I have been rather dismissive of the agnatology from global warming deniers and hacks like Pat Michaels.

The notorious climate skeptic of the CATO Institute has admitted on CNN this weekend that 40 percent of his funding comes from Big Oil. Note that is what he admits to; his disinformation campaigns might be funded in considerably greater amounts than that.

When the media quotes him, they should disclose where the funding for his “skepticism” came from. As the ExxonSecrets profile of Pat Michaels sums up well, he is “possibly the most prolific and widely-quoted climate change skeptic scientist.”

Fareed Zakaria deserves a round of applause for challenging Michaels directly to cough up a figure for how much oil money he receives to defend the status quo:

ZAKARIA: Let me ask you what people wonder about, advocates like you. They say —

MICHAELS: I’m advocating for efficiency.

ZAKARIA: Right. But people say that you’re advocating also for the current petroleum-based industry to stand pat, to stay as it is, and that a lot of your research is funded by these industries.

MICHAELS: Oh, no, no. First of all, what I’m saying is —

ZAKARIA: Well, is your research funded by these industries?

MICHAELS: Not largely. The fact of the matter is —

ZAKARIA: Can I ask you what percentage of your work is funded by the petroleum industry?

MICHAELS: I don’t know. 40 percent? I don’t know.

Not a bad investment by the oil industry: Put up 40% of the funds, but use 100% of the junk science . . .

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DISCLOSURE: We are long Arch Coal (ACI) and Suncor (SU)   As I have said, you can burn fossil fuels and own V12 cars, or even invest in the energy sector, but please don’t be hypocritical by pretending that you are not impacting the climate.

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Category: Energy, UnScience, Video

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

9 Responses to “Climate Skeptic Pat Michaels: 40% of My Funding is From Big Oil”

  1. tax_me_more says:

    Did he get paid and then start taking these positions or did he believe them and then did the oil companies start paying him to be more vocal? You are showing cognitive bias :) You have already made up your mind and presumed he is being disingenuous.

    What about the Sun? Is it not a giant fireball? Does it always burn at the same rate throughout time or does it was and wean?

    Magnetosphere? Poles flipping?

    The climate does seem to be changing but what is the root cause. That remains a mystery. Many zealots in the environmental movement point to cars as the culprit with little valid evidence. Its easier to believe we are causing it and can stop it than to admit how puny we really are in the grand scheme of things and admit that if the Sun changes its behavior we could be doomed.

  2. tilomba says:

    Hi Barry,

    Thank you for another interesting post related to climate change.

    I have an issue with the mindset behind your statement:

    “Not a bad investment by the oil industry: Put up 40% of the funds, but use 100% of the junk science ”

    Science, as I understand it, is pretty cut and dry. When a “scientific claim” is made, there should be a clear means for other scientists to carry out the same observations to support/disprove that new claim. It doesn’t matter how many Ph.Ds someone has, the scientific method puts no weight on title. I can’t lobby or fund a movement to change the gravitational pull of earth weaker, so that I can stop going to gym. With our understanding of gravity, we can make a claim that is consistently demonstrable in the future.

    As a human caused climate change skeptic, I wait for the day when these claims can be validated by all scientists. If there is a single scientist that can demonstrate a different outcome, using scientific method, then the original claim is not a “scientific fact”. As Michael Creighton pointed out, “consensus” has no place in science. If 10,000 scientists sign a petition for X and 400 sign a petition for Y, then count me as a skeptic. It’s not enough for me to join the cause that will cost us billions (trillions?) to change our lifestyle to address this important issue.

    This is an important discussion and I’m not married to any idea, I simply want true science to be used to back up any claim. I continue to educate myself with posting such as yours on the issue to see if such an outcome has been reached. Please keep posting these articles and your other great work.

    Regards,
    Michael

  3. ByteMe says:

    Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data, ability to repeat discredited memes, and lack of respect for scientific knowledge.

    See above.

  4. IS_LM says:

    Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data, ability to repeat discredited memes, and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Also, be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor even implied. Any irrelevancies you can mention will also be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

    Advice for the ages. BTW, BR, you would have made a fine, non-economist addition to this American Economics Association panel:

    Jan 07, 2011 10:15 am, Sheraton, Governor’s Square 15
    American Economic Association
    What’s Wrong (and Right) with Economics? Implications of the Financial Crisis (A1) (Panel Discussion)
    Panel Moderator: John Quiggin (University of Queensland, Australia)
    Brad DeLong (University of California-Berkeley) Lessons for Keynesians
    Tyler Cowen (George Mason University) Lessons for Libertarians
    Scott Sumner (Bentley University) A defense of the Efficent Markets Hypothesis
    James K. Galbraith (University of Texas-Austin) Mainstream economics after the crisis

  5. IS_LM says:

    Incidentally, both Quiggin and Sumner were largely unknown before they started blogging. And the AEA is so anti-diluvian that one will not be able to find a podcast of the panel, nor a video on YouTube or Vimeo.

  6. Yossarian says:

    Yes, 97% (75/79) of Scientists accept the AGW Consensus:
    http://sppiblog.org/news/that-97-solution-again Also, please do
    some research on Gore, Goldman, etc. involvement with carbon
    trading and tell me that you can’t draw the same sinister
    conclusion about their motivations. Ditto with most climate
    scientists who want to ever get funding again.

  7. Gatsby says:

    tax_me_more: It is YOU who suffer from the cognitive bias. It is completely irrelevant if Pat Michael was a “skeptic” before or was paid to form a pre-determined perspective.

    If I find some lunatic who thinks the earth is flat and give him money to enable him to spread his rhetoric more effectively, then I am just as guilty of spreading mis-information as if I paid him to tell people the earth is flat.

    Here is another cognitive bias you suffer from: Just because the earth’s climate changes naturally does not mean that man’s action’s can’t impact that change by accelerating it or sowing it down.

  8. formerlawyer says:

    For a complete debunking of AGW deniers See:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/big-picture.html