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Thursday, July 27, 2006

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 utility 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.” Here are a few
highlights from Michaels’ career:

– In 2003, Michaels famously “proved” that global warming was mostly hype by mixing up degrees and radians.

– In 2004, Michaels told Business Week, “We know how much the planet is going to warm. It is a small amount, and we can’t do anything about it.

– This year, Michaels completely misrepresented a study by Curt Davis to falsely claim that Antartica has been gaining ice in recent years.

In 2003, A Harvard scientist told the Senate Republican Policy
Committee that Michaels 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

Funding Michaels is part of a larger propaganda campaign, involving
several industries, described in the memo. Other activities include
bankrolling a movie that attacks An Inconvenient Truth, deceptive advertisements by the Competitive Enterprise Institute and aggressive lobbying. Corporations meet regularly with Michaels and CEI to discuss strategy.

You can read the memo here. Desmog blog has more.


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