Below, more about William Happer, tobacco shill and climate denier.


In 1989, at the same time the George C. Marshall Institute initiated its “Climate Change Policy Program,” the GMI released a report arguing that “cyclical variations in the intensity of the sun would offset any climate change associated with elevated greenhouse gases.” Although it was refuted by the IPCC, the report was used by the Bush Sr. Administration to argue for a more lenient climate change policy. [2]

The George C. Marshall Institute’s “Climate Change Policy” program started in 1989 as a “critical examination of the scientific basis for global climate change policy.” According to the Marshall Institute, a major part of the program was “communicating the findings to policy makers, the media and the public policy community.” [3]

In a 2009 essay, former Executive Director Matthew B. Crawford had this to say about his initial experience with the Marshall Institute (emphasis added):

“… certain perversities became apparent as I settled into the job. It sometimes required me to reason backward, from desired conclusion to suitable premise. The organization had taken certain positions, and there were some facts it was more fond of than others. As its figurehead, I was making arguments I didn’t fully buy myself. Further, my boss seemed intent on retraining me according to a certain cognitive style — that of the corporate world, from which he had recently come. This style demanded that I project an image of rationality but not indulge too much in actual reasoning.” [4]

Newsweek has described the George C. Marshall Institute as a “central cog in the denial machine,” and Naomi Oreskes has said that the Institute has lobbied politically to create a false perception of scientific uncertainty over the negative effects of second-hand smoke, the carcinogenic nature of tobacco smoking, the existence of acid rain, and on the evidence between CFCs and ozone depletion. [5]  [22]

Marshall Institute Shuts Down

The Marshall Institute shut down in September, 2015. William Happer told E&E News that funding from fossil fuel companies to the Marshall Institute had been cut down in recent years: [51]

“You can forget about asking money from Exxon; they send all their money to Stanford [University] or to Princeton [University] for greenwashing,” Happer said. [51]

For a really great primer on climate science do check out and bookmark  Mike MacCracken’s point by point takedown of Dr. Happer’s cracked recitation of denial talking points in testimony before congress.



Mavis Staples, can’t get enough of this voice.


In North Branch, MI, residents crowded into Deerfield Township Hall for a rousing dose of desperately needed real info on renewables – my Wind101 presentation. They’ve been subjected to a steady stream of disinformation, abuse and trolling at the hands of a small but screechy band of local anti-renewable conspiracy theorists.

I’ve had a busy week of traveling and speaking, which finally ended with celebratory sloppy joes, nachos and Budweiser at a local farmhouse.
Citizens here tell me they are tired of “being punching bags” for surly and misinformed anti-winders, and they are standing up – on social media and in person at local meetings.
I wish I’d had a lapel camera to capture the “Agenda 21” nut job that was convinced I was part of a Merovingian Illuminati underground, but otherwise most of  the crowd was enthusiastic and rapt.


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A powerful storm, more typical of March, will cause winds to howl and may knock down trees, cut power and lead to travel problems from the Plains to the Midwest and Northeast this weekend.

For some, it may seem more like an inland hurricane, rather than a winter storm.

Gusts, in most cases, will fall short of that of a hurricane and fall within the range of 40-60 mph.

However, a few gusts may reach hurricane force, or 74 mph, over open areas of the Great Plains, along the shores of the Great Lakes and the ridges in the central Appalachians.


Above, Dr. Jonathan Overpeck of the University of Michigan addresses the Michigan Climate Action Conference in Grand Rapids, MI.

I’ll be here today as a panelist – more on that later.


Liesl Eichler Clark, new Director, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality – conveyed a message from newly elected Governor Gretchen Whitmer – for the Climate fight – Michigan is now in.

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Brilliant example of the resiliency of a diversified system.

Reminds me of the excellent explanation of how wolves changed rivers in Yellowstone, below. Worth a review even if you have seen it before.


Marshall Shepherd in Forbes:

National security. Numerous reports by military entities note the immediate threats of climate change to national security. The American Security Project website compiles a good list of recent reports and articles on this topic. A 2019 Defense Department report stated:

The effects of a changing climate are a national security issue with potential impacts to Department of Defense (DoD or the Department) missions, operational plans, and installations.

I served as an expert scientist and author on a National Academy of Sciences report on climate change impacts on U.S. Naval Operations so have a first-hand view of this challenge. A top admiral is also quoted as saying climate change is the biggest threat in the Pacific not North Korea.

Public Health. An array of public health concerns can be linked to climate change: increased heat related illness, vector-borne diseases in places they have traditionally not thrived, water-borne disease in flood waters, cardiovascular stress, injuries from extreme weather events, respiratory problems, and so forth. The Centers for Disease Control website says:

Climate change, together with other natural and human-made health stressors, influences human health and disease in numerous ways. Some existing health threats will intensify and new health threats will emerge. Not everyone is equally at risk. Important considerations include age, economic resources, and location.

Sea Level Rise. According to NOAA, nearly 40% of the U.S. population lived in counties bordering shorelines in 2010. By 2020, that number could be closer to 50%. A NOAA Ocean Services website is clear:

Scientists have determined that global sea level has been steadily rising since 1900 at a rate of at least 0.04 to 0.1 inches per year. Sea level can rise by two different mechanisms with respect to climate change. First, as the oceans warm due to an increasing global temperature, seawater expands—taking up more space in the ocean basin and causing a rise in water level. The second mechanism is the melting of ice over land, which then adds water to the ocean.

Increased sea level causes transportation issues because of “blue sky” flooding, threatens drinking water supply because of saltwater intrusion in some locations, and amplifies risk from hurricane-related storm surge. Many U.S. military installations are also at or below sea level, which creates challenges for the Department of Defense.

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Wally Broeker, someone I wish I could have met.  Known for being right before almost anyone else.

“We play Russian roulette with climate .. no one knows what lies in the active chamber of the gun.” – Wally Broeker, Nature, 1987

Science, August 1975:

Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?


If man-made dust is unimportant as a major cause of climatic change, then a strong case can be made that the present cooling trend will, within a decade or so, give way to a pronounced warming induced by carbon dioxide. By analogy with similar events in the past, the natural climatic cooling which, since 1940, has more than compensated for the carbon dioxide effect, will soon bottom out. Once this happens, the exponential rise in the atmospheric carbon dioxide content will tend to become a significant factor and by early in the next century will have driven the mean planetary temperature beyond the limits experienced during the last 1000 years.


Interview here with Broeker’s Granddaughter, Filmmaker Anna Keyes:

Obit below:

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Schizo about this one, as finding a better way for yahoos to tear up wilderness spaces doesn’t seem like a great idea to me.

That said, looks like this new electric truck/EV platform has nutsy capabilities – at a price. But prices fall, in recent experience, faster than we imagine.


RJ Scaringe is a classic car guy who likes efficiency. We share a common wish. Why not have classic cars with modern electric drivetrains? I asked what possessed Rivian to build an electric SUV and pickup truck when everyone else is focusing on small to crossover electric vehicles?

Having spent a decade under the radar, starting in 2009 at one of the worst times to invest in a car company, this MIT Ph.D. automotive engineer decided the world needed another EV. But RJ knew it had to be different, with a new architecture, a new building process, and something that answered a real need, not hype. RJ started with a clean sheet and designed Rivian’s first vehicle, a coupe.

Getting investors onboard a decade ago was no easy task. Early on, Rivian focused on building a core technology team with the right EV competencies — again, not easy a decade ago. The team grew to over 600 employees over the following decade, discreetly.

Rivian now has an ex-Mitsubishi plant and purpose-designed in-house software. The coupe was dropped and RJ went for the gusto, designing something until now no other automaker dared to touch, an electric pickup truck (and an electric SUV).

RJ told me that he found there is a wish to get dirty, to throw the kids in the vehicle, and to go off-road for adventures in the US. But EVs are mostly cool and trendy road cars. I asked if Subaru is what Rivian is going after and the answer was Subaru meets Land Rover.

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You’ve attracted quite a bit of negative attention for being in that position as well. The whole Climategate “scandal”.

Climategate, in hindsight, is very interesting, because it involved hacked emails, and Saudi Arabia and Russia were both involved. WikiLeaks and Julian Assange …

You were really on the vanguard of that whole thing.

In my recent book, The Madhouse Effect, we talk about what played out in the last presidential election. The assault on climate scientists, Climategate, was almost a training ground. It was the same actors and the same mission. Climategate was about trying to distract the public and the policymakers with a fake scandal going into the Copenhagen Summit [also known as the United Nations Climate Change Conference] in 2009, which was the first opportunity for meaningful progress on international climate policy in years.

A compelling case can be made that Russia’s involvement and Saudi Arabia’s potential involvement in the last [US] election was about a half-trillion-dollar oil deal between Russia and ExxonMobil that had been blocked because of the sanctions against Russia.

What’s the first thing that happened under the now-infamous Paul Manafort? They changed the Republican platform to try to get rid of those sanctions. Then Trump appointed Rex Tillerson, the former head of ExxonMobil, as Secretary of State. Is that a coincidence?

It was the same players and the same motive and the same disingenuity. In the case of Climategate, there have now been the better part of a dozen investigations in the US and the UK, and they have all come to the conclusion there was no impropriety on the part of the scientists whose emails had been stolen. The only wrongdoing was the criminal theft of the emails in the first place.

The science that we are doing is a threat to the world’s most powerful and wealthiest special interests. The most powerful and wealthiest special interest that has ever existed: the fossil fuel industry.

They have used their immense resources to create fake scandals and to fund a global disinformation campaign aimed at vilifying the scientists, discrediting the science, and misleading the public and policymakers. Arguably, it is the most villainous act in the history of human civilisation, because it is about the short-term interests of a small number of plutocrats over the long-term welfare of this planet and the people who live on it.

So, once again, to be in a position to be fighting on the right side of a battle between good and evil – which frankly it is – is a privilege.

Mike sees things largely the way I called them 2 days after the ’16 election (below) – and I’ve seen nothing to change my mind.
We are in a battle for the survival of civilization with a global fossil fuel mafia. Read the rest of this entry »