Bios and research on Glenn Beck's global warming disinformation special


Rumour is that shock jock Glenn Beck will host the same old typical handful of global warming deniers on his CNN special tonight. They will no doubt spout the same old arguments like: “I remember when global cooling was all anyone would talk about.”

In what is becoming a perfect echo chamber, we see the same small group of mainly industry-funded “experts,” running from one ear to the next telling us that global warming is a hoax, and there is nothing to fear.

What this continuous recycling of the same 5 or 6 global warming deniers highlights more than anything is how very few there are left.

Here is the background on 3 of the known fossil fuel friendlies that will appear as “experts” on Beck’s show. They are Tim Ball, Pat Michaels and CEI‘s Chris Horner.

Tim Ball bio
(click here for the bio’s perma-link)

Ball and the oil industry
Ball is listed as a “consultant” of a Calgary-based global warming skeptic organization called the “Friends of Science” (FOS). In a January 28, 2007 article in the Toronto Star, the President of the FOS admitted that about one-third of the funding for the FOS is provided by the oil industry. In an August, ’06 Globe and Mail feature, the FOS was exposed as being funded in part by the oil and gas sector and hiding the fact that they were. According to the Globe and Mail, the oil industry money was funnelled through the Calgary Foundation charity, to the University of Calgary and then put into an education trust for the FOS.

Ball inflates credentials
Ball and organizations he is affiliated with have repeatedly made the claim that he is the “first Canadian PhD in climatology.” Even further, Ball once claimed he was “one of the first climatology PhD’s in the world.” As many people have pointed out, there have been many PhD’s in the field prior to Ball.

Ball and the NRSP
Ball is listed as an “Executive” for a Canadian group called the “Natural Resource Stewardship Project,” (NRSP) a lobby organization that refuses to disclose it’s funding sources. The NRSP is led by executive director Tom Harris and Dr. Tim Ball. An Oct. 16, 2006 CanWest Global news article on who funds the NRSP, it states that “a confidentiality agreement doesn’t allow him [Tom Harris] to say whether energy companies are funding his group.”

DeSmog recently uncovered information that two of the three Directors on the board of the Natural Resources Stewardship Project are senior executives of the High Park Advocacy Group, a Toronto based lobby firm that specializes in “energy, environment and ethics.”

Ball’s research history
Ball retired from the University of Winnipeg in 1996 and a search of 22,000 academic journals shows that, over the course of his career, Ball has published 4 pieces of original research in a peer-reviewed journal on the subject of climate change Ball has not published any new research in the last 11 years.

Ball sues researcher and Calgary Herald newspaper
On Sept. 1, Ball, launched a libel suit against Dr. Dan Johnson, a current Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Lethbridge and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Grassland Ecosystems. Here are the original Statements of Claim and Defence.

Patrick Michaels
(click here for the bio’s perma-link)

Michaels and the fossil fuel industry
According to a January, 2007 report (pdf.) by the Union of Concerned Scientists called Smoke, Mirrors and Hot Air: how Exxonmobil uses big tobacco to manufacture uncertainty on climate science, Michaels is connected to no less than 11 think tanks and associations that have received money from oil-giant ExxonMobil to sow doubt about the realities of human-induced global warming. These include the George C Marshall Institute, the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the Heartland Institute.

Michaels and the Cato Institute
Michaels is particulary active with the Cato Institute, where he holds the title of “Senior Fellow.” The Cato Institute is a Washington DC-based “think tank” that has received funding in the past from ExxonMobil, as well well-known energy industry-money backed charitable foundations like the Charles G Koch Foundation.

Michaels and the IREA leaked memo
In August, 2006, DSBlog and ABC News uncovered a leaked memo written by the president of the Intermountain Rural Electrical Association. In the memo it is written that Michaels’ consulting firm, New Hope Environmental Services, received $100,000 from the IREA and “other electrical cooperatives” in the past. Controversy ensued, with the Virginia governor’s office voicing its concern over Micheals use of the title of “state climatologist.”

A Sept. 17, 2006 Washington Post article states: “Michaels, a professor at the University of Virginia, also moonlights as one of the country’s most aggressive and, in some circles, most reviled skeptics about the scientific consensus on climate change. It was that role that landed Michaels in the center of a small controversy in Richmond last month, when the administration of Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) asked him to be clear that he is not speaking for the state when discussing issues such as global warming.”

Here is the collection of DSBlog posts about or mentioning Pat Michaels.

Research and Background
Michaels is widely known as one of the most active and vocal global warming deniers. Michaels is a professor at the University of Virginia, and according to a search of 22,000 academic journals, Michaels has published 50+ original research papers in peer-reviewed journals, mainly in the area of climate.

Chris Horner

A Senior Fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington, DC-based “think” tank that has long attacked the science of global warming. Until recently the CEI has been receiving funding from oil-giant ExxonMobil. In total CEI has recieved over $2 million in funding from ExxonMobil.

Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmog. He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning. Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks. Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder. Prior to DeSmog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health. In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications. Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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