Paul Driessen

Paul Driessen

​Paul Driessen


  • BA in geology and field ecology from Lawrence University.
  • JD from the University of Denver College of Law.
  • Accreditation in Public Relations from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

 Source: [1]


Paul Driessen is associated with numerous right-wing think tanks and organizations skeptical of man-made climate change, including the Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), where he is a Senior Policy Advisor. He is best known for his first book, Eco-Imperialism: Green Power Black Death where he discusses what he considers negative aspects of the environmental movement. [14]

According to his biographical note, “he abandoned their cause when he recognized that the environmental movement had become intolerant in its views, inflexible in its demands, unwilling to recognize our tremendous strides in protecting the environment, and insensitive to the needs of billions of people who lack the food, electricity, safe water, healthcare and other basic necessities that we take for granted.” [2]

Stance on Climate Change

“[Christopher] Monckton would have focused on the science. But it is morality that truly requires serious debate. Climate Armageddon claims are being used to justify malignant policies that have no rational basis.

“Global average temperatures peaked in 1998 and since have cooled slightly, despite steadily rising CO2 levels. Except in its Western Peninsula, Antarctica is gaining ice, and Antarctic sea ice reached an all-time high in 2007. Arctic ice is seasonably normal, and in 2008 the Northern Hemisphere was covered by more snow than ever before recorded.” [3]

Key Quotes

May 17, 2015

“A couple degrees warmer would be good for humanity and planet, especially with more plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide in the air. […] But a couple degrees colder would bring serious adverse consequences for habitats, wildlife, agriculture and humanity.” [18] 

February 9, 2015

“Not using fossil fuels is tantamount to not using energy. It is economic suicide and eco-manslaughter.” [20]

August 15, 2013

“What a difference that extra 120 ppm has made for plants, and for animals and humans that depend on them. The more carbon dioxide there is in the atmosphere, the more it is absorbed by plants of every description –- and the faster and better they grow, even under adverse conditions like limited water, extremely hot air temperatures, or infestations of insects, weeds and other pests. As trees, grasses, algae and crops grow more rapidly and become healthier and more robust, animals and humans enjoy better nutrition on a planet that is greener and greener.” [13]

“Imposing excessive new regulations, or closing coal-fired power plants, would produce few health or environmental benefits. But it would exact huge costs on society – and bring factories, offices and economies to a screeching halt in states that are 80-98% dependent on coal: Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.” [4]

“The day the world runs out of oil is much farther in the future than green activists care to admit. That is clear from data compiled by Dr. Robert Bradley, Jr. at the Institute for Energy Research…” [5]

“Had today’s technophobic zealots [environmental activists] been in charge in previous centuries, we would have to roll human progress back to the Middle Ages – and beyond, since even fire, the wheel and organic farming pose
risks, and none would have passed the “absolute safety” test the zealots demand. Putting them in charge now would mean an end to progress, and perpetual deprivation for inhabitants of developing nations.” [5]

Key Deeds

May 18, 2016

Paul Driessen 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[24][25]

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.” [24]

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.”  [24]

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. [26]

The CEI letter lists the following signatories:

June 11-12, 2015

Paul Driessen was a speaker on Panel 5: “Climate Program Impacts,” at the Heartland Institute’s Tenth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC10) in Washington, D.C., with Cornelis van Kooten and Wolfgang Müller. [22]

View Paul Driessen’s Panel 5 presentation at the Heartland Institute’s ICCC10, below: [23]

May 17, 2015

Paul Driessen wrote an article in The Washington Times titled “A new Little Ice Age?” suggesting that global cooling would be damaging for man-kind, while global warming would be beneficial. Notably, he cites the research of Habibullo Abdussamatov to back up these claims. Abdusamatov is the same scientist who claimed that current warm temperatures on Mars proved that the sun - and not human activity - is behind the global warming trend on Earth, a theory debunked on [19][18]

May 12, 2015

Paul Driessen 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]

Judith Curry comments on her blog Climate Etc. that “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]

March, 2015

Paul Driessen is one of several climate change skeptics cc'd on an email from S. Fred Singer in hopes of countering the documentary film “Merchants of Doubt,” which exposes the network of climate change skeptics and deniers trying to delay legislative action on climate change.  

The October, 2014 email was leaked to journalists before the documentary was released. “Can I sue for damages?” Singer asked in the email. “Can we get an injunction against the documentary?”

InsideClimate News reports in their article “Leaked Email Reveals Who's Who List of Climate Denialists,” how “Many of those copied on the email thread, such as Singer and communications specialist Steven Milloy, have financial ties to the tobacco, chemical, and oil and gas industries and have worked to defend them since the 1990s.” [21]

InsideClimate News also documented all those who were cc'd on the email, including the following skeptics and groups:

DeSmogBlog covered the emails here: “Merchants of Doubt Film Debuts, Textbook Denial Attack Campaign Led By Fred Singer Ensues” and DeSmogBlog also archived a full copy of the Singer email thread (PDF)

July 7 - 9, 2014

Paul Driessen was a speaker at the Heartland Institute’s Ninth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC9) in Las Vegas, Nevada. [15]

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

May 21 - 23, 2012

Paul Driessen was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's 7th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7). Heartland President Joseph Bast revealed that this would be Heartland's final conference.

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.

March, 2008

Spoke at the Heartland Institute's first International Conference on Climate Change. [6]

March 8, 2007

Appeared in documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle” documentary film.

Feb 4, 2004

Testified before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, “on the subject of science, Eco-Imperialism and public policy.” [7]

Others testifying included Niger Innis and Cyril Boynes of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

Nov, 2003

Published the book Eco-Imperialism: Green Power Black Death and speaks regularly on the subject of “Eco-Imperialism” in the media.


Source: [8]


Driessen wrote Eco-Imperialism: Green Power Black Death published by Merril Press in November, 2003.

He was the editor of Energy Keepers Energy Killers: The New Civil Rights Battle, written by Roy Innis and published in February, 2008 by Merril Press

Sample Publications


  1. Center Staff and Advisors,” Center for the Defence of Free Enterprise. Archived June 8, 2011.

  2. Author's Biography,”

  3. Climate change ‘morality’.” June 01, 2009.

  4. Paul Driessen, “Saving Lives with Coal,”, January 3, 2009.

  5. “Eco-Imperialism: When policies kill,” Testimony (PDF) of Paul R. Driessen before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Natural Resources, February 4, 2004.

  6. Breaking News” (see entry for 03/26/08), Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise. Accessed December 6, 2011.

  7. Paul Driessen's testimony before the United States Congress SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY: Statement of Paul Driessen, Director, Economic Human Rights Project before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Natural Resources,” February 4, 2004. Republished by

  8. Center Staff and Advisors,” Center for the Defence of Free Enterprise.

  9. Experts: Paul Driessen,” The Heartland Institute. Accessed May, 2012.

  10. Paul Driessen,” SourceWatch profile.

  11. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Paul Diressen.

  12. Deniers: Paul Driessen,” ExxonSecrets Wiki.

  13. Carbon Dioxide: The Gas of Life,”, August 15, 2013.

  14. CFACT Staff,” Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow, Accessed May 5, 2014.

  15. Return of Climate Denial-a-Palooza: Heartland Institute Hitches Anti-Science Wagon to Vegas FreedomFest,” DeSmogBlog, July 7, 2014. Archived July 14, 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,”, April 29, 2015.  Archived with Webite May 27, 2015.

  18. Paul Driessen. “A new Little Ice Age? Instead of dangerous warming, Earth could be entering a chilly era,” The Washington Times. May 17, 2015.

  19. Stein Sigurdsson. “Global warming on Mars?”, RealClimate. October 5, 2005. 

  20. Paul Driessen. “Divesting People of Better Living Standards,” Somewhat Reasonable (Heartland Institute blog). February 9, 2015.

  21. Katherine Bagley. “Leaked Email Reveals Who's Who List of Climate Denialists,” InsideClimate News. March 12, 2015.

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

  23. Panel 5: Climate Program Impacts with Cornelis van Kooten, Ph.D., Wolfgang Müller, and Paul Driessen,” Heartland Institute, June 11, 2015. Archived July 15, 2015.

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

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

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