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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Patrick Michaels exposed! Paid climate skeptic, receives funding from Koch Industries, Cate Institute, Intermountain Rural Electric Assoc., see Exxon Secrets


by admin, December 16, 2009

Pat Michaels is a career climate skeptic, who has made a living attacking the scientific consensus on global warming for more than 20 years. Over the past few years, he has quietly shuffled his feet from saying that warming is a good thing to abject denial of anthropogenic warming and more recently, to a more fashionable and politically correct stance of accepting some evidence of man-made warming but saying it isn’t as bad as others say and we might adapt to it.

Michaels, a Libertarian with a long relationship to the Cato Institute can commonly be heard pontificating on energy technology and the economic threat of climate solutions, far from the domain of “science,” where one might expect his voice with degrees in biology and ecological climatology.

Michaels was revealed to be taking polluting industry money through his private consulting New Hope Environmental Services.  During a 2007 global warming court case in Vermont (Green Mountain Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge et al. v. Crombie et al.), Greenpeace intervened to learn why Patrick Michaels had withdrawn as a paid expert witness for the auto industry.  The affidavit submitted by Dr. Michaels’ revealed exactly why:
graphic 1

Indeed, Michaels goes on to detail cases where he had lost funding due to public revelation of the industry or company in question.

graphic 2
In 2006, a leaked industry memo revealed that Michaels was being funded by the Intermountain Rural Electric Association of the Denver area  to the tune of $100,000.  The memo from the IREA to other members of the Rural Electric Cooperatives association urged others to join in funding the opposition movement.  The memo mentions a larger effort to push back on climate change publicity (in the wake of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth) and that Koch Industries, Southern Company and American Electric Power were all on board.  “We cannot allow the discussion to be monopolized by the alarmists,” the memo stated, urging  “information dissemination.”

NOTE: The Rural Electric Cooperatives remain staunch opponents of climate legislation in the US. Because of their fleet of coal fired power stations.  Multiple Co-ops across the country are now running campaigns against pending climate “cap and trade” legislation. See here, here, and here for examples of this coordinated and ongoing campaign.

Hints of Michaels willingness to take industry cash go back to the mid-1990s.  Ross Gelbspan details what is known in his seminal text “The Heat is On”. “In addition to funding both his publications, Western Fuels also provided a $63,000 grant for Michaels’ research. Another $49,000 came from the German Coal Mining Association. A smaller grant of $15,000 came from the Edison Electric Institute. Michaels also listed a grant of $40,000 from the western mining company, Cyprus Minerals. For much of the 1990s, Cyprus Minerals was the largest single funder of the anti-environmental Wise Use Movement in the western part of the U.S.
Michaels was booted as State Climatologist in 2007 on the heels of these industry funding pay-for-play scandals.

ExxonSecrets map of Pat Michaels connections to over a dozen front groups that have received ExxonMobil funding since 1998.

Michael's legacy on global warming is too deep to be written in a short blog.  Maybe we should write a book?  Good details can be found in Climate Cover-up a new book by James Hoggan and in Ross Gelbspan’s seminal 1997 book “The Heat Is On”.
More here:
ExxonSecrets on Pat Michaels
DeSmogBlog on Pat Michaels
SourceWatch on Pat Michaels


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