BY MALIA ZIMMERMAN – When Nuclear Scientist, Dr. Michael R. Fox, first contacted Hawaii Reporter several years ago, the then Kaneohe resident was concerned that the public was not getting the correct information about such controversial science topics as man made global warming, sea levels, sun spots, nuclear science, nuclear power, solar and windmills.
He was passionate about changing this by publicizing real science, and as a result, launched a column called Fox Energy and Environment Reports in Hawaii Reporter in 2003.
Mike wrote dozens of articles over the years that comforted scientists and many conservatives with his exposes on what he called corrupt and phony science and he angered many man made global warming believers. He took no prisoners when it came to taking on powerful people like former Vice President Al Gore and the claims Gore made about climate change.
More recently, Mike’s family notes that he became a strong advocate for the position that “global climate change is a natural phenomenon which is not influenced by any human activity,” and one of his favorite sayings was “Everybody is entitled to his own opinion: No one is entitled to his own facts.”
While Mike always remained loyal to Hawaii Reporter, publishing his articles here first, many other publications including Junk Science picked up his columns and republished them. He consulted with Fox News for a time and had his well sourced work studied and cited internationally. It was not uncommon for Hawaii Reporter to receive emails praising Mike’s writings from some of the most remarkable and well known scientists in the world.
Mike started his professional career at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory in 1965, and taught chemistry at Idaho State University in Pocatello, but Mike’s second career educating the public started long before he became a columnist for Hawaii Reporter.
As an advocate for scientific literacy and fact-based discussions, he attended speaking engagements all over the northwest and in Hawaii, as well as South Africa, and Rio de Janeiro. He was interviewed many times on radio, and with several of his associates put together many newsmedia information events on current topics for local television and radio stations and the Tri City Herald. He also was featured on the Good Morning America show, and made a guest appearance with William F. Buckley.
The Gonzaga Law Review published a piece in 1996 that he co-authored entitled “Hanford and Public Health: No Cause for Alarm.” This was in addition to hundreds of published papers, articles and monographs that he wrote.
When Mike left Hawaii to move back Washington with his wife Jennifer in 2007 so that they could spend more time with their grandkids, he continued as a regular columnist. He had a network of friends and fellow scientists who discussed and debated his work regularly and that often spawned new articles.
For those interested in his background: On December 31, 1936, he was born in Olympia, Washington, attended Olympia High School, graduated from St. Martin’s College in 1959 with a BS in Mathematics and Chemistry, and furthered his education with a degree from the University of Washington with a Ph.D in Physical Chemistry in 1965. Mike was a long-time member of the American Nuclear Society, serving as Chairman of the national Public Information Committee from 1985 through 1996. He won the Society’s Landis Public Communication and Education Award in 1985.
Unfortunately, Mike left us for a better place on Friday, November 4, after a long battle with cancer. His wisdom and knowledge on such a broad variety of topics will be sorely missed, but there is no doubt he continues his journey in Heaven to uncover more scientific mysteries – or finally get the answers that he always sought.
Besides the many fans and writings he leaves behind, Mike is survived by his wife Jennifer, their son Ryan, Mike’s son Brian and daughters Marianne and Michelle, grandchildren Shawn, Sofia, Jake, Lindsay, Skye, Nicholas, and Ocean; brother Pat Fox and wife Ellen, and brother Tom Fox.
Mike will be remembered Friday, November 18, at 2:30 p.m. at Central United Protestant Church in Richland, Washington in a celebration of life. Friends and family may comment on Mike’s website, http://foxreport.org and make donations to local Hospice organizations in his name as Hospice volunteers helped to make his final days more comfortable.
His friends also plan to put together the articles that he wrote for Hawaii Reporter and other places into a book so that his teachings and knowledge will remain for many generations to come.
See some of Mike’s articles here: http://archives.hawaiireporter.com/list.aspx?s=michael+R. and here http://www.hawaiireporter.com/category/opinion/fox-energy-environment-reports