The US Chamber of Commerce wants to put the science of global warming on trial. Not only that, they themselves claim they want this trial to be similar to the Scopes Monkey Trial where a Tennessee teacher was put on trial for teaching evolution, made even more famous by the play and film “Inherit the Wind.”
Because the only way to respond to this is through mockery and derision (surely they can’t actually be serious?), we present to you:
INHERIT THE HOT AIR!!! (a comedy in 3 acts)
We apologize for the numerous Saturday Night Live circa 1989 references (especially the somewhat obscure “Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer“) and the blatant callbacks to Inherit the Wind, and also ask people to please NOT place plastic bags on their heads and inhale deeply. No Andys were harmed in the filming of this video and I was able to breathe freely at all times. I promise.
On a serious note, what the Chamber is trying to do is to overturn and stall a process which is well underway. In 2007, the Supreme Court in Massachusetts v EPA stated that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, it is linked to climate change, and the EPA should regulate it under the Clean Air Act. In compliance with this ruling, (and only after delays by the Bush Administration which kept this action from occurring), the EPA earlier this year presented an initial endangerment finding, the first step in allowing them to regulate CO2 and other greenhouse gases. They then opened the finding for public comment, which could be sent in by writing, and also held public meetings in Arlington, VA and Seattle, WA to gather public input.
According to documents posted at the Wonk Room, the US Chamber’s main argument is that previous public comment periods have somehow “Tainted” the process and that only an elaborate show trial, orchestrated by them and by putting their junk scientists on the stand, can eliminate the “taint.” (And you know, “Tainted Endangerment Finding” was one of my favorite 80′s songs.)
So, according to the Chamber, public comment is bad, but the opinion of big business and their sham scientists can remove the stain from input by the witless masses.
All of this seems far too much like the plot of a Coen Brothers (or Marx Brothers) movie. These are serious times which require serious thought and reflection, not comical misdirection. But like the Fool in King Lear, only through comedy can we confront the tragedy that surrounds us and point out the serious misdeeds taking place. And this sham by the Chamber of Commerce is even more destructive, because as long as we keep endlessly debating “Is It Happening?” we will never get around to “How Do We Solve It?”
In the words of Stan Lee, “Nuff Said.”