Notorious climate skeptic Pat Michaels of the CATO Institute finally admitted openly on CNN this weekend that 40 percent of his funding comes from - wait for it - Big Oil.
DeSmogBlog readers have known for years about Michaels’ long-time association with a network of at least eleven think tanks and industry front groups funded by ExxonMobil. Many of these same outlets have received funding from other oil interests like the Koch Family Foundations.
Michaels’ admission that he receives around 40 percent - his guess - of his funding from Big Oil is important, because he is quoted widely in the media for his skepticism about manmade climate change. As the ExxonSecrets profile of Pat Michaels sums up well, he is “possibly the most prolific and widely-quoted climate change skeptic scientist.”
Fareed Zakaria deserves a round of applause for challenging Michaels directly to cough up a figure for how much oil money he receives to defend the status quo fossil fuel addiction and to confuse the public about the threat of climate change. Far too few journalists bother to ask that question, and Zakaria has sent a much needed reminder to journalists - it is your job to expose the potential conflicts of interest among your interviewees. Zakaria gets an A+ for outing Michaels’ oily funding.
In the wake of the EU referendum, there emerged a slew of articles discussing how Brexit might give rise to a ‘fracking free for all’.
And as we...