Cato Announces Newly Expanded Center for the Study of Science

September 18, 2014

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The Cato Institute announced today the expansion of its Center for the Study of Science. Founded in 2012, the Center for the Study of Science was created to provide market-based ideas that could transition policy regarding energy consumption, environmental standards, and other science-related issues away from government planners.

Today, the Center is adding scholars to a team that will continue to use rigorous science to answer questions related to environmental regulation. The Center will be especially focused on the debate over climate change.

Patrick J. Michaels, who will continue to direct the center, acknowledges climate change is occurring partly due to human actions. He does not believe, however, that these temperature fluctuations are cause for great alarm.

“Yes — burning fossil fuels to get the energy we need to advance as a global society does create carbon dioxide that recycles warming in the lower atmosphere,” said Michaels. “But despite what some scientists and politicians tell you, life as we know it will not end next week, next month or even in the next 500 years due to a warming planet. Policy makers need to know that there is a respectable group of scientists out there who don’t buy in to the alarmist hype.”

President Obama is pursuing an international agreement on carbon emissions that sidesteps Congressional ratification, an issue he is expected to discuss at a United Nations climate summit in New York next week. Michaels warns the President is “playing fast and loose with the Constitution.”

“We believe that some highly qualified scientists should be taking a more clear-eyed look at the data policy makers are using to draw conclusions which have resulted in a regulatory structure that inhibits economic activity and stifles innovation,” said Michaels.

Ross McKitrick, who teaches environmental economics at the University of Guelph, and Terence Kealey, Vice Chancellor of the University of Buckingham and a professor of clinical biochemistry, have been named adjunct scholars at the Center. They join Distinguished Senior Fellow Richard Lindzen, an emeritus professor of meteorology at both MIT and Harvard; Adjunct Scholar Edward J. Calabrese, a professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Massachusetts, specializing in toxicology; and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, assistant director of the Center.

The Center for the Study of Science will seek to provide a credible source for media and members of the public who want a fresh perspective on scientific claims made by government and other research organizations. Research areas will include energy use and taxation; use of government subsidies; global warming; and overall environmental regulation.

“The truth is, counter to what President Obama claimed in 2010, the science on climate change is not settled,” said Cato President and CEO, John Allison. “The time is now to build a critical mass of credible scholars who can engage in the type of debate the public needs to hear in order to make informed decisions.”

Michaels said additional scholars and scientists will be named to the Center for the Study of Science in the coming months.