Benny Peiser

Climate Science Denier Feels 'A Bit Stupid' After Losing £1K Bet That World Would Be Cooling in 2015

After 2015 was revealed as the hottest year on record, climate science denier Sir Alan Rudge now admits that he feels “a bit stupid” about betting a climate expert that the world would be cooling by now.

Rudge, a member of Lord Lawson’s climate denial think tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), accepts that he must pay up the £1,000 he lost when he bet Chris Hope, a Cambridge University researcher, in 2011 that 2015 would be more than 0.1C cooler than 2008.

But new data released last week shows that 2015 was the hottest year on record and was 0.35C warmer than 2008. As DeSmog UK covered at the time, this cost two members of the GWPF a total £2,000.

Two Members of Lord Lawson's Climate Denial Think Tank Lose £2K In Climate Science Bet

Want to lose £2,000? Then make a bet with a climate change expert that the world isn’t warming.

That’s what two members of Lord Lawson’s climate change science denying Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) did when they bet Chris Hope, a Cambridge University researcher, that 2015 wouldn’t be the hottest year ever recorded.

You win some, you lose some,” Benny Peiser, director of the GWPF, told Reuters, adding that the pace of warming “is not something that people… need to be greatly concerned about”.

Energy and Environment (Journal)

Energy and Environment

 Background

Who Was Actually Behind Lord Lawson's Idea to Create the Global Warming Policy Foundation?

This DeSmog UK epic history post explains how Lord Lawson’s climate denying Global Warming Policy Foundation was actually created.

Lord Lawson in 2008 was congratulated in private for his pamphlet attacking climate science and policy by a handful of peers and MPs, mostly from the Tory party. Some even suggest he set up a new foundation to take the fight against climate mitigation to the government of the day.

At the time, there existed small, intimate groups who were furious that the Climate Change Act had become law; almost all had some relationship to Exxon- and Koch-funded think tanks in the United States, and were accepting funding from British oil and tobacco companies.

That Time When a Koch-Funded Washington Lawyer Made a Secret Plan to Derail the Kyoto Protocol in Europe

This DeSmog UK epic history post recalls the transatlantic effort by the European sceptic Benny Peiser and Washington lawyer Chris Horner to bring down the Kyoto Protocol.

Prior to teaming up with Lord Lawson at the Global Warming Policy Foundation, Benny Peiser was working with Julian Morris at his free market think tank, the International Policy Network (IPN). But, at the same time, Peiser was an advisor of the IPN’s rival British sceptic organisation, the Scientific Alliance.

The Scientific Alliance worked closely with the Virginia-based George Marshall Institute, an ExxonMobil-funded free market think tank that can claim to be among the first to attack the science of climate change.

Meet Benny Peiser: The Marxist Radical Turned Climate Change Denier

Our latest DeSmog UK epic history post recalls how Dr Benny Peiser transformed from Marxist radical to director of Lord Lawson’s climate denial charity, the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Dr Benny Peiser, a sports anthropologist whose PhD focused on the ancient Olympic games, was chosen by Julian Morris, founder and president of the International Policy Network, to submit a chapter to the think tank’s publication on climate change entitled Adapt or Die.

Peiser’s chapter was called “Climate Change and Civilisation Collapse” and in it he explained that humans had often panicked about the end of the world, and expressed his view that global warming was just the latest example.

Lord Lawson's Global Warming Policy Foundation Mistaken On Actual Facts

Global Warming Policy Foundation

A UK-based climate change denial think-tank has been caught making serious misrepresentations on climate policy which go against the guidelines of the UK's charity regulator.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation, set up as a charitable organisation by former UK Conservative finance minister Lord Nigel Lawson, has been gaining traction in some media outlets who are turning to the foundation in an apparent attempt to “balance” their stories on climate change.

But in providing balance, Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, shows those media outlets are also helping to spread mistruths.

Writing in The Guardian, Ward looked back on public statements and media interviews given by Lord Lawson since his foundation was launched in November 2009 and found at least five examples where the public had been misled.

Don't Be Fooled: Fossil Fools Fund Latest Climate Skeptic Petition

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) recently published a flashy headline that reads, 900+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism Of “Man-Made” Global Warming (AGW) Alarm’. The article links to a blog post on Populartechnology.net listing more than 900 papers which, according to the GWPF, refute “concern relating to a negative environmental or socio-economic effect of AGW, usually exaggerated as catastrophic.”

The “900+ papers” list is supposed to somehow prove that a score of scientists reject the scientific consensus on climate change. One might be persuaded by the big numbers. We’re not.

Financial Post Op-Ed Spins Familiar Tale of Climate Change Denial

The recent op-ed piece in Canada’s Financial Post by Czech President Václav Klaus is more than a little infuriating.  Klaus, an economist by trade with no background in climate science, has become a favourite skeptic for hire at the Heritage Foundation and other right-wing libertarian think tanks. 

Klaus is a vocal skeptic on the topic of global warming. His 2007 book argues that global warming is akin to a new religion or ideology that threatens to undermine freedom and the world’s economic and social order.  At a 2007 speech at the Cato Institute, he argued that, “Environmentalism should belong in the social sciences” along with other “isms” such as communism, feminism, and liberalism.  He went on to argue that, “environmentalism is a religion” and a “modern counterpart of communism” that seeks to change people’s habits and economic systems.

At his 2009 keynote address at the International Conference of Climate Change (a.k.a. Denial-a-Palooza), he maintained that environmental activists don’t necessarily care about temperature, or carbon dioxide, rather they care about rent seeking and political profit.  In an increasingly familiar trope, he argued that the climate change movement has become popularized because it gives politicians an excuse to exert more control over society.

Klaus delivered a keynote speech at last week’s Global Warming Policy Foundation Inaugural Annual Lecture in London.  According to his address, “Global warming in the last 150 years was modest and future warming and its consequences will not be dangerous or catastrophic.  It doesn’t look like a threat we should respond to,” he said.

BBC Trots Out Skeptic Benny Peiser To Question Global Warming In A Snow Storm

The BBC used Britain’s recent snowy cold snap to trot out the climate skepticism of Dr. Benny Peiser, a social anthropologist at Liverpool’s John Moores University with absolutely zero scientific expertise in climate change. 

In a segment titled “How the big freeze fits theories of global warming,” exploring “how one of the longest cold snaps for a generation fits in with theories of a warming planet and global climate change,” the BBC oddly shoehorns Peiser’s climate change denialism into an otherwise decent piece explaining the difference between weather and climate and why the existence of snow and cold weather does not in any way negate the realities of climate change.

So what could Dr. Peiser - whose greatest achievement in science is getting an asteroid named after him – have to offer on the subject of climate change?

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