It’s not often the public gets to follow the money trail, so it was a treat this week when PR Watch revealed the Cato Institute has been bankrolling a consulting company owned by notorious climate denier Patrick Michaels to the tune of $242,900 since April 2006.
Michaels is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and according to tax documents uncovered by PR Watch for 2006 and 2007, Cato ponyed up almost a quarter million to Michaels’ firm New Hope Environmental Services for “environmental policy” services.
MSNBC aired a piece last night on the latest sea ice melt news being reported by scientists. Instead of finding an expert with credentials in sea ice melt, MSNBC reporter Tracie Potts tapped the thoroughly discredited scientist-for-hire Patrick Michaels.
Michaels works for the Cato Institute in Washington, DC, a right wing think tank at the forefront of the climate denial industry - you would think MSNBC could find someone with a little more credibility than that.
This is the same Patrick Michaels who dropped himself as an expert witness for the auto industry when the court demanded that he disclose the client list for his “environmental” consulting firm. This is also the same Patrick Michaels who was drummed out of his position of Virginia’s State Climatologist because of his industry funding.
I guess he just has a lot of time on his hands. Here’s a link to the video. It’s amazing how ridiculous deniers like Michaels are starting to look, with images of glaciers collapsing and sea ice melting behind him while telling viewers that they have nothing to worry about.
Well, if you answered “the oil industry,” you might be on a good track. The Cato Institute, which sponsored a series of full-page ads in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Washington Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, is famously a paid apologist for organizations like the American Petroleum Institute (API).
For at least a year before the 2008 U.S. election, legions of political geeks were glued to a number of websites, from pollster.com to politico.com. The latter provided more or less excellent coverage, including the all-important electoral map.
But when it comes to the credibility of policy discussions, it looks like they’ve shot themselves in the foot. Via their “reporter” Erika Lovley, they are actively pushing the climate change skeptics’ agenda.
I’ll just give a big hat tip to Brad Johnson at Think Progress, because he sums it all up in one paragraph:
Huge kudos to Kert Davies and Greenpeace for their effort in this latest astounding blow to the climate denial industry.
Court documents (attached at the bottom of this post) have surfaced claiming that longtime climate denier Pat Michaels has withdrawn as an expert witness from a Vermont court case after a request was submitted that he reveal his funding sources.
In the documents, Michaels states that he was dependent for his livelihood on the income he got through his wholly owned firm, New Hope Environmental Services, Inc.
“Many of New Hope's clients provide funding to New Hope with the understanding that the funding will be confidential,” Michaels and his lawyers said in one document.
CNN shock jock Glenn Beck's “Climate of Fear” special was a miserable failure in the cable ratings.
It most likely tanked because it played host to the usual global warming denier gang, using the same laundry list of global warming denial talking points.
See below for the youtube version of Beck's denier-a-minute special broken into six parts – and check out the research we have compiled on some of the better known global warming dinosaurs Beck features.
Rumour is that shock jock Glenn Beck will host the same old typical handful of global warming deniers on his CNN special tonight. They will no doubt spout the same old arguments like: “I remember when global cooling was all anyone would talk about.”
In what is becoming a perfect echo chamber, we see the same small group of mainly industry-funded “experts,” running from one ear to the next telling us that global warming is a hoax, and there is nothing to fear.
What this continuous recycling of the same 5 or 6 global warming deniers highlights more than anything is how very few there are left.
Here is the background on 3 of the known fossil fuel friendlies that will appear as “experts” on Beck's show. They are Tim Ball, Pat Michaels and CEI's Chris Horner.
The UK Channel 4 documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle ” has been touted by deniers and slammed by a lot of others, including one scientist who appeared in the film. Having taken a quick glance over the movie, the first thing that jumps out is that it's the same guys we write about on DSBlog all the time. There's nothing new here that we have not heard ad naseum from the same handful of global warming deniers.
Here's a few obvious points:
Putting lipstick on a Llama: Tim Ball, retired professor at the University of Winnipeg's department of geography, has magically turned into “Professor Tim Ball, University of Winnipeg, Department of Climatology.” Here's some more on Tim Ball.
A recent piece by the Business and Media Institute (BMI) raises the question: have these oil-money backed “think” tanks finally run out of accommodating “scientists”?
The BMI is an arm of the Media Research Centre, founded in 1987 by right-wing activist Brent Bozell. BMI and MRC tout themselves as watchdogs of the “liberal-bias” media, in which pursuit they receive generous support from oily backers such as the Scaife family of foundations ($1.6 million).
In this most recent article, Ken Shepard discusses an interview in which CBS failed to challenge “alarmist” author Mike Tidwell on his contention that climate change has increased the intensity of hurricance activity.
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.