1998 GCC Climate Watch Brief Vol. 5 Issue 16

This document is the Global Climate Coalition’s (GCC) April and May 1998 Climate Watch Brief (Volume 5 Issue 16). The briefs were a part of GCC’s larger mission to oppose greenhouse gas regulations and contest the scientific validity of anthropogenic climate change through direct engagement and collaboration with affiliated climate deniers. Its membership spanned across the automotive, utility, manufacturing, petroleum, and mining industries. The bulletins generally updated readers on climate change policy and science developments.

The April and May issues emphasized the “anti-Kyoto pressure” in the U.S., particularly among scientists. The April report cited an “unequivocal statement – signed by more than 15,000 American scientists” which sought to “urge the United States Government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto.” The legitimacy of this petition was quickly and easily debunked, as research emerged showing few of the petition signees had anything more than a Bachelor’s degree in a scientific field and merely 0.1% had a background in climatology. Further fueling the controversy over the credibility of this petition was the appearance of ‘signatories’ from fictional T.V. shows, as well as from the members of the Spice Girls. The May 1998 Climate Watch report responds to these inconsistencies, framing them as attempts by “activists…to discredit the petition and its signers, using computer hackers to break into the on-line list of signatories and insert phony names.”  

Also mentioned in the April edition is a letter co-signed by Rep. James Sensenbrenner – a climate-change denier with financial ties to the oil industry – in which Sensenbrenner and colleagues “express outrage” over comments from Argentine diplomat Raul Estrada-Oyuela. Estrada-Oyuela confronted the U.S. Congress for being “out of touch with the rest of the world” in its refusal to ratify Kyoto, prompting Sensenbrenner and others to lay blame on Estrada-Oyuela for “increas[ing] the probability that the Kyoto treaty would never be ratified by the United States.”

Lastly, in a small paragraph briefly acknowledging the developing countries who quickly signed on to the Kyoto treaty, the report stated that the “mostly tiny island states” with “nothing to lose but much to gain financially [were] apparently fearful of being drowned if the worst global warming predictions ever came true.”

This issue also contained the following pieces: “GCC Assails Administration’s ‘Back Door’ Policy,” “Nature Magazine’s Ethics Questioned,” “Canadian Doubts Grow: Kyoto Agenda ‘Too Ambitious’,” “Official U.S. Study Indicates Kyoto Will Produce Minimal Environmental Benefit,” and “Senate Bill Aims to Block ‘Back Door’ Policy.”

Interested in more GCC documents? See more in the full Global Climate Coalition collection.

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