Microsoft Knocks Chamber’s Climate Stance

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The Chamber of Commerce has yet another critic, and this time it’s a big one: Technology giant Microsoft, which on Tuesday distanced itself from the business lobby’s position on climate change policy.

“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has never spoken for nor done work on behalf of Microsoft regarding climate change legislation, and we have not participated in the Chamber’s climate initiatives,” Rob Bernard, chief environmental strategist at the company, wrote on its blog.

“Microsoft has stated that climate change is a serious issue that demands immediate, worldwide attention and we are acting accordingly,” he continued. “We are pursuing strategies and taking actions that are consistent with a strong commitment to reducing our own impact as well as the impact of our products. In addition, we have adopted a broad policy statement on climate change that expresses support for government action to create market-based mechanisms to address climate change.” Part of the company’s role in addressing climate, he wrote, is providing “expertise on the role software and technology can play in reducing carbon emissions.”

Microsoft has been increasingly vocal on climate issues lately. Chairman Bill Gates gave a speech last month calling for the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 to avert the impacts of climate change.

While the Chamber of Commerce has attempted to take on a softer tone on climate legislation recently, they’ve opposed all bills so far aimed at addressing the problem of global warming. Last month, they sued the Environmental Protection Agency in an attempt to block its finding that climate change is a threat to human health.

Microsoft joins a number of businesses that have voiced disapproval of the Chamber’s rigid position on climate issues. There was a round of defections from the Chamber over its climate stance last fall, with Midwestern utility Exelon Corp., the New Mexico utility holding company PNM Resources, Northern California utility Pacific Gas and Electric, Mohawk Fine Paper all dropping out over a span of several weeks. Nike also resigned from the Chamber’s board. Meanwhile, environmental groups have been working to get more green-leaning businesses to distance themselves from the business lobby.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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