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.“