Paul Driessen

Paul Driessen

Credentials 

  • 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]

Background

Paul Driessen is a Senior Policy Advisor for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and maintains associations with a range of organizations devoted to the denial of man-made climate change including the Heartland Institute, the Center for the Defence of Free Enterprise (CDFE), the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, and others. He is a founding member of Climate Exit (Clexit), a group that contends “The world must abandon this suicidal Global Warming crusade.” [1][2]

Driessen is known for his first book, Eco-Imperialism: Green Power Black Deathwhere he discusses what he considers negative aspects of the environmental movement. He has been a prolific author in a variety of news sources, promoting the use of fossil fuels and downplaying the risks of climate change. [3]

According to his biographical note at Eco-Imperialism.com, 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.” [4]

Driessen previously worked with the United States Senate, Department of the Interior and an energy trade association. [4]

Stance on Climate Change

October, 2016

“No Real-World evidence supports a 'dangerous manmade climate change' thesis. In fact, a moderately warmer planet with more atmospheric carbon dioxide would hugely benefit crop, forest and other plant growth, wildlife and humans – with no or minimal climate effect. A colder planet with less CO2 would punish them. And a chillier CO2-deprived planet with less reliable, less affordable energy (from massive wind, solar and biofuel projects) would threaten habitats, species, nutrition and the poorest among us.” [5]

July, 2016

“Climate has always changed. It is far better to have energy, technology, modern housing and wealth to adapt to, survive, recover from and even thrive amid inevitable warming, cooling and weather events, than to forego these abilities (on the absurd assumption that humans can control climate and weather) – and be forced to confront nature’s onslaughts the way previous generations had to.” [44]

January, 2016

“As to climate change, numerous studies demonstrate that there is no credible evidence that manmade carbon dioxide is causing dangerous global warming. Moreover, rising CO2 emissions from China, India and other rapidly developing nations vastly exceed any imaginable US reductions.” [6]

June, 2009

“[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.” [7]

Key Quotes

August, 2016

“[M]illions of Americans appear perfectly willing to sacrifice their livelihoods, living standards, liberties and country on the altar of manmade climate Armageddon. Are they insane? Are they on drugs?” [8]

“Fracking-induced earth tremors are akin to vibrations from a dump truck on your street. No groundwater contamination has ever been traced to hydraulic fracturing. Methane in tap water results from water wells improperly drilled through gas-prone rock formations and was an issue long before fracking. Air emissions are below what we find in residential neighborhoods during non-rush hours.” [9]

June, 2016

EPA’s war on coal has already cost thousands of jobs in mines, power plants and dependent businesses. Low oil prices amid a tepid, over-regulated, climate-fixated, crony-corporatist American, European and international economy have already killed thousands of US oil patch jobs. [10]

April, 2016

“Climate Hustle is the perfect antidote to the destructive, demoralizing climate alarmism that dominates political decisions and obsesses the Obama White House and EPA. You owe it to yourself to see it.” [11]

February, 2016

“No presidency has ever come close to the Obama Administration in employing the rule to advance its ideologies and agendas. No industry has been so favored as renewable energy over the past seven years. No sector has been so thoroughly vilified and subjugated as fossil fuels during that period.” [12]

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.” [13] 

February 9, 2015

“Not using fossil fuels is tantamount to not using energy. It is economic suicide and eco-manslaughter.” [14]

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.” [15]

January, 2009

“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.” [16]

February, 2004

“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…” [17]

“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.” [17]

Key Deeds

October 15, 2016

Paul Driessen wrote an article at Townhall titled “Stormy Climate Deception” where he claims there is “No Real-World evidence supports a 'dangerous manmade climate change' thesis.” According to Driessen, “a moderately warmer planet with more atmospheric carbon dioxide would hugely benefit crop, forest and other plant growth, wildlife and humans – with no or minimal climate effect.” [18]

“A colder planet with less CO2 would punish them. And a chillier CO2-deprived planet with less reliable, less affordable energy (from massive wind, solar and biofuel projects) would threaten habitats, species, nutrition and the poorest among us,” Driessen writes.

As evidence, he links to a book that he co-authored with climate change denier Roy Spencer titled “Miracle Molecule: Carbon Dioxide GAs of Life.” Spencer works as an advisor to the Cornwall Alliance, an evangelical climate change denial group that claims environmentalism is “one of the greatest threats to society and the church today.” [19], [20]

August, 2016

Paul Driessen is listed as a “Founding Member” of group named Climate Exit (Clexit) led by climate change denier Christopher Monckton. According to Clexit's founding statement (PDF), “The world must abandon this suicidal Global Warming crusade. Man does not and cannot control the climate.” [21], [2]

Desmog reports on how the group grew in the wake of the UK's decision to leave the EU. A key member of Clexit's “60 well-informed science, business and economic leaders” is Hugh Morgan, a former board member of the Reserve Bank of Australia and former CEO of Western Mining Corporation with close ties to Australia's Liberal party. [22][23]

According to Clexit's founding statement

If the Paris climate accord is ratified, or enforced locally by compliant governments, it will strangle the leading economies of the world with pointless carbon taxes and costly climate and energy policies, all with no sound basis in evidence or science […]” [2]

July 23, 2016

Paul Driessen writes in Townhall that the upcoming climate conference in Marrakech, Morocco will be “a lot of hot air, just like its predecessors.” [44]

Driessen says  “The true purposes [of the conferences] are to pressure industrialized nations to end most fossil fuel use by 2050; intentionally replace free enterprise capitalism with a 'more equitable' system; 'more fairly' redistribute the world’s wealth and natural resources; and ensure that poor countries develop 'sustainably' and not 'too much' – all under the direction and control of UN agencies and environmentalist pressure groups.” [44]

“Africans are not endangered by manmade climate change […] Pacific islanders likewise face no greater perils from seas rising,” Driessen writes. Instead, he says they are threatened by “the same corrupt leaders who line their own pockets with climate and foreign aid cash, while doing nothing for their people and nothing to modernize their countries.” [44]

According to Driessen, pursuing emissions reductions in developing countries is “callous, immoral, eco-imperialistic and genocidal […] unconscionable crimes against humanity on the poorest among us. They must no longer be tolerated.” [44]

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 Attorneys 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. [27]

View Paul Driessen’s Panel 5 presentation at the Heartland Institute’s ICCC10, below: [28]

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. Abdussamatov 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 realclimate.org. [29][13]

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. [30]

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.”  [30]

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.” [31]

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.  [32]

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?” [32]

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.”[32]

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. [33]

DeSmogBlog has done in-depth research on the other speakers and sponsors from Heartland's ICCC9. [33]

May 21 - 23, 2012

Paul Driessen was a speaker at the Heartland Institute's 7th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC7). 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. [34]

March, 2008

Paul Driessen spoke at the Heartland Institute's first International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC1). [35]

Driessen's speech was on “A Human Rights Travesty: Perpetuating Poverty, Disease, and Death to Prevent Speculative Climate Change Chaos.” See video footage below. [36]

March 8, 2007

Paul Driessen was interviewed in “The Great Global Warming Swindle,” a documentary film that advocated the views of global warming skeptics. It first aired on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom. [37]

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.” [38]

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.

Affiliations 

Publications

Driessen wrote Eco-Imperialism: Green Power Black Death published by Merril Press in November, 2003. He was also the editor of Energy Keepers Energy Killers: The New Civil Rights Battle, written by Roy Innis and published in February, 2008 by Merril Press. [42]

Sample Publications

Townhall Publications

Paul Driessen has been a very prolific author at Townhall, writing regular articles promoting the use of Fossil Fuels and questioning the science behind man-made climate change. Samples below: [43]

Resources

  1. Center Staff and Advisors,” Center for the Defence of Free Enterprise. Archived June 8, 2011. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/VI9Yi

  2. After Brexit, Clexit” (PDF), Clexit.net. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.

  3. CFACT Staff,” Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow. Archived October 20, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/lFdr0

  4. About the Author,” Eco-Imperialism.com. Archived October 21, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Tk6Sy

  5. Paul Driessen. “Stormy Climate Deception,” TownHall, October 15, 2016. Archived October 20 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/3fL6O

  6. Paul Driessen. “Trumping Hydrocarbon Fuels and Consumers,” Townhall, January 29, 2016. Archived October 20, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/71wKr

  7. Climate change ‘morality’,” Canada Free Press, May 27, 2009. Archived October 21, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/ZA4WI

  8. Paul Driessen. “Olympic-Sized Climate Propaganda,” TownHall, August 13, 2016. Archived October 20, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/TljJi

  9. Paul Driessen. “Ecological Double Standards,” TownHall, August 6, 2016. Archived October 20, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/j9MWY

  10. Paul Driessen. “More Job-Killing Rules from EPA,” Townhall, June 11, 2016. Archived October 20, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/1Xzp6

  11. “'Climate Hustle' Demolishes Climate Alarmism,” Townhall, April 28, 2016. Archived October 20, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/pD3BH

  12. Paul Driessen. “Tax Oil to Subsidize Wind?Townhall, February 13, 2016. Archived October 20, 2016. Archive.is URL:https://archive.is/5uZQ4

  13. Paul Driessen. “A new Little Ice Age? Instead of dangerous warming, Earth could be entering a chilly era,” The Washington Times, May 17, 2015. Archived October 21, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Irwqx

  14. Paul Driessen. “Divesting People of Better Living Standards,” Somewhat Reasonable (Heartland Institute blog). February 9, 2015. Archived October 21, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/o395l

  15. Carbon Dioxide: The Gas of Life,” TownHall, August 15, 2013.  Archived October 21, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/WBzIg

  16. Paul Driessen, “Saving Lives with Coal,” Townhall, January 3, 2009. Archived October 21, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/KomEi

  17. Eco-Imperialism: When policies kill,” Testimony (PDF) of Paul R. Driessen before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Natural Resources, February 4, 2004. Archived.pdf on file at Desmog.

  18. Paul Driessen. “Stormy Climate Deception,” Townhall, October 15, 2016. Archived October 21, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/3fL6O

  19. Miracle Molecule: Carbon Dioxide, Gas of Life,” Amazon.com. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/REdmj

  20. Cornwall Alliance: Background information for reporters” (PDF)Desmog UK, April, 2015. Archived at DeSmogBlog.

  21. The Clexit Committee comprises” (PDF), Clexit.net. Archived.pdf on file at Desmog.

  22. Graham Readfearn. “After Brexit, Climate Science Denialists Form New Group to Call for a Clexit,” DeSmog, August 3, 2016.

  23. Hugh Morgan AO,” Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Archived February 22, 2002. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/1ObOB

  24. CEI Runs “Abuse of Power” Ad In New York Times,” Competitive Enterprise Institute, May 18, 2016. Archived May 31, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/DF7gW

  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,” DeSmog, May 10, 2016.

  27. Speakers,” Heartland Institute. Archived June 30, 2015. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/lpiqu

  28. 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. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/8Exvv

  29. Stein Sigurdsson. “Global warming on Mars?“ RealClimate. October 5, 2005.  Archived October 21, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/YoaFi

  30. An Open Letter to Pope Francis on Climate Change,” Cornwall Alliance For The Stewardship of Creation. April 27, 2015.  Archived October 21, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/z6ekZ

  31. Judith Curry. “Pope Francis, climate change, and morality,” JudithCurry.com, April 29, 2015. Archived October 21, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/gIRZN

  32. Katherine Bagley. “Leaked Email Reveals Who's Who List of Climate Denialists,” InsideClimate News. March 12, 2015. Archived October 21, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/CVOi5

  33. Return of Climate Denial-a-Palooza: Heartland Institute Hitches Anti-Science Wagon to Vegas FreedomFest,” DeSmog, July 7, 2014. Archived July 14, 2014.

  34. Brendan DeMelle. “Heartland Denial-a-Palooza Sponsors Have Received $67 Million From ExxonMobil, Koch and Scaife Foundations,DeSmog, May 22, 2012.

  35. The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change: Global Warming is not a crisis! (PDF), Archived July 25, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

  36. Paul Driessen, ICCC1,” International Conferences on Climate Change. Accessed October 20, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/CmHzy

  37. The Great Global Warming Swindle,” SourceWatch. Accessed October 21, 2016.

  38. 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 Eco-Imperialism.com.

  39. CFACT Staff,” CFACT. Archived October 21, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/lFdr0

  40. Paul Driessen. “GE Irresponsibility,” The American Conservative Union Foundation. Archived April 12, 2011. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/PuBPn

  41. Paul Driessen,” The Heartland Institute. Accessed May, 2012. Archived October 21, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/PiWDp

  42. Energy Keepers: Energy Killers” (PDF), Merrill Press. Retrieved from Scribd. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  43. Paul Driessen,” Townhall. Archived October 20, 2016. Archive.is URLhttps://archive.is/rpeDu

  44. Paul Driessen. “Keeping the Poor Impoverished,” Townhall, July 23, 2016. Archived November 3, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/zslQS

Other Resources