Most Credible Climate Skeptic Not So Credible After All

From Mother Jones By Kate Sheppard – Feb. 26

Patrick Michaels has more credibility than your average climate skeptic. Unlike some of the kookier characters that populate the small world of climate denialists—like Lord Christopher Monckton, a sometime adviser to Margaret Thatcher who claims that “We are a carbon-starved planet,” or H. Leighton Steward, a retired oil executive and author of a best-selling diet book who argues that carbon dioxide is “green”—Michaels is actually a bona fide climate scientist. As such, he’s often quoted by reporters as a reasonable expert who argues that global warming has been overhyped. But what Michaels doesn’t mention in his frequent media appearances is his history of receiving money from big polluters.

For example:

As it turned out, Michaels’ attempt to keep his client list secret wasn’t entirely successful. The court documents reveal that lawyers for the defense saw records revealing that Michaels had received money from at least one very large energy company.

In addition, Greenpeace recently obtained an older copy of Michaels’ curriculum vitae via a Freedom of Information Act request that shows that the Western Fuels Association, a coal and fuel-transportation business group, gave him a $63,000 grant in the early 1990s for “research on global climatic change.” He also received $25,000 from the Edison Electric Institute, an association of electric utilities, from 1992-95 for “literature review of climate change and updates.” And a 2006 leaked industry memo revealed that he received $100,000 in funding from the Intermountain Rural Electric Association to fund climate denial campaigning around the time of the release of An Inconvenient Truth. Reporter Ross Gelbspan wrote in his 1998 book The Heat is On, one of the earliest works documenting industry funding for climate change skepticism, that Michaels also received $49,000 came from the German Coal Mining Association and $40,000 from the western mining company Cyprus Minerals.

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