Saturday, April 19, 2008

An Old Global Warming Skeptic Is New Again

On BFD, resident warming denier J. Murray posts links and and summary to a WSJ editorial by Dr. Patrick Michaels from the University of Virginia. Murray titled his BFD piece "Another Prominent Scientists Challenges Global Warming," implying that Michaels is someone we haven't heard from before on the issue. After the summary J says, "For those with an open mind and a desire to learn, it’s worth a full read."

Well I have an open mind and a desire to learn, so I actually clicked through and read it. In fact my mind was so open I questioned whether this was, as implied by the title, a new scientist wandering into denier camp. As it happens I was at U.Va. in the nineties as the climate debate began heating up, so to speak, and recall Dr. Michaels as a prominent denier then.

Indeed, a few moments with Google churned up plenty of info on the good doctor. Like the fact that his work is generously underwritten by the petroleum industry and electric utilities. And that he has been accused of sloppy science.

So, no, climate deniers. You haven't gotten a new convert. Just a well-funded crank who has been at this for twenty years.


Anonymous said...

Funny how when Global Warming proponents get massive government and Green NGO funding for their research their work is totally virgin and uncorrupted but when they get money from the other side their just getting paid off.

Remember that scientists on both sides get paid in real United States Dollars that have the same purchasing power. Following the money will lead you to both sides.

Pho said...

The denier trope that just as much money goes on the proponent side is apocryphal. For the most part the science supporting the global warming story is just basic science, not research funded with the specific purpose of reaching a certain result. So people who make this arguments tote up things like NSF grant that simply fund research. A guy like Michaels gets money to do little original research and instead fly around to Cato events and write op-eds. No, it's not the same thing.

I know plenty of scientists who do the sort of peer-reviewed work that proponents work on. They aren't exactly holding their breaths for those five- and six-figure checks.

Swanny said...

Did you know there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between global temperatures and the number of pirates? As the number of pirates decrease, the global temperature increases.

Somalia has the highest number of Pirates AND the lowest Carbon emissions of any country. Coincidence?

Mencken said...

Since you capitalized the P in Pirates, then Pittsburgh is the correct answer, not Somalia. But I did not know there was a connection between Pastafarianism and Global Warming.

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