Cheryl SealNeoCon-Stuffed "Think Tank" an Anti-Kyoto Trojan HorseTue Nov 8, 2005 09:38
NeoCon-Stuffed "Think Tank" an Anti-Kyoto Trojan Horse
By Cheryl Seal
This week, the mainstream media talking heads will undoubtedly be spouting the "findings" of a new study by "international experts" that shows that regulations called for by the Kyoto Protocol would be an economic disaster for Europe. Not one of these talking heads (unless I am pleasantly surprised) will question these findings or conduct so much as a five minute on-line search into just who these "experts" are. Afterall, we keeping hearing the same "experts" from Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, and other corporate-funded "expert stables" quoted month after month by the same talking heads.
It the newsfolk would do that five-minute bit of background work, they would discover that having the "International Council for Capital Formation" (ICCF) report that greenhouse gas regulations are bad for business is a bit like the "Friends of Candy Bars Association" issuing a report that warns against an initiative to enourage overweight people to cut down on sweets. I.e., screw the overweight people who may die from strokes and heart attacks or go blind and lose limbs to diabetes. Gotta keep those goodies a'comin', along with all those corporate candy dollars!
The ICCF is by and for corporate interests - particularly oil and coal. The group is more than just another corporate thinktank: it is a particularly nasty type of Trojan horse. First of all, note how very close the group's acronym is to the ICCT - the International Climate Change Taskforce, a group dedicated to formulating strategies for addressing the problem of global warming. This is a slithery little strategy used by many corporate front groupers these days. The idea is to make your organization sound just enough like one of the legitimate groups you are trying to debunk to confuse the clueless and rope them in before they can figure out which is which. Another example of this strategy is the International Climate Change Partnership (ICCP) acronym. Beneath its purported "constructive" acceptance of climate change, the ICCP is dedicated to protecting corporate interests against any serious anti-greenhouse gas regulations. Their acronym is confusingly close to IPCC, which is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a leading coalition of real climate scientists who have done exhaustive research into climate change and helped formulate the regulations that groups like ICCP and ICCF dread.
But back to the oily ICCF. Another Trojan horsey feature: Although its board of directors includes several Americans with strong corporate and/or former US administration ties, it describes itself as "a unique European thinktank". The idea being that in addition to the sneaky acronym, the group hopes to fool people into thinking that if the Europeans (who have largely supported Kyoto) are now questioning the wisdom of the protocol, well then, there MUST be something wrong with it! I.e., it's a deceitful sales ploy - like a chocolate company in Hoboken New Jersey describing itself as a "unique Belgian confectionary" - in order to dupe mail order consumers into believing they are buying gen-oo-ine Belgian chocolates!
Next, on the board of directors of ICCF we have George P. Shultz of Reagan administration fame, Peter Spira, former VP of Goldman Sachs, one of the planet's biggest wheeler dealers in oil futures, John C. Whitehead, former Deputy Sec. of State under Reagan, who also once worked at Goldman Sachs and John L. Hamburger, former VP of Finance for Goldman Sachs. No conflict of interest here! (harhar).
Now for the REAL kicker! The group's only scientist is one Gerd R. Weber. Guess what outfit good ole Gerd drew his paychecks from? The Hard Coal [as in the greenhouse-gas-belching black stuff) Association of Essen, Germany. What a hoot! He's not even a real climate scientist!
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