Amy Givler

Amy Givler

The US Chamber of Commerce has shown how riled up it is over the exodus of major companies from its membership rolls. In a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs over the company's recent departure, the Chamber's CEO, Thomas Donohue, explains the Chamber’s position on climate change. Unfortunately it merely highlights why Apple, Exelon, PG&E and Nike all oppose the Chamber on this point. Donohue complains that Apple “didn’t take the time to understand” the Chamber’s position on climate change. Apparently the Chamber’s call for a “Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century” last month on climate change actually belies their “support [for] legislation to address climate change.” According to Brad Johnson on Think Progress, the Chamber has questioned climate science since at least 1992:
2008: Chamber President Tom Donohue Says ‘Scientific Inquiry’ Into Climate Change ‘Should Continue’ Because Of ‘Cooling Trend.’ [U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 3/4/08] 2001: Chamber Claims Global Warming ‘About One Percent From Human Activity,’ Says ‘Things Just Change.’ [CNNFN, 7/16/01] 1992: Chamber Sponsors Global Warming Denier Pat Michaels To ‘Refute The Global Warming Warnings.’ [Chicago Sun-Times, 5/13/92]
The letter argues that any climate solution must defend the US economy and business competitiveness and that they “oppose legislation such as the Waxman-Markey bill that numerous studies show will cause Americans to lose their jobs.” Although, most reports have shown that the Waxman-Markey bill will increase jobs—as much as by 1.9 million jobs, according to a new analysis by economists at University of California, Berkeley. Here’s the full letter, as included in the blog of ABC's Ned Potter:
Dear Mr. Jobs: I am sorry to learn of Apple's resignation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It is unfortunate that your company didn't take the time to understand the Chamber's position on climate and forfeited the opportunity to advance a 21st century approach to climate change. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce continues to support strong federal legislation and a binding international agreement to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change. Furthermore, we believe that Congress should set climate change policy through legislation, rather than having the EPA apply existing environmental statutes that were not created to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. This is also the stated position of the President and Congressional leaders. Your letter states that "Apple is committed to the environment and the communities in which we operate around the world." So is the Chamber but we are also committed to preserving the competitiveness and prosperity of the communities and businesses in our nation. While we do support legislation to address climate change, we oppose legislation such as the Waxman-Markey bill that numerous studies show will cause Americans to lose their jobs and shift greenhouse gas emissions overseas, negating potential climate benefits. An effective climate change response must include all major CO2 emitting economies, promote new technologies, emphasize efficiency, ensure affordable energy for families and businesses, and defend American jobs while returning our economy to prosperity. The American business community that we proudly represent is the single largest investor and innovator in clean energy solutions and remains committed to a strong economy and clean environment. We continue to remind the public and policymakers that it has been the private sector that has developed the innovations that we now take for granted, from the personal computer to the medicines that keep us healthy. The Chamber believes that the business community will continue to be the catalyst for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and we support efforts to tackle climate change in a way that will strengthen our economy, protect American jobs, and benefit our environment. Climate change is a global problem that requires a global solution. The Chamber supports an international agreement that will set realistic and achievable goals, ensure global participation, protect intellectual property rights and remove trade barriers to environmental goods and services. I would have hoped that Apple would have supported our efforts to improve environmental stewardship and keep Americans at work and our economy competitive. As the world's largest business federation representing more than 3 million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, the Chamber is leading the way to support the innovation needed to transition to a lower carbon future, including the elimination of barriers to the deployment of clean energy technologies. Supporting innovation and technology is at the very heart of our efforts to combat climate change, and we will continue to fight for an approach that embraces their merits. It is a shame that Apple will not be part of our efforts.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released a report analyzing the costs and revenues of the Waxman-Markey global warming bill. They found that within the first decade that the bill gets enacted, the US Treasury can expect to make $24.4 billion in revenue. Darren Samuelsohn of ClimateWire reports the following income and expenditures: Income:
  • The distribution of allowances via an auction would generate $254 billion for the Treasury between 2010 and 2014, and about $858 billion over the next 10 years;
  • $25 million and $50 million per year starting in 2012 from companies who do not meet their compliance obligations on-time.
Expenditures:
  • Giving credits away for allowances will cost about $693 billion from 2010-2019;
  • Tax breaks for the poorest individuals and families to help offset higher energy prices ($161 tax credit for a single person earning less than $23,000 and about $359 for a five-person household);
  • $19.3 billion will be credited into a new Treasury account to help the Energy Department and U.S. EPA with reductions in HFCs through better appliance purchases, as well as recycling and reclamation;
  • $5.3 billion would go into a Treasury fund for national resource adaptation activities;
  • $900 million gets sent primarily to the Department of Health and Human Services to assist health professionals as they gear up for the challenges associated with climate change;
  • $4.3 billion from 2011-2019 for a new Labor Department benefits, job training and health insurance program to help workers who lose their jobs because of the climate law.
Read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2009/06/08/08climatewire-house-climate-bill-would-trim-budget-deficit-83573.html “The Waxman-Markey bill will get our planet out of the red, while helping to put our budget back in black,” said Rep. Markey in a statement released yesterday. “Waxman-Markey is a win-win for America’s economy and environment.”
Tuesday, 01 September 2009 09:42

Be a Carbonfund.org Social Media Volunteer!

social mediaEducation is central to Carbonfund.org's mission. As a part of that, we push for strong standards in the carbon offset industry so consumers know what to look for when they offset their carbon footprint. There's a lot of misinformation on offsets in social media. If you think you'd like to help set the record straight about offsets, email Susanna at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Sign up and we will:
  • Host an online training session on social media tools
  • Invite you to an email listserv where we can share articles, techniques, contacts, etc.
  • Provide you with ongoing support and material to help you find your voice online
This is a unique volunteer opportunity in that you don't have to show up at a place or time to help out. You can do this from home or on the go. Send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to help.
Monday, 03 August 2009 15:51

@Carbonfundorg reaches 1000 followers!

deforestationAn article published in Mongabay goes deep into the international issues surrounding REDD, or "reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation," a program that seeks to make forests economically valuable as living entities. The shocking image to the right shows deforestation-induced erosion in Madagascar from October 2004. Without a plan to stop the deforestation of our world's forests, any global climate treaty would be avoiding dealing with the estimated 20-25% of global CO2 emissions. "The premise of REDD is straightforward: tropical forests store roughly 25 percent of the planet's terrestrial carbon, more than 300 billion tons. When forests are cut—their vegetation burned and timber converted into wood products—much of this carbon is released in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide." "The clearing of 50,000 square miles of tropical forest annually accounts for roughly 20 percent of global emissions from human activities—a share larger than all the world's planes, ships, cars, and trucks combined. In other words, despite the attention given to the fuel efficiency of cars and the number of flights taken by celebrities, parking all the world's jets and cars still wouldn't offset the annual emissions from global deforestation." Read the rest of this informative article here>>
usn1US News editor and Alpha Consumer blogger, Kimberly Palmer asked, Are Eco-Resorts Really Green? Initially skeptical, she wades through greenwash and finds real eco-friendly tourist destinations, among them Carbonfund.org partners. She mentions for example EcoTour Adventures in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Craftsman B&B on the pacific coast of Oregon who are committed to sustainability. When evaluating the green claims of any business, you can look for these signs: 1. They express their environmental commitment on their website or materials; 2. They are transparent about what they have done to reduce what they can or offset what they can't; 3. If you need more info, the contact person is familiar with and clear about their business' efforts. Getting green is crucial for the tourism industry. As a reminder, check out this article from the BBC yesterday that reports that the Caribbean region is among the regions said by scientists to be most at risk from the effects of global warming. Coral reefs face collapse from global warming and dealing with extreme weather is expected to cost $5 billion. Add that to the expected loss of $4 billion in travel revenue, the vacation in the Carribean in many people's dreams might, if the world doesn't take action pass into legend. We all have a carbon footprint. Take responsibility for yours now. Learn more about how you can reduce and offset your footprint on our website.
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