco industry in recent years has emerged as a priority at the same time the industry has faced one of the most serious threats in its history. A global treaty, negotiated through the World Health Organization, mandates anti-smoking measures and also seeks to curb the influence of the tobacco industry in policy making. The treaty, which took effect in 2005, has been ratified by 179 countries; holdouts include Cuba, Haiti and the United States.
Facing a wave of new legislation around the world, the tobacco lobby has turned for help to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with the weight of American business behind it. While the chamber’s global tobacco lobbying has been largely hidden from public view, its influence has been widely felt.
Letters, emails and other documents from foreign governments, the chamber’s affiliates and antismoking groups, which were reviewed by The New York Times, show how the chamber has embraced the challenge, undertaking a three-pronged strategy in its global campaign to advance the interests of the tobacco industry.
In the capitals of far-flung nations, the chamber lobbies alongside its foreign affiliates to beat back antismoking laws.
Not long ago, newly discovered documents revealed that, way back in the 70s, and even before, Exxon scientists were studying the potential impacts of fossil fuel burning on global climate.(see video at end of this piece) Now, a group of Attorneys General is starting to ask why, when they knew the science, Oil giants started paying groups like The American Enterprise Institute, the Heartland Institute, and others, to confuse and deny the facts, and misinform customers and investors.
Having been caught out – the dodge we are now seeing is that denying climate science when you know the truth – is exercising “free speech”. Practically a patriotic duty, fer gosh sakes.
Some friends were doing a little searching in the Tobacco archives for examples of how Tobacco apologists were playing the “our right to free speech” card when caught out lying about what their own scientists knew on the effects of Tobacco products.
Turns out the in 1987, Mobil Oil stood up for Big Tobacco’s right to lie to customers and shareholders about the risks of using, and investing in, their products.
Maybe they were looking forward to a time when they might be in the same hot seat?
Years ago, state and federal prosecutors proved that tobacco companies lied about the dangerous and addictive nature of cigarettes.Big Oil stood up for Big Tobacco’s “right” to lie
Today, state attorneys general are investigating fossil-fuel companies and asking similar questions as their predecessors: what did oil companies know about the dangerous, climate-altering effects of their products, and what did they do to hide that information from investors, the public and policymakers?
The lawsuits against the tobacco companies produced an archive of more than 14 million industry documents, which are available for free to the public. They paint a damning picture of an industry that employed a small army of lawyers and lobbyists to try to hide the truth from the public — and the parallels to the oil industry are undeniable.
Here, video of Tobacco executives exercising “Free Speech”.
Yes, deniers, mirrors are tough on all of us, eventually.