Case Study #2: Dr. Patrick Michaels, University of Virginia
According to testimony offered before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on March 15, 1995, Dr. Michaels has received funding from Western Fuels Association (a consortium of coal interests), German and American coal interests and Cyprus Minerals Company. Please refer to the attached chart for a further listing of funding sources.
Western Fuels Association
Ozone Action is currently unable to ascertain
the amount of money Dr. Michaels has received to publish World Climate
Review. The following is an excerpt of his testimony:
Q: That's fine. Do you publish a journal called the World Climate Review, a quarterly review of issues concerning global climate change?
A: No longer.
Q: No longer? You formerly did?
Q: And how long did you publish that?
A: A little less than three years.
Q: Who funded it?
A: Western Fuels Association. [Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on March 15, 1995, Transcript, page 89]
Dr. Michaels' own web page, however, touts World Climate Report, "a research review edited by Dr. Patrick J. Michaels. World Climate Report provides policy makers, journalists, and the interested public with an ongoing and accurate portrayal of the science of global climate change which will function as an antidote to the vision of apocalypse promoted by the professional environmental
community and by the United Nations. Funding for this publication is provided by Western Fuels Association, Inc. with additional funding by associated companies."
This description is corroborated by Western Fuels 1995 Annual Report, "Our publication and distribution of World Climate Review has clearly had an impact on the climate change debate. After 11 quarterly editions, we are discontinuing the magazine and replacing it with World Climate Report. This bi-monthly newsletter will provide a rapid response to the spurious reports that try to create virtual climate reality, a phony picture of increasing weather catastrophes caused by carbon dioxide emissions." [page 13]
In addition to this undisclosed funding from Western Fuels Association and other coal and energy interests to fund World Climate Review and World Climate Report, Dr. Michaels received a $63,000 grant from Western Fuels for research on global climate change.
German Coal Mining Association and Edison Electric
From the German Coal Mining Association, Dr. Michaels has received $49,000 and from Edison Electric Institute he has received $15,000.
Cyprus Minerals Company Dr. Michaels has received $40,000 from Cyprus Minerals Company.
According to the Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research (CLEAR), Cyprus Minerals was an early supporter of People for the West! giving the organization over $100,000 from 1991-1993. Jerome Bensing, Director of Governmental Affairs at Cyprus Minerals, was a member, in 1995, of People for the West's! Board of Directors.
Total Undisclosed Funding
According to Harper's Magazine, Dr. Michaels has received more than $115,000 from coal and oil interests over the past four years. [Harper's, "The Heat is On," Ross Gelbspan, December 1995, 35] Ozone Action has confirmed that Dr. Michaels has received $167,000 from undisclosed industry sources. This total does not include $50,000 he received from an anonymous donor or funding for either of the publications discussed above. [Please refer to the attached chart, asterisks are placed next to the funding sources included in this total]
Case Study #3 Information Council on the Environment (ICE)
In 1991, the Information Council for the Environment (ICE) stated their goal was to "reposition global warming as theory (not fact)." The ICE President, Gale Klappa of The Southern Company (an electric utility) and ICE Vice President, Frederick Palmer, Western Fuels Association worked with Edison Electric Company to target key Congressional districts with information about climate change.
ICE also created a Science Advisory Panel which included Dr. Robert Balling, Dr. Patrick Michaels and Dr. Sherwood Idso. According to documents obtained by Ozone Action and by Ross Gelbspan, several ICE strategies were laid out including: the repositioning of global warming as theory, not fact; achieving broad participation across the entire electric utility industry, and using a spokesman from the scientific community.
Media strategies included:
¥ targeting "older, less-educated males from larger households who are not typically active information seekers" and "younger, lower-income women."
¥ using "technical source" (i.e. scientists) because they receive a higher credibility rating from the public.
¥ and proposed advertisements "The most serious problem with catastrophic global warming is-- it may not be true," "If the earth is getting warmer, why is Minneapolis getting colder?" "Who told you the earth was warming...Chicken Little?" and "Some say the earth is warming. Some also said the earth was
Sporting a budget of $500,000, ICE worked with Simmons Advertising, Inc. in Grand Forks, ND to place a sixty second spot on the Rush Limbaugh Show. The text is as follows:
Global warming. I know you've been seeing more and more stories about the global warming theory. Stories that paint a horrible picture. Stories that say the polar ice caps will melt. Stories that [illegible] for catastrophe. Well get real! Stop panicking! I'm here to tell you that the facts simply don't jibe with the theory that catastrophic global warming is taking place. Try this fact on for size. Minneapolis has actually gotten colder. So has Albany, New York. And the Department of Agriculture says that on both coasts of this country, winter temperatures are five to ten degrees cooler than previously reported. So folks, grab hold of yourselves and get the whole story before you
make up your mind. Right now, you can get a free packet of easy-to-understand material about global warming. Just call this number: 1-800-346-6269 Extension 505. That's the Information Council for the Environment. After you read the free materials they send you, you'll have a better picture of what the facts are all about. That's 1-800-346-6269 Extension 505. Call Today. Because the best environmental policy is based on fact.
The ICE public relations campaign targeted several congressional districts including Champaign, IL (Terry Bruce, House Energy and Commerce Committee) and Fargo, ND (Byron Dorgan, House Ways & Means Committee).
These case studies are the first in a series of investigative papers to be included in a report entitled "Ties that Blind" to be released later this year.
For a complete copy of the documents cited above, please contact Ozone Action.