03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Yes Men Hoax is Nothing Compared to the 20-Year Hoax by Fossil Fuel Companies

"The PR stunt wasn't pulled off by the Yes Men," says author James Hoggan. "The PR stunt is being pulled off by the US Chamber of Commerce and its been going on for decades."

The same can be said for the American Petroleum Institute.

This morning on Democracy Now host Amy Goodman points out that, "the Yes Men aren't the only group accused of pulling off a hoax in the debate over climate change legislation. In August, the American Petroleum Institute -- the oil industry's top lobbying group -- was found to have asked member oil companies to help recruit employees, retirees and contractors for anti-climate bill rallies around the country."

In an interview with James Hoggan, author of the new book Climate Cover Up, Goodman discusses the fact that while the Yes Men's campaign was all in good fun, there is a long history of PR and lobbying efforts to delay and deny action to increase clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This is not a new battle, as Hoggan points out, "Two decades ago there was a group called The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition that was put together by Philip Morris. They were having problems, as you know, with credibility, so they decided to get some friends to join the fight against scientists. And one of the first companies they invited was ExxonMobil. And this was kind of the beginning of these front groups and this war on science."

The US Chamber of Commerce has been at the center of a lot of controversy over their opposition to climate change legislation with high profile companies like Apple canceling their membership with the organization. As Brad Johnson at the Wonk Room points out, the US Chamber has for many years promoted the attack on climate change science.

With a clean energy bill currently making its way through the Senate and the upcoming international summit on climate change in Copenhagen, you can bet that the rhetoric and PR spin from industry and think tanks is only going to get louder and more aggressive.

Disclosure: I, along with my team, was responsible for most of the research for James Hoggan's book Climate Cover Up. The book launches this week across the United States. If you're a blogger and you'd like a review copy email me at: