Letter: Climate change is real

Dear Editor:

In his letter to the editor last week on climate change, Mr. Prosence cited Patrick Michaels of the Cato Institute as his reference.  Here is a brief biography of Mr. Michaels, so that your readers can judge his credibility. 

Mr. Michaels has academic degrees in biology and ecological climatology.  While teaching at the University of Virginia near the turn of the century, he published reports (http://bit.ly/2FYdDxR) acknowledging anthropogenic climate change and studying its effects.  Anthropogenic means human-caused.  He got that part right. 

Since leaving the university, Mr. Michaels joined the corporate speaking circuit.  He is paid handsomely by oil and coal interests to dispute climate science.  He currently holds a position at the Cato Institute, which is funded by the Koch Brothers, billionaire oil industry moguls.  Mr. Michaels’ “scientific reports” from the Cato Institute, his media interviews, and his op-ed pieces misrepresent established science.  See, for example, James Hansen’s rebuttal (http://bit.ly/2G6Th5w) of Michaels’ claims. 

Before his career in climate denial, Mr. Michaels acted as “scientific advisor” to tobacco industry lobbyists disputing claims that tobacco smoke is harmful.  At least he has been consistent in serving corporate profit over truth.

For your readers who want to understand the global climate, two recent reports provide essential summaries:  IPCC Summary on Global Warming of 1.5     (http://bit.ly/2G68R1E) and the Fourth National Climate Assessment (http://bit.ly/2FUslGo). Those reports represent the consensus findings of the scientific community.  I hope people will take time to read them.  Climate change threatens our food supply, infrastructure, and ecosystems worldwide. 

Bob Dorsett, MD