H. Sterling Burnett


H. Sterling Burnett


  • Ph.D., Applied Philosophy, Bowling Green State University (2001).
  • M.A., Applied Philosophy, Bowling Green State University, (1992).
  • B.A., Cultural Anthropology, Southern Methodist University, (1986).

Source: [1]


H. Sterling Burnett is a Senior Fellow for the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).

According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, “He has held various positions in professional and public policy organizations, including serving as a member of the Environment and Natural Resources Task Force in the Texas Comptroller's e-Texas commission, board of directors of the Dallas Woods and Water Conservation Club, and adviser for the American Legislative Exchange Council's Natural Resources Task Force.” [2]

Stance on Climate Change

  • “Proponents of policies to control human-induced global warming cite science as the basis for their claims and proposals. There is only one problem – as much as they claim otherwise, there is no scientific consensus for their theories.” [3]
  • “In other words, we do not know if the earth will get warmer or cooler in the future, and if temperatures do change, by how much or when, or if public policies can affect future temperature change.” [4]
  • “The current warming trend began as Earth came out of the little
    ice age—an important fact that is all too often overlooked in the global warming debate.” [5]

Key Quotes

“there is no predicted human health effect from increased CO2 emissions at any foreseeable level… . nothing the EPA could do would reduce the speculative effects of global warming on sea levels, human health, or weather patterns — since EPA regulations can't affect these things, it ought not to regulate emissions as if it could.” [6]

Burnett commented on the Gulf Oil Spill, claiming that “Environmentalists hyped the spill in an attempt to push the Senate to pass the largest energy tax in history.” His policy center also issued a press release describing the situation on the Gulf Coast as “more hype than reality.” [7], [8]

In a May 2006 Fox News interview, Burnett compared Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebells' films. Burnett stated: [9]

“You don't go see Joseph Goebbels' films to see the truth about Nazi Germany. You don't want to go see Al Gore's film to see the truth about global warming.”

Key Deeds

May 12, 2015

H. Sterling Burnett is a signatory to an open letter to Pope Francis on climate change. The letter invites the Pope to reconsider his views on climate change before his upcoming encyclical letter on the environment, which is widely expected to call for measures to prevent climate change in the interests of the world's poor. 

The open letter was coordinated and signed by Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance. According to the letter, “Good climate policy must recognize human exceptionalism, the God-given call for human persons to 'have dominion' in the natural world (Genesis 1:28), and the need to protect the poor from harm, including actions that hinder their ascent out of poverty.” [16]

Another excerpt below:

”[…] the [climate] models are wrong. They therefore provide no rational basis to forecast dangerous human-induced global warming, and therefore no rational basis for efforts to reduce warming by restricting the use of fossil fuels or any other means.”

Judith Curry comments on her blog Climate Etcthat “Arguably the most effective 'pushback' comes from Cal Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance, who coordinated An Open Letter to Pope Francis on Climate Change.” [17] 

December, 2014

H. Sterling Burnett 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.  [18]

Essays and articles from a range of climate change skeptics, while listed authors include:

October 9, 2014

H. Sterling Burnett 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).” [15] Burnett writes:

Eighteen years of no warming. That means this year’s high school graduates were raised to believe in and fear something that stopped happening before they were born. We’ve had as many years of relatively steady temperatures as we had actual years of warming since the ice age panic of the 1970s. Growing Antarctic ice sheets, increased greening of the earth, more walruses and polar bears than at any time since the beginning of the 20th century, fewer hurricanes and tornadoes, only a modest sea level rise, longer life spans and better overall health … if these are the terrors of global warming, I’ll have more please.

Every one of the climate models missed the lull. You’ve got to ask yourself, ‘Are you going to believe what the modelers tell you, or are you going to believe your “lying eyes,” which in this case is the actual measured temperature data?’ I’ll take hard data over faulty models any day.” [15]

December 4, 2010

Attended the Cancun Climate Change Summit. He was interviewed by the BBC shortly before attending the summit:

April 9, 2008

Testified (PDF) before the Texas House Select Committee on Electric Generation & Environmental Effects on the topic of “Electrical Power for Texas: Economic and Environmental Considerations.” [10]

In his testimony, Burnett concludes, with regards to the concern that “the [coal-fired] plants will emit large quantities of carbon dioxide and contribute to global warming,” he has attached a “primer” that would explain why “this should not be an issue preventing the building of new coal fired power plants.”


  • Social Philosophy and Policy Center Research Assistant (1991 - 1992). [12]


According to a search of Google Scholar, H. Sterling Burnett has not published research in any peer-reviewed journals on the subject of climate change. 

However, Burnett is a prolific author of skeptical articles and opinion pieces on the subject. For example:

  • “Reality and Climate Change Policy” (PDF), National Center for Policy Analysis, Brief Analysis No 376. (August 15, 2001).

A list of Burnett's publications in Environment & Climate News is available at the Heartland Institute.


  1. H. Sterling Burnett, PhD,” biography at ProCon, December 6, 2010.

  2. Dr. H. Sterling Burnett: Senior Fellow,” National Center for Policy Analysis. Archived April 9, 2002.

  3. Climate science or science fiction?The Washington Times, February 22, 2004.

  4. “Reality and Climate Change Policy” (PDF), National Center for Policy Analysis, Brief Analysis No 376. (August 15, 2001).

  5. “Letters: Warmer than When?” (PDF), Science News, Vol. 154, No. 23 (December 5, 1998), p. 355.

  6. (PRN) Supreme Court Ruling Doesn't Mean EPA Will Regulate CO2 Emissions,PRNewswire-USNewswire, April 3, 2007. Republished by chron.com.

  7. H. Sterling Burnett. “Lessons from the Horizon blowout: More hype than harm,” The Hill (Blog), March 8, 2010. Archived with WebCite, March 1, 2012.

  8. Tom Henry. “Southern Michigan faces long recovery after oil spill,” Toledo Blade, August 8, 2010. Archived March 1, 2012, with WebCite.

  9. Judd Legum. “Exxon-Backed Pundit Compares Gore To Nazi Propagandist,” ThinkProgress, May 23, 2006.

  10. “Statement for the Record: Texas House Select Committee on Electric Generation & Environmental Effects On ELECTRIC POWER FOR TEXAS: ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS” (PDF), April 9, 2008. Republished by the National Center for Policy Analysis.

  11. Heartland Experts: H. Sterling Burnett,” The Heartland Institute.

  12. H. Sterling Burnett: Member Profile,” Energybiz. Accessed November 30, 2011.

  13. H. Sterling Burnett,” SourceWatch Profile.

  14. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: H. Sterling Burnett.

  15. H. Sterling Burnett. “Heartland Institute Climate Experts Comment on 18 Straight Years of No Global Warming,” Heartland Institute, October 9, 2014. Archived October 16, 2014.

  16. An Open Letter to Pope Francis on Climate Change,” Cornwall Alliance For The Stewardship of Creation. April 27, 2015. Archived with WebCite May 27, 2015.

  17. Judith Curry. “Pope Francis, climate change, and morality,” JudithCurry.com, April 29, 2015.  Archived with Webite May 27, 2015.

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