Benny Peiser

Benny Josef Peiser

 Credentials

  • Ph.D. , University of Frankfurt (1993). Peiser studied political science, English, and sports science. [1], [2]

 Background

Benny Peiser is a past Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology & Sport Sociology at Liverpool John Moores University. He is a “historian and anthropologist with particular research interest in neo-catastrophism and its implications for human and societal evolution.” [3], [4]

Benny Peiser is also the director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWFP), a “all-party and non-party think tank and registered educational charity” founded by Nigel Lawson. [5]

The foundation describes it's main purpose as being to “bring reason, integrity and balance to a debate that has become seriously unbalanced, irrationally alarmist, and all too often depressingly intolerant… . Our main focus is to analyse global warming policies and its economic and other implications. Our aim is to provide the most robust and reliable economic analysis and advice.”

Although the group does not disclose their funding sources, they claim to be “funded entirely by voluntary donations from a number of private individuals and charitable trusts.”  The organization also claims that it does not “accept gifts from either energy companies or anyone with a significant interest in an energy company.”

Peiser is also listed as the co-editor of the skeptical journal Energy and Environment, also edited by Sonja-Boehmer Christiansen.

Energy and Environment has been described as the place climate change skeptics go to when they are rejected by the mainstream peer-reviewed science publications. The journal has also drawn sharp criticism for their abuse of the peer-review process, including one from Michael Mann regarding a questionable study co-authored by Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas.

Stance on Climate Change

Although Peiser has stated “I do not think anyone is questioning that we are in a period of global warming. Neither do I doubt that the overwhelming majority of climatologists is agreed that the current warming period is mostly due to human impact,” he also states that “… this majority consensus is far from unanimous,” and that “there is a small community of sceptical researchers that remains extremely active.” [6]

Key Quotes

“I'm not a climate scientist and have never claimed to be one… . My interest is in how climate change is portrayed as a potential disaster and how we respond to that.” [7]

“Lamentably, many climate change researchers have exaggerated the potential health risks due to global warming. While magnifying the probable risks to health and mortality as a result of warmer temperatures, many underrate or simply ignore the possible heath benefits of moderate warming.” [8]

Key Deeds

March 1, 2010

Peiser was a witness (PDF), along with fellow skeptic and chairman of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) Lord Lawson of Blaby who presented a memorandum submitted by GWPF that criticized the disclosure of data by the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (based on the incident popularly dubbed “climategate” by skeptics). 

Here is an excerpt from the transcript: [9]

Q50 Chairman: No, are they freely available, the data sets [used by the CRU]? How you model them and how you use them is entirely an issue for individual scientists, is it not?

Dr Peiser: Yes. What is not available, again, are some of the methodologies they arrive their conclusions at.

Q51 Ian Stewart: Dr Peiser, the question you were asked was: was that information available? We now hear from you that it is.
Dr Peiser: Yes.

Q52 Ian Stewart: Are you prepared to do your own modelling? Do you intend to use that data?
Dr Peiser: No, I am not in the climate modelling business. My concern is about availability of all the information that is important to replicate the conclusions, and that is the basis of this inquiry.

Q53 Dr Naysmith: Both of you are making a great big thing of the necessity for information to be available almost immediately. It is this insistence that you have got that it should be available immediately which is not true of much of science. I have been a scientist all my life. When I had a proper job, I was a scientist! I know of two really worldshattering discoveries that resulted in Nobel Prizes where there were two or three groups researching in the same area and both of them kept data back until they were ready to publish and get it out. One of those was DNA, the original Crick andWatson stuV on DNA and the Wilkins stuV, and the second one was thymus and the role of the thymus in the generation of lymphocytes… .”

March, 2009

Peiser was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's 2009 International Conference on Climate Change. [10]

DeSmogBlog found that the sponsors for the 2009 conference had collectively received over $47 million from the oil industry and right-wing foundations.

March, 2008

Peiser was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's First International Conference on Climate Change. [11]

According to conference's invitation letter, “The purpose of the conference is to generate international media attention to the fact that many scientists believe forecasts of rapid warming and catastrophic events are not supported by sound science, and that expensive campaigns to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not necessary or cost-effective [emphasis added]”.

RealClimate also reported on the conference.

January, 2005

Peiser's “claim to fame” in the war on climate change science was a 2005 study that he claimed refuted an earlier study by Dr. Naomi Oreskes. Originally published in the prestigious publication, Science, the Oreskes study looked at 928 research papers on climate change and found that 100% agreed with the scientific consensus. [12]

Peiser originally stated that Oreskes was incorrect and that “in light of the data [Peiser] presented … Science should withdraw Oresekes' study and its results in order to prevent any further damage to the integrity of science.” [13]

On October 12, 2006, Peiser admitted that only one of the research papers he used in his study refuted the scientific consensus on climate change, and that study was NOT peer-reviewed and was published by American Association of Petroleum Geologists. [6]

Peiser's incorrect claims were published in the Financial Post section of the National Post, in a May 17, 2005 commentary authored by Peiser himself.

 Affiliations

 Publications

According to an ISI search of publications Peiser has published 3 research papers in peer-reviewed journals: Sports Medicine, 2006; Journal of Sports Sciences (2004); and, Bioastronomy 2002: life among the stars (2004).

A list of his publications is available at his archived Homepage at Liverpool John Moores University.

None of these studies are related to climate change.

 Resources

  1. Benny Peiser,” Wikipedia (German) Entry.

  2. Peiser, Benny J., Trevor Palmer, and Mark E. Bailey (editors) (1998). Natural Catastrophes During Bronze Age Civilizations, BAR International Series 728. P. 251.

  3. Staff Profiles: Dr Benny Peiser - Senior Lecturer,” Liverpool John Moores University. Archived July 17, 2010.

  4. Comparative Stratigraphy of Bronze Age Destruction Layers around the World: Archaeological Evidence and Methodological Problems” (Abstract), Society for Interdisciplinary Studies.  Accessed February, 2012. Archived February 5, 2012 with WebCite.

  5. Who we are: Director: Dr. Benny Peiser,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation. Accessed February, 2012. Archived February 5, 2012, with WebCite.

  6. Bolt's Minority View,” ABC transcript from episode 38, 2006. Archived February 5, 2012, with WebCite.

  7. Melanie Newman. “Debate is an endangered species, says climate critic,” Times Higher Education, September 4, 2008.

  8. Benny Peiser. “It is cold that kills,” Spiked-Online, March 1, 2005.

  9. “The disclosure of climate data from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia” (PDF), House of Commons science and Technology Committee, Eighth Report of Session 2009 - 10, Volume II: Oral and written evidence. Printed by the House of Commons, March 24, 2010.

  10. 2009 International Conference on Climate Change,” The Heartland Institute, February 1, 2009. Republished by Instituto Liberdade.

  11. Speakers: ICCC-1,” International Conference on Climate Change (climateconference.heartland.org). Accessed February 5, 2012. Archived with WebCite.

  12. Naomi Oreskes. “Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,” Science, Vol. 306, No. 5702 (December 3, 2004), P. 1686.

  13. Benny Peiser. “RE: 'The scientific consensus on climate change': The letter Science Magazine refused to publish,” To Science, January 4, 2005. Archived July 3, 2007.

  14. Scientific Advisory Forum,” The Scientific Alliance. Archived February 24, 2004.

  15. Energy and Environment,” multi-science.co.uk. Accessed February, 2012.

  16. Benny Peiser,” Profile at the Carbon Brief. Accessed February, 2012.

  17. Heartland Experts: Benny Peiser,” The Heartland Institute, accessed February, 2012.

  18. CCNet Homepage, Archived January 5, 2010.

  19. Advisory Board: Dr. Benny J. Peiser,” The lifeboat foundation. Accessed February, 2012.

  20. Benny Peiser,” SourceWatch profile.

  21. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Benny Peiser.

  22. Benny Peiser,” Wikipedia Entry.

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