Cato's Cargo-Cult Pseudo-Science Climate "addendum" to US Report

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Cato addendum cover looks like the real report, but is FAKE (Stoat website)

The Cato "addendum"

The right-wing Cato Institute, a "free market think tank" and originally the Charles Koch Foundation with no scientific standing, has issued a so-called "addendum" to the authentic scientific 2009 "Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States" report. The authentic 2009 report, written by world-class scientists with thorough review, organized by the US National Science and Technology Council, the U.S. Global Change Research Program, and NOAA is HERE and a video introducing the authentic 2009 report is below. The Cato "addendum" has a cover (above) made to look like the cover of the authentic 2009 report to attempt to trick the unaware and lend pseudo authenticity. However the Cato "addendum" has no demonstrated scientific authenticity and was not submitted to the authors of the authentic 2009 report (or any group of established university and laboratory climate scientists) for review. This is not surprising since, given the history of pseudo-scientific distortions of its Chief Editor (see below), the Cato "addendum" would no doubt be rejected for scientific incompetence and bias. [See EDIT below - authentic 2009 report scientists reject Cato "addendum"]

Climate change deniers (so called because they deny established scientific results without good reason, aka contrarians or false-skeptics) have a political agenda of distorting climate science in order to promote fossil fuel interests and right-wing libertarian politics. The Cato "addendum" should justifiably be regarded as a politically motivated attack on sensible evidence-based attempts to quantify climate impact risk; explicitly it attacks the very 2009 authentic report to which it blatently claims to be an "addendum". Bluntly, as noted on the cover (above from the Stoat website), the Cato "addendum" is a FAKE. The Cato "addendum" is actually just the latest example of the climate deniers' ongoing climate disinformation campaign; for details see HERE. The Cato "addendum" is a great candidate example of Feynman's "Cargo Cult Science" - scientific form without rigorous scientific substance.

Risk management of present and future climate impacts involves vigorous mitigation and adaptation efforts. The Cato "addendum" is actually meant as a direct attack on the sensible evidence-based mitigation efforts by the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) via regulation of greenhouse gases. The EPA thoroughly analyzed previous similar climate denier attacks and found them without merit, see HERE, documented with an 11 volume response HERE.

The "Editor in Chief" of the Cato "addendum" is one Patrick Michaels, a well-known climate denier. An op-ed by Michaels was refuted HERE by the professional scientific society American Geophysical Union, which said: "Mr. Michaels's op-ed reflects a political strategy to sway popular opinion on climate change without regard for facts or the enormous body of scientific evidence...The result damages the scientific community and is a disservice to the public." Michaels has a history of flawed "research", including a paper with this gem of scientific incompetence: mixing up degrees with radians (an elementary mathematics error), which the scientific website termed an "egregious basic error" that "rendered every calculation in the paper incorrect, and the conclusions invalid" see HERE.

It is certainly significant that Michaels admitted in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Aug 15, 2010 that around 40% of his funding has come from the fossil-fuel industry, see the video HERE

A deliberate tactic of the climate deniers coupled with right-wing media and right-wing politicians has been to divert attention from doing something serious about climate change by attacking climate science (and even climate scientists). Another tactic of climate deniers is to minimize negative present and future projected climate impacts, in contradiction to mounting overwhelming evidence in reports by qualified experts, such as the authentic 2009 report.

Climate impacts are being observed now, and they are bad, but these impacts are only a faint rumbling of the potential climate disasters to come if we do not act vigorously and soon.

History will treat climate deniers very harshly.


EDIT: Scientists who wrote the authentic 2009 report have published a devastating rejection of the Cato "addendum" HERE.


  • Cato Institute website HERE. A fourth-order draft of the Cato "addendum" issued Oct 2012 states: "It is likely that there will be few, if any, changes of significant substance between this draft and the final copy."
  • Authentic 2009 "Climate Change Impacts in the United States" report HERE


Video at White House briefing for authentic 2009 report - link HERE





(2019). Cato's Cargo-Cult Pseudo-Science Climate "addendum" to US Report. Retrieved from