Myron Ebell (born in Baker County, Oregon) is an American climate change skeptic. He is the Director of Global Warming and International Environmental Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a non-profit public policy organization founded in 1984 by Fred L. Smith, Jr. Ebell directs and oversees all aspects of energy policy education and advocacy for CEI. He is also the Chairman of the Cooler Heads Coalition, an informal, ad hoc policy group that works on the economics, science, and risk analysis associated with global warming.
His main job is to provide material to the media in the form of quotes to newspaper reporters and participation in live interviews on the subject of climate change. His positions at various times are: (a) climate change isn't happening, (b) it is happening, but it's not because of human released CO2, (c) it is happening, and may be human induced, but it will be much cheaper to adapt to the change than to ration the use of fossil fuels, (d) it is happening and the consequences will be good for the environment.
He has been described as a presidential advisor to George W. Bush in several media outlets. He was associated with presidential advisor Philip Cooney in an email about plans to take forward litigation against the EPA.
Ebell graduated from Colorado College with a B.A. and obtained an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics. He did some graduate work at the University of California at San Diego and at Peterhouse College, Cambridge University. There are no peer reviewed scientific publications on record by Ebell.
For a period of years up until 2005, Ebell published a fortnightly "Cooler Heads Project" Newsletter detailing what he claimed were controversies in the climate science field, as well as reports on the political and legislative failures by the environmentalists he opposes.
In his writings up to until August 2004 he frequently claimed that a known disparity between the computer climate models and a series of balloon and satellite measurements of the atmosphere cast doubt on the theory. After the errors were corrected, he stopped mentioning them.
Myron Ebell's interview in England on BBC radio Today program on the morning after the US re-election of George W. Bush probably led to the biggest response of any media interview. In it, he asserted that global warming was a hoax perpetrated by the EU and the rest of the world to harm America's economy. He justified the allegation with a quote from European Commissioner Margot Wallström in her response to Bush's withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol. Ebell also called the UK's Chief Scientist David King "an alarmist with ridiculous views who knows nothing about climate change", and then added that since all scientists in Europe and in other countries outside the USA were funded by governments, none of them could be seen as independent.
As well as the drawing criticism from many corners, 66 MPs signed an Early Day Motion deploring "in the strongest possible terms [his] unfounded and insulting criticism of Sir David King..." King himself has accused Ebell of posing as an adviser to President Bush, and of appearing at talks solely to ask "a question that wasn't ever really a question," accusing King of bias and of ignoring the work of other scientists.
In a live interview on the same program on 19 May 2005, George Monbiot challenged him to a £5000 bet that the global average temperature over the next ten years would be higher than the global average temperature of the past ten years, but Ebell declined, saying, "I have four children to put through university. I don't take risks."
A year later on 20 September 2006 he appeared on the BBC TV Newsnight program and described how the Competitive Enterprise Institute worked: "We develop our policies, and then we try to find funding for them. Some we find some funding, other's we find very little."
In this same program, Ebell admits to having no scientific training.
Ebell's support work within the Competitive Enterprise Institute is not known. He has written various published op-ed pieces for newspapers, magazines and webpages. In a piece in Forbes December 2006 he wrote:
|“||[R]ising sea levels, if they happen, would be bad for a lot of people. But a warming trend would be good for other people. More people die from blizzards and cold spells than from heat waves. Increased death rates usually persist for weeks after the unusually cold temperatures have passed, which suggests that the cold is killing people who would otherwise live into another season at least... [M]odest climatic improvement would be to have fewer and less severe big winter storms... This promising scenario of milder winters... comes with a catch, however... Given our obvious preference for living in warmer climates as long as we have air-conditioning, I doubt that we're going to go on the energy diet that the global warming doomsters urge us to undertake.||”|
In 2000, Ebell was a plaintiff, along with several members of Congress, including Sen. James Inhofe (R, OK), who sued the National Science and Technology Council, President Bill Clinton, and the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs asserted that the National Assessment on Climate Change report—which details likely state-by-state consequences of anthropogenic climate change—violated several federal open-meeting, appropriations and research statutes.
In June 2002 he wrote a memo to Philip Cooney, which Greenpeace later obtained, outlining their strategy for dealing with what Ebell saw as problems caused by the Climate Action Report 2002, which the US government had submitted to the UN. The crucial paragraph of this memo reads:
|“||As I said, we made the decision this morning to do as much as we could to deflect criticism by blaming the EPA for freelancing. It seems to me that the folks at the EPA are the obvious fall guys, and we would only hope that the fall guy (or gal) should be as high up as possible. I have done several interviews and have stressed that the president needs to get everyone rowing in the same direction. Perhaps tomorrow we will call for [Christine Todd Whitman] to be fired. I know that that doesn't sound like much help, but it seems to me that our only leverage to push you in the right direction is to drive a wedge between the President and those in the Administration who think they are serving the president's best interests by publishing this rubbish.||”|
When two state attorneys general obtained this email they wrote to John Ashcroft, the US attorney general:
|“||It appears that certain White House officials conspired with an anti-environmental special interest group to cause the lawsuit to be filed against the federal government.
The idea that the Bush Administration may have invited a lawsuit from a special interest group in order to undermine the federal government's own work under an international treaty is very troubling.
We believe an investigation is necessary to determine whether the idea of this lawsuit came from the White House itself, and if so, whether it represents improper conduct by public officials.
Myron Ebell has written a number of articles for Human Events, a national conservative weekly since 2003 on issues of oil drilling and of the fight for the re-election of the republican representative Richard Pombo. For these articles, his list of credentials excludes his work for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is often described in the news as a "non-profit, non-partisan public policy group."
He has been a harsh critic of the Environmental Protection Agency, saying that it unfairly infringes on land owner's property rights, as well as going against the protection of rare species by encouraging land-owners to make their property uninhabitable for such species to escape regulation.
- Myron Ebell Climate - a blog tracking everything Myron Ebell does and says
- Myron Ebell Timeline at History Commons
- Official CEI bio
- List of publications
- 'Some Like It Hot' Article
- Video clips of key moments on the last session of the Climate Change Conference in Bali, December 2007 and interviews with Hilary Benn and Myron Ebell on Channel4 News: "Bali: a deal of sorts".
- Myron Ebell (25 December 2006). "Love Global Warming". Forbes.com. Retrieved 2006-12-08.
- Myron Ebell (4 August 2004). "Vol. VIII, No 16 - CCSP to Look at Satellite/Surface Temperature Disparity". CEI. Retrieved 2006-11-20.
- "Fairness and accuracy in Myron". The Myron Ebell Climate. 23 March 2006.
- Stephen Castle (19 March 2001). "EU sends strong warning to Bushover greenhouse gas emisssions". The Independent. Retrieved 2006-11-20.
- "With the Queen in Germany worrying about climate change...? (includes listener feedback)" (REALAUDIO). BBC. 4 November 2004. Retrieved 2006-11-20.
- "1881 US Government and climate change". Hansard. 17 November 2004.
- "The Science Show with Robyn Williams: Sabotage and climate change". 20 October 2009.
- "Has alarmism really replaced science in the global warming debate?" (REALAUDIO). BBC. 19 May 2005. Retrieved 2006-11-20.
- "Another proper interview ten years late". The Myron Ebell Climate. 21 September 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-20.
- "Greenpeace obtains smoking-gun memo: White House/Exxon link". Greenpeace. 9 September 2003. Retrieved 2006-11-20.
- "Climate Action Report 2002". May 2002. Retrieved 2006-11-20.
- "Maine, Connecticut AGs call on Ashcroft to investigate White House role in lawsuit" (Press release). Maine.gov. 11 August 2003. Retrieved 2007-01-11.
- Myron Ebell (2 November 2006). "Environmentalists Attack Richard Pombo". Human Events. Retrieved 2006-11-20.
- Competitive Enterprise Institute (8 November 2006). "Green Republicans Lead GOP Losses" (Press release). Yahoo. Retrieved 2006-11-20.
- Myron Ebell (April 2005). "An Update on Endangered Species Act Reform" (PDF). American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)l. Retrieved 2007-01-15.
- "Scoop issue 139". The National Center for Public Policy Research. 10 August 1996. Retrieved 2007-01-11.
- "Scientists' Report Documents ExxonMobil’s Tobacco-like Disinformation Campaign on Global Warming Science". Union of Concerned Scientists. 3 January 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-11.