Ad features 100 scientists willing to stoke the climate crisis

Who on earth might have, say, half a million dollars to drop on an advertising campaign aimed at getting Americans to doubt the well-established science of climate change?

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).

We know, for example, that the API has been conspiring since the late 1990s, to sow doubt and confusion about climate science. And the signatories to this new ad - these “100 scientists” - also include a large group that has added handsomely to their livelihood in the last 10 years by taking money from think tanks and coal companies to deny climate change.

Think of people on the George Monbiot list, and think especially of someone like Patrick Michaels, a denier for hire who has long ago distinguished himself as the kind of researcher who the coal industry sponsors because of his willingness “to stand up against the alarmists and bring balance to the discussion.” (Of course, at no point does Michaels do this by actually pursuing climate researchl; rather, he appears to earn his coal money by signing Cato Institute ads).

It’s interesting that some of the worst deniers for hire (stand up Dr. S. Fred Singer), have fallen off this new list. And it’s more interesting that this list includes a couple of new names - signatories who have not appeared previously on lists of “scientists” willing to speak publicly on climate change - their area of expertise notwithstanding.

We, for example, had never heard of Susan Crockford (inset), an archeoanthropologist who specializes in the evolutionary theory of the domestic dog. And we may never hear of her again.

This is the same old stuff - a list of scientists of questionable or unrelated climate credentials, working for an oil-backed think tank to confuse people on the issue of climate change. It’s only shocking that they keep getting attention. Of course, when you have this kind of money to throw at a problem, impact is easy. Intelligent policy, apparently, is harder.

This month we’re giving away FREE copies Keith Farnish’s new book Times Up: an uncivilized solution to a global crisis.

Go here to find out more details about DeSmogBlog’s monthly book give-away.


Since 2000, UMCES has received $65,849,037 in federal grant money. univ. of maryland environmental sciences…i wonder if they said there was no causal relationship b/w plant food and pollution they would continue to get funding… 65M, one school, vs. how much?

that there was no causal relationship between increasing CO2 and increasing temperature and blathered on about CO2 just being plant food it would not deserve to receive public funding since it would clearly not be involved in either education or research.

It must be really discouraging being a climate change troll these days.

it was a rhetorical question . let me spell it out for you  like i have to for “bi”. now by saying spell it out i dont mean literally spell the words in case you didnt get that….MY point was that they will continue to find a causal relationship regardless of facts or else they will not continue to receive funding. hope that was clear enough.

“Rhetorical question?”

That’s wingnut-speak for ‘I’ll question authority, but when I get answers to my questions, I’ll ignore them and supply my own answers! Nyah nyah nyah!’

How about this:

Research groups continue to find evidence of man-made global warming, because, well, there is evidence of man-made global warming.

Meanwhile, groups like the Cato Institute studiously avoid doing research and instead spend money on making noise.

Hope that was clear enough.


This really is the heart of the issue.  Money spent by these think tanks its not for any actual research.  Plenty of real research is conducted by the private sector, but I havent seen much in this area.  Climate research apears to be primarily done on university campus’ or public agencies.  Here in Manitoba, everything from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, to the Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba, all conduct climate, ice, and biological research in relation to climate change/global warming.  I can imagine in a tiny province like Manitoba alone has considerable dollars going into this research area.  My graduate research was cheap at 20k so I can imagine intensive research programs have hundrends of thousands of dollars going into them.  Ahh the goodness of public research, free of industry bias, and self interest.  Its not shock all the noise in terms of climate comes from non research, pro business based think tanks who take money from fossil fuel interests. 

by assuming I took your question seriously, mascereye, rhetorical or otherwise.
I assure you, I take nothing you write, or ‘spell out’, seriously.

Okay, mascereye, phlogiston, in case you really don’t understand (and are 2 different people), you are parroting a denier argument about ‘research funds go only to global warming studies and the scientists will lose all their funding if they don’t lie.’

Government research money goes to taking DATA and analyzing DATA. For instance, putting together a satellite experiment that makes measurements of many features on the earth. About the easiest thing to measure is ice, which is reflects white in most wavelengths. Research money allows real scientists to measure the change in the ice from space. They write up and report the findings. If the ice expands, they report that. If the ice contracts, they report that.

So guess what they find? The ice is melting. 

Another example is the gravity satellites, which aren’t designed or intended for research in climate but for other studies entirely. Recently, though, gravity scientists found a significant loss in mass over Greenland, which is due to loss of ice mass by melting. Even though they had no plans to study climate research.

Rich, I’m thinking a detailed expose of this ‘more funds for proving global warming’ is warranted.

Real researchers study what the data is telling them. If you don’t think the ice is melting go to an Alaskan village of native peoples, and ask them.

If global warming were really suspect, the oil companies could hire their own in-house scientists to study this. They have the money to hire some of the best scientific brains in the world, and they do. For great salaries for a scientist.

Instead they funnel big bucks for deniers through a network to obscure the origin. Not only would establishing in-house deniers cause a public relations campaign, it would make it harder for the oil company to attract the best brains in science, more money or not. Scientists would feel compromised being associated with the crap deniers extrude.

Susan Crockford is one of the “polar bears have no problem with global warming which isn’t happening anyway and BTW the arctic sea ice isn’t melting” people.

I had a look at the original ad. All impressive statements denying global warming with appropriate references.

That is until you check the references and see how outdated they are.

The claim that “there has been no increase in damages from severe weather-related events” is based on a 2005 article citing the 2001 IPCC assesment. Quite out of date.

AS I keep reminding people, be really careful in assigning primary funding of CATO, etc just to fossil fuel companies.  Look carefully  at Scaife, Koch, Olin, etc … i.e., the  big family foundations.  Of course, the tobacco companies are out there also.

Go look some of these up at; really, it is quite educational, with usual cavet that it is a Wiki.

GingerLadySlipper, by your reference to GRACE data, I assume you mean Luthcke et. Al. (2006)? However Johannessen et al. (2005), working with satellite-altimeter data from Greenland, reported the ice sheet was growing at a mean growth rate of 5.4 ± 0.2 cm/year. Cazenave. (2006) goes on to say that “(Greenland) ice mass varies widely from year to year,” and the (different) analyses “do not overlap exactly in time, so different trend estimates are to be expected”.

So there we have it we don’t know what is happening to the Greenland icesheet.

What we do know though is that between 1920 and 1930, when the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration rose by 3 to 4 ppm, Chylek, et. Al (2004) report that “(Greenland) average annual temperature rose between 2 and 4°C in less than ten years.”


So the largest and most rapid recorded increase in Greenland’s temperature took place when CO2 could not possibly be a factor. 


Chylek, P., Box, J.E. and Lesins, G.  2004.  Global warming and the Greenland ice sheet.  Climatic Change 63: 201-221.


Johannessen, O.M., Khvorostovsky, K., Miles, M.W. and Bobylev, L.P. 2005. Recent ice-sheet growth in the interior of Greenland. Sciencexpress /


Luthcke, S.B., Zwally, H.J., Abdalati, W., Rowlands, D.D., Ray, R.D., Nerem, R.S., Lemoine, F.G., McCarthy, J.J. and Chinn, D.S. 2006. Recent Greenland ice mass loss by drainage system from satellite gravity observations. Science 314: 1286-1289.


Cazenave, A. 2006. How fast are the ice sheets melting? Science 314: 1250-1252

Shorter Phlogiston: A result reported by 1 scientific paper is obviously more certain than results reported by 2 papers!

I guess that’s why he calls himself “Phlogiston”.


You prove my general point: Scientists go where the data and theory lead them, not to predetermined validation, unlike you.

On your specific distraction: Greenland’s response to warming is increasing height inland due to more rain at the edges. See Fettweis for a detailed explanation:

X. Fettweis. The Cryosphere, 1, 20-41,2007, Reconstruction of the 1979–2006 Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance using the regional climate model MAR

He explains:

                    “Consequences of a warmer climate
on the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) mass balance will be a
thickening inland, due to increased solid precipitation, and a
thinning at the GrIS periphery, due to a combination of an
increasing surface melt and a probably increased iceberg dis-
charge into the ocean along the coasts.”
I’m putting you in for First Prize in the “Fred Singer Quote Mines of the Week”!

It’s good that there is a source shedding light on this type of activity.  I guess a lot of people think that if you throw enough money at a perceived problem that it will go away.

Sadly, I don’t see that there is going to be any significant change in how green house gassses are handled anytime in the near future.  President Obama might have been the type that would have taken steps to get it done but right now the economy is in the tank and the majority of people out there care a lot more about keeping their jobs (or regaining the ones they lost) and recapturring the value of their stock portfolios and the values of their homes than the do about climate change.

I think that we’ll see very little change on this front until we see a drastic economic recovery, and I’m doubting that people are going to feel better about things in the near future enough to make so-called “secondary issues” a priority again.

Brian Kurtz - I’m a veteran of the United States Marine Corps who sells real estate, builds websites, and runs an online airsoft sniper rifle shop in my spare time.

Hi, my name is Matt Razor and I run a small personal blog about airsoft sniper rifles and the use of green gas to power our rifles. I would like to say that this a classic example of money over power which makes me sick to the stomach!