Patrick Michaels

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Patrick J. Michaels
Born (1950-02-15) February 15, 1950 (age 64)
Berwyn, Illinois, United States[1]
Residence United States
Nationality American
Fields Climatology, Ecology
Institutions University of Wisconsin,
University of Virginia,
Cato Institute
Alma mater University of Chicago,
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Thesis Atmospheric anomalies and crop yields in North America (1979)
Known for Work on global warming
Website
Patrick J. Michaels, Cato Institute

Patrick J. ("Pat") Michaels (born February 15, 1950) is an American climatologist. Michaels is a senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute. Until 2007 he was research professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, where he had worked from 1980.[2][3]

A self-described skeptic on the issue of global warming, he is a past president of the American Association of State Climatologists. He has written a number of books and papers on climate change, including Sound and Fury: The Science and Politics of Global Warming (1992), The Satanic Gases (2000), and Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians, and the Media (2004) and is the co-author of Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don't Want You to Know (2009).[2]

Education[edit]

Patrick Michaels obtained an A.B. in biological science in 1971 and an S.M. in biology in 1975 from the University of Chicago, and in 1979 obtained his Ph.D. in ecological climatology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.[4] His doctoral thesis was titled, Atmospheric anomalies and crop yields in North America.[5]

Views on climate change[edit]

Michaels has said that he does not contest the basic scientific principles behind greenhouse warming and acknowledges that the global mean temperature has increased in recent decades.[6] He is a widely quoted global warming skeptic.[7][8] He contends that the changes will be minor, not catastrophic, and may even be beneficial.[9]

He has written extensive editorials on this topic for the mass media, and for think tanks and their publications such as Regulation. He stated in 2000:[9]

[S]cientists know quite precisely how much the planet will warm in the foreseeable future, a modest three-quarters of a degree (C) [in 50 years]

All this has to do with basic physics, which isn't real hard to understand. It has been known since 1872 that as we emit more and more carbon dioxide into our atmosphere, each increment results in less and less warming. In other words, the first changes produce the most warming, and subsequent ones produce a bit less, and so on. But we also assume carbon dioxide continues to go into the atmosphere at an ever-increasing rate. In other words, the increase from year-to-year isn't constant, but itself is increasing. The effect of increasing the rate of carbon dioxide emissions, coupled with the fact that more and more carbon dioxide produces less and less warming compels our climate projections for the future warming to be pretty much a straight line. Translation: Once human beings start to warm the climate, they do so at a constant rate.[10]

Michaels has stated in the Wall Street Journal:

Why is the news on global warming always bad? Perhaps because there's little incentive to look at things the other way. If you do, you're liable to be pilloried by your colleagues. If global warming isn't such a threat, who needs all that funding?[11]

An article published in the journal Climate Research by Michaels and three other scholars in 2002 predicted "a warming range of 1.3–3.0°C, with a central value of 1.9°C" over the 2000 to 2100 period, although he remarked that the "temperature range and central values determined in our study may be too great."[12]

In 2009, Michaels authored a CATO report arguing that "Congress should pass no legislation restricting emissions of carbon dioxide, repeal current ethanol mandates, and inform the public about how little climate change would be prevented by proposed legislation." [13]

Advocacy[edit]

Expert Witness for Western Fuels Association[edit]

In May 1994 Richard Lindzen, Patrick Michaels, and Robert Balling served as expert witnesses on behalf of Western Fuels Association in St. Paul, Minnesota to determine the environmental cost of coal burning by state power plants.[14] Western Fuels Association is a consortium of coal producers that uses collective advocacy to represent industry interests.[15]

1998 Patrick Michaels and Robert Balling Vindicated[edit]

In 1998 Patrick Michaels and his colleague Robert Balling took a complaint against the Star Tribune to the Minnesota News Council. By a 9–4 decision the council "voted to sustain the complaint that the Star Tribune editorial unfairly characterized the scientific reputations of Patrick Michaels and Robert Balling."[16] Michaels was mentioned as a fossil fuel industry – funded scientist in Ross Gelbspan's 1997 book The Heat is On. This had led the Minnesota Star Tribune to run an editorial speaking of a "disinformation campaign" by some climatologists.

World Climate Report, Greening Earth Society and Western Fuels Association[edit]

The World Climate Report, a newsletter edited by Patrick Michaels was first published by the Greening Earth Society a public relations organization [17][18] Greening Earth Society was funded and controlled by the Western Fuels Association (WFA), an association of coal-burning utility companies [19] Greening Earth Society shared an office and many staff members with Western Fuels Association.[20][21][22][23][unreliable source?] It has been called a "front group created by the coal industry"[24] and an "industry front".[25] Fred Palmer, a Society staffer, is a registered lobbyist for Peabody Energy, a coal company.[26] WFA founded the group in 1997, according to an archived version of its website, "as a vehicle for advocacy on climate change, the environmental impact of CO2, and fossil fuel use."[27]

2003 John Holdren[edit]

Office of Science and Technology Policy director, John Holdren,[28] told the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee in June 2003, "Michaels is another of the handful of U.S. climate-change contrarians … He has published little if anything of distinction in the professional literature, being noted rather for his shrill op-ed pieces and indiscriminate denunciations of virtually every finding of mainstream climate science."[29] In 2009 Michaels responded in a Washington Examiner Op-Ed, saying that the IPCC had subverted the peer review process, and adding the IPCC had "left out plenty of peer-reviewed science that it found inconveniently disagreeable."[30]

International Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group in 2007[edit]

Michaels was one of hundreds of US reviewers composing the International Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group in 2007.

Although the Greening Earth Society was generally skeptical of the impact of climate change, it acknowledged some degree of global warming as real: "Fact #1. The rate of global warming during the past several decades has been about 0.18°C per decade".[31] Note that the actual increase in the global surface temperature during the 100 years ending in 2005 was 0.74 ± 0.18 °C.[32]

Climate scientist Tom Wigley,[33] a lead author of parts of the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has stated that "Michaels' statements on the subject of computer models are a catalog of misrepresentation and misinterpretation … Many of the supposedly factual statements made in Michaels' testimony are either inaccurate or are seriously misleading."[34]

2009 Michaels and Balling Praised for Climate of Extremes[edit]

Michaels received praise for his book, "Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don't Want You to Know" from University of Alabama-Huntsville Principal Research Scientist Roy Spencer, who wrote, "Michaels and [Co-Author Robert] Balling have provided a treasure trove of the latest global warming science."[35] Will Happer, Professor of Physics and Former Chairman of the University Research Board at Princeton University, also praised the book and wrote it "...provides important and honest information about climate change that is hard to find elsewhere."[36]

Funding from energy or fossil fuel companies[edit]

On July 27, 2006 ABC News reported that a Colorado energy cooperative, the Intermountain Rural Electric Association, had given Michaels $100,000.[37] An Associated Press report said that the donations had been made after Michaels had "told Western business leaders ... that he was running out of money for his analyses of other scientists' global warming research" and noted that the cooperative had a vested interest in opposing mandatory carbon dioxide caps, a situation that raised conflict of interest concerns.[38]

Patrick Michaels acknowledged on CNN that 40 per cent of his funding came from the oil industry.[39] According to Fred Pearce, fossil fuel companies have helped fund Michaels' projects, including his World Climate Report, published every year since 1994, and his "advocacy science consulting firm", New Hope Environmental Services.[40]

A 2005 article in the Seattle Times reported that Michaels had received more than $165,000 in fuel-industry funding, including money from the coal industry to publish his own climate journal.[7]

Selected publications[edit]

Michaels is the author of several books including: Sound and Fury: The Science and Politics of Global Warming (1992), Satanic Gases (2002; as coauthor), Meltdown: The Predictable Distortion of Global Warming by Scientists, Politicians and the Media (2004), published by the Cato Institute, and Shattered Consensus: The True State of Global Warming (2005; as editor and coauthor).

His writing has been published in major scientific journals, including Climate Research, Climatic Change, Geophysical Research Letters, Journal of Climate, Nature, and Science, as well as in popular serials such as the Washington Post, Washington Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Houston Chronicle, and Journal of Commerce.[2] He was an author of the climate "paper of the year" awarded by the Association of American Geographers in 2004.[2]

Science papers[edit]

Books[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Patrick Michaels CV". Society of Environmental Journalists. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Patrick J. Michaels," Cato Institute, accessed August 3, 2010; for his self-described skepticism, see Michaels, Patrick. "Holes in the Greenhouse Effect?", Cato Institute, accessed August 3, 2010.
  3. ^ Gibson, Bob (September 25, 2007). "Former climatologist will pursue research work". Charlottesville Daily Progress. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved January 25, 2014. 
  4. ^ "C.V. Patrick J. Michaels". United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce. February 12, 2009. Archived from the original on March 3, 2011. 
  5. ^ Michaels, Patrick J. (1979). "Atmospheric anomalies and crop yields in North America". University of Wisconsin-Madison. 
  6. ^ Michaels, Patrick (1 February 2007). "Live with climate change". USA Today. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Doughton, Sandi (11 October 2005). "The truth about global warming". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2007-05-04. 
  8. ^ http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=6129
  9. ^ a b Michaels, Patrick; Paul C. Knappenberger; Robert E. Davis (Fall 2000). "The Way of Warming" (PDF) 23 (3). Regulation. Retrieved 2007-03-14. 
  10. ^ Michaels, Patrick (16 October 2003). "Posturing and reality on warming". Washington Times. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  11. ^ "Our Climate Numbers Are a Big Old Mess", Wall Street Journal, 4-18-08
  12. ^ Michaels, Patrick J.; Balling Jr., Robert C.; Knappenberger, Paul C.; Knappenberger, PC (1998). "Analysis of trends in the variability of daily and monthly historical temperature measurements" (PDF). Climate Research 10: 27–33. doi:10.3354/cr010027. ISSN 0936-577X. 
  13. ^ Michaels, Patrick (2009). "CATO Handbook for Policy Makers" (PDF). CATO Institute. 
  14. ^ Gelbspan, Ross (December 1995). "The Heat is On:The warming of the world's climate sparks a blaze of denial". Harper's Magazine. 
  15. ^ "What we do". Western Fuels Association. 
  16. ^ Minnesota News Council, 16 April 1998, Determination 118: Patrick Michaels, Robert Balling v. Star Tribune archived at Archived March 17, 2004 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Scientific Advisers" at the Wayback Machine (archived December 5, 1998), Greening Earth Society, website archived from December 1998.
  18. ^ "Scientific Advisers" at the Wayback Machine (archived September 25, 2001), Greening Earth Society, website archived from September 2001.
  19. ^ San Francisco Chronicle
  20. ^ http://web.archive.org/web/19990220104401/www.greeningearthsociety.org/contact.htm
  21. ^ http://maps.google.com/maps/place?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=1G1GGLQ_ENUS353&oq=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=%22western+fuels+association%22+arlington&fb=1&gl=us&hq=%22western+fuels+association%22&hnear=arlington&cid=1855847136240586189
  22. ^ http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/global_warming_contrarians/global-warming-skeptic.html
  23. ^ Exxonsecrets: Greening Earth Society
  24. ^ PRWatch.org
  25. ^ Salon.com
  26. ^ U.S. Lobby Registration and Disclosure Page
  27. ^ "Join GES" at the Wayback Machine (archived March 8, 2005), Greening Earth Society website, archived from March 2005.
  28. ^ "John Holdren's bio and publications at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs". Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  29. ^ John P. Holdren (June 9, 2003). "Comments by John P. Holdren on "The Shaky Science Behind the Climate Change Sense of the Congress Resolution" – US Senate Republican Policy Committee" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-03-14. 
  30. ^ "Patrick Michaels: Climate scientists subverted peer review". December 2, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-10. 
  31. ^ Greening Earth Society at the Wayback Machine (archived March 15, 2005)
  32. ^ "Summary for Policymakers" (PDF). Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 2007-02-05. Retrieved 2007-02-02. The updated hundred-year linear trend (1906 to 2005) of 0.74 °C [0.56 °C to 0.92 °C] is therefore larger than the corresponding trend for 1901 to 2000 given in the TAR of 0.6 °C [0.4 °C to 0.8 °C]. 
  33. ^ "Leading Climate Scientists Reaffirm View that Late 20th Century Warming Was Unusual and Resulted From Human Activity" (Press release). American Geophysical Union. 7 July 2003. Retrieved 2007-05-27. 
  34. ^ Gelbspan, Ross (August 1997). The Heat is On. Perseus Books. ISBN 0-201-13295-8. 
  35. ^ "New findings about climate change the media won't tell you about". National Review Book Service. Retrieved 2010-01-10. 
  36. ^ Michaels, Patrick (January 2009). Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don't Want You to Know. Cato Institute. ISBN 978-1-933995-23-6. 
  37. ^ Sandell, Clayton; Bill Blakemore (July 27, 2006). "ABC News Reporting Cited As Evidence In Congressional Hearing On Global Warming". ABC News. Retrieved 2007-03-14. 
  38. ^ Borenstein, Seth (26 July 2006). "Utilities Give Warming Skeptic Big Bucks". The Boston Globe. Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-10-13. 
  39. ^ "Interview with Fareed Zakaria, Gavin Schmidt, Jeffrey Sachs and Patrick Michaels". CNN. 15 August 2010. 
  40. ^ Pearce, Fred (2010). The Climate Files: The Battle for the Truth about Global Warming. Guardian Books. ISBN 978-0-85265-229-9.  p. X.

External links[edit]