Craig Idso

Craig D. Idso


  • Ph.D., Geography, Arizona State University.
  • B.S., Geography, Arizona State University.
  • M.S., Agronomy, University of Nebraska - Lincoln. 

Source: [1]


Craig Idso is the chairman and former president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change ( The center's claimed mission is to “separate reality from rhetoric in the emotionally-charged debate that swirls around the subject of carbon dioxide and global change.”

The Center's publication is CO2 Science, a weekly magazine that features articles questioning the science behind man-made climate change. Craig's father Sherwood B. Idso is currently the president of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide on Global Change, while his brother, Keith Idso, is the Center's Vice President.    

Craig Idso served as Director of Environmental Science at Peabody Energy from 2001-2002 in St. Louis, MO. According to ExxonSecrets, Craig and Keith Idso produced a report for the Western Fuels Association titled “The Greening of Planet Earth Its Progression from Hypothesis to Theory” in January, 1998. [2]

According to internal documents from the Heartland Institute, Craig Idso appears to receive $11,600 a month from the Heartland Institute through his Center for the Study of CO2 & Global Change.

Stance on Climate Change 

The following are some of the key points made by the Center for Carbon Dioxide and Global Change: [3]

“A weak short-term correlation between CO2 and temperature proves nothing about causation.”

“Strong negative climatic feedbacks prohibit catastrophic warming.”

“Growth-enhancing effects of CO2 create an impetus for cooling.”

“There is no evidence for warming-induced increases in extreme weather.”

“Elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 are a boon to the biosphere.” 

“Atmospheric CO2 enrichment brings growth and prosperity to man and nature alike.”

Key Quotes 

“The Industrial Revolution has been a tremendous boon to humanity, as it has lifted large numbers of our kind from poverty to prosperity.  It has also helped the rest of the biosphere - and thereby us once again - via the powerful aerial fertilization effect of the carbon dioxide that has gone into the atmosphere as a consequence of the burning of fossil fuels.  Indeed, it's been win, win, win for all of life; and if there's ever been a recipe for success, this is it.” [4]

“Despite thousands of scientific articles affirming numerous benefits of rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2, IPCC makes almost no mention of any positive externalities resulting from such…Climate Change Reconsidered II corrects this failure, presenting an analysis of thousands of neglected research studies IPCC has downplayed or ignored in its reports so that scientists, politicians, educators, and the general public can be better informed and make decisions about the potential impacts of CO2-induced climate change.” [15]

CO2 is not a pollutant. It is a benefit. It is the very elixer of life.” [19]

Key Deeds 

November 30, 2015

Craig Idso is a co-author of a Heartland Institute/NIPCC book titled Why Scientists Disagree about Global Warming: The NIPCC Report on Consensus. The book was timed for release on the first day of the United Nations' twenty first conference of the parties (COP21) in Paris. 

According to the the Heartland Institute press release, The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change's book, “emphatically rejects claims of a 'scientific consensus' on the causes and consequences of climate change.”  [26]

Contrary to the book's premise, multiple studies and surveys have shown that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree that climate warming trends over the past century are due to human activities (NASA for example). [27]

Other authors include S. Fred Singer of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) and Bob Carter of the Institute for Public Affairs (IPA). The NIPCC itself is sponsored by the CSCDGCSEPP, and The Heartland Institute.  [26]

CSDGCIPA, and SEPP are all secretive about their funding sources. Still, available data at ExxonSecrets and the Conservative Transparency Project show they have received funding from ExxonMobilDonors Capital FundScaife, and Koch-related Foundations.

June 11-12, 2015

Craig Idso was a speaker on Panel 9: “Climate Change Reconsidered II: Human Welfare, Energy, and Policies,” at the Heartland Institute’s Tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC10) in Washington, D.C., with S. Fred Singer, Bob Carter, and Christopher Monckton. [23]

View Craig Idso’s Panel 9 presentation at the Heartland Institute’s ICCC10, below: [24]

December, 2014

As reported at Alec's Climate Change Denial, Craig Idso spoke at an American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) event, where he notably said that “CO2 is not a pollutant. It is a benefit. It is the very elixer of life.” [19]

This is a sentiment Craig Idso also shared in a September, 2014 article republished by the CATO institute titled “Mr. President, Co2 Is Not Pullition, It's the Elixer of Life.” [20], as well as on his website CO2 Science in an article he titles “The Deceit of Sustainability.” [21]

InsideClimate News reports Idso as saying that carbon-reduction policies are  “are unnecessary, unwise, and unwarranted,” during his time on stage at the ALEC conference.  “Instead of being shunned like the plague, the ongoing rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide should be welcomed with opened arms,” Idso also said. [22]

According to the Center for Media and Democracy, “Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line.” 

October 9, 2014

Craig Idso is quoted in the Heartland Institute's press release, “Heartland Institute Climate Experts Comment on 18 Straight Years of No Global Warming,” which states “the global mean surface temperature has not risen for 18 consecutive years. This extends the so-called 'pause' in global warming to a new record, one not predicted by the climate models of the United Nations' International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).” [18] Idso writes:

To the world’s climate alarmists, atmospheric carbon dioxide is a dangerous trace gas, and for years, they have been insisting its increase will raise global temperatures and wreak havoc upon Earth’s climate and biosphere. Yet, despite a 9 percent increase in CO2 over the past 18 years, there has been no rise in global temperature. Think about that. Over this time period the air’s CO2 content has risen some 40 parts per million, which represents fully one-third the total global CO2 increase since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, yet contrary to model projections, planetary temperatures have failed to rise.

It’s time for global warming die-hards to face the facts. Stop denying the models have got global temperature projections wrong. Stop denying CO2 has a lower climate sensitivity than you have been claiming. Stop denying the societal benefits of continued fossil fuel use. It’s not too late to make a course correction and support sound science.” [18]

July 7 - 9, 2014

Craig Idso was a speaker at the Heartland Institute’s Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC9) in Las Vegas, Nevada. [17]

DeSmogBlog has done in-depth research on the other speakers and sponsors from Heartland's ICCC9, which can be found here.

March, 2014

Idso is a lead author of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change’s (NIPCC) report entitled, Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts, published by the Heartland Institute on March 31, 2014. Other lead authors include prominent deniers, Sherwood Idso and S. Fred Singer. [14]

The NIPCC report, contrary to the prestigious IPCC's report, found that climate change will be good for the world, and will have net benefits for both plants and human health. [16]

May 21 - 23, 2012

Craig Idso was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's 7th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7).

DeSmogBlog researched the co-sponsors behind Heartland's ICCC7 and found that they had collectively received over $67 million from ExxonMobil, the Koch Brothers and the conservative Scaife family foundations.

September, 2011

Idso is a lead author of the 2011 Interim Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), published by the Heartland Institute. [5]

Other lead authors include prominent climate skeptics Robert M. Carter and S. Fred Singer. Other contributors included Joseph D‘Aleo, Indur Goklany, Sherwood Idso, Madhav Khandekar, Anthony Lupo, Willie Soon, and Mitch Taylor.

August, 2011

According to SourceWatch, Idso was a featured speaker at the 2011 American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Annual Meeting, speaking at a workshop initially titled “Warming Up to Climate Change: The Many Benefits of Increased Atmospheric CO2” but which was renamed “Benefit Analysis of CO2” [6]

He was joined by fellow climate skeptics Roger Helmer and Robert Ferguson. The workshop was hosted by ALEC's Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force.

June, 2011

Spoke at the Heartland Institute's Sixth International Conference on Climate Change. His speech was titled “Co2-Induced Global Warming: Is the IPCC Presenting an Honest Assessment of the Evidence?” [7]

May, 2010

Spoke at the Heartland Institute's Fourth International conference on Climate Change. His speech was titled “Quantifying the Effects of Ocean Acidification on Marine Organisms.” [7]

June 2, 2009

Craig Idso was a leading author of the first Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) report, titled “Climate Change Reconsidered” (PDF), published by the Heartland Institute. His co-author was climate skeptic Fred Singer.

Contributors included numerous other prominent climate change skeptics: [8]

March 30, 2009

Idso's signature is displayed alongside a full-page ad funded by the CATO institute that appeared in numerous newspapers including the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune in 2009.

The advertisement criticizes President Obama's declaration that “few challenges facing America and the world are more urgent than combating climate change,” saying that “with all due respect Mr. President, that is not true.” It goes on to describe how “there has been no net global warming for over a decade,” and that the dangers of global warming are “grossly overstated.” [12]

March, 2009

Spoke at the Heartland Institute's 2009 International Conference on Climate Change.  His speech was titled “Carbon Dioxide, Global Warming and Coral Reefs: Prospects and the Future.” [7]

November, 2003

Co-authored a report entitled “Enhanced or Impaired? Human Health in a CO2-Enriched Warmer World” (PDF) with his father Sherwood Idso and brother Keith Idso.

The report argues that global warming and an increase in atmospheric CO2 would be a boon to humanity.



*The Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global change responded to the question of whether they were funded by the Western Fuels Association as follows:

“In spite of what you think, you could be wrong.  But as we do not divulge this information, you may also continue to think that you are right.  In either case, we are not inclined to confirm or deny your conclusion…”


Idso has published three documentaries with the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change: Carbon Dioxide and the Climate Crisis: Reality or Illusion?, Carbon Dioxide and the Climate Crisis: Avoiding Plant and Animal Extinctions, and Carbon Dioxide and the Climate Crisis: Doing the Right Thing.

Sample publications include:

Idso has also published many of his articles on skeptical science blogs including Climate Realists


  1. Chairman,” Co2Science. Accessed January, 2012.

  2. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Craig Idso.

  3. C.D. Idso and K.E. Idso. “Carbon Dioxide and Global Warming: Where We Stand on the Issue,” C02Science (1998). Accessed January, 2012.

  4. C. D. Idso and K. E. Idso. “Energy, Carbon Dioxide and Earth's Future: Pursuing the Prudent Path,” Co2Science (1999). Accessed January, 2012.

  5. “Climate Change Reconsidered: 2011 Interim Report” (PDF),

  6. Craig Idso,” SourceWatch Profile.

  7. Craig D. Idso, PH.D.”, International Conference on Climate Change.

  8. “Climate Change Reconsidered” (PDF),

  9. Heartland Experts: Craig Idso,” The Heartland Institute. Accessed January, 2012.

  10. Chairman,” Co2Science. Accessed January, 2012.], [“Climate Change Reconsidered: 2011 Interim Report” (PDF),

  11. Personnel: SPPI Personnel 2012,” Accessed January, 2012.

  12. Climate Change Reality,” The Cato Institute.

  13. Craig D. Idso,” Wikipedia entry.

  14. Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts,” The Heartland Institute. Accessed April 7, 2014.

  15. A New Study Says Benefits of Global Warming Greatly Exceed Costs,” American Thinker. Accessed April 7, 2014.

  16. Heartland Institute NIPCC Climate Denier Craig Idso: 'Climate Change is Good For You,'” DeSmogBlog. April 8, 2014.

  17. Return of Climate Denial-a-Palooza: Heartland Institute Hitches Anti-Science Wagon to Vegas FreedomFest,” DeSmogBlog, July 7, 2014. Archived July 14, 2014.

  18. Craig Idso. ”Heartland Institute Climate Experts Comment on 18 Straight Years of No Global Warming,” Heartland Institute, October 9, 2014. Archived October 16, 2014.

  19. Their Speakers,” Accessed June 1, 2015. 

  20. Craig D. Idso. “Mr. President, CO2 Is Not Pollution, It’s the Elixir of Life,” Cato Institute. September 23, 2014.

  21. Craig Idso. “The Deceit of Sustainability,” Co2 Science,  Volume 3, Number 5 (March 1, 2000). Accessed June 1, 2015.

  22. Neela Banerjee. “What's Behind ALEC's Denial That It Denies Climate Change?”, InsideClimate News, April 14, 2015.

  23. Speakers,” Heartland Institute. Archived June 30, 2015.

  24. Panel 9: Climate Change Reconsidered II: Human Welfare, Energy, and Policies with S. Fred Singer, Ph.D., Craig Idso, Ph.D., Christopher Monckton, and Bob Carter, Ph.D.,” Heartland Institute, June 12, 2015. Archived July 14, 2015.

  25. About,” Co2Coalition. Archived September 4, 2015. 

  26. (Press Release). “From The Heartland Institute: 'Why Scientists Disagree about Global Warming,' The NIPCC Report on Consensus,” PRWeb, November 30, 2015. Archived December 1, 2015. WebCiteURL

  27. Scientific consensus: Earth's climate is warming,” NASA. Archived December 1, 2015. WebCiteURL