Ross McKitrick

ross-mckitrick

Ross McKitrick

Credentials 

  • Ph.D., Economics, University of British Columbia, (1996).
  • M.A., Economics, University of British Columbia, (1990).
  • B.A., Economics, Queen's University, (1988).

Source: [1]

Background

McKitrick is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Guelph and a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute. According to McKitrick's profile at the Fraser Institute:

“McKitrick holds a BA in economics from Queen's University, and an MA and Ph.D. in economics from the University of British Columbia. He was appointed Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Guelph in 1996 and Associate Professor in 2000. His area of specialization is environmental economics and policy analysis. His current research areas include empirical modeling of the relationship between economic growth and pollution emissions; the impact of economic activity on the measurement of surface temperatures; and the climate change policy debate.” [2]

McKitrick is a Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Vancouver, British Columbia. He co-authored the 2002 book, Taken By Storm with fellow climate skeptic Christopher Essex.

Stance on Climate Change

McKitrick is an endorser [3] of the Cornwall Alliance's “An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming,” which states:

“We deny that carbon dioxide—essential to all plant growth—is a pollutant. Reducing greenhouse gases cannot achieve significant reductions in future global temperatures, and the costs of the policies would far exceed the benefits.” [4]

Key Quotes

“I abhor Earth Hour. Abundant, cheap electricity has been the greatest source of human liberation in the 20th century. Every material social advance in the 20th century depended on the proliferation of inexpensive and reliable electricity.” [5]

“The bottom line for Canada is that Kyoto will precipitate a recession that will cause a permanent reduction in employment, income and the size of our economy. And if global warming is going to happen Kyoto will do nothing whatsoever to prevent it or even slow it down. Why are we still considering it?” [6]

Key Deeds

May 18, 2016

Ross McKitrick was a signatory to a full page color advertisement in The New York Times titled “Abuse of Power” (PDF) sponsored by The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).  The ad serves as an open letter from 43 signatories including organizations and individuals in response to  New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General Claude Walker, and the coalition of Attourneys General investigating groups denying man-made climate change[26][27]

Attempts to intimidate CEI and our allies and silence our policy research are unconstitutional,” said CEI president Kent Lassman. “The First Amendment protects us and everyone has a duty to respect it – even state attorneys general.  CEI will continue to fight for all Americans to support the causes in which they believe.” [26]

The Competitive Enterprise Institute received a subpoena from AG Walker on April 7, 2016. On April 20, CEI filed an objection to the subpoena calling it “offensive,” “un-American,” and “unlawful,” and are contending that AG Walker is “violating CEI’s First Amendment rights.”  [26]

The “freedom of speech” argument was echoed by ExxonMobil's legal team, as well as numerous other conservative groups including the Pacific Legal Foundation, and Heritage Foundation and the recently-formed Free Speech in Science Project, a group created by the same lawyers who defended the Competitive Enterprise Institute in the past. [28]

The CEI letter lists the following signatories:

March 29, 2016

Ross McKitrick was a featured speaker at a conference titled “The Climate Surprise: Why CO2 Is Good for the Earth” hosted by the CO2 Coalition and The New Criterion in New York City. [25]

According to the event description, “Members of the CO2 Coalition and  many other experts argue that carbon dioxide enrichment of the atmosphere provides manifold benefits for humanity. And observed surface warmings are much smaller than predicted by climate models.   Economic models that fail to include the benefits  of CO2 and the serious exaggerations of climate models  and are being used to advocate “cures” that are much worse than the non-existent disease.” [25]

Other videos of the conference are available at The New Criterion's YouTube page. Featured speakers listed at the event included the following: [25]

May 11, 2015

Ross McKitrick publishes a comment piece in the Financial Post titled, “The con in consensus: Climate change consensus among the misinformed is not worth much.” Within the piece, McKitrick writes that “massive activist pressure is on all governments, especially Canada’s, to fall in line with the global warming agenda and accept emission targets that could seriously harm [Canada’s] economy.” [20] McKitrick continues by calling the 97% consensus, that “climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities,” [21] among peer-reviewed climate science literature “a fabrication,” and that it would be a “tragedy” to “throw Canada’s economy under the climate change bandwagon.” [20]

December, 2014

Ross McKitrick is a contributor to the book Climate Change: The Facts published by the Institute of Public Affairs and featuring “22 essays on the science, politics and economics of the climate change debate.” The Institute of Public Affairs, while not revealing most of its funders, is known to have received funding from mining magnate Gina Rinehart and at least one major tobacco company.[22]

The book includes essays and articles from a range of climate change skeptics, with contributors including the following:

According to Editor Alan Moran in a post at Catallaxy Files blog on Climate Change: the facts 2014, Ross Mckitrick “addresses the trials he and Steve McIntyre went through in puncturing the newly coined late twentieth century myth that temperatures are now higher than at any time in the past millen­nium.” [23]

October 30, 2014

Ross McKitrick was the co-author of a Fraser Institute report titled “What Goes Up,” which recommends that the government look at a moratorium and new wind and solar power facilities as well as re-open four coal burning powerplants to curb increases in electricity prices. See the whole report here (PDF).

The Toronto Sun reports how the provincial government did not heed the Fraser Institute's report and continues to pursue wind and solar energy projects. [24]

May, 2010

Ross McKitrick spoke at the Heartland Institute's Fourth International Conference on Climate Change.

The conference's theme was “Reconsidering the Science and Economics,” and its purpose was “the same as it was for the first three events: to build momentum and public awareness of the global warming 'realism' movement.”

March 9, 2009

Ross McKitrick spoke at the Heartland Institute's 2009 International Conference on Climate Change. [7]

DeSmogBlog researched the funding, and found sponsor organizations had received over $47 million from energy companies and right-wing foundations, with 78% of that total coming from the Scaife Family of foundations.

March 3, 2008

Ross McKitrick spoke at the Heartland Institute's 2008 International Conference on Climate Change on the topic “Quantifying the Influence of Anthropogenic Surface Processes on Gridded Global Climate Data.”

February, 2007

McKitrick was the “coordinator” for the Fraser Institute's “Independent Summary for Policymakers” (ISPM) of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report.

The ISPM's conclusion is that “there will remain an unavoidable element of uncertainty as to the extent that humans are contributing to future climate change, and indeed whether or not such change is a good or bad thing.” [8]

Other authors included well known global warming skeptics such as Joseph D'aleo, Madhav Khandekar, William Kininmonth, Christopher Essex, Wibjorn Karlen, and Tad Murty.

2006

McKitrick was a co-author to a paper published by the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance (Now the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation) titled “A Call to Truth, Prudence and the Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Response to Global Warming.”  Authors of paper included prominent deniers Calvin Beisner, Paul K. Driessen and Roy W. Spencer. [9]

The Cornwall Alliance's paper was a response to an open letter titled “Climate Change: An Evangelical Call to Action” which was created by a group titled the Evangelical Climate Initiative.

“An Evangelical Call to Action” concludes that:

  1. Climate Change is Real.
  2. The Consequences of Climate Change Will Be Significant, and Will Hit the Poor the Hardest.
  3. Christian Moral Convictions Demand Our Response to the Climate Change Problem.
  4. The need to act now is urgent. Governments, businesses, churches, and individuals all have a role to play in addressing climate change—starting now.

The Cornwall Alliance's paper contends that “All of these assumptions…are false, probably false, or exaggerated.”

January 27, 2005

Ross McKitrick and Steve McIntyre state their “research shows fundamental flaws in the 'hockey stick graph' used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,” in a “backgrounder” produced to summarize their recently published articles: [19]

“The main error affects a step called principal component analysis (PCA). We showed that the PCA method as used by Mann et al. effectively mines a data set for hockey stick patterns. Even from meaningless random data (red noise), it nearly always produces a hockey stick.” [19]

2005

McKitrick appeared on a Friends of Science (FoS) video titled Climate Catastrophe Cancelled. Other prominent climate change skeptics are featured including Tim Ball, Sallie L. Baliunas and Tim Patterson.

The FoS website includes a description of Climate Catastrophe Cancelled: [10]

“Contrary to claims that the science of climate change has been settled, the causes of the past century’s modest warming is highly contested in the climate science community. The climate experts presenting in the video demonstrate that science is quickly diverging away from the hypothesis that the human release of greenhouse gases, specifically carbon dioxide, is having a significant impact on global climate. 'There is absolutely no convincing scientific evidence that human-produced greenhouse gases are driving global climate change,' stated climatologist, Dr. Tim Ball. He added that the Canadian government’s plan to designate carbon dioxide as a 'toxic' [sic] under CEPA is irresponsible and without scientific merit. 'Carbon dioxide is a staff of life, plain and simple. It makes up less than 4% of greenhouse gases and it is not a toxic.'[sic]”

According to SourceWatch, the recovered costs by FoS from the University of Calgary for “video production” in 2005 amounted to $80,731.

2003

McKitrick and Christopher Essex organized a press conference with the Cooler Heads Coalition in 2003 to publicize his and Essex's new book, Taken By Storm. [11]

Copies of the book were provided “compliments of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.”

2002

Ross McKitrick and Christopher Essex publish Taken By Storm: The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming. The book won the 2002 Donner Book Prize, a $10K award “paid for in part by the Donner Canadian Foundation, which contributed $20K toward writing the book in 2002.” [12]

October, 2000

McKitrick attended a October 2000 briefing organized by the Cooler Heads Coalition where he joined other sceptics in criticizing the Third Assessment Report (TAR) of the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). [12]

The Cooler Heads coalition is a project of the National Consumers Coalition which is made up of 23 free market think tanks, many of them with ties to the oil-industry, including the Heartland Institute, the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, the Pacific Research Institute and the George C. Marshall Institute.

The Cooler Heads Coalition was originally a project of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) which has received large donations from major corporations and industry foundations.  For example, the CEI has received $2,005,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998.

September, 2000

McKitrick wrote a letter (PDF) to the Joint Standing Committee On Treaties Inquiry into the Kyoto Protocol, Parliament of Australia. 

McKitrick summarizes his points as follows: [13]

“I advise the Joint Standing Committee to recommend that Australia not ratify the Kyoto Protocol. This stance is justified on four grounds.

  • “The relative effect of GHG emissions on the global climate is subject to considerable uncertainty.
  • “Even if GHG emissions cause some warming, it will be slow and largely benign.
  • “Even if some aspect of global warming is harmful, the Kyoto Protocol will not stop it.
  • The costs of the Kyoto Protocol exceed any identifiable benefits.”

Nov 22, 1999

The Fraser Institute released a report in 1999 that disputed with the Committee on the Status of Wildlife in Canada that there were 339 endangered species. Instead, the Fraser Institute preferred its own conservative estimate of 91 endangered species. [14]

In a Canadian Press article, Stephen Legault, the spokesperson for Alberta Wilderness Association, described the report as “another effort at fearmongering and misinformation by a right-wing think tank.”

Sourcewatch reports that McKitrick sent a letter to the editor of the Guelph Mercury newspaper that accuses Legault of being “blinded by ideology.” McKitrick claimed that the U.S. Endangered Species Act “imposes draconian restrictions on use of private land on which rare species are present. Since these rules destroy property value, landowners across the U.S. now work to make their lands inhospitable to endangered species.”

Affiliations 

Publications

According to a search of 22,000 academic journals, McKtrick has published 14 peer-reviewed articles mainly in the area of economics and more recently on the topic of “Mann's hockey stick.” A full list of McKitrick's publications is available here.

Sample publications by McKitrick include:

  • Shattered Consensus: The True State of Global Warming (2006). Co wrote with Patrick Michaels.
  • “Endangered Species Act dangerous,” Guelph Mercury (Ontario, Canada), November 22, 1999; page A5.
  • “Junk science,” National Post (Canada), Letter to the Editor, July 03, 2001 (Page C19).

Resources

  1. Ross McKitrick CV,” University of Guelph. Accessed January, 2012.

  2. Ross McKitrick,” The Fraser Institute. Accessed January, 2012.

  3. Prominent Signers of An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming,” The Cornwall Alliance. Last updated January 14, 2010.

  4. An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming,” The Cornwall Alliance. Accessed January, 2012.

  5. Earth Hour: Why I Will Leave My Lights On,” Vancouver Sun, March 26, 2011.

  6. Kyoto's Real Cost” (PDF), National Post, February 26, 2002.

  7. 2009 International Conference on Climate Change,” The Heartland Institute, February 1, 2009. Republished by Instituto Liberdade.

  8. “Independent Summary for Policymakers: IPCC Fourth Assessment Report” (PDF), The Fraser Institute, March 2, 2007.

  9. E. Calvin Beisner, Paul K. Driessen, Ross McKitrick, and Roy W. Spencer. A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Response to Global Warming” (PDF), The Cornwall Alliance, 2006.

  10. Climate Catastrophe Cancelled: What You're Not Being Told About the Science of Climate Change” (2nd Edition.  Sept. 13, 2007.), Friends of Science.

  11. Cooler Heads Coalition Briefing With Christopher Essex And Ross McKitrick,” Competitive Enterprise Institute, February 26, 2003.

  12. Ross McKitrick,” SourceWatch Profile.

  13. “Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties Inquiry into the Kyoto Protocol Parliament of Australia” (PDF) Dr. Ross McKitrick, September 26, 2000.

  14. Laura Jones and liv Fredricksen. “Crying Wolf?: Public Policy on Endangered Species,” The Fraser Institute, October, 1999.

  15. Who We Are: Staff,” The Fraser Institute. Accessed January, 2012.

  16. Dr. Ross McKitrick,” George C. Marshall Institute. Accessed January, 2012.

  17. Academic Advisory Council,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation. Accessed January, 2012.

  18. Exxonsecrets Factsheet: Ross McKitrick.

  19. Ross McKitrick and Steve McIntyre. “Backgrounder,” Hockey Stick Project, January 27, 2005.

  20. Ross McKitrick, The con in consensus: Climate change consensus among the misinformed is not worth much,” Financial Post, May 11, 2015.

  21. Consensus: 97% of climate scientists agree,” NASA, Updated May 18, 2015.

  22. Institute of Public Affairs,” SourceWatch. Accessed May 27, 2015.

  23. Alan Moran. “Climate Change: the facts 2014,” Catallaxy Files (blog), December 16, 2014.

  24. Antonella Artuso. “Energy minister won't heed Fraser Institute report,” Toronto Sun, October 30, 2014.

  25. The Climate Surprise: Why CO2 is Good for the Earth,” CO2 Coalition, April 25, 2016. Archived May 7, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6hKp4uAL0

  26. CEI Runs “Abuse of Power” Ad In New York Times,” Competitive Enterprise Institute, May 18, 2016. Archived May 31, 2016.

  27. “Abuse of Power: All Americans have the right to support causes they believe in” (PDF), Competitive Enterprise Institute. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  28. Steve Horn. “Exxon's Lawyer in Climate Science Probe Has History Helping Big Tobacco and NFL Defend Against Health Claims,” DeSmogBlog, May 10, 2016.