- The Business Roundtable's climate plan was killed by its arch-rival, the Business Roundtable: If only Apple, Pepsi, Walmart and Google knew someone at the lobbying shop they own.
- Hey look at this: Delights to delectate.
- This day in history: 2002, 2012, 2017, 2021
- Colophon: Recent publications, upcoming/recent appearances, current writing projects, current reading
The Business Roundtable's climate plan was killed by its arch-rival, the Business Roundtable (permalink)
Three years ago to the day, the Business Roundtable unveiled its "Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation" – a commitment by its 200 member-CEOs and companies to protect the environment. Then they spent three years and millions of dollars lobbying against that goal.
Writing in The Guardian, Adam Lowenstein rounds up the Business Roundtable's deep-pocketed, highly effective lobbying campaign, which has crushed numerous climate initiatives in the US, possibly dooming the human race to extinction.
The Roundtable bills itself as "an association of CEOs of leading US companies working to promote a thriving economy & expanded opportunity for all Americans through sound public policy." Its members include the CEOs of the country's most politically connected corporations, including Apple, Pepsi, Walmart and Google – the most powerful people in the nation.
But while the Roundtable continues to trumpet its commitment to addressing the climate emergency, it has mobilized millions of dollars to neutralize our best hopes of dealing with that emergency. The Roundtable's initiatives include spending millions lobbying against Build Back Better and its carbon reduction/clean energy provisions.
The Roundtable has gone to war against a SEC rule requiring publicly listed companies to disclose their carbon emissions and risks from climate change. Instead, the Roundtable prefers "voluntary" disclosures that allow companies to omit emissions and risks in their supply chains. The Roundtable has met with the SEC three times to oppose this rule, and Roundtable chairman Mary Barra (CEO of GM) personally met with SEC chair Gary Gensler.
In the first half of 2022, the Roundtable's lobbying budget was $9.1m, much of which went to opposing a climate disclosure rule. The Roundtable says that measuring supply chain emissions is too burdensome – the fact that the majority of emissions are in the supply chain is just a coincidence.
Meanwhile, the Roundtable continues to insist that "we have to move now," and that the best way to address the climate emergency is through "market-based" solutions where investors choose "green" investments based on reliable information about companies' contribution to imminent human extinction.
The Roundtable insists that "voluntary disclosures" will provide sufficiently accurate information to allow investors to direct their money away from companies that will murder them and their children by rendering the planet unfit for human habitation. Every other stakeholder – "many investors, analysts, academics, voters and experts, even companies themselves" – disagrees vehemently.
The calls for mandatory disclosure aren't emanating from campus Maoists and Greta Thunberg's child army – they're coming from giant, institutional investors, like this group of fund managers who direct $5t in capital:
The Roundtable's most powerful members, like Apple CEO Tim Cook and Blackrock CEO Larry Fink, have also called for mandatory disclosure. I'm sure they're frustrated that the organization won't listen to them – it's just that they're not frustrated enough to pull their funding from the Roundtable. After all, mostly the Roundtable lobbies to be sure they don't pay taxes and can abuse their workers with impunity – weighed against those advantages, the Roundtable's commitment to wiping out the human species is but a trifle.
It's not just that the Roundtable's members won't hold the organization to its environmental commitments – the Roundtable also won't hold the members to account on those commitments. Companies that signed the 2019 declaration were convicted of more environmental infractions and emitted more carbon that similar firms that didn't sign:
And since 2019, the signatories to the environmental pledge were offered many chances to "formalize the pledge in corporate governance," and virtually every time this happened, those signatories chose not to make good on their promises:
The Roundtable's opposition to climate action continues to this day. The org came out hard against the Inflation Reduction Act, which has billions in clean energy incentives – they objected to the 15% minimum corporate tax that will offset those billions in the federal budget:
To be fair to them, we don't need to tax corporations – or anyone else – to pay for climate action. The US government is constrained by resources (which things are for sale in US dollars), not money (which it can create by typing into a spreadsheet).
The point of taxing companies is to constrain what their shareholders can buy – because those purchases might consume resources needed for the climate emergency; and, importantly, to prevent them from spending profits to corrupt the government:
Meanwhile, the CEOs who keep the Roundtable afloat keep declaring that time is short, action must be taken, and no price is too high for action.
And again, to be fair, there is no course of action so radical that these corporations and CEOs won't promise to take it – provided they never, ever have to lift a finger to follow through on that promise.
Hey look at this (permalink)
- Handmade eyeglass frames made from denim https://mosevic.com/ (h/t Cousin Sarah)
Old laptop hard drives will allegedly crash when exposed to Janet Jackson music https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2022/08/janet-jacksons-rhythm-nation-is-officially-a-security-threat-for-some-old-laptops/
Comprehensive timeline of email innovation https://archive.computerhistory.org/resources/access/text/2022/08/102806104-05-01-acc.pdf (h/t Nelson Minar)
This day in history (permalink)
#20yrsago John M. Ford’s 110 Stories about 9-11 http://nielsenhayden.com/110.html
#20yrsago Why researchers tremble before the DMCA https://web.archive.org/web/20020906224325/https://freedom-to-tinker.com/archives/000020.html
#20yrsago Ed Felten, spam-vigilante martyr https://web.archive.org/web/20020821095618/https://freedom-to-tinker.com/archives/000019.html
#10yrsago European Directories sends legal threat to guy who wants to make it easy to stop receiving phone books https://www.24oranges.nl/2012/08/19/phone-book-publisher-tries-to-silence-critic-with-legal-bullying/
#10yrsago Boots keeps selling quack remedies intended for babies, even after they are banned from US import over fears of broken glass https://www.quackometer.net/blog/2012/08/boots-unconcerned-about-nelsons-production-problems.html
#10yrsago Man in a coma is “fit for work,” loses disability benefits https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/2496/
#10yrsago Pussy Riot, sentenced to two years in a penal colony, release new anti-Putin single https://www.theguardian.com/music/2012/aug/17/pussy-riot-sentenced-prison-putin
#5yrsago Durham protesters turn themselves in at police station after pulling down Confederate statue https://washingtonmonthly.com/2017/08/17/residents-of-durham-showed-us-what-patriotism-looks-like/
#5yrsago Mafia money-launderer listed his profession as “fraudster” with UK companies register https://www.standard.co.uk/business/occupation-fraudster-address-street-of-40-thieves-how-italians-mocked-uk-company-rules-a3589906.html
#1yrago Hench: The madcap rage of life under vigilante rule https://pluralistic.net/2021/08/19/failure-cascades/#natalie-zina-walschots
#1yrago Machine learning's crumbling foundations: Doing 'data science' with bad data https://pluralistic.net/2021/08/19/failure-cascades/#dirty-data
#1yrago The Sacklers threaten us all with a good time: "Give us total impunity or we won't accede to the total impunity deal" is a hell of an ultimatum https://pluralistic.net/2021/08/18/lets-make-a-deal/#art-of-the-deal
Today's top sources: Adam Lowenstein (https://twitter.com/amlowenstein).
- The Bezzle, a Martin Hench noir thriller novel about the prison-tech industry. Yesterday's progress: 519 words (34324 words total)
The Internet Con: How to Seize the Means of Computation, a nonfiction book about interoperability for Verso. Yesterday's progress: 511 words (30656 words total)
Picks and Shovels, a Martin Hench noir thriller about the heroic era of the PC. (92849 words total) – ON PAUSE
A Little Brother short story about DIY insulin PLANNING
Vigilant, Little Brother short story about remote invigilation. FIRST DRAFT COMPLETE, WAITING FOR EXPERT REVIEW
Moral Hazard, a short story for MIT Tech Review's 12 Tomorrows. FIRST DRAFT COMPLETE, ACCEPTED FOR PUBLICATION
Spill, a Little Brother short story about pipeline protests. FINAL DRAFT COMPLETE
A post-GND utopian novel, "The Lost Cause." FINISHED
A cyberpunk noir thriller novel, "Red Team Blues." FINISHED
Currently reading: Analogia by George Dyson.
Latest podcast: View a SKU: Let’s Make Amazon Into a Dumb Pipe https://craphound.com/news/2022/07/31/view-a-sku-lets-make-amazon-into-a-dumb-pipe/
- Launch for Motherboard's Terraform anthology, Vice offices (Los Angeles), Aug 18
Radical Interoperability: An Internet Disassembly Manual, Aug 29 15h (Burning Man Center Camp)
Chokepoint Capitalism: a Better Deal for Creative Labor, Aug 30, 13h (Burning Man Palenque Norte, 915 and E)
Interview with Bunnie Huang on the Precursor and Trusting Trust, Aug 31, 12h (Burning Man Liminal Labs, 945 and Rod's)
Canadians Connected (Ottawa), Sept 15
Unfinished Live (NYC), Sept 21-24
- The Wondrous World of the Early Internet & How To Destroy Surveillance Capitalism (Current Affairs podcast) https://www.patreon.com/posts/cory-doctorow-on-68463645
DRM Secretly Polices You (Daily Tech News Show)
Bricking Tractors (Inside Agri-Turf)
- "Attack Surface": The third Little Brother novel, a standalone technothriller for adults. The Washington Post called it "a political cyberthriller, vigorous, bold and savvy about the limits of revolution and resistance." Order signed, personalized copies from Dark Delicacies https://www.darkdel.com/store/p1840/Available_Now%3A_Attack_Surface.html
"How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism": an anti-monopoly pamphlet analyzing the true harms of surveillance capitalism and proposing a solution. https://onezero.medium.com/how-to-destroy-surveillance-capitalism-8135e6744d59 (print edition: https://bookshop.org/books/how-to-destroy-surveillance-capitalism/9781736205907) (signed copies: https://www.darkdel.com/store/p2024/Available_Now%3A__How_to_Destroy_Surveillance_Capitalism.html)
"Little Brother/Homeland": A reissue omnibus edition with a new introduction by Edward Snowden: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250774583; personalized/signed copies here: https://www.darkdel.com/store/p1750/July%3A__Little_Brother_%26_Homeland.html
"Poesy the Monster Slayer" a picture book about monsters, bedtime, gender, and kicking ass. Order here: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781626723627. Get a personalized, signed copy here: https://www.darkdel.com/store/p2682/Corey_Doctorow%3A_Poesy_the_Monster_Slayer_HB.html#/.
- Chokepoint Capitalism: How to Beat Big Tech, Tame Big Content, and Get Artists Paid, with Rebecca Giblin, nonfiction/business/politics, Beacon Press, September 2022
Red Team Blues: "A grabby, compulsive thriller that will leave you knowing more about how the world works than you did before." Tor Books, April 2023
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