Koch-Tank Drains Out Climate Denial Group: Michaels, Maue, Gone

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In 1974, libertarians Ed Crane, Murray Rothbard, and Charles Koch (of the Koch Industries conglomerate) founded the Charles Koch Foundation, a libertarian “think” tank. In 1976 the name was changed to the Cato Institute. The name “Cato” comes from the “Cato’s Letters, or Essays on Liberty Civil and Religious and Other Important Subjects” which were written by John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon in the early 18th century, under the psuedonym “Cato” who was, in turn, an enemy of Julias Caesar. (For a treatment of the role of Cato’s Letters in the American Revolution see The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution by historian Bernard Bailyn.)

Cato took up the issue of anthropogenic global warming in around 2003, and the institute had a strong influence on Bush Administration policy. The most current and widespread Republican plank, among those Republicans that can read, is that global warming is real and at least some of it is human caused, but it does not matter, no big deal, climate changes, get over it. This philosophy (perhaps abusing the word “philosophy” there) is essentially a Cato product.

But now, Scott Waldman at E&E News reports that Cato is closing its climate shop. The biggest effect this will have is the departure of Patrick Michaels, often a commenter on Trump News, and the keeper of the nefarious policy on climate change. Waldman reports Michaels as saying, “They informed me that they didn’t think their vision of a think tank was in the science business, and so I said, ‘OK, bye.’ There had been some controversy going around the building for some time, so things got to a situation where they didn’t work out.”

Also gone from Cato, but his departure not necessarily connected with this change, is Richard Lindzen. Extremely annoying twitter denizen and supposed meteorologist Ryan Maue is also out.

For all the currently available details, see “Cato closes its climate shop.

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8 thoughts on “Koch-Tank Drains Out Climate Denial Group: Michaels, Maue, Gone

  1. …a libertarian “think” tank

    Unfortunate term. No such thing exists, since libertarian policy (as executed by those dicks and rickA on your blog) is based on “might makes right” and nothing more. Dogma institute is the correct term.

  2. Something tells me they’ll still continue to make statements denying the seriousness of climate change because that’s in the short term interest of the Koch Bros.

    1. Do you have an email address for the Koch brothers?

      It would be nice to get paid for my opinions.

    2. It is against their short term interests, but their is a longer game as well. Repeatedly dismissing, and lying about science in various areas. Making people think the basics of climate change ( and evolution and vaccination safety, etc) plays to the base of the right. They’ve spent years convincing people education and knowledge are bad, and this helps. You only need to look at ricka’s repeated lies and dismissal of science ( and basic decency) for an illustration of the type of mindless dishonesty they want in the supporters.

    3. Do you have an email address for the Koch brothers?

      It would be nice to get paid for my opinions.

      Why should they pay you? Shepherds don’t pay sheep.

  3. Do you have an email address for the Koch brothers?

    It would be nice to get paid for my opinions.

    Contact them. You’d probably be able to get an immediate job teaching their people advanced ways to lie.

  4. They won, until January 2021 at a minimum and mostly beyond, because even if Trump loses the Senate will be controlled by the GOP.

    So they have no reason to continue paying their usefully compliant purveyors of pseudo-science who happen to have some credibility because of their degrees and in the case of Lindzen, a tenured position at MIT.

    Kind of touching, really, the way these two are tossed to the curb once they’re not needed.

  5. Waldman reports Michaels as saying, “They informed me that they didn’t think their vision of a think tank was in the science business, and so I said, ‘OK, bye.’ There had been some controversy going around the building for some time, so things got to a situation where they didn’t work out.”

    I note the way Michaels assumes what he’d been offering is science. True, he has a scientific degree and accepts some of the basics of climate change science. But that just enables him to dissemble more skillfully.

    He once, IIRC, served as Virginia’s state climatologist but was removed from that position because of misstatements. I couldn’t find anything to back that up today. Nevertheless, his record of distortion is well documented.

    https://climateinvestigations.org/patrick-michaels-climate-denial/

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