Ross McKitrick

Ross McKitrick


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

Source: [1]


Ross McKitrick is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Guelph. McKitrick is also a senior fellow at the Fraser Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Vancouver, British Columbia. [2]

According to Ross McKitrick's profile at the Fraser Institute, he 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. McKitrick's areas of specialization include 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.” [3]

McKitrick co-authored the 2002 book Taken By Storm (website now defunct) with fellow climate skeptic Christopher Essex. According to the book's description, the “assumption that we know what is happening and how to control it” regarding climate change is false. The revised version was released in 2008. [4]

Stance on Climate Change

Ross McKitrick is an endorser of the Cornwall Alliance's “An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming,” which states: [5]

“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.” [6]

Key Quotes

June, 2016

“Calculations behind the social cost of carbon need to reflect empirical evidence about low climate sensitivity, and when this is done, the numbers appear to be much lower than those currently in use.” [7]

May, 2015

“The phony claim of 97 per cent consensus is mere political rhetoric aimed at stifling debate and intimidating people into silence.” [8]

April, 2012

“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.” [9]

February, 2012

“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?” [10]

Key Deeds

September 27, 2016

Ross McKitrick presented to a Committee of the Canadian Senate (PDF) where he advocated the development of oil pipeline development in Canada. He claimed that “activists […] exploit the natural monopoly of pipelines to impose an environmental agenda that failed to obtain support through the environmental policymaking process.” [11]

“[B]lockading pipeline resource development is neither a smart nor sustainable approach to pursuing environmental goals,” McKitrick said. “Completion of an interprovincial pipeline would be a boost for national unity and economic development, and it would be entirely consistent with the smart, technology-driven approach to environmental management that we have successfully pursued for many decades.” [11]

July, 2016

Herb Pinder published an article in the Regina Post Leader citing Ross McKitrick as having “discredited conceptually, mathematically” the models of climate scientist Michael Mann. Pinder quotes McKitrick as saying “there has been no statistically significant temperature change for the past 15-20 years.” [12]

Michael Mann posted a response in the same paper, noting that Herb Pinder is associated with the free market advocacy group the Fraser Institute, and saying Pinder “did a disservice to your readers by promoting falsehoods about climate change and making untruthful statements about my own scientific work.” [13]

Mann writes: 

“In attempting to malign my own work, Pinder cites fellow Fraser Institute climate change denier Ross McKitrick, someone with no scientific credentials whose specious claims have been rejected by actual scientists.

[…] McKitrick’s attacks have nothing at all to do with climate models. Instead they concern the well-known “hockey stick” temperature curve I published in the late 1990s that demonstrates recent warming to be unprecedented in at least 1,000 years.”

In a third article, also in Regina Leader-Post, Ross McKitrick responded: [14]

“Mann said of me that I have 'no scientific credentials' and that my work is 'specious' and has been 'rejected by actual scientists.' I have published dozens of studies in the field, including in many leading climate science journals.”

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 Attorneys General investigating groups denying man-made climate change[15], [16]

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.” [15]

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.” [15]

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. [17]

The CEI letter lists the following signatories:

May 13, 2016

Ross McKitrick participated in a debate at the University of Toronto (Scarborough Campus) for high school students on the topic of climate change. The resolution was: “Should we be skeptical about the science suggesting that GHG emissions are the primary cause of global climate change?” [18]

McKitrick argued for the “Yes” position against his opponent, Dr. Tanzina Mohsin, a climate scientist at the University of Toronto. Video below. [18]

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. [19]

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.”  [19]

Other videos of the conference are available at The New Criterion's YouTube page. Featured speakers listed at the event included the following: [19]

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,” 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.” [21], [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). [24]

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. [25]

May, 2010

Ross McKitrick spoke at the Heartland Institute's Fourth International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC4). His speech was titled “Models versus Observations: An Updated Comparison”: [26]

March 9, 2009

Ross McKitrick spoke at the Heartland Institute's 2009 International Conference on Climate Change: [27]

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. [28]

March 3, 2008

Ross McKitrick spoke at the Heartland Institute's 2008 International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC1) on the topic “Quantifying the Influence of Anthropogenic Surface Processes on Gridded Global Climate Data”: [29]

February, 2007

McKitrick was the “coordinator” for the Fraser Institute's “Independent Summary for Policymakers” (ISPM) of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report. [30]

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.” [30]

Other authors included well known global warming skeptics such as Joseph D'aleo, Madhav Khandekar, William Kininmonth, Christopher Essex, Wibjorn Karlen, and Tad Murty[30]


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. [31]

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: [31]

  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: [32]

“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.” [32]


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: [33]

“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. [34]


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. [35]

Copies of the book were provided “compliments of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.” [35]


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.” [36]

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). [36]

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. [37]

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: [38]

“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. [39]

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.” [36]

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.” [36]



According to a search of 22,000 academic journals, McKtrick has published 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. [43]

Sample Op-Eds

Publication Title Date
Financial Post Ross McKitrick: Drop all this carbon-tax boosterism; they could easily do more harm than good 15-Sep-16
Financial Post Ontario electricity has never been cheaper, but bills have never been higher 10-Aug-16
Regina Leader-Post Let's have a cool, civil debate about global climate change 25-Jul-16
Financial Post Junk Science Week: What’s the right price for carbon? Take a guess (everyone else is) 16-Jun-16
Financial Post Ross McKitrick: Climate crazy Ontari-ari-ario’s no place to grow, but to get the hell out of 17-May-16
Financial Post The con in consensus: Climate change consensus among the misinformed is not worth much 11-May-15
Financial Post Ross McKitrick: How politicians wrecked the case for carbon taxes 15-Mar-16
Financial Post Ross McKitrick: The electric car is dead, executed by Al Gore and his environmental allies 19-Jan-16
Financial Post So much for the science, Trudeau government sticks to pre-determined climate agenda 25-Nov-15
Cato Institute What Chicago Can Teach the Pope 21-Sep-15
National Post Ross McKitrick: When Margaret met Preston 08-Sep-15
The Hill Even if you buy the science, the policy still fails 27-Aug-15
Real Clear Policy Clean Power Plan: Acid Rain Part 2? 26-Aug-15
Financial Post Ontario’s job killer: Business sounds alarm over soaring electricity prices 10-Jul-15
Financial Post How green energy is fleecing Ontario electricity consumers 29-Oct-14
Financial Post Guy at Broadbent Institute is pretty sure he rebutted report he hasn’t read 08-Oct-14

Other Publications


  1. “Curriculum Vitae” (PDF),, April 10, 2013. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.

  2. Ross McKitrick: Professor of Economics,” University of Guelph. Archived October 8, 2016. URL

  3. Topic Experts,” The Fraser Institute. Archived October 12, 2016. URL

  4. “TAKEN BY STORM: The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming,” Archived March 18, 2016. URL

  5. Prominent Signers of An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming,” The Cornwall Alliance. Last updated January 14, 2010. Archived June 12, 2011. URL

  6. An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming,” The Cornwall Alliance. Archived February 13, 2012. URL

  7. Junk Science Week: What’s the right price for carbon? Take a guess (everyone else is),Financial Post, June 16, 2016. Archived October 12, 2016. URL:

  8. Ross McKitrick. “The con in consensus: Climate change consensus among the misinformed is not worth much,” Financial Post, May 11, 2015. Archived October 12, 2016. URL:

  9. Ross Mckitrick. “Earth Hour: A Dissent,”, April 1, 2012. Archived October 8, 2016. URL

  10. Kyoto's Real Cost” (PDF), National Post, February 26, 2002. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.

  11. “Presentation to the Transport and Communications Committee of the Senate of Canada” (PDF), Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.

  12. Herb Pinder. “Climate change alarmists ignore nature's role,” Regina Post Leader, July 16, 2016. Archived October 13, 2016. URL:

  13. Michael E. Mann. “Michael E. Mann says this is no time for a fake debate on climate change,” Regina Leader-Post, July 19, 2016. URL:

  14. Ross Mckitrick. “Let's have a cool, civil debate about global climate change,” Regina Leader-Post, July 25, 2016. Archived October 13, 2016. URL:

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

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

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

  18. Climate Change” (YouTube Video) uploaded by user UTSC IITS, June 2, 2016. Archived .MP4 on file at Desmog.

  19. The Climate Surprise: Why CO2 is Good for the Earth,” CO2 Coalition, April 25, 2016. Archived June 2, 2016. URL:

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

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

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

  23. Alan Moran. “Climate Change: the facts 2014,” Catallaxy Files (blog), December 16, 2014. Archived October 12, 2016. URL

  24. Ross McKitrick and Tom Adams. “What Goes Up…Ontario’s Soaring Electricity Prices and How to Get Them Down” (PDF), Fraser Institute, October 2014. Archived at Desmog.

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

  26. Ross McKitrick, ICCC4,” International Conferences on Climate Change. URL

  27. 2009 International Conference on Climate Change,” The Heartland Institute, February 1, 2009. Archived October 12, 216. Republished by Instituto Liberdade. URL

  28. Heartland Institute's 2009 Climate Conference in New York: funding history of the sponsors,” Desmog.

  29. Ross McKitrick, ICCC1,” International Conferences on Climate Change. URL

  30. “Independent Summary for Policymakers: IPCC Fourth Assessment Report” (PDF), The Fraser Institute, March 2, 2007. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.

  31. 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. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.

  32. Ross McKitrick and Steve McIntyre. “Backgrounder” (PDF), Hockey Stick Project, January 27, 2005. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.

  33. Climate Catastrophe Cancelled: What You're Not Being Told About the Science of Climate Change” (2nd Edition.  Sept. 13, 2007.), Friends of Science. Archived October 12, 2016. URL

  34. Friends of Science,” Sourcewatch. URL

  35. Cooler Heads Coalition Briefing With Christopher Essex And Ross McKitrick,” Competitive Enterprise Institute, February 26, 2003. Archived September 9, 2015. URL

  36. Ross McKitrick,” SourceWatch Profile. URL


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

  39. Laura Jones and liv Fredricksen. “Crying Wolf?: Public Policy on Endangered Species,” The Fraser Institute, October, 1999. Archived October 12, 2016. URL

  40. Who We Are: Staff,” The Fraser Institute. Archived August 23, 2015. URL:

  41. Dr. Ross McKitrick,” George C. Marshall Institute. Archived November 2, 2012. URL

  42. Academic Advisory Council,” The Global Warming Policy Foundation. October, 2016. Archived October 12, 2016. URL

  43. Publications and Papers,” Ross McKitrick. Archived October 12, 2016. URL

Other Resources