Charles Koch, one half of the infamous Koch brothers, along with his brother David, are avowed global warming deniers.
Dr Richard Muller is a famous Berkeley physicist who has been a very vocal critic of global warming science and a self-described global warming skeptic. For instance, of Al Gore's book, An Inconvenient Truth, Dr. Mueller said, "80 percent or 90 percent of what's in Inconvenient Truth is wrong or exaggerated or cherry picked."
Like many physicists, Muller is a prickly academic who believes no science is valid that he hasn't personally verified. Think Dr. Sheldon Cooper.
So, when Dr. Muller suggested that all the science previously done was flawed by questionable methodology and cherry picked data, and that he would like to study the matter, Charles Koch jumped on the chance to fund the study (along with money from others including Bill Gates) and the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project was born.
From the perspective of Charles Koch, it's all been downhill from there.
Last November, Dr. Mueller appeared before the House Energy Committee and reported that he had confirmed that global warming was real. His previous concerns about global warming science proved to be unfounded. "This means that the list of potential biases had not unduly influenced the results that had been published by prior groups" Mueller reported.
Maybe Mueller isn't the only qualified scientist in the world after all.
This in and of itself, is shattering news to the Koch brothers and folks like George Will who have always insisted that even the notion of the earth warming was nonsense. The good news in November -- from the perspective of the Koch brothers -- was that Mueller was still uncertain about the role humans played in the warming of the earth.
At least as of this weekend, Mueller is no longer uncertain about the cause of global warming.
"Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.”I wonder what the Koch brothers call it?
The Berkeley project’s research has shown, Muller says, “that the average temperature of the earth’s land has risen by 2½ degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of 1½ degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases.”
He calls his current stance “a total turnaround.”
But it gets even better. Dr. Mueller is about to release a new book, "The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic" that would not have even been possible if not for the generous funding of the Charles Koch Charitable Foundation.
Thank you Mr. Koch.