George C. Marshall Institute

George C. Marshall Institute (GMI)

 Background

The George C. Marshall Institute (GMI) was founded in 1984 by William Nierenberg, Frederick Seitz and Robert Jastrow as a “nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation to conduct technical assessments of scientific issues with an impact on public policy.” [1]

In 1989 at the same time it began a “Climate Change Policy Program,” the Marshall Institute released a report arguing that “cyclical variations in the intensity of the sun would offset any climate change associated with elevated greenhouse gases.” Although it was refuted by the IPCC, the report was used by the Bush Sr. Administration to argue for a more lenient climate change policy.

GMI has since published a series of reports and articles that attempt to discredit mainstream climate science and undermine climate change legislation such as the Kyoto Protocol.

The Marshall Institute's “Climate Change Policy” program was started in 1989 as a “critical examination of the scientific basis for global climate change policy.” Notably, “A major component of this effort is communicating the findings to policy makers, the media and the public policy community.” [2]

In a 2009 essay, former Executive Director Matthew B. Crawford had this to say about his initial experience with the Marshall Institute (emphasis added):

“… certain perversities became apparent as I settled into the job. It sometimes required me to reason backward, from desired conclusion to suitable premise. The organization had taken certain positions, and there were some facts it was more fond of than others. As its figurehead, I was making arguments I didn't fully buy myself. Further, my boss seemed intent on retraining me according to a certain cognitive style — that of the corporate world, from which he had recently come. This style demanded that I project an image of rationality but not indulge too much in actual reasoning.” [3]

Newsweek has described GMI as a “central cog in the denial machine,” and Naomi Oreskes has said that the Institute has lobbied politically to create a false perception of scientific uncertainty over the negative effects of second-hand smoke, the carcinogenic nature of tobacco smoking, the existence of acid rain, and on the evidence between CFCs and ozone depletion. [15], [16]

Stance on Climate Change

“There remains considerable uncertainty as to how much the climate has varied regionally and globally on the decades-to-centuries timescale, or what caused those changes.  Yet we need to know how natural climate fluctuations are caused in order to determine to what extent human activities have affected the climate system.” [4]

 Funding

Media Transparency lists the George C. Marshall Institute's funding as follows [5]

According to Greenpeace's ExxonSecrets, the George C. Marshall Institute has received $840,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. [6]

Initially, GMI had restricted its funding sources to private foundations and individual donors to avoid conflict of interest but in the late nineties, the Institute decided that “the limitation we had placed on our sources of funding no longer made sense,” and that “From now on the Marshall Institute will accept grants for general program support from corporate foundations and in some cases directly from corporations.” Its first-ever corporate donation was from the Exxon Education Foundation. [7]

Key People

 Staff

  • Jeff Kueter — President.
  • Mark Herlong — Program Director.
  • James Fifield — Missouri State Defense and Strategic Studies Intern.
  • Jerry Yue Liu — Koch Summer Fellow.
  • Allyn Milojevich — Koch Summer Fellow.

Source: [8]

Board of Directors

  • William O'KeefeCEO (GMI); President, Solutions Consulting, Inc.
  • Robert Butterworth — President, Aries Analytics, Inc.
  • Gregory Canavan — Scientific Advisor, Physics Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory.
  • William Happer — Chairman of the Board of Directors (GMI).
  • Mark Mills — Chairman and CTO of ICx Technologies.
  • John H. Moore — President Emeritus, Grove City College.
  • Rodney W. Nichols — Consultant on Science and Technology Policy.
  • Milan (Mitch) Nikolich — Executive Associate of CACI.
  • Roy Spencer — Principal Research Scientist, University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Source: [9]

Marshall Institute Fellows

  • Daniel Gallington — Senior Policy & Program Advisor.
  • Eric Loewen    
  • Peter Marquez
  • John Sheldon
  • Eric Sterner

Source: [10]

Roundtable Speakers

  • Andrew Aldrin
  • Bruce N. Ames    
  • Steven P. Anderson
  • Major General James Armor (Ret. USAF)
  • Lt. Gen. Brian Arnold (ret.) — Vice President, Space Strategy, Raytheon.
  • Charles S. Baker
  • Sallie Baliunas
  • Timothy Ball
  • Robert Balling
  • Roger Bate — Visiting Fellow, AEI; Director, Africa Fighting Malaria.
  • Richard Belzer — President, Regulatory Checkbook.
  • Michael Booen — Vice President, Advanced Missile Defense Systems, Raytheon.
  • Peter Bradford — Director, Anvil Mining Ltd.
  • Tommy Brazie
  • Steven Bucci — Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Homeland Defense and America's Security Affairs.
  • Richard Buenneke — Senior Policy Analyst, Aerospace Corporation.
  • Joe Burns — Managing Director, Flight Standards and Technology.
  • Lt. Gen. John Campbell, USAF (ret.) — Executive VP for Government Affairs, Iridium Satellite LLC.
  • Gregory Canavan 
  • Michael E. Canes — Senior Research Fellow, Logistics Management Institute.
  • Joe Cassady
  • David Cavossa — Executive Director, Satellite Industry Association.
  • Dean ChengCNA Corporation.
  • John R. Christy
  • Thomas L. Clancy, Jr.
  • Angelo M. Codevilla — Research Director, Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies.
  • Bernard Cohen
  • Roger Cohen
  • Keith Cole — (Lobbyist), Director, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, General Motors Company.
  • Douglas A. Comstock
  • Henry Cooper — Chairman, High Frontier.
  • Randall Correll — National Security Consultant, Science Applications International.
  • Andrew R. D'Uva — President, Providence Access Company.
  • Richard DalBello — Vice President, Government Relations, IntelSat General Corporation
  • Dorothy E. Denning
  • Uyen Dinh — Senior Director for Legislative Affairs, GeoEye, Inc.
  • LTG Larry Dodgen (ret.) — Vice President and Deputy General Manager of Missions' Systems Missile Defense, Northrop Grumman.
  • Everett Dolman    
  • Jürgen Drescher
  • Susan Dudley
  • Brian Duffy
  • Lt. General Michael Dunn (ret.) — President and CEO, Air Force Association.
  • John Foster
  • Oliver W. Frauenfeld — Research Scientist, Cooperative Institute for Research.
  • Robert Gallo
  • Lori Garver — Vice President, DFI International.
  • Richard Garwin
  • Phil Gingrey
  • David Goodstein
  • Michael Gough
  • Daniel Gouré — Vice President, Lexington Institute.
  • David Graham — Institute for Defense Analyses.
  • William Graham — Former Chairman of General Advisory Committee on Arms Control and Disarmament.
  • George Gray — Executive Director, Harvard Center for Risk Analysis.
  • William M. Gray
  • Kurt Hackmeier — Corporate Director, Air Force Space Programs, Northrop Grumman.
  • Hal Hagemeier — National Security Space Office, Department of Defense.
  • R. Cargill Hall
  • Robert Hart
  • Glenn HaskinsALHTK Program Manager, Lockheed Martin.
  • Ronald Hatch — Dirctor of Navigation Systems, NavCom Technology.
  • Steven HaywardF. K. Weyerhaeuser Fellow, American Enterprise Institute.
  • John G. Heidenrich — Senior National Security Analyst, Science Applications International Corporation.
  • David Henderson
  • Rear Admiral Alan B. Hicks — Commander & Program Director, Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense.
  • Steve Hill — President, Global Analytics, Inc.
  • Theresa Hitchens — Director, Center for Defense Information, World Security Institute.
  • Kenneth Hodgkins
  • Martin Hoffert
  • Peter Huber — Senior Fellow, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.
  • Peter Huessy — President, GeoStrategic Analysis.
  • Tim Hughes — Vice President and Chief Counsel, SpaceX.
  • Daniel Hurley — Director, Critical Infrastructure Protection, U.S. Department of Commerce.
  • Col. Kirk Hymes — Director, Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate.
  • Greg Hyslop — Vice President and General Manager of Missile Defense Systems, Boeing Company.
  • Gerry Jansson — Director, Space Segment Development, INTELSAT General.
  • Dana Johnson — NorthropGrumman Analysis Center.
  • Robert Joseph — Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.
  • David Kay
  • T. S. Kelso
  • Chris Kemp
  • Adam Kieper — Managing Editor, The New Atlantis.
  • David Kier — Vice President, Lockheed Martin Corporation.
  • Larry Kumins — Vice President for Research and Analysis, EPRINC.
  • Marc Landy    
  • Lee Lane — Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute.
  • Roger D. Launius
  • Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr. (ret.) — Former Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere.
  • David R. Legates
  • Laurie Leshin
  • James Lewis —  Center for Strategic and International Studies.
  • Richard Lindzen
  • Eric Loewen — George C. Marshall Institute Fellow.
  • Anthony R. Lupo    
  • Lt. Col. Robert Luzzi — Pentagon staff officer.
  • Gen. Lester Lyles (ret.) — Former Director of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, Department of Defense.
  • Andrea Maleter — Futron Corporation.
  • John C. MankinsCOO, Managed Energy Technologies; President of the Space Power Association.
  • Jeffrey Marsh
  • Gen. Robert T. Marsh (ret.) — Chairman, CAE Electronics, Inc.
  • Stephen McIntyre
  • Ross McKitrick
  • Col. Robert McMurry — Commander of the Airborne Laser Program Office, Kirtland AFB
  • Philip A. Meek — Associate General Counsel, Office of the Air Force General Council.
  • Patrick J. Michaels — Senior Fellow in Environmental Studies, Cato Institute.
  • Henry I. Miller — Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
  • David Montgomery — Vice President, Charles River Associates.
  • Ed Morris — Executive Director, Office of Space Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce.
  • Karl P. Mueller — Political scientist, RAND Corporation.
  • James Muncy
  • Edward H. Murphy — Energy and economic consultant.
  • Stewart Nozette
  • James O'Brien
  • Wayne L. O'Hern, Jr. — Technology Strategies and Alliances, Inc.
  • James Oberg
  • Lt. General Henry Obering III — Director, Missile Defense Agency.
  • Scott Pace
  • William C. Patrick, III —  Former Chief of Product Development Division, Agent Development and Engineering Directorate, Ft. Detrick.
  • Aristides Patrinos — President of Synthetic Genomics, Inc.
  • Gary Payton — Deputy for Advanced Systems, Missile Defense Agency.
  • Robert Pfaltzgraff — President, Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis.
  • Roger A. Pielke, Sr.
  • Steve Pierce — Director, Decision Support Directorate, SMD Future Warfare Center.
  • Norman Podhoretz — Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute.
  • Robert Pollack
  • Eric S. Posmentier
  • Terry Pudas — Acting Director, Office of Force Transformation.
  • John W. “Jay” RaymondB.G.
  • Robert Reese — Space Policy Analyst, Office of the Secretary of Defense.
  • Fred M. Reiff
  • Richard E. Rowberg — Associate Executive Director for Communications, Division of Engineering and Physical Sciences, National Research Council, National Academies.
  • Charles T. Rubin
  • Harvey Rubin — Director for the Institute for Strategic Threat Analysis and Response.
  • Sally Satel — Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute.
  • James Schlesinger — Former Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Energy and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
  • Frederick Seitz
  • Willie Soon
  • Roy Spencer
  • H. Baker Spring — Senior Defense Policy Analyst, Heritage Foundation.
  • Prasanna Srinivasan
  • George H. Taylor
  • Margo Thorning — Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, American Council for Capital Formation.
  • Richard Van Atta — Senior Research Analyst at the Institute for Defense Analyses.
  • John Vilja
  • Robert Walker — Chairman, Wexler-Walker Public Policy Associates.
  • Edward J. Wall    
  • Michah Walter-Range — Research Analyst, Space Foundation.
  • Fred Webber — President and CEO, Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
  • Jim Williams — Manager, Government and Military Accounts.
  • Lowell Wood    
  • Brigadier General Simon P. Worden (Ret.) — Policy Analyst.
  • Larry Wortzel — Policy Analyst.

Source: [11]

 Actions

May 21 - 23, 2012

The George C. Marshall Institute is listed as an official Co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute's Seventh International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7).

February 25, 2009

Institute Chair William Happer testified on climate change (PDF) before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

In his opening statement, Happer admits “I am not a climatologist, but I don’t think any of the other witnesses are either.” He then goes on to state that “I believe that the increase of CO2 is not a cause for alarm and will be good for mankind,” comparing policies designed to reduce emissions to the U.S. prohibition of alcohol.

Happer uses other common skeptic arguments, saying that “The current warming also seems to be due mostly to natural causes, not to increasing levels of carbon dioxide,” that “The climate has changed many times in the past,” that “IPCC summaries for policy makers are not dispassionate statements of the facts of climate change,” that “There is a delay between a temperature increase and a CO2 increase of about 800 years,” and, finally, “that moderate warming is an overall benefit to mankind because of higher agricultural yields and many other reasons.” [12]

December 14, 2005

The Marshall Institute published the book Shattered Consensus: The True State of Global Warming, edited by climate change skeptic Patrick J. Michaels.

The book contains essays by skeptics Sallie L. Baliunas, Robert C. Balling Jr., Randall S. Cerveny, John Christy, Robert E. Davis, Oliver W. Frauenfeld, Ross McKitrick, Patrick J. Michaels, Eric S. Posmentier, and Willie Soon. [13]

November 16, 2004

The GMI issued a press release regarding the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) by the eight-nation Arctic Council.

GMI said that “This report makes numerous claims about climate change on arctic regions. Most of its claims are based on invalidated climate models and scenarios developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that bear little resemblance to reality and how the future is likely to evolve. And indeed, some of its claims about sea ice and ‘alarming’ warming are contradicted by other peer reviewed research and data.” [17]

April 12, 2004

The Marshall Institute sponsored a “Washington Roundtable on Science and Public Policy” where climate change skeptic David Legates presented on the subject of “Global Warming and the Hydrological Cycle.”

Legates suggested that climate change would be unlikely to increase extreme weather conditions, saying “… in many cases, the argument might be that in a warmer world, we will see fewer, not more, extreme events. This is actually good news, because it is extremes that cause the most economic damage and cause the most deaths.” [14]

1997

The George C. Marshal Institute co-published a document titled the “Oregon Petition” along with the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. The petition claims to have collected 17,000 signatories that argue against the existence of man-made climate change and has been repeatedly used by climate change skeptics as proof that there is no scientific consensus on climate change.

Along with the petition there was a cover letter from Dr. Fred Seitz, a notorious climate change denier (and tobacco scientist), who over 30 years ago was the president of the National Academy of Science. Also attached to the petition was what appeared to be a “research paper” titled: Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide.

The petition and the documents included were all made to look like official papers from the prestigious National Academy of Science. They weren’t, and this attempt to mislead has been well-documented. 

The petition was so misleading that the National Academy issued a news release stating that “The petition project was a deliberate attempt to mislead scientists and to rally them in an attempt to undermine support for the Kyoto Protocol. The petition was not based on a review of the science of global climate change, nor were its signers experts in the field of climate science.”

The documents included with the petition had been authored by climate skeptics Art Robinson, Sallie Baliunas, and Willie Soon.

Related Organizations

Several people of GMI are also involved in the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP):

The now-defunct Environmental Literacy Council (ELC) was set up by GMI's past executive director Jeffrey Salmon, and was run from offices next to the Institute.

GMI is also a member of the Cooler Heads Coalition.

 Resources

  1. About The Marshall Institute,” George C. Marshall Institute. Accessed January, 2012.

  2. Climate Change Policy,” George C. Marshall Institute. Accessed January, 2012.

  3. Matthew B. Crawford, “The Case for Working With Your Hands,” New York Times, May 21, 2009.

  4. Climate Change Science,” George C. Marshall Institute. Accessed January, 2012.

  5. George C. Marshall Institute,” Media Matters Action Network. Accessed January, 2012.

  6. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: George C. Marshall Institute, GMI.

  7. A Note on Funding,” The George C. Marshall Institute. Archived September, 2002.

  8. Staff,” George C. Marshall Institute. Accessed January, 2012.

  9. Board of Directors,” George C. Marshall Institute. Accessed January, 2012.

  10. Marshall Institute Fellows,” George C. Marshall Institute. Accessed January, 2012.

  11. Roundtable Speakers,” George C. Marshall Institute. Accessed January, 2012.

  12. CLIMATE CHANGE” (PDF), Statement of William Happer Before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, February 25, 2009. Republished by the George C. Marshall Institute.

  13. Shattered Consensus: The True State of Global Warming,” The George C. Marshall Institute, December 14, 2005.

  14. David Legates. “Global Warming and the Hydrologic Cycle: How are the Occurrence of Floods, Droughts, and Storms Likely to Change?” (PDF), George C. Marshall Institute's Washington Roundtable on Science & Public Policy.

  15. The Truth About Denial,” Newsweek, August 12, 2007.

  16. The American Denial of Global Warming,” YouTube Video (starting at 30:30 minutes into speech). Retrieved January, 2012.

  17. INHOFE QUESTIONS SCIENCE BEHIND ARCTIC REPORT,” Press Release, U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, November 16, 2004.

  18. George C. Marshall Institute,” SourceWatch profile. 

  19. George C. Marshall Institute,” Wikipedia entry.

  20. Chris Mooney. “Some Like It Hot,” Mother Jones, May/June 2005 Issue.