Deniers: Patrick Michaels

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Research Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia<br /> Senior Fellow, Cato Institute. Visiting Scientist, Marshall Institute. Former State Climatologist<sup>*</sup>, Virginia. Advisor, American Legislative Exchange Council.<br />

Dr. Patrick Michaels is possibly the most prolific and widely-quoted climate change skeptic scientist. He has admitted receiving funding from various fossil fuel industry sources. His latest book, published in September 2004 by the Cato Institute, is titled: Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media. He is also the editor of Shattered Consensus: The True State of Global Warming, a collection of climate change skeptics' essays, published by The George C. Marshall Institute in December 2005.

Michaels is the Chief Editor for the World Climate Report a newsletter on global warming funded by the Western Fuels Association. Dr. Michaels has acknowledged that 20% of his funding comes from fossil fuel sources. Known funding includes: $49,000 from German Coal Mining Association, $15,000 from Edison Electric Institute and $40,000 from Cyprus Minerals Company, an early supporter of People for the West, a wise use group. He received $63,000 for research on global climate change from Western Fuels Association, above and beyond the undisclosed amount he is paid for the World Climate Report/Review. According to Harper's magazine, Michaels has recieved over $115,000 over the past four years from coal and oil interests. Michaels wrote Sound and Fury: The Science and Politics of Global Warming and The Satanic Gases: Clearing the Air About Global Warming which were published by the Cato Institute. In July of 2006, it was revealed that the Intermountain Rural Electric Association contributed $100,000 to Dr. Michaels.<br />

Dr. Michaels signed the 1995 Leipzig Declaration.

<sup>*</sup>Although Michaels bills himself as State Climatologist of Virginia, there is, in fact, no such governor-appointed position, and the state of Virginia has asked him to stop calling himself that when he is acting as a private consultant. He resigned in summer 2007 amid controversy over his position on global climate change.

A.B. and S.M. degrees in biological sciences and plant ecology, University of Chicago Ph.D. in ecological climatology , University of Wisconsin at Madison. Former President of the American Association of State Climatologists, and Program Chair for the Committee on Applied Meterology of the American Meterological Society. <br />

Key Quotes

19 August, 2002

"The Kyoto Treaty would cost a fortune, between 1 and 3 percent of GDP per year. But the amount of warming that it would save would be 0.07 degree Celsius in the next 50 years. That was the argument that killed Kyoto in front of the Bush administration, that it costs a fortune, and it does nothing."
Source: Pat Michaels Is Interviewed for CNN's "Capital Gang" (transcript), 8/19/02

16 October, 2003

"So, once you demonstrate humans are indeed warming the climate, you know the amount of future warming. This is where the greens (and Mr. Lieberman and Mr. McCain) made a major miscalculation: They assumed that once you could demonstrate a human influence on the Earth's surface temperature that people would be panicked into something like Kyoto. But, in reality, people are smart enough to know that a modest warming is a likely benefit, which is why they tend to move South as soon as they can afford it."
Source: "Posturing and Reality on Warming", Washington Times 10/16/03

19 August, 2004

"So, to all who worry about global warming, to all who think people threatening to blow up millions to get their political way is no big deal by comparison, chill out. The science is settled. The "skeptics," the strange name applied to those whose work shows the planet isn't coming to an end, have won."
Source: "Meltdown for Global Warming Science", Cato Institute website 08/19/04

1 April, 2005

"Southern Greenland, Glacier National Park and the Himalayan glaciers are on their way out, with little or no nudging needed from people. They're relics of the Big Ice Age that ended 11,000 years ago. It's too bad, though, that in the fight to hype global warming, the truth is also rapidly becoming another relic."
Source: "Himalayan Snow Job", "Washington Times, 4/01/05

7 February 2007

Patrick Michaels appeared on Bill O'Reilly's program on Fox News. Michaels acknowledged that global warming is occurring, but said that "there's this demonization on this issue which is horrendous," (referring to the scientific community) and said "Let's get on a campaign to defuse the rhetoric on this, so we can actually be constructive..." . He also had the following exchange with O'Reilly about smog and carbon emissions:
O'Reilly: There's a lot of goop in the air. You fly into Los Angeles,you fly through goop.
Michaels: That goop actually goes toward countering global warming.
Source: Fox New's "The O'Reilly Factor", February 7, 2007. See "media appearances" on Michaels' page at the Cato Institute.


19 August, 2002

"Well, you know, most of my funding, the vast majority, comes from taxpayer-supported entities. I would make the argument that if funding colors research, I should be certainly biased more towards the taxpayers, of which I am one, than towards industry. But the fact of the matter is, numbers are objective."
Source: Pat Michaels Is Interviewed for CNN's "Capital Gang" (transcript), 8/19/02

28 January, 2004

"In politics, timing is everything, Howard Dean being a wonderful example. So is Al Gore, who chose to give a completely paranoid speech about global warming in New York two weeks ago, on a day when the temperature was 22 degrees below normal. In a remarkably Dean-like rant to the Democratic organization MoveOn, he said that the reason Americans reject his vision of climate-Armageddon has more to do with what he called 'a massive and well-organized campaign of disinformation' on the part of me and my few friends than it does with the thermometer. When it comes to disinformation about climate change, Al Gore's got competition in the principal beneficiary of Howard Dean's rhetorical largesse, John Kerry."
Source: "Kerry is even more skewed than Gore was on global warming", New Hampshire Union Leader 1/28/04

7 November, 2004

" The fact is that Kilimanjaro's glaciers vary greatly, with or without global warming. And there are dozens of other stories where scientists exaggerate global warming, ignore its positive aspects, and where the media only report the bad news."
Source: "Is Global Warming Always Bad?", Apple Daily 11/3/04

23 February 2007

Michaels criticizes Al Gore's climate change documentary An Inconvenient Truth, saying that it is a "riveting work of science fiction" , misquotes the film's statements about rising sea levels, and ultimately condemns national CO2 emissions legislation, saying "When it comes to global warming, apparently the truth is inconvenient. And it’s not just Gore’s movie that’s fiction. It’s the rhetoric of the Congress and the chief executive, too."
Source: "Inconvenient Truths: Novel Science Fiction on Global Warming" National Review Online, 02/23/07.

Key Deeds

31 December, 1998

Published a study entitled "Long Hot Year: Latest Science Debunks Global Warming Hysteria" through the Cato Institute's "Policy Analysis" series.
Source: "Long Hot Year: Latest Science Debunks Global Warming Hysteria", Cato Policy Analysis No. 329

29 July, 1998

Testifed before the House Committee on Small Business, arguing that there wasn't scientific evidence to support the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol.
Source: Transcript, Patrick Michaels' testimony before House Small Business Committee 7/29/98

6 October, 1999

Testified before House Subcommittee on National Economic Growth, Natural Resources and Regulatory affairs, arguing against the classification of carbon dioxide as a pollutant.
Source: Transcript, Patrick Michaels' testimony before House Committee on Energy and Environment 10/6/99

19 August, 2002

Appeared on CNN's "Capital Gang", arguing against the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. Michaels also argued that global warming, if it is happening, could be beneficial.
Source: Pat Michaels Is Interviewed for CNN's "Capital Gang" (transcript) 8/19/02

3-5 December 2002

Patrick Michaels was a presenter at a workshop held by the US Climate Change Science Program ( , CCSP) in 2002. The stated purpose of this workshop was to "assure the continued scientific credibility of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program" and to:

... respond[s] to [President George W. Bush's] direction that the U.S. global change and climate change science programs must be objective, sensitive to uncertainties, and well documented for public debate. The U.S. global change and climate change research programs must consistently meet the highest standards of credibility, transparency, and responsiveness to the scientific community, as well as to all interested user groups, and our international partners.

Michaels' presentation was part of the workshop's final breakout session, the purpose of which was to define the CCSP's "outreach" (communication of climate change facts) to media, policy makers, and the public.
Click here for Michaels' PowerPoint presentation. His final slide claims that CO2 emissions have no effect on climate change.
Source: See links provided.

1 February, 2006

In February of 2006, Michaels received at least $100,000 in funding from Intermountain Rural Electric Association.
Source: ABC News Story (2006)

8 March, 2007

Appeared in documentary "The Great Global Warming Swindle"
Source: The Great Global Warming Swindle (Documentary)

2 May, 2007

Appeared on Glenn Beck's May 2, 2007 special "Exposed: The Climate of Fear"
Source: Glenn Beck special "Exposed: The Climate of Fear," May 2, 2007

Key Events

Countdown to Kyoto
The relationship of Patrick J. Michaels to the event: Attendee

NCPA Earth Day Briefing on Global Warming: 'What Do We Really Know vs. What We Are Told' (via
The relationship of Patrick J. Michaels to the event: Speaker

US Climate Change Science Program Workshop
See entry in "KEY DEEDS" section above for details.
The relationship of Patrick J. Michaels to the event: Speaker

Global Warming: The State of the Debate
The relationship of Patrick J. Michaels to the event: Speaker

The Impacts of Global Warming: Why the Alarmist View is Wrong
The relationship of Patrick J. Michaels to the event: Speaker

Extinctions of Logic: Is There a Link between Human-Caused Global Warming and Mass Extinction?
Cato Institute Capitol Hill/Congressional briefing
The relationshipt of Patrick J. Michaels to the event: Speaker (click here for his PowerPoint presentation)</br>

Shattered Consensus Authors' Roundtable
George C. Marshall Institute
The relationship of Patrick J. Michaels to the event: Speaker (click here for his slides)

Global Warming: Some Convenient Facts
Cato Institute Capitol Hill/Congressional briefing


Cato Institute
Source: Cato Institute website

Independent Commission on Environmental Education (ICEE)
Source: Organization no longer exists; was originally a part of the George C. Marshall Institute (ICEE, via Michaels participated in at least one roundtable (also via

American Council on Science and Health
Source: ACSH website

The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition
Source: De Smog Blog,

Consumer Alert
Source: entry (Consumer Alert website was down as of 9/07)

George C. Marshall Institute
Source: George C. Marshall Institute website

Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow
Source: Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow website

American Legislative Exchange Council
Source: ALEC website

Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy
Source: Weidenbaum Center website (Center for American Business publications)

Heritage Foundation
Source: Heritage Foundation "Policy Experts" website (screenshot of search results).

Cooler Heads Coalition (
Source: Cooler Heads website

Tech Central Science Foundation or Tech Central Station
Source: Tech Central Station Bio - Michaels

World Climate Report
Source: World Climate Report website

Virginia Institute for Public Policy
Source: Virginia Institute for Public Policy website

Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow
Source: Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow website (CFACT)

American Spectator Foundation
Source: The American Spectator website, list of columnists

Western Fuels Association
Source: Ross Gelbspan, "The Heat is On,"

Greening Earth Society
Source: Ross Gelbspan, "The Heat is On,"

Competitive Enterprise Institute
Source: CEI Website

Heartland Institute
Source: Heartland Institute -

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