1994 GCC Issues and Report on Climate Change

This document is a May 27, 1994 letter addressed “Dear Journalist” from John Shlaes, the Global Climate Coalition’s Executive Director, promoting the release of a commissioned report. Attached to this document is a sheet titled, “Highlights of the GCC Issues and Options Report on Potential Global Climate Change” (the report itself is not included). The GCC 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.

Shlaes letter and the report summary repeatedly questioned the scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change and the necessity of urgent action:

  • “Should we be concerned about climate change? Of course. But we should also recognize that while much has been “predicted” we actually know very little. There is, for example no observational evidence indicating that human activity has contributed to increases in global temperatures.
  • “…U.S. jobs and the competitiveness of American products overseas should not be jeopardized for policies based on uncertain and incomplete science when there is virtually no environmental cost in waiting for less ambiguous information.”
  • “Direct observations do not confirm any influence on climate change by human activity. Average global temperature has risen between 0.3C and 0.6C over the last century. This is well within natural climate variation and does not correlate with the pattern of man-made greenhouse emissions.”
  • “Excessive focus on uncertain climate issues serves to divert international attention and constrains the financial resources of the OECD nations that might otherwise be available to focus on the more certain and immediate problems of poor countries.”

The report summary also stresses the “severe economic costs” involved in attaining “uncertain” ecological benefits and recommends the “highest priority should be to increase research into basic climate science and impact assessment.”

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.

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