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Chamber of Commerce Hoax Shocks Climate Politics

In recent news, an elaborate hoax was played on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A man using the fake name Andy Bicklbaum, who is in fact a member of the very accomplished political hoax squad ‘The Yes Men,’ masterminded a spectacularly successful hoax on October 19th, 2009.

He impersonated a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and read aloud a press release that contained many shocking reversals of the Chamber’s position on multiple climate change issues. Not only did the “Chamber” present the economic dangers of climate change as “worse than anything imaginable,” they decided to support climate change legislation that is now being debated in Congress. Additionally, they recommended that the legislation include a controversial carbon tax that many economists warn against and most politicians have written off long ago.

Journalists from a few news organizations attended the hoax and heard wild quotes like “Without a stable climate, there will be no more business,” and “The Kerry/Boxer bill is a good start to a strong climate bill, and the Chamber will work with Senators Kerry and Boxer to strengthen it.”

The press conference was still going when headlines begin to air on Fox News and other networks about the amazing reversal on the Chamber’s global warming position. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is normally a staunch ally of those who wish to oppose climate change legislation, so it’s a good bet that some in the business community were shaking their heads in disbelief before they realized the press conference was an elaborate hoax.

The fake press conference continued until the extremely confrontational appearance by Eric Wohlschlegel, a true representative from the Chamber. With somewhat narrowed eyes and a crispy tone, Mr. Wohlschlegel announced that the man at the podium was “a fraud.” The startled journalists watched for a little while as the confrontation escalated — at one point the two men passive-aggressively asked each other if “they had any business cards on them?” By the point it was clear that neither of them were going to produce any business cards, the reporters in the room finally regained their wits and asked the real Chamber of Commerce official whether the Chamber was going to oppose climate change legislation — at which point Mr. Wohlschlegel realized he was on camera and decided to beat a hasty retreat. On his way out, he looked over at the press core and said pedantically that they could inspect his business card in the building’s lobby.

As part of the official statement from the Chamber of Commerce, they mentioned they would be directing law enforcement officials to investigate the Yes Men. Facing possible legal problems from this latest hoax, it’s clear that the Yes Men are ready to risk everything so that more people learn the importance of preventing climate change. They truly believe that preventing climate change is the most important movement in history. What do you think?

If you want more details and want to watch a video that includes portions of the fake news conference, you can check out the full news story on www.democracynow.com, an independent news site that is pretty different from the rest. You can also check out more on the Yes Men official website. Thanks for joining us on the Sunfiltered Blog.