Marshall Institute (Global Warming)

The George Marshall Institute (GMI) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1984. The mission of the Institute is to improve the use of science in making public policy about important issues for which science and technology are major considerations. Current research programs focus on such issues as national security and the environment.

The Marshall Institute seeks to counter this trend by providing policymakers with rigorous, clearly written and unbiased technical analyses on a range of public policy issues. Through briefings to the press, publication programs, speaking tours and public forums, the Institute seeks to preserve the integrity of science and promote scientific literacy. The Marshall Institute is located in Washington, D.C., and run by President Jeff Kueter as well as governed by a board of directors. Among the many programs at GMI is the climate change program. This program involves a critical examination of the scientific basis for global climate change policy. The intent is to promote a clear understanding of the state of climate science and assess the implications for public policy. A major component of this effort is communicating the findings to policy makers, the media, and the public policy community.


There has been an ongoing debate about the contribution of human activities to the global warming of the past century and how they may contribute to warming that may occur during the 21st century. International efforts to reach agreement on inferences about human influence on the climate system that can be drawn from science and policy prescriptions for addressing the climate change risk have been controversial.

Effective climate policy flows from a sound scientific foundation and a clear understanding of what science does and does not tell us about human influence and about courses of action to manage risk. Much of the data collected from temperature probes and computer models used to predict climate change are themselves uncertain. Reducing these many uncertainties requires a significant shift in the way climate change research is carried out in the United States and elsewhere.

The Institute has compiled a list of commonly asked questions and answers regarding global warming and climate change. These have been posted on the institute website to further educate the public and direct policy. GMI works on a range of issues, including civic environmentalism, climate change, national defense, bioterrorism, and missile defense. GMI publishes papers and holds roundtables. Many of these roundtables have featured climate change skeptics such as Roger Bate, Willie Soon, Margo Thorning, and GMI’s own Sallie Baliunas.

In 1989, 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 George H.W. Bush Administration to argue for a more lenient climate change policy. GMI has since published numerous reports and articles attacking the Kyoto protocol and undermining climate science. GMI is a former member of the Cooler Heads Coalition.

Between 1985 and 2001, the institute received $5.5 million in funding from five foundations, including the Earhart Foundation, Sarah Scaife Foundation, and Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. In 2003, GMI’s climate-change program received $95,000 from the Exxon Education Foundation, and $60,000 from the American Petroleum Institute. GMI’s CEO, William O’Keefe, formerly an executive at the American Petroleum Institute and chairman of the Global Climate Coalition, is a registered lobbyist for ExxonMobil. The GMI was described in a 2007 report by the Union of Concerned Scientists as an ExxonMobil-funded "clearinghouse for global warming contrarians". ExxonMobil still continues to provide funds to the Marshall Institute.

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