US Chamber Of Commerce Actually Just US Chamber Of Our Highest-Paying Members

from the but-thanks-for-your-contributions! dept

The US Chamber of Commerce is an organization that's always carried a completely undeserved air of legitimacy. For one, its name makes it sound as though it's actually an extension of the federal government, rather than what it is: a lobbying group representing a variety of trade interests.

It also gains unearned legitimacy by its name being a reflection of thousands of local chambers of commerce, which are far more representative of its members than the national version. The US Chamber of Commerce continues to push for legislation and regulation that isn't aligned with the views of its membership as a whole, but rather just its most generous contributors.

The US Chamber of Commerce has seen members walk away because of its support of climate change deniers or its support of the tobacco industry. It also shed several members thanks to its efforts on behalf of unpopular IP-related legislation like SOPA and the PROTECT-IP Act.

If there's anything the US CoC is truly representative of, it's money -- whoever has the most of it speaks the "loudest." The Chamber of Commerce is basically the worst form of entertainment: "free-to-play" that wholeheartedly embraces "pay to win." It has its own "whales," and they're what's shaping its lobbying efforts, according to Barry Ritholtz.

According to Open Secrets, a site that tracks political lobbying and spending, during the past 18 years the Chamber has spent three times more than any other organization on behalf of industry ($1.2 billion versus $351 million by the No. 2 lobbying group, the National Association of Realtors).
Ritholz has taken a close look at the lobbying group and its funding, and how that "pay to win" process has resulted in the Chamber of Commerce actually being the Echo Chamber for a select few industries. First, he notes the Chamber is opposed to new rules governing employer-provided 401(k) plans.
On one side is the financial industry, which manages about $14 trillion in various retirement plans. The president’s Council of Economic Advisers estimated that more than 10 percent of the advice given is conflicted in some way. That bad advice causes a performance lag of about 1 percent, costing investors an estimated $17 billion a year. This is money that otherwise would go into retirement-saving accounts. Wall Street, of course, isn't happy about the change and the vehemence of the opposition to the new rules make me suspect the losses for investors -- and the profits for the financial industry -- are much bigger.

On the other side are the millions of small businesses that have potential liability as 401(k)-plan sponsors. The natural outcome of this change is that once the new rules take effect, businesses will be in a position to shift that liability to the fiduciary advisers. This is something they should welcome -- especially since 96 percent of the Chamber's member businesses have fewer than 100 employees. These are precisely the companies that will benefit from the change.
But that 96% of its membership is easily shouted down by the large brokerage houses running the retirement funds. The Chamber is thinking about suing the government over a rule that would benefit nearly 100% of the companies it claims to represent.

That's not the only issue the CoC has decided to favor its largest contributors over the bulk of its members. Its stance on climate change is fueled by subservience to its biggest benefactors.
Ignoring those companies opposed to the Chamber's stand on climate change is easy. Why? Money, of course. A third of the Chamber's revenue comes from just 19 companies, many of them in the energy industry.
The problem with this is that it's hardly representative of the group as a whole. While those of us familiar with the Chamber of Commerce's motivations won't find this surprising, it probably comes as news to many of its members, who have assumed their contributions meant they, too, would be represented. Worse, many legislators likely take the Chamber of Commerce at face value -- assuming its lobbying efforts represent the group as a whole, rather than a small minority of well-heeled industry leaders. Because it operates under such a benign name, its pay-to-play mechanizations remain obscured and it's often given a benefit of a doubt it certainly hasn't earned.

Filed Under: business, lobbying
Companies: us chamber of commerce


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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Apr 2016 @ 9:52am

    "You're paying someone to punch you in the face why again?"

    This isn't politics where once you vote you're stuck with it for the next few years, if the smaller 'members' of the lobbying group aren't being accurately represented the solution is simple:

    Stop paying and leave.

    As it stands they're paying a group that doesn't care what's good for them so long as it's good for the bigger companies, which at best has their needs and wants ignored, and at worst has them actively lobbied against using their own money.

    While leaving wouldn't completely gut the lobbying group given they'd still have the big spenders, it would seriously undermine their ability to claim to 'represent the smaller companies', and make it clear that they represent the large companies first and foremost.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 11:55am

    Unrelated

    Techdirt do any coverage of the Democracy Spring thing going on? It's not their usual interest, but...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 12:44pm

    Maybe do an article about the federal reserve being in the hands of a privately owned corporation next.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 2:41pm

      Re:

      Could do an article about how the Presidency, Congress and the Senate were privatized, (bought and paid for) DECADES ago too...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 12:49pm

    Really?

    A whine about Climate Deniers?

    Why don't you just post an article proposing that we put those nazi bastards that don't believe into some gas chambers!

    How about we be okay with people that choose not to believe the way you do, huh? Last time I checked the people that typically believe in the church of climate change often berate others for having an "Open Mind"

    I am still on the fence about climate change, but right now, I cannot possibly trust either side to be honest with all of the fucking fundamentalists & money surrounding it!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 12:54pm

      Re: Really?

      wat

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 1:09pm

      Re: Really?

      Let me break it down for you:

      Just the stats over my lifetime are pretty conclusive evidence that climate change exists. Hey, even a solid understanding of entropy and physics, not to mention the fossil record, indicates that climate change exists.

      So, climate change isn't something to be "on the fence" about, any more than gravitational force. Sure, it might still not be the entire explanation, but it's the most accurate one we've got.

      Now that that's out of the way and you're not on the fence as to climate change, let's look at Human-Caused Global Warming (HCGW).

      We know that there's been a global warming trend, which flies in the face of the predictive models that say we should currently have a cooling trend. However, it's also obvious that we don't currently understand all the elements of the model (although we're in a better place on that than we were 10 years ago). Global Warming analysis is HARD, a complex task that becomes more and more accurate as more data points are added and adjusted for uncertainty and bias.

      So this brings us to the human factor. We know we as a species have been pumping unprecedented amounts of pollutants into the atmosphere/oceans over the past two centuries. I don't think this can be debated, without debating history books, corporate records, and our own eyes and ears. So changing the chemical makeup of our world will either a) have no effect, b) create a warming trend or c) create a cooling trend. a) seems rather unlikely; this means that we've got some combination of b) and c). If b) and c) happen to perfectly cancel each other out, then HCGW is false, and what we've really got is Human Caused Global Stasis. But wait... that means that if we alter ANY of the human inputs, we can break that stasis, and we'll get global cooling or global warming. Considering that our polluting is actually ramping up year-over-year in general, but we've been able to measure and play with some specific pollutants (such as CO2, CFCs and Methane), we're in a pretty good spot to state that we're not in stasis.

      So: are we warming or cooling? The data, in whatever form you want, even when not normalized and error-corrected, points to warming. Once you start removing the outliers, adjusting the historical measurements that weren't originally measuring the same data (city temps vs airport temps for example), the results point more towards warming.

      Or, just look at the physics of it: population is booming, we all generate more energy than we consume (waste heat etc), so the global system should be producing more heat than it is consuming. If the result is that we're venting the excess energy into space, than some degree of stability is maintained, but we'll quickly use up all resources. If the result is that we're keeping most of the energy in-system... well, if it's not in the ground anymore, then it's in the air and ocean. That implies global warming.

      So, now's your chance to get off the fence and decide what you believe.

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      • icon
        trollificus (profile), 13 Apr 2016 @ 11:16pm

        Re: Re: Really?

        Well, it's always good to see a sincere effort to expound on the realistic prospects regarding climate change.

        And you were doing very well until you got to the part about "population is booming", which is absolutely not true and appears to be just a very dated piece of received "wisdom". It's an OLD "end of the world" panic scenario, (like Erlich's "absolutely unavoidable, billions of deaths due to starvation" and "The coming Ice Age"), but birth rates are falling in most parts of the world, in many places to below replacement level, except for those areas where women are still treated as property and breeding machines.

        If SOME PEOPLE would get their hypocritical heads out of their progressive asses and help the women in said countries achieve equality in education, law and reproductive rights, the population problem would be "solved". There would still be more people than a lot of elitists would like, and I'll admit I have some ideas for dramatic population reduction myself, but we could dump the simplistic "just follow this curve, you'll see we're headed for 100,000,000,000 people! Unsustainable!" hysteria once and for all.

        This may be yet another example of facts being subordinated to "The Narrative", but I thought your explanation was more well-intentioned and truth-oriented than that.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 1:18am

        Re: Re: Really?

        your opposition are mostly people that believe fossils are faked and the world is only 6k years old. So good luck with that. I do not think you are going to win an argument against that mindset.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 2:42pm

      Re: Really?

      Climate change deniers don't deny climate change because they believe it's incorrect, they deny climate change because someone pumps 100s of thousands of dollars into their bank account.

      These same sort of people will happily tell you black people are inferior, or that jewish people are evil, or anything you want as long as the cash keeps rolling in.

      There isnt ONE SINGLE 'professional' climate change denier that isn't being paid to say this shit.

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      • icon
        trollificus (profile), 13 Apr 2016 @ 10:49pm

        Re: Re: Really?

        Yeah, I stopped listening when you start listing your evil straw men and lumping them all together. Not exactly the sign of someone I can trust to have done a rigorous, skeptical analysis...of anything really.

        Also, your last comment is just bullshit. There are lots of people who accept the measured increase in global temperatures, but who are justifiably dubious of predictive models that somehow always have to be adjusted to fit reality, but only after their hysterical overestimations have been blindly accepted and loudly proclaimed. There are lots of people who would just like to point out that the "solution" to warming might be found in human adaptability, rather than greater government control of people's lives. There are people who would like to point out that the climate has always changed, and that a perfect harmonious equilibrium that we are charged with maintaining is a (religious>) myth.

        But all these reasonable views are shouted down with ad hominem attacks, lies, threats, and insults. Which, in my experience, are not the rhetorical tactics of people confident they are defending "truth". So, props on being mindless "repeater of the goodthink", but I'm not impressed.

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        • identicon
          Wendy Cockcroft, 15 Apr 2016 @ 5:45am

          Re: Re: Re: Really?

          Some of that adaptability can and does mean moving from your home. Where to? If you own the house and land, to whom will you sell it and how much for?

          There's your problem, trollificus. There's too much money tied up in the denial industry (that's what it is) for people to be able to adapt effectively. This is because the government will "control people's lives" by "protecting property rights" against the people who have been forced from their homes by extreme weather events, etc.

          As with any industry it's not one homogenized whole, it's made up of elements that sometimes work against each other. The one thing that binds it all together is the interest each involved individual and group has in maintaining the status quo.

          For some, it's religious considerations. For other, it's financial. For still others, it's the other side's position so they'll reject it no matter what.

          It's true that the models aren't always accurate but either change is occurring or it's not. If it's occurring we need to work out how we're going to cope with it because rugged individualism and the profit motive ain't going to save us; they are making things worse.

          As for government, it's like a horse. If you break it in, then put a saddle and bridle on it you can ride it well enough but if you leave it to run wild don't be surprised if you can't make it behave.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 5:09pm

      Re: Really?

      Yeah, and vaccines cause autism - amirite?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 7:47pm

      Re: Really?

      What you want isn't an open mind. What you want is for me to have an open mind so you can close yours.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 5:08am

      Re: Really?

      Why don't you just post an article proposing that we put those nazi bastards that don't believe into some gas chambers!

      Along with all those round-earth deniers!

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 10:42am

        Re: Re: Really?

        How about we be okay with people that choose not to believe the way you do, huh? Last time I checked the people that typically believe in the church of the round earth often berate others for having an "Open Mind".

        I am still on the fence about flat earth versus round earth, but right now, I cannot possibly trust either side to be honest with all of the fucking fundamentalists & money surrounding it!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 1:27pm

    Just the stats over my lifetime are pretty conclusive evidence that climate change exists. Hey, even a solid understanding of entropy and physics, not to mention the fossil record, indicates that climate change exists.

    This really is not the part that I doubt so much.

    So, climate change isn't something to be "on the fence" about, any more than gravitational force.

    This comment makes you automatically less credible right off the bat. I can immediately test gravity for myself, however I have to "rely" on an institution that is run by humans that are far to easy to corrupt in concerns to climate change ON BOTH SIDES. The very idea that you can compare these phenomenon in this way makes you a joke psuedo-scientist or a blind follower that lacks fundamental reasoning skills.

    So this brings us to the human factor. We know we as a species have been pumping unprecedented amounts of pollutants into the atmosphere/oceans over the past two centuries. I don't think this can be debated, without debating history books, corporate records, and our own eyes and ears.

    I believe that the human factor does play a part, especially with the pollution, but to believe that has enough impact of the temperatures and greatly affects life on this planet that we need to turn to solutions created by corrupt ass politicians that will not actually solve the problem and instead use it for wealth redistribution for their cronies... well lets just say you now have your religion.

    Lets clean up the pollution, that is actually important, but instead there is the push for a political solution to a scientific problem that is formidably corrupted by money and politics.

    Excuse me if I can't trust yours or their bullshit!

    Those predictive models have been all over the fucking place and I do recall your Lord and Master Gore saying that the Ice Caps should be pretty much fucking gone by now.

    Looks to me like you make a great disciple at the alter of HCGW... well only because it fits your politics. You are such a huge tool... well like most other people that walk this earth and are not capable of thinking for themselves. Sheeple... Sheeple everywhere!

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    • icon
      Charles (profile), 13 Apr 2016 @ 1:33pm

      Re:

      Print your last comment out and put in an envelope. Then tell your grandkids to read it when you are dead and gone.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 2:02pm

        Re: Re:

        Will take my chances.

        There is no end to the number of doomsday bitchers running around screaming like chicken little and that the sky is falling.

        We may not be able to stop global warming, it may not even be any of our faults. The Sun could enter an unexpected cycle and scorch the hell out of us too. Too many fucking variables for our limited knowledge to be able to understand.

        This is the exact same shit that came out of the whole Fat is Bad for you shit from 50 years ago that we are only just recently beginning to figure out was completely misunderstood! And yes... that was decided upon by a fucking politician then as well.

        There is no end to idiots like you wanting a politician... the dumbest people willfully ignorant and generally corrupt in all societies, to decide your damn fate. Have them decide yours, leave me out of your dooms day foolishness.

        OMG! the sky is falling, the sky is falling! OMG!

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 2:45pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Too many variables he said, then later "lets not pass any water quality legislation..after all aliens might invade".

          Also lets not have any pollution caps on factories, because dragons may appear one day by magic and think the factories are lady dragons, and be distracted and not eat us all.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 2:51pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Why are you so angry about all this? I'm not saying you shouldn't be, but WHY? Is it just the number of pure idiots out there who aren't thinking for themselves that's got you frustrated and driven to rant about it on public forums?

          And WHY, after going after me for being a religious zealot in support of climate change, do you then turn around and say "We may not be able to stop global warming, it may not even be any of our faults?"

          Which way are you going here? I said I wasn't even sure about global warming being caused by humans, but that climate change is pretty obvious. You appear to be saying global warming is indisputable, but *might not* be our fault? Whose side of the fence are you on?

          And WHY oh why do you put so many words in the mouths of others? You've had two people who have told you to observe and think for yourself and see how it turns out, and you've responded by calling me a religious zealot and the other guy wanting a politician!?!? For telling you to save your rant for your grandchildren to look at?

          Please... calm down, and at least be methodical about all this.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 3:27pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Looks to me like you make a great disciple at the alter of HCGW... well only because it fits your politics. You are such a huge tool... well like most other people that walk this earth and are not capable of thinking for themselves. Sheeple... Sheeple everywhere!

          This just sparked another memory of mine... I recently listened to a great podcast on what makes humans distinct from all other animals. It's that we value social knowledge. Humans are the only simians who will follow instructions by rote, even if they can't see a reason for some of the steps. We can pass down a complex set of steps for accomplishing a task without understanding the reason behind any of it except the desired result. Other simians will drop the steps that don't seem to be immediately necessary to accomplish the task at hand.

          Sheep have a herd instinct, but likewise won't memorize a set of actions and perform them because others in the herd do. They'll follow a herd leader, but if that leader dies, they'll follow the next leader to come along. Humans, on the other hand, will still keep following the teachings of the dead leader.

          And that's how we've survived/advanced as a species; don't knock it, it's a necessary part of who we are. Another necessary part is the odd outlier who rejects social intelligence.

          But think about this: take a random sampling of people from the US and drop them on a deserted island. Now take a random sampling of monkeys from zoos and drop them on a deserted island. Which group is more likely to survive?

          We offload a lot of what we think into the social intelligence so we can focus our puny minds on the tasks immediately in front of us. We all become experts in things that wouldn't let us survive on our own. But together, the sum is greater than its parts; together, we function.

          And THIS is why the US Chamber of Commerce as it currently stands is a problem. It is subverting the social intelligence for the short term gain of the individual entities that make up its most powerful members, in a short-sighted move that shows that they don't have the intelligence to realize that they really do depend on all the small businesses that make up the bulk of the organization. And the small businesses continue to pay their dues because that's part of "how things work" -- they won't drop membership just because the purpose of being a member was forgotten generations ago.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 2:43pm

      Re:

      This really is not the part that I doubt so much.

      Good :)

      So, climate change isn't something to be "on the fence" about, any more than gravitational force.

      This comment makes you automatically less credible right off the bat. I can immediately test gravity for myself, however I have to "rely" on an institution that is run by humans that are far to easy to corrupt in concerns to climate change ON BOTH SIDES. The very idea that you can compare these phenomenon in this way makes you a joke psuedo-scientist or a blind follower that lacks fundamental reasoning skills.

      You can immediately test climate change yourself too: just look at any rock formation, the growth rings on an old tree, or live long enough to test for yourself the changes in ocean temperature. The reason I'm convinced that climate change exists is that I've witnessed it. The problem is that people conflate climate change (which is pretty much a given) with HCGW, which is totally up for debate, but with the indicators showing that it's a problem, even if people on both sides are messing with the data.

      I believe that the human factor does play a part, especially with the pollution, but to believe that has enough impact of the temperatures and greatly affects life on this planet that we need to turn to solutions created by corrupt ass politicians that will not actually solve the problem and instead use it for wealth redistribution for their cronies... well lets just say you now have your religion.

      Yeah; the problem with HCGW is that both sides are using it for political gain. Buying into their "solutions" or non-solutions as the case may be isn't going to fix anything. But that's not about HCGW, that's about doing something about it. Kind of like the difference between, say, Christianity and religious leaders who urge people into taking specific actions because that's what God wants. This doesn't really help you get on either side of the fence with HCGW though, so it's better to look at the data.

      Lets clean up the pollution, that is actually important, but instead there is the push for a political solution to a scientific problem that is formidably corrupted by money and politics.

      It sounds like your real problem isn't with HCGW but with politics surrounding HCGW solutions. I also have a huge problem with this, and have essentially given up on macroscopic change. So I do what I can to change MY choices and behaviour (no investing in polluters, do my bit with recycling, try to separate out the crap arguments surrounding HCGW from the stuff that holds together, etc.)

      Excuse me if I can't trust yours or their bullshit!

      Er, please point out where you made the leap here? Unless you're putting words in my mouth, all the BS you talked about had nothing to do with HCGW, and even less to do with climate change, but EVERYTHING to do with politics and grandstanding power players using those buzz words to accomplish some other objective. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

      Those predictive models have been all over the fucking place and I do recall your Lord and Master Gore saying that the Ice Caps should be pretty much fucking gone by now.
      OK; now you've gone into full rant mode and aren't even pretending to be doing any fence sitting. I couldn't care less about what Gore said, as I'm not American :) Nothing I stated had anything to do with American politics, and everything to do with measured scientific data.

      Oh, and just so you know, both polar caps have been diminishing in a fairly disturbing manner. There's actually an inside passage around Canada now for a significant part of the year, and the Antarctic glaciers are on the move. That said, Antarctic temperatures are actually cooling in some areas, as are Arctic temperatures. What I'm more worried about is the Greenland ice cap, and the way the oceanic temperatures are playing havoc with trade winds and global weather systems, as well as fish stocks and migration patterns.

      Looks to me like you make a great disciple at the alter of HCGW... well only because it fits your politics. You are such a huge tool... well like most other people that walk this earth and are not capable of thinking for themselves. Sheeple... Sheeple everywhere!
      Wow... Just Wow.

      What I was saying (and am still saying) is that climate change is not the same as HCGW. Stop confusing the two. Climates change all the time. The argument is whether the current trend is warming, and whether that is in part caused by human activity. The debate is NOT over whether American politicians will take any popular happening and subvert it to their own goals; that's as much a given as climate change.

      Re-read what I said and how you responded, and then think about 1) whether you're really a fence sitter, and 2) whether you need to do a little untangling about what you really believe. Apply your own critical thinking, and don't just react to the people trying to snow you with big speeches, facts and figures.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 2:46pm

        Re: Re:

        Don't mean to disappoint you, but there ARE people "on the fence" about gravity too.

        Yep, depressing I know, but thousands of morons actually don't believe gravity is real and think jesus is holding things near the ground so they don't float upto heaven and get in the way.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 3:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually, I'm on the fence about gravity myself. Not that it exists, but that we're describing it in the right way. That's why I specifically said "gravitational force" which, as it is a human construct to describe a physical phenomenon, definitely exists. But we just recently found gravitational waves, and there's still a few bits of gravitational theory that don't quite fit. So we need more info before we can be authoritative about what causes gravity and why. But the forces exist.

          Taking this over to climate change, the debated issue isn't that the climate changes, but whether humans are causing it to change in a specific direction, and more importantly, if that's a bad thing and if we should/can do anything to stop it and return to stasis.

          If we apply this to gravity, it's like saying that we're seeing human caused gravitational weakening, and arguing about whether we should/can do anything about it. And yeah; that sounds kind of silly, where HCGW sounds pretty likely, but the data to back both up is still missing key bits in both cases.

          And yes, that was a mental exercise meant to make people think. Don't expect hover cars any day soon :D

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2016 @ 5:11pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Alex Jones? - Is that you?

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          • icon
            trollificus (profile), 14 Apr 2016 @ 12:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That's very good, and if the case for concern about 'climate change', specifically AGW (I learned it was Anthropogenic Global Warming), were always made in such a manner, you'd see a lot fewer people expressing doubts about the motives of the doomsayers.

            BUT. When people make their case with hyperbole and exaggeration, ad hominem attacks and insults, it's noticeable. How can ALL changes in climate be bad? How can more rain, anywhere, always be bad, and less rain, anywhere, also always be bad?? How can all extreme weather be blamed on AGW? People actually remember that we've always had extreme weather, and over-reporting does not make it, in reality, worse. And NAMING every bit of bad weather! What's that supposed to prove?? And noting the increased DOLLAR COST of severe weather events as support for "action to prevent climate change!"? WTF? It's like a damn marketing campaign...and that's how it appears to people who come away skeptical, myself included.

            Most amazingly, people are falling all over themselves to trust the good will and competence of the UN and the US government to deal with this poorly-defined problem. W.T.F???

            One crisis in the natural world that I do find alarming is the apparent depletion of our national reserves of cynicism. Scary indeed.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 5:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Actually, I'm on the fence about gravity myself"

            As you should be. Just look at the following - eye opening material fer shurr.

            http://www.theonion.com/article/evangelical-scientists-refute-gravity-with-new-int-1778

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            • icon
              Cynyr (profile), 14 Apr 2016 @ 7:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              if you read their comment they didn't say anything about disagreeing that gravity exists, just that we do not have a 100% perfect model of it, and aren't quite sure of every mechanic involved.

              As an engineer this argument comes off somewhat like the Bernoulli vs down vectoring aerodynamic lift calculation methods. I really don't care which one is "correct", just that I can use them in most "normal" cases to predict what will happen to a given wing design.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 1:20am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Have you seen the flat earth society?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 9:10am

    Not just them...

    ...The US Chamber of Commerce is an organization that's always carried a completely undeserved air of legitimacy. For one, its name makes it sound as though it's actually an extension of the federal government, rather than what it is: a lobbying group representing a variety of trade interests...

    I could say the same thing about the Better Business Bureau. I'm not sure if they lobby for anything but they sure don't have any enforcement authority and are not associated with any government, just their paid members.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Apr 2016 @ 9:19am

      Re: Not just them...

      At least with the BBB, their charter is to police the members and rate them accordingly; the USCoC's charter is to lobby on the issues with the most funding from their members.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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