Alister McFarquhar

Alister Mcfarquhar


  • Ph.D.
  • International economist, Downing College, Cambridge, U.K.

Source: [1]


Alister McFarquhar is one of 20 economists who are on Senator Inhofe's List of 400+ “prominent climate scientists” who deny global warming.

McFarquhar has done work in the past with an organization called the “Adam Smith Institute.” This UK-based free market think-tank has been a source of climate change “skeptics” in the past. 

According to their website, the Adam Smith Institute is “at the forefront of making the case for free markets and a free society in the United Kingdom” and is “actively campaigning for far-reaching free market solutions – like flat taxes, free 
banking, and radically liberalized education.” [6]

The Adam Smith Institute has had relations with Philip Morris in creating an international center to train journalists that would be “ideologically consistent with PM's issues and interests,” SourceWatch found.

Stance on Climate Change

McFarqehar is a signatory of the Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change which states that “the IPCC’s conclusions are quite inadequate as justification for implementing policies that will markedly diminish future prosperity.” In summary, “attempts to prevent global climate change from occurring are ultimately futile, and constitute a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity’s real and pressing problems.” [2]

Key Quotes

[Pending further investigation.]

Key Deeds

March 4, 2008

McFarquhar signed the Manhattan Declaration on Climate change which was promoted by the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC). The ICSC lists McFarquhar as one of 206 “climate experts” who are signatories. [3]

The ICSC is a directed by prominent climate change skeptic Tom Harris and is affiliated with other high-profile climate skeptic organizations including the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI), Climate Audit (edited by Stephen McIntyre) and Friends of Science (FoS).

December 13, 2007

McFarquhar is listed as a signatory to a 2007 open letter to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. [4]

The open letter describes global warming as “a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages,” and describes CO2 as a “non-polluting gas that is essential to plant photosynthesis.”

April, 2006

McFarquhar signed a 2006 Open Letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper recommending that the government stall any action on climate policy because the “climate changes all the time due to natural causes.”

The letter advocates a delay or cancelation of Kyto reductions, and states that “allocating funds to 'stopping climate change' would be irrational.”

Many prominent skeptics signed the letter, including Tim Ball, David Wojick, Chris de Freitas, Ian Clark and Paul Copper.



According to a search of 22,000 academic journals, has not published any research articles in peer-reviewed journals. According to Google Scholar, McFarquhar has published some studies on land use policy.


  1. 20 of Inhofe's Global Warming Deniers Are Economists,” The Daily Green, January 10, 2008.

  2. THE MANHATTAN DECLARATION ON CLIMATE CHANGE,” International Climate Science Coalition. Accessed January, 2012.

  3. CLIMATE EXPERTS WHO SIGNED MANHATTAN DECLARATION,” International Climate Science Coalition. Accessed January, 2012.

  4. Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations,” December 13, 2007. Republished by the Science and Public Policy Institute.

  5. Alister McFarquehar. “Planning Rape: Land Use Policy and Local Government Finance in the UK” (PDF), Adam Smith Institute, 1999. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  6. About Us,” Adam Smith Institute. Archived January 24, 2016. WebCite URL