Friday, July 28, 2006

Coal Industry Buys a Scientific Streetwalker

As lawyers we are taught, When the law is on your side, argue the law. When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When you don't have the law or the facts, argue really loud! The coal industry has another choice -- buy the argument you need. They've paid over $100,000 to the only scientist they can get to dispute global warming. Of course, he's an unethical sleazeball with no credibility, but he has a degree, and is a doctor of something. That's enough for the coal industry to pawn him off on the supine corporate media. So he writes crap opinion pieces, published in trash papers like the Washington Times, and ends them with this neutral description:

Patrick J. Michaels is senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute and professor of natural resources at Virginia Tech.

When in actuality, he's a coal industry whore. A scientific streetwalker, as it were.

ThinkProgress: LEAKED MEMO: Coal Industry Coordinating Propaganda Blitz Attacking Global Warming Science

A secret memo by the coal industry details a coordinated campaign to spread misinformation about global warming. The memo expresses fear that if the government addresses climate change — through a carbon tax or regulating greenhouse gasses — it will cut into their profits.

Their solution: “support the scientific community that is willing to stand up against the alarmists.” (The memo also refers to people who believe in global warming science as those “whose true motivation is to stop growth, develop renewable resources [and] discontinue the use of fossil fuels, especially coal.”)

But the coal-based utility leading the campaign ran up against a problem: there is no scientific community who agrees with them. The memo acknowledges almost everyone who disputes global warming science have no “involvement in climatology.” So they’ve decided to lavish funding on one climatologist who will do their bidding: Pat Michaels.

The memo describes how the coal-based utility contributed “$100,000 to Dr. Michaels this year.” It also “contacted all the [utilities] in the United States” asking for contributions to Michaels’ research and “obtained additional contributions.”....

Go to the ThinkProgress article for embedded links.

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