Benny Peiser

Benny Josef Peiser


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


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

Benny Peiser is 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 the past co-editor (as of 2010) of the skeptical journal Energy and Environment, also edited by climate change skeptic Sonja-Boehmer Christiansen. In 2011, Peiser was listed on the journal's “editorial advisory board,” and also under contacts for paper submissions. In 2012 he was only listed on the journal's “editorial advisory board” and as of 2016 he is no longer listed on the Multi-Science profile for E&E. [22], [23], [24], [25]

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

December 8, 2015

Benny Peiser wrote to defend William Happer after a Greenpeace Investigation found Happer willing to accept funding from fossil fuel interests to write articles promoting CO2. The Greenpeace investigation had also found that Happer accepted $8,000 from Peabody Energy to attend a Minnesota state hearing on the impacts of carbon dioxide. [27]

Peiser's statement, published at Bishop Hill, supports Happer, the GWPF, and Indur Goklany, (all previously named in the Greenpeace report): [28]

Professor Happer made his scientific views clear from the outset, including the need to address pollution problems arising from fossil fuel consumption. Any insinuation against his integrity as a scientist is outrageous and is clearly refuted by the correspondence.
Nor did Professor Happer offer to put a report “commissioned by a fossil fuel company” through the GWPF peer review process. This is a sheer fabrication by Greenpeace. 
The GWPF does not undertake externally-commissioned research and does not accept support of any kind from fossil fuel companies or anyone with a significant interest in the energy industry. The correspondence shows that Professor  Happer explained to the undercover “journalist” that there were several different forms of peer review and that the peer review process used by the GWPF is as rigorous as that for most journals. 
Greenpeace claims with no supporting evidence that the report by Dr Indur Goklany was reviewed exclusively by 25 scientists who are members of the GWPF's Academic Advisory Council (AAC). This is false. Dr Goklany's report, like most of our reports, was also reviewed by outside experts who are not scientific advisers to the GWPF.
The quality of Dr Goklany's report is self-evident to any open-minded reader. As Professor Freeman Dyson said in the foreword, “To any unprejudiced person reading this account, the facts should be obvious: that the non-climatic effects of carbon dioxide as a sustainer of wildlife and crop plants are enormously beneficial, that the possibly harmful climatic effects of carbon dioxide have been greatly exaggerated, and that the benefits clearly outweigh the possible damage.” 
Professor Colin Prentice of the Grantham Institute concurred even while claiming to be dismayed by the report's publication: “Much of it is quite correct and moreover, well-established in the scientific literature…the various benefits of rising CO2 are actually well established in the scientific literature, even if sometime ignored. They are indeed 'good news'.”
The cack-handed [sic] attempt by Greenpeace to manufacture a scandal around Dr Goklany's report, and to smear Professor Happer's reputation, only points to the need for the Global Warming Policy Foundation to redouble its efforts to bring balanced, rigorous and apolitical research on climate and energy policy issues to the public's attention, as counter to the misleading noise and activist rhetoric from groups like Greenpeace.

November 27, 2015

Shortly before the COP21 (Conference of the Parties) climate conference in Paris, Benny Peiser and Matt Ridley co-authored a Wall Street Journal article titled “Your Complete Guide to the Climate Debate.” [20]

According to Peiser and Ridley, world temperatures have gone up “less than half as fast as the scientific consensus predicted in 1990 when the global-warming scare began in earnest.” They also mention that “the planet was significantly warmer than today several times during the past 10,000 years.”[20]

The two make a range of often-repeated claims by climate change skeptics, including that there have been “no increase in frequency or intensity of storms, floods or droughts,” that sea ice isn't melting considerably, and that there is supposedly no scientific consensus regarding global warming. [20]

A group of 12 scientists analyzed Peiser and Ridley's Wall Street Journal Article, and found that it “contains numerous false statements, cherry-picked evidence, and misleading assertions about climate science. It attempts to surround the hard facts about climate change with clouds of uncertainty, even though these facts are agreed to by the scientific academies of every major country in the world and the vast majority of the world’s climate scientists.” [21]

Peiser and Ridley cite Richard Tol of the University of Sussex, saying his studies conclude that “warming may well bring gains, because carbon dioxide causes crops and wild ecosystems to grow greener and more drought-resistant.”

“To put it bluntly, climate change and its likely impact are proving slower and less harmful than we feared, while decarbonization of the economy is proving more painful and costly than we hoped,” they write. In conclusion, “Any climate agreement should be flexible enough so that voluntary pledges can be adjusted over the next couple of decades depending on what global temperatures do.”

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.



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. [26]

None of these studies are related to climate change.


  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. Dr. Benny Peiser,” Director. The Global Warming Policy Foundation. Archived February 7, 2016. WebCite URL:

  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 ( 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. Dr. Benny Peiser’s Letter to 'Science' and Its Rejection,” Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), May 4, 2005. Archived March 23, 2014. WebCite URL

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

  15. Energy and Environment,” Accessed February, 2012.

  16. Benny Peiser,” Profile at the Carbon Brief. Archived March 7, 2011. WebCite URL

  17. Journalist's Guide to Global Warming Experts,” Heartland Institute. Page 19. Archived February 8, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog. 

  18. CCNet Homepage, Archived January 5, 2010.

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

  20. Matt Ridley and Benny Peiser. “Your Complete Guide to the Climate Debate,” The Wall Street Journal, November 27, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  21. “Analysis of Matt Ridley and Benny Peiser’s 'Your Complete Guide to the Climate Debate,'” Climate Feedback, November 27, 2015. Archived December 3, 2015. WebCite URL:

  22. Energy and Environment,” Archived August 19, 2010.

  23. Energy and Environment,” Archived May 31, 2011.

  24. Energy and Environment,” Archived June 1, 2012.

  25. Energy and Environment,” Archived January 12, 2015. WebCite URL

  26. “Dr Benny Peiser: Faculty of Science,” Liverpool University. Archived with WebCite June 12, 2011. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  27. Lawrence Carter and Maeve McClenaghan. “Exposed: Academics-for-hire agree not to disclose fossil fuel funding,” Greenpeace EnergyDesk, December 8, 2015. WebCiteURL

  28. Happer days,” Bishop Hill, December 8, 2015. Archived January 25, 2016. WebCite URL

  29. Joe Romm. “UPDATE: Heartland Institute De-Lists Roger Pielke Jr. As A ‘Heartland Expert’,” ThinkProgress, May 9, 2012. Archived February 8, 2016. WebCite

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