New Hope Environmental Services

New Hope Environmental Services (NHES)

Background

New Hope Environmental Services, Inc. (NHES) was a consulting firm founded in 1994/1995 by Patrick Michaels. NHES described itself as an “advocacy science consulting firm that produces cutting-edge research and informed commentary on the nature of climate.” Michaels is also director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute. [1], [2]

According to information on file at the Virginia SCC, New Hope Environmental Services registered as a corporation on March 16, 1995, and its current status is “terminated.” [3]

An archived description on the NHES website as of 2009 read as follows (NHES.com no longer appears in operation): [1]

“New Hope Environmental Services is an advocacy science consulting firm that produces cutting-edge research and informed commentary on the nature of climate, including patterns of climate change, U.S. and international environmental policy, seasonal and long-range forecasting targeted to user needs, and the relation between the earth’s atmosphere and biology. The company also consults on legal matters related to weather and climate.” [1]

In an affidavit, Michaels described the firm’s purpose as to “publicize findings on climate change and scientific and social perspectives that may not otherwise appear in the popular literature or media. This entails both response research and public commentary.” [4]

SourceWatch describes New Hope Environmental Services as “in effect […] a PR firm.” New Hope is secretive about its funding sources, and fought a Greenpeace motion seeking disclosure.  It is known to have received funds from electrical utilities in the past. [5]

New Hope Environmental Services ran a bi-weekly climate change bulletin titled The World Climate Report edited by Patrick Michaels and funded by the Western Fuels Association[6]

Until 1999, www.nhes.com housed World Climate Report, which subsequently redirected to the Greening Earth Society Website as of 2000. The Greening Earth Society is a non-profit created by the Western Fuels Association (WFA) in 1997 to serve as a “a vehicle for advocacy on climate change, the environmental impact of CO2, and fossil fuel use.” Based on website archives, New Hope Environmental Services then used that web domain from 2002 until some time in 2012[7], [8], [9][1], [10]

Stance on Climate Change

The World Climate Report regularly promoted the views of climate change deniers in both its print publication and online blog. Below is a sampling of articles at worldclimatereport.com that included the keyword “climate” or “Global Warming” in the title:

Funding

Refusal to Disclose Funding Sources

Uncovered court documents showed that Michaels withdrew as an expert witness from a Vermont court case after a request was submitted that he reveal his funding sources: [11]

Michaels said he would testify only if the identities of his funders could be kept secret, Robert McClure at Seattle Post Intelligencer reported and as first revealed at the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Watchdog Tipsheet. [12]

According to Michaels‘ affidavit, some of the companies supporting New Hope would only do so if their funding remained confidential: [4]

“Large companies are understandably adverse to negative publicity. Thus, the global warming controversy has created an environment in which companies who wish to support New Hope’s research and advocacy about global warming science are increasing willing to do so only if their support remains confidential. For this reason, some companies that support New Hope financially do so on the understanding that their support will not be made public,” Michaels said in the affidavit. [4]

Michaels’ lawyer stated: “Public exposure of the funding will therefore result in the loss of some or all of New Hope’s clients,” Michaels’ lawyers told the Vermont court, “leading either to destruction of the business or a significant curtailment of its operations. Since Dr. Michaels and other research scientists obtain a significant portion of their income from New Hope, the damage to New Hope will seriously diminish their livelihoods.”  [4]

Energy Industry Funding Accidentally Made Public

Michaels argued in his affidavit that accidental public disclosure of past supporters “has already caused considerable financial loss to New Hope.” He listed two examples: [4]

“Public disclosure of a company’s funding of New Hope and its employees has already caused considerable financial loss to New Hope,” Michaels said in the Affidavit. “For example, in 2006, TriState Generation & Transmission Association, Inc., an electric utility, had requested that its support of $50,000 to New Hope be held confidential. After this support was inadvertently made public by another New Hope client, Tri-State informed me that it would no longer support New Hope because of adverse publicity. Also in 2006, when a $100,000 contract between New Hope and electric utility Intermountain Rural Electric Association to synthesize and research new findings on global warming became public knowledge, a public campaign was initiated to change the composition of the Intermountain board of directors so that there would be no additional funding. That campaign was successful, as Intermountain has not provided further funding.” [4]

Cato Institute Funding

As reported at PR Watch, the Cato Institute‘s public 990 forms revealed that in 2006 and 2007 Cato had spent $242,900 for the “environmental policy” services of Michaels’ firm. Responding to an email query, Michaels said that the money “largely supported the extensive background research for my 2009 book, ‘Climate of Extremes,’ background research on climate change, mainly in the areas of ice melt and temperature histories, and background research required for invited lectures around the world.” [13]

Key People

The New Hope Environmental Services website did not disclose the names of its staff, only offering the following description: [1]

“Since 1994, New Hope’s international team of research scientists, data analysts, editors, and web publishers have devised, conducted, prepared, and published important research for both the public good and for private clients.” [1]

A 2013 article from the TransCanada pipeline company notes that climate change denier Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger spent “15 years as the Research Coordinator for New Hope Environmental Services, Inc.” Knappenberger was also listed as “Technical Supervisor” for the World Climate Report. [14]

World Climate Report Staff

The NHS publication, World Climate Report, listed staff members on their print issues and on their website:

Name 1st Issue 1997 2000 2003 2006 2007 Description
Patrick J. Michaels Y Y Y Y Y Y Chief Editor
Paul C. Knappenberger Y Y Y Y Y Y Technical Supervisor
Robert E. Davis Y Y Y Y Y Y Associate Editor
Robert C. Balling Jr. Y Y Contributing Editor
Amy Lemley Y Y Y Copy Editor
Oliver Frauenfeld Y Chief Web Technician
Thomas Gale Moore Y Health and Economics Editor
Philip J. Stenger Y Research Coordinator

Actions

July, 2007

Patrick Michaels was retained as an “expert witness” by a group of auto manufacturers including Green Mountain Chrysler Plymouth Dodge Jeep, Green Mountain Ford Mercury, Joe Tornabene’s GMC, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the DaimlerChyrsler Corporation and General Motors Corporation. Michaels dropped out as an expert witness because he did not want to reveal the funders behind New Hope Environmental Services. [11]

He stated in his affidavit that, “ stated that “as the case moved closer to trial, I learned in conversations with plaintiff’s counsel that New Hope’s confidential information might not remain confidential if I testified at trial. Consequently, on or around April 7, 2007, I informed plaintiffs counsel that I would not testify at trial. My sole reason in doing so was concern that my trial testimony would result in the loss of confidentiality for the New Hope information.” [4]

August, 2003

New Hope Environmental Services prepared an “Assessment of Potential Climate Impacts of Alternative Northeastern U.S. Electric Utility CO2 Caps.” [15]

The report, looking at emissions reductions under the Kyoto Protocol, argued that “under no circumstance would either of these alternative emissions caps result in a measurable impact on the future course of global temperatures or sea level rise.”  [15]

1998

New Hope Environmental Services prepared a report for the Greening Earth Society titled “In Defense of Carbon Dioxide.” According to the report’s summary: [16]

“[T]he overwhelming weight of scientific evidence does not support the proposition that carbon dioxide can be “reasonably anticipated to cause or contribute to adverse effects on public health, welfare, or the environment.” In fact, the balance of evidence is supportive of the opposite notion: Carbon dioxide increases will confer a net benefit on society.”  [16]

1997

New Hope Environmental Services published Patrick Michaels’ book, State of the Climate Report: Essays on Global Climate Change. [17]

Related Organizations

  • World Climate Report (WCR) — Described as “our bi-weekly online publication.” [1]

Contact & Address

The following information was published on the New Hope website as of 2009: [1]

Research Facility (for general inquiries, media requests, speakers bureau)
New Hope Environmental Services, Inc.
536 Pantops Center, #402
Charlottesville, VA  22911 USA
Telephone (520) 742-1018
Facsimile (520) 742-1018
Email [email protected].

In a 2003 report, they provided an alternate address: [15]

NEW HOPE Environmental Services, Inc.
5 Boar’s Head Lane, Suite 101, Charlottesville, VA 22903
Phone: (804) 295-7462 Fax (804) 295-7549 

Social Media

NHES does not have a presence on social media.

Resources

  1. New Hope Environmental Services, Inc. homepage. Archived April 9, 2009. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/rfZXr

  2. Patrick J. Michaels: Senior Fellow in Environmental Studies,” The Cato Institute. Archived July 29, 2017.  Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/fslBz

  3. NEW HOPE ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES, INC.” Commonwealth of Virginia State Corporation Commission. Archived July 31, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/pp9sr

  4. “Affidavit of Dr. Patrick J. Michaels” (PDF), United States District Court for the District of Vermont, July 6, 2007. Retrieved from sejarchiveorg.

  5. New Hope Environmental Services,” SourceWatch. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ctw7Q

  6. Subscription Information,” NHES.com. Archived April 18, 1997. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/RKMHB

  7. World Climate Report,” nhes.com. Archived April 29, 1999. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/0ywsw

  8. Join GES,” Greeningearthsociety.org. Archived March 8, 2005. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/8BURx

  9. About Us, Greening Earth Society. Archived March 8, 2005. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/fxiXy

  10. New Hope Environmental Services, Inc. homepage. Archievd April 9, 2009. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/0ywsw

  11. Kevin Grandia. “Climate skeptic Pat Michaels refuses court request to disclose funding sources,”DeSmog, September 20, 2007.

  12. Robert McClure. “Leading climate-change skeptic won’t reveal sources of funding,” Seattle Pi, September 1,2 007. Archived July 29, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/jCSk8

  13. Bob Burton. “The Cato Institute’s Generous Funding of Patrick Michaels,” PR Watch, May 25, 2009. Archived July 31, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/QeCF7

  14. Climate science does not add up,” TransCanada, April 23, 2013. Archived July 31, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/zZfm0

  15. Assessment of Potential Climate Impacts of Alternative Northeastern U.S. Electric Utility CO2 Caps” (PDF), New Hope Environmental Services, August 2003. Retrieved from rggi.org.

  16. IN DEFENSE OF CARBON DIOXIDE: A Comprehensive Review of Carbon Dioxide’s I Effects on Human Health, Welfare, and The Environment,” (PDF), Greening Earth Society. Retrieved from Greenpeace research documents.

  17. State of the Climate Report: Essays on Global Climate Change,” Google Books. Accessed July 31, 2017.

Other Resources

Related Profiles

APCO Worldwide Background APCO has been described as “one of the world's most powerful PR firms.” [1], [2] According to its agency profile at O'Dwyers, “APCO Worldwide is a global c...
Hugh W. Ellsaesser Credentials Ph.D., Meteorology. [1] Background Hugh W. Ellsaesser, born in 1920, is a meteorologist by training and retired “guest scientist” at the Lawrence Liverm...
Alfred (Al) Pekarek Credentials Ph.D., University of Wyoming (1974). [1] B.A. University of Minnesota-Twin (1965). [1] Background Alfred (Al) Pekarek is a former associate...
Benny Josef Peiser Credentials Ph.D. , University of Frankfurt (1993). Peiser studied political science, English, and sports science. [1], [2] Background Benny Peiser is a sports anthropol...