A scientist who is paid to have an opinion is not a scientist. He’s a lobbyist. And Congress isn’t supposed to call lobbyists in as expert witnesses to give scientific opinions. Patrick Michaels probably knew that when he told Congress he got less than 3% of his funding from oil. So he got to testify. Alone among the scientists who spoke to the subcommittee on Energy and Commerce, he said climate change was no big deal, required no action. Then on CNN he, whoops, mentions that 40% of his funding comes from the oil industry.
Which means when he told Congress he was an independent scientist he was, not to put to fine a point on it, lying out of his methane-spewing ass.
Thing is, this happens all the time. Journalists quote these guys as “scientists” and neglect to mention who is paying for their microphone. Politicians consult with them. The public listens to them. And the Koch brothers, who fear a loss of profits above all else, keep pumping millions of dollars into the denial industry to keep everyone taking the blue pill that says it’s all fine, nothing to see here, pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Kert Davies, a researcher at Greenpeace USA, has been following the money and exposing this shell game for years now at his Exxonsecrets.org website. Me, I think it’s time we take the data there, link it into some face recognition software, and give journos and politicos an augemented reality App which will allow them to hold their phones up to the pie-holes of these schills and see immediately just how well oiled their opinions are. Something like this:
We’d be moving toward action on climate change quicker if more people bought that app, and fewer bought the line that global warming science is inconclusive.