Patrick Michaels: Decades of Denial

Perpetuating Climate Change Disinformation

Patrick Michaels, currently the Director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Koch-founded and funded Cato Institute, has built a career curating doubt about climate change science and its impact on our environment. His contributions as an ‘expert’ to the multi-pronged strategy to stall action on climate change have been subsidized for decades by the industries that have the most to lose from any such action.

Patrick Michaels, Climate Change

Patrick Michaels has been a part of shaping public policy and public opinion for nearly 30 years. He has appeared frequently before the judiciary and legislature and has infiltrated public discourse through his regular appearances on various news programs, ranging from Fox News to CNN.

Despite revelations of covert fossil fuel funding and questions of credibility throughout his career, Michaels is somehow taken seriously, even when he veers into economics and environmental policy, subjects well outside his area of scientific expertise.

While consensus over the causes of climate change has grown, Michaels has changed his line repeatedly – ranging from flat denial of the science, to expressing optimism on the benefits of additional CO2 or warming, to denial of the severity of its impacts, ignoring the already-deadly and devastating effects being felt in many parts of the world.

Over the decades, Michaels has worked and testified with a static rotation of other corporate-funded climate skeptics. This group of climate deniers works in concert, guarding information surrounding their funding and ardently supporting one another’s science, despite it being refuted. In the early ‘90’s Michaels began working with the likes of Richard Lindzen, Robert Balling, Jr., and Fred Singer, all of whom have financial ties to the fossil fuel industry. Lindzen and Balling, along with Roy Spencer, Robert Davis, John Christy, and Sherwood, Keith, and Craig Idso, continue to regularly appear next to Michaels in panels, reports, and legal proceedings.

Though Michaels and his peers were questioned as early as 1994, and criticized by allies in the fossil industry a year later, they continue to appear together in various forms. As climate change remains a controverted subject, Michaels’ work will be referenced again and again – giving him and his industry backers a platform to continue forwarding their agenda.

Climate Files: The Patrick Michaels Collection

As our work uncovering and analyzing primary documents on CIC’s Climate Files portal progresses, we will continue to added documents to our existing Patrick Michaels collection. These documents demonstrate Michaels’ lack of credibility as a neutral academic resource in determining the causes and impacts of climate change. The following timeline reflects the complete collection:

Patrick Michaels Research Updates

Climate Files, Climate Change

Climate Files Update: Decades of Denial

CIC has recently published twenty-five hard to find documents to our Climate Files portal. The documents added to our collections feature entities who have perpetuated climate denial for decades, including: The Western Fuels Association, a consortium of coal utilities and suppliers, Patrick Michaels of the Cato Institute, ExxonMobil, and The Global Climate Coalition The Western Fuels

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Patrick Michaels, Climate Change

Patrick Michaels’ 30 Years of Climate Denial

I. Michaels Cancels on Fossil Fuel Impact Investigation On September 28, 2018, the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines was scheduled to hear Patrick Michaels in their ongoing investigation into carbon majors’ contributions to climate change and its impacts on Filipinos. Michaels, currently the Director of the Center for the Study of Science at

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McCain, Climate Change

The Covert Attack on Sen. McCain’s Climate Leadership by ExxonMobil and the Koch brothers

InsideClimate News’ Marianne Lavelle published a long piece this weekend, chronicling Senator John McCain’s rise and fall as a climate leader.  The story highlights a campaign I worked on in 2000, where we asked all the presidential candidates the simple and still pertinent question, “What’s Your Plan?” on global warming. McCain was one of the

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Climate Files, Climate Change, Climate Denial

Climate Files Update: Shell, Exxon, and Early Denial

Document Updates As climate change impacts grow more serious everyday, documents housed on Climate Files preserve the crucial history of who knew what, when they knew it, and what they did next. Recently released documents include: 1996 remarks from former ExxonMobil CEO, Lee Raymond; 1994 edition of ABC’s Nightline television program reporting on corporate funding

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DCI Group Subpoenaed on Exxon Climate Denial Fraud Case

Now this is getting interesting… PRWatch just revealed that DCI Group was subpoenaed by the US Virgin Islands as part of the ExxonMobil fraud investigation. This Climate Investigations post contains some things we know about Exxon and DCI Group and its work on climate change. First, we know there was a contract.  DCI Group was

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CIC Briefing: Craig Idso Heartland Institute NIPCC Climate Denial

Background briefing, April 2014 Craig Idso: “Climate change is good for you” This week the Heartland Institute will release another chapter of its NIPCC, the “not the IPCC” document that will tell you the opposite of the main message that’s been coming from the prestigious IPCC, namely that climate change is a threat to security,

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