MSNBC taps think tanker Pat Michaels for expert advice

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.

It’s not hard to find an expert who is actually conducting research on Arctic Sea Ice - I found over 50 in about 3 seconds on Google.

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.


[Peter Gleick quote re Pat Michaels]

Pat Michaels is not one of the nation’s leading researchers on climate change,” asserts Peter Gleick, a conservation analyst and president of the Oakland-based Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security. “On the contrary, he is one of a very small minority of nay-sayers who continue to dispute the facts and science about climate change in the face of compelling, overwhelming, and growing evidence.

“I consider that Michaels is to the science of climate change like the Flat Earth Society is to the science of planetary shape.”

[/Peter Gleick quote re Pat Michaels]

“A rural electric cooperative based in Sedalia, Colorado, the Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA) has a big investment in coal-fired power plants, according to ABC News. A broad consensus of scientists recognize burning coal as a heavy contributor to dangerous global warming through emission of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.

ABC News obtained a copy of a nine-page document that IREA general manager Stanley Lewandowski Jr., sent members of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. In it, Lewandowski condemns carbon taxes and caps on greenhouse gases. He also admits using $100,000 in IREA customer money to fund Patrick Michaels, a professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia. Michaels, a Cato Institute senior fellow and author, is one of a handful of scientists who deny the impact of global warming and that human emissions of greenhouse gases are the primary cause.” 

[IREA Memo quote]

..,There are other groups that are interested in the issue of global warming and the concerns about its costs. Koch industries is working with other large corporations, including AEP* and the Southern Company on possibly financing a film that would counteract ‘An inconvenient Truth’**. Koch has also decided to finance a coalition that very likely will be administered throughout the National Association of Manufacturers. The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has been running two ads in ten states that were financed by General Motors and the Ford Motor Company. CEI has a director on climate change and other employees working on the issue. We have met with Koch, CEI and Dr. Michaels and they meet among themselves periodically to discuss their activities…,

[/IREA Memo quote]

* Presumably American Electric Power

** “The Great Global Warming Swindle” fits.

Then of course there is Pat Michaels fraudulent misrepresentation under oath regarding Hansen’s Testimony.