These TV ads were produced after the Kyoto Protocol was agreed in December 1997. They link to a URL “Unfair.org” and list the phone number 1-800-USA-PAYS. Subtle. There is no trace of this website that we could find. [if you have information, please get in touch]
The ads have a similar theme to the “Its Not Global and It Won’t Work” pre-emptive ClimateFacts.org Global Climate Information Project campaign of 1997. One of the Unfair.org ads re-uses footage from those ads. These carry the reasonable sounding tag line, “A Global Issue Requires a Global Effort” and decry the fact that the United States and other “developed” countries had to move faster than less developed countries, which was standard decorum of such negotiations. This allows countries with more resources to take the lead and offer assistance to those with less. Seems fair.
The most interesting aspect of these ads is the very limited number of sponsoring organizations, six total:
- American Automobile Manufacturers Association – Now known as The Auto Alliance (or Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers) the AAMA was also a member of the Global Climate Coalition from 1993 and was involved in multiple efforts to weaken fuel economy regulations and climate change legislation.
- American Farm Bureau Federation – The Farm Bureau, as it is known, was not a member of the Global Climate Coalition, but was actively lobbying against climate legislation domestically and opposed global efforts.
- Citizens for a Sound Economy -CSE was an organization with deep Koch brothers ties. It no longer exists, having split in half in 2003 to form Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks. Greenpeace has tabulated millions of dollars of financial support for CSE from Koch foundations in the late 1990s, when this ad campaign was created.
- Environmental Conservation Organization – Polluterwatch’s Anti-Environmental Archives has some great archives of publications from this long gone organization. From one document we learn that “ECO promotes the responsible protection of our natural resources and the U.S. Constitution. By elevating awareness of the delicate interrelationship between environmental and economic concerns, ECO advances the balance between environmental and constitutional stewardship.”
- Small Business Survival Committee – This organization was very vocal in 1997 opposing the international climate accord and attacking Al Gore and the Clinton Administration, and was also a member of the ClimateFacts.org campaign. The Polluterwatch Anti-Environmental Archives offer a window on what they were up to at that point.
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce – The Chamber was a member of the GCC from the beginning in 1989 and also signed on to the GCIP ClimateFacts.org TV and print ad campaign and web materials.