This 1993 Global Climate Coalition (GCC) document is a letter from Executive Director John Shlaes. The GCC was an industry-funded organization that opposed greenhouse gas regulations through direct engagement and collaboration with affiliated climate deniers from 1989 to 2002. Its membership spanned across the automotive, utility, manufacturing, petroleum, and mining industries.
This letter was likely sent out to many members of the press, as it was addressed vaguely to “Dear Journalist.” As the following quotes highlight, Shlaes’ letter emphasized the uncertainty of climate change science and the costs to the economy policy action would cause.
- “The climate change issue has evolved considerably from the predictions of cataclysmic “global warming” prevalent in the 1980s. Most climatologists now agree that the computer models used in making apocalyptic predictions were far too simple to be useful in forecasting the future. The scientific debate over the causes and effects of global climate change continues to be vigorous, but there is no consensus that a crisis is in the making.”
- “It’s clear that the timetable for reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000 is a political target rather than an ecological imperative…Since most CO2 emissions are naturally occurring, proposed U.S. action would reduce global emissions by just a small fraction of one percent of worldwide totals. Setting questionable, unrealistic emissions goals whose attainment would be very costly, could seriously burden the fragile national economy.”
Shlaes offered to readers GCC’s expertise “to comment on the administration’s climate change policies once they are announced and to provide background analyses on economic costs, U.S. energy efficiency, developments in Europe, and more.”
This document is part of the private collection of Nicky Sundt, a Washington-based climate change science, policy and communications expert.
Interested in more GCC documents? See more in the full Global Climate Coalition collection.